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Old 04-17-2021, 10:34 PM   #1
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Blue Ox Tow Bar Upgrade - Is it Worth it?

So several years ago I bought my first Blue Ox tow bar. Quality product but your Toad must be relatively level and straight behind the RV for the latches on top of the two bars to disengage. My worst nightmare is missing a turn and needing to do an in-traffic disconnect and the bars not allowing me due to the angle.

So now they make a very similar tow bar with "non-binding" latches that Blue Ox says can be disconnected at any angle. (I'm looking at the Alpha 2 BX 7380 model.) Can anyone validate that for me?

It looks like it would be a $600+ outlay with discount and $150 trade-in (on a perfectly good tow bar)...what do you think?
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Old 04-19-2021, 02:04 PM   #2
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So does anyone have one of the newer Blue Ox tow bars with non-binding latches? If so, are you able to disengage the tow bar from your TOAD at any angle or level? Does the hype live up to reality? Thx.
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Old 04-19-2021, 02:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArkRVHog View Post
So several years ago I bought my first Blue Ox tow bar. Quality product but your Toad must be relatively level and straight behind the RV for the latches on top of the two bars to disengage. My worst nightmare is missing a turn and needing to do an in-traffic disconnect and the bars not allowing me due to the angle.

So now they make a very similar tow bar with "non-binding" latches that Blue Ox says can be disconnected at any angle. (I'm looking at the Alpha 2 BX 7380 model.) Can anyone validate that for me?

It looks like it would be a $600+ outlay with discount and $150 trade-in (on a perfectly good tow bar)...what do you think?

I think it’s a waste of money, but if it gives you piece of mind who am I to say. If I was just buying a system I would but not for a upgrade.
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Old 04-19-2021, 05:26 PM   #4
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Hitch Hype

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArkRVHog View Post
So does anyone have one of the newer Blue Ox tow bars with non-binding latches? If so, are you able to disengage the tow bar from your TOAD at any angle or level? Does the hype live up to reality? Thx.
The only hitches that live ups to the hype are Propride and Hensley. Guantee no sway ever!
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Old 04-20-2021, 08:28 AM   #5
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Hitches??? The issue is tow bars, not hitches.

I have a new Blue Ox system and have been able to connect/disconnect while the toad was at least 30 degrees off center from the MH. It also appears as if having the Jeep and MH at different levels from each other would not be a problem.
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Old 04-20-2021, 10:52 AM   #6
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Hitches??? The issue is tow bars, not hitches.

I have a new Blue Ox system and have been able to connect/disconnect while the toad was at least 30 degrees off center from the MH. It also appears as if having the Jeep and MH at different levels from each other would not be a problem.


Sorry. Early in the morning.
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Old 04-20-2021, 11:40 AM   #7
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I guess if your tow bar is is due for service, which I think runs around $150 plus a $150 trade in, the pain is a little less. If disconnecting at an angle is a problem it might be something to consider. Personally, I haven't had that problem yet.
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Old 04-20-2021, 01:06 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by 5er_tom View Post
Hitches??? The issue is tow bars, not hitches.

I have a new Blue Ox system and have been able to connect/disconnect while the toad was at least 30 degrees off center from the MH. It also appears as if having the Jeep and MH at different levels from each other would not be a problem.
They must be better than they used to be, mine is a 2016 and can be a real pain to disconnect if on any kind of angle that front to back or sideways. Also with a Jeep JK. Works fine on level. I would go for the deal and have been looking at different ones, will now look into this one. Blue Ox are great products other than that.
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Old 04-20-2021, 01:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArkRVHog View Post
So several years ago I bought my first Blue Ox tow bar. Quality product but your Toad must be relatively level and straight behind the RV for the latches on top of the two bars to disengage. My worst nightmare is missing a turn and needing to do an in-traffic disconnect and the bars not allowing me due to the angle.

So now they make a very similar tow bar with "non-binding" latches that Blue Ox says can be disconnected at any angle. (I'm looking at the Alpha 2 BX 7380 model.) Can anyone validate that for me?

It looks like it would be a $600+ outlay with discount and $150 trade-in (on a perfectly good tow bar)...what do you think?
Who would you be trading in with? Is it directly through Blue Ox and shipping old Tow Bar would be expensive.
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Old 04-20-2021, 02:33 PM   #10
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https://www.blueoxtowbars.com/produc...roducts%20(new)

This is my Blue Ox, or at least something very similar. Note the silver bars that go into the base plate. They are notched and the ends of the tow bars go into them and are then pinned. The ends of the tow bars turn and swivel, as well as the bars extend, so one can connect to the toad from almost any angle, even if the toad and RV are parked on a slope.

