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Old 12-03-2010, 10:03 AM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 67
Roadmaster Sterling All Terrain Tow Bar restoration

Roadmaster has built and sells what may be the best tow bar on the market in the Sterling tow bar. This summer I was approached by a newly make friend that owns this same bar (President of the ACA) while we happen to be at the same park in Fairbanks, AK. He asked if our tow bar that use to have tight swivel joints now had lots of slack from lots of use. Our tow bar had lost the tightness of close tolerances just as he and his wife was experiencing with theirs. I had no answer why this had happened or what the fix was.

As I am working to resolve a problem with another related Roadmaster product, I removed the two swivel ear assemblies (that connect with pins into the toad Roadmaster quick-disconnect crossbar) to attempt to identify why there was so much slack in these parts as well as other swivel components of the tow bar. I discovered there are nylon washers that had worn causing the slack and by replacing all the washers would put our tow bar in top condition. Contacting Roadmaster, my observation was confirmed, and I ordered 8- 1/2" and 13- 3/4" nylon washers to restore our great tow bar. I am relieved there was no metal being lost and doing this restoration before the nylon washers were gone, I will prevent more serious problems later. FYI

2003 Alpine Coach
2009 Jeep Wrangler 4-Dr Rubicon
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Old 12-03-2010, 10:33 AM   #2
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Is washer inspection and replacement part of Roadmaster's recommended maintenance? It seems like it should be.


03 Prevost H3-45
Hoffman Conversion
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Old 12-03-2010, 11:34 PM   #3
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Location: Long Beach, CA
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Roadmaster has rebuilt our Sterling twice (new gaskets and cleaning), at no charge, while we were at Quartzsite. Ours has a slight bend in one arm from a certain someone having backed up the toad in an emergency situation. They confirmed the damage but rebuilt it anyway.

BTW they have also offered to give me an entirely new one (mine is 8 years and 65K miles old) for $750 when I go back this year. It has a new and improved non-binding release system. I think I'll take them up. They have been very good to me.
2003 Alpine 40FDTS (400HP)
Long Beach, CA
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Old 12-04-2010, 11:19 PM   #4
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All - I have heard but not experienced that Roadmaster and Blue-Ox will rebuild the tow bars for a nominal amount of money. I have had mine for only 18 months or so and it has maybe 8K on it, so I don't think it needs it yet. I will have it checked at QZ this year. It still is very stiff, and all the boots, are intact. I keep it covered with a leather cover they provided when we purchased it. I have several friends who also have this tow bar, and it's the best out there. I looked over the RM brand, and it did not look as stiff and "built" when we were setting up the toad.

But I do use the roadmaster even brake for the supplemental braking in the Toad, as the BO product did not look as good. So some things one company makes better than the other. OBTW it takes me about 10 minutes or less to set up the toad to tow.
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Old 02-02-2011, 11:41 PM   #5
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The Sterling line was designed to be lighter than their other lines, while still towing most common toads. It is made of aluminum. For heavier toads, look at their Blackhawk line. The Blue Ox do look beefier, but weigh more. Had one on my Vectra, worked okay.

As mentioned, the Sterling has a new, improved release system. The old one was about as tetchy as the Blue Ox. I imagine Blue Ox has something easier to release as well, but don't know how much it weighs.
2003 Alpine 40FDTS (400HP)
Long Beach, CA
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tow bar restoration, tow bar slack

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