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Topic: Blue Ox Failed

Posted By: ty1967 on 07/28/05 06:35pm

I recieved this email from my Mom, she related this scary story to me, they tow a Jeep Grand Cherokee with a Safari Class A using a 5000lb blue ox, they replaced it with the 10,000 lb model:

We went to Gettysburg on the 20th, came home today. Was very hot, but we had a good time, Ursa too, spent days with our friends Adams, but let me tell you what happened today. About ten miles out of the campground on Rt. 15, a two lane south and north, us going south,our car broke off and went over the medium and onto the north traffic. We heard a bump noise, I asked Dad, are u okay, meaning what is that noice, he says, I am okay, meaning all is well, I looked into the camera and said, our car is gone, very calmly. Looking through
the back left side of m/home, I saw our car in the North bound lanes, setting in the middle line. Oh my, we pulled over, stopped, I jumped up, grabbed keys, out the door, across two lanes of south bound traffic, over the 20 foot medium and headed up the north bound side, cars and trucks wizzing by, me waving my arms for them to slow down, a man stopped, got the wheel and steered it to the side of road. No one hit, no one hit, a miracle!!!!! It was the angels and the brake buddy that saved the day. We turned car around, took the next exit, went to m/h, I drove car to the rv store about ten miles away. This is where we bought the hitch 1997. Warranty outdated, got 175.00 towards new one, installed it and came home. Scarry huh.We are really blessed and lucky no one was killed. I called, Sharlen said you were on duty till tomorrow. It has been 100 plus here, awful hot and humid. The pool was nice, and we were in in same spot as with you all when Dylan was a baby. I am exhausted. Nite.
mom


97 Flair 28t P30 L19 Chevy 454/Banks Power
Hot Wife">
& The Wild Bunch">


Posted By: Don Don on 07/28/05 06:39pm

Call Blue OX. They want to know! Maybe a refund for you.






Posted By: Camelot Mike on 07/28/05 06:42pm

YIKES.


Mike, Wendy, and our mongrels, Nellie, Sarah, and Tristan.
2005 Monaco Camelot 38 PDQ, 400 Cummins ISL, 6 speed Allison.
2006 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited 6 speed.



Posted By: MasterBoondocker on 07/28/05 06:44pm

SHOULDN'T the brake buddy have stopped the car in the median? ...... what specific item broke?

You are more laid-back than me..... if I noticed the car GONE .... my blood-pressure would go UP about 100 points !


Posted By: Murdi on 07/28/05 06:50pm

Just wondering whether or not the Brake Buddy had a breakaway on it & also whether or not you had safety cables attached.


">


Posted By: hwybnb on 07/28/05 07:20pm

Please tell us which model Blue Ox tow bar this was, and what part failed.






Posted By: Beach Boy on 07/28/05 07:34pm

Recently in either Motorhome or the Good Sams magazine's action line, a couple had a Blue Ox fail on them. Blue Ox reimbursed them without question. Sorry, I wish that I could tell you the exact magazine.


Bill & Laura Blanton
1999 Coachmen Catalina 34' FW with Two Slides


Posted By: smlranger on 07/28/05 07:34pm

Glad no one was injured. What about the safety cables? Their purpose is to keep the car behind the towing vehicle.


2019 Grand Design Solitude 384GK 5th wheel. Glen Allen, VA


Posted By: navyeng on 07/28/05 07:35pm

What item failed? Adaptor plate, pins, tow bar, safety chains? I just got the Aventa II 10,000# system to tow a Jeep Liberty. It seemed pretty sturdy when I installed it. Wasn't the key in the ignition of the Jeep? Did you have a break away switch? Sounds interesting.


Posted By: copterdude on 07/28/05 07:38pm

Doesn't the hitch use safety chains or cables??


94 Bounder, no Toad (yet)


Posted By: Camping Dutchman on 07/28/05 07:40pm

So the 5000lb blue ox failed the safety cables let go and the brake buddy didn't activate to it got over the median.. Not to be a naysayer about your mom, but it does sound a lil far fetched all those coincidences in one.


2008 Chevy 3500 cc DRW Duramax
2009 Cedar Creek Silverback 35L4QBS
Pull Rite 20.5 super 5th

2004 United Specialties Sold
stop by, theres always a seat by the fire

Member:Good Sam Club Haulin Highlanders


Posted By: Catdave on 07/28/05 07:47pm

ty1967 wrote:

...a Jeep Grand Cherokee... using a 5000lb blue ox...


And the Jeep Grand Cherokee weighs how much?


2006 Fleetwood Excursion 39L


Posted By: Go Blue on 07/28/05 07:54pm

Something's not right with this picture. I agree it has been hot there, maybe that is an interaction.

Let's see, towing a 4500# Jeep on a 5,000# Blue Ox towbar, the Jeep breaks away for no apparent reason as they're rolling down the highway with a smile on their face, the unspecified brake backup system failed to stop the Jeep in its own lane. The Jeep conveniently comes to rest on all fours on the other side of the median in the face of oncoming traffic.