Sorry, this may be clear as mud.
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Old 04-20-2021, 02:59 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by 5er_tom View Post
https://www.blueoxtowbars.com/produc...roducts%20(new)

This is my Blue Ox, or at least something very similar. Note the silver bars that go into the base plate. They are notched and the ends of the tow bars go into them and are then pinned. The ends of the tow bars turn and swivel, as well as the bars extend, so one can connect to the toad from almost any angle, even if the toad and RV are parked on a slope.

Sorry, this may be clear as mud.
That is similar to mine except where the locking mechanisms are. Mine have a square box in front of each. That must be the new Type II he was talking about. Connecting is easy at any angle or slope. It is the unlocking to get them off that is a pain. When legs are fully extended if there is a twist or angle between them pretty much impossible, even pounding on the release with a mallet which I don't want to do.
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Old 04-20-2021, 03:02 PM   #12
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I have the Blue Ox Alpha tow bar & baseplate on my Jeep JK, hooked to a 2014 Georgetown XL. It is fairly forgiving of angle and height differences when unhooking and hooking up. I would say that anything within 10 degrees is OK. The tow bar slides have about 9" of travel from fully compressed to locked. Hope that helps.
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Old 04-20-2021, 05:45 PM   #13
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Unlocking is made easier if you release the pressure on the pins. To do that you have 2 cases : 1) If the pressure is due to a slope and is equal on both pins. then you have to apply the handbrake on the toad and move the motorhome just a little bit (less then 1/4 inch) going down the slope. 2) If the pressure is not on the same direction on both sides (look at the pin in their respective holes and you should be able to see which one is touching the front of its hole and which one is touching the rear of its hole), then you should not apply the handbrake on the toad but you have to turn the steering of the motorhome completely on one side and move forward just a little bit to remove the pressure. The steering should be turned on the side where the pin touches the front of the hole.
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Old 04-20-2021, 06:17 PM   #14
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They must be better than they used to be, mine is a 2016 and can be a real pain to disconnect if on any kind of angle that front to back or sideways. Also with a Jeep JK. Works fine on level. I would go for the deal and have been looking at different ones, will now look into this one. Blue Ox are great products other than that.
Yep...maybe 25% of the time I think we're square and the latches should release easily they don't (or one doesn't.) I feel like "non-binding" latches would be a major improvement on the tow bar. And the first time I have to jump out in traffic if missing a turn (and not able to back up) will be worth the $500+ investment.
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Old 04-20-2021, 07:01 PM   #15
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I second molf21 comment about a Hensley, just changed out a R3 to Hensley. It is a substantial piece of equipment but no sway!
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Old 04-20-2021, 07:04 PM   #16
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I have a Roadmaster Nighthawk non-binding tow bar. It has a 400:1 ratio so 5 pounds of upward pressure on the lever exerts 2,000 pounds of force against the lock. Sometimes it's been a good, hard pull on the lever but not often.

Have I ever had a problem pulling the levers? No.

Is it worth an upgrade? Only you can answer that. If your tow bar is "several years" old, I think Blue Ox has a ten-year life limit on their tow bars. If you're getting close to that it may be a worthwhile upgrade just for the peace of mind.

Me? I like the LED lights on my Nighthawk.

Ray
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Old 04-20-2021, 07:36 PM   #17
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My solution...

I carry a hammer and small diameter bolt in my towing kit. If there's a bind that I can't separate by other means, I tap the BO pin out with the bolt which usually creates enough "slop" to retrieve my tapping bolt and dislodge the bars.
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Old 04-21-2021, 06:25 AM   #18
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I do the exact same thing, you get the pin out it gets real easy, did that many of times.
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Old 04-24-2021, 06:15 AM   #19
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Sold my rig. I have a blue ox that’s rated 15,000 and can load at any angle. Have baseplates for 2016 suburban and 2009 Chevy. 609-351-1396 if interested.
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Old 04-24-2021, 09:52 PM   #20
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Who would you be trading in with? Is it directly through Blue Ox and shipping old Tow Bar would be expensive.
The $150 trade-in is only available if buying through a dealer who does installation (like for the baseplates.) My RV dealer was not real excited about Blue Ox's trade in deal (lots of paperwork and potential time in getting their $150 back.) But picked up my new one and dropped the old one off at my dealer last week so no shipping costs.

Taking it out tomorrow and will be testing the "non-binding" latches soon!
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