This page shows MY personal design and build of the baseplate and tow bar that was needed to tow our 2000 Miata NB (1999 - 2005) for 35,000 miles behind our RV.


This page is intended to show what I did to flat/4-down tow my
2000 Miata 5-speed transmission car.
Because your results
may be different, I will neither assume nor accept any responsibility
for any actions taken by others as a result of what you see here.

In MY opinion, ONLY Miata MANUAL transmission cars
are towable with the rear wheels on the ground. I have
had great success towing both a Miata manual 5-speed
and a Miata manual 6-speed car.

Under NO circumstances should Automatic Transmission
Miatas be towed with the rear wheels on the ground.

NO ONE makes a driveshaft disconnect and NO ONE makes a
transmission pump for any automatic transmission Miata.

For pictures of MY installation of the Roadmaster
baseplate and brackets to our Miata NC (2006 - 2011)

Towing our 2000 (5-speed manual transmission) Miata

Besides taking the driving load off of our Suburban and Mustang, the reason that we bought a Miata was to tow behind our RV.

Many owners and others say that the 5-speed manual transmission Miata cannot be towed with the rear wheels on the ground because the transmission will be under lubricated and will "burn up".

I had seen 2 Miatas being towed and talked with one of the owners. One had towed his Miata for over 50,000 miles without any of the "serious damage" that most naysayers talk about.

I started with the Installation Manual for a Blue Ox brand attachment bar and built my own tow bar and grille mount bar. For the grille bar mounting to the Miata chassis, I used 1/2" steel plates. For the tow bar, I used 1 inch square steel tubing and .25 inch plate to reinforce the corners.

I purchased the hitch and handle, 1/2 inch latching pins, and steel cables as "safety chains". I already had the 1 inch square steel tubing, steel plates, Oilite bushings, and all Grade 8 nuts and bolts.

Here are some pictures showing some detail of the assembly.

One of the trickiest parts was modifying the 3-wire electrical output of the TOW vehicle tail lights and brake lights to work with the 4-wire system Tail, turn, and brake light systems of the Miata.

This feat was accomplished with the help of 3 relays. The Miata lights are powered by the Miata's electrical system.

Time and towing will tell if the naysayers were right and damage occurs.

Stay tuned........

This 1/2 inch steel plate bolts in place of the tie-down loops with Grade 8 hardware

The grille crossbar is bolted to the mounting plates with 1/2 inch grade 8 bolts & nuts.
All bolting points are braced with steel bushings inside the square tubing to prevent crushing.
Jam nuts keep everything tight

The tow bar is held to the grille crossbar by 1/2 inch Grade 5 pins
with latching bails. Oilite bronze bushings spread the load

Although not readily apparent, when bolted in place in the grille, the angle
of the 4 grille cross bar attachment tubes is designed
to provide a
"straight line" of pull between the grille cross bar and the the hitch ball.

Showing all of the tow bar pieces except
the electrical cable and the safety cables

3 realys convert the towed vehicle's 3 wire output
to the Miata's 4 wire tail, turn, and brake light circuits

With the flip of a switch, the Miata lighting can be powered by
the tow vehicle or by the Miata's own electrical system

Here is a low-level view of the installation

Steel cables wrap around the sway bar mount on each
side and provide tie points for safety chains/cables.

The open square tubes have been capped to keep the weather out.

Here is a view, looking down, from 5 feet in front of the Miata
The installation is nearly invisible

NO non-reversable modifications (drilling or welding) have been
made to the Miata's chassis, electrical, or mechanical systems.


UPDATE - 7/14/06

The Miata has not yet been towed behind the RV, but has been towed twice (once for 150 miles and once for over 300 miles) behind our Suburban.

None of the ill effects or extreme damage to the car (eg. burning up the transmission and/or rear end) that was predicted by the Miata towing naysayers has occurred.

This works for me.

I have recently added a Miata Bra to the front.
This should help to reduce damage to the paint
caused by objects thrown up by the RV dual wheels.

A trunk mounted luggage rack was also added to the
rear. This will carry all of the souvenirs, chairs, and
the cooler that
will not fit into the trunk.


ANOTHER UPDATE - 10/01/2006

We have just returned from a 20 day, 2,800 mile, trip towing the Miata behind the RV.

Our trip took us from Dallas to Kansas City, to Lincoln & Omaha, to Scotts Bluff, to Cheyenne, to Denver, to Colorado Springs, to Durango, to Albuquerque, through Lubbock to Abilene, and back to Dallas.

The towing of the Miata behind the RV went FLAWLESSLY ! Except for constantly seeing it in the rear-view camera, I literally didn't know it was back there.

Pulling the extra 2,500 pounds of the Miata lowered our normal RV MPG from 11.5 down to 10.5.

The shortest daily tow was about 60 miles, the longest daily tow was about 300 miles.

We unhooked and drove the Miata on sidetrips nearly every day. The shortest sidetrip was about 20 miles and the longest sidetrip was about 220 miles.

Since our return, I have driven the Miata over 250 miles. I have not observed any unusual or unexpected noises, grinds, whines, bumps, or rumbles. Nothing that wasn't there before the towing or while we were on our sidetrips.

Because we spent many of our sidetrip miles with the top down (including Pikes Peak), we received SEVERAL favorable comments about our classy ride from other RVers as they climbed in or out of their Saturns and Jeeps.

For ME, I will continue to tow my Miata behind my RV until either I see everything that I want to see in this wonderful country OR something in the Miata gives up.

If that happens, I'll get another Miata and start all over again.

This works for me.


States & Provinces in which we've RVed

UPDATE ! September, 2010 - I have now towed the Miata OVER 30,000 miles
with absolutely NO damage to the Miata or to the RV.

UPDATE 2 ! January 2011 - I have now towed the Miata OVER 35,000 miles
with absolutely NO damage to the Miata or to the RV.

To those of you seeing this page for the first time.

When I built my tow bar and attachment plate in May/06, I knew of only ONE attachment plate and tow bar available for the Miata and I didn't want to pay $1,500 for it.

I now have a BUNCH of information and several more sources for towing equipment and will share those with you.

In the past 6 years, I have helped more than a 20 Miata owners get hooked up to tow their Miatas. Two of them bought Miatas specifically to tow.

If asked, I also have recommendations to help you get started in the right direction.

Feel free to contact me at the email address below.

Email me for more information