And, evidently this Jeep is towed WITHOUT safety cables, because there is no mention of BOTH cables breaking, or the hitch being torn loose from the motorhome, or the baseplate being torn loose from the Jeep. So, which hitch pin or hitch pins failed?

So, my conclusion is, either I don't want to be anywhere near where this Jeep is being towed without safety cables OR a working backup braking system, or the heat got to someone who is telling this story.


Discovery 39L '04 & GMC Envoy '06
Blue Ox Aventa II & BrakePro
PressurePro (6+4)
3 Labradogs -- Sierra, and Maize & Blue
Dustyfoot 2-way satellite internet, Datastorm User #1332
FMCA
(aka Discovery39)




GO BLUE !!



Posted By: Jonny 31C on 07/28/05 08:07pm

I have a Roadmaster FalconII and I must say the safety cables are a JOKE!! The cables, by design, attach from the Hitch to the base plate. If the point of failure is the base plate, bye bye car. Yes if both arms of the SOLID STEEL tow bar fail then the safety cable will work. But if the bolts fail(more likely) of the base plate...again BYE BYE car. Make sure you have your break away cable installed...


Jonny
2011 Tiffin Phaeton 40QBH
">
2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Toad
2013 Can-Am Spyder RT Limited
2 amazing kids, 2 beagles


Posted By: cdking1 on 07/28/05 08:17pm

Hi, my blue ox also failed. But the cables ran it into the rear of the motorhome. A connecting nut inside the expansion unit came loose and the other side broke. They paid for the repairs and rebuilt the towbar using stronger materials. Other than a PITA it worked out okay. I do keep an eye on it now. no other problems with it. charlie in texas


1999 Southwind ford V10
Gibson hedders and exhaust
Tacoma, 4x4 toad


Posted By: profspan on 07/28/05 08:18pm

I know that bad things happen, and that equipment fails. Nothing lasts forever. But so many failures in one event make one wonder what triggered the accident. Too many coincidences. I'll bet Blue Ox would like to see that tow bar.
Anyway, nobody was injured and from what I read here was no metal-to-metal contact anywhere. (Even more surprising.)


Posted By: texasbaskets on 07/28/05 08:36pm

Jonny 31C wrote:

I have a Roadmaster FalconII and I must say the safety cables are a JOKE!! The cables, by design, attach from the Hitch to the base plate. If the point of failure is the base plate, bye bye car. Yes if both arms of the SOLID STEEL tow bar fail then the safety cable will work. But if the bolts fail(more likely) of the base plate...again BYE BYE car. Make sure you have your break away cable installed...


I just received my Blue Ox baseplate and have yet to install it. I was reading the instructions tonight, and they recommend connecting a safety chain between the baseplate and car frame. Would prevent what you are talking about, and now think I may do just that.

Michael


Michael, Kay, and Prissy (The vicious 6 pound Malti-Poo)
'05 Coachmen SportsCoach SE 372DS a.k.a. ">"Mana's Cabana"">


Posted By: Bago Mike on 07/28/05 08:37pm

Jonny 31C wrote:

I have a Roadmaster FalconII and I must say the safety cables are a JOKE!! The cables, by design, attach from the Hitch to the base plate. If the point of failure is the base plate, bye bye car. Yes if both arms of the SOLID STEEL tow bar fail then the safety cable will work. But if the bolts fail(more likely) of the base plate...again BYE BYE car. Make sure you have your break away cable installed...


I had welds brake on the base plate before, that is why there is chains from frame of toad to baseplate where the safety chains fasten to. No single point of failure on mine.


We started out with nothing, and we still have most of it left ">
Bago Mike & " >Bago Judi, taking our Grand Tour (our third Bago)
Second Bago
First Bago click on the bagos Here Fishy, Fishy


Posted By: ty1967 on 07/28/05 08:45pm

All good questions, I will get the details from my folks. I know the brake buddy had a break away cable, and it stopped the jeep from crashing into something. More to follow.


Posted By: Hyall on 07/28/05 08:48pm

SAFTY cables you didn't mention them this is probably your problem and not blue ox's


2007 Gulfstream TourMaster T40B MBE 926
2007 Honda CR-V
MC Honda VTX 1300R grey is faster">
MC Shadow Aero 750 wife's">
DON'T WORRY ABOUT NOTTIN - NOTTIN IS ALRIGHT


Posted By: ccxnola on 07/28/05 08:49pm

If you put the safety chains / cable to the tow bar and it (the tow bar / base plate) comes away from the towed vehicle, then all you have is a bunch of metal draging in the road behind your RV! ALWAYS (even though there is a place for the safety cable on the tow bar) and I mean ALWAYS attach the safety chains to the FRAME - of the toad AND the RV. Anything less makes no sense at all!!


