Best Towing Combo Bars in 2020



Blue Ox BX2630 Base Plate for Ford F-150 Raptor SVT Review:


I haven't had a chance to tow my Raptor behind my motorhome yet, but the hardware to install this product appears quite substantial - which was welcome (I installed this kit myself). Heavy duty Grade 5 nuts/bolts and thick steel side plates, plus extremely thick cable wraps were intimidating upon opening the package but installed with relative ease. The only non-standard tool you will need for this installation is a crowfoot 19mm (preferably 3/8" drive with an attachment that will allow it to be used with a 1/2" torque wrench).

You will need a 15mm and a 19mm end wrench and socket drive to remove parts (which is relatively easy and will probably not take more than 45 minutes even if you take your sweet time like I did). For installation you will need the 19mm socket drive plus the crow foot wrench (that can be connected to your torque wrench for the necessary 78 ft lbs tightening torque).

Two items of interest:

I thought about marking this down to 4 stars because two lock washers split, failed, and broke during installation and had to be replaced (because grade 5 hardware hardware is not really necessary for washers, I simply replaced them with galvanized washers from Lowes).

Additionally, you need to be prepared to modify the front OEM brackets that mount the skid plate. If you have a cordless grinder with a metal removal wheel, then it's a ten minute job. If you don't have this tool, then borrow one (if you can only borrow a grinder without the grinding wheel, the grinding wheel can be purchased at a box store for just a few bucks - it will be unnoticeably used when you're done, so give it back to the person you borrowed from as thanks).

Normally you can't buy a crows foot wrench individually, so if you can't borrow one (plus if you don't have access to a grinder and need to buy that too and the grinding wheel), then you might want to consider having this professionally installed (buying these tools could cost over $200, which might be at least half of the kit installation cost). If you have (access to) these tools and are mechanically inclined, I would rate this job about a 3 out of 5 stars. It isn't necessarily hard, but it is a bit tedious (particularly with the wire nuts). I planned on half a day and it took me all day, but I painted all holes drilled into the frame before installing hardware and whatever other details were necessary to make sure I'd never see rust or problems with this installation.

It's a good kit with heavy duty hardware that needs a couple specialized tools not itemized in the directions. If you are up to it, plan on a full day to install. It's not hard but it is tedious. But the heavy gauge hardware will give you comfort that it is not likely to fail you.

UPDATE - August 2014: I have now towed my Ford Raptor approximately 13,000 miles with this device, and I can say unequivocally that it works brilliantly. From south Florida all the way to New Mexico and Utah for some four-wheeling, then on to San Diego, and all the way back (this was my first trip post installation). Lots of big hills up and down, no doubt putting all of the towing hardware to a supreme test. I re-torqued these bracket nuts but did not find even one of them to be loose. This year I towed to the Smoky Mountains and up to Wisconsin, again without a hitch. Just now starting to be in need of a little wire brushing and touch up spray paint, but other than that, all is great. I still highly recommend this product.



Blue Ox 84-0140 Tow Bar Replacement Retaining Pin 1/2 in. Incl. Clips for Use w Tow Bars 2 pc. Tow Bar Replacement Retaining Pin Review:


These pins really work well - better than I expected, since they have no locks. However the rings that you put through the holes at the bottom of the pin are "locking rings" They snap into place and hold the pins securely. If you lock the rings correctly, you'll never have a problem with the pins vibrating out of place. Of course, without a lock, they aren't secure from would-be vandals who might by inclined to remove them, but that possibility seems rather remote. I do like not having to deal keys every time I hook up or unhook the car.



