If you’re new to the world of motorhomes, you would be intimated by the size and bulk of the RV. The thought of dragging a car behind it seemed unimaginable. However, it is actually quite a safe practice, and experienced RV owners have realized the practicality of doing so.
RV tow bars allow you to tether a vehicle to your RV safely and efficiently. The equipment is installed at the front of your vehicle, featuring some mechanisms that would latch on to the RV without much fanfare. There are also RV tow bars that are mounted to your motorhome, which meant that you do not have to install additional components to your car.
Although there are multiple aesthetic designs depending on the manufacturer, the structure and functionality are essentially the same. The tow bar attaches through a receiver mount or a coupler.
Things to Take into Consideration when Choosing RV Tow Bars
1. Compatibility – You need to look at the baseplate match and the allowable raise, which take into consideration the height of the towbar in relation to the RV and the towed vehicle. The towbar should typically be close to the level, which should not be more than three inches. You may need a drop receiver to achieve the designated level. The last thing you need is to achieve what is called a negative raise, which means that the level on your vehicle is higher compared to your RV.
2. Tow weight Capacity – You do not want the couple to snap because you failed to take into account the weight of pulled cargo. It is easy to find out the gross tonnage of the vehicle, but you add the additional load if there are clothes, groceries and other items inside the towed vehicle. A tow bar like The Dominator can pull 7,500 pounds despite the gadget weighing only 30 pounds when wet. Something like the Excali-Bar 3 can support as much as 10,500 pounds of weight.
The tow weight capacity is different from the capability of the RV to drag additional weight. For example, a Class C motorhome can potentially pull more than 10,000 pounds. To illustrate, a typical SUV weighs around 5,000 pounds.
3. Fixed-arm or adjustable tow bar – As the name suggests, a fixed-arm has limited movement, which meant that it is more difficult to hook up. In comparison, with telescopic and adjustable RV tow bars, you can pull out the arms to easily latch on to your RV.
4. Vehicle’s braking system – Most state laws require that the motorhome or the service vehicle must possess the required stopping force that supports the additional weight. The classification varies from state to state. For example, in Wyoming, KS, you should come to a stop within 40 feet from a speed of 20 miles per hour on a dry and level surface.
5. Base plate and adapter – The base plate is mounted on the vehicle to be towed. It is designed to fit perfectly on the frame on the RV. They come in kits, along with the instruction manual on how to install them. An adapter, meanwhile, may be required if the base plate and the frame are fabricated by different companies, which might not result in a perfect fit.
As with anything else, your first encounter with RV tows bars is the hardest. With enough practice, attaching the vehicle to your motorhome or RV would become like a second skin. In the same manner, driving around with an extra tail would become less intimidating with more hours behind the wheel.