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Old 11-01-2006, 07:38 AM   #1
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Just traded our 5er for a Winnebago (Class C type)and now we need to find out about toads. We would like to have suggestions about little trucks and how to tow them - and of course we don't want to pay lots of $$$ for the setup. All comments will be appreciated.
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Old 11-01-2006, 07:38 AM   #2
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Just traded our 5er for a Winnebago (Class C type)and now we need to find out about toads. We would like to have suggestions about little trucks and how to tow them - and of course we don't want to pay lots of $$$ for the setup. All comments will be appreciated.
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Old 11-01-2006, 09:44 AM   #3
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First, I'd check the owner's paperwork or info placard in your Class C to find out how much you're rated to tow. Then check out Motorhome Magazine's website for their dinghy towing guide. I'll help you narrow down your toad choices.

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Old 11-01-2006, 09:49 AM   #4
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My first suggestion is that you find out the capacity of your Winnebago hitch is. On mine, I'm limited to towing 3,500lbs or less. That sure narrows my search for a toad.

Once you understand that capacity, you can look for small trucks that will meet it. I'd suggest picking a couple options and then going to Blue Ox or Roadmaster to figure out what the base plate for it costs.

I would suggest choosing your baseplate and tow bar very carefully. While none of us want to spend more than necessary for a towing setup, to me it is one of the most critical things that you can purchase. Your toad's safety and the safety of those following it depend on your tow bar and base plate integrity and, in an emergency, the integrety of the safety chains, etc. that you use.

There are a couple ways to go but I personally like the tow bars that would remain on your Winnebago. I have a Falcon2 by Roadmaster though there are newer models with better release pins available. I have a removable curved bar/base plate that attaches to base plate brackets underneath my Saturn. It makes the baseplate all but invisible during normal days. I push the bar into the baseplate brackets, fasten it with pins and the Saturn is ready to tow. I've gotten good a eyeballing the bar on the MH and pulling our toad to the right distance from it, dropping to tow bar into place, connecting the pins and then the wiring. I have locks in the upper part of the Saturn's bar to keep someone from pulling the small pins and stealing it. I connect the MH light wire to the Saturn's light wire, connect up my toad brake and I'm ready to roll.

Speaking of toad brake, the extra expense maybe something you'd prefer to avoid but I'm a big advocate. There are always a lot of debates about the legality of traveling without toad brakes but for me it is a safety issue. There are way too many people willing to steal the safety cushion I build between me the the vehicle in front of me. I had one case were 3 cars cut me off at the last minute and I had to stand my RV on its nose. There, inches count. The extra braking effect from my toad brake probably prevented a collision. In addition, we just visited Palo Duro Canyon State Park in Texas. The entrance is a 2 mile long, 10% grade with 5 hairpin turns. I have an exhaust brake on the motor home but was grateful for every ounce of braking that I had going into those turns. There are other places with similar grades and turns.

I hope this helps.

Charlie
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Old 11-01-2006, 05:37 PM   #5
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Thanks NLOVNIT and chasfm11 for all the information. I've printed it to carry it with us. We will certainly look carefully at all our options, and most definitely keep all safety issues in mind when making decisions. We are not in any hurry, and will do all the research we can. Thanks again!

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Old 11-01-2006, 06:35 PM   #6
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Good advice from above. Additionally, you should check the hitch rating on the coach. Most Winnies have a 3000# hitch and limited due to the frame extensions.

When we had a motorhome, we used a Brake Master dinghy brake and I am sure it saved our bacon at least once. The Ford chassis also has a limit on towed loads over 1500# requiring auxillary brakes.

Also, not all standard shift cars are towable 4 wheels down. Remco is a good source of info on modifications to vehicles for towing.

Happy hunting.

