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Old 11-15-2015, 05:19 PM   #1
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Tow Bar Locking Handles, Angle Degree When Locked

Have a new Blue Ox tow bar & did pick up some hints at other threads about getting both handles to lock, one being reversing the towed car slightly when hooked up to the MH.

When locked, the handles are at a 30-40 degree angle to the tow bar; Is this enough? Seems like they should pop up closer to 90 degrees, but that's just me! Can't find info anywhere on this so any advice would help. Thanks!!
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Old 11-15-2015, 05:41 PM   #2
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No they don't pop up 90*, at least not on my BlueOx towbar. 30-40 sounds about right, they either pop up or they don't. If they pop up you should be good to go.
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Old 11-15-2015, 05:53 PM   #3
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Thanks, 70CSS. Now if I can get both handles to lock at the same time we're good to go. Trailered for years...first MH experience
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Old 11-15-2015, 06:01 PM   #4
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Usually when you pull the MH forward they'll lock. If not turn the MH away from the side that didn't lock as you pull forward. So if passenger side didn't lock turn to the driver's side a bit, that should extend the arm on the passenger side and let it lock. If space doesn't permit that you can also put the toad in reverse and do the same. Typically they will lock once you moved the MH a short distance and the toad has a chance to straighten out behind the MH. By the time I get down my driveway, it is long, both arms locked.
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Old 11-15-2015, 06:11 PM   #5
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Pulled for a mile or more today...first one side would lock, then after awhile the other side, but never both at once. Tried the forward, turning toward the unlocked side but that didn't work either. Will try Reversing Toad lightly tomorrow & see if that works. The tow bar is new, so maybe the arms are not extending fully, just needing time to break in a bit.
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Old 11-15-2015, 06:18 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Dick & Pat View Post
Pulled for a mile or more today...first one side would lock, then after awhile the other side, but never both at once. Tried the forward, turning toward the unlocked side but that didn't work either. Will try Reversing Toad lightly tomorrow & see if that works. The tow bar is new, so maybe the arms are not extending fully, just needing time to break in a bit.
You will not get them to lock at the same time. Get one locked and then do a couple back and forth moves pulling away and you will be locked and loaded, ready to go.
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Old 11-15-2015, 07:16 PM   #7
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I use the method Blue Ox has in their video. Since it is a given that one side will not normally lock and to tell which one I usually have my wife back up the toad while I am watching to see which side locks. Then I turn the wheel towards the side that did not lock. Then when pulling away in the RV the other side will stretch out and lock. Works every time.


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Old 11-15-2015, 07:27 PM   #8
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I use the method Blue Ox has in their video. Since it is a given that one side will not normally lock and to tell which one I usually have my wife back up the toad while I am watching to see which side locks. Then I turn the wheel towards the side that did not lock. Then when pulling away in the RV the other side will stretch out and lock. Works every time.


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I agree with Steve!
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Old 11-15-2015, 08:27 PM   #9
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I have used two differing BO tow bars. Neither ever have required any gyrations to lock. I just pull out and both arms will be locked within a short distance.
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Old 11-16-2015, 07:30 AM   #10
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I have used two differing BO tow bars. Neither ever have required any gyrations to lock. I just pull out and both arms will be locked within a short distance.
Same here, by the time I leave the driveway and hit the street they're both locked. Not sure why some would be so much trouble to get locked.
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Old 11-16-2015, 07:44 AM   #11
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Same as the last two posts. After connecting everything up DW and myself push the car back until one side locks. Tells us that the car is in neutral. Let the coach idle forward until I see in the camera that the other side has locked.
I've never had an instance where one side or the other came locked or did not lock after a few feet.
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Old 11-16-2015, 08:14 AM   #12
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Wow, so much discussion for something that is really easy to do. With your car aligned with the motorhome, put it in reverse (with your foot on the brake) and let it roll backwards until you feel one side of the tow bar lock. Turn the steering wheel all the way towards the side that locked and continue to back the car until the other side locks. Straighten the steering wheel and complete what procedures are needed for the car.

I've done it this way with my Blue OX towbar and my Demco towbar and it assures that your tow bar arms are locked before you ever get back in the motorhome to drive off.
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Old 11-16-2015, 01:43 PM   #13
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What may be confusing is the term "lock" for the handles. They never do really lock themselves in position. If there is no tension on the bar, the handle is still free to move down against spring tension. If there is tension on the bar, the handle will be tight and feel like it is "locked" but it is just holding against the latching groove in the bar. As long as the handle has sprung upward to that 30 degree angle, then the bar is latched and will not slide back and forth in the sleeve.
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Old 11-16-2015, 04:48 PM   #14
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I'm not familiar with the Blue Ox tow bars but my ReadyBrute Elite has zerk fittings for greasing the tow bar. I noticed after greasing it the first time that the bar locked up much more easily and reliably. If yours has zerk fittings you may want to give them some grease.
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