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Old 06-18-2007, 05:14 PM   #1
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I have a Blue Ox Alexus tow bar that I have had for 15 months, since the rig was new. I tow a 2001 Jeep Wrangler. After pulling home from the campground last night, about 180 miles, I got in late and went to bed. I came out this morning to unhook and noted that something looked funny. The tow arms were still hooked up and locked out, but the ball joint at the receiver end of the tow bar looked like it had rotated to the left.

This caused the tow bars not to be level with each other as they usually are, but instead kind of looked like a open pair of scissors. The pin on the higher side pulled out easily, but the pin on the side that had dropped was a bit of a challenge.

When I got the tow bar unhooked, the "scissor" effect was dramatic. When I lifted the tow bar up to hook the carrier pin into the space in the receiver, the bars would no longer rotate up far enough to lock in. I had to remove the tow bar completely. Up to this point the tow bar has worked flawlessly for over 10,000 miles.

I called Blue Ox and after e-mailing some pictures of the tow bar, they decided to send me a replacement tow bar along with a call tag to send mine back. The only fly in the ointment is that they will inspect it to see if warranty will handle it, or if I get to pay for it. This concerns me some as I am not sure what I could have possible done to have caused this failure.

Has anyone else ever experienced this type of issue with their tow bar? I have read all the posts at the top of the forum, including the one on tow bars wearing out. This just seems a little premature for a tow bar to fail.

I will post the decision when I hear back from Blue Ox.





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Old 06-18-2007, 05:14 PM   #2
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I have a Blue Ox Alexus tow bar that I have had for 15 months, since the rig was new. I tow a 2001 Jeep Wrangler. After pulling home from the campground last night, about 180 miles, I got in late and went to bed. I came out this morning to unhook and noted that something looked funny. The tow arms were still hooked up and locked out, but the ball joint at the receiver end of the tow bar looked like it had rotated to the left.

This caused the tow bars not to be level with each other as they usually are, but instead kind of looked like a open pair of scissors. The pin on the higher side pulled out easily, but the pin on the side that had dropped was a bit of a challenge.

When I got the tow bar unhooked, the "scissor" effect was dramatic. When I lifted the tow bar up to hook the carrier pin into the space in the receiver, the bars would no longer rotate up far enough to lock in. I had to remove the tow bar completely. Up to this point the tow bar has worked flawlessly for over 10,000 miles.

I called Blue Ox and after e-mailing some pictures of the tow bar, they decided to send me a replacement tow bar along with a call tag to send mine back. The only fly in the ointment is that they will inspect it to see if warranty will handle it, or if I get to pay for it. This concerns me some as I am not sure what I could have possible done to have caused this failure.

Has anyone else ever experienced this type of issue with their tow bar? I have read all the posts at the top of the forum, including the one on tow bars wearing out. This just seems a little premature for a tow bar to fail.

I will post the decision when I hear back from Blue Ox.





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Old 06-18-2007, 05:24 PM   #3
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I would be very cautious about giving back the defective part with a "maybe we will warrant it", that is unles you really like this particular tow bar, and you won't mind paying for another one. That ball connection is exactly why I passed on a Blue Ox system.
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Old 06-18-2007, 05:29 PM   #4
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I don't have a BlueOx but I'd like to see those photos. Would you post them here??

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Old 06-18-2007, 05:32 PM   #5
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I will get them posted Tom. I will have to upload them first, and get them approved by admin. As soon as I can get them approved I will do so. I also don't mind sending via e-mail if someone would like to see them sooner.
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Old 06-18-2007, 05:42 PM   #6
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by SargeW:
The only fly in the ointment is that they will inspect it to see if warranty will handle it, or if I get to pay for it. This concerns me some as I am not sure what I could have possible done to have caused this failure. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Blue Ox has been accomodating beyond expectation in my expereince. I'm sure they will fix and or honor the warranty regarding the failure of the tow bar.

Would it have been possible that you backed up the motorhome at some point with the toad attached. I know tow bars just don't like going backward.
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Old 06-18-2007, 05:48 PM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">That ball connection is exactly why I passed on a Blue Ox system. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That ball connection is exactly why I bought the Alexus....Blue Ox has a proven record of exemplary warranty service, even to the point where they send tech teams to rallies to repair their product for NOTHING.
As a matter of clarification, when I bought this unit it was called the Alexus and it has since been renamed the Aventa LX.
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Old 06-18-2007, 05:54 PM   #8
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">but the ball joint at the receiver end of the tow bar looked like it had rotated to the left. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

If I'm not mistaken, my ball joint rotates left and right as well...I've never had an issue,maybe I'd better look.
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Old 06-18-2007, 05:55 PM   #9
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by SargeW:
..........I will have to upload them first, and get them approved by admin. As soon as I can get them approved I will do so. ............ </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Done! It's approved.
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Old 06-18-2007, 06:10 PM   #10
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This is a photo of the ball joint on the tow bar. The problem issues are the space between the black receiver and the silver mounting flange. The other issue, and probably the more important is the gold colored ball in the center of the swivel joint. It is very loose and swivels without any resistance. I think something inside the ball gave way.

Also if you look close, between the gold colored halves of the center ball there appears to be a washer. Next to that is a dark space. That is not a washer but a gap in the parts. Maybe something inside the gold ball came apart??
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Old 06-18-2007, 06:18 PM   #11
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Thanks for the assist, I screwed up posting the photos somehow. No, I have never tried to back up when hooked up. That was one of the benefits of having a 32' rig! I turned it today in our cul-d-sac. Pretty impressive turning radius.

I'm hoping for the best with Blue Ox as well, and I am not willing to bad mouth them in advance. They have treated several folks on the forum very well, and I know that they make a good product. The post was intended to find out if anyone else had ever experienced this type of failure. The good part was that even though something failed in the ball end, it still all held together and brought the Jeep home on 180 miles of crappy So. Cal freeways.

Sarge
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Old 06-18-2007, 06:19 PM   #12
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No doubt that the Ox is a wonderful product, but I still don't like the ball system.
I guess you aren't aware Bob, I bought an Apollo brake system at our rally last yr. I'm looking forward to seeing the Blue Ox team again this year at our Branson Rally.
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Old 06-18-2007, 06:24 PM   #13
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I'm looking forward to seeing the Blue Ox team again this year at our Branson Rally. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Regrettably,thanks in part to a scheduling snafu at Blue Ox and the presence of several other larger rallies during our timeframe there will not be a Blue Ox team at our rally.
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Old 06-18-2007, 06:25 PM   #14
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Also to clarify that ball joint issue. When I looked at the hook up before I pulled the base plate pins out, one arm had "sagged" lower than the other one. I have a photo of the disconnected tow bars sitting on the ground right after the disconnect that really shows the bent bars better, but for some reason that one photo is a few pixels too large to load. If I can get it resized I will post it as well.

I just got it to upload. I will add it to the post after admin looks at it.
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