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Old 02-28-2019, 05:03 PM   #1
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One tow arm doesn't extend-what to do?

Six years driving my class A and never had this happen before. I always try to leave a long enough runway so both arms can lock. However, didn't happen last time. I came to a turn and one arm was still not locked. I had no choice so made the turn very slowly so as not to damage anything and the arm did lock. Question is, what to do if one or both arms don't lock and you have to make a turn? Also, which way should you turn the MH if one arm is not locked-toward the unlocked arm or the opposite direction. In my particular case above, my driver side arm was unlocked and I was turning left. During the turn it locked although I would have thought that it would have required a straightforward pull or turn to the right but obviously that wasn't the case. Any advice for the future is appreciated.

Mike
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Old 02-28-2019, 05:08 PM   #2
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The arms lock when they extend fully so I would have thought turning away from the arm would cause it to lock.

If they're six years old they may be in dire need of maintenance. I'm guessing not all are the same, but some need to have the rubber boot retracted and the arms cleaned and greased.
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Old 02-28-2019, 05:10 PM   #3
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One tow arm doesn't extend-what to do?

Turn the steering wheel of toad towards the arm that is not locked. It generally will lock as soon as you start moving forward.
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Old 02-28-2019, 05:10 PM   #4
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if the runway isn’t long enough then back up the toad to lock the arns. no room for that then pull forward enough to make room to back up the toad. should only take a ~3 feet.
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Old 02-28-2019, 05:11 PM   #5
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The first thing you should ALWAYS do is make sure the arms lock before you start on your trip. Usually a straight pull will lock the arms. Tow bars also require periodic maintenance. Clean the inner shaft with soap and water then dry the arms. Spray lubricant helps the arms slide and ultimately lock into the towing position.
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Old 02-28-2019, 05:17 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by TravelinMike View Post
Six years driving my class A and never had this happen before. I always try to leave a long enough runway so both arms can lock. However, didn't happen last time. I came to a turn and one arm was still not locked. I had no choice so made the turn very slowly so as not to damage anything and the arm did lock. Question is, what to do if one or both arms don't lock and you have to make a turn? Also, which way should you turn the MH if one arm is not locked-toward the unlocked arm or the opposite direction. In my particular case above, my driver side arm was unlocked and I was turning left. During the turn it locked although I would have thought that it would have required a straightforward pull or turn to the right but obviously that wasn't the case. Any advice for the future is appreciated.

Mike
What tow bar manufacturer is it?
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Old 02-28-2019, 05:22 PM   #7
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What tow bar manufacturer is it?
My question too.
Roadmaster says not to use WD-40 on their bars as it causes the bushings to swell and bind. My Sterling bar did that, had to take it to them and have it rebuilt.
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Old 02-28-2019, 06:21 PM   #8
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I always back up the toad to lock the arms. Then I can check if they are locked, walking from the toad to the motorhome.
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Old 02-28-2019, 06:50 PM   #9
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My question too.
Roadmaster says not to use WD-40 on their bars as it causes the bushings to swell and bind. My Sterling bar did that, had to take it to them and have it rebuilt.
I have the Sterling tow bar as well and Roadmaster says to use silicone spray only. I rebuilt mine after that mistake of spraying WD-40 on it. It is a very simple rebuild. The hardest part is getting the bars out of the tube with the swollen bushings. Roadmaster has great employees that seem to be happy to help you when you call.
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Old 02-28-2019, 07:10 PM   #10
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My Roadmaster unit folds up and collapses on the base brackets. I open it up and the arms lock, then I mount it on the ball. When parked for any length of time, I just remove it off of the toad. Eddie Elk.
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Old 03-01-2019, 03:19 PM   #11
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The arms lock when they extend fully so I would have thought turning away from the arm would cause it to lock.

If they're six years old they may be in dire need of maintenance. I'm guessing not all are the same, but some need to have the rubber boot retracted and the arms cleaned and greased.
Yup, it's a Blue Ox annual maintenance item. Roadmaster has the same requirment.
The way to lock the arms is to gently steer/weave from L to R a few times; unless you are on a downgrade this works well.
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Old 03-02-2019, 10:06 PM   #12
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Well I guess I'm doing it wrong, usually just push the Toad back until they lock. I mean it only weighs about 4300lbs but them I'm not trying to move it far.
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Old 03-02-2019, 10:21 PM   #13
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Well I guess I'm doing it wrong, usually just push the Toad back until they lock. I mean it only weighs about 4300lbs but them I'm not trying to move it far.
seems to me locking is locking regardless of method. i usually have the wife pull forward a bit while i watch during mt final walk around.
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Old 03-02-2019, 10:22 PM   #14
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I keep my arms lubed a couple times a year with silicon. I hook up the toad and my wife goes back and stands next to the toad watching to make sure ALL the wheels are turning while I pull forward slowly.

When I slowly start to go forward I turn my wheels all the way to the right and then all the way to the left. My wife makes sure the latching lever closes on the Sterling tow bar assembly as the rear end moves one way, then the other.

Have been doing it that way for 13 years.
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