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Old 10-10-2010, 07:20 PM   #1
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1st time Toad towing Whoops

Wow, this toad thing is a learning experience. I hooked up the Jeep this morning and headed down the road from BC to Arizona. First stop - Anacortes, Washington. Thank goodness I wasn't going any further.

Why? It turns out that my Jeep which I thought didn't have a steering wheel lock DOES!! I had no freaking idea. You have to turn it a full 45 degrees to get it to lock - not something I had experienced with any other vehicle I ever owned.

I pull into my site in the rv park and proceed to try to unhook the Jeep. Now I understand why they say it needs to be straight behind you. It doesn't unhitch too easily when you're not straight. (it's a blue ox Aventa by the way) Another lesson - if you're planning on unhitching the toad do it before you set up your motorhome. By the time I found out that the toad wasn't gonna unhitch easily, it was too late. I already had the power etc. plugged in. Anyway, I managed to get the pins out with some help from the man next door.

Oh and if you drive with the steering locked on your toad, it causes wear on the outside edge of one of the front tires and manages to put the steering wheel out of alignment. Now when I'm driving straight, the steering wheel isn't (if that makes sense). I'll get it looked at when I get to AZ.

The joys of rving!! Gotta love it!
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Old 10-10-2010, 09:44 PM   #2
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With my jeep with the key turned back toward me, counter clock wise, is ACC, next click is off and steering lock, next click is off with no steering lock for towing and the next click is engine start. Not sure how you are towing it but you do not want the steering wheel to lock. I don't think I would want to tow all the way to Ariz. before fixing. There are a lot of Les Schwab service centers in the area you are in. Take the time and fix it. JMHO
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Old 10-10-2010, 09:53 PM   #3
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You may find that the front end is now out of alignment from towing with the steering locked. IMO you should have the alignment checked or you may be replacing tires before you make it to AZ.
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Old 10-10-2010, 10:57 PM   #4
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yeppers, I'm sort of thinking the same thing. tomorrow might be "repair" day. Good thing I'm not on a schedule.

cheers,
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Old 10-11-2010, 08:38 AM   #5
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I too tow a Jeep with an Aventa II. As far as unhitching, make sure you put some grease on the base plate pins. That makes them much easier to take out.
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Old 10-11-2010, 02:37 PM   #6
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It also helps to turn the steering wheel first one way and then the other. Usually it loosens up the pin enough to let you pull it out.
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Old 10-11-2010, 03:38 PM   #7
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It also helps to turn the steering wheel first one way and then the other. Usually it loosens up the pin enough to let you pull it out.
Tom
Good advice.
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Old 10-12-2010, 11:46 AM   #8
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That's great advice, thanks. Took the jeep into Les Schwab.. the one tire is a bit wrecked so they put on the spare and did a wheel alignment. They said it wasn't too bad. $65.00 was a cheap fix. Then the RV shop put in the M&G brake system. More stuff to hook up!! And now I'm leaving a key in the jeep. Not taking any more chances!!

It tows like a dream. Got to keep the camera on to make sure it's still there.

Thanks for all your help and advice to this first time Toad owner!!
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Old 10-12-2010, 11:52 AM   #9
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Not sure what year your Jeep is, but I had a 'dummy' key cut to use in mine when it is being towed. As it does not have the 'chip', the Jeep won't start / run using it (actually, it will start, and then die, within about 5 seconds), but it will unlock the steering.
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Old 10-12-2010, 12:00 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Janshark View Post
That's great advice, thanks. Took the jeep into Les Schwab.. the one tire is a bit wrecked so they put on the spare and did a wheel alignment. They said it wasn't too bad. $65.00 was a cheap fix. Then the RV shop put in the M&G brake system. More stuff to hook up!! And now I'm leaving a key in the jeep. Not taking any more chances!!

It tows like a dream. Got to keep the camera on to make sure it's still there.

Thanks for all your help and advice to this first time Toad owner!!
In my years I have known of a few disasters with toads.

Our procedure is a brief checklist of each step for starting and getting underway.

One rule I have if anyone comes along and wants to watch or chat while I am hooking up the toad, I back off an only do it by myself without any distraction.

Also, when I pull away and make the first turn I watch the wheels in the toad from the mirrors to see it tracking OK. Then I stop, put on my flashers, and go out and check the hitch and that the transmission is in neutral and check the lights on the toad.

My wife is disabled so we don't do a full light check of left and right and brakes and etc. each time. Sometimes on road I ask a trucker or another RV to watch and tell me about my lights as I run through the cycle.
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Old 10-12-2010, 12:10 PM   #11
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When I first started towing, I was so concerned with this happening that I tied a white rag to the top of the steering wheel so I could see in my rear camera that the wheel was in fact turning when the coach turned.

Rick
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Old 10-12-2010, 12:17 PM   #12
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What you really have to get used to is that idiot that keeps tailgating you,especially when you are turning a corner and see him in your sideview mirror.
I have written down the hook-up checklist and am going to get it laminated. It sits in the drivers door pocket and is ALWAYS used when hooking up and unhooking,especially the neutral switch part.Yes,I can use it from memory,but I spent four years in SAC as an inflight refueling operator and know why you have checklists.
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Old 10-12-2010, 12:17 PM   #13
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Take comfort in that you are not the first person to learn that about their toad. (pretty sure I wasn't either, 4 years ago.)


Got the dummy key w/o the chip too. Keep it in the console always available.

Printed and laminated a checklist that is always alongside the passenger seat.

And always go just a short (100 yrs or so) before getting out and checking everything again.

safe travels
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Old 10-12-2010, 03:51 PM   #14
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I like the idea about the dummy key!!!
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