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Old 07-04-2005, 09:19 AM   #1
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I just did my first tow with the Montara and my 1986 Chevy Nova.

The four pin connector did not fit. I towed without lights in the Nova but you can easily see the lights on the motorhome.

I wired the four pin connector and the lights in the Nova. I checked this with the battery in the Nova and all the right lights worked. Upon opening the four pin connector I discovered my wires had been touching which explained why the fuse blew in the Nova for the turn indicator lights.

I have a Falcon all terrain towbar and the lube pump and US gear brake are not installed yet. I drove the motorhome with the Nova engine running and in neutral. I placed a microphone in the Nova engine compartment with a lead to the front of the motorhome connected to a amplifier. I was able to be sure the engine in the Nova was running this way. I also have a backup camera I tilted up a little and I was able to clearly see the Nova from the motorhome while driving.

The 460 engine in the Montara performed as I was told it would, I could hardly notice I was pulling that little car.

This is the first time I have ever towed a car behind the motorhome. One thing I do not understand is why do the safety cables limit the extension of the towbar struts when the car is at an angle to the rear of the motorhome? Are they just too short, or is this a safety measure?

I towed the car to a town where there is a mechanic who will install the lube pump and the Unified braking system.

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Old 07-04-2005, 09:19 AM   #2
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I just did my first tow with the Montara and my 1986 Chevy Nova.

The four pin connector did not fit. I towed without lights in the Nova but you can easily see the lights on the motorhome.

I wired the four pin connector and the lights in the Nova. I checked this with the battery in the Nova and all the right lights worked. Upon opening the four pin connector I discovered my wires had been touching which explained why the fuse blew in the Nova for the turn indicator lights.

I have a Falcon all terrain towbar and the lube pump and US gear brake are not installed yet. I drove the motorhome with the Nova engine running and in neutral. I placed a microphone in the Nova engine compartment with a lead to the front of the motorhome connected to a amplifier. I was able to be sure the engine in the Nova was running this way. I also have a backup camera I tilted up a little and I was able to clearly see the Nova from the motorhome while driving.

The 460 engine in the Montara performed as I was told it would, I could hardly notice I was pulling that little car.

This is the first time I have ever towed a car behind the motorhome. One thing I do not understand is why do the safety cables limit the extension of the towbar struts when the car is at an angle to the rear of the motorhome? Are they just too short, or is this a safety measure?

I towed the car to a town where there is a mechanic who will install the lube pump and the Unified braking system.

David/zetron
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Old 07-04-2005, 11:28 AM   #3
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Your safety cables shouldnt restrict any movement of the tow bar. All your cables, including electrical, break away and safety, should move from one extreme to the other without pulling. Not sure what kind of cables you are using, but it sounds like they are too short.
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Old 07-04-2005, 12:52 PM   #4
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Thanks,these cables are black vinyl covered steel stranded cables.

Maybe I have something in the wrong place? It is possible there is another hole in the 2 inch receiver on the tow bar that is further out. I will look and if there is I will use that hole to slide the retaining bolt through.

The reciever on the motorhome and the bolt on points on the car are about the same height from the ground. That situation would change if I filled both my freshwater tanks.

As I speed up the motorhome I sometimes feel a "thump". I assume this is normal as the car's weight is dragged a little?

With the US Gear Unified Braking System still not installed I get nervious when I come to a long downward grade in the highway. I try to brake very conservativly under this situation. I don't want the car to climb the back of the motorhome or go underneath it?

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Old 07-05-2005, 01:16 PM   #5
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">As I speed up the motorhome I sometimes feel a "thump". I assume this is normal as the car's weight is dragged a little? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


No, that's not normal. Something is slack and then movs when you accelerate. If the thump is from the rear, I would guess that something isn't latched properly or maybe those short safety chains are yanking the car. Find out what it is - could be dangerous!

