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Old 09-20-2013, 01:33 PM   #15
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I said I put my e brake on only if it is a downhill hookup. But I allways pull ahead to lock bars if they are not already locked and then proceed a few feet and get out and do another physical check again regardless if bars are locked or not. I double check everything.

Havng had one incident with a bar coming free in heavy traffic at high speed I just like to double check everything before I get on the highway. It works for me.
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Old 09-20-2013, 02:01 PM   #16
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Slightly different approach. Hook up towbar, safety cables, lights, etc. then release emergency brake (assuming level ground) push car rearward and watch for one locking lever to pop up. Turn wheel toward lever that didn't pop up. All the time the wife is in the driver's seat of the coach. Then I move out to the side where she can see me in the mirrors (she's also watching me in the camera) and she slowly pulls forward while I watch for the arm to pop up. She continues to roll slowly forward while I check for all 4 tires rolling. Then we check brake lights and turn signals. By doing it that way I KNOW that the arms are locked. Takes about 10 feet of travel. Slightly more complicated if everything isn't level----have to use use emergency brake to keep the car from rolling.
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Old 09-20-2013, 02:07 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post
Gents,
We've had two different style locking tow bars. One, the Stowmaster 5000 and, at present, the Blue Ox Aladdin. Neither of which has ever presented any issues for locking. About 99.99% of the time, we're level with both toad and coach during hookup. The procedure I have used for several years is simple and, has worked every single time, without fail.

All we do is, hook everything up, tow bar, cables, pigtail, and Ready Brake and then, do a light check. When all is done and ready, we get into the coach, fire it and, as I start to pull off, I watch the rear view monitor. I do a semi-sharp turn to the left, then one to the right. That puts individual tension on each arm, independently. When that happens, the locks have no choice but to lock. That is of course unless one of them has a malfunction. I check a lube them on a regular basis and the locking mechanisms are always in fine shape.

That procedure has never failed. Trying to lock a tow bar by hand is many times, futile. The reason is, as you all know, both arms are the exact same length. If the toad is off or, turned in the slightest amount, only the "Long" arm will lock. And the long arm is the one that would be on the "outside" of the turn. So, that's why the method I use creates a "turn", within only a few feet from take off. Just some info here, if it helps, fine, if not, no biggie.
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Thanks Scott, your method sounds great. I'll give it a try. RB
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Old 09-28-2013, 01:04 PM   #18
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[All we do is, hook everything up, tow bar, cables, pigtail, and Ready Brake and then, do a light check. When all is done and ready, we get into the coach, fire it and, as I start to pull off, I watch the rear view monitor. I do a semi-sharp turn to the left, then one to the right. That puts individual tension on each arm, independently. When that happens, the locks have no choice but to lock.]

We use same process that FIRE UP uses; not had any problems -- just need to be gentle with the toad first 50 feet or so. \ken
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Old 09-28-2013, 01:23 PM   #19
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Our hookup procedure goes like this: When the tow bar is hooked up, back up the towed car until (usually) one lever pops up. Then turn the steering wheel a half turn towards the UNLOCKED lever. Then drive the MH forward and the lever will almost immediately pop up. Both levers should then remain locked all the time we are towing.
X2!! Here is a good video - I watched it several times when I first started towing!! Blue Ox Towing PART2-Towing_Hookup.wmv - YouTube
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Old 09-28-2013, 06:44 PM   #20
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On my tow bars (Which are the same make and brand as yours) you hook up with the arms partially extended, Point the wheels of the towed in the direction of travel (Or close to it) and drive the motor home forward slowly. If you are going downhill and have brakes you can control from the MH on the towed (US-Gear Unified Brake Decelerator) set 'em. Other wise, when the motor home starts pulling the towed you may well feel the arms reach the limit of extension.

At this point the latches should lock into place. Automatically.

Make sure NOTHING is pressing down on the release levers though, if there is anything affecting their ability to rise. they can not lock.
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Old 09-28-2013, 10:00 PM   #21
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On my tow bars (Which are the same make and brand as yours) you hook up with the arms partially extended, Point the wheels of the towed in the direction of travel (Or close to it) and drive the motor home forward slowly. If you are going downhill and have brakes you can control from the MH on the towed (US-Gear Unified Brake Decelerator) set 'em. Other wise, when the motor home starts pulling the towed you may well feel the arms reach the limit of extension. At this point the latches should lock into place. Automatically. Make sure NOTHING is pressing down on the release levers though, if there is anything affecting their ability to rise. they can not lock.
Thank you for the reply. I understand how to lock the arms but my confusion was when I would stop along the trip I checked the release levers and one or both would move up and down. I thought that they should be locked at all times. Went back to the dealer and he said if you have pressure towards the coach they will not move up and down or if the pressure is away from the coach they will move up and down. Does that make sense? This was my first trip so I just wasn't sure. :-(
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Old 09-28-2013, 10:11 PM   #22
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Thank you for the reply. I understand how to lock the arms but my confusion was when I would stop along the trip I checked the release levers and one or both would move up and down. I thought that they should be locked at all times. Went back to the dealer and he said if you have pressure towards the coach they will not move up and down or if the pressure is away from the coach they will move up and down. Does that make sense? This was my first trip so I just wasn't sure. :-(

Yes, that makes perfect sense, however when you stopped were you on level ground with no pressure on one or both locks? If so then the lever will freely move up and down. It's locked, but since no pressure on the arm it will move freely.

