WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU TOW - The Basics of Towing
Four Major Towing System Components
There are four major components to any towing system - the tow bar, the mounting bracket, supplemental brakes and towing accessories. Roadmaster offers a wide range of product choices within each category. Each one has been designed, tested and manufactured to make every aspect of your towing experience a safe and pleasurable one.
IMPORTANT: Before towing any vehicle, consult your owner's manual to be sure your vehicle can be towed with all four wheels on the ground without damage to the transmission. Some vehicles can be towed as is, but others may require a transmission lube pump system or driveshaft disconnect. Both products are reliable, time-proven accessories that protect your vehicle's transmission during towing.
A tow bar is by far the most common method of towing. It allows for the quickest connection to the motorhome; plus, it's lightweight, easy to handle and simple to store.
A tow dolly is ideal for those who want to tow multiple vehicles without installing a tow bar or mounting bracket on each one. Plus, a transmission lube pump system is not necessary for vehicles with front wheel drive automatic transmissions, because the front wheels are off the ground.
Step #1 - SELECT A TOW BAR
Motorhome-mounted Tow Bars
Motorhome-mounted tow bars insert into the 2" motorhome receiver and can be stored on the back of the motorhome. Motorhome-mounted bars are preferred because they never have to be lifted off the front of the towed vehicle and you always have a built-in spot for storage on your motorhome.
Car-mounted Tow Bars
Car-mounted tow bars are mounted and stored on the front of your towed vehicle and are designed for simplicity and ease of use. They can be detached and lifted off the vehicle for storage in a trunk or cargo bin.
Step #2 - CONNECT TO A TOW BAR MOUNTING BRACKET
Regardless of the type of tow bar you choose, a mounting bracket will be required. It is custom-designed to fit your specific tow vehicle and bolts to the vehicle's frame to provide an attachment point for the tow bar.
Step #3 - SUPPLEMENTAL BRAKING SYSTEM
Supplemental brakes are required in most states, and for an excellent reason - the laws of physics. At highway speeds or during a panic stop, the inertia of a towed vehicle's weight significantly increases stopping distance. Oftentimes, the difference between a severe accident and a close call is just a few feet. Supplemental braking systems are designed to stop the towed vehicle-motorhome combination in about the same distance as the motorhome alone. Roadmaster manufactures four supplemental braking systems.
Step #4 - PROPER SAFETY EQUIPMENT AND ACCESSORIES
Required by law in almost every state, safety cables (A) attach to both your towed vehicle and your motorhome as a secondary security device. Your towed vehicle must also be wired for functioning turn signals and taillights while in tow. A Universal Wiring Kit (B) safely connects the two vehicles' electronics. An electrical cord (C) is necessary to conduct the lighting signals from the motorhome to the towed vehicle.
These three items can be purchased separately or you can purchase a Combo Kit similar to the one shown here, which includes all three items, a tow bar cover (D) and other common accessories (some kits vary).