With the RV season in full swing and more and more motorhome owners hitting the road, it is important to remember towing safety. Many RV'ers choose to tow a car, truck, or SUV behind their RV four wheels down using a tow bar and base plate setup. However, it is important before towing 4 wheels down that you ensure your
tow bar is still in good condition.
Repair or purchase a new Blue Ox tow bar?
Blue Ox is one of the few companies to offer repair parts for their late model tow bars. It seems silly if the nylon washers or protective boots wear out to have to purchase a whole new tow bar. You will find replacement washer kits along with complete leg assemblies in our tow bar repair part department, that are DIY replaceable to get your tow bar back into working order. But there will come a time when it make financial sense to replace an old worn out tow bar with a new one. And even that process has it's advantages with the Blue Ox tow bar trade in program.
Tow bars get the brunt of every hard stop, bump in the road, and abrupt turn. Over time this can take a toll on the integrity of specific areas of the tow bar. Before you tow, it is important that you do a visual and thorough inspection of your tow bar. You should look for visible wear on the pins and bolts. Also, you should check the range of motion of the
pivot joint. If you suspect there is wear or this area feels loose or too tight, or does not move to your satisfaction, then you should perform adjustments along with the possible replacement of nylon washers and bolts. It is important to remember that only Blue Ox manufactured parts are designed for the tow bar. You may save time and money by going to a hardware store for parts, but if they are not an exact fit, you could end up damaging your vehicle, motorhome, or both.
An indication that you may need a new tow bar is the purchase of a new car. Different tow bars are made to carry different weights and a new vehicle could weigh more than the one you had before. For instance, if you had a car but upgraded to an SUV, minivan, or truck, then you need to verify that the tow bar you have is rated to tow your new vehicle.
If you have doubts about the quality of your tow bar or if it's seen a lot of miles it is better to replace it than to have a costly mishap while towing.
By Bill Rowell