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Old 05-18-2013, 05:39 AM   #29
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DC-3's have MANY "timed" components on them (as do most aircraft). At a certain age they must be carefully inspected, if not removed and magnafluxed to inspect for tiny signs of impending failure (cracks). To me, part of the term "well designed" would be notice of known failures, and the conditions that surounded those failures - just like those available for aircraft?

Otherwise, one might assume there were no known failures?


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Old 05-18-2013, 06:49 AM   #30
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I'm glad to see this post! Based on the reaction I got from Blue Ox I thought we were, the only one. Ours looked just like the one COLO Kid posted. Our Blue Ox Aventa II 10,000#tow bar has been towing our HHR. The tow angle is 2" lower at the toad, I need to use a 4" drop to get there. This hitch has about 28,000 miles of use, with new plastic washers replaced two years ago. I must admit I was surprised to find this failure was not covered. Just bought a new toad, not sure if I will be trusting Blue Ox?? I am checking other options.

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Old 05-18-2013, 07:13 AM   #31
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My personal experiences with BO have been good and I trust their products--can you imagine the liability and risk management issues involved with being in this business? Anyway, suspect other brands are equal to or better than BO--your choice. Regardless of company claims, I guess I would treat tow bars like tires--eg, my tires still look great after 6-7 years but I wouldnt keep driving on them. Buying a used tow bar with no history of use or abuse is risky. Aluminum Vs steel--think I'd go with steel. And, unless you have had a major event [like jumping a railroad crossing], annual inspections by BO are probably over kill. Last time we were at Quartzsite, seems like BO's inspection was free but any rehab was a charge of $25.
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Old 05-18-2013, 04:23 PM   #32
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You have to remember too when you buy a tow bar is that Blue Ox only has a 3 yr warranty. Readybrute has a lifetime warranty. That's why I bought one of theirs from Adventure RV. Next weekend will be the 1st time that I will use it.
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Old 05-18-2013, 05:26 PM   #33
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I can' believe that someone would expect a 20 yr old used tow bar to be covered............ what a wonderful world we would be living in.......... don't buy used............. be glad no one was hurt ..
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Old 05-18-2013, 06:14 PM   #34
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I forgot to mention in my post that I bought my tow bar new in the box . It is five years old.. 28K miles. Wouldn't expect one to wear out that quick! Only felt worth mentioning not only 20 yr hitches are having same problem.
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Old 05-19-2013, 04:45 AM   #35
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Magnetic particle testing (Magniflux) works only on ferrous materiel. As a Level III in penetrant, mag particle, Xray, ultrasound, and eddy current, I have worked on many aircraft, including Space Shuttle and am well aware of inspections on older and newer aircraft. We own a a trailer with all aluminum frame, and I do a visual on the exposed portions (particularly the tongue) looking for cracks at least twice a year. a previous model of this trailer had a catastrophic failure (fortunately the owner was going slow in a small town) and I had ours reinforced where that one failed. Aluminum is a very poor material to use in such a critical part with potentially fatal result when the towed brakes lose at highway speed and becomes an unguided missile. I am assuming the tow bar is painted which would make inspection difficult with anything other than eddy current (you would have to strip paint and clean for penetrant testing) and eddy current testing on assembled parts is difficult.
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Old 05-19-2013, 05:24 AM   #36
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When I bought my towbar 12 years ago, the choice between aluminum and steel was pretty easy. No offense intended.

Best wishes to you all.
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Old 05-19-2013, 06:13 AM   #37
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What about the safety chains? The break-away switch? Did these items function properly? Tow bar failure is one of my biggest fears!
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Old 05-19-2013, 06:23 AM   #38
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Thanks for sharing your story. I can't recall ever inspecting my BO tow bar back in the day; perhaps I was just lucky because I bought it used and used it for several years after. I don't think I'd be too critical of BO after 20 years, and the explanation from the company (above) seems reasonable to me.
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Old 05-19-2013, 07:01 AM   #39
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When I bought my 2005 HR Endeavor in in 2007, the previous owner had installed a Blue Ox Aladdin (aluminum construction). I had the BO baseplate installed on my Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, and have towed about 60,000 miles without any problem. This spring I looked at the tow bar very carefully, and noticed a small amount of play which might have been fixed by replacing the nylon bushings. I was also concerned about aluminum fatigue, but what also worried me was the information on the Aladdin at BO's website which stated that Aladdins shipped prior to Jan 1, 2011 are rated at 5,000 lbs., and those shipped after that date are rated at 7,500 lbs. My Jeep weighs about 4,600 lbs. So with the design rating so close to the actual weight of my tow combined with the play in the tow bar and potential aluminum fatigue, I decided to replace the Aladdin. I purchased the BO Aventa LX which is the version rated at 10,000 lbs and constructed of steel. Thanks to the OP for starting this thread - the tow bar is something everyone knows is important but it's easily taken for granted since it usually just works. But I'm glad I looked into mine further and will now have peace of mind from feeling I've done everything I can do to be safe as opposed to ignorant bliss.
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Old 05-25-2013, 07:03 PM   #40
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Blue Ox

Approxiamtely one year ago at a rally I had the Blue Ox service on my Aventa LX because the ball was very loose and would not hold in any position. It seemed to work well for the trip home and I believed it was fixed. Several months ago a friend had the same hitch fail, the ball broke off but luckly the cables held and there was minimal damage to the toad. Blue Ox replaced the entire hitch which was 3 years older than mine because of the ball failure.

Due to that failure I began looking closely at mine and again found the ball very loose. I called Blue Ox and their response was "nothing lasts forever" and the Towbar Hitch Assembly needed to be replaced at a cost of $275 and to discontinue using the hitch until replaced as it was "unsafe". They made no appologies for the assembly failure and offered no assistance other than being willing to sell me the part that I found for substancially less than what they quoted on line.

Unfortunately I have found this to be the norm for Blue Ox. I also have the Sport Loader for my motorcycle. Within two years after purchasing it for over $2500, the powder coat peeled off, the controller cable insulation cracked off and the solinoid failed. They did not offer any assistance other than giving me the opportunity to purchase the replacment parts at outragious prices and suggested painting it. This loader is only exposed to the weather about 2 months a year and then stored inside.

I will never purchase a Blue Ox product again. In my opinion, they do not seem to care about customer service, just to sell the product. I am sure there will be several responses that will disagree with me and post their outrage at my opinion but I will spend my money on manufacturers that I feel care about long term quality and customer satisfaction and Blue Ox isn't it.
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Old 05-25-2013, 07:40 PM   #41
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I guess I'll be the first to disagree then, any thing made by anyone can have problems at some time or another.
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Old 05-26-2013, 03:02 PM   #42
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At least readybrute has a lifetime warranty unlike blue ox's 3 yrs.

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