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Old 08-03-2020, 09:25 AM   #1
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Sticker shock: Towing a Honda Fit

I talked to the etrailer people and they suggested the following stuff for towing my 2009 Honda Fit behind my 2003 Winnebago Minnie. Before tax, the hardware is just under $2900..... I can get a tow dolly used for around $1000. What am I missing here? It seems there are cheaper alternative to the parts he recommended. I didn't think it would be this expensive to do this. I'm not sure the car is worth that much.
  • Blue Ox Patriot 2 Portable Braking System
  • Roadmaster EZ Base Plate Kit
  • Roadmaster Sterling All Terrain, Non-Binding Tow Bar - Motorhome Mount - 2" Hitch - 8K
  • Roadmaster Universal Hy-Power Diode Wiring Kit
  • Roadmaster FuseMaster Fuse Bypass - 13" - 20-Amp Mini-Fuse
  • Pollak 6-Pole, Round Pin, Trailer Wiring Socket - Vehicle End
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Old 08-03-2020, 09:40 AM   #2
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Yea, you can get a dolly cheap, but dollies come with their own issues. To load the car onto a dolly (lets say you're good) is 20 minutes. 20 minutes no matter what the weather and that's not including getting the dolly hooked up to the RV which in some parks could be at a location away from your site (because you're not allowed to store it onsite in some).

With 4-down I can direct my wife behind the RV and have the car hooked and ready to go in as quick as 5 minutes.
I installed a base plate myself. (We used BlueOx not Roadmaster)
We used a TowMate remote controlled battery light that sits on the back lid for wiring (ease of not having to actually wire the vehicle).
Our car doesn't need to be powered when towing, so we just hook up cables and go. Our braking is done in the ReadyBrute Elite towbar (found it on FB Marketplace for $200 - drove 4 hours to get it because it was a steal at that price). Surge brake built in and a 1/2 day to install the cable that goes to the brake pedal. No expensive unit that is installed in the car (the cable kit is about $100) or that you have to put in and out.

So, yes, there are cheaper ways to do it. ReadyBrute has adapters on their tow bar that attaches to the different makers base plates.
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Old 08-03-2020, 10:31 AM   #3
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What is the brake situation with a dolly?

Also, what would a full trailer cost? Except for the added weight and cost I think that would be the preferred solution.
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Old 08-03-2020, 12:50 PM   #4
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I have the Readybrute Elite and a Currie baseplate on my Jeep - don't remember the total cost but well under $2900. Works great, easy hookup, surge brake built in to towbar. Amazon has the best price on the towbar IIRC.
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Old 08-03-2020, 04:22 PM   #5
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They've loaded you up with a way expensive Tow Bar for $908. It's capable of towing a 8K lb car and your fit weighs what... 2,200 lbs. The Blue Ox Alpha 2 Tow Bar - Motorhome Mount - 6,500 lbs costs only $775, save $130 . You can save another $500 with a Brake Buddy Classic 3 braking system.

It's odd they loaded you up with high-dollar Roadmaster stuff. When BlueOx has just as good a product for cheaper all the way around.

Sometimes you can find the tow bar available used. I bought my first BlueOx Towbar and baseplate used for $400. And, it was in great shape. The folks just gave up RVing.

Also, I found a guy on eBay that was selling brand new Brake Buddy classics for $600.
I just checked and he's still there selling them only they are $700 now.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/BRAKE-BUDDY...cAAOSwlV9a9aL8

And I had a local RV repair shop install everything for $380. I did have to buy a light kit and cables but all in I was less than $1500.


eTrailer is usually a great place to check prices and I buy from them often. But in this case they've loaded up your quote with about $1000 worth of stuff you don't have to have.

So, even with eTrailer, if you go BlueOx base plate, BlueOx Alpha Towbar and the eBay Brake Buddy you are at around $1,600 then you'll need the light kit and installation.
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Old 08-03-2020, 04:28 PM   #6
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Thanks!

Looking at the Readybrute Elite option as well. It seems that the brake is connected to a cable that pulls on the cars brake? Or is the brake completely in the tow bar?
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Old 08-03-2020, 04:34 PM   #7
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Thanks!

Looking at the Readybrute Elite option as well. It seems that the brake is connected to a cable that pulls on the cars brake? Or is the brake completely in the tow bar?
There is a cable that is installed in the car connecting the brake to a loop out front of the car. You hook that to another cable that is attached to the surge brake built into the ReadyBrute. Car moves forward to trigger the surge brake applying car brakes too.
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Old 08-03-2020, 05:23 PM   #8
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In October 2003
I bought
1. blue ox Aladdin tow bar
2. Brake Buddy classic it was the current model With the break away and alert
3. Jeep Liberty brake light kit
4. 2004 Jeep Liberty baseplate for blue ox
Total in 2004 was $2400 which included install of the baseplate and tail light kit from my RV dealer Meyer's RV in Bath, NY

The Jeep Liberty 4x4 automatic is one of the easiest vehicles you can tow 4 down, no fuses to pull, you just take it out of gear as per the Jeep manual.

