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Old 08-20-2010, 03:44 PM   #1
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Blue Ox Base Plate Failure

One of our Winnebago group members was on his way back home after our August camp out when he experienced a total failure of the base plate on his tow vehicle. When accelerating from a stop he heard a loud bang in the rear of the coach and noticed that his 2008 Ford Escape Hybird was not aligned behind the MH and there was debris on the hood and front of the SUV. When he stopped there was another loud bang and he got out to investigate. The toad was on top of the Blue Ox tow bar and was only attached to the coach by the safety cables and the break away cable had not been pulled. Looking at the front of the Escape he found that the base plate had failed and pulled out through the front of the vehicle. He was able to detach the safety cables and back the toad off of the top of the tow bar. It was checked out and was able to be driven home. He contacted Blue Ox and they are sending him a new tow bar, base plate and towing equipment. They have also agreed to pay for the repairs to the vehicle (~ $1,900.00). The moral to this story is check your tow equipment on a regular basis; this was all fairly new equipment. If this had happened at highway speeds the outcome could have been much worse!
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Old 08-20-2010, 03:49 PM   #2
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A little more explanation of the " base plate had failed " would be helpful to me to understand what happened.

Thanks

Cliff
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Old 08-20-2010, 04:16 PM   #3
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Bill said that it looked as if the welds on the attachment stubs (where the bar attaches) were welded too deep or the metal was week. When he examined the failed plate the area under the welds was rusty and the remainder of the metal behind it was shiny where the metal failed and seperated.
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Old 08-20-2010, 04:29 PM   #4
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I have the Blue Ox base plate installed on a Honda CR-V... There just isn't any way to see the welds. You'd have to pull the front bumper off to get to the base plate.
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Old 08-20-2010, 08:01 PM   #5
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Same thing happened to me. The metal plates broke right at the edges of the welds indicating to me there was too much stress left in the metal after welding. I was able to fix the car myself (it looked a lot worse than it was), and Blue Ox paid for a new baseplate and installation. The baseplate was 4 years old and had about 20,000 miles of towing on it.



I will be inspecting my baseplate at least semi-annually from now on.
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Old 08-21-2010, 09:38 AM   #6
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My base plate did not fail (the car did but that has nothing to do with towing)

But..... The bolts very nearly failed.. Thankfully I checked them in time... The installers do not, as a rule, use products like Locktite and as a result they come loose. One bolt was missing and had to be replaced. One bolt was still tight.. the rest were loose. Thankfully a wrench was then applied and the missing bolt replaced BEFORE towing the next time.

In addition.. I noticed the occurance of the 2nd BANG.

I wonder what brake system he has.. When the welds on the motor home failed my Chevy Lumina stopped right where it would have stopped had they not failed.

US Gear, Unified Brake Decelerator

A "Brake in a box" system like the Brake Buddy or Even brake would NOT have stopped the car till it hit the motor home. The US gear did, M&G would have too as would Air Force one and a host of others, But the box in the driver's seat systems would not have done so.
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:26 AM   #7
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Blue Ox Base Plate Failure

"A "Brake in a box" system like the Brake Buddy or Even brake would NOT have stopped the car till it hit the motor home. The US gear did, M&G would have too as would Air Force one and a host of others, But the box in the driver's seat systems would not have done so."


How do you know that BB would not stop a car without help from the tow vehicle??? Marvh
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