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Old 07-06-2021, 02:32 PM   #1
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Donít back with your toad attached

Watched a beautiful older Zephyr DP pull past me into the campground today towing a Hyundai wheels down. Went to walk the dog a few minutes later and saw the Zephyr turning into what looked like the last space in my row. I heard some scraping and looked up to realize he was trying to backup with his toad attached. The wheels on the toad turned sharp left and he was pushing it backward and not making much progress. He stopped and I figured he was in. Looked up a moment later and now the toads wheels were turned sharp right and he was still trying to push backward. No spotter. I couldnít get down to him fast enough and before I could get to him he pulled forward. Turned out he wasnt pulling into a space, he was just trying to turn the corner. Misjudged it and tried to solve it from the cockpit without a spotter. Within an hour that old Zephyr was headed back out of the campground with the wife in the Hyundai following this time. I managed to get a good look at what remained of his now mangled tow bar as he pulled out. Hopefully lesson learned, but the expensive way.
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Old 07-06-2021, 02:48 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dizcom View Post
Watched a beautiful older Zephyr DP pull past me into the campground today towing a Hyundai wheels down. Went to walk the dog a few minutes later and saw the Zephyr turning into what looked like the last space in my row. I heard some scraping and looked up to realize he was trying to backup with his toad attached. The wheels on the toad turned sharp left and he was pushing it backward and not making much progress. He stopped and I figured he was in. Looked up a moment later and now the toads wheels were turned sharp right and he was still trying to push backward. No spotter. I couldnít get down to him fast enough and before I could get to him he pulled forward. Turned out he wasnt pulling into a space, he was just trying to turn the corner. Misjudged it and tried to solve it from the cockpit without a spotter. Within an hour that old Zephyr was headed back out of the campground with the wife in the Hyundai following this time. I managed to get a good look at what remained of his now mangled tow bar as he pulled out. Hopefully lesson learned, but the expensive way.
It's sad that some people have no concept of how things work. And then the fact that he's out there wheeling around.
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Old 07-06-2021, 02:52 PM   #3
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Must have been a bad day on the road.
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Old 07-08-2021, 10:19 AM   #4
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WOW! He sure learned that lesson the hard way!
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Old 07-08-2021, 12:08 PM   #5
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Well...I haven't made that error, but I've made a few that have taught me to be very, very careful and to slow down and think twice before proceeding. And...I've learned the hard way to avoid distractions.....stop what you are doing until you can give it your full attention and not be distracted by conversation, looking or thinking about something else or ANYTHING!
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Old 07-08-2021, 12:17 PM   #6
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Backing with the toad attached is not a good idea for sure, however if you ever really need to back straight up and can have someone in the toad holding the steering wheel straight, and you go extremely slow, it is possible to backup a short distance, but any turning could certainly damage the tow bar setup so I wouldn't suggest ever backing up with the toad attached even with a helper, but if you do, a helper to hold the steering wheel straight can work for a short distance. ~CA
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Old 07-09-2021, 03:48 PM   #7
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I was returning from a week of camping in a DP towing a CRV when I spotted a National Forest sight that looked like a shady place to stop for lunch. As soon as I turned in I realized there was no way out. Ninety degree plus outside but after we ate it took about five minutes to unhook so I could to do an easy turn around. Five minutes to hook up again and we were on our way.
Much less expensive then a new tow bar.
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Old 07-09-2021, 04:05 PM   #8
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Over the years, I have had a need to backup. Once straight, I would start the toads engine and tie the steering wheel in the straight position. with the engine running, the power steering helps to hold the wheels straight. Then backup slowly being sure to keep the toad in the center of the rear camera. If the distance is longer than 20-30', I collapse the arms to take the stress off them. Works for me.
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Old 07-14-2021, 08:41 AM   #9
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I've backed up short distances many times. You've got to watch your towed vehicle very closely so it does not turn in the opposite direction.
Or have a second person hold the cars steering wheel so it does not jack knife.
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Old 07-14-2021, 10:10 AM   #10
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I've backed up short distances many times. You've got to watch your towed vehicle very closely so it does not turn in the opposite direction.
Or have a second person hold the cars steering wheel so it does not jack knife.

good way to break your wrist. lol
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Old 07-14-2021, 10:18 AM   #11
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good way to break your wrist. lol

We've done this a couple times, backing straight with someone in our Jeep (toad) to hold the wheel, to back out of tight service stations. Never an issue with the force it exerts on the steering wheel coming close to enough to lose it and/or break a wrist.

HOWEVER, that tow bar did break (not while backing up - instead, while going down the highway) and I attribute backing with it as a possible cause. Since replacing the tow bar (with a 10K instead of a 6K), we have been more careful about what service stations we use to avoid having to back up, as we don't want to place any additional stresses on the bar.
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Old 07-14-2021, 03:09 PM   #12
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I suspect that the tow bar manufacturers design the bars to withstand the force of the toad during a hard stop by the motorhome with no auxiliary brake. That is a much greater pushing force on the tow bar than slowly backing up straight on a level surface. Preventing the castor from flipping the front wheels and keeping it straight is the key to success.
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Old 07-22-2021, 05:47 PM   #13
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This a Roadmaster 10K tow bar. I hit an unseen deep/drop off at about 20 miles per hour and bottomed out the rear of the coach, hitting the drag bars. I was towing a Ford Raptor with 13" of front suspension travel. The conclusion was a whiplash effect that the Raptor fully extended and then reversed, bending the arm. It also DESTROYED my mud flap. It was my worse blunder in 45 years of RVing and very embarrassing to the tune of about $1600.00.

I was able to get Amazon to ship a new tow bar in two days. I bought new arms for the old tow bar and rebuilt it, as it had been refurbished by Roadmaster two year earlier. I discovered that the old 10K tow bar had approximately 1" arms while the new ones have 1.25" arms. I contacted Roadmaster and they offered no help, but the damage was my own fault.
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Old 07-23-2021, 09:28 AM   #14
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I have backed up maybe a half dozen times. Each time was for only a few feet, and my coach and toad were dead straight. If I’m not straight and need to back up, I’ll begrudgingly unhook and kick my own butt for getting into that situation in the first place.
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