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Old 01-21-2015, 07:36 AM   #1
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Is it possible to back up?

I know the warnings about backing up with the toad attached. Don't do it, or only do it for a few feet. Yup, got it.

But.... Then I heard a different answer, and I can't remember which board I read it on. This individual would back up motorhome and toad using a different procedure, and I want to get your thoughts on it.

He said that if he get into a situation where he needs to be able to back straight up, this is what he does.

The wife gets out of the motorhome and gets in the toad, and starts it up. When thay are ready, she puts the toad in reverse, and he puts the motorhome in neutral. She then gently pulls the MH back . The amount of force required to "Pull" the motohome on level ground would not be that much, and she would be able to keep the two vehicles in line. When they are done, the wife sets it back up to tow, shuts it off and gets back in the MH.

I know from the outset, it sounds crazy, but if you consider the forces on the tow bar, they wouldn't be any different (same direction of force), as encountered during normal towing. As long as you are backing up in a straight line, I cant see where the towing system could be compromised. Remember, we are not trying to pull a 40K lb MH up a 10% grade.

OK, asbestos underware on, but not looking for flames, just honest opinions.
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Old 01-21-2015, 07:43 AM   #2
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I pull a trailer and had no idea you cant back with 4 wheels down toad. This is going to be interesting and a learning process for me because I was seriously thinking of changing from the trailer to the 4 wheels down
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Old 01-21-2015, 07:52 AM   #3
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You cannot back a toad that is 4 wheels down because the front wheels on the car castor - they are unstable in reverse and would turn to the stop.
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Old 01-21-2015, 07:54 AM   #4
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I never thought of that, but it seems like it should work. Course, I have been wrong before.

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Old 01-21-2015, 07:56 AM   #5
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Keep in mind that pulling a 4000lb toad is not the same as pulling a 33,000lb coach. Your tow bar may let you get by with it, but I would not want to try it.
I have heard of others having their co-pilot get into the toad and keep the steering wheel straight while they back up just a few feet to be able to get by some obstacle, but I haven't tried it and hope I never have to.
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Old 01-21-2015, 07:57 AM   #6
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Why would you need a wife to do that. Put MH in "N" and go back and move car.
Or go back put car in park, then put MH in "N" and go back to car to move.

Or be more careful where you go. I have only pulled 4 down for a little over 7 years so far. But haven't ever needed to back up so far.
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Old 01-21-2015, 08:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jones47172 View Post
You cannot back a toad that is 4 wheels down because the front wheels on the car castor - they are unstable in reverse and would turn to the stop.
If that was true, then you shouldn't be able to back up when it's unhitched either. As far as I know, the castor does not change whether it's hooked up or not.

Also, with a person sitting in the seat of the toad, they could hold the wheel straight.

I'm trying to look at this logically. I am mainly looking at the forces involved, and the direction of the force. The stress on the tow bar would be from the back, same as if it were pulling the toad.
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Old 01-21-2015, 08:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triker56 View Post
Why would you need a wife to do that. Put MH in "N" and go back and move car.
Or go back put car in park, then put MH in "N" and go back to car to move.

Or be more careful where you go. I have only pulled 4 down for a little over 7 years so far. But haven't ever needed to back up so far.
I can only go by my limited experience. On the way home to Baltimore from Ft Myers where we bought the coach, I was in unfamiliar areas, and twice got myself into situation where I had to back up. Luckily, we didn't have a toad, so my wife got out and helped me back it up. I could have done it by myself, but with limited experience and a brand new coach, I thought I should play it safe.
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Old 01-21-2015, 08:08 AM   #9
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The stress on the tow bar would not be the same your going from pulling a three or four thousand pound car to pulling a forty thousand pound motor home, probably more than the towbar is built for. I pull on a dolly but same deal you can't back up much a couple feet is about it before it starts to jackknife. It's not that big of a deal you just become more cautious of where you pull into knowing that you'll have to unhook if your not careful.
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Old 01-21-2015, 08:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BPoland View Post
If that was true, then you shouldn't be able to back up when it's unhitched either. As far as I know, the castor does not change whether it's hooked up or not.

Also, with a person sitting in the seat of the toad, they could hold the wheel straight.

I'm trying to look at this logically. I am mainly looking at the forces involved, and the direction of the force. The stress on the tow bar would be from the back, same as if it were pulling the toad.
I don't know any other way to say this except, pulling a 33,000lb MH is NOT the same force as pulling a 4000lb toad! Look at the specs on your tow bar.
The castor issue is the main reason you should not back up with your toad attached. The front wheels will turn to one side or other in a few feet, and your tow system and/or your toad will be damaged.
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Old 01-21-2015, 08:10 AM   #11
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I think a person in the toad would work fine but I would back the motor home while the toad driver keeps the toad in line with the backing. I have gotten away with backing up about five feet before the wheels turn. Usually I just unhook and get in a good position and rehook - Not thast hard and may save cash if my therory wrong!!
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Old 01-21-2015, 08:15 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elf111 View Post
The stress on the tow bar would not be the same your going from pulling a three or four thousand pound car to pulling a forty thousand pound motor home, probably more than the towbar is built for. I pull on a dolly but same deal you can't back up much a couple feet is about it before it starts to jackknife. It's not that big of a deal you just become more cautious of where you pull into knowing that you'll have to unhook if your not careful.
If you have ever had the "pleasure" of pushing a car, you know that the smount for force required to push a 4K lbs car on level ground is not the weight of the vehicle. A couple guys could probably push your coach around. Remember, we are talking rolling resistance, not a dead pull.

Or, Am I seeing something wrong? That being said, I don't think I would try this with a smartcar.
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Old 01-21-2015, 08:21 AM   #13
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In my case it will be a 2015 Jeep Cherokee, on a Blue Ox Aventa Lx tow bar rated for 10,000 lbs.

I thank you for your opinions. It was just something I was mulling around in my head.

Thanks for your insight!!!
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Old 01-21-2015, 08:30 AM   #14
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I have backed up - but no more than about 18 inches.

To me, it just seems easier to follow the commands of the tow bar manufacturer and not take the chance. Disconnecting and reconnecting seems like a chore, but it really takes about five minutes. When we tow the FJ Cruiser, the driveshaft is removed, so I am more careful. I have probably disconnected the Echo a dozen times to avoid backing up, but that is in about 70K miles of towing.

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