RV living isn’t always the easiest of scenarios. You can often find yourself navigating the narrow city walkways and streets with a lot of difficulties. An RV is extremely bulky and trying to navigate it around tight corners and over sidewalks will be very tough, especially if you don’t have the right tow bar.
But what is a tow bar? Well, it can be the key to solving all your difficult RV issues.
A tow bar is the piece of metal that connects your RV to your car or truck. These things should usually be made from a certain material, as your RV can weigh a heck of a lot. They also have flexible valves, which will help when you are turning the vehicle left and right.
You’ll also need a tow bar that is easy to attach and detach, allowing you to pick up and leave your vehicle as and when you need to. Unfortunately, not all tow bars are universal, so you’ll need to check the manufacturer’s instructions for your RV before you go out and buy your tow bar.
You’ll need to do a little bit of research to check whether or not your towing bar can support the weight of not just your RV, but of all the contents that are contained within.
You’ll also need to be sure that your tow bar can operate at high speeds too. There will be a lot of pressure applied to this slender piece of equipment, especially when you are making harsh turns around tight bends. You’ll need to make sure that the metal doesn’t snap and that the pistons can take the pressure of the weight.
So where can you find the best tow bars for your RV? What features does it need to have to pull your camper van with a high degree of precision and control? How can you expect this tow bar to withstand the added pressure of pulling such a heavy vehicle? How much can you be expected to spend on one of these ingenious brackets?
Well, if you are a dedicated RV enthusiast and want answers to all of these questions and more, then we would certainly suggest that you keep reading. We have compiled a list of some of the best RV tow bars that you can currently get on the market.
We have also made a buyer’s guide that will help you determine which are the best tow bars and which are the worst. After that, we’ll have a frequently asked questions section that will isolate some of the more common concerns posed by people who have been RVing for years.
So first off, let’s take a deep dive into some of the best RVs currently on the market and whether or not they’ll be suitable for your RVing situation.
List Of Best Tow Bars For Your RV
We have isolated some of the best tow bars that you can get for some of the most state-of-the-art RVs currently on the market. We have determined them by weight and how easy they pull your camper van. We have also tested them for pulling power and how flexible the hinge is.
OUR TOP PICK
This first tow bar is probably one of the more powerful that we have on our list, with a pulling capacity of a whopping 10,000 pounds. Just looking at this towing bar, you can see that it has a very sturdy construction, with a Y-shaped bar that will help you to maneuver your camper and distribute the pressure evenly - introducing the Roadmaster 522 All Terrain Tow Bar.
The fact that this has a very high towing capacity is great for trucks and largely RVs. This has amazing Latch Freedom technology, which stops the metal from binding and meshing together when you are turning a corner.
This is a great tow bar for taking tighter corners, so if you are thinking of going through narrow streets, this is the tow bar for you.
Another great aspect of this tow bar is the fact that it has independent and adjustable arms. This means that it will have a more fluid motion, allowing you much tighter navigation. These arms will lock in place with a simple pin, which makes it very easy to use and very amenable to people who aren’t used to DIY.
This tow bar has automatically centering technology that will keep your car and your RV in perfect alignment no matter how extreme the angle at which you are turning is. This has nylon strings that have self-lubricating arms, which means that this tow bar will not take that much time to adjust itself.
- This has a massive towing capacity, so you won’t have to worry about this RV breaking off when you are turning a difficult corner. You can tow up to 10,000 pounds with this tow bar.
- This can quickly connect and disconnect, so if you are a newbie at the noble art of RVing, then we would definitely recommend that you get one of these for simple ease of use.
- This is very compatible with other Roadmaster devices, which means that it will be very easy to adapt to lots of other different styles of equipment by Roadmaster.
- Some conduits will enable you to feed your brake cables through without them dragging on the floor or causing you any problems.
- There is a crossbar running through the middle of this towing bar, which will correct itself every time you turn a corner. This centering technology will guarantee you a lot more safety.
- This device requires you to buy a specific base plate, which will limit your options when it comes to fixing it in your camper van.
- There is not a power cord, so you might have to shop for another cable after you have already purchased this tow bar.
This next tow bar supports slightly less weight than the first one, but you can be relieved that this will come at a slightly cheaper price.
This is one for anyone with a smaller camper van or pod that you can be sure will be able to drag a smaller payload. This has wonderfully adjustable arms and lubricated hinges - introducing Curt 70001 Rambler Steel RV Tow Bar.
This comes with a ball hitch, so you can attach your RV and have complete 360-degree movement. This is important if you are thinking of going off-road and navigating the many bumps and lumpy terrain of the great outdoors. A ball hitch is also much easier to connect with your camper van than a usual clip-in hinge.
