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Old 06-26-2012, 02:31 PM   #1
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Towing a Toad

Relatively new to the world of RV's. Bought our Southwind 37C in March and made first trip couple of weeks ago. We are towing a 2011 Ford Fiesta behind the Southwind. Using a Danco 6000 lb rated hitch. (car weighs 2500 lbs). The Danco 2" bar fits into the solid installed hitch on the Southwind and is at 31 inches from top of bar to pavement. The fiesta with Danco installed hooks(actually pinned hooks for danco) sits at 16 inches to ground. A difference or drop of 15 inches. I drove it about 500 miles and there didn't seem to be any problems but the angle seems to be excessive. Can anyone out there suggest if this is ok(the angle) or should I go with a 8 to 10 inch drop bar. What is an acceptable or normal difference?
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Old 06-26-2012, 02:50 PM   #2
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I would say if you don't have any problems, don't worry. It might be a problem if your vehicle was heavier. I tow a 09 Chevy HHR and there is about a 10 inch difference and I haven't had any problems.
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Old 06-26-2012, 03:17 PM   #3
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Most information I've seen on tow bars show that the attachment point should be no more then a 2" difference up or down. The tow bar should be as level as possible between the two vehicles. I personally would look into a drop receiver to get it as level as possible.
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Old 06-26-2012, 03:25 PM   #4
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UM...no, no, no....

Way too much difference. You have a "light" toad and I assume you have a toad brake system.

That being said, you really need to get that tow bar to be nearly level with the connectors. As already said...no more than 2 (or maybe 3) inches difference.

Your set up will make the toad want to tunnel under your overhang. It also puts a lot of pressure on the front suspension and tires of the toad which isn't real good either.

So, unless your toad brake system is well calebrated to work a little harder to avoid pushing your RV, I think you are asking for problems that shouldn't happen with a proper drop receiver.

If your toad brake system isn't set up right...more problems.
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Old 06-26-2012, 05:11 PM   #5
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Thanks for all your help. First trip did not have a secondary brake system. Now have just bought a Brake buddy with breakaway protection and a 10" drop so after checking, I am now at about 4 inches difference. Now looks one heck of a lot better, hoping that it is a lot better. Again thanks
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Old 06-26-2012, 05:23 PM   #6
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FWIW, the Blue Ox guidelines are level to no more than 4" low on the toad side. Toad end should never be higher than the hitch receiver end.

joe
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Old 06-26-2012, 05:40 PM   #7
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I have a Newmar Kountry Star motorhome, and I tow a Nissan Frontier pickup, my tow bar system is RoadMaster Falcon 2. I had the brackets installed by a Falcon distributor. I thought that the pickup was to high for my motorhome, but since it was installed by a distributor it must be right.......da,da....A couple of weeks ago on I40 in the Smokies, in a rain, I look at the rear view tv and as we head down a steep grade, the truck is loose on the right side. Only one arm attached! No place to pull over, rain, steep grade....oh my. As I get stopped, and look at the towbar, it has sheared off the padlock I had replaced the pin with. How much stress did it take to shear or break a padlock? Email to Roadmaster, the response was to measure the height at hitch and at centerline of truck hitch point. No more than 3" over or under. Mine was 4 1/2".

So, pay attention to your systems specs. And goes to show, even an authorized distributor can make mistakes.You don't need to experience the stress I experienced trying to get things off the road, stopped, no one hurt, and only minor damage.
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Old 06-26-2012, 05:42 PM   #8
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In addition to getting the appropriate drop receiver, I would also replace those padlocks with locking pins designed for tow bar attach points. I don't know if RoadMaster has them, but Blue Ox does.

joe
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingDiver
In addition to getting the appropriate drop receiver, I would also replace those padlocks with locking pins designed for tow bar attach points. I don't know if RoadMaster has them, but Blue Ox does.

joe
I was using padlocks supplied by Roadmaster. I noticed that the padlock hasp was a tight fit. I am now using their pins, and they fit loose. ( perhaps allows it to move slightly, rather than rigid fit).
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:53 PM   #10
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I have a Blue Ox tow bar and it came with 1/2" pins to tie it to the baseplate adapter. Those pins are are kept from coming off by 1/4" pins. (clevis, I think) Anyway I was planning on replacing the 1/4" pins with the Roadmaster locks, not the 1/2" pins. How does that sound?
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Old 06-27-2012, 12:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emmi View Post
Thanks for all your help. First trip did not have a secondary brake system. Now have just bought a Brake buddy with breakaway protection and a 10" drop so after checking, I am now at about 4 inches difference. Now looks one heck of a lot better, hoping that it is a lot better. Again thanks
That's much better. We have an 8" drop hitch and it is much more prone to SCRAPE the pavement when entering a parking lot or any place with a steeper driveway. Just something you may want to be aware of. Have fun!
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Old 06-27-2012, 02:17 AM   #12
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I've pulled a Miata about 10,000 miles with no drop hitch, even though there is a pretty good height difference.

Never had a problem in all those miles.

I don't want the problem of the hitch dragging on the ground putting a really heavy 12,000 lb load on the receiver assembly.
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:05 AM   #13
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That's much better. We have an 8" drop hitch and it is much more prone to SCRAPE the pavement when entering a parking lot or any place with a steeper driveway. Just something you may want to be aware of. Have fun!
This is probably one of those "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situations. I would think there is a little more room for playing the edges of limits for very light vehicles which are also probably the ones with the lowest attach points. In those cases a properly tuned braking system is a MUST...well it is always a MUST with any set up but more critical in these situtations.
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Old 06-27-2012, 01:03 PM   #14
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This is probably one of those "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situations. I would think there is a little more room for playing the edges of limits for very light vehicles which are also probably the ones with the lowest attach points. In those cases a properly tuned braking system is a MUST...well it is always a MUST with any set up but more critical in these situtations.
Sorry, but we don't believe in "playing the edges of limits." We follow the manufacturer's recommendations, and in our case, it's plus or minus 2". Safety first, always.
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