Trailer Life Magazine Open Roads Forum: Remove front bumper/bolt tow bar to frame
Open Roads Forum Already a member? Login here.   If not, Register Today!  |  Help

Newest  |  Active  |  Popular  |  RVing FAQ Forum Rules  |  Forum Posting Help and Support  |  Contact  

Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Dinghy Towing

Open Roads Forum  >  Dinghy Towing

 > Remove front bumper/bolt tow bar to frame

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Sponsored By:


New Member

Joined: 12/04/2015

View Profile

Posted: 01/12/18 05:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Chevy 1500 express Remove front bumper/bolt tow bar to frame

or does blue OX attach to under the bumper to frame w/ bumper still on van?

I like this I’ve sean midsized cars towing vehicals w/ a adjustable (width) tow bar bolted directly
To towed vehicles frame what is this tow bar referred to and can I rent one from U haul?

I have a 02 Chevy 1500 5.7 vortec it’s weight 7100LBs and want/like to tow a 03 Chevy 1500 it’s weight 8500LBs from Virgina to N.Florida. around 800 miles. Yes I know the 03 is exceeding the 02s tow capisty by 2.1K LBs.

What I do know so far about towing a 1500.’s wheelbase width is like just under 79” so a conventionale Uhaull tow dolly is to small (could fit w/small dounut spare wheel). However I have read about wider jumbo tow dollys unknown where to rent.

2.a flatbed trailer would probablley increase the overall tow load by another 3K LBs. now far exceeding the tow capcity of the 02.

3.for a long 800mile trip must the drive shaft be removed from the 03?

I could arrange transport but the pickup place has deadlines for pickups an seam strike.
thanks TB


Billings, MT

Senior Member

Joined: 06/28/2003

View Profile

Posted: 01/12/18 05:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Check the laws. In many states the towed vehicle must not exceed 40% of the towing vehicle's GVW. Note that usually that is a TOWING law, not a TRAILER law.
IMO, what you propose is unsafe; Towing an 8500 lb. vehicle with a 7100 lb. vehicle is a recipe for disaster, regardless of the towing capacity of the 7100 lb. vehicle. My advice: DON'T DO IT!
A trailer obviously just makes the loading worse. I don't see that as a viable option, either.
Yes, if the vehicle to be towed is not four wheel drive, with a Neutral position on the transfer case shift, the driveshaft must be removed to avoid transmission damage due to lack of lubrication.

2002 Fleetwood Southwind 32V, Ford V10
Daily Driver: '06 PT Cruiser Turbo
Toad: '05 Wrangler Unlimited
Toy: 1999 Dodge QC LWB, Cummins, Auto, 4X4
Other toys: 2 Kawasaki Brute Force 750 ATVs.
"When seconds count, help is only minutes away!"


S.E. Lower Michigan


Joined: 10/16/2000

View Profile

Good Sam RV Club Member

Posted: 01/12/18 09:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Moved to Dinghy Towing forum from Towing.


Sunny Florida USA

Senior Member

Joined: 09/04/2003

View Profile

Good Sam RV Club Member

Posted: 01/12/18 10:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Your project has a number of safety concerns. Towed outweighing towing is one of the big ones. There's a lot of debate about towed vehicle braking, but your case looks like one where you'd better do something. Easiest thing would be to find somebody willing to loan/rent you a brake-in-a-box like Brake Buddy.

Rental towbars were used in the days that vehicles had bumpers, not mere plastic trim over foam and sheet metal.

Blue Ox towbars, at least most of them, are meant to connect to a permanently attached Base Plate. They may offer a simple A-Frame to bolt to vehicles like Jeeps and others that have real bumpers or aftermarket bumpers that tie back into the FRAME of the vehicle.

I haven't found a simple bolt-on A-frame towbar with a rating of more than 5000

The Base Plate I mentioned above, secures to the towed's chassis in several places, not just a couple bolt holes, and usually includes backup hardware for inside the chassis. I mention that because a chassis isn't that massive anymore. By that I mean in the last several decades. It's a weldment of relatively thin steel so the towing, turning, and stopping forces need to be distributed.

If the towed is a 2wd with automatic transmission, I'm all but certain the driveshaft has to come out. Pretty much none of those are towable four-down.

I'm sure "People do it all the time" and mostly get away with it. But it scares me.

If the towed is a 2wd with automatic transmission, I'm all but certain the driveshaft has to come out. Pretty much none of those are towable four-down.

