The CURT Rambler tow bar is manufactured for flat-towing a dinghy or toad behind a motorhome or heavy duty tow vehicle. Through our own rigorous field testing, here’s our RV gear product review along with the CURT Rambler Tow Bar Step-by-Step Installation and Usage Guide. We’ll show you how to install and hook up a motorhome tow bar to get it ready for towing.
CURT Rambler Tow Bar for Motorhomes
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After six months of owning our new 2019 Winnebago View, we wanted to further our adventures by exploring more using a dingy, also known as a toad. So, we bought a pre-owned 2010 Jeep Wrangler JK series to take off-roading and to carry our outdoor adventure gear.
But we needed to get a tow bar and proper towing gear so we could safely tow our Jeep. So, we teamed up with CURT Manufacturing to field test one of their most recent towing products; the CURT Rambler Tow Bar.
So, go grab your favorite beverage, relax in your favorite chair and read our product evaluation as well as installation guide.
DISCLOSURE: We were not compensated monetarily by CURT for supplying this content. However, we did receive this product free of charge to conduct several rigorous tests and report our observations and any discrepancies to the manufacturer. This product review of the CURT Rambler Tow Bar is a source of unbiased information.
Table of Contents:
The CURT Rambler tow bar manufactured for motorhomes can be used for towing a variety of vehicles. It’s much easier to use compared to towing with an RV tow dolly. This tow bar can function to tow certain automobiles, pickup trucks and of course, Jeeps like ours!
What needs to be done to your Dinghy or Toad Vehicle?
Before installing the CURT Rambler tow bar, we needed to install the correct vehicle-specific custom tow bar base plate brackets on the front of our Jeep Wrangler JK series.
Since this was beyond our scope of expertise and to ensure proper installation, we had our Jeep’s new base plate installed at Mohave Hitch and Welding in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. While we were there, we also had our Demco Stay In Play braking system installed. Both installations took approximately five hours.
Once our base plate was installed, the CURT Rambler tow bar quickly and conveniently adapted easily to our Jeep’s setup.
So, let’s jump into learning about the CURT Rambler tow bar and how prepare your motorhome for towing.
The CURT Rambler tow bar’s patent-pending, auto-locking design has non-binding latches for easy release on uneven ground surfaces. It has automatic hands-free locking mechanism that ensures you’re ready to tow safely. And, it’s arms extend for extra hookup radius and clearance.
This high-strength steel construction tow bar is rated for 7,500 pounds gross towed weight. The standard shank fits into a 2″ x 2″ trailer hitch receiver tube. Its’ two hitch pin holes provide adjustable length and added clearance if needed.
The CURT Rambler tow bar active slide resistance provides enhanced control when extending the arms. And, its’ polymer isolator washers reduce friction for a smooth, anti-rattle operation. The tow bar arms are fully sealed in rubber accordion sleeves protecting the inside mechanisms from dirt, road grime, salt, sand and debris. It’s finished in a long-lasting, corrosion-free, premium matte texture for wear resistance.
The ergonomic CURT Rambler tow bar weighs no more than 40 pounds which makes it super easy to set up, carry and store. Even I can install it with ease.
It’s three stowing positions (right, center and left) makes it easy to take into account of obstructions in choosing storing positions.
Keep in mind of its’ limited 7500 pound weight carrying capacity. So, if you’re wanting to tow a heavier vehicle from your Class A or Class C motorhome, you’ll need a different tow bar with a heaver weight carrying capacity.
Our CURT Rambler tow bar installation was as easy as any plug-n-play towing component. And seriously, even a cave man can do it!
But first, let’s familiarize ourselves with the dynamics of the CURT Rambler in the photo below:
Insert the two (2) baseplate attachment tabs into the front receivers of your dinghy or toad vehicle base plate to receive the tow bar.
Because our Jeep JK Series’ base plate is lower than the motorhome’s receiver, we had to install a receiver hitch adapter that provides a 2″ drop and is rated for 7500 pounds. It fits industry-standard 2″ hitch receiver tub and accepts 2″ shanks.
When dinghy towing, the receiver hitch and base plates must be within 3″ of the same height to each other. The receiver hitch adapter is used to make up the necessary height difference. Once you install the hitch adapter, you do not have to remove it each time.
Simply remove the pin from the tow bar. Insert the shank of the tow bar into the motorhome’s 2″ x 2″ receiver. Slide the pin to lock it in the position length needed for your tow.
For added safety precaution, we also added the trailer hitch lock for extra security to prevent theft or tampering.
Maneuver your dinghy or toad vehicle into position behind your motorhome ensuring it is close enough for the extension arms of the tow bar to reach the base plate attachment tabs.
Make sure your dinghy or toad vehicle is as close to directly behind the motorhome as possible. This aides in the tow bar arms locking into the tow position at the same time.
To attach the tow bar adjustable arms, slide each tow bar lug between each of the base plate attachment tabs on the dinghy. Once in position, insert the provided pins and hitch clips into the base plate attachment tabs. Make sure this done properly so the hitch clips are not accidentally removed by the safety cables during a tight turn.
