I am the proud new owner of a 2010 Coachmen Freelander 32BH built on a 2009 Ford E450 Chassis. I needed a 7 passenger toad and already owned a 2004 Toyota 4Runner (V8 2wd) and after looking at the cost and options for replacing the 4Runner decided to simply make the modifications and tow it 4 down. The cheapest car is the one you already own right??
At any rate, I learned allot from reading this forum so I thought I should give back and share my results.
Here are the modifications in no particular order. I installed everything myself in my garage with basic hand tools and a Walmart home air compressor and cheap air tools.
5 Star RV 87/89 Tow/Performance tune (87 Installed)
Roadmaster XL Base Plate
Ready Brute Tow Bar with Integrated Ready Brake
Remco Drive Shaft Coupler
Blue Ox Light Kit
Blue Ox Light Cable and Safety Cables
Did the drive shaft first since if that failed then everything else was for not. Bottom line it took about 6 hours to install and it was a challenge. Now I used to be a fair shade tree mechanic when I was younger but being in IT Sales for the past 15 years my skills have..... well lets just say I am not the wrench I used to be. Younger and on your game 4 hours with jack stands on a creeper 2 to 3 if you can borrow a lift. Read the instructions carefully it will save you time in the long run. They are a bit cryptic but once you figure it out make sense.
The Roadmaster XL base plate was a breeze compared to the drive shaft. Basically bolted on in about an hour. it's built like a tank. Roadmaster is the bomb at least for the 4Runner.
While I was doing the base plate I discovered I have a bad wheel bearing on the driver side as well as worn front brake shoes which in turn lead to the discovery of a bad caliper on the passenger side. On a side note Toyota 4Runner wheel bearings are not what you are used to finding on US built cars... You need a press to install even if you buy an new hub and bearing assembly, if the other side goes out I am hiring it done for sure. That ended up being a $400 detour (Toyota parts can be expensive) but everything is fresh now on the front and the truck drives great.
The rest of the light/wiring kit installations took a few 1 to 2 hour sessions but nothing too difficult. Just took my time and tried to do everything right.
So how does it tow? Well the 5 Star tune made a nice impact on the power and shifting for towing. Honestly I can only tell I am towing on ups/downs and longer grades. The E450 pulls like a bull and is not working overly hard even on fairly steep grades. Very pleased with the Ford Chassis and the 5Star 87 octane RV tune.
Hook up is about 8 mins and I am sure will drop to 5 as I get used to it and find my grove. The ready break works wonderfully.... I can actually feel the breaks on the toad working on firmer stops which seems to keep the RV breaking about the same as when not towing. Overall I could not be more pleased with the Ready Break system integrated into the Ready Brute tow bar.
In the beginning I was concerned about the weight of the 4Runner (4350 lbs.) on a larger Class C but I and confident that I will be able to travel stress free which was the goal when I started out.
I hope this helps some of you who are looking for solutions for pulling your toad.