RVs bring a kind of freedom to our lives that’s not hard to explain. They allow us to vacation, even live, wherever we want. However, navigating a large vehicle like an RV through a place with small roads or inside a city where lanes can be tight can be challenging. That’s why it’s often wise to have a set of tow bars on your RV, allowing you to bring a smaller car along with you on your trips!
Let’s take a look at the most secure RV tow bars to find the ones that work best for you.
Secure Your Vehicle with These RV Tow Bars
|Best RV Tow Bar||Best For:|
|Roadmaster Sterling||Overall Value|
|Blue Ox BX7365||Lightweight Tow Bar|
|NSA RV Products RB-9050||Premium Tow Bar|
|Roadmaster Blackhawk 2||Large Vehicles|
|Hiltex Adjustable Universal Tow Bar||Most Affordable|
A Closer Look at Our Reviews
Not all tow bars are made equally well. Let’s see what sets these models apart from the others.
The Roadmaster 576 All Terrain Tow Bar can pull up to 8,000 pounds and has a two-inch receiver. Because of its self-supporting design and quick-disconnect system, you only need one person to hook up (or disconnect) the tow bar.
It weighs 35 pounds, is made out of stainless steel, and it includes both safety cables and a 6-wire power plug, along with a 7-wire plug.
I really like this model because I can set it up myself, but I can also release the tow bar alone, too, at any angle or bind. Yes, even at a hard angle, I can safely release my vehicle from the bar. The arms are simple to adjust, meaning I can get whatever angle I need to safely hook up my truck.
The best part? The weight this beast of a tow bar can carry. At 8,000 pounds, I’ve struggled to find anything better.
- 8,000 pound weight capacity motorhome mounted tow bar using a 2" receiver
- One-person quick connect and disconnect - thanks to an exclusive, self-supporting quick-disconnect...
- Probably the easiest set up I have ever seen, even for those of us who aren’t too strong
- Can release at any angle thanks to the quick-disconnect system
- Terrain doesn’t need to be completely flat to hook up the vehicle to the tow bar
- Need to purchase mounting brackets in addition to the tow bar
- Likely will need to purchase a brake controller
- Can’t be folded up
Best Lightweight Tow Bar
Blue Ox BX7365
Unlike the Roadmaster, the Blue Ox can fold up and be stored away. It weighs only 35 pounds and can haul up to 6,500 pounds. Fortunately, it also has quick-disconnect hookup pins and easy-release locking handles, making releasing your vehicle a cinch.
The lugs are made out of steel, so you can trust that it’s sturdy. It has a rubber cover to protect it from mud and debris, and the set includes 10,000-pound safety cables.
This is a solid model, and it can tow plenty of vehicles. However, I always have to check and make sure the ground is completely level when I want to hook or unhook my truck. Otherwise, the tow bar can freeze up on me and not release.
- an easy, fold-away tow bar with a capacity of 6,500 lbs, Weighs only 35 lbs
- Mounts and stores on back of RV Self-aligning, with quick disconnect hookup pins
- Safety cables can handle up to 10,000 pounds of pressure
- Easy to install the tow bar
- Need to really be on a flat surface to release your vehicle, or the lock may bind up
- Need a tow bar mount
- Comes with plastic ties to keep the rubber boot on, not metal clamps
Best Premium Tow Bar
NSA RV Products RB-9050
This model, known as the Ready Brute Elite, has a Ready Brake function. Rather than relying on hydraulics, the tow bar activates the vehicle’s braking system directly.
It’s made out of aluminum and weighs about 48 pounds. It’s solidly built and can tow up to 8,000 pounds.
What really stands out to me is the fact that the Ready Brute Elite may actually extend the life of my RV’s brakes, thanks to using the towed vehicle’s brakes. It can use up to 80 percent of the car’s own braking power and reduce stopping distance by 10-30 percent. Over time, that can really add up!
- The Ready Brute Elite by NSA RV Products, Ready Brake directly activates the towed vehicle's brake...
- The Ready Brute Elite is a multi-purpose aluminum tow bar that has this patented Ready Brake...
- Uses vehicle’s brakes to reduce strain on the RV’s
- Can tow up to 8,000 pounds
- Comes with protective rubber boots
- Connectors are sold separately
- Cannot fold up for storage
- Brake cable can be difficult to attach
- Brake sensor is often too sensitive and may activate on bumpy terrain
Best Tow Bar for Large Vehicles
Roadmaster Blackhawk 2
This particular tow bar, the Roadmaster Blackhawk 2, was designed to haul larger vehicles. It’s stainless steel and can tow up to 10,000 pounds. Even though it’s one of the sturdiest models, it still only takes one person to connect and disconnect a vehicle.
The Roadmaster Blackhawk 2 has a large hookup, easily fitting onto bigger vehicles. Plus, because it’s part of the all-terrain series, you can trust that your truck will be secure when towed, especially over hills or rocky dirt roads.
While overall, I’m enamored with this model, I’m not thrilled about its weight. At 67 pounds, it’s the heaviest model on the list. However, the heft of the Blackhawk 2 means it can tow full-sized SUVs and trucks. It’s got more power than any of the others.
