When it comes to towing your car behind the RV, you need a good tow bar that can easily withstand the load. Furthermore, the safety of the hauling process depends on the tow bar, so you cannot go wrong with the choice.
Selecting the best tow bar depends on a plethora of factors, including the type, size, build, and more. Also, there is a lot to know about the tow bars, and you will find all the necessary information here in this article.
This best tow bar post covers the most-loved tow bars and tow bar hitches to help you make an informed choice. Moreover, there is plenty of information you need to tow your vehicle safely.
I’ve even covered a detailed buying guide to educate you about the fundamentals of a tow bar. Without any further ado, let’s get started:
6 Best Tow Bars: Recommended by Towing Experts
There are tons of tow bars available in the market, so choosing the best ones was a task. I spent hours researching the most preferred bars by haulers and asked several experts about their opinions.
Also, I've compiled the real-time experience of customers with these bars to help you make the right choice.
1. Best Overall: Roadmaster 520 Falcon 2 Mounted Tow Bar
Roadmaster 520 Falcon 2 is my top pick for this article due to plenty of reasons! Well, this tow bar may not have the biggest towing capacity, but it can easily haul any car behind the motorhome, including the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited that weighs around 5050 lbs.
In spite of the big size, you can quickly mount this bar behind the RV to start hauling your car with it. The build quality is superb, and there's no need to worry about rust and corrosion eating away the metal.
There are no protruding parts, which enhance the safety and make this bar an amazing option. You can attach it with the existing hitch of your motorhome, so things get convenient.
There are safety cables on both metal arms that improve the overall safety, and you can drive the RV through different types of terrains.
Hooking up your car is no more painful when you have Roadmaster 520 Falcon 2 installed behind the RV. However, as per some users, the locking mechanism does not work properly. But that entirely depends on how you have installed the bar.
As Roadmaster is an American brand, be rest assured about the after-sales services. The only problem with this towing bar is the absence of brackets, and you have to purchase them separately.
Lastly, Roadmaster 520 Falcon 2 is a complete package you need at a reasonable price. If you have a vehicle under 6000 lbs, this is the best towing bar you can buy.
- Towing Capacity: 6000 lbs
- Weight of the Tow Bar: 50 lbs
- Type: Flat Tow Bar
- It is extremely durable
- Compatible with the base plate on the toad
- Quick connect and disconnect makes things convenient
- It is not that heavy as compared to other bars
- The towing capacity would have been better
- Power cord sold separately
2. Best Universal Tow Bar: Biltek Adjustable Tow Bar
Biltek offers a complete package in the form of this tow bar. It comes with two safety chains, and you can safely haul the load to the destination. With a maximum towing capacity of 5000 lbs, this tow bar is perfect for plenty of tasks such as towing your car.
Designed to fit a 2” hitch ball, you can easily mount this towing bar behind your vehicle and use it for the purposes you need. Biltek ships it with two brackets, which assure added safety, and the load will remain stable behind the car.
The metal parts come painted for better corrosion resistance. Furthermore, the main head of the two bars is steel, so you can rest assured it won’t corrode easily.
Whether you are looking to drive on flat roads or hills, this towing bar makes the best choice. As per several users, the upgraded chain maximizes safety and gives more confidence while driving.
The only problem with this tow bar is the weight capacity. You cannot haul heavy vehicles with it due to the 80% towing rule.
Lastly, it fits well with almost all jeeps, sedans, and trucks, and you can quickly mount it without any help. Just use the safety chains properly to get uncompromised safety with this tow bar.
- Towing Capacity: 5000 lbs
- Weight of the Tow Bar: --
- Type: Universal Tow Bar
- It is easy to install and remove
- The flexible head gives you a comfortable ride
- You get two brackets inside the box
- The zinc-coated finish protects it from corrosion
- The towing capacity could have been better
- It may get weak around the welds after some time
3. Best Tow Bar for RVs: Blue Ox BX7365 Alpha Tow Bar
Drivers that prefer a flat tow bar should consider using Blue Ox BX7365 Alpha. The biggest advantage of this towing bar is the installation process. You do not need any help in installing this bar, and that's why it's ideal for hauling lighter loads.
