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Old 03-28-2013, 07:04 AM   #29
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BTW RVThere, I wasn't suggesting you lawyer up, not even sure what that could/would have done for you. I was just offering to take a look at it for you. Wouldn't have cost you anything pit shipping.
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:25 AM   #30
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With the new tow bar you will get new pins but if you are using lockable pins it might be a good idea to double check them and replace if you see anything odd.

Having just set up my MH & Honda CRV with the Aladdin, the OP's experience gave me a chill. Still, I think it would be hard to quantify failure rates based on a few failures found on the internet without any reference to sampling. I chose the Aladdin for the 7500# limit and because it was lighter to use than other models. Since my curb weight plus any miscellaneous "stuff" will be less than 3750#, I have a tow bar capable of twice my needs.

I have chosen locking pins for all points. I need to order another one because of the drop receiver but will have that soon. The reason is that I have read a few instances of pin failure but also the outside chance that some moron will pull a locking pin. My biggest concern is how well the locking mechanism will do after a long period of weather exposure.

While I also have the 7500# safety cables, I think I will upgrade to the 10,000# ones because of the hooks. I don't particularly care for the rubber retainer on the lighter ones.

I applaud the OP and their approach to the whole thing. It would be easy to get all amped up, pound the chest and demand total restitution, it would seem to be a huge exercise in wasting time for a pound of aluminum. Stuff happens that is why we have safety chains. Don't get me wrong, I would probably be hugely upset at first but after the adrenalin was gone I would hope I could move on to solving the problem and getting back on the road.

I am also relieved it wasn't worse. The OP did a fine job getting it to the side safely.
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Old 03-28-2013, 01:06 PM   #31
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Update with close up pics

Thanks to all for the accolades about my driving skills. I wish I could take credit but you're just going on instinct of 'slow down and get to the shoulder.' I give more credit to a guardian angel who was working overtime that day!

Received the new Aladdin shipped Fedex to the campground. Before I packed it up, took these close ups with my good camera:

Male end. As you can see, small indent in the side of the shaft indicates there was some kind of 'keeper'.


This end dragged on the pavement so there is not much sign of a crack.


Female side. Don't see too much evidence here.


Not sure what smashed the top release mechanism that allows the arm to slide. Probably was impacted after the break.
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Old 03-28-2013, 02:03 PM   #32
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So, it appears to me the arm didn't break, but just came apart?
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:01 PM   #33
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You get 65 mpg out of that combination? You'd be a millionaire overnight if you could sell the procedures!

I assume it should read 65 MPH!!
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:08 PM   #34
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Thank you it's been corrected.
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:40 AM   #35
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From the pictures it looks like it was held together with a press-fit and pinned. I don't see any welds. That tow bar is steel and aluminum isn't it? That could be why it is not welded.
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:46 AM   #36
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I looks to me like this bar came apart where the rod slides into the sleeve. I have no idea how those are put together, but this is a frightening thought.
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:22 PM   #37
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Yeah, you are right, that is where it slides.
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:05 PM   #38
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Thought that failure looked familiar. Take a look at this photo of a torsional fatigue failure.

http://www.met-tech.com/images/fract...ut-shaft-6.jpg
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Old 03-30-2013, 04:33 PM   #39
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Wow. I just rigged up for towing a toad. I've only done my practice run, and still nervous about our first real trip. Thanks for taking the time to post this.

I will be towing a Honda Fit and using a Ready Brute rated at 8000 pounds, so that's more than 3 times the actual load. It's an aluminum alloy as well. I also installed the Ready Brake, even though the states I usually travel in don't have requirments for it, and probably overkill for the weight of my toad. Rather have and not need than need and not have.

I'm just asking, but is it true you don't use safety cables? My arm came with them, so I thought they all did. I also bought a breakawy braking system, but I haven't installed it yet. If something like this happens, I don't think I want the brakes locked up on the toad!
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:54 PM   #40
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Just wondering if any annual maintenance had been done on the tow bar or if nothing has been done since new in 2008?

I purchased the Blue Ox Aladdin 7,500# 2 yr's ago and wasn't aware of a maintenance procedure until I read the attached thread a while back. I have not performed it on my 2yr old Aladdin but I will before I leave on my next trip.

Your experience, while probably due to something that maintenance would not have prevented, has reminded me of the importance of inspection


Blue Ox Towbar Annual Maintenance

What you saw in your rear view mirror is something I'm sure every RV'r fears seeing when towing. I'm very happy that everything turned out OK.

And since you or the DW didn't have a heart attack I think you may be able to skip that part of you annual physical! Obviously your hearts are in great shape!
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Old 03-30-2013, 07:42 PM   #41
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I'll probably get a lot of flack for my comments, but... A sliding automatic locking connection is inherrantly weaker than a fixed single beam (both of the same load rating) tow bar due to the increased strain on the locking device and its restraint. I had an old style Alladin that wouldn't always lock or stay locked. I did purchased it used.

I replaced it with a Demco Kwik-Tow. A little less convienent, but a whole lot more robust, and in my opinion, a lot safer. I don't have to worry about the arms locking/unlocking. Simple is sometimes a better alternative when all your trying to do is just tow a car from point A to point B. My hook-up time is a little longer than the Alladin style tow bars, but is shorter than using a dolly. What is 5 minutes when traveling 5 to 8 hours a day? JM2...
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:02 PM   #42
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I purchased my Blue Ox Aladdin in 2006 and had it serviced every January by Blue Ox. In 2011 Blue Ox told me the tow bar was worn out and showed me the damaged areas. It had been used about 30,000 miles. Thy told me the wear was "normal" and sold me a discounted Aventa II. I thought it wore out way to soon and wanted them to replace it for free but they refused. The moral of my story is have your tow bar inspected and serviced before it breaks.
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