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Old 06-06-2023, 03:00 PM   #1
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Man did we get lucky yesterday

Yesterday we were leaving DeBoise, Wy. headed to Sugar City, ID during this trip we would reach 9658 feet and then come down to 4890.
When I was getting ready to hook the tow bar to the truck I noticed one of the tubes just didn't feel right as I was bringing them down to vertical so I looked closer. There are two ears welded on to each tube then all 4 ears are placed into a housing and a bolt is past through to secure the two tubes. One of the ears cracked in two places and no longer providing any support. The remaining ear had bent and this is why the two tubes would no longer line up the way they use to.
I got a wake up call yesterday I had never closely inspected my tow bar our new one will get inspected often. These tow bars perform under the worst conditions. They are continuously tugged, pulled, and twisted the entire time your toad is hooked up.
Our tow bar was a Demco Aluminator it was at least 12 years old, we purchased it used, and we have towed an F150 over 50K miles with it. The tow bar did its job I didnít do mine. PLEASE take 15 minutes and take a close look at your tow bar.
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Old 06-06-2023, 03:25 PM   #2
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With all the threads I have seen here about failed or failing tow bars, base plates ripping loose and hitches cracking I too will be checking mine over each and every trip.
Good on you for checking yours before a disaster happened.
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Old 06-07-2023, 02:51 PM   #3
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I had the habit of looking over and feeling all of the tires including the toad at almost every stop during the day. I also made a point of inspecting the tow-bar and attachment points for anything that didn't appear right. I rarely found anything in 27 years, but always felt good that I had confirmed all was well. Just another habit one should get used to.
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Old 06-08-2023, 10:23 AM   #4
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I leave my tow bar on the coach while parked at home and cover it with a trash bag. My coach gets washed before each trip and the tow bar gets washed too. This gives me a chance to put hands on and do a quick inspection.
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Old 06-08-2023, 10:32 AM   #5
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Aluminum doesn't fatigue like steel. Stay away from it for critical things. It just cracks and it's done. That's why airplanes are constantly inspected. Look up the history of the 130s , all the way up to the C-5's. Lockheed was plagued by cracked wingspars. The company my dad flew for had wing shear tear off a dc130 wing killing everyone on board (4 crewmen). That was at camp old man in Alaska iirc. Anyway towbars are not a great place for aluminum throughout.
And thanks for the push, I planned on tearing mine down last year and didn't do it.
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Old 06-11-2023, 06:51 PM   #6
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Shootist, your examples brought back my memory of flying on a C5A from Dover AB to Frankfurt, Germany in March 1975. The plane was fully loaded with cargo we were all sitting up in the bubble. Our flight was the last or one of the last passenger flights allowed on the C5A due to wing creaks.
I had mentioned to my wife that we should think seriously this winter about replacing our tow bar, guess our timeline got moved up a little bit.
On a good note E-trailer did an outstanding job of getting our new tow bar to us . we placed our order on June 6, and the tow bar was delivered to Ennis, MT. on June 9. Since it was delivered to Montana we paid no taxes.
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