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Old 06-22-2012, 09:01 PM   #1
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Trouble disconnecting tow bar

Help! I am having a problem each time I disconnect the tow bar from my car. I have an Blue Ox Aladdin attached to a Roadmaster baseplate. The baseplate uses an adapter that goes from each connector bar, (on the car) tying them together and that's what the tow bar attaches to. After our 200 miles drive today, I had a heck of a time getting the pins out that attach the tow bar to the adapter. They seem to be binding and I'm not sure how to free them up. I know there are latches on the tow bar and I could release one, but that didn't seem to help. BTW, I'm new to to towing the car. We just had it rigged to tow last month and this was our longest trip. (2 days @ 200 miles) I did manage to get disconnected, by driving the pins out, but I don't want to keep doing that. What are we, (me) doing wrong? I put on the car's emergency brake and then we took it off to see if moving the car a little would help. (not much) I have only unhooked four times and 50% of the time it was difficult. I would appreciate any advice on the best way to do this given my set up.
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Old 06-22-2012, 11:04 PM   #2
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I have a complete Blue Ox set up. Always try to be in a straight line when dis-connecting. Start the towed , have the DW put it in reverse, then I release the slide latches and have her pull forward 3 inches, and set the brake. Then I pull the pins, no binding.
Should dis-connect as easily as connect.
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Old 06-22-2012, 11:45 PM   #3
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My usual procedure to unhook our Jeep is to start the Jeep. Place it in Drive and release the brake. With the brake released I step on the accelerator just enough to put a bit of forward pressure on the tow bar. Then I set the parking brake, put the Jeep in Park and kill the engine. Then I can go to the tow bar and by pressing down on the release levers I can release any stored tension that might be binding the pins. They will now slide right out.
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Old 06-23-2012, 01:09 AM   #4
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Jack,
I ran into this a couple of times and had to drive the pins out. Then we pulled into a CG in Kerville, TX and I made the mistake of not unhooking before I pulled into a Drive In Site and the car was at a bit of an angle. Well, things started to get a little heated an then the fellow parked next door came over and said "I think I might be able to help" And help he did
Put the park brake on, Release the two levers, Start the engine and leave it in Neutral, Have DW turn the streeing wheel to the left and right while you pull on the pins to remove them. You may have to release the levers again if they don't free up.
Works slick as duck soup and no more high blood pressure.
Enjoy Happy Hour
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Old 06-23-2012, 09:33 AM   #5
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My goof was to get in the towed car, start it and put gear shift into park. Then shut car off. Next on the list was to decide to move mh a little to better fit the parking spot and when the mh would not move remembered the car was in park. As you might expect there was tension all around. I also could not get the car out of park to move the car forward. I then backed the mh up a slight bit and fortunately all was well and I could unhook the car. I've also used the other suggestions made and all work.
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Old 06-23-2012, 11:46 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JacknKay View Post
Help! I am having a problem each time I disconnect the tow bar from my car. I have an Blue Ox Aladdin attached to a Roadmaster baseplate. The baseplate uses an adapter that goes from each connector bar, (on the car) tying them together and that's what the tow bar attaches to. After our 200 miles drive today, I had a heck of a time getting the pins out that attach the tow bar to the adapter. They seem to be binding and I'm not sure how to free them up. I know there are latches on the tow bar and I could release one, but that didn't seem to help. BTW, I'm new to to towing the car. We just had it rigged to tow last month and this was our longest trip. (2 days @ 200 miles) I did manage to get disconnected, by driving the pins out, but I don't want to keep doing that. What are we, (me) doing wrong? I put on the car's emergency brake and then we took it off to see if moving the car a little would help. (not much) I have only unhooked four times and 50% of the time it was difficult. I would appreciate any advice on the best way to do this given my set up.
The reason you could unlock one arm and not the other is the second arm had tension or pressure on it. When you stop to unhook, try to have the motorhome and toad in as straight a line as possible. Stop on the level, and stop slowly so the momentum of the toad moving forward doesn't put pressure on the arm(s) of the tow bar.

If you still can't unlock one or both of the arms, start the toad and turn the steering wheel all the way to one side or the other, then try to unlock the arm. If doing this alone, make sure you firmly set the parking brake of the toad and put it into park before getting out to try to unlock the arm of the tow bar. Once the tow bar is unlocked, the toad can move forward.

I have also found the pins release more easily if you apply a little dry silicone lube to them.
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Old 06-23-2012, 11:52 AM   #7
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We use the Stirling All Terrain which is a nice tow bar for exactly the reasons being discussed here. We used to use on similar to yours. I would always make it a point to pull into the campground as straight as possible, right at the office where you check in. I would put the coach in neutral for a second, foot on brake, the place in reverse and just lift my foot a bit so that the coach barely moved more than an inch or so. I found this took pressure off the assembly, allowing for greater ease of decoupling. I still do it sometimes if I think of it , especially if the entrance to the campground has an uphill grade.
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Old 06-23-2012, 07:21 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I will try to remember all of these ideas next time we go for a spin in the rig. Our towed car is a manual tranny, but I should be able to accomplish the same thing. I understand the importance of being level and in line. My thanks to all.... Jack
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Old 06-23-2012, 09:01 PM   #9
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Jack, you have an awesome tow bar. You just need to get BOTH of the arms released prior to removing those pins. With the car in gear so it won't roll, release both of them. Normally one of them IS stiff, but a whack from your hand should release it! If you avoid using a big hammer on it or something, I doubt seriously you'll do any damage to the release mechanism - it REALLY tough!
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