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Old 01-21-2015, 08:55 AM   #29
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Rob - I'm not sure how much good cables would do in a bad situation. I guess better than nothing. The Sterling All Terrain baseplate on our Honda has these and I'm not sure if this is what you're referring to or not. Have you got a picture of a "sound" configuration.
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Old 01-21-2015, 04:44 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flaggship1 View Post
I'm not sure how much good cables would do in a bad situation. I guess better than nothing.
I know from first hand experience that safety cables can make a BIG difference in a bad situation!

One of my first few trips ever driving a motorhome (my current rig is actually my first) I was being passed by a pickup truck towing a car with a two wheel car dolly. Just as the towed car was even with me, only visible through the side driver window, I saw some movement out of the corner of my eye that didn't look right. I backed off the throttle and let him pass (we were on a divided interstate, me in the right lane, him in the left.)

When he got ahead of me, I could see that the dolly and car being towed was swaying, getting worse with each oscillation. It only took a few seconds until the swaying got so bad, the whole thing broke apart: tow dolly separated from the pickup truck, and the car being towed separated from the dolly. Fortunately, he had good safety cables holding everything together: there was lots of screeching tires and smoke, but the three pieces stayed together, and he was able to get everything from the left lane, pass by in front of me, and get everything safely to a stop on the right shoulder. I was hard on the brakes at that point, and he had enough space in front of me that I was not involved at all. In the end, I'm sure he needed new underwear, but there didn't seem to be significant damage to any of his vehicles.

I doubt it would've been as good an outcome if he didn't have safety cables, and I'm quite sure I would've been involved as well. I'm thankful he had good cables!

I've never towed with a dolly. I know you should have safety cables between the towing vehicle and the dolly, but is it normal to have safety cables between the toad and the dolly? In this case, it was a good think he had them!

Quote:
The Sterling All Terrain baseplate on our Honda has these and I'm not sure if this is what you're referring to or not.
Those are the cables I was mentioning in my previous post that are the cables that go between the removable mount and the base plate. They do not go to the vehicle's frame. They protect against the removable mount separating from the actual baseplate bracket, they don't protect against the baseplate bracket separating from the vehicle. They are needed because your safety cables that come from the motorhome are attached to the removable mount.

When I say the "baseplate bracket" I mean that portion of the baseplate that remains permanently mounted to the toad, and looks like a small square hitch receiver when the removable portion is out.

Quote:
Have you got a picture of a "sound" configuration.
This is the BlueOx "baseplate bracket" on my current truck:

This shows the bracket while the bumper and front fascia is still off of the truck. The back of the bracket has a hole in the lower left corner, which has a 10,000 pound rated quick-link holding a short 10,000 pound rated safety cable that loops up and over the front frame, behind a cross member, and back down to the quick-link (the other end of the safety cable is not really visible in this picture.) This safety cable is permanent and is not removed when the removable portion of the mount is taken out.

The removable portion inserts into the tubular portion of the bracket visible in the lower right corner of the photo. The safety cables from the motorhome clip into the round hole in the flat bracket the extends off the right side of the photo (less than half of the actual hole is visible.) When removing the detachable portion of the mount, there is no short safety cable to remove (like you have) because the safety cables completely bypass the removable portion and attach directly to the fixed portion (which does have permanent cables to the frame.)

Here's a better shot of what the mount looks like with the bumper back in place and the removable portion out. The safety cable tab and hole is clearly visible on the right:

This shows it with the removable portion in place, ready for the tow bar:

And attached is closeup of what it looks like when all hitched up. It's mostly obscured by the towbar connection, but you can see the blue cable coming in from below the towbar, and the grey clip of the cable in the the safety cable hole of the fixed tab.
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Old 01-21-2015, 08:49 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShapeShifter View Post
I know from first hand experience that safety cables can make a BIG difference in a bad situation!

One of my first few trips ever driving a motorhome (my current rig is actually my first) I was being passed by a pickup truck towing a car with a two wheel car dolly. Just as the towed car was even with me, only visible through the side driver window, I saw some movement out of the corner of my eye that didn't look right. I backed off the throttle and let him pass (we were on a divided interstate, me in the right lane, him in the left.)

When he got ahead of me, I could see that the dolly and car being towed was swaying, getting worse with each oscillation. It only took a few seconds until the swaying got so bad, the whole thing broke apart: tow dolly separated from the pickup truck, and the car being towed separated from the dolly. Fortunately, he had good safety cables holding everything together: there was lots of screeching tires and smoke, but the three pieces stayed together, and he was able to get everything from the left lane, pass by in front of me, and get everything safely to a stop on the right shoulder. I was hard on the brakes at that point, and he had enough space in front of me that I was not involved at all. In the end, I'm sure he needed new underwear, but there didn't seem to be significant damage to any of his vehicles.

