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Parts Needed to Flat Tow 1998 Chevrolet Tracker Behind 2005 Toyota Tacoma PreRunner


I have a 1998 Chevrolet Tracker that I would like to tow behind my 2005 Toyota Tacoma PreRunner, 6 cylinder truck. The truck has a factory Reese hitch and wiring plug in. Could I put these on the Tracker and just run the wire and plug into the wiring plug on the truck?


Helpful Expert Reply:

Flat-towing a vehicle requires a number of components in addition to wiring/lighting for the towed vehicle. The linked article covers each of the required components, which include a tow bar, base plates for the towed vehicle, safety cables, wiring/lighting as well as a supplementary braking system for the towed vehicle. Laws vary by state but most require all of the above items to legally flat-tow.

Not all vehicles, and not all versions of certain vehicles can be flat-towed. You will need to confirm with a review of your owners manual or by consultation with a local Chevrolet dealership that your Chevrolet Tracker can be flat-towed. Some vehicles require a transmission lube pump or a drive-line disconnect in order to be towed wheels-down. If your Tracker is the 4 X 4 it may be possible to flat tow it but you will want to confirm this in your owners manual or with your dealership.

First, you will need base plates for your Tracker to allow connection of a tow bar. The link provided will take you to our page for base plates for the 1998 Tracker. You can use the Select Vehicle Style drop-down menu at the top of the page to select your particular vehicle and view compatible base plates. We offer several options for the 2-door and one for the 4-door. Please note that none of these will work on your Tracker if it has brush guards. Most people prefer base plates with removable arms (which can save a lot of bumps on the shins); for example, one such item for the 2-door Tracker is the Roadmaster XL # 118-15.

If you already own a tow bar if possible you may want to select base plates that are the same brand to avoid the potential need for adapters. If you need a tow bar I suggest you select one from the same manufacturer as for your base plates.

Tow bars come in both coupler- and hitch-styles; since your Tacoma has a hitch you will use the hitch-style, such as the Roadmaster Falcon 2, part # RM-520. This is compatible with the XL base plates. I have linked an installation video for your reference. For safety cables you can use Roadmaster # RM-643.

For lighting the simplest and most cost-effective option is a magnetic light kit such as the Roadmaster # RM-2120, which will plug into the 4-pole on your truck.

Supplemental braking systems, which are required in most states to activate the brakes on the towed vehicle, also come in several varieties. The linked article will help explain the benefits and applications for each. We typically recommend a proportional system, such as the Roadmaster Even Brake, part # RM-9400, which is portable and offers near-universal compatibility with vehicles with power brakes (both ABS and non-ABS).

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