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Old 06-23-2022, 05:12 AM   #1
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TOADS & braking requirements

I'm brand new at RVing and just seeking answers as we consider a 4 wheel down toad. It seems that just about any front wheel drive manual transmission can be dinghy towed with modifications. Correct?

Also - when dinghy towing a lighter weight vehicle (i.e. Mini Cooper or VW) is it required to add a braking system to the toad?
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Old 06-23-2022, 05:15 AM   #2
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Welcome to the Forum. I’ll move this to our Toads and MH related towing section where you’ll get some great advice about this issue.
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Old 06-23-2022, 05:48 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Harrell View Post
I'm brand new at RVing and just seeking answers as we consider a 4 wheel down toad. It seems that just about any front wheel drive manual transmission can be dinghy towed with modifications. Correct?

Also - when dinghy towing a lighter weight vehicle (i.e. Mini Cooper or VW) is it required to add a braking system to the toad?
Ask yourself. Whats the difference between a 4000 lb car becoming disconnected from a mh at 55 mph and a 2500 lb car becoming disconnected at 55 mph?
Still a 55 mph missile, still can cause an accident, still can cause a death. Do you want to save a few bucks and live with killing someone if, the rare chance, it did breakaway?
Yes, you will get differing opinions but legally most states require brakes on trailers over 3000 lbs and its not just weight, its the ability to brake safely in an emergency.
https://www.readybrake.com/state-towing-laws.html

My personal choice is to use a braking system. I use Air Force 1, but thats for a diesel mh
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Old 06-23-2022, 06:05 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harrell View Post
I'm brand new at RVing and just seeking answers as we consider a 4 wheel down toad. It seems that just about any front wheel drive manual transmission can be dinghy towed with modifications. Correct?

Also - when dinghy towing a lighter weight vehicle (i.e. Mini Cooper or VW) is it required to add a braking system to the toad?
Before going through our own journey of finding a toad, I would have had the same perspective as you about manual transmission vehicles. However, most owners manuals will limit flat towing to a short distance or significantly reduced speed or both. Older models may have more flexibility. I canít comment about modifications to front wheel drivetrains to make them flat tow compatible if thatís what youíre referring to. I know many people tow manual mini coopers without incident but not all brands fit that bill.
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Old 06-23-2022, 12:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
It seems that just about any front wheel drive manual transmission can be dinghy towed with modifications. Correct?
I'd agree to "many", but "just about any" is stretching it. Whichever probability you choose to believe, how do you determine if the one you are considering is one of the exceptions? You still need to verify via the owner manual or some official word from the manufacturer. Or gamble.


Front drive manuals are still a transmission and no front drive transaxle is a simple device. It combines a transmission, a differential and an axle, and fluid is still used to lubricate the spinning parts.
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Old 06-23-2022, 01:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harrell View Post
I'm brand new at RVing and just seeking answers as we consider a 4 wheel down toad. It seems that just about any front wheel drive manual transmission can be dinghy towed with modifications. Correct?

Also - when dinghy towing a lighter weight vehicle (i.e. Mini Cooper or VW) is it required to add a braking system to the toad?

Doesn't have to be front wheel drive or manual to be flat towable. Many of them aren't flat towable, and many that are not front wheel drive or manual are flat towable. Look at the vehicles you are interested in and see if they are or aren't. In a lot of cases, two of the same vehicle with different options will differ in their ability to be flat towed.


Brake system: yes, always. Without getting into state laws and weights and a lot of other fun facts and figures, all flat towed vehicles need a braking system.
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Old 06-23-2022, 04:50 PM   #7
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Braking system is a no brainer.
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Old 06-23-2022, 06:02 PM   #8
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Many, but not all manual transmissions cars can be flat towed, though there are exceptions, occasionally it even depends on the trim level or model year of a given car. Most commonly it is a question of does the transmission get lubricated from spinning the input shaft or the tail shaft. Also some may be technically towable, with people doing it successfully, but it is not officially endorsed by the manufacturer which may make related failures not covered under warranty, I think mini is one that does not officially allow even though a lot of people do flat tow, VW is another.



As to the rest, it is complicated each state has its own laws, and these laws usually treat cars being towed as trailers. Legal weight at which brakes are required varies, but most of the states put the weight at 3,000 pounds are higher, though 10-15 states depending on how you read the law puts it lower than that. See this link https://www.readybrake.com/state-towing-laws.html
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