Flat Tow Safety - Page 3 - JeepForum.com

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post #31 of 34 Old 01-11-2017, 02:41 PM
Raist11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cologc46 View Post
BlueOx gear is expensive, but I did find a used Blue Ox Aventa tow bar. The cost of the tow setup:

Used tow bar: $300
Safety Cables and tail light cord came with the tow bar: $100 if purchased (but, also needed if trailering)
Receiver adapter: $80 (raises the motor home end of the tow bar to be level with my jeep bumper)
Custom front bumper/frame brackets: $300
Receiver & tow bar locks: $90 (kind of need locks no matter if you are trailering or towing)
Tail light harness with diodes: $50, self installed
RVi2 Brake: $1100 (ouch, used brakes were not around)

Total cost for me to flat tow was about $2000.

Very comparable to owning a trailer: $1500 - $2500 initial cost, but don't forget annual licensing, maintenance, storage
$300 for that Blue Ox is damn good. I wish I could have found one for that price. Those bars are easier to hook up than mine. The storage of a trailer is what kept me away from that idea. Even just a little front wheel dolly takes up too much space.


Current: '00 TJ Sport
Past: '98 TJ Sport - lots of aftermarket
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post #32 of 34 Old 01-12-2017, 06:22 AM
Unlimited04
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I flat tow my Jeep with my 3/4-ton Dodge diesel on occasion. Use a cheapo HF tow bar, warrior brackets for D-rings, cable safety hooks, and a plug-n-play diode tail light set up. I also use a heavy duty polyurethane isolated hitch on the tow vehicle to reduce dynamic loading. Works good so far.


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post #33 of 34 Old 01-20-2017, 06:56 PM
redsoxski
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BimotaBruce View Post
I wasn't going to go into those details, but since the OP pretty much has his answer, and since it may help other readers, I will now.

To gain clearance in the front of the Jeep, I changed my tow bar hookup from an added on receiver style that hung below the frame to a hookup to the front pickup points (where the D-rings usually hang) on the Jeep's front bumper. So far, so good.

The kit that I bought (don't remember the name) used a typical heavy duty steel clevis to engage the pickup points on the Jeep's front bumper. It also used a typical solid steel pin and hairpin clip to attach the clevis to the bumper pickup points.

I live in Los Angeles, and our first trip with this setup was a 5 hr (one way) drive to Death Valley. The total of 10 towing hours with no issues (double checking everything every few hours) lulled me into thinking that this new clevis setup would work as well and reliably as the previous system.

My next long trip was to Moab.....13 hrs one way for me. Whenever I stop for fuel I always walk around the whole rig and inspect, and saw no issues during those casual inspections. I did notice that the clevis pins were rotating (as the hairpin location was at a different clocking), but dismissed that as normal. After all, there was nothing holding them from rotating, and certainly no harm in those pins jiggling around. (WRONG!)

Turns out, not only did they jiggle around, but for reasons that I still don't understand, those pins were under some kind of force that rotated them. One of them rotated to the point where the hairpin clip was pushed up against the bumper, and instead of stopping there (as you might expect), it continued to rotate and forced the hairpin out of the steel clevis pin! That took more force than just a jiggling pin would create...I still don't know what causes that rotation.

Once that occurred (unknown/unseen by me as we drove down the road), it was just a matter of time before the main pin wobbled out of the clevis on its own.

Of course that occurred on a 2 lane hiway in northern Arizona going about 60 mph during a light snowstorm, with my wife driving.

So the pin dropped out and we only had one pickup point holding the Jeep onto the tow bar. Fortunately when the tow bar dropped on that one side, it pulled the cable of the Brake Buddy and applied the Jeep's brakes. My wife suddenly felt the truck slow and immediately knew something was seriously wrong (keep in mind we have a 10' camper in the bed, and no direct visibility of the Jeep) and pulled to the side of the road, with the Jeep barely hanging on semi-sideways.

It all ended as well as possible for us, but surely wouldn't have on that hiway without the Brake Buddy.

Needless to say, I replaced those pins with grade 8 bolts and nylon lock nuts. No towing issues after many years like that.

Hope I explained that clearly...it's a little weird for sure.
Same exact thing happened to me only I was lucky enough to have the pin come out while doing a tight turn in a parking lot. Even so my Ready Brake tow bar system locked down the brakes and kept the Jeep from running into my TV when I stopped. Brakes are definitely a must do when flat towing in my book. Ended up getting a trailer for many of the reasons listed but primarily because of a scary case of back and forth swaying on I 70...
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post #34 of 34 Old 04-14-2017, 07:25 PM
cologc46
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I used circular click pins that go through a hole in the hitch pin, for a long time, but changed. I doubt those would ever fail on their own, but I was afraid of that one time when some joker walked over and pulled a click pin off my hitch pin. Then, down the road that hitch pin would vibe out and we would be in trouble. So, I upgraded to locking hitch pins, no more safety pin/click pin. That way, I feel double covered.

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flat tow , tow bar , towing jeep

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