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Old 01-27-2015, 07:07 PM   #57
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I agree and I don't think many folks are pointing a finger at the driver. There are a lot of great technical observations for those of us interested in those things.
Rick, I completely agree. I often wonder how many of the Happy Campers I see on the road or at the campgrond, dont understand/ask about all the systems that make it possible to have your house go 400+ miles in a day and tow your automobile.

I on the other hand am not satisfied until I know how all the systems work.

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Old 01-27-2015, 07:23 PM   #58
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Something is not right. In my several tow cars, the base plate was engineered into the frame of the vehicle. It was not bolted to the bumper. If he had a functioning break-away, this would not have happened.

I guess it's possible the report is wrong - that the base plate tore away from the frame, and ripped the bumper away along with it. That would explain why the bumper was found so far away.

The baseplate bolts should be torqued as spec, and put on with loctite. I check my baseplate bolts a couple of times a year and never had to even slightly tighten a bolt.

Like I said, this is weird.
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Old 01-27-2015, 07:30 PM   #59
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It appears to me that the tow bar was properly attached to the frame of the car, not the bumper but a main cross beam behind the bumper, and this beam pulled off the frame rails, which should never happen, so what came off was basically the front clip.

Nearly happened to me a few years back... I noticed a symptom, so had it checked out.. The body and frame man who was checking it,, Was very good at his job.
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Old 01-27-2015, 07:33 PM   #60
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Something is not right. In my several tow cars, the base plate was engineered into the frame of the vehicle. It was not bolted to the bumper. If he had a functioning break-away, this would not have happened.
Robert,
If the breakaway is the typical electric switch, and it was mounted to the front of the car, baseplate, or bumper, it would have come off the car when the other parts did. That would effectively render it useless.

I am very confident in my frame bolted baseplate mount. However my brake system, electrical, and safety cables are all mounted to the same plate. If it were to come off, all of the above are no longer in service. I cannot hope that the molded bumper cover on my Jeep will hold the baseplate for long.

I also would hope that I would be observant enough to notice it, however I honestly do not feel my toad behind my RV. I make a habit of double checking all connections and config, and then I do a hard turn asap to verify all the wheels are free and the steering is following to ensure I am not dragging the toad.

I disconnected the brake system once to see if I could tell it was working. In a parking lot test, the brake made a differance in stopping distance, however it was not noticeable without measuring.

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Old 01-27-2015, 08:08 PM   #61
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My breakaway switch is mounted totally independent from the base plates or front number. The whole front end of the car would have to get ripped off before it wouldn't work. My brake manufacturer suggest testing it every time it is used. So far, I have and it works as scheduled for a little peace of mind. It takes all of 30 sec to pull the pin and replace it, then reset the controller.
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Old 01-27-2015, 08:21 PM   #62
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Like I said on another thread, these baseplates are never tested prior to production start up. There's no way the companies could do extensive testing on all the models they build.

When a new car comes out, all the baseplate manufacturers find vehicles somewhere and fabricate a mounting scheme based on years of experience but no testing is performed. Then they start manufacturing them and selling them. Testing is done by the first customers.
Obviously you haven't investigated RoadMaster (or other brand) products!
RoadMaster does "Finite Elemental Analysis" ("ROADMASTER was the first towing products manufacturer to invest in the software and technology that Boeing, Lockheed Martin, GM and NASA use to ensure the integrity of their products") of all their components and have for many years. Finite analysis uses a computer program to analyze all stresses on a component. Other manufacturers like BluOx now do it too.
When I installed the baseplate on our '97 Jeep GC it came with reinforcing pieces that went inside the frame and had a threaded hole for a bolt to go through.
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Old 01-27-2015, 10:09 PM   #63
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In looking at the Roadmaster instructions, I can see how this incident could happen. IMHO, bolting the baseplate to the bumper flange as shown puts a pulling force on the bolts which would cause them stretch and to loosen and fall out.

If the bolts came loose, and the safety cables had been left off or not installed correctly, the whole works would pull away.

In contrast, Blueox (as far as I know) bolts their baseplate to the sides of the frame making it less prone to bolt failure.
^^This.

And a switch attached to the fascia on a spring coil of cable to the coach might get pulled off with the baseplate, completely intact, and thus rendering inoperative. Probly explains why the car kept careening along with stopping. No competent installer would have them driving around without a brake unit, right?
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Old 01-28-2015, 09:16 AM   #64
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Mr. D said in response to my previous post:
Obviously you haven't investigated RoadMaster (or other brand) products!
RoadMaster does "Finite Elemental Analysis" ("ROADMASTER was the first towing products manufacturer to invest in the software and technology that Boeing, Lockheed Martin, GM and NASA use to ensure the integrity of their products") of all their components and have for many years. Finite analysis uses a computer program to analyze all stresses on a component. Other manufacturers like BluOx now do it too.


