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Old 01-23-2015, 10:05 AM   #43
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Thanks to all, for allowing me to think outside the box.

A word about thinking outside the box.

As it turns out:

The world isn't flat.
It is possible for man to fly.
We can put people on the moon.

Sometimes looking at something from a different direction does pay off.

Is backing up a toad and motorhome a good thing to do? It seems the overwhelming consensus is NO.
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Old 01-23-2015, 07:00 PM   #44
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I would think it would be ok if done as in post 36, both vehicles running and both transmissions in reverse and drivers in both vehicles.
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Old 01-23-2015, 07:18 PM   #45
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The primary reason backing is discouraged is the effect of the toad front wheel caster. With a assistant in the toad holding the steering wheel the caster force is very slight if the wheels are kept straight. Bad things happen when the steering wheel is not held and the steering will quickly flop to maximum turn angle causing them to slide. I have backed many times with DW holding the toad steering wheel with no issues.

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Old 01-24-2015, 09:12 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by CampDaven View Post
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!

Totally agree Dave!
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Old 01-24-2015, 09:12 AM   #47
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Bpoland:

You used the term "Thinking outside the box" at least 4 times in this thread, so I am thinking you are new to the phrase? But, I can't help thinking that your definition equates to running 75MPH rated tires (rated by the manufacturer) at 90 miles an hour for extended periods of time, or running tires at 65 lbs that are "charted" by the manufacturer for 100 lbs because they "ride" better. Common sense says, you jump off a cliff, you're gonna get hurt. You say: "I'm gonna think outside the box and jump off the cliff!"

Good luck.

I think I will stick with what the manufacturer/engineers recommend for my Blue Ox. I am a full-timer and have only been towing 4 wheels down since 2005 and somewhere around 80-90,000 miles. I can, and have disconnected 4 times (for backing up purposes) and I can do it relatively quickly. In my defense, 3 of the 4 times I was in a new motorhome and hadn't quite got the turning radius figured out in my mind. The 4th time, however, I was up in a New Hampshire town and thought about pulling into a certain gas station but decided (on the fly) it was too small for me and the toad. In a flash, I decided to "think outside the box", and pull in there anyway. Like I said, that was the 4th time I had to unhook to back up. In all instances where backing up was necessay, I was NOT in a straight line, I was in the middle of trying to make a turn that the MH/Toad combination was incapable of making.

I think the majority of people who need to back up are in that situation, not perfectly lined up in a straight line.

At any rate, I wish you good luck with your travels and backing up and may the Towbar Trolls never darken your path!
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Old 01-24-2015, 10:07 AM   #48
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The success rate all depends on how everything is situated when the backing starts. Sometimes it works quite well and sometimes not.
Group 3 is those who have tried it several times and recognize that the level of success is conditional ...basically, "it depends."

Like Gary, I have done it several times. The level of success depends on
1-how everything is situated when backing starts;
2-what the MH driver does with the steering wheel/what you are trying to do;
3-the dynamics of the specific toad involved

I have backed my Honda Odyssey 40-50 feet with no turning movement of the toad front wheels. The key at least for the Odyssey is to keep the MH steering wheel EXACTLY as it was when you stopped forward motion. I have done this both straight and in a tight turn. It is actually easier in a tight turn because I can see the toad front wheels in my side mirror so if they start to change position I can immediately stop.

If you move the MH steering wheel when backing, the toad front wheels WILL go sideways. The only question is how soon.

On a few occasions I have backed up apx 2 feet with the MH front wheel turned full lock the opposite direction to get a few more inches clearance in a tight turn. The toad wheels WILL flop sideways, some sooner than others ...my Odyssey will give me maybe as much as 2 ft before they start to move. Watching in the side mirror, moving very slowly,when they start to move sideways even a little, I stop.

When the toad wheel flop sideways, some toads will do that very quickly/violently. Having seen it happen, and how quickly and hard it sometimes happens, I would NEVER have DW or anyone else attempt to hold the toad steering wheel. I don't want the medical bills OR the frequent reminded that I broke her hand/arm/whatever. I have unhooked the toad many times to avoid attempting this procedure ...I attempt it only if I feel it is absolutely necessary.

My first graphic lesson in the hazards of backing a toad was in watching a MH turn into a crowded filling station lot. The driver mis-judged the hard right turn, stopped, and quickly backed up 3-4 feet with the MH wheels turned hard in the opposite direction from the turn, then pulled forward into the pump island. When the MH started backward, the front wheels of the toad very quickly slammed sideways, broadside to the direction of travel. In less than 3 feet, the driver side front tire of the toad was almost totally removed from the rim.