1997 Rexhall Rolls Air-mid-entry DP w/cummins c8.3
Look for the Mardi Gras 'Gators - Laissez le bon temps roulez - Let the good times roll!! Best view of our rig-That's ME!
Going Away!!


Posted By: Hyall on 07/28/05 08:54pm

I just chained to my chassis of the toad to the blue plate then safty cable to that double insurance and the plate is removable in the future


Posted By: chring on 07/29/05 06:16am

Wow........

Your talking about the failure of three seperate items.

1.) The Towbar

2.) The Right safety Cable

3.) The Left safety cable

Amazing and scarey.


2005 Ambassador 40 PLQ
2001 Grand Vitara
2006 20 ft Haulmark Enclosed Car Hauler
Two Motorcycles for enjoyment


Posted By: Go Blue on 07/29/05 06:51am

So, let me get this straight. Some of you guys are afraid that the baseplate is going to come loose from the toad, so you either chain the baseplate to the toad (in addition to the bolts) or you attach the safety cables to the toad's frame rather than the baseplate.

Now, if you're that afraid of bolts coming loose, have you thought about the rear axle? That is attached to the chassis with bolts. Better put a couple of safety chains in to keep it in place. How 'bout the front suspension? That is attached to the chassis with bolts. Needs a couple of chains around the lower control arms, eh? And how about your seatbelt? That is attached to the floorpan with bolts. Better add a couple more safety chains to keep the seatbelts in place.

The safety chains are there as a redundant safety attachment in case of a HITCH failure, which could come from 2 primary sources: a mechanical failure such as a fractured towbar, fractured pin, or loose hitch ball, or human error such as not putting a retaining spring clip in place allowing a pin to back out, or not locking down the hitch lock over a ball.

If we're going to go around attaching safety cables to frames because the baseplate might come loose or the hitch might come loose, then there are tens of millions of trailers in deep jeopardy out there -- boats, utility trailers, travel trailers, etc. How 'bout fifth wheels?? They don't even have a safety cable. The backup safety system here for a full break-away is a braking system that will stop the run-away.

The cables are for a hitch failure, not a frame failure or baseplate or hitch separation. And, with 99% probability of being correct, I can say that where ever you are attaching these cables directly to the toad, it is not as strong an attachment as the baseplate is, because the baseplate would be designed to attach to the strongest point on the frame, so it is already taken. Further, what are you hooking to?? Looping though a hole in sheet metal is a much lower strength attachment than hooking to a hole in mongo-thick steel made for such an attachment. Most of the toads being towed are passenger cars with unitized bodies, so the "frame" is merely a couple of thicknesses of sheet metal spotwelded together -- fully sufficient for the loads in was designed for, but not shock loading from safety cables. The baseplate is bolted through the high-strength attachment points on the built-up frame, just like the front suspension, engine cradle and rear axle are, and that will be a much higher strength attachment.

The truck-toads, with full frames, are stronger in terms of brute strength, but notice how the tow-hooks are attached -- with bolts. Notice how the hitch platform is attached -- with bolts. And no added chains wrapped around 'em.

You guys are putting belts and braces in places that will do no good. If you're worried about the baseplate or hitch platform coming loose, weld it on in addition to the bolts.


Posted By: Jerry B on 07/29/05 07:47am

Thanks Discovery39.Well stated. You took the words outta my mouth. LOL. Some folks are a little anal on the side of safety, or perceived safety. I would think a simple inspection of the baseplate once in a while would suffice.


Posted By: Sully2 on 07/29/05 08:01am

Discovery39: Well put! very well put!

If I remember correctly...the Blue OX either comes with..or specifies GRADE 8 BOLTS.....NOT some off the shelf "Johnnies Hardware" items! Mighty tough stuff.

With my own equipment ( Blue OX)..I tow a 3700 lbs Jeep...using a 10,000 lb towbar! Attached are TWO cables rated at 7,000 EACH...from the hitch to the place indicated by Blue Ox..which is the mounting plate for m Jeep...and IN ADDITION..I use a 6000 pound rated CHAIN...from the RV to the Jeep FRAME.

When all of that fails..I can always use the CELL PHONE to call the insurance company!


presently.....Coachless!...
2002 Jeep Liberty
2016 Ford Escape



Posted By: texasbaskets on 07/29/05 08:10am

Discovery39 wrote:

So, let me get this straight. Some of you guys are afraid that the baseplate is going to come loose from the toad, so you either chain the baseplate to the toad (in addition to the bolts) or you attach the safety cables to the toad's frame rather than the baseplate.

...

You guys are putting belts and braces in places that will do no good. If you're worried about the baseplate or hitch platform coming loose, weld it on in addition to the bolts.


