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Old 09-16-2013, 07:58 AM   #1
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Default A few towing questions.

Greeting from one of the new guys on the block,

I have 2000 model United Specialities Motorhome on a Freightliner FL112 platform. I've had it for a few years and have finally decided to tow my Honda Element. I would like to get some suggestions from anyone who has modified the hitch they put on these rigs. I think I am going to go with the Blue Ox tow bar and base plate and if any one has any experience with these, comments would be appreciated. Also I noticed that some states require a braking system in the tow vehicle (another $1000+) and thoughts about this would be welcomed also. I've enjoyed reading this site and await some comments.
Thank you.
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Old 09-16-2013, 09:29 PM   #2
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Welcome to Truck Conversion dot Net! Great group of people here. And I'm happy to see another United Specialties owner. Pictures of your rig would be great!
I don't flat tow a dinghy so I'm not real smart about it. I'm pretty sure you want to have a braking system for it though. Most states require it. Even though the brakes on your truck should stop it with no problem. The biggest reason you'd want that braking system is if it breaks loose, and/or you get into a serious accident. Pretty sure you need breakaway system that will lock up the brakes if it gets loose. If you don't have that and it takes off and kills somebody you'd likely be looking at more legal problems than if you have the required system.
Does your hitch have a welded on 2 5/16" ball? Mine does. I'm not sure if the tow bar systems use a 2 5/16" ball. If you need a 2" ball you might want to get something like I had made. I wanted to be able to have a 2" ball, and also I often use one of those bike racks that needs a 2" receiver hitch to plug into. I had a guy weld me up this little gem out of 1/2" mild steel plate. Works great. Didn't cost much either.

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Old 09-16-2013, 09:55 PM   #3
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I have the blue ox aventa (aluminum) bar and base plates on my '12 jeep wrangler.

I picked the bar & base plates up from a former coach owner, he sold the coach & was selling off all the add-ons....i got lucky....he still had the base plates on his jeep, and sold the base plates (normally 400+) to me for the price he paid a mechanic to remove them $50 !

I paid 250 or 300 bucks for the baseplates and aventa bar - Ive seen some good deals on craigslist, i passed up one bar for 400 and was kicking myself over it.

I had a 2nd (receiver) hitch made since the one that came w/ my coach had the ball welded on - ive got at least 20k miles towing the jeep (did over 16k miles last year alone).

I should have a brake system, but don't - i try to do it as safe as possible, and we're right at (or slightly below) the weight limits that ive read about. I use GRADE 80 safety changes w/ clevis hooks...i cant imagine the jeep coming loose from the chains (theyre dbl hooked, to the base plates & the adapters.

eventually ill find a brake buddy or something on craigslist.







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Old 09-16-2013, 09:56 PM   #4
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heres a couple more photos of our set up







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Old 09-19-2013, 07:31 AM   #5
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Thanks for your replies, I can see what has to be done as per the pictures you posted. I think I will go with the Blue Ox set up, and now have to decide what braking system to install. All of the states have different requirements, so as to avoid problems I think I'll have to go for it. Most states require the system over 3000 lbs. My vehicle weighs 3500 lbs.
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Old 09-19-2013, 09:06 AM   #6
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id keep an eye on craigs list -

im seeing several blue-ox bars on craigslist (in my area) now, for 300-600 - even if you have to buy the base plates you're still saving several 100 bucks.

brake buddy's and Blue Ox Patriot generally go for 300-500 bucks & i see several of them in my area (might be time to pull the trigger, myself).

everyone complains about having to deal w/ the brake buddy (where to store it etc) - i would much rather have one of the smaller air over air systems (road master brakemaster or SMI airforce).
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Old 09-19-2013, 11:09 AM   #7
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Blue ox sponsors a website, hitchtrader.com they have classifieds broken down by different components. Found used base plates for my jeep on there a while ago.

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Old 09-23-2013, 10:40 AM   #8
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Default Towing

I towed a Chevy 3500 dually with Blue Ox set-up. I used Ready Brake. It's a cable hook-up legal in all states. Cheaper and easier to install than other systems. Worked great on my Dually. Just search Ready Brake on any engine.
When pulling a dually with a Renegade. people asked if the dually was pushing or being pulled. Now I use a 28 foot enclosed trailer.
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:38 PM   #9
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Bushpilot...did your hitch come on the rig or did you have installed aftermarket? I need to upgrade to something along that line, not sure where to start.
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:58 PM   #10
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it was part of the original coach built, as was the ball mount.

the only thing i had fabricated was the 2 inch "drawl bar" receiver/adapter.
I used the fixed/ball mount as a pattern.
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