As per several drivers, this tow bar is big and does not scratch the back of your vehicle. However, some scratches are still unavoidable, especially on the turns.
The tow bar aligns itself quickly with the RV as you start driving, and this makes things convenient. The release locking handles are there for quick disconnect, so you can leave the load at the destination.
I liked the Offset triple lug design as it enhances the towing force and distributes it throughout the towing bar. Blue Ox has designed it with rubber boots for better protection against road grime.
The maximum capacity of this bar is around 6,5000 lbs, and you can tow your sedan or SUV while going camping in your RV.
However, there are a few downsides to using this tow bar, and speed is one of them. You have to drive the RV slowly because there is no hydraulics in this bar.
Also, taking sharp turns is a big no. Some drivers even had issues while backing up the vehicle, but a spotter can make things easier. Entirely made using steel, this tow bar is dependable.
Furthermore, you get safety cables inside the shipment box, so you can install them right away and start towing the things you want.
Lastly, I’ve heard people talking about the poor after-sales service of this brand, but it might have improved with time. Apart from that, there are no such issues in using this sturdy and durable flat tow bar.
- Towing Capacity: 6500 lbs
- Weight of the Tow Bar: 41 lbs
- Type: Flat Tow Bar
- It comes with 10,000 lbs safety cables
- Installing and removing the tow bar is easy
- The coated metal resists rust and corrosion
- It quickly aligns with the RV as you start driving
- Not good to drive at high speeds
- Taking turns can be a little problematic with this tow bar
4. Best Adjustable Tow Bar: CURT 19745 Universal Car RV Tow Bar
If you want to tow different types of loads with your RV, CURT 19745 Universal Car RV Tow Bar: is your way to go! The bar comes with width adjustments, and you can quickly adjust it depending on the width of the car you want to tow.
Curt has priced this bar reasonably well, making it one of the best tow bars for the money! With a maximum hauling capacity of 5000 lbs, this bar can easily tow a hatch or a sedan.
You can easily adjust the width of the base plate from 26 to 41 inches, depending on your preference. A lot of drivers use this bar with the standard two-inch coupler, but you need to have a 2-inch hitch ball installed on your RV.
The brackets on the toad-side attach to the vehicle's frame, thus enhancing safety. As per Curt, the maximum width of this tow bar is around 31.25 inches, which is pretty good.
You get the required mounting gear inside the box, so install it, wight, away and drive with the toad behind your RV. Entirely made using high-quality metal, this towing bar can easily withstand an impact.
Furthermore, it has a corrosion-resistant coating that safeguards it from harsh weather. Lastly, some users said that they had issues with the weld, so inspect the bar properly before you install it on your vehicle.
- Towing Capacity: 5000 lbs
- Weight of the Tow Bar: 31.6 lbs
- Type: Flat Tow Bar
- You can quickly adjust the width
- The manufacturer ships it with the mounting hardware
- The powder-coated finish prevents corrosion
- The frame is strong and even
- You can only use it with a 2-inch ball
- No crossbar is there
5. Best for Towing Heavy Loads: Roadmaster 422 Blackhawk 2 All-Terrain Tow Bar
If you are looking to tow heavy vehicles, the best bet is Roadmaster 422 Blackhawk 2 All-Terrain Tow Bar. With a maximum capacity of 10,000 lbs, this bar can easily haul almost anything. Mountable in the existing two hitches or your motorhome, installing this tow bar is easy.
As the bar hauls a heavy load, it is natural for it to be huge. However, there are no protruding parts, so you can safely use them behind the RV. Equipped with Roadmaster’s patented Freedom Latch Technology, the tow bar does not bend easily while making sharp turns.
Furthermore, the telescoping arm makes it convenient to adjust the inner arms while towing the vehicle and maneuvering it.
Known for its easy-to-use design, the tow bar features a lick and pin that helps the arms center automatically as you start driving the vehicle.
You can cover a long distance without any issues, as the self-lubricating nylon brushes reduce the friction occurring between the arms. You’ll find channel guides on the tow bar while installing it, and these guides help you attach the safety and power cables conveniently.
