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Old 01-22-2015, 06:49 AM   #29
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The people who say you can back up with a tow bar are the same ones who will be on here ranting about the crappy bar when it breaks a few thousand miles later going down the highway. They never did anything wrong and can't understand why the company won.t replace it free and pay for their wrecked toad.
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Old 01-22-2015, 07:51 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MotorPro View Post
The people who say you can back up with a tow bar are the same ones who will be on here ranting about the crappy bar when it breaks a few thousand miles later going down the highway. They never did anything wrong and can't understand why the company won.t replace it free and pay for their wrecked toad.
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Old 01-22-2015, 08:01 AM   #31
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yep, u be right!!
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Old 01-22-2015, 11:42 AM   #32
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Sorry guys but it appears we all fail geometry. When backing a trailer one wheel can move in a larger radius based on the pivot point (trailer ball). When backing 4 down the outside wheels on the car cannot turn on the same axis since they are several feet apart. I know, a dual axle trailer also has multiple wheels on each side but are close together. Watch a dual wheel trailer sometime and see that one wheel is actually slidding sideways during a turn. The distance between car tires makes this virtually impossible for one wheel to slide around. Enough force could be applied if destroying you car suspension and tow bar are the objective. As stated earlier, give it a try for yourself and report your findings. The front wheels would be straight in order to create the same scenario as a dual wheel trailer.
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Old 01-22-2015, 12:06 PM   #33
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Quick call to Blue Ox or your towbar manufacturer may provide you the answer. Could also answer any questions you have too.
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Old 01-22-2015, 12:08 PM   #34
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Motorhomes can back up?

The towbar and baseplate "should" be okay pulling the motorhome - the dinghy brakes can develop a lot more power than the engine can ever deliver trying to pull it and those two actions go through the tow hardware the same direction. So if the attachments can survive panic braking, they should survive pulling the motorhome on fairly level ground.

If you doubt the engine power vs. braking power and have an automatic, try putting the car in gear, then stand on the brakes and the accelerator at the same time. The car won't move. Or compare the distance it takes to accelerate to 60, yet it should take only 200 ft to stop, and often much less than that.
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Old 01-22-2015, 12:22 PM   #35
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Everything will usually be fine until the unexpected happens. The hammering that the tow bar and hitch will take from the motorhome pulling a car will be less severe than when the car is reverse towing the rig. All it may take is an unexpected dip or unseen pothole and then you could be faced with a runaway Motor Home or some other form of hopefully just comic relief.


Better safe than sorry. You usually get only one or two oops and most of us have already used all ours up.
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Old 01-23-2015, 08:03 AM   #36
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The only point I was trying to make in this entire thread, was that with a second person in the toad, giving you the abilty to keep the toad's front wheels straight, it is possible to back them up a short distance. Not up a hill. Not around a corner. Just back straight up. I was hoping that a few of you would say that they had tried it and done it.

From the responses in the thread, there seems to be two groups:

1) Those that just say it can't be done. Period.

2) Those that have tried, and the front wheels on the toad turned, and caused stress damage to the tow bar and MH.

What about this last sequence to think about?

Start the motorhome's engine.
Start the Toad's engine.
Toad in reverse.
Motorhome in reverse.
They both let off the brake together. ( This would require communication between both drivers).

The toad doesn't pull the motorhome, and the motorhome doesn't push the toad.

The person in the toad, keeps the toads front wheels pointed straight.
There is now no stress on the towbar or any of it's attachment points as long as they both move together.


I'm sure I will probably try this one day. But don't worry, If it doesn't work, you will NEVER hear about it, I promise

It's tough thinking outside the box, and it gets cold out here too. Is it camping season yet?
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Old 01-23-2015, 08:40 AM   #37
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OK--35 responses and counting--what I hear is 1] you can probably back up a few feet without damaging anything. 2] Generally speaking, its probably not a good idea so just unhook and not take the chance. However, you seem hell-bent on defining a situation where you can safely back-up a toad. If you are looking for affirmation --I dont think you are going to get it here...so good luck.
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Old 01-23-2015, 08:51 AM   #38
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Is it possible to back up?

