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Old 07-29-2009, 01:44 PM   #1
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New Ford Flex Toad

I recently purchased a new Ford Flex as a Toad. It is a great car, comfort, quality, size and options makes it a viable Toad option. Seats 7 or 8, tows 4 flat, rides like a car not a Truck or SUV, weighs 4,560 unloaded and simple to set up.

I had a Roadmaster/Stowmaster tow bar from my previous life and that is what I used. I consider it "old school" but one of the easiest and most bullet proof units available. Rated at 6,000 lbs. and simple verses the modern and light weight units that are "supposed to be easy". I have had the modern versions and after you spend a few minutes on the greasy parking lot of the Truck Stop in 100 degree temperatures dismantling it because it bound up in a tight spot, all while Truckers named Bubba blow air horns your way, you long for the OLD SCHOOL. It's heavy and stays on the car or can be removed for storage, but not the best tow bar for those with a bad back.

http://roadmasterinc.com/products/to...ndex.html#stow

Ordered the Roadmaster XL brackets to be installed by a dealer. They came with the driver's side mounting plate welded on upside down. The top holes are 5 and 3/8 inches OC and the bottom 5 inches OC. When welded on upside down, fidden dit!

Roadmaster Customer Support was not only no help, they were downright rude. They said that if one was wrong, they probably all were, they had no more in stock and had no answer to my problem. I had the Dealer take it to a certified welder who cut off the plate and welded it on correctly, Roadmaster refused to pay for the help ($125.00). I can understand their lack or desire to assume the liability for someone else's work, but they had no answer and their customer support and work was certainly lacking.

Took 4 hours for install, dealer's first, without problems and on a second unit, I would say it could be done in 2 hours or slightly less.

For braking, I chose a Brake Buddy Classic. I had the original and if you send in your old unit, they send you a new one freight free for $495.00. Now, before anyone answers with "are you nuts", I use an Air Force One, SMC, Ice Station Zebra or whatever brand, I did not want a proportional braking system. I wanted a simple unit that would only activate in hard braking, emergency braking or breakaway situations and the Brake Buddy Classic fits that bill nicely.

For the breakaway cable the Flex has a removable pad for the Driver's left foot. When removed, it has a divided compartment with the bottom holding a wiring harness and the top is empty. The dealer brought the breakaway cable connection into the box and when not in use it holds the excess cable out of the way and out of site, neat!

For the lights, I used and unconventional method. I use a Tow Mate towing light bar that mounts to the roof using two 90 lb magnets that are covered by little rubber booties. It is wireless and houses the receiver and it comes with a transmitter that plugs into the motor home's 7 or 4 pin connector (no wires). It has a removable 12 volt lighter charger and works for up to 24 hours before needing recharging. Turn it on, set it on the roof, plug in the transmitter into the motor home and you're set. No wiring changes, resistors, extra bulbs, spliters, spitters or do-dads to deal with. ($245.00 includes shipping, if you order one, be sure to order with correct transmitter 7 or 4 pin and that you get the rubber booties both at no additional charge. Great people to deal with!)

http://www.towx.com/Towmate_TM2_15_i...ght_p/tm-2.htm

Once all accouterments are connected, place key in first accessory position, place in neutral and drive away. Tracks true and simple, what more can I say!
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Old 07-29-2009, 01:58 PM   #2
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Wireless tow lights!! Now that is the way to go! I was just on the Towmate site earlier and pretty impressed.

Bummer about Roadmaster. If any consolation I had a problem with my Blue OX and they were perfunctory at best. "Sorry it happened..........here are some new pins". I had hoped they would've taken a bit more interest in the possible whys the clip pin had come undone.
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Old 07-29-2009, 07:49 PM   #3
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It seems that a large advertising budget overcomes poor product quality and poor customer support!

Many companies could save a lot of money on advertising by making a quality product and supporting the heck out of it. With the Internet, word of mouth (or print) will get you more business than advertising. When you search the Internet for almost any RV topic or RV product, you get hits for this IRV2 Forum. I hope many get this hit for poor Roadmaster product support!
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Old 07-29-2009, 08:14 PM   #4
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If it will make you feel better ... I just installed a Blue Ox baseplate Saturday and was on the phone Monday morning with Blue Ox. The passenger side tow bars fit fine .... the driver side would not. Even if it had fit in the tabs, the holes would not have lined up. The Blue Ox customer service said everything correct to make me feel that it will be replaced. Supposedly there is a replacment on the way ...... we will see!

Good luck with your situation.
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