This has a heavy-duty construction, made from extremely durable steel and aluminum that will not buckle or bend when you are out on the open road. You can easily lock this one in place with a master lock and mounting hardware that will allow you to hook it easily to the back of your device.
This also comes with a black-powder-coated gloss that will help to resist corrosion that will naturally come from having your tow bar exposed to the rain so much. This will also enhance the longevity of your tow bar, allowing you to keep using it for years rather than a mere few months.
- The base plates of this tow bar can be adjusted, which means that they are adaptable to a lot of different styles of a camper van or RV. This is definitely one for the more casual boondocker.
- This comes with a special gloss coating that will make it far more resistant to the weather. This is great if you are a full-time RV user.
- This has specialized mounting hardware, which makes it so much easier to install your device. This will be able to get set up within a matter of minutes, so you won’t have to worry about it.
- This carries upwards of 5,000 pounds of weight, which is great for more compact RVs. If you have a pod, then it is more likely that you will be able to tow it for longer over various terrain.
- These tow bars can extend themselves, automatically centering when you are turning a corner to keep the RV in line with your vehicle.
- You will have to buy the ball hinge separately, which might be a pain for anyone who is not looking to incur any additional costs.
- The towing capacity is a lot lower than some of the units on this list, so if you have a larger RV, then we would suggest that you get a heftier tow bar.
Next up, we have a device that comes with additional chains that offer you flexibility and security for your RV unit.
These are very affordable, so if you have spent lots of money on your RV, then you can pinch a few more pennies on this tow bar. However, that is not to say that this one is not of the highest quality - introducing HTTMT - US-FF801-BK Adjustable Tow Bar.
The extra safety of your chains will mean that you won’t have to worry about your trailer becoming untethered and careening off the road. This comes with a very durable coupler, add to that the two chains and you’ll be certain that you’ll have everything that you need for a very safe trip.
The bars of this towbar are very strong, heat-sealed so that they won’t detach even when you are pulling a heavier RV. It can tow up to 5,000 pounds of weight, which places it at the more mid-range tow bar pulling capacity. You can set the bars of this towing bracket with just a few pins.
The price point is also excellent. This is probably the cheapest tow bar that you can get considering the pulling power that it has. It has an adjustable width, which will help you to distribute the weight of your campervan much more easily. The pins that you can use really help to stabilize this whole unit.
- The price - this is probably one of the least expensive units, making it the perfect choice for a family that is on a budget who might find it hard to afford one of the more luxury tow bars.
- The safety chains will really help you to keep your RV stable, with a safety catch that will ensure that if your RV does get detached, it will be saved by two extra chains.
- This is probably one of the more stable tow bars that you can find, with the extra chains and the pins that will keep it in place, you won’t have to worry about it detaching when you are negotiating rougher terrain.
- This can be adjusted so that you can accommodate whatever size of RV that there is. You’ll be sure that there will be enough stabilization, so you won’t have to worry about it getting uncoupled.
- This has a reasonable towing capacity of 5,000 pounds, which makes this the perfect towing device for smaller or medium-sized camper vans.
- This has no crossbar, so it might not have this premium level of stability that you might need when you are negotiating harder terrain.
- This is another moderate towing capacity, so you might be stuck if you are looking to drag an RV across the country.
This next tow bar has a maximum towing capacity of around 6,000 pounds, with a larger hook that will enable you to tow a much larger RV. This is probably the most heavy-duty of the tow bars that we’ve listed, with a stronger steel composition and hinges that can flex and stand even the tightest turns - introducing the Roadmaster 520 Tow Bar.
This is another tow bar that comes with a steel crossbar, which will give you much more solid support and will help you to centralize the movement of both your car and your tow bar. His has been coated with plenty of rain-proof material, meaning that you won’t have to worry about prolonged exposure to the elements.
This has a self-lubricating structure, which will avoid the steel-on-steel construction of your average tow bar. This comes with a state-of-the-art powder coat that will help increase the lifespan of your towing bar. This will give your tow bar that smooth and glossy look that will fit in with most professional camping sites.
You can easily hook this bar up with your RV, which is great if you are a newbie and you aren’t that used to connecting large vehicles such as this. You can tow up to 6,000 pounds, which makes it one of the most heavy-duty towing bars currently on the market. This comes with adjustable arms that will centralize themselves automatically.
- These adjustable arms will move in tandem with the natural rocking of the road. This set of tow bars will do their best to make sure that your RV and your vehicle are always in alignment.
- This has a great base plate that will allow you to fix your RV to your car, so that you won’t have to worry about it breaking off after a bumpy ride.
