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Blue Ox Alpha 2 Tow Bar Review

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Review of the Blue Ox Alpha 2 Tow Bar


Hi there, flat towers. Today, we're going to be taking a look at Blue Ox's Alpha 2 tow bar. Your tow bar is one of five main components you'll need when flat towing your vehicle behind your motor home.In addition to your tow bar, you'll need your safety cables, which is a supplemental connection in addition to your tow bar and these come included with your Alpha 2 tow bar, so that's another thing knocked out for you. You'll also need your baseplate, which is the connection point on your vehicle. You'll need your diode wiring, which sends all the lighting signals from your motor home back to the lights at the back of the vehicle so people behind you know your intentions, and your supplemental braking system, which will apply the brakes in the vehicle whenever you hit the brakes in your motor home, helping you come to a safe stop.It has a weight rating of 6,500 pounds, which is going to be suitable for just about every car out there and even some of your smaller SUVs and light trucks. They're designed to hook directly to a Blue Ox baseplate, which you see here, using their patented three-lug design, which gives you plenty of meat connecting these two.

Now, if you don't have a Blue Ox baseplate, there are adapters available here at etrailer.com, so you can get this tow bar working with whatever manufacturer that you've installed.One of the features you really want to look for in a tow bar is to ensure that it's nonbinding. This one here's nonbinding and here are the release levers that release the arms if they do get into a bind. You may see some other ones out there that just have a button instead of a release lever and with those, it's very difficult to get it to unbind because that button is very difficult to push just with your hand. You often need some kind of extra leverage or a hammer just to get those released. We don't have that problem with the Alpha 2.We just got done pulling our vehicle here and to get it released, we're going to press down on our nonbinding lever, which frees up our arms, making it easier to disconnect them.

If it was in a bind, you wouldn't have any play here, but by being able to release the tension on the arm with the lever, we can easily get these disconnected without having to fight it.I can show you how that works here. Our arm is currently in its locked-out position, but we can release that with our non-binding lever there. That's typically what causes a bind. Whenever you pull your vehicle, it comes out and it locks into place. Then if you're on any uneven surfaces, you've now got the angles fighting against each other, causing this to bind up.

Being able to release the tension without any tools makes this tow bar just that much better than the ones that don't because you don't have to worry about losing any components and where you placed them whenever you need them, you just got it here all the time.Another thing I like about the Alpha tow bar here compared to some of the other manufacturers is the fact that it has a dust boot over the telescoping arms. Many of the other manufacturers don't and the arm can then get dirt and debris on it, which could eventually work its way up into the seals and make them not glide as smooth as they used to. Keeping it completely sealed keeps all that dirt and debris and moisture out of here, ensuring long-lasting smooth operation of our arms. It's a solid steel construction with a black powder coat finish to ensure long-lasting, corrosion-free operation.Now, if you currently have a home and you're considering bringing your vehicle with you, you do have a few options. There's the flat-tow setup like we have here, which is my preferred recommended option to flat tow, but there's also a tow dolly, or you could flatbed it.Now, we all know the big issue with the flatbed.

You've got a very large trailer that you're going to be hauling around with you. You have to have somewhere to store it. It's going to be on your campsite the whole time. There's a lot of downsides with that. The only upside to the flatbed is you can bring any vehicle on a flatbed regardless of its configuration, whether it's front-wheel, rear-wheel, all-wheel, doesn't matter with those.The next option is a tow dolly, which is much smaller than your whole flatbed. It's just for the front wheels to lift those off and the back wheels remain on the ground. This is a great option if your vehicle is compatible with it, but they're only compatible with certain vehicles. Most rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicles are not going to be compatible with a tow dolly, only the front-wheel-drive vehicles.The other issue with those is that they don't track the same as a flat-towed vehicle. It's going to track more just like a regular trailer pulling behind you, so when you go to make those turns, you have to make them extra wide to ensure your vehicle is going to clear.With a flat-tow setup here, we don't have to worry about that because the wheels in our vehicle are going to turn when we're driving, so our vehicle tracks directly behind us so we don't have to overcompensate and turn extra wide to ensure our vehicle clears. We almost really don't even know that there's a vehicle behind us because it's tracking so closely behind our motor home.While this is a great tow bar that will allow you to bring your vehicle flat towed behind your motor home, my personal recommendation is Roadmaster's Nighthawk. If you have a Blue Ox baseplate like we do here, we had that available with Blue Ox three-lug ends pre-installed on it. The Nighthawk's going to have a slightly higher weight rating of 8,000 pounds so you can pull something a little bit bigger if you need to.The other reasons I really liked the Nighthawk is that it's an all-aluminum construction, so it's going to be lighter and easier to move around, and it has cable management underneath, so none of your cables are just going to be flopping around here, they actually run through a channel. The cables and the wiring also come included with your Nighthawk, so you really got just about everything you need for the connection process here all in one package.When you're all done using your tow bar, we can lift it up and the peg here will line up in the slot here to hold it in place. We simply just go straight up and then we pick one side, whether it be the left or the right, and tip the tow bar off that way. That will lock it in the slot and keep it up and you can just carry on your business with a tow bar in the back of your motor home. Blue Ox also has covers available here at etrailer.com, so if you decide to leave it on your motor home all the time, you can protect it from the elements by storing it in the cover.When you're ready to use your tow bar, you can go ahead and slide it in and line up the holes with the hole in your receiver. There's two sets of holes. You can use either one. There's about a two-inch space between the two holes. Either one will work. We're going to use the one closest to the end of the tow bar to extend out a little further and we'll secure it with the included pin and clip.When you're ready to hook up your tow bar, we want to go ahead and remove the pins from the arms. We'll then lower our tow bar down a bit, separate the arms. You'll notice on here that they have a label for up. We want to make sure that it is in the correct orientation. Then we'll line up our arm with the three lugs right directly to our Blue Ox baseplate. We can then insert the pin, which will hold it in place, and then lock our pin in with the smaller clip. We'll do the same thing over on the other side.Then we can take our included safety cables and attach it to the baseplate on the vehicle. Then we're going to bring the other side and we're going to cross it, so I hook this to the driver's side on the vehicle, and I'm hooking it to the passenger side on the motor home. We'll do the same thing with the other side. This will create a cradle in the event of a catastrophic disconnect, which will keep our components from digging down into the pavement. You can then finish connecting up your diode wiring and your braking system and all the stuff now is to place your vehicle in tow mode and you're ready to hit the road.That completes our look at Blue Ox's Alpha 2 tow bar.


Questions and Comments about this Video

David H.

What cover fits the BX7380 Alpha2 tow bar? I bought the tow bar from you a couple months ago. It works great!

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

Glad to hear that you're happy with the tow bar! The part for the cover is # BX8875 .

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