It was the best $2400 I spent.
I’m still using the same equipment today

I gave away my new Tow Master tow dolly For $300 I bought a yr earlier. I hated it.
I think I used the tow dolly 3 times. I just hated it.
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Old 08-03-2020, 06:38 PM   #9
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I bought a used tow dolly with surge brakes for $1200 and traveled ~4500 miles with it this summer towing a 2018 VW Golf. It takes about 10 minutes to put the car up on the dolly and tighten down the straps and does not require physical exertion, but I do need to make a stop an hour into travel to re-tighten the straps, and I re-check them every stop.


This being said, I really like the idea of some day moving to a 4-down tow vehicle with an umbilical cord actuating the toad's brakes.
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Old 08-04-2020, 05:08 AM   #10
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Mashmaster-

We have a 2009 Honda Fit Sport. In 2014, I and our mechanic added a baseplate and towbar (Roadmaster), lighting system and permanent braking system (Demco Stay-in-Play Duo) to it, for about $3,000.

You don't say how much of the installation work you expect to do yourself. Figure paying someone else $50 to $100 an hour for labor.

I would be cautious about using the NSA Ready Brute on the Fit. The power brake actuator takes up most of the firewall ahead of the brake pedal. I would think that getting a clear route for the actuator cable may be difficult.

We have towed the Fit over 20,000 miles so far, without problems.
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Old 08-04-2020, 07:35 AM   #11
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Another vote for the Ready Brute Elite for $1,150. That plus a Blue Ox base plate for $495 and you're in business for $1,645 plus tax and shipping. You'll have to add the wiring kit, etc., but that shouldn't cost too much.
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Old 08-04-2020, 10:29 AM   #12
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I bought a used tow dolly with hydrualic brakes and the Mini cooper rides behind us in the RV when we winter in Florida..I have also used it behind my Mini van to rescue a friends car and my son in law has also borrowed it...Kind of like having a pickup truck... always have a friend (in need)...I like the idea that it serves multiple tasks .
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Old 08-04-2020, 11:05 AM   #13
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Mashmaster
I would be cautious about using the NSA Ready Brute on the Fit. The power brake actuator takes up most of the firewall ahead of the brake pedal. I would think that getting a clear route for the actuator cable may be difficult.
Mashmaster may be right but I suggest calling NSA, the Ready Brute manufacturer (620-365-7714) to ask them about installing on the Fit. I called about my Honda Odyssey and a technician spent quite a bit of time on the phone walking me through the details.
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Old 08-07-2020, 08:28 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by l1v3fr33ord1 View Post
Mashmaster-

We have a 2009 Honda Fit Sport. In 2014, I and our mechanic added a baseplate and towbar (Roadmaster), lighting system and permanent braking system (Demco Stay-in-Play Duo) to it, for about $3,000.

You don't say how much of the installation work you expect to do yourself. Figure paying someone else $50 to $100 an hour for labor.

I would be cautious about using the NSA Ready Brute on the Fit. The power brake actuator takes up most of the firewall ahead of the brake pedal. I would think that getting a clear route for the actuator cable may be difficult.

We have towed the Fit over 20,000 miles so far, without problems.
ok, just won an auction for the Stay-in-Play brake system on ebay (missing breakaway switch and fused power lead). Now I need those parts, tow bar, lighting system and baseplate. And I should be good to go. I watched the video to install the Blue Ox baseplate and it looks straight forward. The video showed install on my exact model and year of the car!
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Old 08-07-2020, 12:04 PM   #15
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ok, just won an auction for the Stay-in-Play brake system on ebay (missing breakaway switch and fused power lead). Now I need those parts, tow bar, lighting system and baseplate. And I should be good to go. I watched the video to install the Blue Ox baseplate and it looks straight forward. The video showed install on my exact model and year of the car!
Look on ebay for base plate and towbar, light kits thats where i got mine.
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Old 08-07-2020, 06:13 PM   #16
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When you get to planning how and where to install the Duo, send me a private message with your phone number and a convenient time to call. There is not much room under the Fit's hood, and just a few existing firewall penetrations.

Breakaway switches available from

Esco
126 Kent Street
Elkhart, IN 46514-1740
(800) 456-3726
www.escousa.net

Part number LBS48-16

Order at least two, as they fail in service after a couple of years.
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Old 08-07-2020, 09:15 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by l1v3fr33ord1 View Post
Mashmaster-

When you get to planning how and where to install the Duo, send me a private message with your phone number and a convenient time to call. There is not much room under the Fit's hood, and just a few existing firewall penetrations.

Breakaway switches available from

Esco
126 Kent Street
Elkhart, IN 46514-1740
(800) 456-3726
www.escousa.net

Part number LBS48-16

Order at least two, as they fail in service after a couple of years.
Thanks I will reach out
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Old 08-07-2020, 09:17 PM   #18
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Look on ebay for base plate and towbar, light kits thats where i got mine.
What are people's thoughts on used tow bars?
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Old 08-08-2020, 07:56 AM   #19
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What are people's thoughts on used tow bars?
I bought new on ebay but i don't see anything with a good used bar
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Old 08-08-2020, 09:15 AM   #20
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I bought one on Craigslist and it was in "as new" condition.

You can send a towbar back to BlueOx and they will recondition it like new. They charge different amounts based on the age of the towbar.

A couple of years ago I retired the craigslist BlueOx I had purchased - just to be on the safe side - and bought the exact same model towbar new.
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