- This has a pretty decent towing capacity, which puts it firmly in the medium level of weight pulling. This is one of the best towing bars that you can have for a pod or a smaller caravan.
- You can hook up this tow bar with very little issue. This makes it a great asset for first-time campers who might not have the best abilities when it comes to RVs.
- This is coated with corrosion-free paint, which is great if you are a fan of taking it into the great outdoors or you go RVing all year round.
- This will require a base plate, which you will have to buy separately. This might be slightly annoying if you have already paid out for your RV.
- The price - this is quite an expensive tow bar, probably owing to the number of features that it comes with.
This next set of tow bars are another that is great for heavy-duty towing, with a minimum capacity of 6,000, although it does tow caravans that are as heavy as 10,000 pounds.
This has rubber boots on the arms that will protect both your RV and your car from getting damaged on the bumpy road - introducing the Blue Ox BX4330 Acclaim Class III Tow Bar.
This is probably the best tow bar on this list for outdoor travel. Not only will you have the ability to hit the tarmac, but the rubber components will allow you to go off-road, navigating shale, mud and stone. This has locking mechanisms for added safety, so you won’t have to worry about it becoming detached when moving at high speeds.
These have easy-to-use handles that you can use to lock into the mechanisms of your RV. You can also fold these away, making them a great unit for storage that will help you to keep your camper van accessories from getting lost in the mud. You can strap this one to the top of your car when it is not in use.
This comes with dependable steel construction that you can be sure will make your tow bar last for a very long time. These bars can be extended up to a length of 38 inches, which is great for having that roaming ability. It will also give you plenty of wriggle-room for when you are out on the harsher terrain.
- This tow bar can be stowed away, which is great when it comes to keeping all your camping accessories in a safe place. We would recommend strapping this to the top of a car with a cover that will help it escape the rain.
- This comes with safety cables that will help you to tow up to 10,000 pounds of weight with your camper van. This is rated top for safety, giving you everything that you need for traveling across the country.
- This has rubber components that will help you to survive the elements. Often mud and rain will severely damage any metal components over time, so it is important to have a tow bar made up of different elements.
- This has a centralizing bar that will keep your RV on an even keel even when you are riding at an increased speed. You can be sure that you won’t lose this one on the road, even if you are hitting a hard bend at some speed.
- You can hitch this one firmly to the bottom of your camper van, so you won’t have to worry about anything coming loose when you are driving faster.
- The price - this is another very high-end tow bar, so you’ll be expected to shell out a decent price for it too.
Our final tow bar is one of the best to have for hauling heavy-duty caravans from one side of the country to another.
You have a 5,000 pound towing capacity with this tow bar, making it one of the smaller but more compact tow bars on the market. This has a very sleek design that you can use for touring - introducing the Reese Towpower 7014200 Adjustable Tow Bar.
This has a very bulky ball, allowing you to haul your RV across the country without having to worry about it detaching. This is coated with a proper coat of waterproof paint, making it one of the more durable and long-lasting tow bars that you can currently get on the market.
This also has a decent price, which is great for anyone on a budget.
This is very easy to install, with a simple hitching lock. No matter where you order this from, it will come to you in a very durable box, meaning that it won’t be damaged in transit.
Even though this is made from durable steel, anything that damages the composition of your tow bar will cause you significant issues when out on the road.
This is also another one that is covered with a decent coat of paint that will protect it from all sorts of horrible weather conditions. If you are trekking out into the wind and the rain for long periods, then we would certainly recommend that you have something with a decent coating.
- This comes with a coating that will prevent this towing bar from succumbing to any significant damage. This can often happen through intense rain and even sunshine can cause this bracket to crack.
- This is a medium-sized tow bracket, which will allow you to tour a moderately sized caravan from one part of the country to another. This will keep secure for at least 6 months without cracking or breaking.
- This can be attached to your RV with a simple hatch lock, which is very important if you are not a very practical person.
- This will haul around 5,000-pounds of weight, which is great for any casual RV users that tend to haul their vehicle across the country for short periods of time.
- The price - considering the small amount of weight that this towbar can pull, then this might not be worth the higher price point. We would certainly recommend something more durable for long-haul travel.
- This has been described by various users as having a very distinct lack of durability, often failing after just a few months of use.
Tow Bars For RV Buying Guide
There will be many things that you’ll be looking for on your next tow bar, one of the main ones being how much weight they can tow and how durable they are when you are on the road. Often these couplings can break off through repeated stresses, which is why you’ll have to make sure you find something that has a very durable material.
Here are some of the features that you’ll need to be looking for with your next towing bar:
How High Is The Towing Capacity?
