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Old 07-20-2020, 09:22 AM   #1
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Backing up while pulling toad

Hi Iím new to all four down towing, and this may be a silly question, but can I reverse at all?
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Old 07-20-2020, 09:25 AM   #2
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If you have someone hold the steering to keep the toad's front wheels from turning sideways you can back a short distance. As a general rule, you can't just back up when towing four down or the wheels will rapidly cut causing all sorts of problems.
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Old 07-20-2020, 09:31 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lxlzbaca View Post
Hi Iím new to all four down towing, and this may be a silly question, but can I reverse at all?
It's not a good idea. A few feet would probably be OK but tow bars are designed for tension (pulling) and there is danger of collapse when put in compression (backing up). Plus, it's not the easiest thing to do... real easy to jack-knife.
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Old 07-20-2020, 09:36 AM   #4
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If I am in a straight line, on level ground, and I can clearly see the toad in the monitor I will back up very slowly for a few feet as a last resort. The arms are made for pulling not pushing and are easily damaged.
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Old 07-20-2020, 10:53 AM   #5
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Yes, No, Maybe.

Two things usually happen:

1) The toads steering wheels turns all the way to the end stop in just a foot or two of backing. You end up pushing the front tires sideways. This is very hard on the toads suspension and the tow bar.

2) The toad will start to turn. Once they start, its going to get real bad, real fast, so stop immediately. The toad can get sideways in just a couple feet of backing up and jackknife under the motor-home.

Mitigation.

If I need to back up more than a ft or so, I get the DW to sit in the toad and control the steering wheel, Hold it straight or turn it a little to follow any turns I may do.

Practice in a big parking lot. Don't take your eyes off the toad. It will turn sideways real fast, within a couple feet and jackknife under the motorhome.
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Old 07-20-2020, 10:57 AM   #6
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All good advice above. The best answer, I think, is "generally no", but it may be possible for short distances under some circumstances. There are a lot of variables involved and there is always somebody who can say "I do it all the time", but they are the exception rather than the rule.
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Old 07-20-2020, 11:31 AM   #7
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Itís just safer to go out back and disconnect before backing up. Having said that, I find it necessary, occasionally, in a sharp confined turn, where you come up about a foot wider that the space youíre turning in, to back up maybe a foot to get the turn done. BUT BE REAL CAREFUL.
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Old 07-20-2020, 11:43 AM   #8
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Can be very destructive to towing equipment to back up while your in the middle of a tight turn.
If your toad is dead straight to the coach, it's possible to slowly back up a few feet.
My towbar is rated for this. Other manufacturers forbid any backing.
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Old 07-20-2020, 11:50 AM   #9
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As others have said, don't try it unless you are in a spot you can stop and continue on forwards.

Be sure to have a spotter watching closely if you try it.

That said, there are a very few toads that can be backed up for longer distances in a fairly straight line.

It depends on how much castor you have in the toad.

Fortunately our Ranger is one of those.

I have backed it up for nearly 300 feet, and it just went along fine without the tires going to full lock.

We have a "T" intersection just down the road from us, and I did a nice 3 point turn there. I should get a video of me doing it for all the naysayers out there!

It's not likely you will get anything with a fairly short wheelbase to do that because they have more castor to make them drive nicer.

Happy Glamping.
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Old 07-20-2020, 11:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 96 Wideglide View Post
Can be very destructive to towing equipment to back up while your in the middle of a tight turn.

If your toad is dead straight to the coach, it's possible to slowly back up a few feet.

My towbar is rated for this. Other manufacturers forbid any backing.


96 Wideglide is right! I shouldíve said ďkids, donít try this at homeĒ.
Iím very careful and experienced so do as I say not as I do!!!
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Old 07-20-2020, 01:04 PM   #11
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I haven't done it for a couple years, but when I was in a fix and had to, I released the two arms so they would collapse to their shortest and strongest position. I also tied the steering wheel straight with the seat belt. I was then able to back quite a distance by watching the toad (Avalanche) in both mirrors and steering the coach to keep it in a straight line. It can be done, but very carefully.
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Old 07-20-2020, 01:43 PM   #12
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Can it be done? Yes; at least sometimes. Have I done it? Yes but only because toad was up against one of those stupidly long and wide concrete barriers at the fueling site. Only needed about 2 inches and it worked okay but toad wheels had just started to turn when I had cleared the obstacle.

Blue Ox says 'No Way' but that is to protect their warranty. My telescoping tow could easily spring if put in a bind. They cost too much for that to happen so now i just disconnect and then move. Takes just a few more minutes to do it safely.

Drive safe - Richard
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Old 07-20-2020, 01:48 PM   #13
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Don't. Stresses the tow bar in all the wrong ways.
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Old 07-20-2020, 06:06 PM   #14
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I have the NSA ReadyBrute Elite towbars. I called NSA and put this question to their tech support folks. They said it would be OK to backup a few feet, as long as you are going straight back.
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