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Old 09-24-2015, 10:33 AM   #1
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Blue Ox rig

While traveling for the past three months, I've noticed that when I stop and check the Blue Ox tow rig, one or both of the levers are not locked and the bar (s) are disengaged to allow free movement.

Is this common with the Blue Ox tow bar or should both the bars always be locked in place, until I press the handle and disengage them myself?
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Old 09-24-2015, 12:10 PM   #2
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What model tow bar do you have and how old is it? Sounds like it may be time to send it to Blueox for a rebuild. Both levers should be locked. Give Blueox a call, nothing like asking the guy who built it.
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Old 09-24-2015, 01:46 PM   #3
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Check this video. He addresses that issue.

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Old 09-25-2015, 09:15 AM   #4
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Blue Ox Alladin

My thanks to each reply about the Blue Ox.

I had bought a used Blue Ox and sometimes both levers were disengaged when I checked them. On two separate occasions our motorhome rocked violently, once on a bridge in heavy traffic. After the second episode, I bought a new Blue OX. However, one of the levers on the new tow rig would disengage on its own, similar to the used two bar. The video settled my nerves about the tow bars.

I wonder if the older, used Blue Ox tow bar is repairable (if it is indeed impaired).

Also, how does one know that their tow bar IS not working properly.
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Old 09-25-2015, 10:31 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by litlgeezer View Post
My thanks to each reply about the Blue Ox.

I had bought a used Blue Ox and sometimes both levers were disengaged when I checked them. On two separate occasions our motorhome rocked violently, once on a bridge in heavy traffic. After the second episode, I bought a new Blue OX. However, one of the levers on the new tow rig would disengage on its own, similar to the used two bar. The video settled my nerves about the tow bars.

I wonder if the older, used Blue Ox tow bar is repairable (if it is indeed impaired).

Also, how does one know that their tow bar IS not working properly.

As you can see from the video, these are a simple device. I'm not sure what you mean exactly when you say "is not working properly". When you hook up per the video, the bar will pretty much do what it's designed to do. The thing you need to be concerned with each and every time you use it is the mechanical condition of the system. By that I mean checking the pins and claws for wear, checking the bolts on the claw to make sure they have not worked loose, check the rubber boots to see if they are cracked allowing moisture into the bars. In general, do a visual inspect of all the components each time you hook up and disconnect.
Blueox attends at lot of the Rallies each year and will check and repair your system right on the back of your coach. If that's not convenient, you can send it to the factory for a total rebuild. I sent mine in a year ago after our trip to Alaska and many hard miles. For about $200 it came back good as new. These things are well made and can be rebuilt back to new condition. I would get your old one rebuilt and put it up for sale as rebuilt.
As far as your coach rocking, are you sure it was caused by the toad and not a coach problem? I can't think of any reason a Blueox tow bar would cause the coach to rock as you describe. I have heard stories of the toad coming disconnected and the driver wasn't aware until he sees the disconnected vehicle in the mirror or camera.
Who installed your base plate and system? Was it a qualified shop? Are you confident it was done right? It sounds like you are not real comfortable with towing your vehicle. I suggest going to a good hitch shop and have them check it out and perhaps explain the system further if you have questions. Hope this helps to answer your concerns.
Also, don't forget, you can always call Blueox. I have dealt with them a few times and they are always there to assist.
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Old 09-25-2015, 11:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by litlgeezer View Post
My thanks to each reply about the Blue Ox.

I had bought a used Blue Ox and sometimes both levers were disengaged when I checked them. On two separate occasions our motorhome rocked violently, once on a bridge in heavy traffic. After the second episode, I bought a new Blue OX. However, one of the levers on the new tow rig would disengage on its own, similar to the used two bar. The video settled my nerves about the tow bars.

I wonder if the older, used Blue Ox tow bar is repairable (if it is indeed impaired).

Also, how does one know that their tow bar IS not working properly.

litlegeezer,
I didn't even bother watching the video. I've had two different models of Blue Ox towbars completely apart to check for all the proper movement, clearances, spring pressures, locking mechanisms and more. Without a doubt, BOTH BARS AND LOCKING MECHANISMS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE LOCKED, WHILE IN TRAVEL!!!!!!! At no time, are either of them to "UNLOCK" themselves, ON THEIR OWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Again, I didn't watch the video. Todays towbars, all the extendable locking ones that is, work basically the same way. Once the extension ram is past a certain point, a spring loaded, rotating axle and pin, will drop to a detent, machined into the end of the extending ram. And that spring, small but semi-powerful, is enough to keep that pin, LOCKED into the detent.

If it should self release, SOMETHING IS SERIOUSLY WRONG. If you've had TWO BLUE OX units do this, I think they need to do a serious self quality check. No matter what the towing conditions are, much pressure on either side, up hill, down hill, turning, and all the above, those two locking pins SHOULD NEVER SELF RELEASE.

This is one reason why many folks have a hard time, including myself, releasing the lock pins when getting ready to disconnect from towing. If there's the slightest off-set bind on either one, it will relatively hard to release that one that has the bind on it. The other may release with moderate down pressure on the handle.

I'll check out the video to see what they say about their bars.
Scott


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Old 09-25-2015, 02:04 PM   #7
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I watched the video and picked up a tip on unlocking the tow bar locks and that's good but the sales man made a statement that there was never a tow bar made that you could back up with and that is not true, M&G made one yrs ago in fact one is for sale on Hitch Trader now.

Hitch Trader Classified Ads - Pre-owned Towing Equipment-2238
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Old 09-25-2015, 06:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dennis45 View Post
As you can see from the video, these are a simple device. I'm not sure what you mean exactly when you say "is not working properly". When you hook up per the video, the bar will pretty much do what it's designed to do. The thing you need to be concerned with each and every time you use it is the mechanical condition of the system. By that I mean checking the pins and claws for wear, checking the bolts on the claw to make sure they have not worked loose, check the rubber boots to see if they are cracked allowing moisture into the bars. In general, do a visual inspect of all the components each time you hook up and disconnect.
Blueox attends at lot of the Rallies each year and will check and repair your system right on the back of your coach. If that's not convenient, you can send it to the factory for a total rebuild. I sent mine in a year ago after our trip to Alaska and many hard miles. For about $200 it came back good as new. These things are well made and can be rebuilt back to new condition. I would get your old one rebuilt and put it up for sale as rebuilt.
As far as your coach rocking, are you sure it was caused by the toad and not a coach problem? I can't think of any reason a Blueox tow bar would cause the coach to rock as you describe. I have heard stories of the toad coming disconnected and the driver wasn't aware until he sees the disconnected vehicle in the mirror or camera.
Who installed your base plate and system? Was it a qualified shop? Are you confident it was done right? It sounds like you are not real comfortable with towing your vehicle. I suggest going to a good hitch shop and have them check it out and perhaps explain the system further if you have questions. Hope this helps to answer your concerns.
Also, don't forget, you can always call Blueox. I have dealt with them a few times and they are always there to assist.
I am confident that the disengaged locks of the older tow bar allowed my toad front tires to go into some kind of harmonic vibration after driving over rough areas of the roads. This caused my MH to shake violently until I could get it pulled over onto the shoulder.
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Old 09-25-2015, 06:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by litlgeezer View Post
I am confident that the disengaged locks of the older tow bar allowed my toad front tires to go into some kind of harmonic vibration after driving over rough areas of the roads. This caused my MH to shake violently until I could get it pulled over onto the shoulder.

Not disputing what you experienced but rather trying to understand it. Other than the tow bar being a used Blueox, you haven't given us any other information.
What make/model is your coach? What make/model is the the tow bar? What make/model is your toad?
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