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Old 08-04-2011, 04:48 AM   #1
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Automatic transmission toad?

I'm start to look for a toad. Honda CRV's seem to be popular. Our Tiffin 40 came with a Blue Ox tow bar and some kind of air pressure set up. You can now tell how much I know about this. Can a CRV or any other vehicle with an auto trans vehicle be towed 4 down, or does it have to be a manual trans?
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Old 08-04-2011, 04:54 AM   #2
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Motorhome magazine has an annual listing for the towability of vehicles. Some of them that are not listed as towable can be modified - go to Remco.com and see if they have any modifications to make a vehicle towable.
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Old 08-04-2011, 05:36 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyringo View Post
I'm start to look for a toad. Honda CRV's seem to be popular. Our Tiffin 40 came with a Blue Ox tow bar and some kind of air pressure set up. You can now tell how much I know about this. Can a CRV or any other vehicle with an auto trans vehicle be towed 4 down, or does it have to be a manual trans?
As others have indicated, the annual Motorhome dinghy guide is a great reference. But to answer your question about the CRV, yes, the automatic CRV can be towed 4 down and the owner's manual provides specific instructions to avoid damage to the tranny. Basic rules are that before towing you start the vehicle and work your we through all the gears (with the brake on!), then settle in Neutral for 3 minutes of idle before turning the vehicle off and leaving the key in a specific position (not all the way off). You also have to turn off all accessories (to avoid battery drain). They also recommend removing the fuse for the radio. I did that once only because it was so darn hard to put a small fuse back in later. Now I just make sure all accessories are off and I start the vehicle duing a stop every 3-4 hours.

There is a 65mph speed limit when towing a CRV and you are supposed to start the toad every 8 hours or so and repeat the above procedure. We do the restart more frequently to avoid battery drain. I also carry one of those portable battery jump starters "just in case".
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Old 08-04-2011, 09:11 AM   #4
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Jeep, Jeep, Jeep. Lots of them out there for sale at good prices and they're great tow vehicles. Make sure you get one with 4 wheel drive and you can tow flat, any speed, any duration .... been doin' it for 9 years now.
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Old 08-04-2011, 09:26 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by johnnyringo View Post
I'm start to look for a toad. Honda CRV's seem to be popular. Our Tiffin 40 came with a Blue Ox tow bar and some kind of air pressure set up. You can now tell how much I know about this. Can a CRV or any other vehicle with an auto trans vehicle be towed 4 down, or does it have to be a manual trans?
Yes, all Honda CR-Vs can be towed four down whether 2WD or 4WD. You said there is some kind of air pressure setup. I assume that is for a braking system for the toad.
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Old 08-04-2011, 09:43 AM   #6
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Remco Towing USA has information on towing many cars. at this link:Application Charts | Remco Towing

You answer the questions and they will tell you "Add this" or "Add that" or "Follow instructions in manual" or some such.

When it comes to pulling a fuse.. You can buy, or make a simple adapter

The "you can buy" consists of a blade fuse but there is no fuse, instead wires come off the top of it, one goes to a switch and then on to an in-line fuse holder.

You remove the indicated fuse, insert it in the fuse holder, insert the plug end (the modified fuse body) in the original use slot and find a place for the switch (YOu might wish to mount the switch first)

The home made you use a couple of "Tab" connectors instead of the modified fuse body. Otherwise same deal.

CLICK and the fuse is "Pulled" click the other way and it's back.

NOTE: Remco has 3 mods (I suspect they sell the fuse thingy too but have not looked for it) A lube pump, a Drive shaft disconnect and an axle lock. I will describe all 3.

Lube pump is a battery operated pump that circulates transmission fluid keeping the bearings moist.. The problem I have with this is any ACTIVE device can fail, and the mean time between failures is right about the life of an average car.

Axle Lock, This is used on front wheel drive cars, and consists of a half axle, mounted on teh axle is a large (Think 3 pound coffee can) thingy, properly balanced, you twist it's outer collar with an oil filter wrench (included) and it "Unlocks" the axle. this wheel now turns free, just like the rear wheels on a rear wheel drive.

