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Old 01-09-2014, 10:26 AM   #1
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Tow vehicle procedures

My wife and I plan on fulltiming this summer and are unsure of taking a toad or not.Just how does it work when arriving at a campground.Do you unhook your toad at the c.g.office and then drive the toad to the site or are situations different all the time? Also would like some input on the idea of just taking some bicycles our first year and feel things out.Thanks in advance for any help out there.
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Old 01-09-2014, 10:33 AM   #2
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Not sure of the size of your motorhome, but since ours is fairly small we typically drive into the campground and disconnect at/near the campsite.

If it looks dicey as we check in, we'll ask if driving in is advisable. Sometimes the person at the checkin desk will advise us to disconnect first, which we will do as advised.

I'd say about 98% of the time we just disconnect within the campground.
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Old 01-09-2014, 10:37 AM   #3
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Hi bruc,
From me, the recommendation is to tow a vehicle. If you plan to full time you will need the vehicle to do everything outside the CG. Sightsee, groceries, doctors, general shopping, everything once you get parked. The coach is not made for doing any of these tasks. My first coach was in 1978. In the context of full or 1/2 timing, I wouldn't go anywhere without a toad.

Many National Parks, Historic Sites, National Forests, etc. have no room for a coach. If they do have room, the space is there as an afterthought and it can get "painful" for the coach owner. Commercial sights to see may have a place for a coach, but it will be a hike to the entrance of the attraction.

Every CG is different. Ask at the registration desk where you should disconnect.
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Old 01-09-2014, 10:43 AM   #4
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We generally ask for a pull through site when traveling. We never unhook the toad until we plan to stay for a while. Usually we can get a pull through.

If not ask the manager what the procedures are for their CG.

Yep, it's really nice to have a toad with you.
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Old 01-09-2014, 11:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
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My wife and I plan on fulltiming this summer and are unsure of taking a toad or not.Just how does it work when arriving at a campground.Do you unhook your toad at the c.g.office and then drive the toad to the site or are situations different all the time? Also would like some input on the idea of just taking some bicycles our first year and feel things out.Thanks in advance for any help out there.
bruc,
Well Sir, as has been stated, DO TAKE A TOAD!!! A $4.00 part on the motorhome can break and, leave you stranded in areas/places you're not knowledgeable about or, anywhere for that matter. And, also like what's been stated, you'll need it for all the running around on a daily basis.

As for disconnecting when entering a campground/RV park, that too is a variable situation. If we know the campground and, have some tighter turns and maybe a possible "backing" situation potential, we disconnect right at the RV sign in spot. We've got the system down so efficiently that, from the time I put my hands on all that equipment, she's backing away from the coach in about 45 seconds and, that's not really in any hurry.

Once in a while we'll tow the toad to the actual camp site but, again, even if it's a pull through, there's always a possible need for minor adjustments/backing to properly position the rig and, since you can't back up a toad, it's just better if we disconnect earlier.

Now, as for bicycles, that's really a plus in our minds. We take them everywhere. I've used bicycle racks of various kinds and, because we tow a 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 Extended Cab 4x4, we also carry a Honda Goldwing GL 1800 in the back. The bike protrudes beyond the rear of the truck so, a bicycle rack is out of the question. So, I mounted "fork" mounts on the leading upper cross rail of the bed.

So, I remove the front wheels and store them in one of the compartments and put the bikes in their respective mounts in the pickup bed.

If, you don't have that kind of situation, and would like a recommendation for a bike rack for your potential toad, I'd highly recommend the "X-Sport" bicycle rack. It's the cradle style that takes oh, about 15 seconds per bike to lock into and on it. DONE! Thule makes one just like it only it's about twice the price. Just some suggestions for you.
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Old 01-10-2014, 10:51 AM   #6
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We usually unhook the toad before going to the site. Sometimes the site is long enough to do it there, but we don't take the chance! JMHO!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 01-10-2014, 01:49 PM   #7
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If drive through space usually is long enough to not disconnect the toad if not needed or to disconnect in the space. If not drive though space I ask at check in where recommended to disconnect the toad - sometimes at the check in area, sometimes at the space, sometimes some other area.
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Old 01-10-2014, 02:56 PM   #8
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First I strongly recommend you tow a vehicle. You will miss so much by not being able to to go more than a few miles from the camp ground. There is nothing special about towing, the toad simply follow the MH track.
About unhooking, simply ask at check in. Many state parks have areas for unhooking before you get to the site. Other places will have you go to the site and then unhook. All depends on how the campground is set up.
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Old 01-10-2014, 06:29 PM   #9
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Very variable as stated. If it is a back-in site then you have to unhook. Sometimes I do it at the sign-in spot, sometimes in an area recommended by the host, sometimes just in front of the back-in site. It really is no big deal to unhook. I have had to do it in pull-thru sites so i could jockey the coach to where I wanted it. We typically always ask for a pull-thru and for the one nighters we don't even unhook. However, there are times when the pull-thru can be short and if I'm sticking out a lot I'll unhook.

