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Cost to install towing setup

I bought a new Jeep to use as a toad. Of course, I know nothing about the cost of things let alone doing a self install when my time is so limited these days. There is a shop close by that does tow bar and baseplate installs. I was quoted around $5840 to install a Roadmaster baseplate on the jeep, Roadmaster nighthawk tow bar and an Air Force One braking system. They would supply and install those components along with whatever wiring needed. Is this a decent price? I really don't know what these go for... If I add a Motorcycle lift to the whole shebang, its around 7k. Yay, nay?

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1993 8v92TA #312

That’s a bit expensive Simon.
Look on and you’ll see why I say that.

My Raptor install was $1600 for labor.

The total was under $3k and I had my own towbar.

Steve & Janice Vance
2015 Newell #1524
Glendora, CA

Seems steep. I paid $3,200 a year ago for blue ox tow bar, base plate and Air Force One

Ken & Karen
2015 Newell (Coach #1517)

simon, where was that at?


2002 45'8" Newell Coach 608  Series 60 DDEC4/Allison World 6 Speed HD4000MH



This is my .02 for what it’s worth. You can easily tabulate the cost of the components. Last year I helped a fellow guru install a blue ox baseplate, an M&G aux braking system, and tow light wiring on a Jeep. It’s not hard but it does take time. As best I remember, it took the best part of two retired guy workdays, so about 12 hours of labor. You can multiply that by your hourly rate for a sanity check.

The real reason for commenting is to hit the pause button on the motorcycle lift. I think you are aware of the recent incident on the FB Newell Owners Group where someone unfortunately lost their brand new Jeep when the baseplate failed. It is my strong opinion that the failure was due to a combination of the design of the baseplate not accounting for side forces, the two extensions and subsequent slop in the extensions, and the big tires on the Jeep. The extensions are required when towing behind a bike lift in order for the two vehicle to clear the bike in sharp turns. The slop in the extensions allows the tow car to swing back and forth behind the bus. When it reaches the end of the swing it SLAMS hard. This spring I flagged a Newell down on the interstate that was towing a pickup because the side to side slam was frightening when viewed from behind. When the owner and I looked at his setup, he had an extension, and there was slop in the connections. He said he never felt it in the coach.

The takeaway for me, and again this is MY opinion, is the Blue Ox plate is not what I would use on a Jeep after seeing the failure. I might look at the replacement front bumpers with integrated tow attachments. I have used a Blue Ox plate on my Subie for 13 years with no issues, so I am not knocking Blue Ox, only saying their design for the Jeep has a problem handling side forces. I also would make sure that all hitch connections were bolstered with devices that prevent slop in the attachment.

Richard and Rhonda Entrekin
99 Newell, 512
Maverick Hybrid Toad
Inverness, FL (when we're home Cool )

To comment on Richard's comment, I've towed various vehicles behind my Newells and Foretravel and never felt any "wiggling" from the toad. But we recently towed my Lexus GX470 from Louisiana to Amarillo with my Roadtrek. The RT weighs about twice as much as the Lexus. It was a hand full towing, I felt every defect in the road. There was a small amount of play where the towbar slips into the receiver. With the short wheelbase on the RT the Lexus was the tail wagging the dog. It was controllable but required careful attention. When we got to Amarillo a strong gust blew me into the next lane! Enough! I pulled over, unhooked, and Cindy drove the Lexus from there to Colorado. The rest of the trip I was driving into a 30+mph headwind. All this to say that the Newell is large and heavy enough that you won't feel what your toad is doing while you're driving. If you do have an extension make sure there is NO play. And if you add a lift and larger tires and find that the Jeep drives differently on the highway you can bet it'll still be doing that when towed.
My days of towing a vehicle are over.

Forest & Cindy Olivier
1987 log cabin
2011 Roadtrek C210P
PO 1999 Foretravel 36'
1998 Newell 45' #486 

1993 Newell 39' #337 

What Richard said.
Also, my personal preference is for the tow bar to stay on my Jeep, not the back of the Newell. The roadmaster tow bar I use also allows me to tow the jeep behind my suburban or pickup when any of the 3 need to be dropped off anywhere - allowing me to do it without having to find another driver - or - having to walk . . . Tongue

I got my towbar used for $100, so the price was right !

1987 classic #159
8V92 MUI , Allison 740

Thanks for the input guys. Yes, I am not going to go with a blue-ox plate after all the online research I have been doing. I only called one place. Tom, that was Cliff's Welding & RV in Mesa. They make custom lifts for motorcycles which is why I was led to them. $7800 was the quote for the motorcycle lift and Jeep equipment.
Do you know of a company in AZ that can do the supply/install? Thank you!!

1993 8v92TA #312

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