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Old 04-06-2008, 11:50 AM   #1
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Looking for a first toad and am mostly targeting a Jeep Wrangler, admittedly for fun factor only.

But, I am keeping my eyes out on other options. Options that may be fun to drive and offer some decent gas mileage. One that I found was a cherry 1996 Ford Probe 5spd. Checking the owners manual, it states that it can be towed 4 down with the manual transmission for unlimited distance, but not to exceed 55mph. Is this a real limit? What if I drove 65mph? Since I'm not smart on the mechanics, I wasn't sure if this was more some lawyer caveat or a real mechanical/fluidic limitation.

Also... Another question. Curious about towing small car that sits close to the ground and how hard/limiting is it to get the tow brackets reasonably level. Although I haven't yet measured, unless I have a huge drop in the receiver (i'm 6' tall and the receiver hits my kneecap), it seems like the tow brackets would be angled pretty high. This can't be good from a physics standpoint. But, not knowing where the brackets end up, maybe the difference in elevation isn't that bad in practice. Should I be concerned about this when I hunt for a toad?
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Old 04-06-2008, 11:50 AM   #2
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Looking for a first toad and am mostly targeting a Jeep Wrangler, admittedly for fun factor only.

But, I am keeping my eyes out on other options. Options that may be fun to drive and offer some decent gas mileage. One that I found was a cherry 1996 Ford Probe 5spd. Checking the owners manual, it states that it can be towed 4 down with the manual transmission for unlimited distance, but not to exceed 55mph. Is this a real limit? What if I drove 65mph? Since I'm not smart on the mechanics, I wasn't sure if this was more some lawyer caveat or a real mechanical/fluidic limitation.

Also... Another question. Curious about towing small car that sits close to the ground and how hard/limiting is it to get the tow brackets reasonably level. Although I haven't yet measured, unless I have a huge drop in the receiver (i'm 6' tall and the receiver hits my kneecap), it seems like the tow brackets would be angled pretty high. This can't be good from a physics standpoint. But, not knowing where the brackets end up, maybe the difference in elevation isn't that bad in practice. Should I be concerned about this when I hunt for a toad?
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Old 04-06-2008, 03:36 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">Originally posted by Megsfolks:
This can't be good from a physics standpoint. But, not knowing where the brackets end up, maybe the difference in elevation isn't that bad in practice. Should I be concerned about this when I hunt for a toad? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>I think you might want to consider a Blue Ox drop bar and an immobilizer. Drop bars can just about span any logical distance required.



Available from our sponsor, RVUpgrades.com

I have also seen where the toad was higher than the receiver on the motorhome and you can use the drop bars upside down to level the tow bar.
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Old 04-06-2008, 04:13 PM   #4
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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 SacsTC:
Also, while you can step the angle up or down with drop hitches, if the drop,(we used a 4" previously) is too large, you will drag the hitch nut going into and out of gas stations... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>We started with a 4" and wound up with a 2" problem fixed. Man when you ground that drop hitch it makes a terrible noise.

The two inch drop buys us enough angle that it makes more sense to use than not.
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Old 04-06-2008, 06:47 PM   #5
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We tow a 07 Wrangler with a W24 chassis on the Dolphin. Although it seems that the Dolphin will tow much faster, 55-60mph is pretty fast. Consider the weight of the coach and the toad and you've got a pretty lethal combination going down the road. No matter what you land up with, take it easy on the road. We are RVing. RV doesn't stand for Racing Vehicle.
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Old 04-06-2008, 08:06 PM   #6
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Thanks for the information. Very helpful. In looking at Rick's picture, it seems like the Wrangler to his Dolphin's reciever hitch are well aligned. Good model to work from.

Like Rick, I do agree with the take it easy. Generally speaking, on freeways, I'm in the 60-65 catagory.

It isn't clear to me though, if when the toad owner's manual says 'tow less than 55 mph' whether or not that is a hard and fast rule. What would happen if I towed it at 65 mph? Would it destroy something in the tranny?
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Old 04-07-2008, 01:42 AM   #7
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I think the lawers help write the books
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Old 04-07-2008, 04:17 AM   #8
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Lawyers....

As an engineer, I do not appreciate a lawyer attempting to do engineering type work. They need to keep their noses out of engineering.

I do not attempt to work in the area of law and I would appreciate the same from the lawyer in return.
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Old 04-07-2008, 09:54 PM   #9
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If it says 55 is the max, you would be wise not to exceed that. Sure, nothing may happen, but they put that limit on because they think it might be harmful to go faster. And if you were ever to get into an accident, the opposing lawyer could use exceeding that limit against you whether it had anything to do with the accident or not.
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Old 04-08-2008, 07:06 AM   #10
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The concern is heat damage to the transmission due to insufficient cooling and lubrication when towing. Holding the speed down helps keep things in an OK range. More speed means a greater chance of excess heat and friction. It is NOT an automatic failure when you go 56 mph - just and increased risk. Hot summer days are more risk than cooler weather and long days of towing are more risk than shorter ones (200 miles or so).

That said, we towed two different Chevy Trackers over 60,0000 miles in 7 years and always ignored the 55 mph limit and showed no sign of any damage in either vehicle. We did, however, observe the "run the engine every 200 miles" requirement and we did use synthetic transmission fluid (resists heat better).

The bottom line is that exceeding the 55 mpg is a risk but a small one. Become knowledgeable about the signs of overheating (fluid turns brownish and smells "burnt") and keep an eye on the transmission fluid for the first few thousand mies of towing, until you are sure everything is OK.
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