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Old 09-25-2009, 12:38 PM   #1
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toad and front wheels the wrong way

We have been idle at a very nice location the last few weeks
i have watched countless rvs of all types come and go
our sites are a thick new gravel base of about 4" , some sites are packed down while others are still fresh.

twice now i have watched mh pull out with their toads, only to watch the front wheels skew the wrong the direction and dig trenches until the mh drivers stops.
one actually took off dragging the toad like this about 60 feet, then stopped, BACKED up followed by a loud pop and snap sound.

as mechanical type i am perplexed to this toad behavior. Is the driver turning to sharp at low speeds or is it the nature of the beast in gravel?
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Old 09-25-2009, 01:45 PM   #2
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I think it is the "Nature of the Beast." The front end alignment is all that makes the front tires trail properly, something like on the Shopping Cart! Once they get sideways they will just keep going that way till they break something. The only safe way to exit that problem is to drive the Toad out on its own.
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Old 09-25-2009, 02:01 PM   #3
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Agree with Flagelpater - the toad front wheels are free to turn on their own and the gravel (or soft sand) tends to rut and keep them in that track as the motorhome turns. If they aren't too far out they will track back when they hit a harder surface (the caster effect designed into the steering), but if they are far askew they will likely stay that way and get dragged sideways.
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Old 11-15-2009, 10:13 PM   #4
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Could be those dollies don't have the swivel plate. I have an old U-haul dolly with no plate and it tends to turn the front wheels when towing the Tracker backwards on soft materials.
Just need a rubber bungy cord on the steering wheel and go slow on very soft stuff.
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Old 11-15-2009, 10:39 PM   #5
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Like one has said, it's the nature of the beast. I can remember back in the 60's drag racing and pulling with Tow Bar, we had the same problem. Even the "expensive Tow Bars of today" are no different, just slide rod's which doesn't eliminate the gravel problems. This is why I use a good Dolly with a swivel plate, just hook and go, I don't have to look to see if it's behind me, as well there is no tire wear on the Toad, JMHO.
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Old 11-16-2009, 06:58 PM   #6
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The problem can be exacerbated by a long overhang behind the rear axle. As you make a very hard right turn, as example, anything behind the rear axle is actually going 'left'. If it's a particularily sharp turn the toad's wheels will follow to the left and can get cranked quite aways over 'locking' in that direction, too far over to re-center. Proper caster setting can help, but 20' of overhang and a short wheel base toad...
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Old 11-16-2009, 09:45 PM   #7
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Not enough caster in the front end. Thats why Demco tow dolleys have so much caster in them.
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Old 11-17-2009, 07:39 AM   #8
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Not enough friction on the front wheels of the toad in soft gravel or loose dirt/sand for the caster to kick in. Don't have an answer, just have to watch U turns and sharp turns on soft surfaces while towing four down.

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Old 11-17-2009, 09:14 AM   #9
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With the toad front wheels straight, I tie a bright orange shop cloth to the top of the toad's steering wheel. A quick look in the backup camera, after making any sharp turn, I can easily see the shop cloth come back around to the top. If it doesn't, I stop.
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Old 11-17-2009, 09:30 AM   #10
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Good idea Gary, don't know if my backup camera has enough resolution for that, I will give it a try my next time out. Thanks

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Old 11-17-2009, 11:09 AM   #11
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There are a few things.. ONE: alignment.. Most folks do not understand alignment,, A properly aligned car if rolling down a hill that is flat, side to side, will go straight down the hill... if the hill is slanted to the right or left it will turn in the direction of DOWN.. If you tow this car the wheels will tend to point toward the tow vehicle (Forward or turning) and all is well.

If the car is improperly aligned (I think it's Castor, but please do not quote me on that as I have not checked the manual) then ... anything is possible

Page 2:

The instruction manual for my tow bar says to turn the wheels so they face FORWARD before towing.. .. Now I use an Axle lock, So normally I turn the wheels hard right to lock/unlock the axle.. and if I forget to put 'em back straight (Actually I point 'em a bit in the direction they will need to go when I take off,,,, if that is it's not straight) then.. Well.. You've seen what happens. So far I've not done that but one time and that was not my fault (I pointed them right.. Hitch broke)
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Old 11-17-2009, 06:32 PM   #12
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Hi Dieselclacker,
The shop towel should be about the size of a kitchen dish towel. Tie a single knot with the surplus towel hanging on each side of the knot. In the backup camera it looks like hound dog ears. The ears will flip and flop when making a turn. If they are long enough they will return to the dog ear position when going straight.
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