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Old 05-06-2013, 10:28 AM   #1
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First time towing next weekend

DW decided she'd like to take a toad with us on our three week run to the Sierras at the end of the month. We're going to use her son's 80something Suzuki Samurai, which he tows frequently.

I've got lots of experience driving large vehicles, but close to zero towing anything besides rarely towing a Uhaul on my pickup. I've decided to take my MH and Samurai out for a learning and test drive next weekend to learn the basics. Heck, at this moment I don't even know how to use or hook up the trailer brake system in my coach, or even if it works! (The MH is in the shop right now so I'll ask him to give it a look)

So, oh collective of wisdom and experience, what should I be ready for and do prior to putting it into drive with the toad hooked up? Is there a "Complete Idiot's Guide to Toad Towing" or something like that?
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:36 AM   #2
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You'll be fine. Just make sure that you learn and understand all the steps to getting it set up so it doesn't end up passing you somewhere on the highway.

You probably won't even know the toad is back there once you get a couple hours of driving under your belt. Just remember you can't back up so always have an exit strategy before you pull in somewhere for fuel, etc. In over 50,000 miles of towing, I've had to disconnect twice in order to extricate myself from somewhere.

Depending on your brake set up, don't forget to pump the brakes in the toad during the set up in order to bleed off the pressure there which could result in your toad brakes locking up... and you don't want that. Also, don't forget to ensure the steering is unlocked and the parking brake is off.

Safe travels.

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Old 05-06-2013, 10:41 AM   #3
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Have your Son write up a hookup checklist and unhook checklist for the tow bar and accessories and the Sumari. Have him be a checker as you are the doer on your practice drive. Even with almost 18 years experience towing I still use my checklist. I also stop within first 50 miles and do a walk around the tow vehicle, tow bar setup, and coach. If Sumari has a locking steering setup ensure you know the key insertion routine. California has a 55 MPH speed limit for ALL vehicles towing ( I usually cruise at 58-59).
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:51 AM   #4
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Rick , has said it all , biggest things are , making sure the toad is secure , that you have the steering , electrical correct, and don't back up.
I'll argue with him on the couple of hours to get used to it though; I found myself forgetting my toad was back there in about 20mins.
X2, on CA speed limit, many CHPs out there , big fines.
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
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I'll argue with him on the couple of hours to get used to it though; I found myself forgetting my toad was back there in about 20mins.
X2, on CA speed limit, many CHPs out there , big fines.
LOL. You'll get no counter argument from me on the 20 minutes. Be sure to leave the back up camera turned on as a reminder that the toad is, in fact, still back there and isn't on fire or anything.

You don't want to mess with the CHP these days. $$$$$$$

rick
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Old 05-06-2013, 01:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
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You don't want to mess with the CHP these days. $$$$$$$

rick
Really? I always thought Baker and Ponch were nice guys!
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Old 05-06-2013, 02:11 PM   #7
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FWIW, I just did my first toad towing last weekend and it went fine.
After about 15 minutes I was totally used to it. Just becareful turning, make sure you do the hookup checklist nad verify the toad brakes and breakaway are working correctly.
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Old 05-06-2013, 04:48 PM   #8
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All that is said, plus I tie a white shop towel, just a little bigger than a face cloth, around the top of the steering wheel. When positions right, it looks like little bunny ears. When i look in the rear view camera I can see if the bunny ears are still, meaning all is as should be, or if they start wiggling all over the place then it is time to stop and see what is happening. So far I have not had to stop and the bunny ears give me peace of mind.

It may not be to noticeable if there were a rear tire flat, but if the front one goes it will wiggle like crazy.
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Old 05-06-2013, 04:56 PM   #9
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I second Wayne. I also tie something white to the top of the steering wheel. Good luck and just double check everything.
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