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Old 07-13-2016, 06:33 AM   #15
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Wow, I agree that is a flimsy answer from a company that supposedly makes heavy duty stuff. I am on my second Aventa 10K tow bar and it will certainly be the last based on this response. We used our first one for about 5 years and many miles and Blue Ox suggested a total rebuild or replacement due to wear at a rally. Since they were offering special rally pricing and a decent trade in allowance, I decided to just get the new one. It was an improved design. That one is now about 5 years old and was serviced/checked by Blue Ox 2 years ago at another rally. They said nothing about having to replace it every 5 - 10 years.


On edit: Blue Ox offered $350 allowance for my 5 yr old Aventa when I purchased the new one at the rally.
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Old 07-13-2016, 06:41 AM   #16
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Wow, a whole 150 bux. I am not impressed
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Old 07-13-2016, 07:03 AM   #17
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Blue Ox breaks on interstate

Quote:
Originally Posted by RBowman View Post
Thanks for everyone's input. I did get a final ruling from Blue Ox. I was straightforward with them regarding the estimated mileage and usage. I probably have 40-50K on the 2012 tow bar. It was sold as a NASCAR promo towbar used in some function for NASCAR. Their take is that NASCAR put so much wear and tear on it during the 6-12 months that they used what appeared to me to be a nearly new towbar when I bought it, that the steel fatigued and broke. They conceded that even when running a 5000lb vehicle on a 10000lb towbar that I must replace the towbar every 5-10 years or 100K miles to prevent fatigue failure. They offered $150 off the suggested $895 cost of another aventa at a blue ox dealer or for about $550, two new aventa arms.
I liked the function and reluctantly picked up another lightly used aventa LX 10K towbar online for $500 w shipping and hope to get a hefty fixed steel towbar welded up this winter when time allows.
Thanks again for all the thoughts and suggestions!

A couple of thoughts from my point of view after reading this string:

If the tow bar was sold as a special promo Blue Ox should have marked it as such.

"5-10 years or 100k replacement", WOW that is troubling, I bet half the tow bars in use today fit that criteria. I wonder what Roadmaster or Demco stay about that?

When running down the road I leave the rear view camera on all the time and have added checking it to my mirror scan routine, that is not to say I would have noticed the problem earlier, but maybe. Years ago I had a problem with a tow bar arm getting jammed before it was fully extended so the toad was tracking off center, I eventually spotted it before any damage was done.

Towing 5k, by law, requires a supplemental braking system in many states/provinces, that would reduce the fatigue on the bar.

Most break away systems are not set up to trigger unless the safety chains also fail.

You never know what you are going to get purchasing a used tow bar. For example was it used to back up the toad, thus stressing the tow arms? I think Blue Ox could have been a little more generous with their offer, after all they have skin in this game too, but IMHO once burned, twice shy, I would go with new in the future.

If you go to any of the national RV rallies Blue Ox and Roadmaster (and maybe other manufacturers) have teams on site doing inspections, many of which are free or at a low cost, I wonder if they would have spotted this? As stated above, they also offer special rally pricing.

Brakes, tires and now tow bars are high on my priority list, any of them can ruin your day REALLY fast, pretty much all the rest, you can coast to a stop and resolve.
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Old 07-13-2016, 08:53 AM   #18
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Get yourself the NSA ReadyBrute towbars! Rated at 8000 lbs. I've never heard of one breaking!
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Old 07-13-2016, 10:11 AM   #19
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Joe, this is the first STEEL Blue Ox I've heard of breaking. That's why I'm floored by their casual approach to the incident...

On the surface, it seems like a pretty isolated incident. I would have thought they'd just replace it, as an excuse to get the failed one back for further study, possibly allowing for a reinforced design. Now wondering....
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Old 07-13-2016, 10:23 AM   #20
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I have been wondering if he did not have an unobserved Jeep head shake problem. He did not have his camera on and proclaimed he is a "fast" driver. Another possibility is the failed bar did not lock on that side, I had that happen but noticed it in camera first turn I made. Probably totally my error, second time I had hooked the car up
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Old 07-13-2016, 11:06 AM   #21
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I bought a used Falcon II tow bar 7 years ago. It has served me well but I can see some wear. Not like it used to be. So I guess I will probably get another Falcon II or equivalent. I have not heard of any of them breaking.

Use the Vantage select braking system.
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Old 07-13-2016, 07:17 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greystroke View Post
I bought a used Falcon II tow bar 7 years ago. It has served me well but I can see some wear. Not like it used to be. So I guess I will probably get another Falcon II or equivalent. I have not heard of any of them breaking.

Use the Vantage select braking system.

Go to the next major rally (FMCA, IRV2, etc.) and have Roadmaster rebuild it. If they think it is beyond repair they offer a replacement at a greatly reduced price, I know I did it at Perry in March.
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Old 07-13-2016, 07:35 PM   #23
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Is there a relationship between reports of Jeep shimmy and this tow bar failure?
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Old 07-13-2016, 08:51 PM   #24
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Quote:
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Go to the next major rally (FMCA, IRV2, etc.) and have Roadmaster rebuild it. If they think it is beyond repair they offer a replacement at a greatly reduced price, I know I did it at Perry in March.
Thanks
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Old 07-13-2016, 08:57 PM   #25
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Was your Blue Ox tow bar serviced annually as required? It must be rebuilt per Blue Ox schedule too.
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Old 07-13-2016, 09:51 PM   #26
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blue ox

I wanted to post a comment on a final surprise interaction with Blue Ox and answer a few of the above careful observations some of you made in your posts. Very true that I routinely run with the cruise above 7mph over the limit and sometimes roll faster downhill if I'm not paying attention. I have the metric equivalent of 34's on the jeep. While there is no obvious shimmy, I'm sure there could be some. The bar was locked up to at least the last toll in the trip about 15 miles earlier. I had turned on my camera briefly because I was in the far right toll line and the merged left exiting the booth. I wanted to be sure the jeep didn't clip the concrete barrier on my rapid merge towards the left. Also, I checked the bolts yearly and kept everything tight. I lubed the arms under the boots with lithium grease yearly, but I never have had Blue Ox or anyone else service the 2012 tow bar. I honestly didn't know that yearly service is a necessity. I appreciate all the insightful and candid comments.
After I spoke with Blue Ox yesterday, I had thought my discussion with them was over. To my surprise, I received a call today from Blue Ox. It was from a different customer service representative than the one who spoke with me yesterday. I did speak with this individual a couple days ago and had sent pics to him as well as to a general company email. This representative indicated that his boss reviewed the pictures and determined that the steel tow bar should not have failed in this manner and authorized a free replacement tow bar. I was thankful and surprised. As a business owner, I am impressed with the professional manner in which both of the gentleman demonstrated on the phone and via email with me. It's been a learning experience for me, and I've come to the conclusion that more meticulous inspection and servicing of tow bars is necessary regardless of the weight rating of the tow bar relative to the tow vehicle, and while I will definitely make sure I have a set of heavy duty safety cables in case of failure and some toad brakes for the jeep may be in order, I am impressed with the customer service department at Blue Ox. They did this without me having to ask for a manager, raise my voice, or do anything that would encourage them to send a replacement just to make me go away. It's nice to see a company stand by the customer even if the failure of the product is well outside of the warranty period.
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Old 07-13-2016, 10:17 PM   #27
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Good to hear the update of the outcome. It's the right thing for BO to do, IMHO.
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Old 07-14-2016, 02:59 AM   #28
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Thanks for the update and kind words to a deserving Company. Glad it all worked out.
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