Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Dinghy Towing: Used Tow Bar Values
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 > Used Tow Bar Values

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crawford

Dandridge Tenn.

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Posted: 03/25/21 09:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My Demco have a large green ring when locked if not locked a red ring is there, also they don''t have those built in release leavers mine come off after you release arms. Yes keeping track of them a pain but they always work.


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Tinstar

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Posted: 03/25/21 04:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don't know how anyone gets their tow bar "inspected" or rebuilt or repaired. I have a Blue Ox that I have attempted to have looked at but Blue Ox NEVER responds to email.


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zb39

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Posted: 03/26/21 02:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I bought a road master sterling about 25 years ago. After 100k miles of towing I could see some wear on it. Shipped it to Road master under there warranty to always rebuild to like new for half the cost of a new one.
They didn't have some parts I needed so they shipped me a brand new one. Still using it and when I hit another 100k I will send it in.


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camper_ron

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Posted: 03/28/21 10:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jshupe wrote:

rdhetrick wrote:

I'm sure there are lots of opinions on this, but for me, I wouldn't take the chance buying a used towbar. The manufacturer of mine recommends "service" every year or two if I remember correctly. If a new one cost $1k and a used one was $500, I personally couldn't justify saving $500 for something that has a lot riding behind it! For others, it's an acceptable risk.

Don't get me wrong, I buy used stuff all the time, but in my mind, some used things just aren't worth the risk. Fire Extinguishers are another thing that comes to mind!


I very rarely buy used equipment - but in an unusual move, bought a used tow bar. Horrible mistake. 5K miles later, it failed and is costing me a little over $3K to fix.

[image]
[image]

It left an impression from where the main pivot bolt hit the hood and grill.

[image]

This happened at the very end of a 10hr travel day -- at least we were close to our destination.


What did you do to bend the shafts both the same direction?





n0arp

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Posted: 03/28/21 11:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

camper_ron wrote:

What did you do to bend the shafts both the same direction?


We just stopped. Yes, the bar was perfectly level between the tow and toad on flat ground, and yes we use auxiliary braking (Roadmaster Invisibrake) and tested that it was working after the incident.

One of the arms no longer locks into place, and has a rattle when you shake it - like some teeth sheared off.

The pivot point, if you look closely at it, is bent on the vertical axis. When it bent there, the Jeep dived under the bars pushing them upwards. It actually pushed them upwards enough so that the pivot bolt hit the grill/hood, which is what the damage to the Jeep was. The bars are both bent in the same direction and that direction would have been vertical, not side to side as it appears with the bars on the ground.

I installed a Blue Ox baseplate yesterday and am going to use an Allure 10K bar with pintle, which is better suited to the way we use this and will better handle the weight as our Jeep keeps gaining. We probably won't determine exactly what happened, but I think there were multiple contributing factors:

  • Unknown use history prior to purchase
  • Teeth or locking mechanism failure in one of the bars
  • Metal fatigue at pivot point
  • Soft front springs that made it easier for the Jeep to dive under the bar
  • Jeep weighing ~5500lbs, getting close to the 6K limit
  • Bar has been used to tow the Jeep off-road on some fairly gnarly terrain



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rdhetrick

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Posted: 03/28/21 12:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Tinstar wrote:

I don't know how anyone gets their tow bar "inspected" or rebuilt or repaired. I have a Blue Ox that I have attempted to have looked at but Blue Ox NEVER responds to email.


Interesting, mine is also a Blue Ox. I've not tried to get it checked out, but was thinking about trying this summer.


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camper_ron

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Posted: 03/29/21 09:12am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the detailed response. I have a blue ox and have used it to tow my jeep liberty over 96,000 miles I did have it rebuilt at Quartzsite by Blue ox some years ago. only problems I have had where with the jeep frame and the receiver on the motorhome.

thanks, r0n....

Grit dog

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Posted: 03/29/21 09:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A used tow bar is no different than a used ________ (insert any mechanical device). It's worth what it's worth and if one isn't knowledgeable or comfortable assessing it's condition prior to purchase, then that's why they sell new ones.

If you wouldn't buy a used truck because you don't know what was plugged into the trailer hitch or a used lawn mower because you don't know a spindle bearing from an idler pulley, then buy new.


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DSDP Don

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Posted: 03/30/21 05:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had a 10 year old Roadmaster Blackhawk 2, 10K tow bar. I missed a dip in the road and bottomed out the coach. Because I tow a Ford Raptor with 13" of front end travel, it bent the tow bar like a pretzel (determination/theory developed after speaking with Roadmaster.

Not wanting to drive the toad home separately, I ordered a new Roadmaster 10K bar that was delivered to the campground. Amazon price $1000.00.

Once home, I was able to order both arms ($250) and rebuilt the tow bar. It had been serviced and rebuilt at Quartzsite, two years earlier. They only rebuild with new plastic washers, they don't clean the internals. It was actually easy to rebuild. I cleaned it up and lubed and tighten the joints. I put it on Craigslist and someone got a great 10K tow bar for $350.00, one third the cost new.

That tow bar was as good as new when I sold it.


Don & Mary
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n0arp

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Posted: 04/01/21 11:11am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DSDP Don wrote:

I had a 10 year old Roadmaster Blackhawk 2, 10K tow bar. I missed a dip in the road and bottomed out the coach. Because I tow a Ford Raptor with 13" of front end travel, it bent the tow bar like a pretzel (determination/theory developed after speaking with Roadmaster.


I think that travel is definitely a factor here. We have a ton of travel on our JL now with the MetalCloak GameChanger 3.5 suspension, which allowed it to easily push up and under the bar and as you said, bend it like a pretzel. We didn't bottom out, but the travel still came into play somewhere.

The Blue Ox Allure we switched to has been great so far. Towed it over a mile of pitted slickrock and off-kilter sand to get out of our last site, through some tight gas-station turns, and an hour or so of highway so far, and had no issues with binding or anything else. The clunking I was concerned about with the pintle is a non-issue.

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