How Rigid A-frame Tow Bars Work

Installing Rigid A-frame Tow Bars
Rigid A-frame tow bars are a good option for vacationers.
Rigid A-frame tow bars are a good option for vacationers.
Tim McCaig/

­Though A-frame tow bars are the lightest and cheapest towing eq­uipment options on the market, they still must be properly installed. Often, the safest and surest way of installing rigid A-frame tow bars is to take the towing equipment and vehicle to a professional. Here are the tools you or the mechanic will need:


  • Receiver hitch
  • Tow bar
  • Safety cables
  • Wiring kit
  • Baseplate for the towed vehicle

The baseplate is one of the most important pieces because it's specific to the car being towed and bolts to the car frame. Though it's customized to fit certain cars, some adjustments may be necessary, such as cutting the bumper or drilling holes in the frame. The baseplate comes with all the hardware necessary to bolt it to a secure place on the tow vehicle. Safety cables act as a backup mechanism in case the car becomes separated from the motor home. One end attaches to the car and the other to the motor home.

The wiring kit allows the running lights, tail lights, brake lights and turning signals of the car being towed to operate in conjunction with the motor home lights. If you're using an A-frame tow bar because you don't tow your vehicle very often, temporary kits are available that attach the lights with straps or wires. There are more permanent ways of wiring the car's lights to the motor home's lights if you tow more frequently.

For more information on rigid A-frame tow bars, please see the links on the following page.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles

More Great Links


  • Polk, Mark J., Explorer RV Insurance. "Dinghy Towing 101." (10/14/2008)
  • (10/14/2008)
  • Walczak, Jim,"Towing Four Wheels Down." (10/14/2008)

More to Explore