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Old 12-19-2012, 04:26 PM   #15
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I have a blue ox tow bar and baseplate but also have ready brake. Understand the 4in for the hitch, but not certain about the ready brake limits but will check it out. Don't have access to my docs right now. Mine is only 3in drop without the drophitch but I can raise the coach wih airbags so I put a 2in drop hitch in so I am OK under most conditions.
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Old 12-19-2012, 05:05 PM   #16
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If I were to use my drop hitch again, I'd first weld a roller on the bottom to stop leaving gouges in the entrance/exit ramps.

I've never seen a discussion or evaluation about the weight of the toad and it's influence on height differential. I understand the reason for not allowing too much difference, it causes upward or downward vector on emergency stopping that can cause rear of RV to lift or toad to be forced down, or the reverse, according to where the height difference lies. Question is, towing a Smart car is far different than towing a Suburban or a Cherokee. Weight should also be a consideration. I'd think that unless you have a dramatic (+5 in) difference, a Smart car with brakes should be OK. A heavier vehicle, I'd pay more close attention to manufacturer cautions.
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Old 12-19-2012, 06:25 PM   #17
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I totally agree re the the toad weight being a significant factor re weight vector relationships. There are so many varriables that can change the equation re forces applied to various parts of the tow system that I have never bothered to calculate any applied force.

I tow a Smart car @1840 lbs and I am so over rated on every component of the system however it would be a much different dynamic re applied force with a 5000 lb toad and I might look at things differentlyl

I use a ready brake so I assume there are rules re the g-force applied activation on horizontal plane vs upward movement. I have no problem - everything works fine.
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:48 PM   #18
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Sadly, it is very expensive to prove the science is correct in a court of law. I have so much overkill in my towing system for my 1840# smart car as insurance against THOSE type of lawyers.

If there is documentation saying no more than 3" up or 4” down, that is what I will comply with. To do otherwise just isn't worth the risk. :(
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Old 12-19-2012, 08:55 PM   #19
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The only risk would be to your RV or the toad. There should be no more risk of a break-a-way or other malfunction. The problem with a drop hitch is the damage possible if it hits the ground and damages the welds or the Ready-brake mechanism. All of this is sort of silly, see what the airbags do to the ride height first. Plus, if your wheel chair carrier would prevent the toad from overriding the towbar I imagine.
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:20 PM   #20
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I agree with Bfinn Barb. Get the bags and see how things work. I would avoid a situation that would make you drag the hitch. Hence avoid the drop hitch if you can. The smarty is so light I cannot imagine any issue will surface wih a bit of a drop to the car. Some adjustment may be required for the readybrake. I have a 2in drop but I am going to take it off and test the operation of the readybrake.
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:02 AM   #21
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Bob, the reason I asked this prior to the air bag install is because the time between install and leaving for a 1,000 mile trip is 2 days. One of those is Christmas. I'm a fulltimer and don't have the luxury of having a garage full of tools and trips few and far between.

I ask here because I've learned that the information here is based on real world experience, not a profit motive. You may consider it silly, but I consider it important preparation. I know the tow bar angle will change, I just need to know what is safe in the real world and what might subject me to a liability issue.
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Old 12-20-2012, 02:30 PM   #22
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Barb, I wasn't calling you silly, I was just trying to bring it around to my first comment that you should evaluate after getting the airbags. How far back from the rear axle is the receiver and the location of any drop hitch? The longer the distance, the more a drop will exaggerate the chance to hit on an elevation change.

Liability is something you can try to reduce, but the fact is Anyone can sue for Any reason in the U.S. I really don't think an inch or two outside the recommended angle with your set up (a Smart car and Readybrake) I think you'd still be within reasonable safety limits. Enjoy life and don't let the Turkeys (Lawyers and litigious people) get you down!

By the way, It's 7:30 AM on Dec. 21 where I am (Australia) and the world hasn't ended yet, so enjoy! Merry Christmas!!
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Old 12-20-2012, 06:23 PM   #23
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I too will second the "Measure after air bagging" response like the one above.

One more thing.. Normally I 'd say +/- 3" however I believe you mentioned the ready brake.. This is an exceptional system, In this specific case I will give you what is always the best advice.

READ THE MANUAL.

I do understand the reason for keeping it as close to level as possible, And they are good and valid, however with the ready brake the upper limit for the motor home MIGHT be a bit higher.. I do not knwo not haveing read the manual myself.
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Old 12-21-2012, 05:59 AM   #24
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Barb

Read my Ready Brake specs. Word there is it works BEST when within 2 in. But does not say it will not work outside that range. But if a drop hitch is used it must be between the MH and the brake. (would anyone do it any other way)
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