As per Roadmaster, the tow bar directly mounts into a standard two-inch tow bar hitch. Lastly, the bar offers additional support and makes hauling heavy loads easier.
- Towing Capacity: 10000 lbs
- Weight of the Tow Bar: 67 lbs
- Type: Universal Tow Bar
- The self-lubricating brushes reduce friction
- You can use several accessories with this tow bar
- The channel guide help you attach the power connections
- Easy to connect and disconnect
- Power cables sold separately
- Some users said it squeaks while taking turns (solution: keep it well lubricated)
6. Best Heavy-duty Tow Bar: Demco 9511009 Excali-Bar II 10,500 LB Tow Bar
Demco 9511009 Excali-Bar is an amazing option that fits all base plates, so you can use it on different RVs. You can even use this bar with the existing base plate of your RV, and that saves you money.
The best thing about this device is the towing capacity. As per Demco, you can haul around 10,500 lbs, but I recommend around 900 lbs, which means you can tow almost anything. Another impressive function of this bar is the ease of mounting it.
The easy trigger mechanism helps you install it on the go, and there is no need to bother anyone to help you in mounting it. Talking about durability, Demco 9511009 Excali-Bar is extremely sturdy and can withstand almost every weather.
The tow bar comes attached with safety cables, so you can attach them to the toad for added safety. Driving your RV becomes easier, as the big hydraulic tubes work properly when taking turns.
Also, they get lubricated automatically, and you do not have to worry about rust. The bolts that hold the components of the bar are of good quality and contribute a lot to the durability of the bar.
At the end of the bar, there is a pin and lock mechanism, so you can quickly attach it to the toad. Unfortunately, there are no guides on the bar, so attaching the cables will be pretty challenging. However, you can watch a few YouTube videos on “how to install a tow bar."
Lastly, the bar’s width isn't adjustable, which is the only downside. Apart from that, this is a pretty decent towing bar you can use to haul Toyota RAV4, Hummer, Ford Explorer, and other vehicles that fall under the load capacity of this bar.
- Towing Capacity: 10,500 lbs
- Weight of the Tow Bar: 45 lbs
- Type: Universal Tow Bar
- It has an ultimate towing capacity
- The bar easily fits with any base plates
- You get the safety cables inside the box
- Easy to connect and disconnect
- The width isn’t adjustable
- The safety cables could have been a little longer
Buying Guide: Things You Need to Know Before Buying a Tow Bar
RV tow bars or universal tow bars do a very important job, i.e., haul your vehicle, so you need a bar that’s extremely durable and easy to install. Furthermore, there are a plethora of factors a hauler should look for in a bar to ensure he gets a smooth experience using it with the vehicle.
Here are a few things that should be on your mind when you are shopping for a tow bar.
Types of Tow Bars
The first thing you need to look for is the type of bar. There are multiple types available in the market, so choose the one that fulfills your requirements and serves the purposes pretty well.
Designed to haul heavy loads, these tow bars are great for towing RVs and other such vehicles. There is a huge square tongue that you can attach to the tow bar hitch receiver and tow safely. You can even say these bars are a big version of the flat tow bar.
Usually, manufacturers offer two sizes, including 40 mm that is good for hauling medium-sized loads. And 50 mm is ideal for hauling heavy loads.
Swan Neck Tow Bar
These tow bars are extremely popular in Europe, and you will find several good options in the United States as well. The swan neck tow bar has a special tow ball that attaches permanently to the tow bar.
These bars look like a rounded U-shaped or L-shape, which makes mounting the toad easy.
Specially designed for lighter loads, these tow bars are easy to install. You can mount the detachable ball vertically and horizontally with the bar, so things get convenient. In addition, the tongue of these bars is attached with two bolts, which improves safety.
You can use these two bars on 4WDs. You’ll see the rear step slightly protruding from the back of the car, but it does not damage anything or does not hinder the performance.
The greater ground clearance makes these bars an amazing option for off-roading. However, there is a significant drawback of such bars, and that is the heavyweight, which makes them hard to manage.
