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Old 07-02-2014, 06:49 PM   #1
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Dropping tow bar pins

Last Christmas while in Myrtle Beach someone decided they needed a couple 1/2" tow bar base plate pins and mine seemed to satisfy their needs. Not to worry however a Big Box Store was close by. The only 4"x 1/2" pins they had in stock had a unique drop tip that secures the pin from working out without the use of a hairpin clip. Seemed like a good idea so I bought 2 sets, one to use and one just in case. Just in case happened on my first trip this year. I'm a check and recheck person that operates off of a checklist. This trip was no different, the departure check in the driveway, and secondary enroute check about 4-5 miles out, all checks good. About 100 mi later I was making a slow entry to an on ramp from a side road when I noticed a vehicle appear to pull out from my left rear as if to pass, second look in the mirror and rear camera increased my heart rate, it was My TOAD. After a very cautious slowing I was able to get over onto a nice wide emergency lane. No damage but I noticed the left pin missing from the base plate attachment point. I had to uncouple the TOAD and recoupled and got to use my spare pin. Checked and double checked the connections and after an attentive and cautious several miles with another check I was able to proceed. After an overnight we proceeded the last 100 miles to destination. When I went to unhook the TOAD I saw the new left pin had worked its way out and was only attached by about a 1/2". My message here is if you utilize these types of pins, please exercise a lot of caution. The pin has a hinged drop tip with a push tab to place it in the locked down position, check this very closely, I did but for some quirky reason mine on the left side seems to be very defiant. Rather than risk any reoccurances I have replaced them with pins with oversized holes in the tips to accommodate two small Master locks. Hopefully not only have I thwarted theft a little, I am hopefull that it will counter the quirk I got going on my left base plate attachment point.
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Old 07-02-2014, 08:09 PM   #2
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Blueline. Glad you didn't have any more trouble and figured out the problem. Also glad no one was hurt. That's a scary situation and could have been worse. Safe travels.

Chad
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Old 07-02-2014, 09:52 PM   #3
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Blue Ox makes tow bar pins with locks on them. It makes it hard for them to fall off and almost impossible for someone to steal.
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Old 07-03-2014, 12:36 AM   #4
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I bought a set of 4 locks all with the same key and lock the cross bar and Blue Ox arms to the cross bar. Haven't lost a pin yet.


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Old 07-03-2014, 04:12 AM   #5
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I always used the locks on the tow bar , baseplate and drop down receiver.
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Old 07-03-2014, 04:43 AM   #6
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That's really odd that to hear that pin restraint is no good. Thank you for sharing this because it looks like an item I would have purchased if it were not for your post.
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Old 07-03-2014, 07:58 AM   #7
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I use locking pins from Blue Ox. I have read here and on other forums about "Dirty Birds" removing pins when you are parked and you don't check them each and every time you hit the road. Get some locking pins and still check them all the time. Better safe than sorry.
Good luck and safe travels@!
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Old 07-03-2014, 10:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeltoneMagoo View Post
I use locking pins from Blue Ox. I have read here and on other forums about "Dirty Birds" removing pins when you are parked and you don't check them each and every time you hit the road. Get some locking pins and still check them all the time. Better safe than sorry.
Good luck and safe travels@!
Me 2
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Old 07-03-2014, 03:31 PM   #9
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Back in 2008, we were in Quartzite. Blue Ox had a booth out there at the flea market, and they were showing a new tow bar pin that had a spring loaded ball to keep it from falling out. It looked like a good idea, so a friend that was traveling in their motorhome and I each bought a set.

The following year, we were retuning from Florida, and we lost one of the pins, and the other started to pull loose. The spring loaded ball was being depressed by the base plate arm due to the turns we took. I threw them away and went back to the old pins. Thank goodness for safety chains and rear view cameras.

I don't see them on the Blue Ox website anymore.

The kit with the locks on them look like a good idea. I'll buy a set.

W8RLM - Bob
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Old 07-03-2014, 03:38 PM   #10
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I too like the idea of the locking pins but after using them for a while, I found that the pins tend to rotate in the hitch while towing and causes the hitch thru-holes to wallow-out--went back to the old off-set, counter-pin style--no spin....just saying....
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Old 07-03-2014, 04:01 PM   #11
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Lowes Home Improvement sells the locking pins.
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Old 07-03-2014, 06:44 PM   #12
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Thanks all for your input and experience. Made efforts to never experience this again.
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