We were traveling at about sixty miles an hour towing our Explorer Sport behind our motorhome when it broke loose. Our first thought, as our vehicle crossed the center line, traveled several hundred yards in the wrong lane and finally went down into a ditch and hit a tree, was that our tow system had failed. Inspection showed that there had been no failure of the towing system but that the tow hooks had broken loose from the frame.
The hooks on the Explorer have never been used for anything but towing the vehicle. It has never been stuck in a ditch and pulled out by use of these hooks. It has been well maintained and towed approximately thirty thousand miles. Obviously this accident could have had fatal consequences for someone in oncoming traffic or pedestrians using the adjacent bicycle path.
This vehicle shares a frame with the Ranger, older Explorer four doors, and I believe the Sport Trac. Anybody towing one of these toads should have the tow hooks inspected by a professional. We have good pictures showing the breaks which we can email to anyone interested.
Our Explorer was totaled and we don't know what the compensation will be yet.
We are writing to Ford, the NTSB and Blue Ox letting them know about the failure.
2008 Newmar Grand Star, Brake Buddy, Blue Ox, Explorer Sport Trac 4x4, and (one brilliant Golden Retriever in spirit and memory) Toby our Corgi pup.
I'm having a bit of trouble understanding what actually happened. Didn't you have a tow plate mounted on the front of the Explorer? Was it made by Blue Ox? Or were you towing it by the "tow hooks" that Ford puts on the chassis? If so, how did your tow bar connect to them? Sorry if I'm missing something, I just don't see the the full picture.
Was your Brake Buddy functioning properly. Then what you're saying is that the Brake Buddy doesn't provide a break-away feature. That might have saved your Explorer from hitting the tree.
Again sorry to hear of your mishap. Glad to hear no one was injured.
2005 Georgie Boy 3625 DS on a Workhorse W-22 (Class A)
Rick, Gail, 1 girl (16-Angel, Lexi96.org), 1 girl (11), 2 boys (12 & 9).
2001 Honda Odyssey, Demco Aluminator tow bar & tow plate, SMI Silent Partner brake controller.
I'm afraid I am confused by your use of the term "tow hooks" also.
Please give us more details, I tow a 2005 Explorer Sport Trac and am very interested in what happened.
Jim and Sally and a Lakeland Terrier named Rufus
Carson City, NV/Surprise,AZ/Florence,OR
2001 Country Coach Affinity, 40'
Towing a 2005 Ford Explorer Sport Trac with a Blue Ox tow bar and using a Brake Buddy.
Many Fords on that chassis have hooks or tow rings attached to the frame. This is standard Ford equipment. The Brake Buddy couldn't engage because the base plate was still attached to the hooks.
There was no failure on the part of the Blue Ox system, it still holds the tow hook (or rings as some call them) the are part of the car. Sorry my description is confusing.
I have an Explorer also. The tow hooks on any of these vehicles are not made for the repeated pounding that goes on when towing a vehicle. They're made to be used once in a while to pull something or to be pulled out of the mud. And even then, I wouldn't stand anywhere near it while it is pulling or being pulled.
After looking at various base plates for our Explorer, I bought the Demco as it looked to be the most stout.
2000 Itasca Suncruiser 35U on a Ford chassis, 74,000 miles
2003 Ford Explorer toad with Ready Brake supplemental brakes,
Ready Brute tow bar, and Demco base plate.
I see so many people with their safety chains or cables connected to the tow brackets....They should be around another part of the chassis.
Hmm, our Sterling has tow cables that hook from the chassis/frame of our Saturn to the tow bracket and a second set that hooks on the tow bracket to the hitch on the MH. Maybe blue ox has a different set-up, but I feel the sterling is safe. While I feel for the OP's loss (of the SUV) I suppose the OP should feel blessed that his 60 mph rocket didn't hit another car head-on and injure/kill the unsuspecting motorist.
I'm surprised that a Blue Ox system would attach the base plate through the factory tow hooks. If its anything like the Jeep, the factory manual specifically states that connecting to the tow hooks for recreational towing is not safe. I would think Ford would be the same.
If the base plate is not adequately attached to the frame, it is absolutely the fault of the base plate manufacturer as a design problem. I would expect your insurance company to go after the base plate manufacturer. Have you contacted your base plate manufacturer? We would all love to see pictures. If the base plate was installed correctly and came loose, everyone here should stop using this manufacturer emediately, no matter what the vehicle. We all put our trust in these towing devises and the engineering behind them. A properly designed base plate should never come off the vehicle - ever.
The Flying Fortress
'83 Revcon Prince 31' FWD
502 w/Howell/GM 16197427 ECM/Edelbrock MPFI,Thorley's & Magnaflows,
4L85E 4 speed, KoniFSD,
6% grade = wanna drag? MISC photos Revconeers Forum
I agree with the above but where was the breakaway cable attached? Mine is on the bumper of my Jeep and in the receiver safety chain hole of the MH. Should the base plates (or any other part of the system connecting the two) fail or separate the breakaway would trigger and my Jeep would be dead in it's tracks (probably get rear ended ) The two systems (tow and breakaway) are completely separated. Is that not how they all are?
btw, I share the sentiment that nobody got hurt. That would be scary to say the least!
2008 Itasca Sunova 35J Class A
1997 TJ Sahara, hard and soft tops and AC
Held together via Roadmaster Falcon 2 tow bar and stopped by US Gear Unified Brake system.