The second thing you need to consider is compatibility. The tow bar should be compatible with your vehicle so that you don't have a hard time installing it. Usually, the universal tow bars work well with different types of vehicles, including RVs, still, it would be great to be sure about it.
Check the manufacturer’s details of the bar, and skim through the customer reviews to know if it is compatible with your vehicle or not. Haulers that have multiple cars and toads should consider purchasing universal tow bars.
Easy to Install
The bar should be easy to install so that you don't have to spend hours installing it properly. Setting up the bar should take minimal time, and it should be easy, especially if you are a beginner.
There are three key areas to focus on, including the brackets, maneuverability, and lock modification. I’ve reviewed several easy to install hauling bars in this article, and you can quickly make an informed choice by getting the right one.
The towing capacity of the bar should depend on the low you want to haul with your vehicle. Suppose the vehicle you want to tow weighs 1000 lbs, go for a tow bar that can easily haul 1200 – 1500 lbs.
The weight capacity should always be bigger than the weight of the toad or the vehicle you want to haul.
The tow bar you are planning to invest in should have durable safety cables. The safety cables protect you in unforeseen situations and prevent the towed vehicle from getting away from the car or RV. in a nutshell, these cables act as a backup cord that mitigates the chances of failures.
The safety cables should be highly durable and sturdy in order to withstand the high load and haul it without any issues. It is essential to buy hauling bars that belong to decent brands and come with safety certifications.
Brackets and Hooks
The brackets and hooks are essential components of a tow bar, as they withstand most of the pressure and load. Choosing a bar with good quality brackets is essential to ensure that the bar does not disengage while towing the load.
Look for bars that have brackets and hooks made up of steel or aluminum. These materials offer greater protection against decay and corrosion. So, you can haul loads without worrying about anything.
Efficiency on the Ground
If you are a traveler and drive on different types of terrains, you need a tow bar that serves you well on all roads. Your vehicle performs differently on muddy and icy roads, so the tow bar should have maximum maneuverability in such road conditions.
I recommend going for bars that offer great protection against humidity, mud, water, and freezing temperatures. This way, you don't need multiple bars to drive in different road conditions.
Tow bars include some additional features like shock resistance, weather resistance, and more. These special features will enhance the convenience, and you can use the tow bars to their full capability.
The price of the tow bar depends on several factors, such as the brand, towing capacity, and more. It would be great to make your budget before purchasing the hauling bar.
Everything You Need to Know About Tow Bars
There are three main categories of a tow bar, including fixed, detachable, and retractable. There are plenty of options under these categories. For example, some bars have a bolt on the tow ball, whereas some of them have a swan neck tow ball.
Moreover, there are electrically motorized and manually retractable bars that work with different types of vehicles. I’ve seen haulers getting motorized tow bars as they think these look fancy.
However, one should always choose the bar and the ball depending on the requirements, functionality, and budget.
When Is a Tow Bar Not Suitable for Towing?
Watch this YouTube video from the Brink, and you will understand the fundamentals of a tow bar, and it will be easy to decide the right type of bar that suits your requirements.
However, there are some instances when a tow bar becomes unfit for hauling. For example, you purchase a second-hand car with something on its back that looks like a tow bar.
Do not presume that tow can start towing anything with it. You are totally unaware of the condition of the tow bar and its maximum load capacity. So, it would be great to install a new one in place and then start hauling toads with it.
Below I'll be discussing the pros and cons of different tow bars and tow balls to help you make the right decision.
Fixed Tow Bars
Also known as permanent tow bars, these are available in two options, including swan neck and flange tow/ bolt-on. Besides being the most inexpensive tow bars, there are several other benefits of using the fixed tow bars, and easy installation is one of them.
You get complete control over the bar, and the hauler can easily adjust the bar depending on the type of vehicle they want to tow.
However, there are some downsides to using fixed hauling bars. Some people don’t like how these bars look and their protruding components. I've been using these tow bars for several years and haven't had any issues so far apart from the ergonomics.
If you still wish to go ahead with a fixed tow bar, you should choose the right one between the swan neck and bolt-on.
