Originally Posted by slabman
I have developed a lot of "play" in the ball/casting interface of this towbar. I was told this was a sign of failure in this portion of the towbar and wonder of others have experienced the same thing?
Has Blue Ox issued a recall or service bulletin on this model?
I bought one of the first Alexus tow bars when they first came out several years ago. This tow bar is now called the Advanta LX.
Within a few months, my Alexus tow bar developed play in the ball as you describe. I showed the tow bar to a Blue Ox representative while attending an RV seminar. He contacted the factory for me, and they completely replaced my tow bar.
The factory told me the ball is completely captured within the housing, and as long as the bolts that hold the housing together are tight, the tow bar can not fail completely. Even though they said it was not a safety issue, and even though the tow bar could have been repaired, they replaced it completely since it was less than a year old. The replacement tow bar is now almost 4 years old, and it's starting to get loose.
The bronze ball within the housing is made up of 2 pieces with a wave spring between the halves of the ball. If the wave spring wears or cracks, the ball can become loose within the housing. The tow bar will tend to flop around when you're trying to hitch up or stow the tow bar, but Blue Ox told me it is not unsafe.
The wave spring can be replaced. You can get the parts from Blue Ox and do it yourself or send the tow bar back to Blue Ox for a rebuild. There is no need to replace the tow bar unless there are other problems like bent components.