Is Latch System for Blue Ox Alpha and Alpha 2 Tow Bars Different

Question:

I bought my Alpha tow bar and base plate from etrailer about 4 years ago and have put about 50,000 miles on them towing a 2015 2D Jeep Wrangler. My tow bar is exactly level when towing the Jeep. Many times I have to use a hammer to loosen one or both of the 1/2 inch pins to drive them out. At these times the latches will not move and I am reluctant to hit them with the hammer. When disconnected the latches will easily rotate. Turning the Jeep wheels does not help. I recently saw an ad in Motorhome magazine about a new improved Alpha 2 Tow Bar with nonbinding latches. From your photos and video the nonbinding latches look the same as my binding latches. Can you elaborate how the new nonbinding latches are different from the previous version as mine.

1

Helpful Expert Reply:

The Blue Ox Alpha Tow Bar # BX7365 on our site is the original Alpha tow bar just like what you have which is why the latching system doesn't look any different. I reached out to Blue Ox and my contact said that the newer Alpha tow bar (currently not available on their site either as of November 2019) uses a latching system similar to the Avail Tow Bar # BX7420 so there is a significant difference in the design. I have attached pictures of both latch styles for your reference.

If you are looking to upgrade from your Alpha tow bar I actually have a different recommendation that I think you'll really like. The Demco Dominator # DM9511008-BX is the name of the tow bar and it has an aluminum construction so it resists corrosion and only weighs 30 lbs, is made in the USA, and it comes with a limited lifetime warranty as opposed to the standard 3-year warranty of a Blue Ox tow bar. The non-binding triggers feature on Demco tow bars are well-known for being extremely effective and can be easily operated even when your Jeep isn't perfectly aligned with the motorhome. Demco also placed the triggers along the side of the tow bar so you can use the arm of the tow bar for grip as opposed to trying to press down directly on the latch like other systems use, including the Blue Ox tow bars. It is a little more pricey than the Alpha 2 but the aluminum construction and lifetime warranty more than make up for the cost difference.

There are also some other amenities that Demco has built into their tow bars like the incorporated safety cables, adjustable head (to help level the tow bar), the integrated wiring storage rod, and the independently moving arms (for ease of use). Should you choose to use the Dominator then you might also be interested in the Storage Cover # DM9523042 and a Receiver Lock # DM9523066 to help prolong the life of the tow bar and deter theft.

Attached are some review videos of the different tow bars that you can check out as well.

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helpful expert reply by:
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Jon G

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