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Old 04-13-2016, 02:43 PM   #43
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I've done this several times also, but the worst place I ever pulled into, and had to then back with the toad, was a CAMPING WORLD!!!
why oh why do they have so little ROOM!??!??!?
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Old 04-13-2016, 08:58 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by The Logans View Post
Never tried it, but I have a question... Could you back up safely if someone was sitting in the toad, steering it?
That could prevent jackknifing the toad but you would not know if the forces pushing on the tow bar backwards from the design criteria have caused damage to the bars or latches. Likely if taken slow you could do it and not hurt anything. But if the toad were to begin to jackknife, all bets are off on whether damage has occurred.

I love it when some justify their actions because they chose to do it in conflict to manufacturers warnings. Likely they may decide a break-away isn't necessary either and when the tow bar breaks and the toad collides with an innocent person, they will feign ignorance.

Just my opinion but actions we take affect or can affect others in a catastrophic way.
If any are offended, have a nice day anyway and hopefully not near me.

EDIT; for the record I have backed a loaded tow dolly but just a few feet to better place the coach with a pump or site utilities. But a tow dolly and it's tongue are a far different animal than tow bars. Backing an empty dolly is a challenge even to the best backer.
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Old 04-13-2016, 11:51 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by drwwicks View Post
That could prevent jackknifing the toad but you would not know if the forces pushing on the tow bar backwards from the design criteria have caused damage to the bars or latches. Likely if taken slow you could do it and not hurt anything. But if the toad were to begin to jackknife, all bets are off on whether damage has occurred.
I simply do not understand how steering the front wheels could prevent or cause jackknifing. The front of the toad is solidly attached to the rear of the tow vehicle and it seems to me that turning the toad wheels will have no affect on the direction the toad will go. Turning or jackknifing will be determined by what direction the tow vehicle pushes it. Or am I missing something?

IMHO, steering (keeping the wheels straight or slightly turned) is to prevent excessive side loads from being placed on the tow mechanism by the toad wheels trying go in one direction and the heaver tow vehicle forcing it to go in another.

Someone had the idea of going to a large open area and practicing backing the toad. Doing this would provide a much better understanding of what is actually happening. Gravel or dirt would be best because traction and thus side loads would be reduced, but any surfacing would work. Just take it slow and be careful.

Also, IMHO, it is a good idea to check the tow system when stopping for fuel, for the night, or? I usually do this nearly every time we stop, not necessarily because I didn't follow the manufacturers recommendations, but because it is mechanical and could fail. I'm thinking most of us are familiar with "Murphy's Law" for one reason or another.

Steve
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Old 04-14-2016, 07:14 AM   #46
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Simply stated:
1.) If you DO NOT backup with your toad attached you WILL NOT damage/bend your tow bar.
2.) If you DO backup with your toad connected you MIGHT.
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Old 04-14-2016, 08:25 AM   #47
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I simply do not understand how steering the front wheels could prevent or cause jackknifing. The front of the toad is solidly attached to the rear of the tow vehicle and it seems to me that turning the toad wheels will have no affect on the direction the toad will go. Turning or jackknifing will be determined by what direction the tow vehicle pushes it. Or am I missing something?

IMHO, steering (keeping the wheels straight or slightly turned) is to prevent excessive side loads from being placed on the tow mechanism by the toad wheels trying go in one direction and the heaver tow vehicle forcing it to go in another.

Someone had the idea of going to a large open area and practicing backing the toad. Doing this would provide a much better understanding of what is actually happening. Gravel or dirt would be best because traction and thus side loads would be reduced, but any surfacing would work. Just take it slow and be careful.

Also, IMHO, it is a good idea to check the tow system when stopping for fuel, for the night, or? I usually do this nearly every time we stop, not necessarily because I didn't follow the manufacturers recommendations, but because it is mechanical and could fail. I'm thinking most of us are familiar with "Murphy's Law" for one reason or another.