My safety chains were a bit too short after changing from an old hitch to a Falcon. I added 3 universal links of the appropriate size/rating to get an extra 5 inches or so. If I had needed more thn that, I would have added a length of chain and connected it in with the universal links.
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Old 07-06-2005, 08:49 AM   #6
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Don't those struts on the Falcon all terraine bar remain loose? I would think that as I speed up the struts extend to maxium and then the car is yanked forward, all at once and that is the "thump" I feel?

A friend was watching the tow bar when I first hitched up and said the struts would lengthen on the one side and go in on the other as I turned.

Now that I have the tow bar disengaged from the car I noticed those struts are loose and come out or go all the way in just by my pushing on them. Isn't there some way to lock them in?

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Old 07-06-2005, 09:21 AM   #7
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The bars have to lock into place before you begin towing. If you pull one out with your hands, it should snap into place. If it doesn't, you got a problem with that bar. To unlock it, you lift up on the handle that is on that particular bar.
You do not want to hook the car up and then move the motor home forward very fast inorder to get them to lock. That is too much pressure on the bar.
Here is what I did. First of all, there are no markings on the individual bars to show that they are in the lock position. So I took one bar at a time, pulled it out till it locked, then put finger nail polish around the bar where it comes out of the larger cylinder. That way you can tell at a glance that it is locked. Now when you pull the car up to the bar,hook it up, then slowly back the car up into one of the bars snaps into place. Then look at which bar is still unlocked. Point your car wheels slightly toward the bar that is unlocked. That way when you pull the motor home up SLOWLY, that bar will lock into place fairly quickly.
Did you not have anyone show you how to do the hook up when you purchased the stuff?
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Old 07-06-2005, 03:33 PM   #8
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Thanks for the information. I will use that marking technique you mentioned. No one showed me anything about the towbar. I had a trucker guy look at the towbar while I first hitched it up. He was pretty dumb and didn't even know that the struts were suppose to be locked. He thought it was normal for one strut to be way out and the other to be all the way in when I made a turn.

I towed the car this way for about 50 miles. I talked to Roadmaster tech and he said the struts should be all the way out AND LOCKED THAT WAY before towing. He said if the emergency cables were too short that the struts might get bent and I would have to throw that towbar away. I checked the struts and they lock when pulled all the way out, therefore they are not bent, Thank God.

I bought the towbar and the emergency cables from the same place. THEY SHOULD HAVE TOLD ME ABOUT THIS!!!

The emergency cables are TOO SHORT. They were made by Blue OX, the Towbar is by Roadmaster. These cables were not letting the struts extend fully and lock on the Towbar

I took a Dremal tool and cut the end hooks so I could remove them from the cable 'eyehook' and put two of those addon chain links on each cable. This should be enough? I will find out when I tow again. THE STRUTS MUST LOCK before I will tow again.

I wonder how that trucker could be so dumb not to know about towbars? And I wonder why the RV place where I bought the Towbar, emergency cables, and the base plate did not tell me about these things?

I put the baseplate on the car myself. Have I made a mistake there too???? The holes were all in the right places. I just removed the bolts that were there and put the RoadMaster bolts in their place with the Baseplate attached at these points.

When I was finished I noticed two holes in the frame located where I could put the emergency cable end hooks. These holes were through the same "STUFF" that I attached the baseplate to. This is a 1986 Chevy Nova (actually a Toyota Corolla). The frame is like those unibody type frames, not really a frame just compressed layers of sheet metal STUFF. Like I said this is the same STUFF that the baseplate attached to, and it HAS to be where Roadmaster intended the baseplate to be mounted because all the holes and bolts in the kit matched with those in the STUFF type frame.

I just do not like the idea that those two holes in that flimsey STUFF frame are suppose to be EMERGENCY towing alternatives!!!

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Old 07-06-2005, 04:45 PM   #9
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The safety cables hook to the baseplate that you mounted on the car, not the car itself.
Do you have the hidden brackets or the regular brackets? You should have two small cables that mount the cross bar to the brackets coming out from under the car. That is where you put the break away cables. then the other end, of course, mounts on the receiver on the motorhome.
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Old 07-06-2005, 07:54 PM   #10
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I have the regular baseplate. On each side there is a thick steel "L"type angle that curves from under the car up to that horozontal bar that completes the triangle with the towbar struts. At the forward end of those thick steel "L" type angles are the pins that hold the struts from the towbar.