The first thing you should be looking at on your tow bar is what is called the gross vehicle weight rating, otherwise abbreviated to GVWR. This will indicate how much weight that your tow bar will be able to pull.
When you are looking at your GVWR, we would recommend that you add an extra 500 or 1,000 pounds to this value. This extra weight will include the objects that exist on the inside of your camper van or RV. If you are towing people too, we would certainly recommend that you factor their weight into the overall GVWR.
If your GVWR comes within 100 pounds of your RVs weight, then we would recommend picking it up. This is flirting too closely with danger and you run the risk of your tow bar snapping if you are turning a tight corner or running at increased speed.
You should also factor in all of the inanimate furniture and electrical items that you have in your van too. On their own they might not seem like much, but once you have amassed them all together, you might find that this tips the weight of your van too close to the maximum GVWR.
How Compatible Is Your Tow Bar With Your Vehicle?
You’ll need to make sure that you can lock your vehicle to your tow bar. You can get many different tow bars that have a very complex series of locks and hooks that can seem quite intimidating at first. However, you can get very simple ball hinges that will provide you with 360-degree movement and will be very easy to install.
Generally, you’ll need a four-wheel drive in your front vehicle and at least rear-wheel drive in your RV to make sure that you are able to control them both while you are driving. This is the best way of moving your RV into your driveway or helping it to negotiate difficult corners.
Dinghy towing is a very popular way of towing your trailer. This is where all four tires of the RV are being dragged behind you, while the vehicle itself does most of the pulling work. This is the most stable of all the RV pulling that you can do. If you have only two of your RV wheels on the ground, then you can expect it to be much less stable.
You’ll need to check under the bumper of your vehicle to see whether it has the correct fittings for your tow bar. If this doesn’t have any fittings, then you’ll probably have to bolt some on, which you can either do yourself or hire a mechanic to do for you.
If you decide to go with tow bars that have adjustable arms, then you’ll want to make sure that the position of each arm matches up exactly with the positioning of your brackets on the front of your RV. If it is misaligned, this might cause your RV to keel over and tip into the road if you are driving at a high speed.
What Material Is Your Tow Bar Made From?
Solid steel is one of the main constructions that your tow bar should be made from, giving you enough strength and durability to withhold lots of weight at any one time. You’ll have to make sure that the design on this RV is flexible enough to move a few feet to the left and right, especially when turning.
You should also find a bar that comes with rubber elements, as this will help you withstand a lot of adverse weather conditions such as rain and mud. Rubber is also very durable, able to withstand a lot more water elements, which can often get inside metal and cause the gears to grind together.
Prolonged rain will also cause the metal elements of your tow bar to rust over a period of time. Having rubber coverings will ensure you that this will not happen as rapidly and will extend the overall life of your tow bar.
How Safe Is Your Tow Bar?
You should make sure that you have plenty of failsafe measures in your tow bar in case the main coupling separates when you are on the road. If you get a standard hitch coupler with a hitch ball, then you will definitely need some safety wires.
Without safety wires, your RV can become detached from the hitch coupler and veer any direction on the road that it likes. This is incredibly dangerous, especially if you are traveling on the motorway. These safety cables operate as a backup in case your device hits a bump and discharges itself.
You can also get some tow bars that come with safety chains. These chains are mainly supplementary and are able to hold the RV in place in case your main hinge or ball detaches for any reason. These chains do not control the direction of your RV, but they will keep your RV safely attached to your vehicle when you are on the road.
Tow Bars For RV - FAQ's
How Does A Tow Bar Work?
These unique devices are designed to hold a very heavy RV in place when you are on the road. Often your RV is very heavy and will have issues pulling in one direction or another. These frames are designed to limit wobbling, which is often called ‘fish-tailing’. If left to go out of control, this can be extremely dangerous.
The ball of the tow bar is popped into a socket and then locked in with pins or chains. You then connect the various wires from your car to your RV so you can still make the necessary indication signals when you are driving.
Does Pulling An RV Add Miles To Your Car?
No, if you pull extra weight, this will not count against you on your odometer. However, your RVs wheels will be in contact with the road, so you can expect the normal wear and tear that you would usually get on the road. You need to make sure that your RVs tires are getting checked regularly so that they do not slip off the road.
Are Tow Bars Safe For Your RV?
Yes, although this all depends on what construction they have and how difficult it is to how. Getting yourself something more flexible will definitely help you to keep safe on the road. You’ll also need to make sure that your tow bar is connected properly and that all your pins and locks are firmly secured before traveling.
Always be sure that you consult the manufacturing guide before connecting your RV to your car. Certain tow bars, especially ones with ball hinges, can be quite tricky to install, so make sure that you follow the guide carefully if you are not used to lashing these things together.