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Old 11-23-2017, 02:06 PM   #1
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Thoughts on overall length of hitch/towbar combo

I've finished gathering and installing all the components to tow our mini-cooper with our Itasca Reyo. To get the tow bar level I had to use a 6" drop receiver that incidentally extends the attachment point of my Falcon 2 tow bar by a foot.

I've got many years experience towing trailers of all sorts and sizes, including tractor trailer rigs and for the most part, long trailer tongues are beneficial, especially when it comes to backing. In fact on one motorcycle trailer, I cut and extended the tongue which greatly improved things.

But I've done very little flat towing of vehicles and wonder are there any drawbacks to a longer towing configuration?
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Old 11-23-2017, 04:08 PM   #2
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

Can't answer your question but just wanted to say hello! Keep her between the ditches!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 11-23-2017, 04:18 PM   #3
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Disadvantages to longer tow configuration? If you're already at 45' then, yes, longer is not so good when trying to stay short of 65', but in your Reyo that's not a problem. Otherwise an advantage is more stability but that also means more off-tracking in turns. You won't be backing the toad up so the longer tow configuration won't help you there.
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Old 11-24-2017, 01:18 AM   #4
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"pdeinc"......I've done this on two coaches. I had a hitch shop weld on a second receiver below the original one. This will drop your hitch 4" without extending the hitch length. I hate messing with the drop receivers. Too much slop when the whole thing is assembled. Also makes more of a driveway dragger.

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Old 11-24-2017, 08:13 AM   #5
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Your setup should be fine. I have a 8" drop receiver and the Falcon 2 tow bar. Watch out for deep dips in driveways where you may drag a bit. After a while you will be able to spot them in advance. If you have a too much play with the extra connection you can add a hitch tightener device to help. The toad will track wider on sharp turns so you won't need to worry about pulling the toad over curbs. With a wider gap between the coach and toad it makes more room for a rock to bounce up and ding the toad so you may want to consider some protection for the car.
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Old 11-24-2017, 09:20 AM   #6
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The longer the tow bar the more "tail wagging the dog" you will experience. Whether your drop bar will cause enough of this to be noticeable will be up to what your own experience is with your setup. I tried putting a hitch splitter/extender on to our set up to allow a bike rack between our RV and toad and found the difference was uncomfortably noticeable. I could feel our toad trying to push the back of our RV when turning. I ended up mounting the bike rack onto the back of our toad instead, which put my tow bar length back to it's original configuration and restored the "safe" feeling while turning.
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Old 11-24-2017, 11:56 AM   #7
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We tow a 4000lb Colorado with a drop and ready brake which adds about 30" to the tow setup. So far I have noticed nothing negative about the handling of the combo. Not familiar with your model coach, but unless it is really life you should be ok towing a mini.

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Old 11-24-2017, 12:31 PM   #8
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Depending on the tow hitch company there may be a maximum that they state that can be dropped. Blue Ox for example only recommends a 3" drop.
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Old 11-24-2017, 04:11 PM   #9
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A disadvantage to a longer hitch/tow bar combo is during sharp turns. First more length adds more lateral stress to the combo during a turn. It also swings the toad out quicker in a turn. If the combo is long enough and the turn is sharp enough you end up dragging the front tires of the toad across the pavement. The front wheels of toad don't have time to react and turn in the direction of travel. I use a drop receiver, it added about 11-12" in length. I drilled new holes in the tow bar insert and the drop receiver insert. That brought the combo back in that 11-12". Not sure about Falcon but BlueOx sells tow bar inserts in different lengths. If you're opposed to drilling that may be option.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne M View Post
Depending on the tow hitch company there may be a maximum that they state that can be dropped. Blue Ox for example only recommends a 3" drop.
I think you misunderstand the 3" drop. They want the tow bar as level as possible, no more than a 3" drop. If it takes an 8" drop receiver to maintain that no more than 3" drop than that's what it takes.
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Old 11-25-2017, 09:36 AM   #10
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Thanks!

Appreciate all the replies. Here's a couple of photos to illustrate. As you can see I have no overall length issues with our mini class A and mini car!

- Regarding slop with the added pieces, I agree completely. I just changed from one of those adjustable drop receivers to a fixed one for that very reason and have added stabilizing pins as well.

- Lateral stress: I recognized that negative factor which in theory is offset to some degree with the advantage of a wider turning radius. I can drill additional holes and compress everything so I guess I just need to test both extremes and see if I can determine any difference. The mini is so narrow that a wider turning radius isn't necessary so I might be better off with minimizing lateral stress as well as any tendency to drag on the pavement as much as possible. I can also see where less distance might minimize damage, I have a rock guard that I still need to fasten to the rear of the coach.
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Old 11-27-2017, 10:36 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 70ChevelleSS;3914884[...

I think you misunderstand the 3" drop. They want the tow bar as level as possible, no more than a 3" drop. If it takes an 8" drop receiver to maintain that no more than 3" drop than that's what it takes.
Thanks, I did mean no more than a 3" drop. Level is the best and it is better to have a drop than a rise as in a rise if something happens to go wrong the car will smash into a rear engine motorhome's radiator area and a drop will have the RV bumper smashing the car radiator. I would rather have the car radiator damage then the MH one.
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