First of all, there are lots of different base plates and designs, and my concern is that a weld on the base plate could fail in an extreme condition. The documentation that came with my Blue Ox baseplate recommends attaching the baseplate convenience clips (welded onto the baseplate) with a chain to the vehicle frame. I would think that adds an additional safety layer should the welds that attach the convenience plate to the base plate happen to fail. Notice the idea is to provide a firm connection between the point of attachment of the safety chains to the baseplate and the frame, not the base plate itself. There is a difference between this logic and yours. Others agree.

RV News Magazine also has the following clip in an article on towing in their July 2005 Issue July 2005 Heavy Towing Clip:

In addition to some differences in various models, there's lots of options that you or many not need to deal with like fog lights, tow hooks, etc., but basically you have to remove the front bumper and a few other minor things to get to the frame where the base plate will be attached. Our Jeep had a front skid plate that had to come off and which we decided not to put back on since modifications were necessary for re-attachment (this Cherokee no longer scouts out pioneer trails). It's very important that you install a permanent chain/cable between the convenience links on the base plate and the dinghy's frame, unless your safety cables/chains are going to be hooked directly to the frame. I only recommend that if you enjoy turning yourself upside down and getting greasy each time you hook up.

Me? I'm going with Blue Ox's recommendation so call them anal, not me.

Michael


Posted By: Bago Mike on 07/29/05 08:11am

Jerry B wrote:

Thanks Discovery39.Well stated. You took the words outta my mouth. LOL. Some folks are a little anal on the side of safety, or perceived safety. I would think a simple inspection of the baseplate once in a while would suffice.


simple inspection of the baseplate once in a while would suffice

That is how I found the welds broken that fastened the base plate together, not the attachment to the toad. Discovery, you can go with what you think is best, and I will continue to fasten my safety chains in such a way that the hitch and base plate can be removed completely, and the toad will still stay behind my motor home.


Posted By: bsprague on 07/29/05 08:32am

The interface between the baseplate and car frame can fail!

I had a partial failure. The baseplate loosened from the frame. I found it when I unhooked the tow bar and the front attach point on the left side of the car moved! I immediately took the car to the installer.

The installer of the Roadmaster equipment was Torque Lift in Kent, WA. They are well known for doing a lot of hitch work and manufacture some components widely used for truck campers.

They said the base plate bolts pulled through or tore a part of the car's frame. I don't know if a mistake was made on installation or not. The car was towed about 15,000 miles without a problem.

The fix involved welding and a few extra fabricated parts. It appears my baseplate is now bolted and welded to the frame of the car. My guess is that my warranty on the car may be void! I am satisfied that the base plate is attached.

My lesson is to inspect the baseplate and car each time before you tow. My favorite way is to stand on it to check for "firmness" and lack of any noise. If it was loose, I would feel it and hear it.


Bill Sprague
2004 Beaver Monterey, 8.3 ISC 350 Cummins
2007 Ford Edge AWD
9 ft Quicksilver inflatable boat w/ 15 hp Suzuki


Posted By: Ghost9mm on 07/29/05 08:47am

.

* This post was edited 08/13/05 08:30am by Ghost9mm *


Posted By: Tinstar on 07/29/05 09:29am

Michael, just so you don't confuse people, that article is not from or written by Blue Ox. It was written by John Holmes, who is a fellow RV'er. He is not a representative of Blue Ox. Although I don't care one way or another if folks attach another cable/chain from their "frame" to the base plate, it's not a recommendation or requirement from Blue Ox. I don't think it will hurt anything at all.


">Never pass up a chance to go somewhere">


Posted By: 96Bounder30E on 07/29/05 09:31am

Sully2 wrote:

If I remember correctly...the Blue OX either comes with..or specifies GRADE 8 BOLTS.....NOT some off the shelf "Johnnies Hardware" items! Mighty tough stuff.



Sorry Amigo!........Blue OX only uses and specifies GRADE 5 Fasteners for their tow bars and base blates........grade 8 are too brittle........


Posted By: Bruce Brown on 07/29/05 10:38am

96Bounder30E wrote:

Sully2 wrote:

If I remember correctly...the Blue OX either comes with..or specifies GRADE 8 BOLTS.....NOT some off the shelf "Johnnies Hardware" items! Mighty tough stuff.



Sorry Amigo!........Blue OX only uses and specifies GRADE 5 Fasteners for their tow bars and base blates........grade 8 are too brittle........

Yep. Grade 2 is too soft, Grade 8 is too brittle. Grade 5 is strong, yet with stretch out a bit before breaking.

Wow Sully, we agreed again. Should I be worried? [emoticon]


There are 24 hours in every day - it all depends on how you choose to use them.
Bruce & Jill Brown
2008 Kountry Star Pusher 3910



Posted By: liveneasy on 07/29/05 10:43am

I'm looking forward to hearing more specific info on what failed... that started this thread.

