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Shop Install

We just purchased our first Class A motorhome and bought a new Ford Bronco to use as a tow vehicle to pull behind it. With this I needed to get setup for flat towing a Ford Bronco. I wanted a shop to do the install for two reasons. Number one, I am not a fan of drilling or cutting on a brand new vehicle. Number two, this seemed like something left to the professionals. I contacted two shops. The first one could do the work but were booked up till mid May and it would have been completed a day before our Colorado/New Mexico trip. The other I spoke with 3 times and never received a call back.

No Time to Wait

Frustrated, I went ahead and researched and purchased all the components to setup our Bronco. The Bronco also had now hitch setup so I went ahead and ordered what was needed to set it up to be able to pull a trailer also. I didn’t have time to wait so I decided I would be turning a Bronco into a toad.

Trailer Tow Setup

The option from Ford for the trailer tow was nearly $600 so I decided to do it myself. I ordered the Curt 2″ receiver hitch #13493 and Curt #56471 trailer tow lighting kit. The Curt 2″ receiver hitch was very easy to install as it uses 4 existing holes in a rear crossmember on the Bronco and it has the same towing capacities as the factory hitch. I like the Curt #56471 trailer tow lighting kit because it has factory connections to hook to the taillights so no cutting of the factory wiring. The Curt #56471 is for Broncos with standard taillights, you must use Curt #56468 if your Bronco is equipped with LED taillights.

Flat Towing a Ford Bronco
Flat Towing a Ford Bronco
Curt Manufacturing 13493 Fits Ford Bronco*
Curt Manufacturing 13493 Fits Ford Bronco
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CURT 56471 Vehicle-Side Custom 4-Pin Trailer Wiring Harness, Fits Select Ford Bronco, Black*
CURT 56471 Vehicle-Side Custom 4-Pin Trailer Wiring Harness, Fits Select Ford Bronco, Black
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Flat Towing a Ford Bronco – Tow Bar Base Plates

One of the first things needed for flat towing a ford bronco is base plates. Base plates are the connection point on your towed vehicle that allow it to be hooked up by way of a tow bar.

Blue Ox seemed to be one of the most used manufacturers for tow bar setups so I decided to follow the crowd. I ordered the Blue Ox BX2692 custom base plates which are made specifically for flat towing a Ford Bronco. Installation requires removal of the factory recovery hooks and bumpers that was fairly easy to do. We have the steel modular bumper so to remove you take out the four plastic push pins holding the plastic covers around each of the recovery hooks.

Flat Towing a Ford Bronco
Flat Towing a Ford Bronco

After removing the plastic covers, there are 3 bolts in each hook that are removed. Have someone help you because the bumper is free once you remove these. Once the bumper is down there is a single 10mm bolt that holds the hook to the bumper.

Flat Towing a Ford Bronco

After the hook removal, you remove each of the four bolts connecting the mounting plates to the bumper. You have to cut away the metal where the base plates protrude through where the hooks once were. I ended up using metals blades in a jigsaw and cleaning up with a 4 1/2″ grinder. Don’t forget to paint the exposed edges to prevent rust when complete. Reinstall the mounting plates to the bumper once the paint has fully dried.

Flat Towing a Ford Bronco

There is a hole about six inches back on the frame rail that has to be drilled up to 1/2″ on the outside of each. After drilling you insert the baseplate into the frame and install a bolt with nylock nut torqued to the instructions included with the base plates.

Flat Towing a Ford Bronco
Blue Ox BX2692 Custom Tow Bar Base Plate Bracket for Dinghy Towing, Fits Select Ford Bronco*
Blue Ox BX2692 Custom Tow Bar Base Plate Bracket for Dinghy Towing, Fits Select Ford Bronco
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I also installed a break away switch that came with our Brake Buddy 3 Select which I will be installing later. Now with some help, reinstall the bumper over the base plates. You will also need red loctite when installing the bolts.

Flat Towing a Ford Bronco

Flat Towing a Ford Bronco – Wiring & Trailer Hitch Wiring

After the mechanicals were complete I started with the wiring. I do not like to cut into factory wiring so I got the Curt 58996 to wire the Bronco taillights to our motorhome and the Curt #56471 trailer tow lighting kit to wire a 4 pin trailer connector next to the receiver hitch of the Bronco. The two kits have factory matched plugs that you put in line from the factory wiring to the taillights. I did have to drill a hole in the frame near the frame to ground the trailer lighting kit. I also purchased 1/2″ wire loom to run from the back of the Bronco to the engine compartment and also to run from the from bumper to the engine compartment.

I also needed some sort of braking in order to flat tow a Ford Bronco so I went with the Brake Buddy Select 3 which provides proportional braking and also included a wiring plug in to mount under the dash, as well as the breakaway switch, and a 15 amp charger so the coach would keep the battery charged in the Bronco while traveling.

Hopkins 39524 Brake Buddy Select Iii*
Hopkins 39524 Brake Buddy Select Iii
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It was easy to tie into the 12volt system as the Bronco has a power block on the positive battery terminal that had two open locations. One used a M5 nut and the other was slightly larger and needs a M6 nut. Our Newmar Bay Star Sport already came equipped with a 7 blade connector but they do not connect the charge circuit at Newmar (not sure why). They do have an orange and black wire already ran within the wiring harness that stops just short of the plug that also runs up under the dash near the brake pedal. To hook up there is a fuse panel near the drivers seat that had five unused spots on ours so it is as simple as adding a blade connector and putting a 15 amp fuse in the location used.

Blue Ox BX7365 Alpha 6,500lb Tow Bar*
Blue Ox BX7365 Alpha 6,500lb Tow Bar
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Putting the Bronco into flat tow mode is easy. First, get your to setup all hooked up to your coach. In the Bronco, press the ignition button without pushing the brake to go into accessory mode. Press the 2H button on the drive selector. Press and hold the brake and shift into neutral. While continuing to hold the brake, go to the vehicle settings on the dash and select neutral flat tow. You will have to hold the OK until the progress bar completes and then it should say that shifting is taking place after which it will show neutral tow enabled. Leave the Bronco in neutral and press the start button again to turn off the power. All ready to go.

Flat Towing a Ford Bronco

I do like that Ford set it up so every time you open the door to the Bronco, the chimes activate and it displays neutral tow enabled on the dash so you can quickly verify it is still ready during stops.

Blue Ox BX8875 Tow Bar Cover, Black*
Blue Ox BX8875 Tow Bar Cover, Black
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With everything done, we hooked it up for a test drive to see how it pulls. Everyone was right in saying that you don’t even know the Bronco is back there when towing it behind the Newmar. It was a gusty day so I thought this would be the perfect day to see how it performed while being close to home.

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