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Old 08-22-2019, 09:28 PM   #1
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Hooking toad up solo


I would like to hear from folks who hook up their toad solo.

How do you judge the distance when driving up to the tow bar, how do you test the lights etc?

I am using a Ready Brute Elite and Jeep Wrangler.


2008 Itasca Latitude 37g UFO Gas pusher.
2012 Jeep Wrangler Sahara JKU.
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Old 08-22-2019, 09:34 PM   #2
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Hooking toad up solo

I connect the toad by myself a lot. You just get the hang of judging how close to get after a few times. If I misjudge, I just go forward or back a bit. It helps that I use a non-binding tow bar, the Roadmaster Falcon All-Terrain.

I have not checked the lights solo. Iím not sure how you would check the brake lights.

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Old 08-22-2019, 09:41 PM   #3
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I too have a Jeep Wrangler.

To know when to stop behind RV, once in "the spot", make reference points to RV (ie how much rear bumper you see over the hood.) Some adjustments might still be needed.

I use a printed checklist copied from Wrangler manual for hooking up and preparing Jeep for tow.

When all hooked up prior to final steps of turning off and removing key, I either bang on RV side and wife turns on flashers or I run inside and turn them on. I am assuming that if flashers work, then my lights are working.

I then connect my RVi2 Brake system, ensure brake lights are off and double/triple check that parking brake is off and in Park.

Close door and lock the doors with key fob, ensures that I have the key in my hand and not locked inside Jeep.
2019 Fleetwood Southwind 37F
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Old 08-22-2019, 09:52 PM   #4
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Been doing it 14 years. Just drive up to it, get out and look, move if necessary.

Once hooked up I turn on the coach lights and emergency flashers.

If alone I will pull forward slowly while turning sharply and make sure the wheels are rotating and the front tires turn from side to side.

Usually my wife goes back and watches the toad as I pull forward slowly to make sure all is well.
2004 Monaco La Palma 36DBD, W22, 8.1, 7.1 MPG
2000 LEXUS RX300 FWD 22MPG 4020 LBS

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Old 08-22-2019, 10:04 PM   #5
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I've been told to use the hazards to check the lights.
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Old 08-22-2019, 10:04 PM   #6
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As others have stated, you will get to where you can judge where to stop with practice. I prefer to hook up solo just so I know everything is done plus nobody to blame but myself if something isn't right. To check the turn signals and running lights is easy. To check the brake lights, you can make something to push on the brake pedal by putting it between the seat and brake pedal. A small board cut to the proper length with a flat piece on one end so it doesn't damage the seat comes to mind. Don't get distracted during the whole process and always check your pins anytime you are ready to pull out after stopping. People have been known to pull clips and you don't want any part of that problem.
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Old 08-22-2019, 10:11 PM   #7
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I have a Roadmaster Falcon All-Terrain pulling a CRV.
Found a reference point on the MH for the CRV hood to cover. Extend and pin up the tow bar arms. Arms lock when you pull away.
Can check the running lights and turn signals from the rear camera and click rate of the MH flasher. Have to have help checking the toad brake lights.
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Old 08-22-2019, 10:18 PM   #8
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I have a convex mirror that I stick to the back of my rig with one of those windshield handling tools.
I can see exactly where my hitch is as I drive up to the ball.
No electronic jazz for me!
BTW, my tow bar is solid, not one of those telescoping ones that can fail if you have to back up. Good for 6,000 pounds pulling, pushing or going sideways.
Happy Glamping.
Norman, 2008 Winnebago Adventurer 38J, W24, dozens of small thirsty ponies. Retired after 40 years wrenching on trucks! 2010 Ford Ranger toad with bicycles or KLR 650 in the back. Easy to spot an RVer, they always walk around with a screwdriver or wrench in one hand!
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Old 08-22-2019, 10:33 PM   #9
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I hook up solo every time. You get good at judging the distance after a few tries. I alos check the lights solo. Highbeams and right signals, then low beams, fogs and left signals. If the signals work, the brake lamps work, plus I can see the coach brake lamps in the rear view camera as they shine off the toad. The toad brake lamps are checked while testing the Brake Buddy.
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Old 08-22-2019, 10:34 PM   #10
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Oh, and I use the rear camera to judge that distance.
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Old 08-22-2019, 10:54 PM   #11
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The first summer I used a piece of tape on the rear of the m/h and another on my bug deflector. When they lined up I was bang on. Now I can judge it close enough that I've only had to move the Jeep once.
As for the lights I check the brake lights with the brake buddy while it's going through its cycles and signal lights I use the 4 way flashers. My biggest fear is forgetting the e brake on which I don't use unless I have too. I read on another thread where someone hooked up a light to it so that he can see it in his back up camera of the m/h. I think I will do that as well since I always leave the camera on for the first few miles anyway.
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Old 08-23-2019, 03:23 AM   #12
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Before I leave the RV I turn on the flashers. Then I position the CRV, and I often have to move it a few inches, go through the gears, then do all the hookups while the CRV is in "N" and idling with emergency brake on. Once everything is hooked up I check flashers, then make sure the CRV is in "N", turn the key to accessory, and release the brake. Doesn't take long unless it is raining then it feels like it takes forever!
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Old 08-23-2019, 09:49 AM   #13
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Having a collapsible tow bar makes things a lot easier. I pull in behind the MH and center the toad as best I cant. I then pull to about 2 ft from the MH bumper.

Put the parking brake on and then hook up the tow bar to the toad..

On the toad, slowly coast or drive backward until one (or both) of the arms lock. If one of the arms isn't locked, I'll turn the toad steering wheel about 1/2 turn so the toad will steer away from the unlocked arm. When I pull the MH forward, this will extend the arm and lock it.

Place the gear in "N" and verify the parking brake is not set. I disabled the steering lock on my Vue so I don't need to leave the key in the ignition.


I plug in the lights, then from the MH drivers seat, use the rear camera to verify they are working.

As I start to drive off, I'll put the MH in "N" and see how well it seems to coast. This is an indicator of a parking brake set or a transmission in gear.

After pulling forward a few feet, I'll stop and re-verify;

1) Both arms are locked.
2) Hitch is locked with safety pins installed.
3) Bar pins are installed with safety pins.
4) Arms are locked ,and cables / chains cannot hit release.

5) Safety chains are installed.
6) Visual verification of toad in "N" and parking brake off.

IMPORTANT, The DW also goes through the verification checklist.
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:08 PM   #14
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When I position the coach, I turn on the lights and flashers. This lets me check the car's stop and tail lights after it's plugged in.
I pull the car up behind the coach and position the digital tape measure on the steering wheel and the distance must be between 9'3' and 10'. That will let me hook everything up without any other adjustment.
I then position and connect the three items on the Brake Buddy, and let it pressurize as I am connecting the six items in the hitch area.
Then I go back to the driver seat, toggle the "tow" switch and A/C off, put in reverse, ease the car back until the hitch locks, oil the transmission through all the gears, then to neutral, shut off, turn the steering wheel, release the brake vacuum, walk around the back of car to check the lights and I'm ready to go.

2019 Fleetwood Discovery LXE 40M w/2012 CRV toad
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solo, toad

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