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Old 08-18-2019, 08:15 AM   #1
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Tips and Advice for our first trip with toad

Sorting out the final setup for our toad. Will do a local test drive when complete. Heading out in about 6 weeks for a 1000 mile trip south. Ready Brute tow bar and braking system

Looking for seasoned advice regarding road safety, tips for fueling RV, tight intersections, parking lot maneuvering, and anything we haven't even considered that becomes a concern while towing a vehicle behind RV.

Thanks!
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Old 08-18-2019, 08:23 AM   #2
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Ensure the parking brake is off, it is in neutral, and the steering wheel is not locked. Don’t backup unless someone is in the Toad to assist with steering. Keep your backup camera turned on to keep a close eye on that car that is tailgating you way too close!
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Old 08-18-2019, 08:39 AM   #3
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personally, drive into the intersection a little before turning; before you go in, make sure you can get out without backing up. I guess some people back up, personally I never have and never have needed to. Just keep your eyes open when going into a fuel stop.

I think you will be surprised on how easy it is. For the first 100 miles you will fidget and then sort of forget it is there. I keep my backup camera on all the time (manual mode) and always glance at the brake LED to see that the braking system is still working.
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Old 08-18-2019, 11:00 AM   #4
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When starting out always have co pilot watch you pull forward to see if the rear wheels are turning. Flagged down a guy going out of a park dragging his toad through the parking lot.
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Old 08-18-2019, 12:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sbrownstein View Post
I think you will be surprised on how easy it is.
I hope you're riight. My jones is not getting stuck where I will need to back up.
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Old 08-18-2019, 12:40 PM   #6
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Plan fuel stops where you can pull in and drive out without having to make sharp turns or need to turn around to get out. Don’t try to back up more than a few inches. Worse comes to worse it is not hard to unhook to if and when you get in a jam.
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Old 08-18-2019, 12:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheel21 View Post
Sorting out the final setup for our toad. Will do a local test drive when complete. Heading out in about 6 weeks for a 1000 mile trip south. Ready Brute tow bar and braking system

Looking for seasoned advice regarding road safety, tips for fueling RV, tight intersections, parking lot maneuvering, and anything we haven't even considered that becomes a concern while towing a vehicle behind RV.

Thanks!
Hey Mark and Deborah:

Some great tips so far. Thought I would add a wee bit. We drive a 45' class A, and pull a jeep tj.

Get the "big" picture...always be aware of what is going on in front, beside and behind you. Keeping the rear view camera on helps a lot.

Get a dashcam. A cheap one is fine. It's just a very nice feature in proving your innocence if need be. Ours was cheapie, 80 Canadian bucks, works great.

Double check your hook up, every time. Every time you stop for fuel, check your hook up, kick your tires. Diligence is a good thing.

In tight spaces, that rear view camera, and your mirrors are your best friend. Take your time, go slow, don't worry about the impatient guy behind you, he will have to wait....he or she...how about they?<grin>

Check your lights....make sure the lights on your toad are working.

Getting the big picture helps keeping you out of tight spots as well...google earth helps when thinking of fueling, check the lot for size and turning ability.

Relax and enjoy the ride! Towing a toad is not a difficult thing to do!
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Old 08-18-2019, 01:54 PM   #8
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All good advise. I would emphasize to take it slow. Now, after 25 years of towing something, I still feel best at 62 mph even when the speed limit is 80. I recommend a good TPMS for your coach and the toad if you do not already have one. A flat tire on the toad can go unnoticed for miles and do a lot of damage. Remember that the swing of the rear of your 34PA will cause the toad to steer left before it goes right in a right hand turn. Try to make your turns gradual. Before turning into a parking lot, campground, fuel station, walmart, etc. scan the entire area for your planned route. Determine your possible options for maneuvering and getting back on the road. This will reduce or eliminate the need to unhook and back out of a tight situation.

After a few days on the road, you will know what you can do and where it's safe to go. Good luck and enjoy the ride.
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Old 08-18-2019, 02:58 PM   #9
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Always put the toad in gear (or set the brake) before unhooking from the coach. I learned this one the hard way.....

Clean the gravel off the windshield before operating the wipers after towing. We have an etched arc from small gravel between the wiper blade and the glass. The coach throws dust and small gravel up onto the toad while driving.

We do a "roll check" as part of our pre-departure brake/turn signal checks. Have your copilot look at all the wheels on the toad while pulling it slowly for a few feet when you start out to make sure the toad wheels are rolling, not dragging.

Glance in the mirrors and/or backup camera when turning a corner to make sure the toad isn't going to clip something. Your rig is 20 or more feet longer than you are bob-tail.

When you stop in a rest area or fuel station, do a quick check of the tow bar connections before pulling out. Both the tow bar and the electric/air/safety chains - all the umbilical stuff.

If you make a mistake and have to back up to maneuver around something, ALWAYS unhook, then maneuver, then hook back up. I know you think you can back up a few feet with no problem, and you probably could if the toad was straight behind the coach. But it is much more likely that the toad is jacked, so backing up will only ruin a perfectly good tow bar. Unhook.

Hope this helps.

Regards.

Chuck
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Old 08-18-2019, 03:11 PM   #10
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Yep...I too have released the tow bar with the car in neutral...bad idea!.

Additionally, depending on what kind of auxiliary braking system you have, it is a good idea to cycle the brakes a few times before moving in order to relieve the vacuum that is left in the master cylinder vacuum assist. My Invisibrake has its own vacuum pump as do others but it never produces as much vacuum as the engine does. As a result, for the first 2 or 3 actuations the TOAD brakes will be extra heavy and you will feel it in the coach. Besides, it is nice to see the pedal depressed LED in the cab to make sure that the system is operational.
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Old 08-18-2019, 10:02 PM   #11
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All very good advice here. Take it easy. Nice and slow on the big turns. Plan your fuel stops in advance by using Google Maps and Street View.

One other thing that I use to make hooking up and unhooking easy is D handled hitch Pins. These can be purchased in a variety of diameters and length. These make things much easier when unhookng.

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Old 08-18-2019, 10:09 PM   #12
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I also use rubber bungie cords to keep the hitch pin pulled together. I can see the bungies in my rear view camera going down the road. The bungie keeps the hitch pins fully engaged and doesnt let the pin drift out and load the hair pin clip or lynch pin style clip. If you do use lynch pin style clips be sure they are installed correctly. If the snap ring is flipped backwards it could open and let the lynch pin fall out.

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Old 08-18-2019, 10:28 PM   #13
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Put the AC/heating system in recirculating mode to keep outside travel fumes from entering the toad.

When Interstate travelling, I primarily use Flying J truck stop to fuel. Many have RV fuel lanes, which makes it easier to enter/exit. They are typically price competitive for gasoline with other nearby stations. You can download the Pilot/Flying J app and select the RV fuel lane search option. I also use Gas Buddy app coupled with satellite view on Google Maps for a bird's eye view of a gas station.

If you're plan on doing any Walmart or truck stop overnighters, always check your towing connections before you drive off. People get a cheap thrill removing pins to see what happens.

If making a left turn at an intersection with two turn lanes, I try to stay in the right turn lane to give me more swing room (i.e. make a wide left turn).
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Old 08-19-2019, 08:29 AM   #14
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Thank you all. We're still a bit nervous re our first trip with toad, but thinking and planning thru the points listed here, ahead of time, is plenty helpful and much appreciated.
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