My first towing experience was with a class C, tow dolly and Hyundai Santa Fe. Two of the hitch bolts worked loose on one side and that side of the hitch dropped, luckily in town and an observant motorist notified me immediately, which prevented a major catastrophe. From that point on my morning walk-around included checking all bolts.

I now tow a tracker 4 down. On my last two RV's I've had the bolted on hitch welded in place in addition to the bolts and added 2 safety cable attachment points to the trackers frame, again bolted and welded. The toads base plate is also bolted and welded.

Over kill for a 2400# toad, perhaps, but the piece of mind is worth it. I still include a quick weld/bolt check on my morning walk-around.


Greg
'96 Holiday Rambler Endeavor DP/'03 4wd tracker
Datastorm F1/D2/7000/on SatMx5
See where I am today


Posted By: texasbaskets on 07/29/05 11:19am

Tinstar wrote:

Michael, just so you don't confuse people, that article is not from or written by Blue Ox. It was written by John Holmes, who is a fellow RV'er. He is not a representative of Blue Ox. Although I don't care one way or another if folks attach another cable/chain from their "frame" to the base plate, it's not a recommendation or requirement from Blue Ox. I don't think it will hurt anything at all.


Hi Tinstar,

Whoops, if I implied that the author of the reference was a rep for Blue Ox, it's not what I meant.

The article was support for the idea that others agree chaining the convenience tabs to the frame as Blue Ox does in the documentation that came with the plate for my Saturn. John Holmes certainly got that idea from somewhere because it's in his article.

AGAIN, my Blue Ox instructions clearly show the recommended installation to include a chain affixed from the convenience tab (shows it on the driver's side plate) to the frame. It is the BX3310 Removeable Tab base plate. I took delivery two days ago directly from Blue Ox, it is the newest issue.

I highly suggest that the installer follows your manufacturer's recommendations instead of a generic assumption based on any particular installation as they could be entirely different. Possibly doing so might have made a difference in the OP's situation, who knows.

I will install a chain bolted to both the frame and the convenience tab as the manufacturer recommends. Others do as you wish, but Blue Ox does recommend doing so in the instructions that came with base plate BX3310 for 2002 Saturn SL1.

Regards,

Michael


Posted By: Sully2 on 07/29/05 12:13pm

Bruce Brown wrote:

96Bounder30E wrote:

Sully2 wrote:

If I remember correctly...the Blue OX either comes with..or specifies GRADE 8 BOLTS.....NOT some off the shelf "Johnnies Hardware" items! Mighty tough stuff.



Sorry Amigo!........Blue OX only uses and specifies GRADE 5 Fasteners for their tow bars and base blates........grade 8 are too brittle........

Yep. Grade 2 is too soft, Grade 8 is too brittle. Grade 5 is strong, yet with stretch out a bit before breaking.

Wow Sully, we agreed again. Should I be worried? [emoticon]

Well...after all..I didnt have the book here in front of me...lol


Posted By: Troubleshooter on 07/29/05 12:46pm

Quote:


I just received my Blue Ox baseplate and have yet to install it. I was reading the instructions tonight, and they recommend connecting a safety chain between the baseplate and car frame. Would prevent what you are talking about, and now think I may do just that.

Michael


It is a wonder there are not more break away situations because of this point being overlooked.
Some of the fellow RVers I have talked with flatly state that the only reason they put this in the instructions is a CYA thing.
I myself, have a set of safety chains permanently attached between the frame's tie down points, and the baseplate.
I too overlooked this warning when I had the baseplate attached to our Saturn, and had no real problems for a couple of years, however, by chance, I happened to look under the Toad one morning, and saw one bolt in the baseplate pulled completely through the frame, and the rear of the baseplate hanging loose on that side of the vehicle.
Needless to say, corrective action was taken immediately, and the safety chains between the baseplate and frame were added.
Does this mean I will never suffer a break away situation? Nope, it only means I have taken added precautions against that happening.
Kind of like the old farmer who wears both a belt and a set of suspenders. Nothing like a backup plan.


Only One Old Fellow's Opinion


Bill
2002 Discovery 3126E CAT
2004 Saturn VUE
Mountain Master Tow Brake



Posted By: wamesit on 07/29/05 12:47pm

Il put my two worth about Blue OX. Ive been using Blue Ox Tow Bars for at least 7 Years. Never had a problem. As a matter of fact. Back in nov. of 2003. on route 95 north in SC I had a totaled accident. I was doing about 65mph in the travel lane when some yahoo in a pickuptruck towing a car dolly with a truck on the dolly. The pickup truck trying to pass me blew two tires and rammed right into the MH. His tow bar then let go and his trailor smashed into my toad, a new 2003 saturn l300. We took 3 good hits from his truck and trailorbefore we came to a stop. The Blue Ox tow bar never left my MH It did bend the bar. But It did not leave the MH. I would never buy anythig eles but blue Ox. We did come ok after the accident and the MH was totaled out WAs a brand new Damon 3876. The saturn had about 13000.00 worth of damage. OH I dont work or have any affiliation with blue Ox. I hope this may help anybody about blue Ox.


