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Old 01-10-2015, 09:39 AM   #1
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Difficulties of towing a toad

We currently have a 23FB trailer and love it.

I have a medical condition that makes it impossible for me to do the hitching and up hitching of the trailer due to the weight of the tow bars so we have been considering the move to a b class so we still have mobility but can get the trailer near the house to facilitate loading and also don't have to deal with heavy tow bars anymore.

We do need the flexibility of having a detachable vehicle and I am wondering if the hookup process on a toad is similar to the tow bars on a trailer so we'd just be trading one problem for another.

Can any of you describe what is required for attaching a toad and what weight is involved in terms of components?

Can you also post some pictures of your hook up toad tow gear? Any other types of vehicles you attach to get around once you are in a destination?
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Old 01-10-2015, 11:04 AM   #2
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With either the Hensley or the Propride you do not have to manually lift the weight distribution bars as they remain on the trailer. The down side is that you must insert the stinger in the receiver. I've seen several good ideas on the forum by people who have built devices to avoid lifting the stinger. This would be a lot more cost effective than purchasing a class B and the additional equipment to make your toad towable.

Good luck,

>>ron<<
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Old 01-10-2015, 12:38 PM   #3
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To handle the stinger of our ProPride I pull ahead about a foot after disconnecting, then pull the stinger pin and slide it back into the hitch head on the trailer tongue. Reverse method for hooking up. Pretty easy, I'm not getting any younger either.

The w.d bars are tightened by raising the tongue jack with the pickup hooked up, then using a power drill with a 3/4" socket to turn the w.d. screw jacks. Also easy.
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Old 01-10-2015, 01:46 PM   #4
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I've seen a simple plywood box with wheels on it and a set of slots to hold the stinger at the right height. Search the forums.

Roll it to the TV, slip it in, then leave it pinned into the receiver until trip is over. I have the wheels already and need to make one for myself.

WD bars are easy to tension once stinger is connected. I raise the jack and rear of TV as far as it will go easily, then tighten the WD bars to the correct height with the supplied wrench. When I lower the tongue it's nice and level. All I have to lift is the jack foot.

I'm not that good at heavy lifting either. Got the ProPride to replace a Husky with bars that had to be installed every time. Too heavy to lift when I was down on my knees. The PP setup stays on the trailer so it's just the stinger to fill with. Usually don't unhitch when we're traveling between home and ultimate destination anyway.


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Old 01-10-2015, 02:42 PM   #5
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Assuming you'd be towing four-down (all four wheels on the ground), the tow bars are relatively light compared to lifter bars for a trailer. A dolly would mean you'd have to lift the front of the dolly on the ball - not terribly heavy but still awkward - and I usually had to move mine by hand when setting up on a site or whatever.

Note, an Airstream trailer tows much nicer than a car. In particular, you cannot back up while towing a car; the rig tends to bend like an accordion. I don't miss my days of screwing with the dolly; the trailer is much easier in many situations, despite being much longer than the car was.
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Old 01-10-2015, 02:54 PM   #6
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Hooking up and unhooking a car is quite easy compared to equalizer bars and trailer hitches. Suggest going to a larger campground and watch as people come in with their cars behind their m-homes.

Not that heavy to lift the connecting "A" frame and drop into place on the front of the car. Biggest problem might be installing the hitch in the first place but once in place, no big deal.

Check on YouTube. Here is one
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Old 01-10-2015, 05:19 PM   #7
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Some of the towed vehicle hitches are self aligning and are quite easy to hook up. When unitched they stay on the toad. No lifting involved.
No doubt about it, motor homing is easier. Plug in to shore power with a cord on a electric reel if so equipped and hit the automatic jacks and turn on the tv. Very nice in the rain.
I was a cheapskate and had basic hitch. I took it off when camped. It was at least as heavy as an equalizer spring bar. The weighty item is the hitch itself.
The disadvantages of motor homing are cost, cost of fuel (my big pusher got a little more than half of the mpg of my car and Airstream), mechanical complexity and being tethered to campgrounds and main roads.
I prefer my Airstream. When I can no longer lift the hitch, I will retire from R V ing.
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Old 01-10-2015, 07:24 PM   #8
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I'll install a winch and crane on the TV if I need more help lifting stuff. Power tools rule when you are getting old!


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Old 01-10-2015, 07:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bonginator View Post
I have a medical condition that makes it impossible for me to do the hitching and up hitching of the trailer due to the weight of the tow bars so we have been considering the move to a b class so we still have mobility but can get the trailer near the house to facilitate loading and also don't have to deal with heavy tow bars anymore.

