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Tow Bar Life Expectancy

Mandy Johnson

Product & Markets Coordinator

Blue Ox

How long will my towbar last? How do I know when it's time to upgrade?

These are some of the most common questions that we hear from our customers. While there is no black and white answer, there are a few things you can check out to help you decide.

Life of a towbar is similar to that of an automobile.  There is no tried and true time period at which the towbar becomes unusable.  Just like with cars, some are good for 200,000 miles while others don’t make it to the first 100K.  It all depends on a variety of factors, such as how well the bar is maintained, what type of vehicle you are pulling, are you pulling level, conditions in which the towbar has been used, does the towbar remain covered when not in use, and many many more.

A good general rule of thumb is to carefully examine all the welded areas and insure the metal has not begun to fatigue.  Also, look at all of the holes, if they are beginning to elongate or wallow out it is time to trade the towbar.  Finally when the towbar is in the extended position if you were to pull on the legs both at the vehicle end and up near the receiver there should not be any more than 1/8” of play.  If the play is greater than this, than it is a sign the interior holes are wallowed out and the towbar should be replaced.

Fortunately if it is time to trade the towbar, Blue Ox offers a trade in of $150 for your current towbar toward the purchase of a new motorhome mount towbar.  If the play is just due to the plastic spacers, throughout being worn down, you could purchase new plastic spacers for the entire towbar for about $20 including shipping & handling.  However, if any of the above rings true for you, then the holes are probably elongated and spacers will not help you as the towbar is in need of trading.