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Blue OX Poor Customer Service

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We purchased a Blue OX Patriot III braking system before heading out to Alaska in May of this year. The receiver that came with the Patriot III never worked properly, and about 1/2 way through the trip stopped working completely.  The Patriot III appeared to be working properly without issues, so I wasn't really concerned. We own a 2017 Lincoln MKX and we tow it behind a Tiffin Phaeton 40QBH. The Lincoln has a parasitic draw on the battery when towing, so I decided to use a separate battery to power the Patriot III, but had to modify the power harness.  The Patriot III only comes with a hard wired cigarette bulb on the power harness. I cut the bulb from the wire, because Blue OX offers no optional wiring configuration with the Patriot III Power Harness. I used male and female connectors, reversing the hot and ground connectors to ensure they do not get mixed up, making it easy to connect and disconnect from the battery. When we finally returned home, I contacted Blue Ox and they sent the paperwork to return the unit for repairs. We had to return the entire system, so they could make sure there were no issues with the Patriot III as well. I was contacted this week by Blue Ox letting me know they completed the work, and were charging me for the work and cancelled my warranty because I modified the power harness on the Partiot III. I asked if there were any issues with the Patriot III and they responded no. The only issue was with the receiver, and they repaired it. Blue OX offer no real options to use different types of power, or power from different sources.  No matter how we tried to hook the Patriot III to the Lincoln, the cigarette lighter would not provide the power needed to operate the Patriot III.  While we had a few options, I had already modified the Lincoln more then I really wanted and the separate battery to provide power to the Patriot was a simple fix.  Explaining all this to Blue OX, as well as Blue OX acknowledging there was no damage to the Patriot III, really tells me they have no desire to support the customer. When I asked them to pass on to their engineering staff that they may want to offer option to their power harness, they had no interest in this as well. While the tow bar and all other Blue Ox products we own operated without issues, I'm now concerned about their inflexibility to work with their customers and support their products.  

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I must say that in the past year, I have heard about PR issues and issues with the receiver, has been an on going problem for some time now.  However, there are still more +++ for Blue Ox than minuses.

I use Roadmaster!  I did have a Blue Ox 10,000 lbs, but gave it to a friend, when I stopped towing a big truck...understand it still works and is now 12 years old.  I say this, because we don't get positive posts very often!

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IMO the simple and positive remedy would be to install a battery disconnect on the Lincoln negative cable. If you have identified the parasitic draw, there is a rocker switch one may install under the dash to cut-off that particular fuse. We have another member on here who tows an MKX too, he has never mentioned a dead battery from towing.

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I'm not familiar with this system but will say, why didn't you simply run a charge line from the motorhome and wire the Patriot as designed? I understand Blue Ox voiding your warranty, you aren't using it the way it was designed to be used.

 

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Actually we do use a rocker switch. That is why we use a separate battery to keep the Patriot alive.  As far as using it the way it was designed, when the power switch is turned off, the cigarette lighter will no longer power the Patriot (regardless if we ran a line from the coach), so Had to go to plan B.  Many of the after market suppliers don't provide options (or sufficient options) with their equipment. Point in case.  Before heading to Alaska we had to purchase a Road Master Rock Defender, Blue Ox didn't offer one.Six to eight months later Blue OX decide to offer one.  My guess is Blue OX didn't like a Road Master Rock Shield covering up their equipment. The Blue Ox equipment we have is working well, but with limitations.  As we continue to travel more and more in our Class A, I see so many limiting factors from primary and aftermarket suppliers, and it becomes aggravating when a supplier does not offer options to satisfy the needs of the consumer. Especially when they advertise it does.

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With a charge line connected you could have left the battery connected and used the Patriot as designed. Maybe you need to get rid of it and go to a different system. I can see everything Blue Ox does from here on will not please you. 

I believe WayneM tows a MKX so maybe he will chime in soon. I'm not sure what braking system he uses.

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I would have picked up a acc plug socket and wired in so you could plug unit in and still have the fuse that is normally in the power plug 

and not modify the factory wiring  

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3 hours ago, bm02tj said:

I would have picked up a acc plug socket and wired in so you could plug unit in and still have the fuse that is normally in the power plug 

and not modify the factory wiring  

Yes, I would have done that also as it seems good.

I own a 2013 Lincoln MKX and prior to that a 2007 Saturn Vue. I have an Air Force One braking system. It is a piston attached to the brake pedal actuated through a control by the air brakes on the coach being applied.

For both of those vehicles i have mentioned I have had batteries that would deplete to an unacceptable voltage for starting the vehicle. Under each circumstance we were in hilly country and I always have the engine brake/exhaust brake on. When the coach is braking by foot pedal or exhaust brake the brakes on the TOAD are applied and in hill country this can be excessive.

I started avoiding the battery issue by stopping every 2 to 2-1/2 hours, starting the car and letting it run for 5 minutes. I did not have that problem. As the battery ages by years it seems that it will deplete a lot faster. I know travel with a "Jump Start" that is about the size of 3 packs of cigarettes laid side by side and puts out 800 amp with the lithium batteries. I've not had to use it yet, but I'm in relatively flat country.

The manual I have says to run the engine every 4 hours - but that is to long for me. Besides it gives me time to stretch the legs and yawn a little.

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I guess i'm not the only one to have poor customer service from blue ox. they must have changed management and do not take care of their customers anymore.

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Blue Ox has always been very helpful to me whenever I have had a question. The service tech will answer any question and show me how to service my own tow bar.

I will continue to use their tow bars as long as we are RVing.

We have heard the bashing now how about some good commits, I know there are many more good ones then bad ones.

Herman

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Herman, there has been an overwhelming positive response regarding Blue Ox customer service. I don't understand some folks idea of good customer service anymore I guess. I've been using Blue Ox for the past 12 years with no issues and like you, I've always received good response when contacting customer service and will continue using them.

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I think one thing we need to keep in mind is the amount of product they produce vs the amount of complaints. They are the number one in the industry due to their marketing tactics. You cannot open any RV related Magazine and not see a Blue Ox add, which is impressive! 

Said another way; If a company sells a million widgets and had 10 problems that could be considered a good ratio vs the company that sells 10,000 widgets and has 5 problems. Of those 5 problems how many took to the web to broadcast it, the company with 10 problems was 50% more likely to have 1 person complain on a forum. 

 

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we have used Blue Ox system for 6 years without a problem. Have interfaced with customer service 2 times when getting unit checked and serviced and both times they were responsive to my questions and needs. Sorry you have had a problem but this hasn’t been my experience. 

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Herman Mullins, I find it funny that you would call this Blue OX bashing. Because you have an good experience with Blue OX, everyone else should as well.  Petty naive on your part.  OEMs are not perfect, so when an issue arises, as a minimum, I expect them to cover.

I have a love hate relationship with my Tiffin Motorhome. I hate the fact that there were a high number of issues after we purchased it.  I love it because Tiffin without question, covered everything, and continues to stand behind it, no question. That's the mark of a good OEM.

 

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