We do need the flexibility of having a detachable vehicle and I am wondering if the hookup process on a toad is similar to the tow bars on a trailer so we'd just be trading one problem for another.

Can any of you describe what is required for attaching a toad and what weight is involved in terms of components?

Can you also post some pictures of your hook up toad tow gear? Any other types of vehicles you attach to get around once you are in a destination?
This is a subject near and dear to my heart, since I pull a Honda Fit hatchback as a toad behind my Airstream Interstate. It took me a year to buy my toad, but I was already planning to pull a toad from the very first day I bought my Interstate.

The towbar I use is a Roadmaster Sterling All-terrain, but Blue Ox also makes good towbars. The only reason I went with Roadmaster is because the baseplate installation on my Honda allowed the towbar to be installed on the Interstate without a drop hitch; the Blue Ox installation would have required a 2" drop in order for the towbar to be level. But that will vary depending on the kind of car you tow and the baseplate kits made for it.

You need to have baseplate mounts permanently installed on the toad. This will require removal of the bumper in most cases, and replacement with a new bumper. The reason is, most bumpers are designed to resist impact (compression) loading, but not to resist being pulled away (tension loading), and they will not stand up to the pull of being towed. The replacement bumper is just like the stock bumper, but has baseplate receivers and tension connectors. It is worthwhile to also get the taillights modified so that they work like trailer lights when you have the umbilical hooked up, and install a supplemental brake system controlled by the motorhome. I went with a Roadmaster Invisibrake, which mounted under the Honda's driver's seat and is completely out of the way when not in use, but other models with different mounting have their benefits and drawbacks as well.

Then you'll have to install the crossbar, which runs side-to-side in front of your bumper. Good news is, while you can remove it to go through a car wash or whatever, you can store it on the car and never have to remove it if you don't want to. Being an apartment-dweller, I store the crossbar on the toad all the time rather than schlep it back and forth.

On the motorhome, you insert the towbar into a 2" receiver of Class III/IV depending on the weight of the car you'll be towing. The towbar alone weight about 35 pounds, but again once you've got it installed, you can store it on the motorhome and never have to remove it unless you want to tow some other kind of trailer. Again, I store mine on the bakc of the motorhome all the time. Folded into the stored position, it adds maybe a foot of length to the motorhome and does not interfere with opening the rear doors.

To hitch up, you pull the car within about 3 feet of the back of the motorhome. Alignment doesn't have to be perfect, not like hitching up a trailer, because the towbar arms are self-adjusting. You extend or retract them as necessary to hitch up, and when you start driving, they will extend completely and lock into position so the car is centered. You only ever have to lift one arm of the towbar at once, maybe about 15 pounds at a time.

Once you've got the pins in place to connect the towbar arms to the crossbar, you hook up the umbilical cable and safety cables, and the cable for the breakaway switch that comes with the supplemental brakes.

As Skater said, you can't back up with a toad, so you have to plan accordingly. In a campground that doesn't have pull-through sites, you disconnect first, then back the motorhome in. Besides, you want to toad in front in the campground so it's not blocked in, so unhooking first only makes sense. One time, I had to make a U-turn on a dead-end road due to faulty GPS instructions. I unhitched, U-turned each vehicle separately, and then re-hitched facing the right way. No biggie.

Here's a picture of my installation; in the picture, the towbar arms are silver, the crossbar is black, umbilical cable is orange, safety cables are blue, and the breakaway cable is coiled and red:
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Old 01-10-2015, 11:37 PM   #10
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Thanks for all of the wonderful and detailed replies. I will read all of them tomorrow and ask more questions once I have absorbed this. I appreciate the input very much!
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Old 01-11-2015, 10:30 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
This is a subject near and dear to my heart, since I pull a Honda Fit hatchback as a toad behind my Airstream Interstate. It took me a year to buy my toad, but I was already planning to pull a toad from the very first day I bought my Interstate.

The towbar I use is a Roadmaster Sterling All-terrain, but Blue Ox also makes good towbars. The only reason I went with Roadmaster is because the baseplate installation on my Honda allowed the towbar to be installed on the Interstate without a drop hitch; the Blue Ox installation would have required a 2" drop in order for the towbar to be level. But that will vary depending on the kind of car you tow and the baseplate kits made for it.

