By: Peggi McDonald
As John and I enjoy our 20th year of Fulltime RV travels, our summer 2005 journeys are taking us to Canada's (Eastern) Maritime Provinces. On this trip we have been privy to some of the most awesome scenery that can be found anywhere. Every 2-3 days we settle into a new wondrous location. It has been a fantastic trip, one of our most awesome plus our travels covered over every type of terrain. The beginning of this odyssey coincided with ownership of our new state of the art Blue Ox Alexus
Towing four wheels down is the most convenient way to be certain getaway wheels are always accessible. Yes, some vehicles can only be transported on a dolly or a trailer but these days the choice of towable units that effortlessly track four wheels down is so extensive, convenient wheels of some type waits for everyone.
Our new Alexus towbar simplifies the flat towing experience we have put this new towbar through its paces over good roads, sections of less than perfect pavement and very hilly territories. It continues to impress us. Connecting and disconnecting on a variety of hills, inclines and various surfaces is simple in all cases it came through with flying colors.
Our first time out with the Alexus, we disconnected on a hill so we automatically set the emergency brake. The locking handles unlocked with ease we removed the lock bars' (removable tabs) and with ease we stowed the hitch. In a similar situation while using our previous towbars, including our latest Blue Ox Acclaim, it was necessary to drive forward and back several times before the hitch would release from the ball then it had to be folded and stowed on the car (or removed and stowed in a storage pod if we planned to stay in one spot for any length of time).
During the mid 80's when we began our fulltime travels exploring Mexico's curvy hilly terrain was our prime winter destination. During one occasion the nut on the bottom of our hitch ball on our motorhome worked off our car followed behind for several miles tethered only by the one tow chain. The towbar hitch dragged on the roadway (we were too green' to know about crossing tow chains) luckily it didn't catapult during our 20-mile disconnected trip. We were especially thankful the car also didn't break loose and cause an accident. With the state-of-the-art design of the Alexus we still have the ease of towing with the tried and true ball' technology, but without worrying if ball or hitch will disconnect during transit.
We are on our fourth different towbar during our RV adventures of exploring this vast continent from the Mexico Interior to the Continental USA and Canada east to west. The Alexus towbar, Blue Ox's new prized convenience, is by far the most reliable unit we have used. It's heavy-duty steel construction and Class IV 10,000 pounds capacity will effortlessly and safely tow most toys' that RVers just love' to take along.
The Alexus boasts a brand new cutting edge, self-tightening ball-in-socket' design with 360o swivel (it has a spherical joint rather than a traditional bolted together flex joint). This feature along with the offset triple lug connections extends the life of the towing system. The Alexus offers numerous safety features it has all the pluses of earlier units but towing problems with previous towbars have vanished. For convenience and less stress on the car, this unit stores on the back of the motorhome when not in use.
Installation and connection
is so easy. No matter what the terrain, the car only has to be parked a few feet behind the motorhome within distance of the stowed and extended legs. Each self-aligning leg collapses and extends as needed. The car does not have to be centered behind the motorhome. A square tongue (hitch connector) slips into the motorhome receiver tube and secures with an enclosed ½" pin. Just for info John and I replaced that pin with a Blue Ox locking bar to ensure it wouldn't grow legs'. (Set of three locking bar, all keyed the same part #BX88101)
The car is connected in a few simple steps.
"˘ We lift both legs straight up so the hold-up bolt can slip out of the notch.
"˘ The towbar unit pivots down on the ball assembly until the special designed triple lug brackets are on the ground or level with the double lug car brackets on baseplate assembly insert one lug into the other. (Be sure the odd shaped side points out see up' arrow). The improved offset style alignment connection design of this towbar reduces stress on the towing system.
"˘ Another Blue Ox locking bar (or a receiver pin) slips into each connected car bracket/towbar lug.
"˘ Connect tow chains (rated for vehicle weight being towed) crossed under the ball assembly to create a cradle for emergencies.
"˘ Check lights and you are ready to roll.
NOTE: Watch the car as you drive forward to be sure the legs are locked when handles pop up. If one leg does not lock, either maneuver the motorhome to put stress on that leg, or turn the car steering wheel slightly in the direction of the unlocked leg.
when our car was sloping uphill was easy, but while on a downhill incline slope we found the locking bars were sometimes difficult to release. BUT after a call to Blue Ox tech support that problem vanished.
"˘ Now before disconnecting we always set the emergency brake,
"˘ Turn the wheels to the left and then to the right and then straighten them. This removes pressure on the arms, and the handles easily release.
"˘ Remove locks or receiver pins
"˘ Disconnect and retract the legs
"˘ Place the hold-up bolt in the notch and lay the legs down in resting position
"˘ Add the cover (part # BX8875) and it is time to play
NOTE: When stowed be sure the legs are tightly compressed and the soft lock' is set. If the legs are not secured' simply extend them and push them in with continuous pressure.
is equally simple, rubber boots protect the legs from dirt and debris and the self-aligning features ensure setting up and disconnecting is a dream. Periodically wash with gentle solutions and wipe dry. When not in use protect it with a special designed cover. Enjoy your travels and your new Alexus, we are.
For info on how to own your Alexus contact Blue Ox, Blue Ox.us
. One Mill Rd., Industrial Park, Pender, NE. 68047. Phone 402-385-3051. Fax 402-385-3360. Info @ Blue Ox.us
. They will also provide RV Dealers who sell this great product.
Peggi and John McDonald are RV Lifestyle Consultants, Fulltime RVers for the past 20 years and Webhost of the popular RV Living.net
. Peggi's latest publication RV Living in the 21st Century is jam-packed with tips and hints we have learned along the way and from our neighbors. Topics range from buying your first RV to going fulltime and EVERYTHING in between.