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Old 07-19-2014, 09:21 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by stearn View Post
Never had problems with hitch pins, but found the yoke can also fail. Just an FYI something else to check.
Something is weird with that equipment. The left leg of the yoke is rusty (as are other surfaces of the tow bar) and the right leg of the yoke is smooth and not rusty. What was the method of failure?

I agree with you that all equipment on the motorhome and toad and all points in between need to be checked often.
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Old 07-19-2014, 09:27 PM   #44
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I have found in my 10 years of tow bar towing and reading and seeing tow bar failures its the same as small airplane crashes
99% pilot error
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Old 07-19-2014, 09:41 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Dr4Film View Post
Stearn,

Now THAT is what I call a true failure. I would bet that Blue-Ox would have replaced it for you without charge, correct?

This is a wake up call to all owners of tow bars regardless of brand to check your equipment often to catch potential problems before they become disasters.

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No, they did not it was out of warranty! They did tell me where I could buy the parts. Lucky it let go as we finished fueling,while pulling away. Do not want to steal the post, just wanted to show that other things can happen.
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Old 07-19-2014, 09:46 PM   #46
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that picture shows it was cracked for awhile and then twisted off.That to me Shows(indicates) it was seized in the swivel and the need to inspect your tow stuff!! don't be passing the blame onto the guy who made it
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Old 07-19-2014, 10:06 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by aauummm View Post
Something is weird with that equipment. The left leg of the yoke is rusty (as are other surfaces of the tow bar) and the right leg of the yoke is smooth and not rusty. What was the method of failure?

I agree with you that all equipment on the motorhome and toad and all points in between need to be checked often.
The only guess I have that one side failed first, as to where and how I do not know. The yoke is made of cast iron. We thought maybe the bolt was two tight and created stress. I had been towing our hhr for 4 yrs. Probably should have taken it in for a check over before the trip to Tx. Did go through a lot of rain. The only maintenance it had,was what I did, and that was loosen the boots to clean the shafts and silicone them.
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Old 07-19-2014, 10:15 PM   #48
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that picture shows it was cracked for awhile and then twisted off.That to me Shows(indicates) it was seized in the swivel and the need to inspect your tow stuff!! don't be passing the blame onto the guy who made it
Swivel was not seized. I am not blaming anyone. I should have taken in to have checked out, been towing with it four 4 yrs. Things happen , that's why I like this forum. I have learned a lot thru the years. Sad to say some of the lessons come from someone else s bad luck,
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Old 07-20-2014, 01:54 AM   #49
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Thanks for all the input and discussion, this is valuable information that applies to more than just my issue. To summarize:

1) I can't really blame my Blue Ox tow bar since I used the improper pins and clevis pins...which came with the "new but unused" Blue Ox I bought. The guy I bought it from probably lost the correct pins/linch pins and I suppose replaced them before he shipped it to me. It was obviously unused, but wasn't in a Blue Ox box and had been sitting around for a while, based on being dusty and some surface dirt. There were not any instructions included either. It is 100% my fault for not verifying it before I used it.

2) It is very clear that tow bars are NOT a "buy it and forget it" type purchase. They should checked and inspected very frequently and maintained and lubricated. They will not last forever and should be replaced when the tolerances increase and the tow bar joints loosen and wear. Some of the parts can be replaced, but this should also include the hardened bolts at the pivot points.

3) Purchasing a used tow bar, or even a "new" one from someone other than the manufacturer or dealer is probably not a good idea. The potential savings is just not worth the risk. It just isn't possible to know how it has been used, or if it has been in an accident or has internal damage or stress cracks. "It looks new" is just not good enough for such a critical component. Factory fresh is best.

4) Most of the tow bars use 1/2" pins on the yoke connection to the base plate, 2 of them. Roadmaster is the only manufacturer (that I am aware of) that uses a 3/4" pin at the base plate yoke. Tow bars are such a critical piece of hardware and are subjected to many rigors that are hard to control (road bumps, potholes, evasive maneuvers etc.) In this scenario I think bigger is better and I would prefer a heavier duty tow bar, one that provides some headroom to cover the rigors.

