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What Is Needed To Flat Tow A 1987 Toyota Pickup

Question:

I have a 1987 Toyota pickup 2WD. and interested in the roadmaster tow bar for my truck so I can tow my truck behind my cabover camper. can I use a roadmaster tow bar for this truck and how hard would it be to install and which one do you recommend to get

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Expert Reply:

To flat tow a vehicle you need 5 basic components and possibly a few other items to conform these 5 items to best fit your specific combination of tow vehicle and vehicle being towed.

1) Tow-Bar 2) Base Plates, that are vehicle specific 3) Safety Cables 4) Wiring Solution, something to tie the two vehicles indicator lights to the vehicle being towed 5) Supplemental Braking

For your 1987 Toyota Pickup we have the Roadmaster Crossbar-Style Base Plate Kit, # 1117-1. This will require a tow bar that mates with the older crossbar type baseplates. If you want a coupler type tow bar that mounts to a 2" ball, I suggest the Roadmaster StowMaster, # RM-501. There is also a version for a 2-5/16" ball in part number, # RM-504. My preference and what I suggest, is top use a non-binding type tow bar with a motorhome mount, the Roadmaster Falcon All Terrain, Non-Binding Tow Bar, # RM-522.

Safety Cables, the Roadmaster 64" Single Hook, Straight Safety Cables, # RM-645. Cables connect your RV to your towed vehicle and provide extra safety in case the tow bar fails and your towed vehicle becomes disconnected from the RV.

For indicator lights you can use the Roadmaster 4-Diode Universal Wiring Kit for Towed Vehicles, # RM-152-98146-7. This complete kit includes everything you need to connect your RV's tail, brake, and turn signal lights to your towed car. Diodes prevent feedback and wire your car to operate as a combined system. Includes a 7-way to 6-way straight adapter cord. Or a removable tail light kit such as the Custer Wireless LED Tow Bar Light - Weatherproof - Magnetic Base, # LIW-LDTL-7B.

For supplemental braking that is now required by law in all states, I recommend the Brake Buddy Select 3 Portable Supplemental Braking System, # HM39524. The Brake Buddy Select 3 is a proportional braking system that applies your towed car's brakes with an intensity that matches your RV's braking action. The built-in inertia sensor detects when and how your rig slows down, and it then engages the actuator arm to press your car's brake pedal with an intensity that matches that slowing action.

Please be sure to review your vehicle specific owners manual for manufacturer's instructions on flat towing your truck. This is generally found listed under "Recreational Towing". I have linked a few help articles and product review videos below for additional information including one on high/low adapters. Once your towed vehicle has the base plates properly installed and ready to make the tow bar connection to the tow vehicle, you will need to ensure the connected tow bar sets at +/- 3" of being level. Excessive tire wear and suspension damage may otherwise occur as the towed vehicle may not properly track.

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Michael R

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