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Old 12-18-2011, 10:35 AM   #1
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Checklist for setting up a TOAD vehicle behind a motorhome

I've spent the better part of this morning searching and reading on both Airforums and other RV sites about setting up a vehicle to be towed (a TOAD vehicle) behind a motorhome. There's lot so of advice which I have taken to heart and decided that a tow bar and pulling with all 4 tires on the ground is the best for me. I don't really need to cover the topics of hitch reinforcement or which vehicle makes a good toad or even which brand of tow bar and gear to buy. What I was hoping y'all could help out with is the list of things that one needs to setup for toad pulling from scratch. I'm assessing if I really want to make the financial plunge and I don't want to start buying and then realize: oops, I forgot X, Y, and Z which are another $1500.

So, here's my list so far:
  1. two bar unit (bars, cables, elec. cord & connectors, toad base plate)
  2. braking system for the toad
What needs to be added to the list?

If anyone has advice on the braking system, I'd appreciate it. It seems there's much talk about the tow bar system, but little about the braking system. There's tow bar systems all over on eBay. But for braking systems there seems to be little discussion and even less for options for purchase even in new condition. Are people just skipping the brake system and using a light bar? Is everyone just plunking down the $1000 for an in-vehicle brake actuator?
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Old 12-18-2011, 01:24 PM   #2
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#1 on the list - do NOT bust the manufacturers max rating.

Read this post.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f310...tion-9976.html
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Old 12-18-2011, 07:23 PM   #3
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Thanks for the link, I hadn't seen that one. I think I've got that base covered, though. The intent vehicle right now would be a '99 Honda CR-V which has a curb weight of 3150 lbs. The next vehicle we buy (maybe 1-3 years) will also be a small SUV, likely a CR-V again so not much need to guard for higher capacity in the future.

My Argosy 24 isn't exactly a stump pullin' machine like some of the diesels out there today, but it wasn't meant to be. I know it's short on power / torque by today's standards but I already don't put it over 60mph when traveling. I'm not out there to win a race or make to the the top of the hill in the passing lane. I'm just trying to travel with the family. For that matter, my Excursion 6.8L gasser pulling my '74 Overlander is no beast going through Appalachia either.

I think towing capacity / power issues are in the bag. Although I am already planning a rebuild and power-increase scenario for the 'ol 454 in years to come.

Thanks again for the link, Dennis.
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Old 12-23-2011, 11:23 PM   #4
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WineStream, I recently sold my LY motorhome and got an Excella trailer, but I still have my TOAD and I intend to sell it when I get back up north after the winter. It is a VW Cabrio (dark green with tan leather interior), manual transmission and it has the Blue Ox base plate with the Night Shift Readybrake tow bar with the built-in surge brake mechanism. All you need on the motorhome end is a hitch and the Bargman 7-way socket. If you are interested, PM me.
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Old 12-24-2011, 12:33 AM   #5
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Toad, Blue Ox

I have posted some info here that may help you?
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...ick-71116.html

Dave
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Old 12-24-2011, 07:01 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by masseyfarm View Post
I have posted some info here that may help you?
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...ick-71116.html

Dave
Excellent review, Dave. I'm surprised I didn't find that one when I was searching before posting. Perhaps I was searching only within the motorhome area, though.

At this point, if I go through with this, I'm leaning toward a fully rigid bar. The concerns of two people to hook up is never a concern as my wife and I don't go camping alone and pretty soon my oldest kid will be able to help, too. A rigid bar has a lower purchase cost and zero maintenance once the bolts are tightened.

My biggest stopping point right now is the braking system. Because we don't plan to have our current CR-V forever, and likely not more than 1-2 more years, I'd like something that's portable. To be honest, I was sold on the tow dolly idea for a while, but it seems there's too many bad stories out there and the "storage" at the campsite is a big detractant for me, too. But as to the braking system...it looks like a decent "on the floor" model with proportionality and remote motitor in the cab of the moho is going to be about $1000 (Blue Ox Patriot or similar).

So with tow bar, base plate, and braking system (if purchased new) I'm already at $2000 not including my time to install things. I've got my eyes open for used items on ebay and craigslist. I think if I can't get all parts for less than $1000 then when we need to be able to travel a lot from the campsite then we'll just take the Overlander and the Excursion and leave the moho in the barn. The really long trips on the road are just much better for the kids (and therefore for mom & dad) when we are in the moho.
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Old 12-24-2011, 12:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blkmagikca View Post
... manual transmission and it has the Blue Ox base plate with the Night Shift Readybrake tow bar with the built-in surge brake mechanism. All you need on the motorhome end is a hitch and the Bargman 7-way socket. If you are interested, PM me.
PO already had the towbar with the readybrake(about 800 new 200 used), so I only had to buy the baseplate, found one for a hundred, had to install transmission disconnect(automatic Ford Ranger) but your Honda can tow without needing to do anything with the transmission.
I found Night Shift could provide the cables for the brakes and breakaway mechanism(100) so you could do the whole thing for under a thousand. But I have found the easiest way to connect is when the slide mechanism on the towbar gives you about 8 inches of slide to make connection.
Knowing you will be changing vehicles buy two sets of cables from Night shift and you can leave one on old and have one ready for the new vehicle. So the only cost to change would be the brake cables and new baseplate.
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Old 12-24-2011, 01:41 PM   #8
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We towed a 2004 Wrangler behind our Classic 1984 270 for a while. Sold the Jeep and occassionally tow our '99 LX 470 which is a bit heavy, but for short distances to local rallies the 5700 lb SUV is just okay to tow. We use the Blue Ox Aventa II Tow Bar. We obtained a 6500 max cap hitch assembly that mounted forward on the coach to reach the main frame, and not just attaching to the frame extensions.. Otherwise, most Classic Moho's tow cap is 2500 lb. I would also suggest some sort of windshield cover to protect from flinging debris or a grass skirt hanging off the coach bumper.
If you do a Blue Ox search on the main Ebay page, you will find lesser cost Blue Ox equipment than retail and sometimes free shipping.
We found a Brake Buddy box on Craigslist for $250, and it works well.
Be sure to manually pump with your foot or hand on the CRV's brake pedal to bleed of the power assist or you will have flat sided tires after your first braking event.
One other thing we learned not to tamper with the towcars electrics using one way diodes.
We run the 4 flat wire from the baseplate plug under the car to the rear and made a lightbar to slide into the hitch receiver. That makes it transferrable, and won't jeopardize the towcar's electronics.
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