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Old 10-11-2015, 07:04 PM   #1
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Blueox towbar repair

We have an older, 10 yr +, aluminum 5,000 lb blueox towbar (Alladin?) that one of the locking levers wouldn't work for the first time today. I got it to work after some jiggling and fussing with it. I pulled on the lever and it would lock and then after using it for awhile it went back to operating automatically, like it should. Is there a way to lube it? If so, with what? Should I replace it? I see there are some repair kits available. It seemed the spring wasn't working for a bit.


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Old 10-11-2015, 07:18 PM   #2
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I cut the zip ties holding the rubber bellows that protect the sliding arms. I then remove and clean all the old grease from the arms and clean out the latch mechanisms. I then spread new axle grease on the shafts of the sliding arms and reseat the bellows and fasten with new zip ties.

You can also check with Blue Ox, they will inspect and refurbish their tow bars for a fee, I believe.

Blue Ox Towing Products | Towbars, Baseplates, Accessories | 877-895-1276
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Old 10-11-2015, 08:01 PM   #3
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If yours is the all aluminum model Alden....replace it! Mine snapped in half. Blue Ox has discontinued that model because too many were breaking. If a magnet will not stick to it, it is aluminum. I wish I would have replaced mine at 10 years old. Old tow bars are like playing Russian Roulette, I learned the hard way Tow Bar Life Expectancy

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Old 10-11-2015, 08:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
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If yours is the all aluminum model....replace it! Mine snapped in half. Blue Ox has discontinued that model because too many were breaking. If a magnet will not stick to it, it is aluminum. I wish I would have replaced mine at 10 years old. Old tow bars are like playing Russian Roulette, I learned the hard way Tow Bar Life Expectancy

Some good advice. Is this your tow bar? If so, I'm sure it got your attention.

My Aventa came with the coach when I bought and I put about 20K on it. Last year I sent it back to BO and turns out the knuckle was cracked where it connects to the tube. They replaced the knuckle assembly and rebuilt it. Don't think I'll wait that long before going that route again.
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Old 10-11-2015, 08:18 PM   #5
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Yes, that was my tow bar. Thank the man upstairs it snapped pulling away from a fuel pump. Ten minutes earlier we were doing 65 MPH on the Ohio Turnpike.

Several friends after my experience have purchased 1 or 2 year old tow bars on Craigslist for less than 1/2 price. It is definitely not worth the risk. Glad you sent yours in, I hope more will do the same thing. Metal fatigue does happen on tow bars!
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Old 10-11-2015, 08:31 PM   #6
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Yes, that was my tow bar. Thank the man upstairs it snapped pulling away from a fuel pump. Ten minutes earlier we were doing 65 MPH on the Ohio Turnpike.

Several friends after my experience have purchased 1 or 2 year old tow bars on Craigslist for less than 1/2 price. It is definitely not worth the risk. Glad you sent yours in, I hope more will do the same thing. Metal fatigue does happen on tow bars!
Wow, glad to hear it was not a wreck.
I sent mine in after a trip to AK and just thought after that workout, might be time. I have always been in the habit of checking my hook up but after that and your experience, I will give things a closer look. Thank you for sharing.
P/S there have been a few posts on this forum from people wanting to buy or having bought used tow equipment and bragging about the great price they got. Hope they read this.
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Old 10-11-2015, 08:40 PM   #7
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Blue Ox recommends service on their tow bar every two years.
They have a very excellent field service staff at some rallies and
RV shows that will do the service for $30-$35. You must do
the maintenance as specified, just like any other item on the
coach and toad.
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Old 10-11-2015, 10:08 PM   #8
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There is absolutely NOTHING WRONG with buying used tow bars or, just about any other tow related equipment, for a reduced price. It's been done for dozens of years. I've purchased two different tow bars, one, a Blue Ox Aladdin and, the other, A Stow Master. Both served me for many, many years without issues.

I've torn the Blue Ox Aladdin all the way down to the last nut, bolt, roll pin and washer for close inspection and, replacement of any necessary parts. All it needed after several years of service was the nylon washer kit which, I was given by the Blue Ox rep at the '14 GNR at Forest City IA.

Those are actually very easy to take completely apart. They are simple mechanisms with spring loaded positive latching systems. Most of the time, any "Binding" is due to lack of lube at various points. The springs on the locking levers are actually fairly stout little springs IF, things are lubed correctly and, there's no dirt/debris/corrosion in there preventing free and intended movement.

About the only difficult part of disassembling those models is the removal of the inside nut for the rotational pivot assembly. You need a large, thin walled socket and, about a 15" extension to get at that nut. But, once that's out, the rest is cake.

A good cleaning, inspecting of all parts, especially that rotational knuckle, (the one pictured broken) and, once that's done, then re-assembly begins.

I just tore my Blue Ox Aventa II down the same exact way. No issue there other than I needed to do some straightening of on of the tubes due to the previous owners screwed things up some but, all is better now. I had everything powder coated and, I re-assembled it with a new nylon washer kit.

Both tow bars are in perfect shape.
Scott
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Old 10-11-2015, 10:19 PM   #9
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I agree with you. IF you are mechanically inclined and know what your looking at. Problem is, I see many posts from people who don't have the foggiest idea what they require for equipment in the first place or the ability to know if the equipment they buy is fit for service.
These are not a complicated device IF you have some mechanical ability. It's the other folks looking for cheap without that knowledge buying from another one that has no clue that concern me.
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Old 10-12-2015, 09:48 AM   #10
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FireUp, what you do should be done every couple of years, but how many do? I didn't and I learned the hard way. I physically inspect the outside of the tow bar and grease the slides every year before our long trip. The metal fatigue did not show during my inspection, but it sure happened when it was under load.
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Old 10-12-2015, 09:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
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FireUp, what you do should be done every couple of years, but how many do? I didn't and I learned the hard way. I physically inspect the outside of the tow bar and grease the slides every year before our long trip. The metal fatigue did not show during my inspection, but it sure happened when it was under load.
That's why you should send it back to Blue Ox for inspection. Metal fatigue only really shows up in some items under X-ray or dye. Not something you can do in your home workshop.
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Old 10-12-2015, 09:00 PM   #12
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I got back with BO and I am going to do the trade in deal. They'll give me $150 off a new one. I bought this one used, so it may be 13 or 14 years old. We used it regularly for about 5 years and then not for a few and then just put it back into service this summer.


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Old 10-12-2015, 11:53 PM   #13
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I got back with BO and I am going to do the trade in deal. They'll give me $150 off a new one. I bought this one used, so it may be 13 or 14 years old. We used it regularly for about 5 years and then not for a few and then just put it back into service this summer.


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Not a bad deal at all after that amount of time. Best of all, you will have peace of mind.
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Old 10-13-2015, 08:35 PM   #14
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Keep in mind that Blue Ox shows up at all the major Rallies (FMCA) and the big RV shows and they will service it for $25 bucks

Well worth it. If they tell you it is severly worn and they cant do much - buy a new one.

We have ours serviced at the shows once ever year or two.
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