- The 10,000 Pound rated BlackHawk 2 All-Terrain is a beefed-up version of the popular Falcon...
- One person quick-connect and disconnect
- Can haul up to 10,000 pounds
- Only takes one person to hook up or disconnect a truck
- Easy to set up
- Large hookup radius
- Heaviest model on the list
- Unable to fold down for convenient storage
- Needs a base plate to attach to the vehicle
Hiltex Adjustable Universal Tow Bar
The Hiltex 20046 Adjustable Universal Tow Bar has a 5,000-pound hauling capacity and is made from heat-treated steel. It comes with two 30 inch safety chains, and it has the ability to fit just about any size vehicle, from sedans to trucks.
Personally, what I appreciate most about this tow bar is that it can be adjusted to fit mounting areas from 24-41 inches. It weighs less than 29 pounds and stores easily when folded. I use this model for my small hatchback when I’m not going on huge road trips.
However, I’m not enamored with the bolts. They aren’t as well made as the arms are, and I have seen them begin to buckle on long hauls over rough terrain.
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- Bar can be folded up for convenient storage when not in use
- Fits most sedans, vans, SUVs, jeeps, and trucks
- Solid construction, but it’s lightweight
- Does not include a mount for the tow bar
- Bolts are not steel and may bend or come loose on rough or bumpy terrain
- Need two people to assemble
Recap: The Best RV Tow Bars
- Roadmaster Sterling – Overall Value
- Blue Ox BX7365 – Lightweight Tow Bar
- NSA RV Products RB-9050 – Premium Tow Bar
- Roadmaster Blackhawk 2 – Large Vehicles
- Hiltex Adjustable Universal Tow Bar – Most Affordable
Factors to Consider Before Buying a Tow Bar For Your RV
No matter how great a tow bar may seem, it won’t matter if it doesn’t work for you, your RV, and your towed vehicle. You need to be aware of each of these factors before you commit to making a purchase. By knowing what you need beforehand, you can avoid having to deal with a return later on.
Flat Towing vs. Dolly Towing
The main difference between these two methods is how many wheels of your vehicle are on the ground. Dolly towing puts only two wheels on the ground while a flat tow leaves all four.
Dolly towing takes more effort, understandably, as your car needs to be lifted. They also tend to be heavier than flat tows. However, if your vehicle has front-wheel drive, this method is simpler in the long run as it reduces wear on your drive train.
If you happen to have a rear-wheel drive, you cannot use a dolly. Instead, you’ll need a flat tow. This method also protects your mileage and drive train. Unfortunately, they’re a little harder to set up and can be difficult to maneuver.
The Extras It Includes
A tow bar alone won’t be enough to haul your vehicle safely. In fact, you’ll need other equipment just to get your car or truck hooked up to your RV.
Nearly all states require safety cables to ensure your vehicle doesn’t suddenly lurch into traffic. The government also insists that brake lights on vehicles continue to work, even when being towed. That means you’ll need brake light wiring to connect to your RV or clip-on lights.
You’ll also likely need a vehicle mount to attach the tow bar to your vehicle. However, you also need to ensure the mount will work both with your car and your tow bar.
This is one of the most important aspects of consideration before you buy a tow bar. You want to be sure that your tow bar is compatible with your vehicle, your mount, and your RV receiver.
Otherwise, you may have to buy additional modifications to force the tow bar to work. Not only is this an extra expense, it often is an imperfect fit or may lead to vehicle damage.
Most importantly, you need to be absolutely sure that the tow bar you purchase can handle your vehicle’s weight. You may think that you can push boundaries with a few hundred pounds, but every extra strain is just another risk you’re taking.
Plain and simple, your tow bar needs to have the towing capacity to handle the vehicle behind it. Remember to check the max towing capacity of the tow bar and make sure that is above the weight of the vehicle it will be towing. If you have a big SUV, you may need a more heavy duty tow bar.
Lastly, you need to be sure that the tow bar you choose can handle the terrain you think you’ll experience. A less expensive model may seem like a bargain, but it may lack the quality you need if you’re going to be on bumpy roads or rough terrain.
Read up on the specifications of any model you consider, and it’s a good idea to check reviews to see how that model has held up for others. This way, you can be sure you’re getting what you need.
If you’re new to towing, make sure to read Brian’s guide on RV towing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Install A Tow Bar Myself?
You can install a tow bar yourself if you are good with cars. If not you might want to go to your mechanic or dealer and have them help you set up your tow bar because you will be towing at highway speeds and the last thing that you want to happen is a failure.
Are Tow Bars Universal?
Tow Bars are not universal unfortunately. They are vehicle and sometimes model specific. This means that you will want to think about buying a tow bar if you are unsure about keeping or selling your current vehicle, and it is also something to consider when buying a car.
Will Having A Tow Bar Affect My Insurance?
Having a tow bar should not change your insurance rate but it might change your premium. When you tow another vehicle or boat behind your RV you are increasing your risk of an accident and this could be an issue for your insurance company.