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Old 01-06-2014, 06:26 AM   #29
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brobox, is that an aluminum tow bar?

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Old 01-06-2014, 01:00 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Izzyblueye View Post
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.
i'd say stowmaster was built like a rock. i used to have a stowmaster 5000 and the design made me believe it would never break. i sold it and bought a falcon all terrain for easy hookup. in my mind, stowmaster is way stronger than falcon, just by the beefy design. i kinda reget selling it from safety perspective.

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Old 01-13-2014, 03:19 PM   #31
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i'M Late on this post

I came to this post late but what an eye opener. I use both BO and RM tow bars Depending on the baseplates on what I'm towing. I have rebuilt my RM 2 years ago and very closely look at the welds. I think this could use a spot light on the subject. possibly as a sticky
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Old 01-15-2014, 05:56 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Craig P. View Post
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. Craig
Sorry I have been away for a while After looking at the photo closer at this particular failure I am even more adamant that I will never use a Blue Ox tow bar. It does indeed look like the material the bar was made of failed. This is poor engineering. Automobiles, trucks, and construction equipment all have hundreds of moving parts that do not fail simply because you use them ! We can all be thankful Blue Ox doesn't design and sell pacemakers. Personally I use a rigid A frame style tow bar with no moving parts. It's a little harder to hook up but appears much more robust than the telescoping self aligning ones I looked at when trying to decide. I do agree that inspecting all components of your tow setup should be done periodically to make sure fasteners have not come loose but catastrophic failure as in the attached picture should never happen in normal use.
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Old 01-15-2014, 11:50 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Craig P. View Post
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.

Well. I'm not trying to start a fight here. It's just my humble opinion. The tow bar is a moving/sliding piece of equipment only during hookup. Once the toad is hooked up, if you back the toad up, or drive the coach forward, the tow bar locks in extended position and becomes a fixed tow bar.

The ONLY advantage to a tow bar is the convenience of the movable arms to facilitate hooking up the toad. A fixed hitch can be used, but hooking up the toad would be far more time consuming and difficult.

I'm not pleased to hear these reports about these tow bars. Most unsettling. A tow bar, at these ridiculous prices, should be a lifetime proposition.
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Canada, eh?
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:38 AM   #34
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I take our RoadMaster Sterling over to the factory every year when I use it. Let them go over it and get it back in a day or two. Easy to do since they're only about 10 miles from home.
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:48 AM   #35
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I use a Blue Ox Aventa LX which is all steel. When I was shopping I asked Blue Ox and Roadmaster the same question, how long should it last. Both said it depends on how well I maintain it, and if it is installed correctly. Both said it is important to get the tow bar as level as possible, inspect it at every use, lube it before it gets dry, and an annual inspection. Neither would give me an approximate longevity, just said it depends on how much I use it, and how well I take care of it.
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Old 01-16-2014, 09:15 AM   #36
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I have a Blue Ox Aventa II. It is all steel, rated at 10k, will be 10 yr old in August, and has apx 67k towing miles. I leave it on the coach, and it is covered when not in use. It has been serviced by Blue Ox many times at rallies, and if over 12 mo from the last one I have cleaned and lubed it myself. In 2012 the service ticket said "rebuilt". They took it apart and replaced bushings, etc. I check it over thoroughly each time I hitch up, and tighten bolts if something appears to be not right. I deliberately avoided the aluminum models for in favor of steel.

The pic of the broken bar appears to show an aluminum drawbar. Seems I recall Blue Ox recalling the aluminum drawbars and replacing them with steel as they were snapping in two due to upward/downward stresses against the hitch. The one in the pic did not break at that point, but for reference the aluminum tow bars should all have a steel drawbar.

Much does depend on how they are used/abused. On a rough Canadian highway last summer our 45mph group was passed by a Class C towing a Jeep at probably 60 or more. The frost heaves were severe. Several miles down the road the Jeep was off in the brush after the towbar broke from the abuse ...nope, I don't know what the towbar make was.

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