Ken
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Old 11-02-2006, 12:40 AM   #7
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Once you know what you can tow and one you want, you might look in some classifieds to see if a good used one is already set up for the job.
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Old 11-22-2006, 08:51 PM   #8
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Hello,
I'm new to this site, and don't want to rehash through stuff that's already been discussed, but I can't find guidance for a newbie to towing a dinghy. I have a class A that I have some amount of experience traveling in. Now, we'd like to get a vehicle to tow behind it. I have been through all the decision-making about which vehicle, but now i'm interested in how you actually go about getting it hitched up. What comes first? Do I go buy a towbar, then later worry about a baseplate? Do I get the vehicle and tow assembly, then worry about the electrical hookups? How does all this work in real life??

Thanks for any experiences that you have gone through and lessons learned.

Dogleg and Junebug
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Old 11-23-2006, 01:59 AM   #9
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Dogleg, first let me welcome you to iRV2.com. We are glad to have you join us here. Once you have a vehicle that you can tow four flat you will want to select the brand of towing equipemnt you want to use. I use & recommend Blue Ox for many reasons. You may find a base plate and or tow bar on the classifieds but don't hold your breath. Get the base plate installed and the wiring for lights done and then you can if need be buy the tow bar later. Don't forget about a brake assist of some sort. One day you will be glad you installed it. Take care and enjoy the website. Don't hesitate to ask questions or click on the find button; enter a search criteria and uncheck the small box and then click go.
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Old 11-23-2006, 06:56 AM   #10
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DOgleg, welcome to IRV2. RV wizard is right oon.

You ahve 3 options to tow a dinghy.

Use a tow dolly (with brakes). This is easy and does not require any mods to a front wheel drive vehicle. It is more trouble in that you have to store and maintain another seet of wheels. Some states require a license, some don't. You also have to unhook and store the dolly. You have additional weight to tow now as well as carry on the rear of the coach.

Next is an enclosed trailer. Same problems as above, but you can haul anything. weight becomes an issue here as the trailer may add 2000# to the towed weight. It will require a license tag.

Flat towing is usually the easiest, but limits you on which vehicels you can tow. Not all 4-wheel drive or manual transmission vehicles can be towed four down or flat. The tow bar, base plate and brake system can cost $2000.00 and up depending on what you get and new or used.

When I sold the motorhome, we put an ad up for the tow bar and dinghy brake system on the internet and they sold within a matter of days. So you can find them, but they seem to mover fast, so be ready to jump when you do find what you need.

Each method has it's pluses and minuses.

ken
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Old 11-25-2006, 10:48 PM   #11
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Mike and Ken,
Thank you for the welcome and for the sound advice. As you could likely tell, we want to tow four down. That is a direct result of consulting forums like this one. We are working hard to make a deal for the dinghy, but while we are doing that, we think we can get started on acquiring the equipment to tow it. That is the impetus for our inquiring here. We truly appreciate your generous assistance! And we hope to meet you down the road in person.

Regards,
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Old 11-26-2006, 05:55 AM   #12
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Dogleg, just a note, we started out towing a dinghy with a dolly and switched to 4-down. If I went back to a motorhome and towing a dinghy, I would get a good dolly with surge brakes and put up with the inconcenience of the dolly. A good dolly vs. a cheap one does make some difference.

Going with the dolly does not tie you to only one vehicle.

Ken
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Old 11-26-2006, 11:35 AM   #13
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Be sure that the vehicle you plan on towing is capable of being towed 4 down by the manufacturer - check the manual. A good overall guide is the Motorhome Magazine annual issue which details all the vehicles and which ones can/can't be towed without modification.

I second the advice to get some form of towed braking! Before anyone comments, because of the chassis manufacturers weight limits and various legal questions.
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Old 11-26-2006, 11:52 AM   #14
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">We are working hard to make a deal for the dinghy, but while we are doing that, we think we can get started on acquiring the equipment to tow it. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Don't buy the equipment for towing without already having the vehicle. The toad weight determines which towbar you will need. Baseplates only fit the vehicle they are designed for.
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