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Old 05-24-2015, 05:19 PM   #1
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Backing up with toad

I just put on my blue ox tow bar no problem but i did watch this youtube video that said you should not back up motorhome while car is hooked up. Is this true they say it will damage the tow bar........Thanks

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Old 05-24-2015, 05:32 PM   #2
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You'll hear from some who do it but it's not good IMO.


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Old 05-24-2015, 05:49 PM   #3
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I have heard of some even pulling the MH back a few feet with the toad.

I would think the main concern would be toad wheels turning and causing jackknife. I just read somewhere the other day have some one in the toad with engine running to keep toad out of trouble.

I have towed quite a lot and have never used any of the above, just got out and unhooked. Try hard to avoid situations that require this.
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Old 05-24-2015, 06:46 PM   #4
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You can bend your tow bar. Plan ahead, try not to take chances. If we get in a bind, I unhook the toad.

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Old 05-24-2015, 06:50 PM   #5
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Old 05-24-2015, 07:48 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by DAJO View Post
I would think the main concern would be toad wheels turning and causing jackknife.
The "caster" built into the steering system of a car will result in the wheels turning to the side as the vehicle rolls backward more than a couple of feet. All sorts of damage to the vehicle and the tow bar can occur. You're bound to hear from people who say they have done it and I admit to doing it once or twice for very short distances, but, as a rule, it's best to avoid it.
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Old 05-24-2015, 08:04 PM   #7
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Considering the cost of a new tow bar. I would never try backing up with the toad attached. All Blue Ox manuals caution against backing up, claiming the potential for tow bar or toad damage. Damage the tow bars and you will be sitting there for a while. Not worth it IMHO!!
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Old 05-24-2015, 08:15 PM   #8
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I have the Roadmaster Falcon All Terrain tow bar. Very similar to Blue Ox as far as I know. I got myself in a situation in a turn where I had to back up. (Small turn-around in picnic area on Natchez Trace) I could have unhooked, but it would have been extremely difficult. So, I had DW go out back to watch tow bar to let me know if it began to bind or if wheels on toad turned. I backed very slowly about 3 to 4 feet, just enough so I could make my turn. No problem.
I am more careful now about choosing my turn-arounds. I don't want to get in that situation again, but if I do, I know it is possible to back up for short distances.
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Old 05-24-2015, 08:43 PM   #9
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There is a fairly recent long thread on the topic of backing with a 4 down toad. Suggest to search and read through it.

I backed up once, just needed a few feet. The toad almost immediately jack knifed, and I had a minor crinkle in the left rear of the coach...
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Old 05-25-2015, 06:49 AM   #10
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I've done it, no problem. I've also made a decision to disconnect. Every situation is different.

If its a few feet, I just do it, I'm backing a trailer.

Any farther than that, I evaluate the surface (paved or unpaved, how far, straight or turn.

If I decide to do it, the DW will spot for me as I back into the spot. If the wheels start to castor, she jumps in the toad or reaches through the window and keeps the wheels from castoring and scrubbing.

Yup, it takes 5 minutes to disconnect, then another 5 minutes to reconnect, or it takes 15 seconds to back up.

The key is not to allow the toad wheels to castor and start scrubbing. Back up slowly and safely regardless if toad backing or not.
2001 Coachmen Mirada (Ford F53 6.8L V10) - Toad 2003 Saturn Vue.
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Old 05-25-2015, 09:45 AM   #11
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I've backed up on a few occasions - probably not more that 20-50 yards, to get out of a very sticky situation. The general problem for us has been that the toad front wheels get turned and start 'skipping' since that are turned 60degrees or so, rather than continuing to roll. We've even had someone in the toad, with it both turned on and not, but the steering wheel is still too hard to control to keep it straight.
Although we've backed successfully several times, I've also just bit the bullet and unhooked and moved the vehicle on more than several occasions. More work, but much less than when using a tow dolly, or if risking damage to the toad or tow bar.
Our vehicle is only about 2,500lbs, so it's probably less a risk than some larger heavier vehicle with larger tires. The tow bar angle(difference is height between the RV and the TOAD) could also be a factor if considering possible damage to tow bar.

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Old 05-25-2015, 09:55 AM   #12
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Those who can, do. Those who can't, shouldn't. It's a skill, like many other skills. It takes practice and time to learn. Decide if it's worth it to you and act accordingly.
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Old 05-25-2015, 10:28 AM   #13
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As has been said before and agree with...

Backing up for a short distance with a full understanding of avoiding jackknifing and keeping the the front wheels from castoring in the wrong direction, it can be done safely and without damage. In one case I did have Sandee sit in the toad to keep the wheels turned in the proper direction because we were not backing up in a straight line. In another case it was a straight line back up after already being lined up straight. It was done VERY slowly and with a keen eye on the backup camera.

That being said, I would never criticize anyone for saying, "Don't do it." They may be smarter than me.

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