Donna and Chuck
2011 tiffin phaeton model qth 40ft
03 saturn toad blue ox tow bar
1998 Hi-Line Park Model trailor up in Maine
2 chihuahua one female (bambi) one male (Alabama)


Posted By: wilanddij on 07/29/05 01:06pm

The tow bar connects to tabs bolted to the Jeep bumper. Jeep bumper is bolted to the frame. Safety cables mount into convient holes in the Jeep frame rails. But, everything, including the breakaway cable, is connected to the MH hitch receiver. Oh oh, I have a single point of failure, probably should find a different place to attach the breakaway cable.


Will & Di
2004 Southwind 32VS
Workhorse/8.1
Ford C-Max/Blue Ox
"We have met the enemy, and he is us" Pogo


Posted By: MoRambler on 07/29/05 01:45pm

wilanddij wrote:

The tow bar connects to tabs bolted to the Jeep bumper. Jeep bumper is bolted to the frame. Safety cables mount into convient holes in the Jeep frame rails. But, everything, including the breakaway cable, is connected to the MH hitch receiver. Oh oh, I have a single point of failure, probably should find a different place to attach the breakaway cable.


Blue Ox tow bars/base plates DO NOT bolt to a Jeep's bumper. They bolt to the frame.
If you see one that is bolted to the bumper, it's not a Blue Ox. I've got 3 of them, and I've installed 4 altogether, and none of them bolted to the bumper.


Larry & Ann
2002 19' Timberlodge TT
2013 Ford F150 5.0L V8 w/TT Pkg.



Posted By: ty1967 on 07/29/05 01:55pm

Info Update;
I just got off the hook with my dad and got some details on this incident. He was towing his jeep using a 97 Blue Ox Alladin rated at 5000 lbs, the jeep is with-in that limitation. The tow bar failed at the u joint device that allows it to pivot up and down, the bars stayed attached to the towed vehical and were too damaged to assertain if they played a part in the failure. He was using the coiled saftey cables, one was missing, the other was still on the jeep, both failed, he was not sure what thier rating was (big mistake), all bolts and pins were original. The brake away cable did work and the brake buddy stopped the vehical after it had crossed the medium. My folks bought the Blue Ox Alexus (10k rating) with matching saftey cables, and were given a $175.00 credit by the dealer when they saw what was left of the old tow bar. The dealer is located outside of Gettysburge, and is the same place the original was purchased 8 years ago.

* This post was last edited 07/29/05 06:33pm by ty1967 *


Posted By: twostepr on 07/29/05 04:24pm

ty1967,
We had a Blue Ox Alladin(5K) fail on the way to Branson two years ago. We were going up a hill and heard a thump. The wife went and looked and said the car is loose. However, the safety cables did their job and kept the car attached to the MH. I let the car run into the back and pulled off the road. The hitch failed at the pivot point near the receiver. I called Blus Ox and they sent me a complete new hitch and paid for the damage to the car at NO COST to me! Since that time I have called them for new dust boots which they also sent to me FREE! I need to do that again as I have one the is cracked. Blue Ox is a great company to work with.


Twostepr
Mark & Patsy (and Clyde, gone but not forgotten)
Mini-Schnauzer puppy named Samson
2nd Mini-Schnauzer named Delilah
2003 Tiffin Phaeton 40 TGH
2002 Saturn L300 toad


Posted By: brobox on 07/29/05 04:40pm

Accidents do happen and I am glad you shared that with us. NOTHING on a MH is perfect and failures do happen. I guess those that are really over protective could replace their tow bars when they replace their tires. That way they would eliminate the chance of metal fatigue on the tow bar.

If your Dad has been Rv'ing for 8+ years I am sure this was a shock to him as much as it was to the rest of us. Be thankful nobody was hurt and a lesson was learned by all of us.

Thank you for the heads up.


Chuck
02 Travel Supreme, 2 street side slides
09 Toyota Tacoma 2WD



Posted By: MasterBoondocker on 07/29/05 08:48pm

did the PART or the weld fail? ...... can you post-a-pic?

REPLACE the tires?....replace the tow bar ??.....because of fatigue ?? !! ......

are you suggesting that EVERYTHING that is older - should be replaced ?......

why not the whole motorhome ?.... THEN the wife or GF ?? .. !!


Posted By: puli-one on 07/29/05 09:03pm

BeacH Boy: The article is in this months Good Sam - it's a worth read.


Puli Pup - Kelly
If You Win - Say Little - If You Lose - Say Less.


Posted By: wilanddij on 07/29/05 09:51pm

Quote:

Blue Ox tow bars/base plates DO NOT bolt to a Jeep's bumper. They bolt to the frame.
If you see one that is bolted to the bumper, it's not a Blue Ox. I've got 3 of them, and I've installed 4 altogether, and none of them bolted to the bumper.