For most cars the "Pig" (Differential) is oil filled and those gears are not at risk, with the one wheel turning freely the other spins those gears but in my entire life I've only had them fail one time on one car and it was not due to lubrication but another problem. (This car was not being towed)

It does requrie you replace the half axle.

IT turns the car into: A trailer (no longer an automobile, but a towed-mobile) till you twist the collar the other way re-connecting the transmission to the wheels.

Drive shaft disconnect, works the same way on the drive shaft of a rear wheel car. You do have to either shorten or replace the drive shaft in most cases.

I like these devices because the technology is older than I am and the Mean Time between failures (See note) is also longer than I've lived.

NOTE: on the drive shaft disconnect there are occasional balance issues. This is a defect in manufacturer, or instalation, not a failure, once it works, it tends to keep working well with no more than routine maintenance.. Major failure on the Drive Shaft disconnect is failure of the control cable.. Regular use or a cable lubricator can prevent this.
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Old 08-05-2011, 12:48 PM   #7
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The CRV is one of the few vehicles that spell out how to prepare it for being used as a toad in the owner's manual. Thus eliminating all the "can I tow this four down" questions asked on this and other forums.
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Old 08-05-2011, 01:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
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The CRV is one of the few vehicles that spell out how to prepare it for being used as a toad in the owner's manual. Thus eliminating all the "can I tow this four down" questions asked on this and other forums.
The 2011 Chevy Equinox has detailed instruction in the manual as to how to tow 4 wheels down.
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Old 08-05-2011, 02:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
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The 2011 Chevy Equinox has detailed instruction in the manual as to how to tow 4 wheels down.
As does our 2003 Suzuki XL-7.
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Old 08-05-2011, 02:04 PM   #10
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My 2005 Acura MDX is rated for 4 down towing with the same qualifications as the CRV. If you are interested in the MDX or Honda Pilot, I would contact Honda customer relations for confirmation on the particular model year.
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Old 08-05-2011, 02:05 PM   #11
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Instructions for towing 4 down are in the owner's manual for our 2008 Ford Edge. Very simple.
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Old 08-05-2011, 04:06 PM   #12
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HHR automatic 4 down.
Put a switch on a 2 AMP fuses
Turn key to acc
Put transmission in N
Hook up and tow.
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Old 08-05-2011, 04:33 PM   #13
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Dave and Jaime gave you an accurate run down of CR-V set up proceedure--I would only add not to go from R to N (reverse to neutral) always from D to N (drive to neutral) it works out this way when you run through the gears but worth mentioning.
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Old 08-05-2011, 04:45 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Dave and Jaime View Post
As others have indicated, the annual Motorhome dinghy guide is a great reference. But to answer your question about the CRV, yes, the automatic CRV can be towed 4 down and the owner's manual provides specific instructions to avoid damage to the tranny. Basic rules are that before towing you start the vehicle and work your we through all the gears (with the brake on!), then settle in Neutral for 3 minutes of idle before turning the vehicle off and leaving the key in a specific position (not all the way off). You also have to turn off all accessories (to avoid battery drain). They also recommend removing the fuse for the radio. I did that once only because it was so darn hard to put a small fuse back in later. Now I just make sure all accessories are off and I start the vehicle duing a stop every 3-4 hours.

There is a 65mph speed limit when towing a CRV and you are supposed to start the toad every 8 hours or so and repeat the above procedure. We do the restart more frequently to avoid battery drain. I also carry one of those portable battery jump starters "just in case".
Good advice . . . just make sure that just prior to going into neutral to let it run for 3 minutes that you go from DRIVE to NEUTRAL, not REVERSE to NEUTRAL. Also a GREAT idea to have the portable jump starter. We had to use that recently with our Ford Edge toad. Oddly, we never had to do that with the CRV! We also don't remove the fuse . . . not only is it a pain, but then you lose all your radio presets and clock.
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