I have had to unhook the toad a few times. It is quick and easy.....TOO easy to let backing up trump common sense.
And locking the steering still puts undue stress on the entire system, hitch, towbar, baseplate, etc. I'd bet a structural engineer could poke holes in such a practice. A MH pushing 4 locked wheels on a surface that is never perfect.....Where is the weakest link?
I now rarely need to unhook, as I am now used to planning my route thru obstacles or in and out of fuel stations etc.
But I WILL ALWAYS unhook rather than risk damage. It takes very little time. Got time? Do the right thing!
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Old 01-23-2015, 08:53 AM   #39
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OK--35 responses and counting--what I hear is 1] you can probably back up a few feet without damaging anything. 2] Generally speaking, its probably not a good idea so just unhook and not take the chance. However, you seem hell-bent on defining a situation where you can safely back-up a toad. If you are looking for affirmation --I dont think you are going to get it here...so good luck.
Read my post #15. I have been in situations several times where I have backed up with the toad attached. I use he steering lock of the toad to hold the wheels straight and slowly back up. I have done so for as much as 100 ft. without a problen in a straight line. I would not want to make a habbit of it, but in can be done.
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Old 01-23-2015, 09:24 AM   #40
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I would not try this. In addition to the items already posted, there is much more involved than just getting in the toad and pulling the coach. One must take the toad out of neutral (different processes for different cars) to engage the transmission. Once complete, the toad must be put back in neutral. Not all cars require this, but the person in the toad needs to understand whatever the process is.

I have backed up the coach and toad quite a few times. The success rate all depends on how everything is situated when the backing starts. Sometimes it works quite well and sometimes not.
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Old 01-23-2015, 09:24 AM   #41
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Switch from Geometry to Physics

Let's switch to physics, as it is really "force" we are talking about. Consider:

Motorhome > hitch > tow bars > baseplate > toad (this is the "system")

When all connected, you only have rolling resistance of the toad in complete neutral, however you achieve that with your particular model.

As you accelerate with the motorhome, force on the system will equate to the weight of the toad PLUS friction resistance from the tires/slope - maximum at first and then decreasing as things start rolling. This is why you have to install bars with weight ratings that exceed the weight of your toad. Too much and *bang* bars fail.

As you decelerate with the motorhome, again force on the system will equate to the weight of the toad MINUS friction resistance form the tires/slope. It is not more or less than moving forward, because the weights are the same on both vehicles and the interconnecting devices. This is just force in the opposite direction.

Of course force also has an acceleration component so if you floor the motorhome accelerator or slam on the brakes you increase force. This is why you have to install bars with weight ratings that exceed the weight of your toad and have tolerance built in for extra stress. The bars are ALWAYS rated at some lower percentage of maximum load for safety.

Now if you are buying all of that from me then you realize that when in towing configuration whether going forward or reverse the stresses are basically the same, just in opposite directions. You put just as much load on the bars when slowing down the motorhome as you do in backing up - actually much more when slowing down due to inertia of the toad and depending on your deceleration rate.

So what can you change here by changing from forward to reverse? Not the weight of the motorhome, not the weight of the toad, not the strength of the hitch, tow bars, or base plate. Basically the only thing you can (majorly) change is rolling resistance. And when you back up the only way rolling resistance can be increased if the steering tires turn the wrong way and bind.

Now we are back to geometry. Have someone in the toad keep the tires in the optimum position whilst backing up to reduce rolling resistance to minimum.

Okay, someone shoot some holes in it!

Note: I'm not including all of the calculations and variables, but the ones I am leaving out are mathematically insignificant (i.e. air resistance, etc.).

So if the tow bar manufacture says it will provide undue stress on the tow bars when backing up, then they need to prohibit you from decelerating and stopping as well. Once you get going you void your warranty by stopping, LOL!

Math and science, gotta love it.

PS Someone in the thread mentioned using the toad to pull the motorhome backwards (motorhome in neutral). NOW you are talking trouble as you've put the much heavier vehicle in the "rolling resistance" mode and this will change the force/stress on the hitch, bars, and base plate. Not to mention the engine torque on the toad as well. Would not recommend that at all. Remember this is all about the weights, what is in neutral (rolling resistance only), and which direction you go. If you wouldn't pull the motorhome behind the toad don't do it in the opposite direction either.
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Old 01-23-2015, 09:45 AM   #42
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Is it possible to back up?

This is what I have witnessed:
If you lock the steering and the toad is not in a truly straight line behind the MH, lateral force will be put on stuff. And the more out of line, the more force. And the farther you back up, the more the angle of divergence increases. Something metal groans; don't know what part. And finally the toad tires skid sideways in the direction of lateral force.
Nothing broke as I watched this. But something had to be stressed.
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