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Old 06-29-2016, 08:01 AM   #1
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Blue Ox aluminum tow bar dangerous

One of the pivot hinges on my Blue Ox Aladdin tow bar came close to breaking before I noticed the wear. The problem as I pointed out to the company is that its aluminum construction is simply not strong enough. This is the type of hitch that stays with the motor home rather than the toad. Instead of a ball, it uses two pivots - vertical and horizontal - to allow movement. Because they are aluminum, the pivot bolt holes become elongated allowing the bolt to move from side to side causing the bolt head and nut to dig into the aluminum yoke. When I pointed out this defect to Blue Ox they said three things. First, they said it was because I failed to service the pivots. But their instructions say that the pivots do not need servicing. Second they said I must have towed a vehicle heavier than the 7500 lb capacity. But I tow a 3700 lb Jeep. Moreover, I have never seen a toad in use that weighs more than 7500 lbs nor do I think Blue Ox makes a base plate for such a vehicle. Finally, they said they redesigned the Aladdin tow bar in 2011 but failed to indicate how the redesign would have solved this problem. I ordered a new steel replacement hitch attachment from etrailer which I hope will eliminate this design defect.
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Old 06-29-2016, 08:05 AM   #2
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sheesh... what do they think you are towing? a tank?

I agree, steel is the way to go.
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Old 06-29-2016, 08:00 PM   #3
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I use a ReadyBrute Elite which is aluminum. So far after 3 years no problems. It's rated for 8000lbs if I remember right.
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Old 06-29-2016, 08:04 PM   #4
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The OP is not the first one to report that breakage with a Blue Ox. I'm going to stick with our RoadMaster Sterling!
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Old 06-29-2016, 08:31 PM   #5
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Here's my tale of a cracked Blue Ox tow bar:

Blue Ox tow bar cracked at 65mph!

I'm actually going to be at the factory next week for them to look at my non-working TruCenter and refurbish my Tow Bar.
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Old 07-03-2016, 06:53 AM   #6
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I'm glad I have my Demco Excalibar (all steel) now. I had looked at the aluminum bars that are out there since they are lighter in weight. Just didn't like how most looked.
I did put new seals and boots on it for under $50 this winter. No bad for a 12yr old tow bar. Keep it clean and covered when not in use.
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Old 07-03-2016, 07:27 AM   #7
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Similar story here. Sent my Aladdin back to Blue ox for yearly refurb. They wouldn't service it, and instead gave me a $150 credit off msrp towards an Avail. Pretty much makes it same price as new off of amazon. I was less than thrilled, but I must say that I like the avail tons better. The arms will not bind no matter the angle. As much as I wanted to switch brands, it was just easier to stay blue ox as that is my base plate. Btw I tow a grand Cherokee approx 5200 lbs.
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Old 07-05-2016, 10:20 AM   #8
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Well,
We've got around 5 years and close to 20,000 miles on our Blue Ox Aladdin. Iv'e had it completely apart and, there were no signs of either wear or, potential breakage. We tow our 4,400 lb. 2003 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon with it and, it's been working flawless. I've been a welder for oh, about 35-40 years and, done lot's of Aluminum and, I check that thing out on a regular basis.

While at the Grand National Winnebago-Itasca event in Forest City Iowa in 2014, I'm pretty sure I saw no less than 150-200 Aluminum Aladdins in service and, even the Blue Ox tech was saying that it's been a great product for them so far. So, not sure what to say but, it's been working.
Scott
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Old 07-06-2016, 06:34 AM   #9
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Scott,

That is kind of funny. I had my Aladdin serviced at Tampa last year, and the mobile tech told me all was well. Since the service I put maybe 10-11000 miles on it. It felt a little loose, so I decided to send it back to Blue Ox headquarters because I had several more trips planned before the next rally. When they received it, they called me and told me that the unit was not serviceable. Needless to say, I wasn't happy. The unit went from fine at the rally to trash in 10K miles. Makes you wonder?
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Old 07-06-2016, 10:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Scott,

That is kind of funny. I had my Aladdin serviced at Tampa last year, and the mobile tech told me all was well. Since the service I put maybe 10-11000 miles on it. It felt a little loose, so I decided to send it back to Blue Ox headquarters because I had several more trips planned before the next rally. When they received it, they called me and told me that the unit was not serviceable. Needless to say, I wasn't happy. The unit went from fine at the rally to trash in 10K miles. Makes you wonder?
Cbones,
Yes Sir, things can go bad, even when not expected. I'm not saying that the Aladdin is infallible. I'm just saying that ours, for however old it is, (it was purchased off ebay for a great price) has been of great service for the life we've used it so far. That doesn't mean it won't show damage or, severe issues tomorrow morning, who knows? I've had both our Blue Ox bars apart, the Aladdin and the Aventa II. Neither one showed any signs of fatigue. And I even got the magnifying glass out on all the welds.
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Old 07-11-2016, 06:04 AM   #11
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And I even got the magnifying glass out on all the welds.
X-Ray eyes?
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Old 07-12-2016, 07:18 PM   #12
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aladin

Going on my first trip next week with my new Blue Ox Aladin tow bar towing a 1800 lb Smart for2. Should I expect wear in the bar with a car this light.
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Old 07-13-2016, 04:38 AM   #13
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I would expect almost no wear with a smart car. I used to pull a Toyota Camry (approx. 3000 lbs) for almost 60K miles, and the Aladdin held up totally fine. I did not have any issues until I started towing my Grand Cherokee (5200 lbs). You won't even know the Smart car is behind you, but I would still use a braking system.
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Old 07-13-2016, 05:08 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post
Well,
We've got around 5 years and close to 20,000 miles on our Blue Ox Aladdin. Iv'e had it completely apart and, there were no signs of either wear or, potential breakage. We tow our 4,400 lb. 2003 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon with it and, it's been working flawless. I've been a welder for oh, about 35-40 years and, done lot's of Aluminum and, I check that thing out on a regular basis.

Scott
This was my experience except I towed a Toyota Camry, and then a Chrysler Town and Country for 43,000 +miles over many years with the Adladdin. I would probably still be using it if I hadn't lost it when my coach burnt to the ground with it attached.
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