Steve
Steve, you are right about trying to steer the front wheels of the toad while backing. In fact, because of the geometry of a back up with the motorhome, a small sideways motion of the rear of the MH translates to a large turn of the toad front wheels. This is the turn to lock many experience and don't know how to compensate for. When initially learning to back up, a spotter is needed to tell you if the wheels turn to the locks. What really happens back there is that you need to be able to see and compensate for a VERY VERY slight turn in the rear of the coach so the toad wheels don't go to the full deflection. How people could possibly push the toad into a jacknife position before recognizing they have a problem is beyond me. Continuing to back up with a toad beginning to jack knife and the front wheels of the toad on the stop is what causes the damage to the tow bar. With a spotter, a back up camera and your mirrors you have the tools that you need to pay attention to so as to tell you when things start to go wrong. When the toad wheels are on the stop, you need to STOP and pull forward to start again.

As I said before, backing is a learned skill that must be learned and practiced. We've used the toad/motorhome and tow bar for some strange activities and have done it without any damage. We've used the toad to help push the motorhome up a slight hill where we were caught on glare ice in a west Texas rest area last year. Four wheel drive on the toad helped, of course. When we had the motor home stuck on a beach in Homer, AK to the axle in soft sand, we used the toad to pull the RV backwards so we could begin to dig out the area ahead of the axle. About three shots and we got it out just fine, again without any damage to anything.

Your thoughts about checking the tow bar, hitch base plate and all connections is absolutely right on. As the result of a poor set of base plate instructions and furnished materials I found a loose base plate that was causing toad frame deformation and thinning. This was happening at each stop when we were in Alaska for a summer. It resulted in me having to re-tighten the bolts each stop even though the the bolts were not loosening, the frame steel was thinning and the holes elongating. An additional thought. Also check the hitch mounting to to MH as these bolts can become loose and the welds have been known to break in rare instances.
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Old 04-14-2016, 11:23 AM   #48
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Pigman, we think alike, thank you for your comments.

I have learned from them and hope others will as well.

Steve
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Old 04-14-2016, 04:47 PM   #49
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Saw dinghy back up

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Originally Posted by dix39 View Post
Pigman, we think alike, thank you for your comments.

I have learned from them and hope others will as well.

Steve

Video or it never happened.
By the time the backup is done, I can unhook, reposition, rehook and be long gone. Experience (ie: enter/exit planning and spatial awareness) is the key to having done it only 4 times in 16 years.

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Old 04-15-2016, 12:20 AM   #50
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Video or it never happened.
By the time the backup is done, I can unhook, reposition, rehook and be long gone. Experience (ie: enter/exit planning and spatial awareness) is the key to having done it only 4 times in 16 years.

Dave and Nola, RV Mutants
I would say to each his/her own.

I certainly didn't video any of the backups I've made, it wasn't that important to me.

IMHO, there are times when it is easier to back up and times when unhooking is the only way. It is a judgement call and I've done both.

I would certainly agree that enter/exit planning and spatial awareness are important.

Best of luck.

Steve
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Old 04-15-2016, 07:55 AM   #51
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Saw dinghy back up

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Seems to me that all instructions (rules for operation) are written for the least experienced, least skilled, least knowledgeable, most timid people so as to keep the manufacturers legal department from being overtaxed. If you've read and followed every single caution, warning, and note in all instructions, have obeyed every single traffic sign both regulatory and advisory, and never rolled through a stop sign at 2AM on a country road where you can see for 5 miles in every direction, you definitely need to follow the directions manufacturers put out about backing with a 4 down toad. If you want to learn more about your rig, become more skilled in driving and parking it, and want to be able to do more than just the minimum, you might try to understand what all these NO-NO's really mean and why they're there. Then you can make an intelligent, informed decision on what to do and how to react in a situation not specifically covered by the instructions.

I definitely fall into the latter category. I, IN NO WAY, find fault or problem with those who choose to follow the instructions to the letter. I do find fault with those who try to put me and others into that former category when I know and have done repeatedly what the directions advise (or order) against. Do it your way, but let me do it my way as long as I'm not directly hurting you.

Experience (ie: enter/exit planning and spatial awareness) is the key to having unhooked only 4 times in 16 years with a toad.
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Old 04-15-2016, 02:07 PM   #52
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Experience (ie: enter/exit planning and spatial awareness) is the key to having unhooked only 4 times in 16 years with a toad.
I agree completely. That's definitely a first choice, but when caught in a situation where it didn't work or someone else cut that choice off, it's nice to have more than one other option in the quiver.
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