Try the levers when you have nothing on the tow bar. That is what it will feel like when you are perfectly level without pressure on the arm.
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Old 09-28-2013, 10:16 PM   #23
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I understand how to lock the arms but my confusion was when I would stop along the trip I checked the release levers and one or both would move up and down. I thought that they should be locked at all times. Went back to the dealer and he said if you have pressure towards the coach they will not move up and down or if the pressure is away from the coach they will move up and down. Does that make sense? This was my first trip so I just wasn't sure.
The dealer is correct.

If those lock release arms do not move you are in deep dodo. That's how you release the locked arm so you can unhook the tow bar.

When you are not level or flat or possibly you stopped cockeyed in anyway those release arms will NOT move. When that happens get out the sledge. It's happened to me a number of times when stopping so now I am very careful about where I choose to stop and unhook.

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Old 09-29-2013, 08:17 AM   #24
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Went back to the dealer and he said if you have pressure towards the coach they will not move up and down or if the pressure is away from the coach they will move up and down. Does that make sense? This was my first trip so I just wasn't sure. :-(

Absolutly makes sense.. When the arms are FULLY EXTENDED the locks slide/snap/jump (Whatever you wish to call it) into place and lock the bar.

Thus when the towed is pulling back, the locks HAVE to be free to move.. The arm is still locked however.


Oh, one other thing.. normally when hooking up I will push the car (By hand) to lock at least one bar... This has more to do with making sure it's in neutral than locking the bars.. but then I'm more than 10% of the weight of the car and shrinking fast. (The shrinking however is due to a medical problem .. As the problem (Congestive heart failure) is corrected I'm pissing out about 5 pounds of water per day more than I'm taking in).
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Old 09-29-2013, 11:47 AM   #25
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Thank you all for your replies. This is the best place to get an answer to get answers from those that have the same issues.
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Old 09-30-2013, 05:52 AM   #26
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Okay, I know that they should be locked or there is a problem somewhere but my question is on "how" to lock the Blue Ox Aventa LX. I recently purchased one had everything is installed for towing but we have not towed yet.

Previously we had a Demco and the procedure was to hook everything up then back the TOAD up carefully until the lock rings snapped in place. If one did not lock, turn the steering wheel in that direrection and back up again. That usually would lock the other one.

Can the same procedure be used for the Blue Ox, or is it mandatory that the MH be pulled ahead to lock the system?
We use the procedure you describe. I watch the levers while DW backs the toad. I have tried pulling the MH forward, but I feel backing the toad is more reliable because I'm standing right there to see and hear both levers lock.
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Old 09-30-2013, 09:44 PM   #27
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Attach the drawbars to the base plate while keeping the toad in neutral and if possible, with the E brake off. Once everything is attached, use your leg against the bumper or your hands on the hood and push the toad back until the arms lock in position. If only one arm locks, release it and push the toad forward just a bit, then turn the toad wheels slightly to the left if the right arm failed to lock and vise versa for the left arm, and again push back on the toad until both arms lock.

Dan
This is my procedure also, except I use the toad power in reverse to let the arms lock.

If doing this alone, a velcro strap or bungee can be used to hold down the one lever that previously locked so that you can move the toad forward for another attempt to lock both arms at once.

After doing this for a while, you'll get good at guessing how to turn the toad steering wheel to make both arms lock at the same time.

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Old 10-15-2013, 11:18 AM   #28
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Blue Ox Service is the BEST!

I was recently in Michigan at a relatives home. We drove to Michigan Adventure (180 miles) towing our Jeep. While in Muskegon, we were doing a short drive and noticed that one of the locking levers on our Blue Ox Alladin would not stay up. This occurred on Labor Day weekend and no rv repair shops were open for service.

I was able to wedge a 2 x 2 piece of lumber across the "V" to hold up the locking lever which was broken. Duct tape held it firmly in place and we drove back to our relatives home without incident.

On Tuesday I contacted Blue Ox by email and almost immediately received a phone call from Blue Ox customer service. She called my attention to the parts blow up in my owners manual and asked me if I was handy with repairs (which I am). She sent the correct parts via priority mail at NO CHARGE and called my attention to a video on their website with instructions on how to insert the new spring and other parts.

Actually, when I opened up the case, the old spring was bent, not broken. It was a little tricky to install without a spring insertion tool which Blue Ox sells but I was soon done and back in business.

I cannot express enough appreciation to Blue Ox. They are the best!
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