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Towbars, Hitches and Braking Systems for your Toads, etc. Questions, concerns, or suggestions regarding what equipment to use to tow your Toad with are discussed here.

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  #11  
Old 12-03-2008
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iamflagman iamflagman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhughes01 View Post
The only issue with towing anything is you can't backup. Limited ability to backup with a dolly, and none with a toad as the wheel caster causes the tires to go right over. Makes you plan a bit more where you park!
I will disagree with you on that statement. I have towed VW Rabbits (I have had six of them), as new as 1984 and with standard transmissions and no power steering, for years in my Oversize Load Flag Car business, whenever the Big load we were escorting required two escorts and we had finished that trip, on the return trip back home. I have towed them behind a Suburban, then a Chevy G20 van , my old Superior bus and my 'Bird before I purchased my enclosed trailer.

Backing up can be done but you have to do it very slowly and sometimes when the car doesn't go where you want it to, you have to pull up to straighten it out and then try again. I used to get my LP tanks filled at my local propane dealer and I would have to pull straight into his pump located on the side of his store, then back straight out into his front parking lot to leave, I could normally do this on the first try, of coarse this is not backing up for long distances, but it can be done on SOME vehicles.

I have even backed the VW up for about a half of a block and around a corner when I went into a dead end street and it was pouring down rain and I didn't want to get out and unhook the VW, but in that instance I had my girlfriend get out in the rain and sit in the VW drivers street with the CB Radio turned on, while I gave her instructions on how much input I wanted her to add to the steering wheel which was very little, but that takes team work and after watching most couples try to give and follow directions backing RV's of all kinds into a campsite, I wouldn't recommend that one at all......we had the whole street to work with as there was no other traffic, it may not look pretty but it can be done if need be.

Backing straight up for a short distance doesn't seem to hurt the front end geometry on the VW but going around the corner does put a lot of strain on it, in this case the VW Rabbit was an 1983 diesel with 350,000 miles on it, so I wasn't too concerned, newer models may not be as easy to do this with.

Again it required an area consisting of the complete area of both of the two lane streets and this has to be done almost at a walking speed with a lot of patience, which I have less and less of every day as I get older, needless to say my old girlfriend and I don't travel together anymore and that is one of the reasons I pull my 27 foot enclosed trailer all of the time, because I can be a grouchy old man at times................Please no comments from the Peanut Gallery
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  #12  
Old 05-04-2010
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Default Glad you can do it ...

... but I can't ... my '05 goes hard over if I back up even 5 feet straight at a dead crawl. I'm a fairly strong guy, and I can't keep the wheel straight sitting with any amount of force in the car, using the fm transmitters for communications with my wife in the coach.

VW must have changed the caster angle on the newer ones.
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  #13  
Old 05-04-2010
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We have done it all ways mentioned. Dolly's work well, but I would be concerned that a automatic that couldn't be towed 4 down also may not be able to be towed on a dolly, depends on the transfer case. In Massachusetts, dolly's are not registered, so they are cheap to keep. Trailers can carry a car, bikes, tons of junk and so on, they can be backed up at will, they can be a pain at some parks that do not allow you to keep it on your lot, such as Pelican Lake in Naples, Pelican does not let you keep a dolly on your lot either. I paid $300 to have our trailer stored off site once. Our van is a good compromise, but it cost $3500 to set up to tow, the price of a used trailer and I still need to buy a brake for it. Dolly's require no modifications to the car that is towed, as Kurt mentioned, you can put any car you want on it. Any diesel Bird can tow any car/trailer you want, weight is not really a consideration. I miss my trailer, but I like my van set up, my old dolly tows too small a vehicle. Good luck
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  #14  
Old 05-04-2010
BARTONB3 BARTONB3 is offline
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Just bought a toad (1999 Jeep Cherokee Sport) as I too did not care for the dolly system, however; when I went to purchase the tow bar and mounting brackets ($1100) I was told that there are state laws requiring the tow vehicle to have its own braking system if it exceeeds the states weight limit. Unfortunately here in Ohio it is 2000lbs!! The braking system is another $1200!!! Think I'm selling the toad and will just do without or go John Finn's route and get a trailer?? I did verify this with state as well. I looked in the Florida code and it states there weight limit as 3000lbs. Any advice the forum members can give would be greatly appreciated!
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  #15  
Old 05-04-2010
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I think a trailer is a $10,000+ solution to a $2500 problem. Where are you going to put it when you are in a campground? Constantly renting two sites is not a good solution. I agree that the cost of vehicle braking and towing systems is way over the top. I have a Stay-n-Play braking system and the parts can't be worth more that $50, but it is priced way higher than that. The same goes for the M&G system. Yes, there is a lot of engineering to match the M&G to the various cars, but it is still over the top when you get down to it. Perhaps it is the manufacturers liability insurance that adds so much?