And my response to his response is:
First off, there is no such thing as "Finite Elemental Analysis" as stated in Roadmaster's advertisement. It is Finite Element Analysis. FEA is a good thing, but only theoretical and does not include the car part of the system. Reading their advertisement they say they test every new design on a static cycle test. "Tow bar prototypes are then further tested in “real world” fatigue tests, to the equivalent of 600,000 road miles (150,000 “push” strokes and 150,000 “pull” strokes, at full capacity)." This is a good, but it does not include the car's structure that the baseplate is bolted to, nor does it test the integrity of the bolted joints using lockwashers and sometimes threaded steel plates instead of nuts. Bolted joint integrity is all about clamping force and lockwashers and threaded steel plates greatly reduce the available clamping force.

My point is, the car's structure is a significant part of the system and in the case we have been discussing, it looks like the car part failed, not the baseplate. You can be sure that there is no Finite Element Analysis of the car structure involved in baseplate manufacturers' analysis. In just this thread, people are reporting that bolts pulled through the car's frame.

It's also interesting that "ROADMASTER was the first towing products manufacturer to invest in the software and technology that Boeing, Lockheed Martin, GM and NASA use to ensure the integrity of their products." Yet they continue to use the widely discredited split lock washers which Boeing, Lockheed Martin, GM and NASA quit using over forty years ago.

See this link Helical Spring Washers
which says "The body of evidence, based upon both experience and experimental results, is that they do not prevent loosening and can be shown to actually speed up the rate of loosening in many cases." NASA, in fact, in a 1990 publication says "In summary, a lockwasher of this type is useless for locking."

My position stands, the fastener scheme used to secure the very sturdy baseplate to the vehicle is poorly thought out and uses antiquated, useless (and possibly detrimental) lockwashers. There is no On-the-vehicle testing performed except by the first guy out the door on the initial installation.
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Old 01-28-2015, 09:35 AM   #65
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"Tow bar prototypes are then further tested in “real world” fatigue tests, to the equivalent of 600,000 road miles (150,000 “push” strokes and 150,000 “pull” strokes, at full capacity)." This is a good, but it does not include the car's structure that the baseplate is bolted to, nor does it test the integrity of the bolted joints using lockwashers and sometimes threaded steel plates instead of nuts. Bolted joint integrity is all about clamping force and lockwashers and threaded steel plates greatly reduce the available clamping force.
All good points but, as a note to your paragraph, Roadmaster is talking about the Tow Bar ... not the baseplate (or it's attaching hardware) ... maybe they should talk about it ...
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Old 01-28-2015, 10:02 AM   #66
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reminds me of the time i passed a guy pulling a boat after i passed him the boat passed me ....without the truck....thank GOD no one was hit by the boat,,,it just slide past at 65mph and into a hillside....


but ive got to admit even after all these years it sure was a sight to see going down the road and a bayliner passing me like i was sitting still...
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Old 01-28-2015, 10:06 AM   #67
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reminds me of the time i passed a guy pulling a boat after i passed him the boat passed me ....without the truck....thank GOD no one was hit by the boat,,,it just slide past at 65mph and into a hillside....


but ive got to admit even after all these years it sure was a sight to see going down the road and a bayliner passing me like i was sitting still...

I may be a little slow, but if you passed him and he was pulling the boat, how did the boat end up going faster than you?
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Old 01-28-2015, 10:54 AM   #68
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Jmckinley, I agree with you and particularly your point on so called Lock Washers. Of all the options in today's world of fasteners, these are the worst. If I am assembling anything that comes with these in the kit, they go to the bin and are replaced with NyLock or Flange Face nuts.



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Old 01-28-2015, 10:56 AM   #69
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>snip...blah blah blah...

My position stands, the fastener scheme used to secure the very sturdy baseplate to the vehicle is poorly thought out and uses antiquated, useless (and possibly detrimental) lockwashers. There is no On-the-vehicle testing performed except by the first guy out the door on the initial installation.
Yep. Red locktite.
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Old 01-28-2015, 01:04 PM   #70
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I may be a little slow, but if you passed him and he was pulling the boat, how did the boat end up going faster than you?

Because it was a "Speed Boat"
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