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Author Topic: Tow Bars  (Read 2827 times)
Len Silva
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Angle Parked in a Parallel Universe


« on: June 01, 2006, 06:48:58 AM »

I've always had beater cars and could cobble up a hitch for my very basic Reese towbar.

Now, however, we have aquired a new (06) Honda CRV and my wife won't let me hang a big piece of channel iron on the front.

So, the choices so far are Roadmaster, Blue Ox, and Demco.

Demco seems to be the least expensive and easiest install, also has adapters to most other bars, including my Reese Tow Champ.

Any comments, especially if you have experience with the CR-V would be appreciated.



Hand Made Gifts

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Some Assembly Required
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Slightly modified 1982 MC9


« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2006, 08:08:10 AM »

No experience with CRV or the other towing equipment mfgs, but I can tell you my thoughts on Blue Ox.

We bought an 03 explorer last spring. I had an older blue ox aventa tow bar, and installed a new blue ox base plate for $315. Kind of expensive, but pretty easy installation and worth the money to not have to make one or modify the old one. I had one on the old 91 explorer, too, and this new one was even easier to install, but twice the money. We towed it to AK and back (9400 miles), and I then took it to WY (1200 miles). When I got up into the mountains and went to unhook the toad, I found that the base plate had broken in two places! Nearly soiled myself when I realized the only think keeping my new toad attached to my bus were two very loose 1/2" bolts! I was not a happy camper (literally).

I made a trip out of the mountains to find a phone and called Blue Ox. After some discussion, they initially told me it would not covered under warranty because I had installed it incorrectly, having had the explorer end higher than the bus end. They said they allowed up to 4 inches difference, and the car could NEVER be lower than the bus. I asked where in their instructions did it say this? 

Well, long story short, I told them if they were't going to warrantee it, not to send me anything, and I'd weld it back together and make it work.

When I went back down the mountain later that week, I didn't know what to expect. I found that they had sent me a brand new base plate, a brand new 8" drop receiver, and a rebuilt Aventa II (upgrade from my original Aventa) towbar, all for $300. Considering the drop receiver was about $150, I thought I got a pretty good deal on the towbar upgrade, which I had intended to do when I got home, anyway. The base plate was covered on warranty. They wanted the old one back, so I stopped off at their fatory on the way home and dropped it off. When the guy saw the broken pieces, he didn't have any arguments about it being warranted. They wanted to do some testing on it to find out why it broke, but I never heard any results. I still have the old Aventa which I intend to rebuild for a spare.

Personally, I feel that I got excellent service from them, once I pressed them a bit. I have all new equipment between my bus and car now. It's all Blue Ox. It's high quality stuff, and they stand behind it. Only issue I had was that with the addition of the drop receiver, I had an extra joint, and my light cable was too short. I lengthened the cable temporarily (well, it's turning out the be permanent), and had a friend build me some clamps to bolt on the two joints to take the play out of the assembly. I've pulled it to CO and back, and just returned from another trip to WY, with not a single problem in the towing setup.

I'll stick with Blue Ox.




Craig Shepard
Located in Minnesquito

http://bus.gumpydog.com - "Some Assembly Required"
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« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2006, 08:49:29 AM »

Len, I don't have a CRV either but have used the Roadmaster towbar for three years. I have towed my 03 Chevy S10 behind a variety of vehicles from buses to Freightliner tractors, and have had no trouble with it at all. I probably have over 25,000 miles on it.

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« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2006, 10:54:18 AM »

Blue Ox is one company that stands behind their products.  They will be at all major rallies with service people to service their equipment at no cost.  Two weeks ago on my Aventa II a set screw backed off and I lost a release handle so I called Blue Ox and ordered a replacement and to my surprise they said no charge as the set screw should not have backed off.  When I received the replacement there were two complete sets of handle hardware.  This is what I call service.

« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2006, 03:30:23 PM »

I'm using a 10,000 lb. Blue-Ox with many, many miles on it.  It absolutely MANHANDLES my little Scion and I've not a care in the world about its' performance.  Buy again?  You bet your sweet a--!

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