Swan Neck or Bolt-on?
Bolt-on or flange tow bars may not look the best, but they are fairly cheap and serve the purpose well. If you want the rear of your vehicle to look good with the tow bar, you should consider swan neck bars.
The massive bumper protector plate on the bolt-on tow bar is what makes it look a little weird, but you cannot drive the vehicle without using the protector plate. Furthermore, these bars require you to modify the rear end of the bumper, which is a little problematic. This is not the case with swan neck tow bars.
Deployable/Retractable Tow Bars
Available in manual as well as electrically operable options, these tow bars come with an expensive price tag. If you opt for the manual version, then you have to get on your knees to mount the vehicle.
On the other hand, the electrical one does make things pretty sorted, and it is an amazing option for the elderly and people with disabilities. The biggest benefit of using an electrical tow bar is its "discreteness." It hides away when not in use, and the rear of your car looks beautiful as before.
However, the convenience comes with a price and makes the electrical tow bars more expensive than all other types. The second downside is the reliability. If the tow bar malfunctions due to any reason, you won't be able to use it.
Detachable Tow Bars
If you are more concerned about the aesthetics of your vehicle, you can consider detachable bars. There are several good brands in the market that offer detachable bars.
You can easily detach the tongue when not using the bar. Furthermore, you can mount it back when required, without going to the local mechanic shop.
Your Guide to Towing a Vehicle Behind your RV or Car
If you are towing a vehicle or a toad for the first time, you may think about the decision of hauling the load because driving with a car behind your RV is challenging.
However, there is no rocket science in it, and you can haul the load easily provided you have some good knowledge about it.
This section covers all the essential information you need to know before towing a car.
Should You Tow or Not?
To tow or not is always the big question because it is concerned with the safety of the vehicle. Having a toad (referred to as the vehicle you are towing) has its own pros and cons that you need to know before hitting the road with a load.
The Pros of Towing With your RV
You get an Emergency Vehicle
If you are planning a trip on your RV, you need to take a small car with it so that you can go grocery shopping and can use it as an emergency vehicle. The RV cannot go everywhere, and that’s where you will find the toad helpful.
You reach the campsite, connect the electricity to the RV, and suddenly you find out that you have missed collecting the pizza. The car you will tow behind the RV will be a great help in such cases.
You can quickly drive to the pizza shop and collect your meal without any hassles.
Access to All Roads
There are many roads in the United States, including the Sun Road in Glacier National Park, that only allow vehicles below 21”. So, you cannot drive your motorhome through this beautiful road, and you may miss out on a lot of scenery.
Towing your car will come out as a fruitful advantage, as you can drive it through the restricted areas.
Your RV has limited storage, and you cannot overload it. But when you are towing a car behind the RV, you get the advantage of extra space. Pack your essentials inside the car’s boot or the cabin to travel with added ease.
The Cons of Towing With an RV
Backing Up is Challenging
Backing up the vehicle is hard when you have a toad behind it. Backing up is only possible with a dolly, and unfortunately, you cannot do it with a tow bar.
When your RV pulls a heavy load, you can clearly see the effect on its gas mileage. However, the mileage depends on the driving pattern and other factors such as road conditions.
Safety Tips: Tow with a Tow Bar Safely
Now that you know about the best tow bars, choosing the right one is a cakewalk. Since you know the tow bar you will be using; it would be great to know the basics of using it.
Driving with a tow bar installed on your vehicle is entirely different from driving it without the bar. When you have 5000-6000 lbs of load-hauling behind the vehicle, your ride behaves differently.
Here are some tips that will help you prepare for towing while hauling the load safely to the destination.
Known Your Load
It is necessary to know the toad before you start towing it. The first thing to keep in mind is the weight of the toad. Also, you should know the height and dimensions of the car.
When you understand the load, you can safely drive the vehicle on sharp turns. Also, it prevents any accidents.
Make Wider Turns
When you are driving your car or RV with a toad, you need to make wide turns. As the length of your vehicle increases dramatically, taking turns should require more distance.
Look for other vehicles in the ORVMs, and then take turns once you get enough free space.