Over engineering isn't always a good thing, but I actually want an over engineered tow bar. I will be buying a Roadmaster Blackhawk 2 to replace my damaged Blue Ox.

Again, than you for relating your experiences and for your great contributions!
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Old 07-20-2014, 02:07 AM   #50
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Don't know if anyone metion this but, have you check the height on the toad's base plate and RV's hitch? Should be only inches difference if not the same.
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Old 07-20-2014, 06:33 AM   #51
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The Roadmaster Baseplates and Tow Bars are some of the BEST in the industry especially their baseplates.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
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Old 07-20-2014, 07:10 AM   #52
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Don't know if anyone metion this but, have you check the height on the toad's base plate and RV's hitch? Should be only inches difference if not the same.
Good point! If memory serves there is a 4" tolerance.
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Old 07-20-2014, 01:47 PM   #53
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Good point! If memory serves there is a 4" tolerance.
That was one of the first things I checked. I think they allow a +/- 3" range. I am sitting at 2" below level, so within specs.

Does anyone have any input on the MX vs XL baseplates? Roadmaster says the MX is for heavier vehicles and doesn't require the use of the quick disconnect cross bar (not so sure the QD it is much quicker than just pulling off the 2 arms from the yokes...)

If I do use the cross bar, how is the length of it adjusted to accommodate for the width of the frame? Or is that length fixed?

I am going to call Roadmaster tomorrow, just thought I'd ask the group as well.

Thanks!
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Old 07-20-2014, 05:57 PM   #54
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The Roadmaster Baseplates and Tow Bars are some of the BEST in the industry especially their baseplates.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
+ 1. on this board i have seen more than 2 tow bar failures all were blue ox. roadmaster was built strong, so far i have not seen reports otherwise.
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Old 07-21-2014, 05:17 PM   #55
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I called Roadmaster today and got some info, here is an update:

1) There is no structural or capacity difference between the MX and the XL baseplates. The XL uses the cross arm bar between the yokes and the MX does not. The cross arm allows for the quick disconnect and also allows the use of their accessories (rock shield). He said that 95% use the XL with the cross arm.

Interestingly they didn't much care that their own information here indicates that one is meant for heavier vehicles (see footnote 37)

2) I inquired about their adapter yoke end that allows you to use a BlackHawk2 tow bar on a Blue Ox baseplate. I am considering doing this since I will be changing from my 2007 Avalanche to a 2015 F150 soon and really don't want to buy a new $400 baseplate just for a few months use.

Basically they just replace the yoke on the end of the arms to adapt to the Blue Ox base plate. Look at this photo, see anything interesting?

Roadmaster Tow Bar to Blue Ox Brackets Adapter Roadmaster Accessories and Parts RM-031



A standard hitchpin with a hairpin clevis pin!!!
So...they sanction the use of that kind of hitchpin and cleivs???

Not to worry...I will NEVER use that type again. Just seems so strange!

3) The channel guides on the sides of each arm will only accommodate their 6,000 lb. rated EZ hook cables, not the 10,000 lb. set. I really like the idea of these cables and channel guides, keeps everything in place and tidy. Also you can only use the EZ guides with the XL baseplate since the EZ hook adapter bolts to the bottom of the XL baseplate. This pic shows how it fits together. It isn't a big deal, but I like how it fits together.




So a Roadmaster BlackHawk 2 is on the way with a set of 4 padlocks keyed alike for security on the pins!

Thanks for the comments and help!
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Old 07-22-2014, 12:26 AM   #56
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This pic shows how it fits together. It isn't a big deal, but I like how it fits together.




So a Roadmaster BlackHawk 2 is on the way with a set of 4 padlocks keyed alike for security on the pins!

Thanks for the comments and help!
Is that a black plastic wiretie holding the cable that would be used in the event the baseplate separated from the towed?
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