With the Jeep transfer case you save the cost of a transmission pump or drive shaft disconnect as well.
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  #16  
Old 05-04-2010
BARTONB3 BARTONB3 is offline
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Good points Gardner. I guess I was just thinking I could at least use the trailer (not enclosed like John's but a $3000 tandem axle) for other things like my Polaris Ranger, four wheelers and tractor but was not thinking to much about the camp ground issue.
Does everyone use a brake system in their toads (those who exceed the states weight limit?) It seems crazy as the Bird's air brakes are pretty mean.
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  #17  
Old 05-04-2010
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Buy a used brake buddy for under $400 at http://www.hitchtrader.com/SearchAds...&submit=Search


Quote:
Originally Posted by BARTONB3 View Post
Just bought a toad (1999 Jeep Cherokee Sport) as I too did not care for the dolly system, however; when I went to purchase the tow bar and mounting brackets ($1100) I was told that there are state laws requiring the tow vehicle to have its own braking system if it exceeeds the states weight limit. Unfortunately here in Ohio it is 2000lbs!! The braking system is another $1200!!! Think I'm selling the toad and will just do without or go John Finn's route and get a trailer?? I did verify this with state as well. I looked in the Florida code and it states there weight limit as 3000lbs. Any advice the forum members can give would be greatly appreciated!
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  #18  
Old 05-04-2010
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I think the main situation is a breakaway condition. The rest of the time I don't think it makes much difference.

My Stay-n-Play only comes on in a harder stop situation, and sooner when braking down hills since it is an inertia system and the angle changes the required application force. I find I need to cycle the brake lights off to disengage it periodically. It is not proportional and therefore keeps increasing the brake pressure till cycled off and on. I wish I had purchased the M&G, but I will live with what I have for now.

I have traveled close to 10k miles with it and there is no noticeable problem with brake wear on the toad so far.
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  #19  
Old 05-04-2010
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Stephen,
If you check the recent Motorhome Magazine list of towable vehicles, all the Ford Escapes, including the hybrid, are listed as towable 4 wheels down. In fact, Ford seems to have joined GM in making most of their models towable, which is good news.
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  #20  
Old 05-04-2010
bubblerboy64 bubblerboy64 is offline
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This is one of those discussions that is helpful but opinionated.

In my opinion.

Dolly is Ok is you don't mine dealing with it once parked. Saw one a fellow bought for less then $800 with brakes and for that money it was worth considering. If interested I might be able to get information for you on that dolly. Don't know for sure if it's still made.

Trailer is good for keeping stuff clean and if you need a bunch of stuff with you. I think you have to be careful not to over load the trailer. Some are not built to handle all you can put in there. Most expensive. Also results in a large over all tow length. Also a problem to park and store similar or worse then the dolly. BUT decided advantages if you can deal with the negatives.

Flat towing is most popular for experience class A owners. The trick is getting it right with the right toad and right set up.

I flat tow a Honda Fit and while I have had a couple issues getting everything set up and adjust correctly I am VERY satisfied with the car and the tow rig. I have Night Shift Auto tow equipment and think it is the simplest and quickest system out there.
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