Always Drive in the Right Lane on Highways
Some cars are heavy, so you should never drive the vehicle at higher speeds. Instead, try to stay in the right lane as much as possible so that you can use the right shoulder of the road for stopping purposes.
Furthermore, driving on the right lane helps you take the vehicle over the shoulder road in case the tire blows out due to any reason.
Use Spotter When Backing Up
The biggest problem when driving with a load is backing up. Cameras and ORVMs fail to work. You should have a spotter outside to help you park the vehicle.
Check the Route-Ahead of Time
Before you hit the road with the RV and start driving to the destination, you should check the route. Sometimes, the roads are not in good shape, and there may be more traffic than usual due to collisions.
Practice Driving with a Toad
If this is your first time towing something with a tow bar, you should practice it before driving on the highways. Look for an empty parking space near your home, and experiment with the toad.
Prerequisites to Towing Your Car/RV with a Tow Bar
After reading the tips, you are 90% ready to drive with a trailer, but before you start driving, you need to follow some prerequisites.
Check the Trailer Tires
The tires should have optimal pressure so that they can withstand the weight of the load. Also, the quality of drive depends a lot on the tires. Always check the tires before hauling the trailer, and use a pressure monitoring system.
Always Use Safety Chains
I’ve reviewed several best tow bars in this article that come with built-in safety chains. Always use these chains, as they act as a secondary measure to safeguard the load. The chains also work as support when taking sharp turns.
Check the Trailer Lights
After connecting the wiring, check the trailer lights by using them. Inspect the wires by hand, and make sure to tape the connections properly.
Ask your partner to apply brakes, and then give indicators while you should stand behind the trailer and check if the lights are working fine.
Use Two Mirrors
After installing the tow bar, you should invest in good-quality tow mirrors. Get a set of mirrors that are compatible with your car, and you are ready to drive.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is it safe to use tow bars?
A: Yes, using a tow bar is safe, provided you follow all the safety measures and use a super-durable bar. There are multiple things to keep in mind, such as the weight capacity.
Also, the frame of the bar should be highly durable. Follow all prerequisites of using a tow bar, and you are good to go.
Q: How do I choose the right tow bar size for my vehicle?
A: The thing you need to check is the tow ball’s size. There are multiple sizes available in the market, and the most common size is a 2-inches diameter of 50mm. This type of bar can haul a vehicle of up to 12,000 lbs.
Here are a few other sizes you need to look for to get ample towing capacity:
- 76.20 mm or 3 inches: These bars can tow up to 30,000 lbs.
- 58.70mm or 2 5/16 inches: These bars can tow up to 6000-28000 lbs. Some of these bars can even haul up to 30000 lbs.
- 60mm or 1 7/8 inches: These bars can tow up to 2000 to 3500 lbs.
When choosing a tow bar, you need to check the gross weight of the toad. The gross weight includes the weight of the car, plus the weight of the things you are carrying on the vehicle.
Q: What’s the cost of getting a tow bar installed on my RV?
A: The first thing included in the cost is the price of the tow bar. Next comes to the safety cable and other things required to install it. Some drivers opt for professional installation services, and the price depends on the area you live in.
If you install the bar yourself, it can cost you around $500-$1200.
Q: How do tow bars work?
A: The working of these bars is different from the working of trailers and dollies. The bar requires you to attach it to the baseplate of the toad. The vehicle to be towed still uses its four wheels.
The thing that makes such bars perfect for everyone is the ease of installation. Also, these bars don't take a lot of space, and you can easily store them in the garage.
Talking about how these bars work, there is an A-frame design that reduces wobbling. Designed to mount in the hitch ball of the vehicle, tow bars can tow a lot of weight.
Q: Is it legal to use a tow bar?
A: Yes, you can use a towing bar without any issues. However, different states have different policies regarding the same, so it would be great to go through the rules and regulations of the particular state you are planning to go to.
Towing bars can make things pretty convenient, and now you are all set to tow your car behind the RV or any other vehicle. Just make sure you are using a good quality and super durable bar that’s designed to pull any type of toad.