Tow Bar Safety

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August 24, 2011

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.

Tow Bar FAQ

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

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  1. Elba Cases

    We just got back from North Carolina and stayed at Camp Wilderness in the Carowinds near Charlotte. What an experience. It was great! I loved everything about it. Even the mosquitos behaved. This place is dog friendly, centrally located and the facilities are clean and kept up. My only regret is that the pool is salt water and although it’s refreshing, once you get out your skin feels sticky as if you were at the beach. But the two Kathys at the desk as well as everyone else were wonderfull and helpfull. Good security as well.

  2. Paul Sharpe

    I have learnt it is very important to open up my Demco Commander tow bar.
    All that holds your car to your RV is a single bolt on each arm, which do wear and give way.
    2 have failed on me, both with less than 10,000 miles on them, I pulled off the highway both times took a turn and then see the car trying to overtake me.
    Both times i did get replacements and the latest replacement in May 2011 has a major improvement modification to make un-hooking the car a lot easier in a snap, the old original commander was very hard to un-hook and sometimes took 3 men pushing and pulling to get the car loose.
    I now also carry spare bolts and lock tight for a fast repair when your in the middle of nowhere USA.