I will back my toad if necessary, but only with great caution after carefully considering the position I am in, how I got there, and the best way to get out of it.
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Old 01-24-2015, 12:05 PM   #49
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Thanks to all who posted on this. I am new to the toad world and read the admonitions about never backing up with the toad. I of course wondered what could possibly happen if I did. Now I know.
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Old 01-24-2015, 12:34 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by mbrandt1402 View Post
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.

Try standing on the breaks, rev the engine, quickly release the breaks and then stand on them again. There is no way the brakes are going to be able to stop the wheels from spinning.
Called a burn-out in racing parlance😎
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Old 01-24-2015, 12:49 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by jauguston View Post
The primary reason backing is discouraged is the effect of the toad front wheel caster. With a assistant in the toad holding the steering wheel the caster force is very slight if the wheels are kept straight. Bad things happen when the steering wheel is not held and the steering will quickly flop to maximum turn angle causing them to slide. I have backed many times with DW holding the toad steering wheel with no issues.

Jim
Yeah, I pretty much feel as well that if you can keep the toad in-line with the MH while backing up you can do it for a small distance. Eventually the toad is going to move off-line and you will have to stop. That said, if it takes coordination with the DW, I'd just rather unhook.
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Old 01-24-2015, 12:52 PM   #52
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STIK :

Ok, so let's try some definitions for a minute. I am a computer analyst, and have been for 30 years. In my job, I am presented with a problem or goal, and it is my job to find a way to do it. What that means is, sometimes you have to try to find a way to get something done that from the outset isn't working. When I say thinking outside the box, What I meant was to take a look at the whole picture or process and see if there are areas that can be examined to mitigate the causes of the problem. I made no claim of towing 10K lbs when the tow bar is rated for 5K, nor running 100 mph on tires rated for 75, and, I damn sure aint talking about jumping off a cliff, and I won't say any more on that, lest the moderators will have a field day.

I looked at the problem of backing up with a toad. I then asked what are the problems.

First and foremost, the toads front wheels, due to camber will turn hard over to the lock, causing undo stress on the towbar and baseplate. This will eventually cause the toad to jackknife into the motorhome.

So, all I asked was: what if somebody sat in the toad and kept the steering wheel from turning? That was all. Someone, on one of the boards mentioned about pulling the motorhome backwards. For those that say that can't be done, I have pulled a 2500 lbs boat and trailer with a 10 hp riding lawnmower in my parents yard during an emergency.

So as I said before, the vast majority of you say it can't/shouldn't/wouldn't be done. I am ok with that. Believe it or not, some problems don't have a solution.

Come on Springtime.
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Old 01-24-2015, 01:17 PM   #53
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I am also going with post 36, both engines running, both in reverse, communication between drivers. If they can communicate well (not always a given with DH and DW) backing up should be no problem.

As for setting steering lock straight, I have had many vehicles with that feature and not one could be locked with wheels straight. They all required turning wheel slightly to lock. Thank God that feature is going away.

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Old 01-25-2015, 03:56 AM   #54
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STIK :

Ok, so let's try some definitions for a minute. I am a computer analyst, and have been for 30 years. In my job, I am presented with a problem or goal, and it is my job to find a way to do it. What that means is, sometimes you have to try to find a way to get something done that from the outset isn't working. When I say thinking outside the box, What I meant was to take a look at the whole picture or process and see if there are areas that can be examined to mitigate the causes of the problem. I made no claim of towing 10K lbs when the tow bar is rated for 5K, nor running 100 mph on tires rated for 75, and, I damn sure aint talking about jumping off a cliff, and I won't say any more on that, lest the moderators will have a field day.

I looked at the problem of backing up with a toad. I then asked what are the problems.

First and foremost, the toads front wheels, due to camber will turn hard over to the lock, causing undo stress on the towbar and baseplate. This will eventually cause the toad to jackknife into the motorhome.

So, all I asked was: what if somebody sat in the toad and kept the steering wheel from turning? That was all. Someone, on one of the boards mentioned about pulling the motorhome backwards. For those that say that can't be done, I have pulled a 2500 lbs boat and trailer with a 10 hp riding lawnmower in my parents yard during an emergency.

So as I said before, the vast majority of you say it can't/shouldn't/wouldn't be done. I am ok with that. Believe it or not, some problems don't have a solution.

Come on Springtime.
I understand your frustration but to your simple question the answer would appear to most certainly be "yes", as the direction of the toad steering wheels reduces or eliminates any issues in short range backing. Even some of the people who said "don't do it!" said, "well, this one time I had to..." LOL If you are needing to back that thing up at least it means you are in it, using it, traveling, and having a good time - which is what it is all about.
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Old 01-25-2015, 06:59 AM   #55
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rgailliams69:

Amen!
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Old 01-25-2015, 07:28 AM   #56
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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?

And the winner is #37
Just let the MH idle in reverse, pull it back with the toad, no strain, no pain.
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