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Old 07-27-2013, 03:40 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2012
Location: California
Posts: 54
Towing a Dingy Driving tips w/class A

I've driven truck camper, van, class C, Class A 30' and now 35'.
I'm getting a '98 Saturn Wagon all set up with Blue Ox base plate and
getting Blue Ox Aventa tow bar. Patriot Braking Box. Saturn has been
wired for lights, Patriot and charge wire from MH to Toad battery. The previous owner said don't have to pull fuse just make sure everything is off, it doesn't have electronics as newer ones do. They've towed for 6-8 hours a couple times and no prob w/batt. But usually go bout 3-4 before starting & going thru gears etc.
Since I have never towed a toad.. Any hints on driving/towing/ turning?
I know that I'll have to go a bit further past my "turn point" that I use now on my MH only. witch is bout 2 feet past driver/passenger window. Which was what I was taught.
I watched a few Itunes videos on driving, but they are all about
just the MH, not with toad. And was told the ones about trailer
or boat towing are not the same as with a toad.
I know I can't back up etc. but the driving turning etc. also, anything I should know about hooking / un-hooking toad.. helpful
I'm also looking to do a check list for hooking & un-hooking from when
my RV shop shows me how to hook up toad.
Dy in No. Calif

We'll be friends until I'm old and senile, then we'll be new friends.

'97 Allegro Bay 35' Chevy, '98 Saturn Wagon, Blue Ox Aventa II, Patriot Brake
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Old 07-27-2013, 04:20 PM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Palmer Ak
Posts: 1,089
First off is that when you hooked the TOAD, make sure that you do ALL of the styepa dn then recheck then everything is hooked up correctly.
-Hooking/unhooking make sure that either the parking brake is ON/Applied or the vehicle is in 'park'. The last thing yopu need is for the toad to roll forward and catch you in between the vehicles.
-I picked up a 'jump start' battery pack at NAPA and that is what I plug the brake controller in while towing the toad. The one I have will last a couple days without recharging. However I plug it in the the MH each night to 'refresh' the charge.
-When towing I also have my 'rear view camera on all the time.
-When hooking up, ensure that the brake controller is 'properly' set up and there is NO drag on the service brakes of the toad.
-For our rig, the toad seems to track in the same track as the MH. If the MH made the turn then the toad will also.

I am sure that there are several items that I missed but from your post, you seem to have a good idea if what you are doing.

2009 38' Diplomat
CSM- retired, wife as co-pilot
Reka & Ali providing security (our 2 labs)
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Old 07-27-2013, 04:29 PM   #3
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Location: Fulltime, USA
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I had a 97 Saturn toad for 12 years. Awesome toad. Used the Brake Buddy. Still do!
Mine was manual and just had to be in neutral with key in ACC position. With radio and fan off it needs nothing. I could tow it for 3 or 4 days without starting it.

I did not know it was there. Of you go to s big parking lot you can see how easy it is.

Best wishes.
Dave and Nola, RVM1
The Journey is Our Destination!

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Old 07-27-2013, 04:34 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Litchfield Park, Arizona
Posts: 10,528
There's really not much to it.

I always have the DW pull the toad into position while I give directions. When I give her the stop sign... she sits with her foot on the brake while I make sure that the tow bar will reach. Then I give her the "kill" sign and don't have my fingers anywhere near the tow bar while she shuts the toad down and sets the brake.

I doubt that you'll need to change your turning radius at all due to the toad... but this depends on the length of the coach so you'll have to feel your way around that one.

Knowing that you cannot back up, make absolutely sure that you have an exit plan before pulling in someplace for fuel, etc.

Keep the rear camera on and consider a tire pressure monitoring system which covers both the coach and toad. A flat on the toad could go for a long time before you discovered the fire.

Be sure to pump the brakes on the toad a half dozen times or so when setting up your brake system. As I understand it, it bleeds off pressure and ensures that the don't lock up the first time the coach slows down.

Make sure you research how to maintain your Aventa tow bar. You should remove the retainers on those rubber boots and clean/lube inside regularly.

Best of luck.

Rick, Nancy, Peanut & Lola our Westie Dogs & Bailey the Sheltie.

2007 Itasca Ellipse 40FD
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Old 07-27-2013, 05:21 PM   #5
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Two hints.

1: Do not back up.

2: On a road or other surface where you will leave clear tracks, Try some turns, see how it tracks, You might be surprised.
Home is where I park it!
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Old 07-29-2013, 07:57 PM   #6
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Posts: 251
I just started towing this last trip. Prior to that I took the mh and the toad over to a large vacant parking lot and used a few cones to do turns. I found it tracked with the rear wheels of the coach and also I could turn as sharp as I wanted to.
We also practiced hooking and unhooking. Comes in handy when you find yourself in that I gotta unhook and back up spot. I miss judged a turn leaving a parking lot and had to back the mh and go out another place. Just take the time to do it, it will give you peace of mind.

Terri & Maria, Staci, Penny, Bailey and Stacker(our Norwich Terriers)
2006 Damon Tuscany 4076
2013 Ford C-Max
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