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Old 03-03-2018, 03:33 PM   #1
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Roadmaster vs Blue Ox - Why the crossbar

We are looking at moving from our Mini that requires a tow dolly to a Jeep Cherokee that we can pull 4 down. I've been researching tow bars and have noticed that Roadmaster generally requires a cross bar at the toad while Blue Ox does not.

I'm a bit puzzled by the difference. The cross bar seems to be an inherently stronger design, but its another piece of equipment to deal with. Does anyone have knowledge of practical differences? Can you get a Roadmaster version without the crossbar?
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Old 03-03-2018, 05:23 PM   #2
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Roadmaster uses the crossbar depending on the strength of the mounting points on the vehicle. For instance, on our Durango, it does not. I do not know about the Blue Ox equipment as I have no personal experience with them.
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Old 03-03-2018, 05:37 PM   #3
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I've had both. The Blue Ox baseplate on my '02 Miata had a crossbar built in that was hidden behind the grill. There wasn't a Blue Ox available for my '11 Miata, so it has a Roadmaster. I think the welded crossbar is an inherently stonger design.

If you ever pass through Pender, NE, you can tour the Blue Ox plant. They offered to take my 5 year old tow bars into their shop and overhaul them at no charge to me! Great service!

PS. I have a Blue Ox baseplate for a pre-2003 Miata, make me an offer!
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Old 03-04-2018, 12:00 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DenverTransplant View Post
We are looking at moving from our Mini that requires a tow dolly to a Jeep Cherokee that we can pull 4 down. I've been researching tow bars and have noticed that Roadmaster generally requires a cross bar at the toad while Blue Ox does not.



I'm a bit puzzled by the difference. The cross bar seems to be an inherently stronger design, but its another piece of equipment to deal with. Does anyone have knowledge of practical differences? Can you get a Roadmaster version without the crossbar?


I think it depends on the toad. I have the crossbar for my Roadmaster but I have no need to use it when I tow my wrangler.
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Old 03-04-2018, 12:51 AM   #5
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2016 jeep patriot had blue ox with cross bar . 2017 jeep cherokee trail hawk has blue ox with no cross bar. as said before it depends on toad not how strong one or the other is.
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Old 03-04-2018, 01:34 AM   #6
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I use a blue ox to tow an HHR, no visible crossbar, but the base plate structure provides that needed strength laterally. Its all hidden behind the front grill etc. of the car, but the equivalent of that crossbar is there. The tow pins, attach directly to the base plate.
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Old 03-04-2018, 01:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DenverTransplant View Post
We are looking at moving from our Mini that requires a tow dolly to a Jeep Cherokee that we can pull 4 down. I've been researching tow bars and have noticed that Roadmaster generally requires a cross bar at the toad while Blue Ox does not.

I'm a bit puzzled by the difference. The cross bar seems to be an inherently stronger design, but its another piece of equipment to deal with. Does anyone have knowledge of practical differences? Can you get a Roadmaster version without the crossbar?
Roadmaster now offers more choices without the crossbar... A few years ago - I had to get the crossbar with my Wrangler - now there is a choice...
For a Jeep - the strength is certainly there in the chassis - the no-crossbar option would be simpler (that is the only pain in hooking up - though I think I have gotten around that a bit.)

Roadmaster Inc. - Tow Bars, Braking Systems & RV Accessories
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Old 03-04-2018, 12:46 PM   #8
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We have a blueOx Alpha setup that I've used over 100,000 miles since Aug 2014 for both our '14 Ford Fiesta and now our '14 Ford Focus, both FWD Automatic cars. I also used it for many thousands of miles while transporting new coaches from the factories to dealers, pulling either of these toads. No issues. Easy hookup. Folds up nicely.
blueOx, in Pender, NE, provided a $35 rebuild last summer, while we were on our way to Canada and Alaska.
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Old 03-04-2018, 01:36 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Laco View Post
I use a blue ox to tow an HHR, no visible crossbar, but the base plate structure provides that needed strength laterally. Its all hidden behind the front grill etc. of the car, but the equivalent of that crossbar is there. The tow pins, attach directly to the base plate.
Exactly. Towbar assemblies form a complete triangle in order to provide pulling, stopping, and turning forces. The leg of the triangle across from the hitch (closes to toad) is there in one way or another. Yours sounds like a nice clean-looking system, and at other extreme I've seen a few towbars attached semi-permanently to bumpers of Jeeps and other vehicles. Regardless of how it's done, you're correct that the "equivalent" of the crossbar is there.
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