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Old 12-27-2013, 06:18 PM   #15
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Exclamation UPDATE

Since I have a RoadMaster tow bar, I emailed them and asked the same question. Here is their reply:

"The life expectancy of our Tow Bars are 10 years, 70,000 miles. You are correct, stress and fatigue in the metal and in the welds are the concern."

My tow bar is six years old with about 10,000 on it, so I should be good. I do think regular inspections at an RV rally are a good idea.

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Old 12-27-2013, 07:18 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MRUSA14 View Post
Roadmaster checked mine for "free". They wound up selling me a new one because the old one had a lot of wear and would have needed expensive repairs. This was after about 5 yrs/40,000 miles.
Marc,

Were they able to physically show you the worn out parts? Did they offer you any type of discount on a new tow bar?

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Old 12-27-2013, 07:24 PM   #17
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I inspected mine myself, tore it apart, ordered new parts from here etrailer.com - Products blue ox parts and rebuilt it, just like new now.
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Old 12-27-2013, 07:30 PM   #18
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Blue-Ox gave me a "Rally" discount and a trade in allowance for my worn out Aladdin. They showed me the worn places, 4 if I remember correctly. I upgraded to the Aventa LX. I think I saved about $400.
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Old 12-27-2013, 07:57 PM   #19
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The article is correct!! This is my 10 year old Blue Ox Aladdin with less than 60,000 miles. Wish I would have sent it in. I now have a Ready Brute Lifetime warranty tow bar.
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Old 12-27-2013, 08:37 PM   #20
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Yes, they showed me the worn parts, and yes they gave me a reduced price for the new one. They also re-used some good parts from my old one and reduced the cost further. This was all done in about an hour, at their service truck at a big Good Sam rally.
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:13 AM   #21
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I have an original Stowmaster 5000 tow bar that is 21 years of age. Every 3-5 yr. I take it to the Roadmaster factory in Vancouver, WA (used to be in Portland, OR) where they overhaul it and make it like new again.

I personally have never heard that there is a time limit or an expiry date for a towbar. My experience says that as long as you have it inspected by the factory engineers/technicians then you are good to go on towing with it.

P.S. It has 120,000 km or 75,000 towing miles on it.
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Old 01-04-2014, 09:05 AM   #22
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I did not know that towbars can be subject to failure due to age. Sounds like poor construction design.
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Old 01-04-2014, 08:44 PM   #23
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i have seen posts that blue ox towbar being broken, just like brobox's photo shown. but i don't remember seeing any roadmaster towbar failure reports. rm uses stainless steel while blue ox uses aluminum alloy. that might be the reason.
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Old 01-05-2014, 07:44 AM   #24
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Photo of broken weld makes me not want to buy a Blue Ox tow bar! I don't have to take my Reese hitch in for inspection, rebuilding, refurbishment at "reduced cost" every few years. Why does the tow bar? How about the baseplate? Does it have to be rebuilt every few years or mileage? Sounds like poor engineering or construction to me or worse preying on people's fear for profit. Either way I would look into another brand.
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Old 01-05-2014, 04:58 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myssdragn View Post
I don't have to take my Reese hitch in for inspection, rebuilding, refurbishment at "reduced cost" every few years. Why does the tow bar?
I'm no structural engineer, but since both major manufacturers recommend inspections after extended use, I'm thinking it may have to do with the fact that a tow bar is a moving/sliding piece of equipment, whereas a hitch and baseplate are not.

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Old 01-06-2014, 06:39 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myssdragn View Post
Photo of broken weld makes me not want to buy a Blue Ox tow bar! I don't have to take my Reese hitch in for inspection, rebuilding, refurbishment at "reduced cost" every few years. Why does the tow bar? How about the baseplate? Does it have to be rebuilt every few years or mileage? Sounds like poor engineering or construction to me or worse preying on people's fear for profit. Either way I would look into another brand.
You are correct in your statement about not buying a Blue Ox. However it was not a weld that broke, it was the main coupling of the tow bar that snapped in half. Not only is the design prone to metal fatigue from side to side turns, their customer service is TERRIBLE when something does happen. When I called with the problem they didn't even ask if everything was alright. They would NOT stand behind the tow bar, they had me send it in ($35.00) and said it was past it's life expectancy. I have since talked to many in RV Parks and I was surprise how many of these tow bars have broken. It was nice to hear that two different parties insurance companies were suing BO.

One person had $18,000 in damage to his toad and rear of his MH when his tow bar broke. I was lucky, I was just pulling away when mine snapped.

Please, do not think your tow bar is the "best" ever made and it will never break....all tow bars are subject to metal fatigue just from the way they are used. If you have used it for 20 years and have never done anything to it, consider yourself one of the lucky ones...I and many others are not in that group. I learned the hard way.

There are other brands and I chose one with a lifetime warranty. After towing with it I can see why they give a LT warrant, it is twice the tow bar for much less in cost.
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Old 01-06-2014, 07:09 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brobox View Post
The article is correct!! This is my 10 year old Blue Ox Aladdin with less than 60,000 miles. Wish I would have sent it in. I now have a Ready Brute Lifetime warranty tow bar.
When I magnify the pic I see that it did not break at a weld. It looks like a ferous alloy that broke from stress, by the look of the shavings. A weld is the strongest point, yes? The metal should have been thicker?
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Old 01-06-2014, 07:18 AM   #28
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I have used a Stowmasster stainless for 14 years now and have no broken or even worn parts. Having said that, remember your tow bar needs inspected every time you hook up. It needs to lubed,cleaned and properly stored when not in use. Pull forward a bit each hook up to be sure the locks engage and you are straight.
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