Trailer Life Magazine Open Roads Forum: Tow Bar In or Tow Bar Out?
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 > Tow Bar In or Tow Bar Out?

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hohenwald48

Nashville, TN

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Posted: 03/18/19 03:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Where I'm sitting in this RV park just happens to be the place where everybody connects their toad on the way out. I get to watch 6-12 folks connect up every morning.

Blue Ox tow bars seem to be the most popular. However, about half the Blue Ox users latch the arms extended and half latch them compressed before they take off. Does it matter or are half the folks doing it wrong?


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rk911

Wheaton IL

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Posted: 03/18/19 03:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

hohenwald48 wrote:

Where I'm sitting in this RV park just happens to be the place where everybody connects their toad on the way out. I get to watch 6-12 folks connect up every morning.

Blue Ox tow bars seem to be the most popular. However, about half the Blue Ox users latch the arms extended and half latch them compressed before they take off. Does it matter or are half the folks doing it wrong?

been towing our jeeps since 2003 always with a Blue Ox tow bar. we've done it both ways but I prefer this way:

I extend the arms all the way, spread them and lay them on the ground while my wife moves the jeep into position. I stand off to the side and motion her to stop when the connect points are just past the arm ends. that way I can compress the arms enough to connect them. it's just easier for me that way.

the last thing I do before we depart is a final walk-around. during that we do what we call a "light check". that includes making sure that the toad's brake lights, tail lights and turn signals are all working. my wife will activate each of those in the MH while I watch the rear of the toad. after that she pulls the MH forward a few feet while I watch the tow bar arms to make sure the arms lock. we do this prior to every departure regardless of whether the toad stays connected overnight or not.


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MDKMDK

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Posted: 03/18/19 04:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Agree with rk911. Either way, but since I do it myself, I play it by ear based on conditions at the time. The "light check" is also done, with help.


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Posted: 03/18/19 04:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I pull up behind the coach, with the arms compressed. I attach the arms to the toad. I then back the toad up until at least one of the arms locks into place. Then I put the toad in neutral, do the light checks, and make ready to take off. When I pull out, the second bar invariably locks into place automatically and remains that way until I disconnect the toad.


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et2

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Posted: 03/18/19 05:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Most the time I hook up in the campsite even if I have to pull the MH up a little. I've never worried if the arms were locked or not while hooking up. If not lined up real straight leaving them unlock gives me more room to hook up both arms vs having to get the jeep just right to lock them both during setup.

Just pulling ahead slow and they've always locked. Sometimes a little leaning on the jeep front end will lock one or both.

Johno02

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Posted: 03/18/19 06:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

eaqsier to hook up with the arms unlocked. them just watch to see that they lock when you roll forward. Sometimes have to weave back and forth a bit to get them both locked. No problem either way.


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Johno02

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Posted: 03/18/19 06:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

eaqsier to hook up with the arms unlocked. them just watch to see that they lock when you roll forward. Sometimes have to weave back and forth a bit to get them both locked. No problem either way.

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Posted: 03/18/19 08:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

hohenwald48 wrote:

Where I'm sitting in this RV park just happens to be the place where everybody connects their toad on the way out. I get to watch 6-12 folks connect up every morning.

Blue Ox tow bars seem to be the most popular. However, about half the Blue Ox users latch the arms extended and half latch them compressed before they take off. Does it matter or are half the folks doing it wrong?


hohenwald48,
There is no right or wrong way. There's only the way that you feel comfortable with. You can read and or see how folks do it, then you try it in various ways and then, determine what works best for you. It's not rocket science, all you're doing is hooking up the toad. For us, it's this way.

I stand, straddling the u-joint on the tow bar with both arms of the tow bar, compressed, and the connection points sitting on the ground. The dear wife, cruises up in one or the other of our toads and, I motion her to keep coming, keep coming, keep coming, STOP! I try and have her dead center on approach but, it doesn't always happen.

I know the range of each of those arms. I stop her at a point where the arms are neither fully out, or fully in. This way I get lots of flexibility in hooking up both sides. I put the pins in and motion her to back up. She backs up and, if I'm lucky, both arms will lock simultaneously.

Usually, it doesn't happen that way. Only one will lock. No biggie. At that point, she takes care of all the inside garb and I finish the outside garb. We're done in about 30 seconds to one minute. If only one side locks, when I put the coach in gear and start to take off, I sway the coach to the opposite side that wasn't locked and that will lock it. DONE.
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hohenwald48

Nashville, TN

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Posted: 03/19/19 06:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I guess I wasn't clear. Wasn't wondering about how to connect but was wondering how to tow,

Some folks drove off with the arms locked in and some folks drove off with the arms locked out.

I was wondering which way is correct.

rk911

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Posted: 03/19/19 07:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

connecting IS part of what you're asking. IMO what matters is *verifying* that the arms ARE locked prior to departure. easiest way to do this if traveling with someone is, after connecting the toad, to pull forward a short distance while someone watches to ensure the arms lock. if traveling alone pull forward a short distance, connect the toad and then back up the toad a short distance to lock the arms.

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