I also have put myself in a situation that I could not turn around when i needed to as the parking lot was to small. So I unhooked, got re-oriented and hooked up again. No big deal.

As stated, there are many benefits of having a TOAD along. Without one, travel around becomes more difficult.
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Old 01-10-2014, 06:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruc View Post
My wife and I plan on fulltiming this summer and are unsure of taking a toad or not.Just how does it work when arriving at a campground.Do you unhook your toad at the c.g.office and then drive the toad to the site or are situations different all the time? Also would like some input on the idea of just taking some bicycles our first year and feel things out.Thanks in advance for any help out there.
For us, no matter how long we are staying(over nights not in campgrounds/resorts) I unhook the TOAD at the office before I go inside, even if the site is a pull through. I have found some places to be tight, and some times I have had to back up, adjust once in my site, so with this in mind, I just unhook before even checking in, after check in....escort to site, DW drives the TOAD to the site, no problems, and the biggest thing.......no "stage show" in the resort/campground if I need to back up for any reason.......... Quite in/Quite out......
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Old 01-11-2014, 07:32 AM   #11
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If we have a drive through site, I wait until we get to the site. If we have a back in site, while DW is in registering, I unhook and she drive the truck to the site and I drive the MH. You just have to play it by hear. But, you really need to have a toad. Going grocery shopping on a bike is not fun, especially when the closest store is 4 miles away and it starts to rain about 2 miles into the trip......
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Old 01-11-2014, 08:12 AM   #12
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The toad is a major component of our traveling experience, and as mentioned already, an escape module should you become stranded. Major peace of mind factor for us. So much of our sightseeing is done using the toad. I can't imagine trying to maneuver a MH in some of the tight mountain roads we've been on for example? Or downtown districts of places like New Orleans? There's barely enough room to maneuver a compact car there! To us, there was never a question of the extra expenses regarding the toad. It's always been just part of the deal?

Regarding when/where we drop, if the campground is like most and not too busy, we'll ask to select our own campsite ofter a brief survey of those available? This also allows us to check for trees located too close to the road, low overhead clearance situations, etc. So, though it does vary, we generally prefer to drop at the park office. If it's just an overnight stay, and we can get a "drive through" spot, we won't disconnect at all.

If you decide to go with a toad, towing/braking equipment selected to allow that should be given MAJOR consideration! Equipment giving you the ability to connect/disconnect very quickly HIGHLY recommended! If this is going to be something you dread doing, you won't do it as often, and you're going to miss out on MANY experiences you could have otherwise enjoyed without a second thought?

Also agree the cradle type bike carriers are hard to beat too. Ours is mounted on the back of the toad. -Al
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Old 01-11-2014, 09:02 AM   #13
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Lots of good advice here. I will add that I have found just how little time it takes to unhook when towing four down. I used to think strategically about how to avoid unhooking if I did not have to, but now I know in actuality it is little time and trouble. I do not hesitate to go places that require removal. Whether in the site or at registration it all depends on circumstances and there are no hard and fast rules. What suits you and the situation is fine.

There are many options for taking your bikes. We have a mount that goes between the MH and the tow vehicle, or you can mount them on or in the tow vehicle.

Tow, I believe you will be glad you have a vehicle with you.
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Old 01-11-2014, 09:48 AM   #14
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If we're stopping at a CG where I know I'll be using the toad, or I know I need to disconnect to park, I'll unhook while DW is registering us. I'm usually done long before she is.

If we're not planning to use the toad (one or two nights only), and we're getting a pull-through, I'll leave it connected.
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