I doubt it would've been as good an outcome if he didn't have safety cables, and I'm quite sure I would've been involved as well. I'm thankful he had good cables!

I've never towed with a dolly. I know you should have safety cables between the towing vehicle and the dolly, but is it normal to have safety cables between the toad and the dolly? In this case, it was a good think he had them!



Those are the cables I was mentioning in my previous post that are the cables that go between the removable mount and the base plate. They do not go to the vehicle's frame. They protect against the removable mount separating from the actual baseplate bracket, they don't protect against the baseplate bracket separating from the vehicle. They are needed because your safety cables that come from the motorhome are attached to the removable mount.

When I say the "baseplate bracket" I mean that portion of the baseplate that remains permanently mounted to the toad, and looks like a small square hitch receiver when the removable portion is out.


This is the BlueOx "baseplate bracket" on my current truck:

This shows the bracket while the bumper and front fascia is still off of the truck. The back of the bracket has a hole in the lower left corner, which has a 10,000 pound rated quick-link holding a short 10,000 pound rated safety cable that loops up and over the front frame, behind a cross member, and back down to the quick-link (the other end of the safety cable is not really visible in this picture.) This safety cable is permanent and is not removed when the removable portion of the mount is taken out.

The removable portion inserts into the tubular portion of the bracket visible in the lower right corner of the photo. The safety cables from the motorhome clip into the round hole in the flat bracket the extends off the right side of the photo (less than half of the actual hole is visible.) When removing the detachable portion of the mount, there is no short safety cable to remove (like you have) because the safety cables completely bypass the removable portion and attach directly to the fixed portion (which does have permanent cables to the frame.)

Here's a better shot of what the mount looks like with the bumper back in place and the removable portion out. The safety cable tab and hole is clearly visible on the right:

This shows it with the removable portion in place, ready for the tow bar:

And attached is closeup of what it looks like when all hitched up. It's mostly obscured by the towbar connection, but you can see the blue cable coming in from below the towbar, and the grey clip of the cable in the the safety cable hole of the fixed tab.
Using the Roadmaster baseplate for the 2014 CR-V with the Sterling All Terrain, factory front cross member on the CR-V is removed and replaced with what I believe is a sturdier metal cross member with the attachments for the removeable portion of the mount. So it is indeed attached to the frame as much the original cross member was. I don't see that being much of a distinction but OK.

With the 6K capacity of the tow bar - the 3,400 lb car - and Invisibrake - I feel like the car is well enough attached but hope I never find out.
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Old 01-21-2015, 08:56 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Clifftall View Post
My 09 Blue Ox came with two small cables for that purpose.
Same with our RoadMaster brackets, but they're not attached to the Odyssey frame, only to the brackets so if the brackets came off they wouldn't do any good!
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Old 01-21-2015, 08:59 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by flaggship1 View Post
Rob - I'm not sure how much good cables would do in a bad situation. I guess better than nothing. The Sterling All Terrain baseplate on our Honda has these and I'm not sure if this is what you're referring to or not. Have you got a picture of a "sound" configuration.
That's they way our RoadMaster set up is, the "safety cables" just go to the brackets and not to the frame at all.
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Old 01-22-2015, 07:57 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flaggship1 View Post
Using the Roadmaster baseplate for the 2014 CR-V with the Sterling All Terrain, factory front cross member on the CR-V is removed and replaced with what I believe is a sturdier metal cross member with the attachments for the removeable portion of the mount. So it is indeed attached to the frame as much the original cross member was. I don't see that being much of a distinction but OK.
That new cross member might be sturdier than the original one, but you're asking this new one to do a lot more work. The old one just needed to reinforce the frame, help keep it square, and perhaps help distribute front wheel loads. This new one is being asked to do all that, PLUS pull the car along and push sideways on it when it's time to make a turn. Still, the Roadmaster baseplates seem to be very sturdy, so I'm sure it's up to the job.

Quote:
With the 6K capacity of the tow bar - the 3,400 lb car - and Invisibrake - I feel like the car is well enough attached but hope I never find out.
Odds are, you won't run into any problems with it. Safety cables aren't there for normal situations, they are there to help prevent a very bad situation from becoming a horrible situation. May none of us here ever have to find out whether they help or not!

Don't get me wrong, I'm not passing judgement on whether these extra safety cables are essential or not. After all, I towed my last truck for 6.5 years using a Roadmaster baseplate that didn't have those extra cables, and I didn't lose sleep over it (and it weighed almost double what your CRV weighs.) Mostly, I'm just posting my experience using both Roadmaster and BlueOx style baseplates, and the differences between them. I'm also adding my opinions on the reasons why those extra cables are there, but not saying that anyone is right or wrong for having them or not having them.