Don't mean to be argumentative, as my ol' Daddy used to say, "Best way to make sure you are wrong is to say something is ALWAYS this or NEVER that".


Posted By: noRVtoheaven on 07/30/05 12:42am

We had the Blue Ox fail on us. We had the Aventa Aluminum tow bar and at the time towed a 1998 Grand Cherokee which weighed 3600 lbs. The tow connections were all correct in hight.
We bought the bar in 1998 and it failed in 2002. Blue Ox sent me a rebuilt free of charge. However, I no longer trusted that model and traded it for the 10,000 lb. rated all steel model. They took back the rebuilt and charged me $250.00. The failure was at the section where the two sections come together. It simply broke in two due to metal fatigue. The part that broke was aluminum.
We were going slow at the time and had just gone over a railroad track.
If I purchase another tow bar it will be a Roadmaster. Blue Ox knows of failures, but does not re-design. Have never heard of Readmaster failure.


VERITAS PRAEVALEBIT">


Posted By: The Falcon on 07/30/05 01:16am

ty1967,

Everything seems to have gone wrong together.
1. Tow bar, base plate or hitch failed.
2. The safety chains didn't work, for whatever reason.

What is interesting is the Brake Buddy break away system letting the runaway vehicle travel so far. The instructions come with a guide for setting the braking force, by vehicle weight. It may be common to set a lower force for less wear and tear on the toad brakes. I do this. This could allow the runaway vehicle to travel a greater distance.

Next time out, I intend to reset my BB settings to the recommendations.

Thanks for the post.


Precision Guesses
Joe&Jan 2003 Hurricane 30Q V10
2004 Jeep Liberty, Blue Ox, Brake Buddy


Posted By: Argosy24 on 07/30/05 07:02am

The Falcon wrote:

Next time out, I intend to reset my BB settings to the recommendations.


Pull your pin first, I do that as part of my check when hooking up. I tow a Saturn SC2, pretty light and also run light on the settings. But when the pin comes out it jams on the brake pedal, the brakes would definitely lock unless you only run 10 lbs. of air.


Posted By: Lug_Nut on 07/30/05 07:14am

I see at least two posts refer to the Jeep C. as weighing in the 3000 to 4000 lbs. To me that seems light. Has anybody actually weighed their Jeep as it sits to tow?


'13 Newmar King Aire 45' ISX 600



Posted By: Tarheel 2 on 07/30/05 08:22am

This might be a good thread to pass on a bit of information. I met an individual a couple of years ago that told me he had parked in a commercial parking lot for the night and when he got up the next morning and did a walk around of his rig before pulling out, he found that someone had removed both cotter pins on his tow bar attachment to his tow bar. I guess he was lucky that he found it, or he would have had a problem down the road.

Since that time, after almost every stop, I look to be sure everything with my tow connection is alright. There are a lot of sicko's out there. Thought I would pass it along for what it's worth.


Tarheel


Posted By: BattChief on 07/30/05 08:42am

Just thought I'd throw in my two cents worth....

Although called safety chains, many come with a hook on one end to allow easier hookup. This hook is the weakest point of the chain, and have heard of the hook deforming. Safety chains in themselves are not invincible. Not enough information to determine the type of load placed on the chains, but a sharp jerk would exert many times the weight of the vehicle on the chains. It's a matter of force vs. weight.

As far as the brake buddy goes, a vehicle will not stop immediately once the brakes are applied. If full braking is applied and the wheels lock, an even longer distance is required to stop the vehicle. If the vehicle was turned even a little bit when released from the motorhome (possibly due to one chain failing before the other) the vehicle was not going on the same path as the motorhome when the brakes were applied. If it stopped in 100 feet at highway speed, it could easily cross the median, and even both lanes on the other side.

As far as the chains go, mostly likely if one fails, the other will, also. Although the chains may be rated correctly, one failure will double the load on the other chain, most likely resulting in the failure of the second chain/cable.

I think the couple was very lucky nobody hit their toad, and no more damage was done to either vehicle. A fatality accident from the toad coming disconnected would be a situation I hope nobody has to endure. Aside from the liability involved, even if it was found to be the fault of the manufacturer, a person would have to live with the thought of being involved with someone else losing their life for the rest of their life.

Not trying to absolve the RVer or any of the manufacturers, but simply trying to look at things in a factual and unbiased view.

Be safe out there!


2001 Itasca Horizon
2002 Jeep Liberty



Posted By: ty1967 on 07/30/05 09:02am

[quote=The Falcon]ty1967, What is interesting is the Brake Buddy break away system letting the runaway vehicle travel so far. Falcon, Stopping a vehical when the engine is off is much harder and takes longer than when the power brake boster is on. Try coasting down a hill in neutrul, shut off the engine then apply the brakes, you will see what the brake buddy was up against. Thanks for the post. Ty

Note: Due to invalid formatting, all formatting has been ignored.

