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Old 09-03-2013, 01:00 PM   #1
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Questions about using Roadmaster Falcon 2 Tow Bar

I just recently started towing a toad and I purchased the Roadmaster Falcon 2 and a Brake Buddy system.

Generally, I am very happy with the setup except that I don't really understand backing up with the tow bar in place. I am used to towing things like boats or motorcycles on dollies, but this seems to be a different experience.

Since I turn the key to the first position in my toad to power the Brake Buddy, this frees the steering wheel to move. I assume that is what is needed. However if I try backing up (unless backing perfectly straight with the toad perfectly aligned) the wheels turn hard to one side and the vehicle no longer tracks going backward and simply kinks up.

Am I doing something wrong or can you not back up at an angle with the toad attached?
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Old 09-03-2013, 01:14 PM   #2
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Mike, as with every tow bar ( to my knowledge) backing while towing is FACTORY VERBOTEN... Many folks ( myself included) have done it, but only in a real emergency, and under very narrow conditions... As a general rule, it WILL damage the tow bars, and sometimes other things. I'd say, dont do it.. I travel coast to coast without backing, so a close appraisal of where "Ya poke yer nose", gas stations etc., is required...rgr
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Old 09-03-2013, 01:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikehend View Post
However if I try backing up (unless backing perfectly straight with the toad perfectly aligned) the wheels turn hard to one side and the vehicle no longer tracks going backward and simply kinks up.
Yep, that's what they do, and the reason why the manufacturers say not to back up (as indicated by rgrstndgby.)

When you're driving your car, and you ease up on the steering wheel after making a turn, the front wheels tend to self-straighten out. This is due to the "caster" setting of your front suspension. It helps keep the car tracking straight when driving forward.

Caster gets its name because it mimics the behavior of caster wheels, like the front wheels of a grocery shopping cart. As long as you're going forward, the front wheels track true. But if you back up a shopping cart while watching the front wheels, they will immediately snap around and reverse direction. The caster action of your toad's front wheels are trying to do the same thing. But they can't spin around 180 degrees, so they stop at full wheel lock.

If you've every tried to turn your car's wheels while backing up at more than a snail's pace, you might have noticed that the wheels tend to want to turn more than you intend. This is the same action you get when you try to back up a toad. It's just the way the mechanics of a car's front suspension works.

Simple answer: don't back up with a flat-four toad.
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Old 09-03-2013, 01:28 PM   #4
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Do not back up with tow bar attached to toad!
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Old 09-03-2013, 07:15 PM   #5
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As said above, backing with a 4 down toad setup is not recommended. This does not mean it's impossible. I have backed up on occasion, but have a lot of practice. We backed 4 wheel wagons on the farm with a tractor for years and the skill sort of transfers. Either practice A LOT, or don't do it.
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Old 09-03-2013, 07:29 PM   #6
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As said above, backing with a 4 down toad setup is not recommended. This does not mean it's impossible. I have backed up on occasion, but have a lot of practice. We backed 4 wheel wagons on the farm with a tractor for years and the skill sort of transfers. Either practice A LOT, or don't do it.
Practicing with four wheel farm wagons might make sense. But practicing with a toad is likely to be problematical.

With a farm wagon, if it starts to go wrong, all that happens for the most part is that the wagon goes in a different direction than intended. But with a toad, you end up with lots of side forces on the tow bar that can cause bending or other damage.
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Old 09-03-2013, 07:31 PM   #7
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For one manufacturer's take on backing with a four-down toad. CLICK HERE
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Old 09-03-2013, 09:30 PM   #8
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As I said, manufacturers don't recommend it but it is not impossible. It can be done. I do it. But you have to know what you're doing.
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:21 AM   #9
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I have backed mine a foot or so to get back to a fuel nozzle but never more than that.
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Old 09-04-2013, 02:27 PM   #10
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You didn't read the Roadmaster owners manual...

Do not back up the motorhome with the towed vehicle
attached. Backing up with the towed vehicle attached
will cause the towed vehicle to “jackknife,”
which will damage the tow bar, the mounting bracket,
the receiver hitch, the towed vehicle’s front end and/
or the rear of the motorhome. Backing up with the
towed vehicle attached is the primary cause of tow
bar damage and will void the warranty.

same is true for any model any mfg of MH towbar. you can get away with a few feet if aligned straight, but any more is asking for damage


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