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Old 08-26-2012, 07:36 AM   #1
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Backing Up Four Down!

I may have just watched the luckiest guy in the world pull in to camp here in Ottawa, Ontario.

We were sitting outside when this beautiful KSDP pulled in towing a small Ford crossover and headed for his pull thru site several down from us. I watched him stop on the access road and then saw his back up lights come on and heard his reverse beeper sounding.

My eyes got really big when I realized he was actually going to back up!

I couldn't believe it as, with no spotter or anyone in the toad, he backed up what I'd guess to be about 6' to 8'. Straight back... while the toad nicely tracked.

I don't think I'll run right out and try it though.....

Rick
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Old 08-26-2012, 07:41 AM   #2
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Interesting. Maybe he'll share his technique with you and of course you with us .
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Old 08-26-2012, 07:55 AM   #3
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This sounds like a challenge. I pulled into a Flying J service bay with my Subaru still attached to have an air leak looked at. These bays are pull through but the pit is designed for the width of a truck and the car would not go across. So I had to back all the way out with the car attached, probably 60' or 70', before I could drive around the bay. Luckily it was a straight shot and the rear camera was working.
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:17 AM   #4
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Everybody says don't do it because it may damage the tow bar, but I have backed up a few feet on a level surface with with the toad sitting in a straight line behind the MH with no problems. You have to make sure the steer tires of the toad don't lock over to one side. Ours never have.
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:30 AM   #5
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I have done so on several ocasions when I had no choice. I locked the steering column and was able to do so without a problem. The first couple of times I was a little apprehensive but now know it can be done.
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:33 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by az bound
I have done so on several ocasions when I had no choice. I locked the steering column and was able to do so without a problem. The first couple of times I was a little apprehensive but now know it can be done.
Locking the steering column sounds like a good idea. I once saw a woman trying to hold the wheel and almost broke her wrists.
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:49 AM   #7
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My rule personal rule on backing up with a tow car attached is if you want an excuse to purchase another tow bar backup with a car attached for at least 15 feet. That should do it, then make a phone call to Roadmaster or Blue Ox and place an order.
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:57 AM   #8
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Wow in all the years I have towed my vehicles I never ever had to back up once. I was just lucky I guess.

I'll never find out now [moderator edit]........
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Old 08-26-2012, 09:13 AM   #9
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Quote:
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My rule personal rule on backing up with a tow car attached is if you want an excuse to purchase another tow bar backup with a car attached for at least 15 feet. That should do it, then make a phone call to Roadmaster or Blue Ox and place an order.
"A mans got to know his limitations"
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Old 08-26-2012, 09:34 AM   #10
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I have to back up with the Jeep attached to our Challenger on a number of occasions - usually because I have pulled too far ahead at a gasoline pump and the hose wouldn't reach the filler. I have found that I can back up about 10' with no adverse effects; after that distance, the front wheels begin to turn. Locking the steering is a good suggestion, if it is a straight shot.

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Old 08-26-2012, 09:50 AM   #11
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i once successfully back almost 2 feet with no problem at about 2.5 feet i bought a new bumper for a 3 month old jeep
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Old 08-26-2012, 09:57 AM   #12
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I have backed several tows 'four down'. The terrain will dictate the success and distance. Several times that I've done this was when making a U-turn and needed a few more feet for clearance.
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Old 08-26-2012, 09:59 AM   #13
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If you need to back up more than 10-15 feet put the wife in the tow vehicle with the engine running to keep the wheels straight.

Otherwise back up till the tow vehicle front wheels begin to turn themselves...pull ahead till they straighten out....back up more...repeat. I backed up several hundred feet in this manner, although by that time it would have been faster to disconnect.
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Old 08-26-2012, 01:29 PM   #14
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It also varies by the make & model of the toad, i.e. the amount of "caster" built into the front end. Some have a lot and others not so much, depending on a number of engineering factors too complex to go into here. Terrain, type of surface, initial attitude (straight vs wheels turned on either toad or coach), and the amount of rear overhang in the coach all have an effect.

My current toad will easily back several feet and often 12-15 ft. A previous one rarely would go more than 3-5 feet without jackknifing.

In my experience, all bets are off if the surface is deep sand or gravel. Instant jackknife.
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