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Old 10-04-2016, 08:12 AM   #1
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First Time Towing Dingy Experience

Our hopes are to eventually make a cross country trip in our new LTV Serenity MH, towing our 2009 RAV4 behind on all 4 wheels. So far, we've made a couple of short test drives, but Sunday was our first time at pulling over 100 miles.

Needless to say, we were pretty nervous, but for the most part things worked out well. My wife drove the entire trip and did well. I am the mechanical/tech guy who connects up the Toad and double checks everything before pulling away. Because of the many critical steps, I'm thinking of printing up a check list and laminating it. The I'll store it with the safety cables.

I can only think of 2 snafu's on this trip. The first was when our (exit off the main road) turn snuck up on us very quickly and we missed it (right turn on a small hidden road that was just over the rise). My wife pulled into the only lot after the turn and it ended up being a fire department. She thought she could make a U-turn in that lot, but it was no-go. I was in a bit of a panic as she instinctively put it in reverse. I had her stop and I grabbed the walkie talkies and went outside to assess the situation. I had her inch back very slowly and suddenly the toad wheels flipped (I knew this would happen). She stopped before any damage was done but she still wasn't far enough back to make the turn. My choice was to try and unhook or straighten the Toad wheel and hope for the best. In the meantime, we were blocking the fire engine exit and the firefighters were coming out (probably to chew us out!... and rightfully so). I got in the RAV, started it, straightened the wheels out and held the wheel. I called her on the radio to move back 2 feet but be ready to stop if I yelled. OK... that seemed to work and we got the heck out of there quickly!

I really think she should have gone another 8 miles where we may have been able to turn around in a gas station or Walmart.

The only other serious problem was loss of our Toad braking system due to a rundown battery. I put another post and question in the braking forum about this subject. I will say that on a RAV4, when your battery is dead, you can't even move the shifter. At home, we decided to disconnect the Toad on the road and I instinctively moved the shifter to park from neutral and it locked into place. There was no hope of pushing or further towing the vehicle because it can not be moved out of park. A battery charger and a 100 foot extension card got the vehicle running after 15 minutes of charging. It appears that one of the faults of a self contained Toad braking system is that it can run down the Toad battery with heavy use. I'm currently shopping for a new battery for the 09 RAV (3rd battery in 7 years). I just want the assurance that I have a fresh battery in there before starting off on a long trip.

So that was our first experience. Next week we are off the Indiana from Florida. It will be my time to drive and I must say I'm a little nervous.
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Old 10-04-2016, 09:27 AM   #2
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hoissierrun-

Thanks for the write-up. You'll be fine on your longer trip.

There are lots of threads on iRV2 about adding a charge line to keep the toad battery charged while underway. Here's a link to a Google search of iRV2 posts for the past year containing the terms "toad" and "charge line."
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Old 10-04-2016, 09:53 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by l1v3fr33ord1 View Post
hoissierrun-

Thanks for the write-up. You'll be fine on your longer trip.

There are lots of threads on iRV2 about adding a charge line to keep the toad battery charged while underway. Here's a link to a Google search of iRV2 posts for the past year containing the terms "toad" and "charge line."
Thanks... using that link, I came up with a regulated charger to keep the Toad battery charging by using a 12 volt switched source from the motor home. TOAD-CHARGE Dinghy Vehicle Battery Charger/Maintainer

Of course I'm not wild about another harness between the Coach and the Toad, but if that is what it takes.....


I wonder if there is enough wire capacity in the 12 volt line that runs the REMCO lube pump to power this charger with no risk to the pump and its wiring? That would be nice and could eliminate the need for another harness.
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Old 10-04-2016, 04:16 PM   #4
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hoosierrun-

Perhaps your hitch connector already has a 12V charge pin. Most modern ones do. The charge line goes through the umbilical between coach and toad- no additional harness required.
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Old 10-04-2016, 05:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by l1v3fr33ord1 View Post
hoosierrun-

Perhaps your hitch connector already has a 12V charge pin. Most modern ones do. The charge line goes through the umbilical between coach and toad- no additional harness required.
The Remco transmission lube pump uses that 12 volt line to power the pump and the only other spare wire is for the Remco pump status (alarm) monitor.
Thanks.

I think that 12 volt wire to the connector (currently used for the pump) is a #12 or #14 wire. The Remco literature indicates that their pump draws from 2 to 3.5 amps. I'm thinking that I should be able to tap the power circuit going to the pump so that I can run one of those Toad chargers safely. I'll have to find out what the fuse size is on the power wire that goes to the motor home tow connector. This may not be as difficult as it first appears.
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Old 10-04-2016, 06:22 PM   #6
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Can you find the correct fuse to pull, it should tell you in your owners manual.


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