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etrailer SD Non-Binding Tow Bar Review

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Review of the etrailer SD Non-Binding Tow Bar


Hi there flat towers today, we're going to be taking a look at etrailer.com SD tow bar. This tow bar comes in various different kits with the ends that's necessary to attach to all the different base plates that are available out there. We're currently using the kit that has ends for etrailer or Demco base plates, but we also have kits available that we'll attach to Valley or Reese base plates, Blue Ox, or Curt base plates, Roadmaster base plates. There are two different kits for the crossbar style or the direct connect style, as well as Duncan base plates. You'll want to make sure that you get the appropriate kit with the ends that will attach to the base plate you're installing on your vehicle. Well, we've got our tow bar here in the storage position.

I did want to point out that it's doing something that none of the other manufacturers tow bars can do.One arm is completely off towards our passenger side while the other is completely off towards the driver's side, giving us a spread of 180 degrees. Many of the other manufacturers, tow bars, they can only spread so far before the arms will stop. And they have a limited amount of spread with this one, having the 180 degree spread the width for the base plate. Attachment points is much more variable on this one. So this is going to attach to just about any base plate out there.

Whereas the other manufacturers are limited depending on the width of the base plate tabs. Now on our Jeep here, it's not too big of an issue because these are pretty close together. But if you did have a larger vehicle like a, an F-150 or a Dodge Ram, where they have a wider base plate attachment point, you might run into some issues with some of the other manufacturers, tow bars.And it's just not an issue on these. Now, if you are towing a large truck or something like that, with the widespread, you do want to keep your weights in mind. This tow bar is rated for 6,000 pounds, but etrailer also has the XHD model, which is rated for 10,500 pounds.

So you are also going to be covered there in that one that has the exact same features here as the SD model. It's just with a much higher weight rating. Another thing that I really like about this tow bar, and for me, this is a big one. Cause I'm putting these in and out all day. We're doing videos and stuff like that.

And I know it's going to be pretty big for you guys at home. If you've ever messed with the tow bar before you know that they're pretty darn heavy.And once you get it in the receiver here, your work's not over. You still don't have to lift these arms up and get them attached to your vehicle. With this tow bar here, you only got to do the work to get it attached to your motor home. And in most cases you can just leave it stored back here at the back, just like it is when you're not using it. And whenever you are ready to use it, you don't have to fight the arms like the other manufacturers where you're holding those heavy arms up because we have nice tension here and the arm holds up right by itself. So there's almost no work in it. You can easily push this around, bring the arm down to line it up. It's just, couldn't be easier with a lot of those other ones. I mean, you're going to have to hold them up cause there's just no assistance.You're bearing the whole weight of it, trying to get these attached. But I mean, with this, it just glides right in and it really does make a huge difference. I mean, I'm putting these in and out all day long and it's just night and day on how I feel at the end of the day, messing around with this tow bar versus the competitors. When you're done using your tow bar, there is a storage position. You'll see a small tab here on top. And these yellow hooks on each side will help keep your arms up and you can put it on either side. I like to put one arm on each side and to store them, you just lift up on the arm to lower that pegged down, we'll twist it over and then we can lower our arm down and that will hold it in place. We're going to do the same thing with our other arm on the other side,And you can take your safety cables, and just wrap them around and clip onto each other to keep those up off the road. Now we've got everything connected here. I did want to point out something that our tow bar does come with and that safety cables. And that's pretty nice, especially since it has cable management here to hold everything up. One of my favorite tow bars from Roadmaster is the Falcon all-terrain. And I'd say that's a pretty good competitor for this one right here as the all-terrain does have channels in it for your safety cables, as well as your wiring. The Falcon all-terrain does not come with the safety cables. So you will need to make sure you purchase your own set. In addition, with those, the etrailer comes with it. So that's one less thing that you have to think about on the side here, our cable management on the etrailer, tow bar is going to be a rod here that allows you to put a coiled cable over it.You do want to keep that in mind when purchasing your cable. Cause there are a lot of styles here at etrailer, and I highly recommend a coiled cable with this tow bar. If you we're going with the Falcon, all-terrain that one in order to use its cable management, it would require you to have a straight cable in order to pass it through the channels. And with that, you also have to remove the ends from it, pass it through the channel and then reconnect it with this one. It's as simple as sliding the quilt cable over here and then securing it with the pin. So it's a little bit less work to get it set up, but non-binding levers on our each etrailer tow bar here. I personally find these to be a little bit easier than the Roadmaster ones. The lever here actually is this small tab here.And this is just kind of gives you a good place for the palm of your hand to really press in and dig in to get it to release. And it just feels smoother. Like it releases better than with the Roadmaster. The Roadmaster's are on top and they do have a longer lever. So you would think that it would be easier with that longer lever, but when you pull that lever up, you can kind of feel it pop, but it doesn't release until that lever is kind of halfway on its way back down. And it can just be kind of finicky, especially since you have to hold the weight up on that Roadmaster tow bar, while you're trying to do all this, this is just a little bit easier. You can kind of grab the bar. It's all one fluid motion. I just prefer this style.I think you'll find it easier as well and help protect your investment. Keep your tow bar out of the elements. We have a cover available here at etrailer.com and this is also nice when you're storing it on the back of your motor home. Cause you can keep all your cables and wiring and everything tucked up in this bag when you're not using it. And to ensure long life and high quality looks, there's an e-coat finish over it to protect it against the elements and prevent any rust or corrosion. I've also got some measurements for you here, so you can see the dimensions and how it's going to sit between your vehicle and your motor home. The arm length when retracted is going to be 39 and a quarter inch, and that's from the center of the hitch pin hole to the edge here. And when extended, it's going to measure 51 and three quarters of an inch.So you've got over 10 inches of travel on our shaft here, but we can make some small adjustments to that length here and our shank, where it goes into our receiver. There are two hitch pin holes. The first one I gave you is for the furthest hole, which is going to be the longest length, but you can cut that down by two inches by using the hole. That's slightly closer to our arms here. There's five main components you'll need when flat towing your vehicle, the tow bar being one of those. In addition to your tow bar, you're also going to need your safety cables, which is a supplemental connection. In addition to your tow bar, you'll also need your diode wiring, which takes the lighting from your motor home and sends it to the lights at the back of your vehicle, your base plate, which is the connection point on your vehicle for your tow bar and your safety cables to attach to. And lastly, your supplemental braking system, which will apply the brakes in your vehicle when you hit them in your motor home. And that completes our look at etrailer.com SD tow bar..


Questions and Comments about this Video

Tim G.

Does the arms lock or do they let the car move back and forth , if they do lock how do you get them to lock ?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

The arms will lock in place. Once you have everything connected and you're ready to flat tow you will simply pull your motorhome forward until the arms lock into place. If you start watching this attached video at the 14:00 minute mark you can see this in action.

Info for these parts were:

Employee Dustin K
Video by:
Dustin K
Employee David F
Test Fit:
David F
Employee Michael B
Installed by:
Michael B

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