Everyone knows they need to check their oil and have their brakes inspected. But very few people check the safety of their tow bar. Unlike diamonds, a tow bar doesn’t last forever. Environmental exposure, stress on vital components from poor road conditions, corrosion – these are just a few of the factors that take their toll on the essential connection between your coach and your towed car.
Because it is such a vital component in your RV gear, your tow bar deserves attention and periodic care. To give you some pointers, the tow bar experts at Roadmaster have the answers to some frequently asked questions on tow bar maintenance and safety.
How long should a tow bar last?
It varies depending upon weights, road conditions and how far out of level your tow bar is while towing. A reasonable life expectancy is around 70,000 miles.
What causes tow bar wear?
Like with all equipment, normal use causes some wear. However, severely out of level tow bars, cars that are too heavy for the bar and rough roads (such as in Alaska and Mexico) will greatly accelerate wear.
How can I prevent tow bar wear?
Nothing will stop it completely but tow bars that are cleaned and maintained regularly will have less debris and corrosion that accelerates wear. Routine maintenance extends a tow bar’s life while making it easier to operate.
Should I have my tow bar inspected?
If your tow bar is more than a couple of years old, or if you’ve towed more than 20,000 miles, yes. If you’ve noticed any excessive play, or if your tow bar operates or tows differently than when new, please consider the safety of your fellow road warriors and have it inspected.
How often should my tow bar be inspected?
We recommend having an inspection performed annually. This can be done at any one of Camping World’s SuperCenters nationwide.
What will the inspection offered by Camping World consist of?
Technicians will look at the stress points of the tow bar for wear, stress indicators or even fractures. They will also be inspecting the joints looking for excessive play and tolerance. They will make sure the bar extends and locks properly. They can also give you advice on proper cleaning and lubrication.
Featured Tow Bars available at Camping World:
Sterling™ All-Terrain™ tow bar
Falcon™ All-Terrain™ tow bar
Blackhawk™ All-Terrain™ tow bar