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Old 02-15-2019, 08:36 AM
Strappe Strappe is offline
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 42
Default Tow-Bar for RV-12, revisited

1. Has anyone had the RV-12 tow-bar sold by Van's break at the T-junction where the legs attach to the handle? Van's told me they feel that our break is our fault for spreading the legs too far apart, but my partner denies that. Van's suggested I get a welder to repair it.
2. Bogert Aviation does not sell a stock tow-bar for an RV-12 WITH wheel pant on the nose gear. However, they sent me their custom-build form to fill out and I am thinking of doing that. Has anyone had them build a custom tow-bar for an RV-12 with wheel pant? If so, can you share the successful dimensions you used in filling out the form?
I have NOT been using the Van's bar to pull or push the aircraft in and out of the hangar; only for steering. However, in spite of my advice, my partners have, and it appears the axle inserts have popped out several times, damaging the nose wheel fairing.

We'll get someone to weld our Van's bar but save it for taking along on trips in the RV. For getting the aircraft in and out of the hangar, we need something considerably more substantial and with a more reliable wheel attachment method than the silly velcro strap affords.
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Old 02-15-2019, 09:34 AM
Piper J3's Avatar
Piper J3 Piper J3 is online now
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Hinckley, Ohio
Posts: 1,903

I think this is the tow bar I purchased from Aircraft Spruce for ground ops at the hanger.

You will need to re-arc the legs so the don't rub on the wheel fairing...

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Jim Stricker
EAA #499867
PPL/ASEL 1970 - Sport Pilot since 2007
80 hrs Flying Aeronca Chief 11AC N86203
1130 hrs Flying 46 Piper J-3 Cub N6841H
Bought Flying RV-12 #120058 Oct 2015 with 48TT - Hobbs now 564

LSRM-A Certificate 2016 for RV-12 N633CM
Special Thanks... EJ Trucks - USN Crew Chief A-4 Skyhawk
MJ Stricker (Father & CFI) - USAAF 1st Lt. Captain B-17H
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Old 02-15-2019, 12:44 PM
engineerofsorts's Avatar
engineerofsorts engineerofsorts is offline
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 306
Default Minor mod for the Vanís tow bar

Originally Posted by Strappe View Post
Questions: [indent]
...and it appears the axle inserts have popped out several times, damaging the nose wheel fairing.
I never had problems with the Vanís tow bar popping out. One minor modification I made that made it work better was to NOT stick the Velcro strap on the tow bar, but just make a loop out of the strap that can slide up and down on the upper part of the tow baróthe further you slide it down, the tighter the grip. Our tow bar has served well for six years.
Rob Reese
RV-12 #120332 N73HR
Austin, TX
TangoFlight Mentor
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Old 02-18-2019, 10:02 AM
jrich jrich is offline
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Arnaudville, LA
Posts: 63

I use my tow bar exclusively for all towing. It broke at the "T" after about 4 years of use. I had it welded about 4 or so years ago and it worked fine. But, just recently one of the legs broke about 1/4" or more from the weld repair site. I suppose it was in the heat affected zone. I'm going to visit with another welder and see what he has to say about it.

Last edited by jrich : 02-18-2019 at 10:03 AM. Reason: mistype
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Old 02-18-2019, 07:13 PM
JAE JAE is offline
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Whitianga New Zealand
Posts: 5
Default Integrity 426 ES

Due to the steering arm coming off the Vans Washers and bolts several times and damaging the Nose Wheel Fairing. I have redesigned the fitting for holding the tow bar. Use a 1.5 in length of 7/8 in tube that the tow bar fits inside of, weld a AN970-416 on one end. Drill the washer to 5/16 in in a lathe to ensure it is centred then these tubes bolt to the nose gear fork side using AN5-4A bolts and AN 365-524 nuts.It will be necessary to open the holes in the faring to clear the tubes. End of problem
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Old 09-23-2019, 04:17 PM
Tony_T's Avatar
Tony_T Tony_T is offline
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Lacey, WA
Posts: 1,332
Default Bogert Tow Bar

I bought a Bogert tow bar ten years ago. This was before the Van's tow bar came out. It has gotten pretty worn out and developed cracks in the tubes. I got a lot of use out of the tow bar and can't really complain. I did contact Bogert and they replaced the tow bar for no charge! After 10 years! Now that is good customer service.
I also have the Van's RV-12 tow bar which is a nice light aluminum unit that is easy to carry in the airplane.
I use the Bogert for maneuvering the airplane in and out of the hangar. It is pretty robust and you can push and pull on it without needing to push on the propeller.
Incidentally, the Bogert catalog is a little confusing about whether the RVA tow bar fits the -12 with a pant on the nose wheel.

But I just got the new bar and can confirm that it does fit the wheel pant.

As I mentioned, I bought the Bogert prior to the Van's bar being available and if you need a tow bar to carry in the airplane the Van's tow bar is light and compact. If you want a more heavy duty tow bar for general use around the home base the Bogert is fast to use and a robust heavy (compared to the Van's) piece of gear. It does collapse for stowage but not nearly as compact as the Van's.
I like having them both.
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Old 09-24-2019, 07:56 AM
benfra benfra is offline
Join Date: May 2007
Location: ft MYERS, FL Based @KPGD
Posts: 33
Default Bogert Towbar

Yes, I have a Bogert Towbar, used on my 7A, now using on my RV12. Good product I can recommend. Dosent slip out of the fittings. GL Ben
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Old 09-24-2019, 08:13 AM
jrtens's Avatar
jrtens jrtens is offline
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Sandy, Utah
Posts: 76

Thanks for the report Tony - very helpful.
12iS SLSA 8/19
Salt Lake Int'l
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Old 09-24-2019, 03:00 PM
mike newall's Avatar
mike newall mike newall is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Yorkshire, England
Posts: 1,974

Spruce one is fine and at a good price.

We have two !
"I add a little excitement, a little spice to your lives, and all you do is complain!" - Q

Donated in 2019
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