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Old 12-13-2012, 10:54 AM   #1
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Oops with Blue OX towbar.

In August, while coming home from Minnesota, we had one of those unfortunate events occur with the TOAD/Towbar. We lost the left HITCH PIN on the interstate. I looked in the mirror and saw our TOAD appearing to pass us on the left !. ARGHH.. I didn't panic, just slowed down and got off the road with no problems. I had no extra hitch pins (lesson to be learned here). So stuck a large screwdriver in the hole and a wratchet strap around the whole thing. This allowed us to get to the next exit, where luckily there was an RV dealer about 2 miles up an access road. The RV dealer had a bag of six hitch pins and I bought them all. Not sure why the old one decided to fall out, but learned several valuable lessons in the process. 1.) Keep extra hitch pins on board. 2.) Use the kind with the slotted keeper 3.) Keep the rear camera going and maybe some volume and maybe we would have seen it/heard it sooner.
I know we were lucky here on this one.
In the process, the left towbar connector fingers drug on the ground for a while wearing down one side of the fork nearly to the bolt, which was ground almost off as well. We made it home ok, but I was concerned about the weakend fork even with a new bolt in it. I checked with our local BlueOX dealer and he said the BlueOX would completely refurbish the whole towbar for about $150 including shipping in about a week.
I have sent it off and this should make it as good as new. For those of you towing with a Blue OX. Please note this event and maybe you can prevent this from ever occurring.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:57 AM   #2
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Great lesson, and inexpensive too...I am just getting set-up and so all of these valuable lessons are important to me. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:58 AM   #3
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Thanks for the lesson learned! Glad no other bad things happened.
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:02 AM   #4
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I bought the key lock pins for ours just to be safe that another's prank didn't cause damage to things and kept the spare pins in the tool box in the MH.
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:12 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by cnkinthebus View Post
I bought the key lock pins for ours just to be safe that another's prank didn't cause damage to things and kept the spare pins in the tool box in the MH.
X2 on the locking pins. I also keep the old ones for spare "just in case".
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:21 PM   #6
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Had a similar experience a few years ago with Blue Ox pin coming out while in motion. I did my checklist at Abbotsford BC at the start of the day and again when I stopped for fuel and all seemed OK. After several hours of driving I was southbound on I 5 in heavy traffic at night in the rain and needed to work my way into the right exit lane to access I 90 east. Car was wavering about behind the RV. (Saw it right away on the monitor and in my mirror as the car moved partially into the LH lane behind me)

Had a 40ft Monaco Dynasty at the time with BrakeMaster Air activated brakes on the toad so I put my RV brakes on with more accellerator on the RV and "rode the RV brakes" so the toad was now pulling back with tension on the single tow bar - safety cables still connected.

This action enabled me to get off the road safely. Fortunately I had two spare pins of the new type I had purchased in Indio CA a few weeks earlier. The new securing pins have spring loaded devices in them which seem to be much more secure than the ones that came with the towbar, but having locked pins provide that extra security from vandals when parked. I NEVER start out driving after having stopped for any length of time without doing a walkaround so I would not take off without Pins in place and secured. I have no idea how that securing pin fell out that allowed the 5/8 tow pin to slip

Have a smaller RV now and use ReadyBrake that activates with G force so I cannot do what I did with my big rig but I can see every part of my hitch with my cameras now and we constantly monitor everything back there plus I now use the Pins with locks. My hitch and ReadyBrake assembly are protected with locks also.

Suggest if anyone does not have lockable pins they get them ASAP - it may prevent a very bad experience.
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cnkinthebus View Post
I bought the key lock pins for ours just to be safe that another's prank didn't cause damage to things and kept the spare pins in the tool box in the MH.
Ditto.
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Old 12-22-2012, 01:34 AM   #8
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I use only the hitch pin with clevis. Had to remove a locked pin from my MH reciever and was going to get the angle grinder when I tried using a small prybar. the lock just poped off very little force. I then tried my buddies f150 lock and it too just poped off. I looked and found one small ball bearing held in place by the lock cylinder was the only thing holding together
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Old 12-22-2012, 02:34 AM   #9
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Thanks Stink, tomorrow I toss the locking hitch pin.
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Old 12-22-2012, 07:08 AM   #10
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Another note on lockable pins. My installer told be they are all keyed alike, so if you need to get the pin off due to a lost key you might find someone nearby with a similar rig that can lend you the key. That might be more helpful in a campground than along the side of the road, but something to keep in mind.
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Old 12-22-2012, 07:33 AM   #11
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My first old Blue Ox tow bar came with pins that required a different lock ring than what you had used. It had the kind where the pin goes through a hole and then the ring snaps down to lock it. I never had any problems with it failing.

The Blue Ox bar I have use now came with five locking hitch pins all keyed the same. One for the hitch receiver and 4 for the car end. That gives me two for backups.

I prefer the locking ones as it prevents curious vandalism type people from removing the pins while lunching or resting in some rest area. That has happen to some people, trust me.

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Old 12-22-2012, 07:51 AM   #12
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Last month about a mile after leaving a CG DW said I don't remember putting the pin in the tow bar. I guess it is the cotter pin actually. Since we both recheck our set up I was surprised that I couldn't be sure either. We pulled over just in case and all was well. It was a relief just to know it was OK.

Interesting about the locking pin being so easy to break off. We have two for the blue Ox and Readybreak to prevent theft but never thought about ones for the hitch pin. Now I am confused about getting them or not. Looks like they are about $10 and up so price isn't a factor. The side to side force shouldn't be much but I wonder about corrosion inside the lock.

We do have an extra pin in the glove box of the toad just in case.
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Old 12-22-2012, 09:22 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cnkinthebus View Post
I bought the key lock pins for ours just to be safe that another's prank didn't cause damage to things and kept the spare pins in the tool box in the MH.
Same here. The locks aren't going to totally prevent vandalism or theft by a dedicated ne'er-do-well, but they will be a deterrent.

Just a reminder that these items need periodic maintenance, too. They're exposed to the elements so it's a good idea to put some graphite in the tumblers every once in a while, and keep the caps on. The pins are designed as hinges so they should be lubricated to prevent excess wear in the direction of the load.
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Old 12-22-2012, 09:32 AM   #14
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X2 on the locking pins. I also keep the old ones for spare "just in case".


X3 on the locking pins.
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