Hook one end of each of the safety cables from the back steel loops of the motorhome and hook the opposing ends into the steel loops on the dinghy’s front end base plate. We recommend criss-crossing the cables underneath the tow bar for added safety. They shouldn’t interfere with the tow bar latch handles or mechanisms.
Attach the dinghy’s braking system’s electrical cable to the 7-pin outlet to your motorhome’s electrical base connection point; routing it underneath the tow bar. Then, plug the opposing end into the outlet on the front of the base plate. Make sure both ends are fully inserted.
Again, like the safety cables, make certain the electrical cable does not impede operation of the tow bar latch handles.
(The electrical cable is part of your toad’s braking system. It is not part of the Rambler tow bar ensemble).
Attach the emergency breakaway cable by clipping the one end to the frame of the motorhome and the other end to the toad’s base plate. Ensure you route the small accordion style cable under the tow bar as well; the same as the safety cables and braking cable.
It is imperative that you hook this cable up in case your towed vehicle becomes separated from the motorhome.
Gently pull the motorhome forward while your spotter watches the tow bar latch handles to ensure they engage into the locked, ready to tow position. Both latch handles should snap into a downward position pointing to the ground. This will be readily apparent.
If you don’t have a spotter, use your rear view camera or you’ll have to get out of your motorhome to check to make sure the latch handles have deployed to the downward position.
Finally, check all lights and signals to make sure they are working properly; including your brake lights, turn signals and four-way flashers on your dinghy or toad vehicle.
Do one final inspection of the entire towing ensemble; making sure all pins, clips, and plugs are properly installed and secure.
Once everything has been hooked up properly and tested, you are ready to tow.
When we received the CURT Rambler tow bar, we were pleased with the packing and shipping process. It arrived quickly in a large carton. The tow bar was wrapped in a foam encapsulation to protect it during shipping. Everything needed to hook up the new tow bar (tow bar, safety cables, hitch pins and clips) were also included.
We found the CURT Rambler is compatible with our Jeep’s original aftermarket base plate (Blue Ox) which made it incredibly simple for installation. And being that the Rambler weighs only 40 pounds, it’s lightweight enough for even smaller RV owners to install it easily with very little struggle.
The CURT Rambler is perfect for towing a variety of automotive vehicles behind motorhomes, including automobiles, trucks, SUVs and Jeeps. As we always recommend, before towing any vehicle, check with your motorhome and toad/dinghy manufacturers’ specifications to insure each can be safely towed in accordance with safety standards.
We put the CURT Rambler tow bar through rigorous testing. From deep potholes, driveway dips, speed bumps, and even curbs to towing our Jeep on rocky desert terrain in some cool boondocking off grid locations, the Rambler did its’ job safely and just as expected. We’ve even run over an obstruction or two on the highway.
The turn radius using this tow bar was exactly what we needed. We actually performed a u-turn safely with no damage to either the motorhome or our Jeep. The lugs pivoted just as they were designed to based on road surface inconsistencies.
All in all, we are quite happy with testing the Rambler. It’s lightweight so even I can lift, carry and install it to our motorhome. Hooking it up is easy and stress-free. It’s also easy to unhook and stow inside our motorhome or Jeep as needed.
While we did report some minor cosmetic flaws and bolt assembly discrepancy to CURT, they quickly improved those quality control issues.
All in all, we’ve found the CURT Rambler tow bar is perfect for towing our 2-door Jeep JK behind our Winnebago View motorhome. But it’s also great for towing a variety of vehicles behind motorhomes of all sizes; including cars, trucks, SUVs and of course, Jeeps. Its’ price point is much more affordable than leading tow bar competitors. Also, if you need replacement parts, they’re easy to get.
So, if we decide to change it up and trade our Jeep in for a different vehicle, all we’d have to do is get the correct base plate installed on it. Then, we’re good to go!
And lastly, if we end up trading in or selling our tiny Class C motorhome, the CURT Rambler tow bar goes with us. There’s nothing permanently installed on the motorhome.
CURT Manufacturing offers tow bar parts and components such as wiring, security cables and other accessories to outfit your motorhome towing setup (sold separately). They are also soon to be expanding additional electrical plugs, fuses and adapters, so keep checking their website for updates to their product line.
CURT Rambler Tow Bar and Components:
CURT also offers base plates that are vehicle-specific and integrate with the front end for an OE look and feel. They too, will feature the unique and highly corrosion-resistant co-cured finish used on all CURT tow bars and hitches.
CURT tow bar base plates are engineered for a custom fit on each unique vehicle. These custom tow bar base plates fit select years of different automobile, Jeep and truck manufacturers (see application info to verify fitment).
Base plates feature an OE style design to fully integrate with the front of the vehicle and maintain a factory look. They are constructed from high-quality steel and is precisely welded for a perfect fit. They are physically tested for absolute safety and assurance while dinghy towing. It also features a unique co-cured finish of liquid Bonderite and highly durable powder coat to protect against the outdoor elements. Base plates come with attachment tabs and installation hardware.
CURT 70112 Custom Tow Bar Base Plate Brackets for Select Jeep Wrangler TJ
Braking System Components:
Don’t have a motorhome? Read about our CURT Q24 fifth wheel hitch.
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