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-   -   Tow Bar Questions (Blue Ox Avail) (https://www.irv2.com/forums/f85/tow-bar-questions-blue-ox-avail-512786.html)

CWSWine 11-01-2020 08:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pigman1 (Post 5503926)
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.


I was also told at the booth that there they won't rebuild tow bars over 5 years old. Call BO they said 10 years and at another booth 8 years.

I also told that I bought a used tow bar since I purchased 3 year ago but the tow bar is over 5 years old. I said I bought it at FMCA rally in Indy in 2017 for the Blue Ox booth and he walk off saying we not rebuilding it.


When I discovered that the Blue Ox light kit for my 2017 Jeep the blinker would stop blinking when the brakes are applied Blue Ox tech line ask me how often I step on the brakes while turning. He also said it was a known problem with no plans to fix it. Roadmaster had a fix for Blue Ox Lighting Kits.


New owner of a Roadmaster Night Hask tow bar.

Pigman1 11-01-2020 09:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CWSWine (Post 5503975)
I was also told at the booth that there they won't rebuild tow bars over 5 years old. Call BO they said 10 years and at another booth 8 years.

I also told that I bought a used tow bar since I purchased 3 year ago but the tow bar is over 5 years old. I said I bought it at FMCA rally in Indy in 2017 for the Blue Ox booth and he walk off saying we not rebuilding it.


When I discovered that the Blue Ox light kit for my 2017 Jeep the blinker would stop blinking when the brakes are applied Blue Ox tech line ask me how often I step on the brakes while turning. He also said it was a known problem with no plans to fix it. Roadmaster had a fix for Blue Ox Lighting Kits.


New owner of a Roadmaster Night Hask tow bar.

Yeah, welcome to the wonderful world of Blue Ox products. I've been using BO tow bars and base plates since 2003 and have watched the continuous deterioration of their products and customer service. Unfortunately, in my opinion, they are the strongest tow bars on the market, AS LONG AS YOU CONTINUOUSLY INSPECT THEM EVERY TIME YOU USE THEM. We tow an 8000+ pound toad to Alaska and back, (9 times now) so we load our bar and base plate heavy, but within BO specs. After my last issue with their base plate I went to my local certified welding shop and had them fix it permanently. I also went to a Roadmasrter Night Hawk, however I had some issues with it. I bent and then broke one of the stainless bars (It was my fault, no doubt of that) doing a maneuver I had done many times before with the BO. Other than my stupid, I had no other problems with the Roadmaster. I did get the BO AvailI and have since completely rebuilt it myself due to excessive wear in the joints. I had been using stainless shim material to keep them tight. Although the price of the BO parts, quill, finger attach joints, and other minor parts, are absolutely ridiculously high, with frequent inspections I think the BO bar is somewhat stronger than the Roadmaster. If you're not pushing your tow bar limits I think the Roadmaster would give excellent service. Good luck with it, but watch it closely.

NXR 11-01-2020 09:50 AM

Quote:

We tow an 8000+ pound toad to Alaska and back, (9 times now) ...
Quote:

I also went to a Roadmaster Night Hawk, however I had some issues with it. I bent and then broke one of the stainless bars (It was my fault, no doubt of that) doing a maneuver I had done many times before with the BO.
For those of us with Nighthawk's would you please add a bit of detail so we could avoid what you did?

The current Nighthawk has an 8,000 pound rating so I'll presume that you were not towing your 8,000+ pound load when the Nighthawk broke but maybe you were?

Thanks,

Ray

Pigman1 11-01-2020 11:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NXR (Post 5504077)
For those of us with Nighthawk's would you please add a bit of detail so we could avoid what you did?

The current Nighthawk has an 8,000 pound rating so I'll presume that you were not towing your 8,000+ pound load when the Nighthawk broke but maybe you were?

Thanks,

Ray

OOps, I might have been mistaken on the model. It was definitely a Roadmaster, but it had a 10,000 lb rating. I got hung up trying to make a U-turn at a fuel stop in Alaska and couldn't go forward or back with the legs under tension. Since I was on gravel, I tried to push the toad back with the Bus thinking the toad front would slide on the stones. Didn't happen although I've done the same thing with a couple of BO's without doing damage. As I said, definitely my bad, but just so you know, I'm one of those guys who have been backing my toad hooked up for years. I know all the warnings and in this case paid for it but I can regularly push the toad straight back an unlimited distance and can actually can push on a curve, for up to 100-200'. I won't go further into that issue as it gives some readers VERY high blood pressure when I say I do it. The stainless bar actually broke when I straightened it (almost) and then did some tight turns. Again, I knew I was taking a gamble and lost, but in northern Yukon there was no other choice but to have DW drive for hours alone, and I didn't want to do that. As it turned out, she only had to drive an hour or so until some very sharp Canadian Machinists cut me out a new one.

NXR 11-01-2020 12:32 PM

Thanks. The Nighthawk has a row of LEDs on each arm that come on with the tail lights.

I get the blanket prohibition on backing and figure it's probably because of the high likelihood of the car jackknifing.

I would think that backing up in a straight line at a slow speed puts no more stress on the tow bar than the car would put on the tow bar as the motorhome is braking.

Unless you're using a surge brake system like the NSA Readybrake, of course. Or maybe it's also because any braking system based on G forces might sense a deceleration and try to apply the car's brakes while backing up.

Ray

Pigman1 11-01-2020 03:08 PM

OK, nice to know. As I remember it, shortly after I got the Roadmaster they came out with something that had lights somewhere, but I wasn't too interested so I didn't explore it further. BTW, we use an Air Force One toad brake.

Just to really get some folks in a tither, We also use the toad to help us out when we can't go forward. First time was in West Texas in an ice storm. We'd pulled into a rest area for a driver pit stop and even though the area was level, we just couldn't get going due to the ice. I put DW into the 4WD pickup, had her put it in 4WD, and used the pickup's power to help push the Bus forward. One caution, she NEVER touched the steering wheel. Worked like a dream until we got to a bit of downgrade and on a less slick area. Second time we were stopped on a 2 lane in Saskatchewan due to a fatal accident ahead. A long line ahead and were told it would be 6-8 hours. The road was too narrow to turn around on. After some trucks went into a nearby wheat stubble field to make a u-turn, we did our trick a second time. 4WD, low range and some power on the toad but hands off the wheel, and we made our turn. I'm sure we would have bogged down without the pickup pushing, but we made it just. The watching truck drivers were laughing their butt's off as we pulled out. Sometimes ya' just gotta be creative. Close inspection showed no damage after each case.


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