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Old 03-06-2008, 02:00 PM   #1
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I've been towing a travel trailer for 10 years and just moved to a Class C last year. We just setup an 08 Jeep Wrangler as a toad.

Question. Everything I've read says to NEVER backup with the toad attached. After 10 years of towing the travel trailer, I've never had a trip where I didn't have to back up a little at some point -- tight turn in a service station or McDonalds etc. How do you guys do it? Do you really have to disconnect the toad for such minor parking lot manuvers?
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Old 03-06-2008, 02:00 PM   #2
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I've been towing a travel trailer for 10 years and just moved to a Class C last year. We just setup an 08 Jeep Wrangler as a toad.

Question. Everything I've read says to NEVER backup with the toad attached. After 10 years of towing the travel trailer, I've never had a trip where I didn't have to back up a little at some point -- tight turn in a service station or McDonalds etc. How do you guys do it? Do you really have to disconnect the toad for such minor parking lot manuvers?
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Old 03-06-2008, 02:16 PM   #3
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Do you really have to disconnect the toad for such minor parking lot manuvers? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes, and no.

Yes, if you have to back up, disconnect.

No, I have never been in a situation where I had to back up.

I'm real careful where I go to avoid having to unhook.
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Old 03-06-2008, 02:19 PM   #4
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Man did you just open a can of worms. From my from my view there are two schools of thought. 1. Never do it under any circumstances, you'll bend the towbar, turn the wheels and cause them to slide. Fire will rain down from heaven, the earth will quake, the ice caps will melt, WalMarts will disallow all RV parking and your feet will stink.
2. The other school says it is possible but for only short distances and under close supervision. This same group asks group #1 what is the difference in the stress placed on the towbar backing up straight and the stress placed on it when braking hard in a straight line.
Personally, like Dirk, I have backed carefully for as much as 50 feet with little trouble while getting out from behind a slowpoke at Flying J and had no problems. I tried it on a flat grass parking area at home and the wheels immediately cranked over to the right.
So here come the opinions &gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;
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Old 03-06-2008, 02:47 PM   #5
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We fall into doc's camp #2.

If we can back STRAIGHT, slowly & for no more than about 10 feet, we do it with me outside directing & watching very carefully.

Anything outside those parameters & we unhook. It takes very little effort for those toad tires to turn & that puts a big kink in backing up.

So far, we've never had to do this. We, too, are careful in observing an area we are headed into to avoid even having to back up with the toad attached. Not to say we won't EVER have to, but we try to avoid it, if at all possible.

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Old 03-06-2008, 02:57 PM   #6
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Personally, like Dirk, I have backed carefully for as much as 50 feet with little trouble </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Just to be clear, I have never backed up with my toad hooked up.

As a single traveler, I have no one to assist in backing up.
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Old 03-06-2008, 03:20 PM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by doc:
Man did you just open a can of worms. From my from my view there are two schools of thought. 1. Never do it under any circumstances, you'll bend the towbar, turn the wheels and cause them to slide. Fire will rain down from heaven, the earth will quake, the ice caps will melt, WalMarts will disallow all RV parking and your feet will stink.
2. The other school says it is possible but for only short distances and under close supervision. This same group asks group #1 what is the difference in the stress placed on the towbar backing up straight and the stress placed on it when braking hard in a straight line.
Personally, like Dirk, I have backed carefully for as much as 50 feet with little trouble while getting out from behind a slowpoke at Flying J and had no problems. I tried it on a flat grass parking area at home and the wheels immediately cranked over to the right.
So here come the opinions &gt;&gt;&gt;&gt; </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

So, is that the danger in backing up -- having the front wheels on the toad turn? What if someone gets in the Toad and holds the steering wheel straight for a short backup?

Just trying to understand the differences between a toad and a real trailer with which I'm very familiar with.
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Old 03-06-2008, 03:35 PM   #8
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The tow bar manufacturers state that backing up places stress on the tow bar that it was not designed to handle.
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Old 03-07-2008, 02:29 AM   #9
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Most seasoned RV drivers do a good job positioning their RVs however it might happen that a fueling point might have been overshot by a foot or so. Backing up in a straight line to make a "small" adjustment in my opinion can be accomplished without much impact on the tow bar.

If you need to do a major adjustment drive around and try your approach again.

If you can't backup or drive forward you should consider disconnecting the toad and getting yourself better organized.

For the cost of a little time you can save the cost of a new towbar or some other unwanted outcome. Just a thought, but if your towbar is stressed it may not immediately present any type or visual clue that it's damaged. When you're back on the road pulling your toad, are you going to feel 100% certain that the tow bar won't fail after being over stressed?
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Old 03-07-2008, 06:02 AM   #10
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by DriVer:
Most seasoned RV drivers do a good job positioning their RVs however it might happen that a fueling point might have been overshot by a foot or so. Backing up in a straight line to make a "small" adjustment in my opinion can be accomplished without much impact on the tow bar.

If you need to do a major adjustment drive around and try your approach again.

If you can't backup or drive forward you should consider disconnecting the toad and getting yourself better organized.

For the cost of a little time you can save the cost of a new towbar or some other unwanted outcome. Just a thought, but if your towbar is stressed it may not immediately present any type or visual clue that it's damaged. When you're back on the road pulling your toad, are you going to feel 100% certain that the tow bar won't fail after being over stressed? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

OK, I'm convinced. No backing up with the TOAD attached. You guys that have NEVER been blocked in or otherwise forced to alter your escape route after stopping don't live in the crowded northeast do you
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Old 03-07-2008, 06:08 AM   #11
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When we had a MoHo and towed a dinghy, we were blocked into a impossible situations on more than one occasion. And as Driver pointed out, you can generally back up a foot or two, maybe three before you have the wheels on the dinghy start to flop over. The problem is the the caster on the wheels are set to be stable with the vehicle rolling forward. When you back up, the caster is no longer stable for the motion and the tires want to turn.

The thing to do is be very observant and even stop, get out and look if you have any question of the clearance and access an area.

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Old 03-07-2008, 07:03 AM   #12
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I've had a couple of occasions where I backed up, but in each the toad has been in a wheels-straight-ahead configuration, I went very slowly, and only for a few feet while watching for any change in toad's wheel alignment. I would not want to back up while in the middle of a turning scenario...
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Old 03-07-2008, 01:51 PM   #13
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Offthewall,3 things to consider:

First, your travel trailer does not have any steering capacity.

Secondly, by design a motor home/toad combo. always has a dual steering capacity scenario. If you want to see how this physically reacts go to Wal mart or any grocery store, pic any cart at random and push is straight ahead 3 feet, now see how far you can pull it backwards without the front wheels turning-that is your toad.

Third and most important, if you decide to do it anyway with a driver in both vehicles you should be in the toad-what the heck when that steering wheel decides to spin and break an arm it might as well be yours as anyone elses-and in all likelihood that is exactly what will happen, Ken, '04 DSDP...
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Old 03-07-2008, 06:52 PM   #14
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ken Roberts:
Offthewall,3 things to consider:

First, your travel trailer does not have any steering capacity.

Secondly, by design a motor home/toad combo. always has a dual steering capacity scenario. If you want to see how this physically reacts go to Wal mart or any grocery store, pic any cart at random and push is straight ahead 3 feet, now see how far you can pull it backwards without the front wheels turning-that is your toad.

Third and most important, if you decide to do it anyway with a driver in both vehicles you should be in the toad-what the heck when that steering wheel decides to spin and break an arm it might as well be yours as anyone elses-and in all likelihood that is exactly what will happen, Ken, '04 DSDP... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I guess you missed my post from this morning. I'm convinced, UNCLE!
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