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Old 02-02-2012, 10:40 AM   #1
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Towing 101

Is there a good write up or thread that goes through the ins and outs of towing for a beginner? I have a 36' gas MH and want to educate myself on towing a vehicle. Right now we take shorter trips to state and USFS parks in Texas and have not found the need for a toad. However, that could change and I want to understand what I might be getting into. I have read many of these threads and they have been helpful. Is there anything that sorta has it all in one place?

Thanks,

John
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:06 AM   #2
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Hi zzjea,
I'm not sure what your looking for. Two of the sticky threads in this forum are excellent providers of information. The Physics of Towing and Tow Bar Angle and Height Difference are excellent starting points. Just read post #1 in each thread.

If your looking for the value of 4 down, dolly or trailer towing, that is personal preference. They all work. It just depends on what works for you.
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Old 02-02-2012, 01:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryKD View Post
Hi zzjea,
I'm not sure what your looking for. Two of the sticky threads in this forum are excellent providers of information. The Physics of Towing and Tow Bar Angle and Height Difference are excellent starting points. Just read post #1 in each thread.

If your looking for the value of 4 down, dolly or trailer towing, that is personal preference. They all work. It just depends on what works for you.
Both of these threads discuss physics. I'm looking for a practical approach to towing as in: The first thing to consider is.... Next is.... etc.

What I have seen so far assumes you know enough to talk about the subject. I'm looking for something that will help me understand the whole picture, somewhat step by step. I then can decide where there are choices.

Just trying to get up to speed since I've never towed anything behind a MH.

John
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Old 02-02-2012, 03:12 PM   #4
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The one thing I will caution against with a 36' Gasser is ... Weight.

Most gassers have a very limited towing capacity The hitch on my rig can haul 5,000 pounds if I do not use an extender or a drop/rise adapter. (less if I do) but the motor home has less than 4,000 of towing capability per the max vehicle / max combined vehicle sticker.


Towing however is fairly easy.

3 ways to tow, 4 down, 2 down, 0 down (refers to tires on towed) 4=down is easiest. You need a tow bar and a braking system and lights.

2 down is a dolly, the dolly needs brakes, you may wish to have tow lights on the car.

zero down is a full auto trailer, you can not do this with a gasser so we won't bother. (You do not have the towing capacity to haul a car on a trailer)

Your car (or pick up) will either be one that can be towed w/o mod, With minor mod, or major mod, Minior mod is either pull a fuse, or buy a "Fuse kit" which consists of a special plug that fits in the fuse socket, a fuse holder socket, and a switch (RV dealers can get them)

Major mod is either a lube pump, axle lock or drive shaft disconnect from Remco towing,

A very small number of cars, all too big for your Gasser to tow far as I know, do not like to be towed by any means.

Tow lights: Your choices are removable lights (tie on or magnetic) I do not recommend.

Add a lamp (This system you drill a hole in the "Back" of the lamp socket and snap in an additional socket, wires from there to the front (permenate) an from there to the motor home, Good system.

Or a diode kit, (Use the vehicle's existing lamps,, Easiest)

Tow bar, and brakes. Ready Brute with Ready Brake is about the easiest.

Other companies are Blue Ox and Roadmaster, I prefer tow bars that "Store" on the motor home rather than on the towed.

If you don't get the Ready Brute with Ready Brake (or the Ready Brake for blue Ox) then you need a braking system, many threads on that and I'm getting tired of typing .. I just covered them about 3 hours ago.
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Old 02-03-2012, 07:00 AM   #5
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Thanks for the info wa8. This is more like what I needed.

We have a 2001 Mazda Protege that I think is about 2800#. I can't find anything anywhere that says if it can be towed. The MH gasser is ~18.9K lbs when weighed.

It sounds like from your post that this MH is too big (heavy) to pull anything. You may be right. How would I go about determining that before I spent a bunch of money to find out?

John
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Old 02-08-2012, 03:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zzjea View Post
Thanks for the info wa8. This is more like what I needed.

We have a 2001 Mazda Protege that I think is about 2800#. I can't find anything anywhere that says if it can be towed. The MH gasser is ~18.9K lbs when weighed.

It sounds like from your post that this MH is too big (heavy) to pull anything. You may be right. How would I go about determining that before I spent a bunch of money to find out?

John
John--you need to know the GCWR and the GVWR of your Dolphin. (If you don't know this, you might post in the Owner's section to see if someone else does.)

The GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating) is the value specified by the motor home manufacturer as the maximum allowable loaded weight of this motor home with its towed vehicle. Towing and braking capacities may be different.

GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) is the maximum permissible weight of the fully loaded motor home. The GVWR is equal to or greater than the sum of the (UVW) unloaded vehicle weight plus the (OCCC) occupant cargo-carrying capacity.

Putting it simply, once you know the GCWR for your moho, have it weighed LOADED. Subtract the actual loaded weight from the GCWR and you will find the maximum allowable weight for your toad.
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Old 02-08-2012, 07:05 PM   #7
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zzjea...here's more for consideration:

Your tow capacity is the GCWR (mentioned above) minus the weight of the motor home when ready to tow (loaded) or the hitch capacity, whichever is lower.
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Old 02-09-2012, 09:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zzjea View Post
Thanks for the info wa8. This is more like what I needed.

We have a 2001 Mazda Protege that I think is about 2800#. I can't find anything anywhere that says if it can be towed. The MH gasser is ~18.9K lbs when weighed.

It sounds like from your post that this MH is too big (heavy) to pull anything. You may be right. How would I go about determining that before I spent a bunch of money to find out?

John
This might help? From remcotowing.com

1999 - 2004 Mazda ProtegeApplication Notes

Must be towed with a tow dolly only.

Engine:
ALL
Drivetrain:
FWD
Transmission:
FN4A-EL


FWIW, I didn't want to mess with a tow dolly. We had a vehicle (pick up) that would tow 4 down, but it was heavy (approaching 5000lbs). After a TON of research, we ended up buying a used CRV to try out. Love it! Having this with us wherever we go encourages side trips to who knows where. This ability has made a huge difference in our motor homing experience. It's also saved our butt when used as a life raft. We blew a turbo 700 miles from home. Having the CRV let us go home without having to wait, motel bound, over a week for repairs!
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