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Old 09-01-2016, 12:37 PM   #1
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BlueOx Tow Bar - Buyer Beware


In my opinion the Blue Ox has a terrible customer service and the product Tow bar (Blue Ox BX4330 Acclaim Class III Tow Bar) is very poor product!!


MY STORY:
I was driving NE on I-90 in NE Ohio (8/20/16), I was towing my Jeep Wrangler ( 2 D - softop - Curb 3760 lbs.) with a Blue Ox BX4330 Acclaim Class III Tow Bar - 5000 Cap. ) The bar had 7000 miles and was 2.7 years old. ( 2 trips to FL)

It failed at the weld at the Lug, see pics. I was in the right lane and someone beside me blew his horn and pointed at my Jeep, looked in my rear camera and my Jeep was just about off the road on the right. Of course I was in a Construction Zone with no where to pull off, so I stopped and risking life & limb, removed the Tow Bar, my wife got in the Jeep after I removed the "Blue Ox BRK2012 Patriot Portable Brake System" and we drove 300 miles to our reserved RV Park. We did stop and try to find a closer RV Park, but being summer Saturday, nothing.

Our RV Park was in NY State Boonies with no electrical, wifi and very Poor Phone service, so I couldn't use my phone as a Hot-Spot for wifi. I called Blue Ox and they gave me a very hard time. Told me to go to a local Blue Ox dealer who of course when I checked couldn't get one for week or more. So I called Blue Ox back and fought with them for 20 minutes as again they said they don't sell to customers direct. They Finely relented and sold one to me, I didn't pay much attention to the price, as I was really in a hard place, the alternative was to drive the RV and jeep separately 600 miles to home. No fun for my wife as I-90 is very rough especially in a JEEP.



HERE IS THE BEST PART, THEY CHARGED ME $645. FOR THE TOW BAR AND 114.47 FREIGHT.. AMAZON WILL SHIP IT FREE FOR $444.10. WHEN I GOT HOME I CONTACTED CHAD LUBER AT BLUE OX TO DISCUSS MY PROBLEMS AND THE PRICE GOUGING, HE SAID THE HIGH PRICE WAS TO DISCOURAGE PEOPLE LIKE ME FROM BUYING FROM BLUE OX DIRECTLY !!!! NO WERE SORRY IT BROKE, NO PLEASE SEND US THE PARTS SO WE CAN MAKE IT SAFER, JUST GREEDY SOB'S chad luber, technical service agent, customer relations, 402-385-2851

When I tried to get satisfaction from Hitch Finder where I bought the tow bar, I got this

Hello Robert,
*
We are an independent online store only. For warranty issues please contact Blue Ox directly at*www.blueox.com*or*800-228-9289.
*
Les Narum Customer Service Representative Hitchfinder.com stores*


So far I haven't heard anything from Blue Ox about the warranty, but since the warranty looks like it was written by 10 lawyers, I doubt the trouble and cost wouldn't be worth.

Lets discuss the broken part: my neighbor who is a engineer says the fillet weld looks very poor and under designed. He also said a weld shouldn't even be used their as the dynamic and shock loading would be very high. I'm no expert but looking at the size of the LUG which is massive compared to welded tube. I just wonder at their design and QC, or if they do any QC at all.
I suppose it all comes down to buyer be where. Then bottom line is that no one got hurt and my Jeep & MH didn't suffer any damage. But if I was driving in the high speed lane this could of easily of cause a major accident with fatalities.
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Old 09-01-2016, 01:32 PM   #2
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Smile Refund Miracle

Miracle Miracle Miracle

Chand called me and their going to refund the Monies for the new Tow Bar, and they want the old tow bar to inspect and their going to pay shipping.

Just amazing what a post will do. I suppose I should give some of refund to charity??

Thank you IRV2

Bob
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Old 09-01-2016, 01:46 PM   #3
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Wow, a lot happened in an hour.
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Old 09-01-2016, 01:49 PM   #4
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WOW! My Blue Ox is over 15 years old, and has been mounted on the front of three different toads (yes, kiddies, tow bars used to be mounted on the front of the toad). Fifteen years outside in Utah weather, and it still works fine, even looks pretty good, but I'm on cover number four. I never got a new one because the old one works. Gonna hook it up again for the umpteenth time this weekend.
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Old 09-01-2016, 02:09 PM   #5
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I was at the Blue Ox factory in July. Beautiful free campground, great staff who refurbished my tow bar, totally positive experience.

Bob - It's good you didn't get it through a dealer through Amazon!
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Old 09-01-2016, 03:04 PM   #6
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There is a very valuable lesson to be learned here and I hope everyone sees it Anything made by humans will fail. That weld failed long before it broke ( crack ) and it's our job as owners and operators to keep sharp eye on our equipment every time we use it. I'm glad no property damage or anyone hurt. I know I'll get beat up for saying this. So let her rip!!
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Old 09-01-2016, 03:11 PM   #7
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I get the impression there is more to this story than we are hearing.

I have had dealings with BlueOx a couple of times, once with my failed Patriot and again to have my Aventa tow bar rebuilt.
I won't go into detail but, In both cases I was very satisfied with the response from BlueOx and would not hesitate for a moment to purchase BlueOx equipment again should the need arise.

Flaming Red Posts like this always leave me suspect as to the real story.
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Old 09-01-2016, 05:37 PM   #8
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Blux-Ox

I bought a new bar direct from them at a Nascar race. Warranty card I got with it said Lifetime guarantee! When I called to buy some repair parts I was willing to pay for, the smart mouth woman that answered the phone said non were available except buying the hitch assembly for over $200.00 dollars. Also she insisted I was lying about the warranty card I had in front of me. I fixed up the bar but no more Blue Ox for me. I may scrape it after seeing only Blue Ox posts of broken parts.
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Old 09-01-2016, 09:40 PM   #9
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Smile

Well maybe I was just lucky and the weld was done on monday. I did send BlueOx a copy of my post. I'm 74, but I know a lot about Mechcanical Engineering.

Murphy's law says the weakest part that cost $1.00 will fail and cause $1,000,000 damage.

I was very very lucky this time.

Bob
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Old 09-05-2016, 05:36 PM   #10
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mine broke at ball, 8 months old
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Old 09-05-2016, 05:45 PM   #11
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That's three broken ones that I know of just on the RV.net forum and I'm sure I haven't seen all of them.
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Old 09-05-2016, 05:57 PM   #12
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not normal

I bought my first motorhome in 1974. It was a 22 foot Open Road class A. It was so compact we did not need a tow car. Our Argosy was 28 ft and we went for years without a tow car. In September of 1992 my wife decided we needed a towed. I bought a 1992 Mazda pickup and a Blue Ox tow bar. I have been through many tow cars but am still using the 1992 Blue Ox tow bar. For those considering a blue Ox tow bar. They make a quality product and rarely fail.
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Old 09-05-2016, 06:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Velroc View Post
Well maybe I was just lucky and the weld was done on monday. I did send BlueOx a copy of my post. I'm 74, but I know a lot about Mechcanical Engineering.

Murphy's law says the weakest part that cost $1.00 will fail and cause $1,000,000 damage.

I was very very lucky this time.

Bob

I hope you also sent them a message that although "late", you appreciate their reconsideration to make things right!
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Old 09-05-2016, 06:50 PM   #14
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I've heard a lot of good things about Blue Ox, but have also heard the metal parts are from Chinese metal. I've always used Roadmaster equipment. I don't think this break started off as a hairline crack, but was a rapid failure. But it never hurts to continually check things over, when your hooking up.
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