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Comparing Roadmaster Direct Connect and Crossbar Base Plate Kits for 2019 Ford Ranger

Question:

It looks like there are two base plate models for a 2019 Ranger for use with a Roadmaster Blackhawk 2 tow bar. One base plate requires a crossbar and the other does not. Since I already have the crossbar, would the crossbar style base plates be better than the one that does not? Seems like the crossbar would make for a much more sturdy connection. The one without a crossbar is admittedly simpler but not as sturdy. What do you think?

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Expert Reply:

Personally I prefer the direct connect base plate kits like the part # RM-524459-5 as they are easier to connect/disconnect, are simpler overall like you said, and require keeping track of fewer things (the crossbar). While the crossbar does add sturdiness the Direct Connect kits are more reinforced where they attach to the vehicle frame and to the arms of the kit so they overall are just as strong. This would work really well with the Blackhawk part # RM-422.

I attached an install video for the crossbar kit part # RM-524459-4 which would show you the same install as the direct kit for you to check out as well.

For lighting you can use the diode kit, # RM-15267, and not have to worry about cutting into the taillight housing. This will splice into your taillight wiring to allow your tow vehicle to control the taillight assemblies of the towed vehicle. This comes with a round 6-way connector that you will install on the front of your towed vehicle and enough coiled wire to go from there to the RV.

And finally, most states now require supplemental braking in the vehicle being flat towed. The easiest system to set up and use is the Blue Ox Patriot # BRK2019, that applies the vehicle brakes in proportion to how much the tow vehicle is braking. This is the safest way to stop and it reduces wear and tear on both vehicles.

Most likely you will also need a high low adapter so that the tow bar will be level when you are flat towing. I attached a link to a page that has all of the ones we carry.

I have included a couple of helpful links to our articles on flat towing for you. Be sure to consult the vehicle owners manual for more specific information on flat towing your vehicle.

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Jameson C

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