That being said, having had both Roadmaster and BlueOx baseplates, I would probably go with BlueOx in the future -- not because of the safety cables, but because I really like how easy it is to insert or remove the connector tabs after towing. With the Roadmaster, I had to climb under the truck, reach up under the bumper to insert or pull the hitch pin, and connect or disconnect the safety cable quick-link. With the BlueOx, I just push and twist to insert them, and pull the spring loaded pin then turn and pull to remove them. I barely have to bend over, and it's done in seconds.

But I still like my Roadmaster All-Terrain Blackhawk tow bar over the BlueOx versions. Fortunately, Roadmaster provides adapters: just unbolt the Roasmaster style connector from the tow bar, and bolt on the BlueOx style connector. The best of both worlds: Roadmaster tow bar and BlueOx baseplate - they work well together.
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Old 01-22-2015, 09:14 AM   #35
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^^^^ ShapeShifter..

You've done a excellent job with both your pictures and analysis. Tip Of the hat and two thumps up!
:thumbup: :thumbup:

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Old 01-22-2015, 10:31 AM   #36
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Tip Of the hat and two thumps up!
Why thank you. Thank you very much.

I try to be thorough, I'm sorry if that leads to long posts...
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Old 01-22-2015, 08:07 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by ShapeShifter View Post
Why thank you. Thank you very much.

I try to be thorough, I'm sorry if that leads to long posts...

We work through the long posts. You actually use less words than I would to say the same thing.

I concur with you concerning the cables (Towing vehicle to Towed vehicle). Either a toad, or trailer. Incidentally my previous 5th wheels (3) never had safety cables. I towed approximately 400,000 miles between the 3 5ers with no incident, except for the one time, the breakaway system was pulled in a slo turn. Abrupt stop is an understatement when the towed outweighs the tower by 2:1.

Concerning baseplates coming loose, I only have the experiance of the Blue Ox on my Jeep GC. It is bolted in through the frame and has never loosened ~ 80,000 miles of towing. I like the ease of removing the attachment points of the Blue Ox also.

The baseplate for my GC is mounted similarly to a receiver hitch. The baseplate doesnt have to carry weight, therefore it is under less stress than a hitch that would be towing a trailer. I believe installation is a large factor in reliability.
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Old 02-01-2015, 02:43 PM   #38
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I love this thread. Until now I never really gave much thought to the extra stress a baseplate puts on the vehicle frame. On our last towed (Suzuki XL-7) the frame was a modified truck chassis made of tubular steel. The baseplate attached to the side of the frame which I beefed up with extra steel plates for fitment issues. There were no modifications to the structure of the frame at all.

On our new Honda CRV, the baseplate replaces the bumper cross-member that was an integral part of the vehicle. Not only is the baseplate expected to keep the same structural frame integrity, but it is going to pull on a frame that was basically designed to give strength in case of a front-end collision. While it probably will not happen, I can see a much higher risk of separation in this installation than our last one.

And the lack of safety cables for the baseplate was probably an oversight in the past. (There were none on our 2005 Blue-Ox baseplate.) Towing laws call for a restraint system independent of the towing system to prevent breakaways. Having the towed restraint cables attach to the baseplate really does not comply with this rule. Since, in the Blue-Ox design, the baseplate is part of the towing system. But, adding additional cables attaching the baseplate to the frame must be an acceptable "workaround" to comply with the separate restraint law.

Thanks to everyone for a very interesting discussion. You all made me think. And that is a good thing. I know my new toad will also have a braking system as well. I have waited far too long to consider that a necessary part of towing.
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Old 02-01-2015, 10:27 PM   #39
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I installed a Blue Ox base plate 2 years ago on a Toyota FJ Cruiser, it came with the cables, I used Locktite Red and forgot the cables, there is no way this base plate can fall off, I don't know this to be fact but many companies get advice from there legal advisors and this looks like one of those, you can buy a trailer hitch and bolt it on and what about that?, just my 2 cents
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Old 02-02-2015, 05:33 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Topman View Post
The only way the baseplate on our towed car would come off is by ripping the whole front off the car.

Has anyone heard of this or has my friend been misinformed?

Thanks, Iver.
As a matter of act yes, 1.5 times I have heard of it.. There is or just was an active thread here in the forums about a Chevy Equanox where exactly that happened, the entire front clip came off,, Folks are yammering about "Improper installation" but the entire front end came off.

And the Half was my 1992 Lumina APV,, I sensed something wrong, Checked everything I knew to check, went to a professional, he (logically) knew more than I and found that the front end was ABOUT to come off.

So yes, I've heard of it.

Oh, the base plate to frame,, Do not know if it is a requirement of law or not but my NEW towed has those chains. They are "Insivible" as far as what I need to do with them (You can see them if you look, but that's all, no maintenance other than checking the bolts, along with the other bolts, cause some installers never heard of Loctite RED (Specified as something you should use by Blue OX at least).
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