May 4, 2015

Blue Ox Introduces the Avail Towbar

By: Rob Lowe

Featured Picture

Blue Ox recently introduced a new towbar, the Avail®. This tow bar is finished in a beautiful bronze finish with gold lettering and covered with a Bronze colored cover (additional cost).
Besides the bronze color, the immediate visual indication that this is a different towbar is the fact that it is 2” (5 cm) longer than any of the other Blue Ox bars. Why? Great question! The answer is really quite interesting.

Traditional tow bars are designed for 24” (61cm) spacing between the base plate tabs and with two similar sized arms the equidistant triangle creates a strong towing system. With the trend to towing larger vehicles with  increasingly wider spacing of the tabs, the original design width is challenged. For example the new 2015 Ford F150 pickup has a tab spacing of 35” (89cm), whereas GM’s 2015 full sized pickups have a tab spacing of 32.5” (82.5cm), both substantially wider than the 24” (61cm) traditional spacing. Using a conventional towbar will place the towed vehicle closer to the RV because of this increased width between the tabs. This may not seem to be an issue until you tow the vehicle behind a RV that has an increased wheel cut.

It was not that long ago that 45 degree wheel cuts were the norm. On many gas rigs this is still the case, however diesel chassis makers have been diligently increasing the front wheel cut up to 55 degrees and some say even 60 degrees. To accomplish this the tag axles are now steerable resulting in a very tight turning radius.
With the towed vehicle closer to the rear of the RV and the RV able to turn tighter than before, it is possible with wider towed vehicles, such as pickup trucks, to actually have an impact between the two. One of the most common situations where this may occur is at a tight fuel station, especially one that has the pump islands perpendicular to the road, with a building across the back of the islands. To exit after fuelling, the coach must go up very close to the building, then turn sharply to bring the towed vehicle out of the island. It is in this scenario that a collision could occur. Moving the towed vehicle back using the new Avail® towbar certainly should eliminate this collision.

One other feature of the new Avail® is the revised arm locking system which virtually eliminates jamming in most situations. Many have experienced the inability to move the arm levers when a towed vehicle is on a different plane than that of the RV or when the two vehicles are not aligned with each other. This should no longer be the case.

The head of the Avail® towbar differs from the now familiar ball used on the Aventa LX, reverting back to the previous double ‘U’ design concept that has been improved for this tow bar. The Avail® also has a matching bronze colored, longer towbar cover to keep it clean when not being used. It immediately identifies that it is covering the latest, state of the art tow bar. 
So, you ask, how much is this towbar? It carries a M.S.R.P. of $995 US and based on an exchange rate of $1.25 CDN for $1.00 US and including brokerage charges to Canada, the Canadian M.S.R.P. is $1,375 CDN. This is $100 US ($125) CDN more than the popular Aventa LX.  Some discounts are available however call us directly for details. 

For those that want to have the best Blue Ox tow bar, especially if they are towing a larger vehicle, then the Avail(R) is the way to go!


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