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Old 01-03-2003, 09:49 PM   #1
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Toweds, Toads, or Dinghys and stopping.

I should more than likely start this as multiple threads, but here goes.

If you tow a vehicle behind you motorhome, what is it?
What brand/type of towbar are you using and why?
And the last but most curious is do you have brakes on it? If so what kind of braking did you add.

I am getting ready to take the plunge with my 93 SC2 and I want to learn form other members experiences, good and bad.

So please steer me in the right direction
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Old 01-03-2003, 11:39 PM   #2
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i have a s-10 blazer it is just a tad over the weight limit. i use a brake buddy braking system in the blazer. works great i have had two panic stops, without the brake buddy i could not have stopped, almost didnt, the saturn is under the weight limit (3000 lbs) in most states and you would not have to install a braking system. a braking system sure is nice when you gota stop, also a brake away system is required on the toad. in cases where the braking system is required. i dont have that installed yet . the brake buddy has a break away option , only requires a break away swith similiar to the ones we see on the trailers.
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Old 01-06-2003, 08:56 AM   #3
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Hi,
I went around and around with the expense of the brakebuddy, but I decided in the end it was worth it. Piece of mind is important to me. I tow a Saturn wagon behind my 345 and don't even know it's there. I have a Reese hitch, & Roadmaster towbar. Shop around, prices really vary. I went with the removable face plate, but I don't remove it most of the time! I also use the magnetic towlights, quick and easy.
PS, I call it a toad.
Good luck, Eric
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Old 01-06-2003, 07:24 PM   #4
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Brett,

Hitch:
I installed a Blue Ox towing system on my 1986 345 and their base plate on the 1997 Toyota RAV4 I use as a "toad."

The base plate installation instructions advise that no two cars measure the same, so expect to engage in cut and fit work. I'm not terribly clever but was able to install it myself in three full frustrating days. Now that it is on, it is rock solid and I am very happy with it.

However, the connection points are higher than the level plane of the RV hitch hook-up. It barely exceeds the four inch offset limit stated by Blue Ox. I drove 3,000 mountain miles with it this way last summer without apparent problem save that I have trouble getting the pneumatic locks to engage on the tow bar arms. I am looking into correcting this with a hitch receiver box riser insert on the RV.

The Blue Ox is neat, complete, and easy to use.

Brake:
I got the Brake Buddy unit. It is a simple, portable inertial sensing pneumatic cylinder unit that connects to the brake pedal in the toad. I could only tell that it was working on a very few occasions when I could feel the drag of the braking RAV behind me. Otherwise, it was like nothing was being towed behind me.

I made a tight turn recently and ripped the breakaway switch off its mounting. I got no alarm and no drag from the toad braking. So, I'm not certain that particular function is working. Also, the unit charges its air pump from the 12 volt cigarette lighter port. The connector uses a 2 amp in-line fuse. I continue to blow these fuses out with every use for some reason that I do not presently understand.

I am happy with these devices to this point but as you can see I have some matters to investigate.
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Old 01-07-2003, 08:54 PM   #5
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Famalco

Mine takes a 15 amp fuse. Are you sure you are using the right size? I can't imagine the compressor would run on 2 amps.

John
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Old 01-08-2003, 08:38 PM   #6
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i agree that compressor would blow a 2 amp fuse in a heart beat. i would estimate that compressor pulls at least 10 amps. need to call and get an instruction book for the brake buddy i set mine up to when i feel the brake buddy kick in, then i retard the sensivity one click. that works for me . where did you find a two amp fuse????
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Old 01-08-2003, 10:16 PM   #7
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2 amp fuse in Brake Buddy.

Wow!

I went all summer long getting raised shoulders and forehead slaps (Italian salutes) when I asked if my Brake Buddy was set-up properly. YOU guys resolved my question in a couple of key-clicks. What a wonderful resource your forum provides. I just jumped into RV'ing after a two year search to find the unit I wanted at the price I wanted to pay. I am definitely at the bottom of the learning curve. Thanks for the "roadside" assistance.
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Old 01-16-2003, 10:04 PM   #8
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We use a car dolly and have pulled a VW Fox, Ford Escort and Honda Odessey (very short distance). I hardly knew the VW or Ford were there...the Honda made me a little nervous.

Have brakes on the dolly...but am wondering isn't that like only having brakes on the front of your vehicle. It seems to work fine but was just wondering.
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Old 01-26-2003, 05:36 PM   #9
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Zamboni

If the brakes are properly sized for the weight of the dolly and vehicle it really won't matter if they are on 1 or 2 axles.

John
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Old 01-26-2003, 10:41 PM   #10
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famalco,
What do you want to bet that your instruction book had one of those infamous misprints and meant to print 20 amp inline fuse? Call the company and verify.
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Old 02-04-2003, 01:37 PM   #11
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Blown it...

Evening All...
I know you all are clever Guys, and know the short cuts and ins 'n outs of an AIRSTREAM'S RIVET...lol, but talkin of fuses, when I was very UN-LEARNED in vehicle electrics, I decided to fit the CAR radio...no big deal...you just do this and that and sit back and listen for the music to blast your ears OUT...I did say WAIT...what's up ? !!!.....well cutting it short, and RE-FITTING the dash board...and giving it up as a duff radio...and nearly sticking it up a part of the persons body I bought it from...which I doubt had NEVER heard music...but was about to, for the first time...
My pal quickly checked it on his car...music...so what went wrong ?...FUSES...that's what went WRONG... new fuses, a CHROME cap at each end, and a GLASS tube in the centre with a wire passing right on through...he tried them on his meter, NOTHING, no reading at all, then scraped each end on the wall, retried on the meter...WORKING...after scraping OFF the plating, down to the bare metal all was fine...NOW whenever I touch a fuse...I bet it don't take a bright spark to work out what the first thing I do to it is...YES you got it...test it on my METER...
I know You guys already do that...I wonder if this forum was up and running in ''74...LOL...Chris.....
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Old 02-15-2003, 04:11 PM   #12
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Today I hooked up for the first time the entire thing. Tow bar, brake buddy, safety cables an dragged it around for a half hour. the only real time I felt it was pulling away from a stop. The brake buddy would kick in only if I braked hard. I know I can make it more sensitive but I like how it is kicking in. I bought the whole package with the alert and break away. I have not setup the break away yet, but I will. I got a good deal at the FMCA rally that was near us last weekend. $950.00 for the whole rig.

Now for the second issue. I do not have a rear view camera, so going in a straight line I cannot see the Saturn!???

Any suggestions on how to have a visual clue that it is still there that I can see via the windshield mounted rear view mirror?
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Old 02-16-2003, 08:03 AM   #13
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Brett

Mine had a fresnel lens on the back window when I got it, don't know how well it worked because I never toad with it. Or how about a light on the dash grounded to the car, loose the car and the light goes out.

John
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Old 02-16-2003, 08:06 AM   #14
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I also have that lens on the back window, it works great. I watch my bikes when on the rack (saw one almost fall off last trip), and get a good idea what is right behind me. Cheap but effective.
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