I attached my emergency cables under the baseplate to a hole in the frame that wasn't used in attaching the baseplate.

Do I attach the emergency cables to that horozontal bar that makes up the triangle?

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Old 07-06-2005, 08:08 PM   #11
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I forgot that the whole horozontal bar and the pins for the struts from the towbar: the whole thing is held in place by two cotter pins. If you remove the pins the whole thing can be lifted off those thick "L" steel angles at the sides that curve under the car and are bolted on each side.

When I assembled this thing I simply put a lock in place of one of the cotter pins and forgot it. I could not see any reason someone would want to remove that thing and have those thick "L" steel angles sticking out like HORNS to puncture something or somebody.

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Old 07-06-2005, 08:54 PM   #12
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I went outside after looking at the instruction manual and found the holes where the emergency cables are to be attached. But there were no "small cables" included with my baseplate kit. That does not supprise me as the overall quality from this RV place was very bad.

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Old 07-07-2005, 06:05 AM   #13
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I have the so called hidden bracket set up. Instead of those L angle brackets sticking up all the time like yours, mine can be removed, leaving only tubes coming out of the front grill of the car. That might be why I have small cables with mine. They would be used to hold those L brackets to the car in the event they came loose. So you dont need those.
I also place a lock in place of the cotter pins on the horizontal bar when I have it on the car so that no one gets the thought of removing it on me!
So once you get your safety cable the correct length, you will place one end on the receiver holes on the coach and the other end in the hole provided on the L angle bracket on the car coming out from under the car, right? That way if the tow bar becomes seperated from the coach or car, the cables keeps the car attached to some degree to the coach and doesnt let it fly down the highway on its own!
All three of your hookups, safety cables, electrical cable and break away switch cable should be wrapped around your tow bar coming from the coach to the car. They dont have be wrapped and wrapped, just enought that keeps them from dragging on the ground or dropping down below the tow bar to where hightway "alligators" could grap them!
There should be enough play in them to allow for sharp turning of the coach. What I did was put them all on, hookup the car, went to a shopping center, and had my wife make sharp turns with the coach while I watched the cables to see if they all worked ok.
I dont know if you have gotten your supplemental brake system on yet, but I would suggest doing it before towing the car any further. I am not familiar with your type of coach, but in most cases, there isnt sufficient braking from the coach to stop both vehicles.
Besides, most states have laws requiring that extra braking.
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Old 07-07-2005, 09:50 AM   #14
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Thanks Mike: My baseplate arrangement lets you remove that horozontal bar, but as I stated the HORNS are still there. Maybe my baseplate is not considered "quick disconnect"? I noticed that the LAW requires those short cables on quick disconnect type baseplates.

I do not have an appointment set up to finish the installation of the US Gear Unified Braking System. I only set up an appointment for the Remco Lube pump installation.

I can try to finish installing the braking system myself. There are still some things I can do.

The car only weighs about 2200 pounds. My motorhome is a class C Tioga Montara. I have not gone to the truck scales yet. The combined gross weight is 15,500 LBS. The curb weight is 9627 pounds the gross vehicle weight is 12,400 pounds, carrying capacity is 2773 pounds.

The 24 foot 6 inch Tioga Montara appears to have been designed for weekend use with up to six people. I am a fulltimer and there is me and my dog. I have modified the motorhome extensively and I have a lot of added things, but I do not think I am over the weight limitation.

When driving with the toad the first two times (65 miles or so) I did not have any problems braking. I am fortunate to not have made any sharp turns since with the emergency cables in the wrong places and being too short to allow the struts to lock I could have ruined the Towbar.

If the rear light of the motorhome are visable from the rear are you still required to have the toad's light wired up too?

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