Uriah Products UT623411 Aluma-Tow 8" Drop Ball Mount for 2" Receiver Review:


The versatility of this hitch (in my opinion) outweighs its negative issues (which are minor). Be sure to check your drop before you purchase. I thought I'd need a 6" drop, since I had previously used a 4" drop on my Silverado. However, on a Yukon XL, I needed an 8" drop due to the receiver being up higher than the Silverado.
Be sure to check the GTWR/tongue weight also. This is not intended for heavy commercial/industrial use, but is well suited for residential trailering needs.
The hitch system comes with a 2" aluminum shank, an aluminum ball carrier, three steel balls (1-7/8", 2", and 2-5/16"), two keyed-alike locking pins, one retaining pin w/hair pin, two ball retaining pins, and four keys.
The ball carrier holds two balls at the same time, so you can insert your two most commonly used balls and they'll be ready when needed. The ball drops into the carrier and a ball retaining pin is inserted through the back. The ball carrier is then slide onto the shank. Once the proper drop is attained, slide the retaining pin through one of the two holes on the carrier and then slide one of the locking pins through the other hole. The pin on the backside keeps the ball secured while mounted. I recommend sliding the carrier locking pin through the hair pin to prevent the "average" person from removing the hair/retaining pin. Since I used the lowest drop setting, I removed the second ball (the one that points down) due the ground clearance issues.
Now to the good/bad. The aluminum body helps save some weight, I can imagine how much this would weigh if it were solid steel. The two keyed-alike locking pins are convenient, but if one gets lost/broken, you'll need to replace both to keep it down to one key. The ball interchangeability and adjustability of this thing is very convenient. Previously I had four drops and had to change out balls on each drop depending on the trailer I hauled. With this, I need just the one drop and have two balls immediately available and a third one that can be changed out in less than a minute.
Two negative items that I found. One is that due to the multiple pieces, if you leave this set up on your vehicle without a trailer hooked up, the thing bounces around with a lot of noise. The second item is the rubber keyhole cover. I can tell already that this will get lost right away. Just in routine use I find that if falls of quite regularly.
Cost-wise, I think it's high for what it is, but when you look at similar hitch systems from competitors, their prices are much higher.
Overall, a very good system for a residential hauler. It eliminates the four steel drops I used previously.

Pros:
- good all-in-one system
- lighter with the aluminum shank and carrier
- keyed-alike locking pins
- ball change without the need for a gimongous wrench

Cons:
- noisy when not under load
- keyhole covers likely to fall off



GearAmerica (2PK Heavy Duty D Ring Shackles Red | 58,000 lbs (29 US Ton) Max Strength | 3/4" Shackle + 7/8 Pin + Isolator + Washers | Connect Your Tow Strap or Winch Rope for Off-Road 4x4 Recovery Review:


I was looking for some d-rings that were made in America, but couldn't find a single one (ridiculous). This seemed like the next best thing aside from the overpriced Warn epic series. I would gladly pay three times as much for American made products, especially with a lifetime warranty. I doubt I'm the only one that feels this way. Hopefully you take this into serious consideration. I love the design and look of these, though I haven't abused them yet. Package arrived promptly.



GearAmerica Mega Duty D Ring Shackles Orange (2PK) | 68000 lbs (34 Ton) Tested Strength | 3/4" Shackle + 7/8 Pin + Washers| Securely Connect Tow Strap or Winch Rope to Jeep for Off-Road 4x4 Recovery Review:


I was looking for some d-rings that were made in America, but couldn't find a single one (ridiculous). This seemed like the next best thing aside from the overpriced Warn epic series. I would gladly pay three times as much for American made products, especially with a lifetime warranty. I doubt I'm the only one that feels this way. Hopefully you take this into serious consideration. I love the design and look of these, though I haven't abused them yet. Package arrived promptly.



Smittybilt 87450 2" Ball Adjustable Tow Bar Kit - 5000 lbs. Rating Review:


To get something better than this one would have to spend hundreds more for a Roadmaster Stowaway (with my new Smittybilt bumper I had to take the Roadmaster off my Jeep). I was really surprised how well made this Smittybilt Tow Bar is. The picture is misleading as this tow bar is amazing. Comes with extras to allow you to choose how you want to mount it. I have a Smittybilt bumper so it fit perfectly. Removing and replacing is a little more difficult due to its weight. I put it on an ice chest to support it for installing and for disconnecting. Be prepared to put a lot of muscle into those bolts that hold it on. I use it on my Jeep Wrangler so once I put the transfer case into Neutral all I have to do is grab the tow bar and pull the Jeep up to the hitch. Tracked very smoothly, no drifting. I highly recommend this tow bar. I tow it behind by pick up to places like Montana so I have it there to play around on back roads without having to drive it all the way there (from Oregon).