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Old 10-28-2020, 02:05 PM   #1
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Tow Bar Questions (Blue Ox Avail)

Figured I would rely on some wisdom from people using tow bars. When I hook up the tow bar, I push the car back to lock in the arms, but usually I am off center and only one locks into place. Is there a trick to getting the other one to lock in? I drove forward slowly and it took about 500 feet and a left turn before the other one finally clicked in.

Also, why do they say never back up with it? Just a pivot thing? It seems like the stress of the car stopping and pushing on the bar would be equivalent to any force exerted when backing up.
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Old 10-28-2020, 02:12 PM   #2
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I find that with my current Demco and my prior BO both arms very seldom lock at the same time. I drive forward slowly until the other arm locks and sometimes is takes a "wigwag" back and forth turns to get it to lock.

As for never backing, the toad's front wheels follow correctly when moving forward because of the wheel geometry. When you try to back up, the reverse roll of the wheels will cause the steering to violently swing right or left resulting in tire lock. That can cause severe damage to the tow bar. Some can back up a short distance IF someone is in the toad keeping the steering straight.
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Old 10-28-2020, 02:16 PM   #3
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Thanks! So I guess I did not appear too crazy driving the RV with my poor wife running after to see if the tow bar locked up. I need to leave a little slower next time though, I think she was a bit mad at me.

As for backing up, that makes sense.
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Old 10-28-2020, 03:19 PM   #4
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When hooking up our toad we just back the toad up till they lock in.
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Old 10-28-2020, 03:24 PM   #5
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Three BO here iver the years. I just pull the coach out and let the arms lock.
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Old 10-28-2020, 05:20 PM   #6
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When you hook up and have only one arm lock, turn the toad front wheels in the direction of the UNLOCKED arm. Obviously, not to the stop, but a significant amount. When the coach starts forward the unlocked arm will lock within about 6 feet every single time.. Just pull the coach straight forward, and don't try turning it to lock the arm.
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Old 10-28-2020, 11:26 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Pigman1 View Post
When you hook up and have only one arm lock, turn the toad front wheels in the direction of the UNLOCKED arm. Obviously, not to the stop, but a significant amount. When the coach starts forward the unlocked arm will lock within about 6 feet every single time.. Just pull the coach straight forward, and don't try turning it to lock the arm.

What he said. I turn the car steering wheel one-half turn and it locks almost immediately because the car begins turning in that direction when pulled forward and extends the recalcitrant arm.

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Old 10-29-2020, 09:24 AM   #8
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The newer Avail bars will lock automatically as you begin to drive off. No need to wiggle back and forth driving or have your wife run behind to insure they lock.
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Old 10-29-2020, 01:51 PM   #9
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Awesome! Thanks for the tips. Got the unlock part to work much better today!
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Old 10-29-2020, 01:56 PM   #10
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The newer Avail bars will lock automatically as you begin to drive off. No need to wiggle back and forth driving or have your wife run behind to insure they lock.
From page 3 of the Avail manual: https://www.blueox.com/wp-content/up...2/BX7420-1.pdf

3. On the towed vehicle, disengage the parking brake and set up the transmission for towing and unlock the steering wheel. Pull forward with the towing vehicle until one or both of the locking handles are engaged and locked (When locked they will “pop” up).

If only one locking handle is locked, turn the towed vehicle’s steering wheel towards the unlocked tow bar leg approximately 1/2 to 3/4 turn, before continuing forward. Drive the towing vehicle forward until the second leg locks into place.


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Old 10-30-2020, 12:45 PM   #11
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When backing up the force is against the locking levers and can cause damage to the internal locks. That is what I was told at the Blue Ox booth but I gotten bad information before.
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Old 10-30-2020, 02:26 PM   #12
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When backing up the force is against the locking levers and can cause damage to the internal locks. That is what I was told at the Blue Ox booth but I gotten bad information before.
Indeed. Because when the motorhome slows down the toad never exerts force against those same locks...

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Old 10-31-2020, 01:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
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The newer Avail bars will lock automatically as you begin to drive off. No need to wiggle back and forth driving or have your wife run behind to insure they lock.
X2...just drive forward slowly until you see, feel or hear the arms lock.
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Old 11-01-2020, 08:43 AM   #14
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When backing up the force is against the locking levers and can cause damage to the internal locks. That is what I was told at the Blue Ox booth but I gotten bad information before.
Huh? Something doesn't sound right or I'm misunderstanding you. What vehicle, toad or coach, are you talking about backing up. When either or both arm locks do not lock, the easiest thing to do is to back the toad slowly to the rear. One or both arms will lock, and if only one, turn the toad front wheels TOWARD the unlocked arm. When you start to drive off in the attached combination, the unlocked arm will lock within 6'. Any time you are on the road and hit the coach brakes, the toad pushes against the tow bar arm locks. Whoever at BO told you that needs a new job sweeping streets or collecting garbage. The tow arms are designed to take tension AND compression loads. How they're applied is irrelevant, or BO would have a hundred warnings about NEVER towing a toad without brakes.
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