* This post was edited 07/30/05 09:01pm by ty1967 *


Posted By: wilanddij on 07/30/05 11:21am

Quote:

see at least two posts refer to the Jeep C. as weighing in the 3000 to 4000 lbs. To me that seems light. Has anybody actually weighed their Jeep as it sits to tow?


Have not weighed mine, but Chrysler lists the GVWR of the current Wrangler Sport at 4450 Lbs.

Wrangler Specs


Posted By: Desertcat921 on 07/30/05 11:35am

Wow and I thought my roadmaster setup was over built. Guess I won't complain about the 150 lbs or so of added weight.


1988 MCI Widebody 40' Coach Conversion, 8V92TA Silver w/ Allison 740
Auto Transmission. 480 Watts Solar, Hughes Satellite Internet W/ Motosat Datastorm, Dish TV. One Cat named Monkey..


Posted By: Lug_Nut on 07/30/05 01:46pm

Tarheel 2 wrote:

This might be a good thread to pass on a bit of information. I met an individual a couple of years ago that told me he had parked in a commercial parking lot for the night and when he got up the next morning and did a walk around of his rig before pulling out, he found that someone had removed both cotter pins on his tow bar attachment to his tow bar. I guess he was lucky that he found it, or he would have had a problem down the road.

Since that time, after almost every stop, I look to be sure everything with my tow connection is alright. There are a lot of sicko's out there. Thought I would pass it along for what it's worth.


Actually that is always one of my concerns. I check all pins etc. every time I've been stopped, even for lunch.


Posted By: jeepfreak on 07/30/05 01:55pm

lug nut , took my grand c. to officail weigh station. its a 2000 6 cyl. with a full tank of gas came in at 4125 lbs. in contrast my 79 cj with asmall block chevy and tools and spare parts weighs 4200 lbs. in towing trim. the body is fiberglass.


2007 Allegro 34wa Workhorse 8.1, Allison 6-speed. Bow Tie powered 79 CJ-7 Toad or 2014 Jeep Unlimited Rubicon Toad


Posted By: nickmae on 07/30/05 02:12pm

Contact Blue Ox. They are very good about tow bar failures. They might want to look at what failed and they might even repair or replace the unit even though it's out of warranty. Have read many articles about them doing things like that. Thank God no one was hurt and your toad is O.K. This could have been a real disaster. Were the safety cables connected?


DAVE,MARILYN & ONE SILKY TERRIER WILLIE
35 FOOT INTRUDER & LOVING IT
GO SOX, GO PATRIOTS



Posted By: Go Blue on 07/30/05 02:18pm

re how hard it is to apply brakes with engine off, and no power brakes: it is hard for you, and you feel it in you leg. Try pushing the brake pedal as far as the Brake Buddy does (after you have pumped it a few times to exhaust the vacuum from the booster). But that is a pneumaatic cylinder, which in darn-near indifferent to the higher force required to stroke the brake pedal. Observe the stroke when you do a test apply with the Brake Buddy. Remember also, that with the ignition off, you do not have anti-lock braking system functioning, so the brakes should have locked. If there was not sufficient brake pedal force to lock the brakes on the pavement, they should have locked on the grass in the median. No mention of that and I'm curious to know if there were any skid marks.

And, ditto on checking the retaining pins every morning and at every stop. Just like you check the hitch when pulling a bumper tow like a boat, the entire tow system, cables or chains, hooks, pins, retaining pins, everything should be checked before departure every morning, and at every stop -- pit stop, fuel stop, whatever. Learned that when riding shotgun with a friend when he had failed to double check the hitch clamp, and the tounge of his boat trailer redesigned his tailgate. Safety chains worked, double check didn't.

I take a mallet and pound on every tire at every stop, including the toad, and during that walk around I check the tow system as well. (I know I have a Pressure Pro, but here is a place where belts and braces make sense).

* This post was edited 07/30/05 02:26pm by an administrator/moderator *


Posted By: Argosy24 on 07/30/05 02:44pm

Pneumatic cylinders also have a multiplication factor so any air pressure is increased by that factor at the brake pedal. I always figured the biggest danger would be the toad getting rear ended by some cell phone yapping driver if it got loose and locked up in the middle of an expressway.


Posted By: FuzzyKnight on 07/31/05 09:43am

Blue Ox has worked well for us. 10 years same tow bar. 3 differant cars. So far no problems. It was nice to have someone post this thread as it may make some of us more aware. Thank you! As one poster stated it is good to check all you connections each time you stop. We always have - just to be safe.
Fuzzy


Fuzzy and Mary
1994 Pace Arrow 33
1928 Model A
1953 Ford Club Coupe
1963 1/2 Falcon Ranchero Original factory V8 4 spd
1963 Fairlane SportsCoupe
1965 Honda SuperHawk


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