The tailgating Jeep.
This is a guest post by Ken B. Ken is a guy who can never stop tinkering. He started with a travel trailer, went to a fifth wheel, and now drives a 32’ Dynamax Isata 4 motorhome. In his first year, he put 13k miles on the rig, traveling from Canada to Disney’s Fort Wilderness. Please help me welcome him!
Disclaimer: Roadmaster provided Ken with the Nighthawk tow bar in exchange for a review (good, bad, or ugly).
Ok, introductions and disclaimers out of the way, let’s first look at what is the biggest downfall of a motorhome? It’s simply the fact that your camper is also your driver… want to go see the sights? You gotta break camp or tow a car.
For our first year, we went without a “toad” (a vehicle towed behind the motorhome: get it? “towed” … “toad”?). It wasn’t awful, but we could really see where it would be handy. In the fall we purchased our new toad, a 2017 Jeep Wrangler. I have a thing for Jeeps and I’ll talk later why they’re really the ideal tow vehicle.
Toad Towing Options
There are really only three ways to tow a vehicle behind your motorhome.
- Put it on a trailer (all four wheels).
- Put it on a dolly (just two wheels).
- Flat tow with all four wheels on the ground.
Each has their advantages and minuses, but I opted for a flat tow.
The two biggest advantages are that there isn’t anything extra to store at the campsite and it’s quick and easy to hook up.
As I mentioned, the Jeep Wrangler is the ideal flat tow vehicle. There’s no steering wheel lock and has a transfer case that allows for disconnection between the transmission and wheels. Plus, it’s a Jeep… they’re hella cool!
The minuses to flat towing are that there’s the most equipment for it to work properly.
Here’s a breakdown:
- Tow bar – provides the physical connection between the toad and motorhome.
- Wiring harness – for the lights to activate on the toad.
- Braking system – to help stop the 5,000 lb. Jeep that’s hooked to your rig.
This post will cover the first and most important piece of the puzzle.
The Tow Bar
Whoa, there are some options for tow bars! The prices range from $200 and way up. Roadmaster is known for some of the highest quality tow equipment and is where I started my research.
I worked with Roadmaster and got their latest and greatest tow bar, the Nighthawk.
The Nighthawk’s Best Features
The Nighthawk is the world’s first illuminated tow bar. You might ask, why is an illuminated tow bar important? It’s important because there are no lights between the motorhome and the rear lights of the toad to illuminate the area, making the space very dark. This tow bar lights up each side and vastly increases safety while towing at night.
On top of the illumination feature, it also has the longest tow arms produced. This increases stability and safety while towing.
Because of the non-binding latches, hooking up and disconnecting the tow bar is a breeze.
Take a look at the video below to see how easy it really is.
The package is neat and tidy. The safety cables and wiring harness are fed through the arms; they’re not just dangling below.
When not in use, the arms collapse and fold over allowing its cover to be secured to protect it from the elements.
The Nighthawk’s Negatives
So far, we have about 3,000 miles towing with the Nighthawk and I’m ecstatic with its performance. What I’m about to say next will shock anyone that knows me: I can’t find anything that I would change. Heck, even I’m surprised. It says a lot for me to say that about a product.
I wanted the best and that’s what I got – check out the Nighthawk on Amazon.
Ken, great post sir. Really enjoyed it! Funny thing is I have that exact 2017 Jeep in the Gobi color and I hope to have the same flat tow setup soon. Quick question regarding the setup on your Jeep. Is that a new bumper that you installed or what did you use to get the red tow tabs that come through your bumper. Those look great! Everything I’m seeing out there installs below your bumper.
Any direction would help thanks a lot.