You need to have baseplate mounts permanently installed on the toad. This will require removal of the bumper in most cases, and replacement with a new bumper. The reason is, most bumpers are designed to resist impact (compression) loading, but not to resist being pulled away (tension loading), and they will not stand up to the pull of being towed. The replacement bumper is just like the stock bumper, but has baseplate receivers and tension connectors. It is worthwhile to also get the taillights modified so that they work like trailer lights when you have the umbilical hooked up, and install a supplemental brake system controlled by the motorhome. I went with a Roadmaster Invisibrake, which mounted under the Honda's driver's seat and is completely out of the way when not in use, but other models with different mounting have their benefits and drawbacks as well.

Then you'll have to install the crossbar, which runs side-to-side in front of your bumper. Good news is, while you can remove it to go through a car wash or whatever, you can store it on the car and never have to remove it if you don't want to. Being an apartment-dweller, I store the crossbar on the toad all the time rather than schlep it back and forth.

On the motorhome, you insert the towbar into a 2" receiver of Class III/IV depending on the weight of the car you'll be towing. The towbar alone weight about 35 pounds, but again once you've got it installed, you can store it on the motorhome and never have to remove it unless you want to tow some other kind of trailer. Again, I store mine on the bakc of the motorhome all the time. Folded into the stored position, it adds maybe a foot of length to the motorhome and does not interfere with opening the rear doors.

To hitch up, you pull the car within about 3 feet of the back of the motorhome. Alignment doesn't have to be perfect, not like hitching up a trailer, because the towbar arms are self-adjusting. You extend or retract them as necessary to hitch up, and when you start driving, they will extend completely and lock into position so the car is centered. You only ever have to lift one arm of the towbar at once, maybe about 15 pounds at a time.

Once you've got the pins in place to connect the towbar arms to the crossbar, you hook up the umbilical cable and safety cables, and the cable for the breakaway switch that comes with the supplemental brakes.

As Skater said, you can't back up with a toad, so you have to plan accordingly. In a campground that doesn't have pull-through sites, you disconnect first, then back the motorhome in. Besides, you want to toad in front in the campground so it's not blocked in, so unhooking first only makes sense. One time, I had to make a U-turn on a dead-end road due to faulty GPS instructions. I unhitched, U-turned each vehicle separately, and then re-hitched facing the right way. No biggie.

Here's a picture of my installation; in the picture, the towbar arms are silver, the crossbar is black, umbilical cable is orange, safety cables are blue, and the breakaway cable is coiled and red:
Thanks for all of the info. Do you happen to have a pic of the tow bars stowed?
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Old 01-11-2015, 10:45 AM   #12
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Thanks for all of the info. Do you happen to have a pic of the tow bars stowed?
Here you go…
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Old 01-11-2015, 12:22 PM   #13
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Trailer Option for raising bars.

Saw this used by a man with a bad back. He had a LONG closed end wrench that he ruined for anything else, but...

he just slid one end over the lifting point you usually put the pipe on. So now it's at 90 degrees - almost straight up. Then he put both hands on the top end and LEANED on it. UP popped the chain and all he had to do was put in the lock pin. Of course he also had the trailer raised on the jackpost to make the lift easier. Now I have the Hensley and while I bought an electric drill to raise the bars, I usually just use a ratcheting wrench.

If you WANT a class B, by all means get one, but changing out to a ProPride or Hensley or just adjusting the way you get the chains tight might be a viable alternative. I find I'm going to struggle more with getting the big hunka iron stringer into the receiver - so I just took about a six foot length of seat belt strapping and sewed two heavy duty loops in each end (both considerably larger than the stringer ends. Put each end of the stringer in one of the loops, duck my head under the middle so I've got one shoulder bearing most of the weight and lift and carry the stringer from the garage compartment to the truck, squat slightly and get the stringer in. Then slide the loops over and off and put in the cotter pin.
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Old 01-11-2015, 12:38 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by bonginator View Post
...
We do need the flexibility of having a detachable vehicle and I am wondering if the hookup process on a toad is similar to the tow bars on a trailer so we'd just be trading one problem for another.

Can any of you describe what is required for attaching a toad and what weight is involved in terms of components?

Can you also post some pictures of your hook up toad tow gear?
Still takes effort to hookup a toad, it is probably lighter as tow arms stay hooked to MH, hardest part is lining up, with my setup I need to be within a few inches from front to back and in alignment. I put on an aiming device for the person at the steering wheel driving to the back of the MH and an extension pole for the distance away from the MH. Still in the process of refinement. No pictures yet but will try get some this week and the weight of the actual arm up to it's rest point and down to the Fit.
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