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Towing travails - a word to the wise


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A few days ago our toad (a dusty yet venerable Honda CRV) and the mother ship almost went their separate ways after the tow bar threw a pin and buckled after a nasty little dip in the road. Fortunately I was able to limp across four lanes of traffic with the poor Honda connected only with one flailing arm of the tow bar (Stowmaster) and the holding chain. Even more fortunately for me, port safety happened to be the front parking lot of an auto service center. It was almost lights out time yet a decent young mechanic helped me disengage the twisted tow bar from the Honda. And yet even more fortunately, after a short drive to Santa Fe the next day, my old friend (who's dad just so happened to own a towing company in Ireland) somehow managed to straighten it all together again with the aid of a strong hammer and some well aimed blows.

His tip - check every holding pin, look for cracks and replace or double, if possible. Actually the ball hitch itself is the single most point of failure because usually it is only held in place with a nut which eventually can/will loosen. Apparently UHaul sells a ball hitch that is reinforced with another pin to safeguard against that possibility.

Lesson learnt for me. Check, check and check again.

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We lost a pin from our tow bar last year. We both check the hookup and didn't notice an issue up in departure. We were able to unhook the toad and get to a dealer. Ended up with an entire new tow bar. And much heavier pins. The newer tow bars (Blue Ox)come with much heavier pin and the ends of the tow arms are very directional now.

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