If God's Your Co-Pilot Move Over, jd
2003 Jayco Escapade 31A on 2002 Ford E450 V10 4R100 218" WB



Senior Member

Joined: 05/19/2013

View Profile

Good Sam RV Club Member

Posted: 01/12/18 11:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

load it on a car trailer and off you go.

First I think your weights are off. My 04 chevy 2500 doesn't weigh 8500 lbs. I think you will be right at the limit of the 02 1500 but doable.

Almost every trailer I have ever towed weighed more than tow vehicle until I purchased a DP. Last FW was @16,000 lbs. towed by an @6,000 lbs. truck. I towed an @9,000 lb FW with an 01 chevy 1500 and it did just fine.


Colorado Springs

Senior Member

Joined: 02/17/2009

View Profile

Good Sam RV Club Member

Posted: 01/15/18 09:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A Chevy 1500 is going to be more around 6000 lbs. There is concern about the driveshaft and if the tranny is spinning in neutral will it be lubricated? Better find that out or just remove it. I think it would be an easy tow but I would try to get a friends aux brake. Stopping would be fun (sarcasm) with that much weight pushing you. And without any tongue weight, might push the van real easy.

In the states that have instant access to the Mexican border, you see long lines of towed cars and trucks with tow bars taking them south to be used/resold/parted. They are quite the setup and do not have brakes. Seem to do just fine from what I have seen.



2013 Fleetwood Discovery 40G
TOADS: 2012 Jeep JK Rubicon, 2016 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk, 2013 SHO, 2013 RAM 1500 Longhorn (not a toad) American STEEL = American profits
RET USAF MSGT (26yrs) and still DoD ATC.
DW,DS,DD in the MH w/Westley the killer PUG!


Oklahoma Green Country

Senior Member

Joined: 05/14/2005

View Profile

Posted: 01/21/18 12:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

All modern towbars attach to towing brackets or base plates that are bolted to the frame (or front "subframe" structures in unit body vehicles). The usual practice for Blue Ox and Demco equipment is a permanent baseplate of standard width, installed to put the towbar mounting points just below or just above the bumper.

For Roadmaster equipment, the typical solution is a pair of towing brackets bolted to the frame, coming out under the bumper and sometimes the fascia, curving back up to an appropriate height. To these will be attached a baseplate cross-member that comes with the tow bar, although in some recent Roadmaster installations the attachment is a full baseplate, as used by Blue Ox, so the cross-member is a redundant control of towbar spacing. The Roadmaster solution for my Honda Fit was a full baseplate that bolted to the bumper mounts, permanently replacing the crushable bumper with something more solid; for this reason I chose Blue Ox, which mounted the baseplate to the bumper horns, well behind the bumper.

All of this modern towbar stuff, however, is about convenience handling a vehicle that is towed regularly and hooked up and unhooked almost every day.

An alternative solution for vehicles that actually have frames, rarely used for recreational towing, is to install a front hitch receiver, and use a receiver to receiver towbar. I've seen RV delivery drivers using this. You can get front hitch receivers for most pickups and body-on-frame vans.

In the 1950's and 60's we used bumper to bumper towbars that clamped to bumper face bars, for moving around damaged vehicles when we didn't want to use our wrecker. But bumpers were different back then, we could tow most cars with the wrecker just hooking a bumper, or finding an opening in a frame rail. I've recently seen bumper to bumper towbars, and receiver to bumper towbars, in use for towing vehicles of appropriate vintage, i.e. they still had frames.

For towing our (1930-1949 vintage) race cars to and from the stock car track, we bolted fabricated mounting brackets to the bumper horns, as the cars raced without bumpers. This seems to be more like what you are proposing.

You can expect to remove the driveshaft on an Express of that vintage for any tow at highway speeds, or any tow beyond 20-50 miles, unless you can add on a lube pump for the automatic transmission.

For what you want to do, a one-time move, I would rent a trailer large enough to carry the towed vehicle. This class of trailer, in the rental market, will usually have surge brakes. For flat towing, you would have no braking for the towed vehicle. Braking taken care of, I would be a little less concerned about tow ratings, which are largely about managing vehicle longevity and warranty costs, but there are also handling issues, particularly at highway speeds.

Tom Test
Itasca Spirit 29B

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 

Open Roads Forum  >  Dinghy Towing

 > Remove front bumper/bolt tow bar to frame
Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Dinghy Towing

New posts No new posts
Closed, new posts Closed, no new posts
Moved, new posts Moved, no new posts

Adjust text size:

© 2018 CWI, Inc. © 2018 Good Sam Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved. | Terms of Use | PRIVACY POLICY | YOUR PRIVACY RIGHTS