Step 1: Research
When we first purchased our Class C, we did not have plans to two a vehicle. We made some camping trips without any other vehicle, and enjoyed the trips. Now, as I have gotten more comfortable driving the Class C, we started discussing a tow vehicle and how much we would enjoy that option of having an extra vehicle while camping, especially with our 2 girls.
So I began my long journey of researching flat towing. Here are some of the items of research.
1. How much weight can our Class C tow? Check with your manufacturer regarding your model and how much weight capacity you can tow. Which would include the Tongue/Hitch weight and Maximum Towing Capacity. The tongue weight is calculated by the weight/pressure that is applied from the tongue/coupler to the hitch on your vehicle. The Maximum towing capacity is the weight limit that the RV or motorhome can safely tow. This is calculated by the RV's GVW (Gross Vehicle Weight). Passengers + Cargo + Fluids + etc. + Towed Vehicle = GVW.
On my particular RV, the max tongue weight is 750 lbs. and the max tow capacity is 7,500 lbs. Now, I don't think I would want to attempt to tow 7,500 lbs. I would probably max out around 5,000 lbs.
2. Next, was finding the right vehicle to tow for us that met the weight capacity and our expectations of the type of vehicle we wanted to travel around with and use as a daily driver for us, even when not being towed, and price. So, this is where the Jeep Wrangler comes in. Used Jeep. We started looking at local dealers, and there was really nothing to pick from. So than we started looking online, and found one with low miles, and the price was in our budget. The Jeep weight comes in less than 5,000 lbs.
3. Flat towing components needed: The following are the 5 categories or product lines needed to safely and legally flat tow you vehicle behind your motorhome.
- Base Plate (Tow vehicle)
- Tow Bar
- Wiring for brakes lights, turn signals, etc.
- Safety Cables
- Braking System
4. Now, it's time to research the parts needed to make this all come together. I'm sure you've heard about Blue Ox. Well, there are other brands out there that make similar stuff as Blue Ox, Roadmaster, Demco, NSA Tow Bars, etc. So, I started looking at all the different Brands, and trying to figure out what was what and what I needed. There are a lot to pick from. The source that I used is etrailer.com. They have both brands and good videos to go along with the parts. I recently came across NSA Tow Bars (https://nsatowbars.com/) and they sell kits with everything included to get what is needed for your setup. NSA Tow Bars will package their tow bar with Roadmaster, Demco or Blue Ox Base Plates. You basically pick the base plate you want with their Tow Bar. Also, the braking system is included with their Tow Bar. You wont have to buy a separate braking system, unless you want to. Another base plate for Jeeps, 2010 and older are from Rock Jock. https://www.rockjock4x4.com/CE-9033JK
Step 2: Product Research & Selection
1. Base Plate: For my 2018 Jeep. I selected the Roadmaster Direct Connect base plate. Model 521448-5. There is no drilling involved. Some of the other Base Plates, you had to remove your bumper and do some drilling for the installation.
2. Tow Bar: I went with the Roadmaster Falcon All Terrain (RM-522). Many features that made me select this Tow Bar. very clean looking, non binding arms. Be careful in selecting your Tow bar and Base plate. Make sure they are compatible in how they connect.
3. Wiring: This one was pretty easy for me to select. I want to make sure the Jeep rear lighting was plugged into the RV lighting, so that when I braked or turned, both RV and Jeep lights responded the same. I went with the Roadmaster Diode setup (RM-15267). I believe the worst part is just tucking away the wires and ensuring a clean OEM setup.
4. Safety Cables: I went with the Roadmaster 80" Cables (RM-674). Not a lot to dig into here. Get some good cables that fit your set-up.
5. Braking System: This is probably the most time consuming research I had to do. I spent more hours on the research of a braking system for the flat tow setup, than all the other components together. The cost of the Braking system is 1/2 the cost of the entire setup. Its illegal in 49 of 50 states to flat tow without a supplemental braking system. So, it is a must have. I went with the RViBrake3 system. I feel like this is the better of all the Braking systems I researched and the most non-intrusive setup from my point of view. RVi also has other components that will compliment their system.
Here is a link to a comparison chart with the other braking systems.
Here is a reference to the states and minimum weight requirements.
When we first purchased the Class C, we did not plan on flat towing a vehicle. We thought we could just enjoy going camping. Well, that changed quick. After a trip to the beach and a few other places, we soon realized, it would be nice to have another vehicle to go into town with, shop, etc. To include going to campgrounds that that did not have sewer hookups, but a dump station. So, you would need a portable waste tank that you could take to the dump station as needed. Having a vehicle to pull this portable waste tank was another reason to start the research for flat towing our jeep.
Selecting the products for me, was not just driven on the product itself, but also on the installation of the product, because I will be installing the entire system myself and it is specific to my 2018 Jeep.
Roadmaster 521448-5 Direct Connect Style Baseplate For Jeep
Step 3: Installation
1. Roadmaster Baseplate 521448-5 Direct Connect.
The install took apx 4-6 hours.(maybe) Its really not a bad install project. The only issue I had, was I have the Mopar light bar that has brackets that interfered with the base plate bracket. So, I had to make some modifications to the Mopar light bar brackets, so that I could keep the light bar and lights.
The other issue was related to cosmetics. Trimming the plastic front skid plate. Following the instructions regarding the dimensions were not as accurate as they stated. I had to modify the cuts a little more, but it all turned out great. Start by using the dimensions provided in the instructions, and tweak as you try to fit it back. It all worked out, and I was able to maintain that stock look with the skid plate. I used a dremel to make my cuts.
I made a cardboard template, 5 inch by 9 inch for my initial cuts on both sides for the actual baseplate arms. I used painters tape to mark my lines. Again, there will be some tweaking with your cuts, but don't get to far off from the instructions. The Skid Plate will mount back into position.
There were no issues regarding mounting points, nuts, bolts, alignment, etc. The Baseplate fit like a glove on my 2018 Jeep.
- I did order a set of the Roadmaster receiver inserts from Amazon, to keep dirt and debris out of the Baseplate receiver connection points.
Roadmaster Baseplate Installed
Roadmaster Roadmaster 522 Falcon All-Terrain Tow Bar
Roadmaster Receiver Inserts
Roadmaster 15267 Towed Vehicle Wiring Kit
Roadmaster 674 Safety Cables
Portable Waste Holding Tank
Below are some online sources or references that helped me in researching the solution for me.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
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