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Old 09-17-2019, 05:00 PM   #1
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Blue Ox Ascent vs. Roadmaster Nighthawk Tow Bars

It's time to replace my tow bar, and I'm looking to get one of the newer non-binding models. The two top runners seem to be the Blue Ox Ascent and the Roadmaster Nighthawk - both fairly new tow bars that advertise they are non-binding. They both have aircraft grade aluminum outer assemblies for light weight, and approx the same capacity (8000 lbs for the Roadmaster vs. 7500 for the Blue Ox). My Jeep Grand Cherokee weights about 5000 lbs. so I'd be OK with either. Both will fit my Blue Ox base plate if purchased with the proper connectors.

The Nighthawk features a row of LED lights on either side, and integrated pigtail and emergency cables, but it costs about $250 more. Don't know how practical those lights and integrated cables would be. (Seems like the cables might be easier to connect and/or store if they were NOT integrated into the tow bar.)

Can anyone with either of these two specific tow bars please offer your opinions? ...or anyone who has spent any time comparing the two?

Thanks.
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Old 09-17-2019, 05:10 PM   #2
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My opinion, why pay for fancy lights that are not really needed and will require
maintenance in the future. Furthermore, I am a strong believer in seeing the
safety cables (I have changed to safety chains) in order to continue to determine that the tow bar assembly continues to be safe. Do have Falcon II unit which has performed very well (@100,000 miles).
Regards,
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Old 09-17-2019, 05:17 PM   #3
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I looks at both late last year and ended up going with the Nighthawk. I personally find the lights a questionable feature. They are pretty but I have not found them useful or practical. The integrated cables are nice. I am glad I went with the nighthawk.
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Old 09-17-2019, 06:29 PM   #4
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Blue Ox Ascent vs. Roadmaster Nighthawk Tow Bars

I stopped at the Blue Ox factory this summer and for new good reason, I decided to replace my Aventa II LX with the newer Ascent model. Also had to buy the longer protective cover for the new unit.

The only thing that I did not like is the 7500 lb safety cable that come with the Ascent.

Hereís a comparison of the 7500 vs 10,000 lb cables. Click image for larger version

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Old 09-18-2019, 02:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lass View Post
I stopped at the Blue Ox factory this summer and for new good reason, I decided to replace my Aventa II LX with the newer Ascent model. Also had to buy the longer protective cover for the new unit.

The only thing that I did not like is the 7500 lb safety cable that come with the Ascent.
lass... That's exactly what I would be doing.... going from the Aventa to the Ascent. I am very curious as to how you would compare the two with regard to ease of use. And is the Ascent really non-binding with the car at an angle. The Aventa would always bind up on me unless the car was perfectly straight.

I agree with you on the safety cables. That's quite a difference.

Thanks to everyone who replied. I appreciate it.
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Old 09-20-2019, 02:52 AM   #6
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I have used the Nighthawk for the last 2 years towing a Jeep Wrangler and am very happy with it. The lights on tow bar really light up the area between the MH and towed at night and there is no way another driver would not see them. If you donít tow while itís dark I guess they are not needed. I easily replaced a damaged safety cable,, the only concern I have is if the electric pigtail gets damaged I donít know how easy it would be to replace it but I do like that the safety cables and electric are routed through the tow arms.
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Old 09-20-2019, 06:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aandj View Post
I have used the Nighthawk for the last 2 years towing a Jeep Wrangler and am very happy with it. The lights on tow bar really light up the area between the MH and towed at night and there is no way another driver would not see them. If you don’t tow while it’s dark I guess they are not needed. I easily replaced a damaged safety cable,, the only concern I have is if the electric pigtail gets damaged I don’t know how easy it would be to replace it but I do like that the safety cables and electric are routed through the tow arms.
You could always take one end off the new pigtail and then reattach it. There's usually a set screw in there for that purpose. But I don't know where the LED lights get their power from. Are they perhaps spiced into the pigtail inside the tow bar?

Also, I'm curious about this... When you fold the Nighthawk towbar up against the motorhome with the safety cables and pigtail attached, how easy is it to slide the towbar cover in place, over top of all that stuff?
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Old 09-20-2019, 01:16 PM   #8
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I have the NightHawk and the Roadmaster cover slips on without any problem. It is snug, but all cables and the wiring harness fit in there.
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Old 09-20-2019, 01:30 PM   #9
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Bought a Nighthawk in 2016.
The cover fits fine.
The wiring for the LED's is pretty well hidden. I'm not sure how easy it would be to repair.
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Old 09-20-2019, 06:59 PM   #10
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Thanks to all who replied and answered my questions. Not 100% sure yet whether I'll order the Nighthawk or the Ascent, but at least I have all the information I need to make the decision.

Nighthawk Power Cord Replacement...
On the Nighthawk, as discussed above, the LED lights are internally connected to the pigtail cord, which runs through a channel on the tow bar. For those who were wondering, here is a link to the instructions for replacing that pigtail, if it ever becomes necessary....

https://www.roadmasterinc.com/pdf/85-5720.pdf
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Old 09-20-2019, 07:07 PM   #11
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I think both tow bar systems are very good. It cones down to you fella. I have had two Roadmasters and have had no issue with either set up. I do like the ďspreaderĒ bar that connects the two connection points on the toad that Roadmaster utilizes and Blue Ox does not. Just my opinion.
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