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Old 11-25-2020, 11:48 AM   #1
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Things to check on toad while towing

What do I need to keep an eye on or do, other than tire pressure, while towing a vehicle four down? (Toad is a 2015 Ford Fiesta)

Thanks in advance,
Deb
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Old 11-25-2020, 01:01 PM   #2
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Make sure all your pins, cables, buckles, straps, chains, clips and gizmos are properly connected just before shifting to drive and do it EVERY TIME you stop. Except at stop lights and stop signs.
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Old 11-25-2020, 02:21 PM   #3
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Make sure all four wheels are turning when you first start moving.

Left my emergency brake on in a Miata. Couldn't feel the drag at all.

My wife saw it as she did a walk around while I was pulling forward slowly.

Every time I stop I grab my IR gun and shoot all the tires looking for a hot one. I do an inspection of everything during that walk around checking the tires..
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Old 11-25-2020, 03:14 PM   #4
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Make sure to follow the instructions for flat towing, in the owner's manual. I flat tow a 2017 Fiesta, and have the manual open every time I set up.
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Old 11-25-2020, 03:23 PM   #5
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Make sure the toad steering is unlocked, parking brake released and watch the toad in your mirrors when you make your first turns to make sure the wheels are tracking properly.
I also have the backup camera on so I can keep an eye on the toad whenever driving.
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Old 11-25-2020, 04:32 PM   #6
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+1 on RTM!

Do not come here for “how do I tow my XXXX”. You’ll get lots of advice, some of it might even be right! But the consequences of getting it wrong can be catastrophic, so follow the manufacturers written instruction to the letter. The process varies widely by manufacturer, model, and year, and there are no “rules of thumb”.

I printed up and laminated a 3x5 card with the hookup and unhook process for my Wrangler - copied straight out of the manual. It lives in the visor and gets pulled out and followed every time I connect/disconnect the toad. The card is much easier than digging the manual out every time.

Then, before we roll I do a final check that the parking brake is off and all 4 wheels are rolling.

Whenever we stop I do a walk around. Jiggle everything that could come loose or apart. Give each tire a pat to check their temp. Do the same for the wheels to make sure the brakes aren’t dragging.

And, as mentioned, keep an eye on it with the camera if you have one.

Regards,

Randy
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Old 11-25-2020, 06:05 PM   #7
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Be certain the breakaway system actually works. I always pull the pin for a second on mine to assure the braking system comes on. Once it did not. The car had just come back from the dealer and the under-hood fuse was blown. That had never happened before or since. Had I not done the breakaway test I would never have known the car's supplemental braking system was inoperative until we got on the road.

The advice to check everything when you stop is good and should also include right before you start out, if you've left the vehicle unattended. Several people have reported that they found the locking pins missing after coming out of a store or restaurant. Not a lot but enough.

If you have telescoping arms on your tow bar, be certain that both arms are locked before towing. If one will not lock due to the angle of the car, turn the car steering wheel about a half-turn in the direction of the un-locked arm. As soon as the motorhome starts to move the car will steer towards the unlocked arm, extending that arm, and locking the arm.

Assure the tow bar is level within 2" to 3", depending on the tow bar. If you cannot get it perfectly level it's preferred that the car end is a bit lower. If the tow bar is not within its level limits that puts a lot of stress on the tow bar and can cause a failure.

Ray

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Old 11-25-2020, 06:06 PM   #8
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I also say you need to read the manual because every make model and production year can vary.

I tow a ‘19 Expedition and the process is slightly different based on push button start vs traditional key.

So read the manual keeping in mind your options and how your vehicle was wired up for towing. I wired in a charge line so my procedure looks for the tell-tale light I wired in.

On some vehicles the procedure also requires you plug in the umbilical at a particular point (mine is halfway through setup).

The only standard is the lack of standards.

I copied the steps from my manual (spread across 2 sections) and added in the steps for my umbilical etc and once I was happy with them I printed the sequence (and reverse which isn’t exactly reverse) in a nice large font I can read in the rain without my reading glasses. Those directions are stuck in the glove box when not in my hand (or DWs). I also have a copy on our phones in case the printed copy gets lost.

Good luck and congrats on making it this far.

- Richard
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Old 11-25-2020, 06:31 PM   #9
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I was not asking "how to", I am asking about items on the vehicle that need to be checked along the way, like any fluids or something like that. I know how to hook up and tow -- just wanting to make sure I am not overlooking something that should be checked on (other than tire pressure).

Thanks for the responses.

deb
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Old 11-25-2020, 06:42 PM   #10
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When you stop for the night and don't disconnect because you will be pulling out in the morning....start the toad and run for about 10 minutes going through the gears.

Helps lubricate the transmission.
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Old 11-26-2020, 09:35 AM   #11
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Arch,

That might be good for a Lexus, not so much a Wrangler. With the Jeep you do not want to “run through the gears” unless you do the full disconnect procedure first.

Shifting gears with the engine running and transfer case in neutral causes nasty gear grinding (don’t ask) and potential tranny damage (per the manual). To safely get the xfer case out of neutral you have to follow the full disconnect process.

There really aren’t any safe assumptions that can be made from one vehicle to the next.

Regards,

Randy
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Old 11-26-2020, 09:44 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arch Hoagland View Post
When you stop for the night and don't disconnect because you will be pulling out in the morning....start the toad and run for about 10 minutes going through the gears.

Helps lubricate the transmission.

We pull a 2019 GMC Canyon and you definitely DO NOT want to run through the gears when you stop for the night.
There is a very specific procedure to follow on taking the trans out of the neutral flat tow mode to prevent damage.
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Old 11-26-2020, 09:48 AM   #13
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With a Fiesta, you definitely do not want to start and run thru the gears. If you do, you will have to go thru the tow setup again.
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Old 11-26-2020, 09:58 AM   #14
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One accessory I consider to be very important is a TPMS.
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