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Old 10-07-2021, 11:35 AM   #1
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When to disconnect and connect toad?

Sorry if this is a FAQ.

We recently got a tow bar installed for our new-to-us 40-foot Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP and Chevy Colorado four-down toad. While the ideal would be to leave them connected until we're in a pull-through campsite, that isn't always possible, e.g. when arriving at a back-in site.

So I was wondering what the general wisdom is on unhitching the toad in such a situation? And hitching for departure? I guess the answer is "it depends on the campground", but I'd appreciate any guidance.

Since this is new to me, I expect to take it slowly, so disconnecting in the roadway isn't necessarily ideal. And connecting again (including the in-truck neutral and brake controller stuff) would likely take longer.
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Old 10-07-2021, 11:59 AM   #2
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When I hook up my toad I don't unhook till I get to my final destination. Plan ahead and make reservations for pull thru sites at stops along the way in stead of taking what ever they have. When in an overnight stop I always start the toad, while connected, and let it run for 30 minutes to charge the battery and circulate transmission fluid.
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Old 10-07-2021, 12:10 PM   #3
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If a pull through siteisn’t available, we always disconnect before entering the campground and then reconnect asap after leaving. Some parks don’t want the connections done in the park because of potential traffic interruptions.
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Old 10-07-2021, 12:15 PM   #4
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Most private RV resorts I've been in have room to unhook at the check-in.

A few I've had to unhook on the street in front of the site.
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Old 10-07-2021, 12:44 PM   #5
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We've been full timing for a year and a half and when we started we worried a lot about the same thing. It's turned out to be a big non-issue. When we are researching campsites we usually use google maps satellite view to check it out. Sometimes that will show us a good place to pull over in or near the campground to unhook. Other times when we check in we ask if there's a good place to unhook. It's a common question so we usually get an answer. Other times we just do it when we stop at the site, or at a wide spot in the campground road or in a parking lot before the campground. I can unhook very quickly, and it's been extremely rare that I delay anyone. Most people towing either a car, trailer or 5th wheel, all block the road for a few minutes when they park so they understand. There was even a time I took a wrong turn and went down a dead end road in the campground while my wife was checking us in. I jumped out, unhooked, moved the car and turned around before she was done.

Don't worry. Also if you end up blocking someone don't get flustered. Follow your routine. No need to get flustered and forget to set the toad parking brake before pulling the pins!
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Old 10-07-2021, 12:44 PM   #6
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If I don't have a pull through the DW goes in and registers and I disconnect. There is always room (obviously) for a TOAD in tow at registration. Generally I do the reverse on the way out or connect is a straight portion of any road.
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Old 10-07-2021, 01:36 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Sbrownstein View Post
If I don't have a pull through the DW goes in and registers and I disconnect. There is always room (obviously) for a TOAD in tow at registration. Generally I do the reverse on the way out or connect is a straight portion of any road.
That's our routine as well: while the wife is in the office taking care of the registration stuff I'm disconnecting the toad. When leaving I'll hook up the toad wherever it's convenient: either right after pulling out of the site, or somewhere between there and the park exit. Some parks have specific areas for disconnecting and connecting while others don't.
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Old 10-07-2021, 02:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astrnmrtom View Post
We've been full timing for a year and a half and when we started we worried a lot about the same thing. It's turned out to be a big non-issue. When we are researching campsites we usually use google maps satellite view to check it out. Sometimes that will show us a good place to pull over in or near the campground to unhook. Other times when we check in we ask if there's a good place to unhook. It's a common question so we usually get an answer. Other times we just do it when we stop at the site, or at a wide spot in the campground road or in a parking lot before the campground. I can unhook very quickly, and it's been extremely rare that I delay anyone. Most people towing either a car, trailer or 5th wheel, all block the road for a few minutes when they park so they understand. There was even a time I took a wrong turn and went down a dead end road in the campground while my wife was checking us in. I jumped out, unhooked, moved the car and turned around before she was done.

Don't worry. Also if you end up blocking someone don't get flustered. Follow your routine. No need to get flustered and forget to set the toad parking brake before pulling the pins!
Nailed it.

Plan your trip using Google Maps. Look closely for places to unhook and rehook the toad using street view and maps. Call ahead and ask the campground for their standard protocol for unhooking and rehooking the toad.

We full time from October to May in the Southwest. Most of the places we stay do not have enough room in their pull through sites to allow you to unhook after you have arrived in your camping spot. Many of those places have a check in lane that can easily handle a few RV's with toad still connected. When staying at a place with a long "check In" lane my wife goes in to get us checked in and I disconnect the toad and store the towing equipment as needed.

When we camp on the beach like Rincon Parkway or Faria Beach or Huntington Beach I use google maps and find a place where I can pull over and disconnect safely then proceed to our camping spot. Google Maps and Street view are invaluable when it comes to planning your camping and refueling adventures.
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Old 10-07-2021, 04:31 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Dejus View Post
Sorry if this is a FAQ.

We recently got a tow bar installed for our new-to-us 40-foot Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP and Chevy Colorado four-down toad. While the ideal would be to leave them connected until we're in a pull-through campsite, that isn't always possible, e.g. when arriving at a back-in site.

So I was wondering what the general wisdom is on unhitching the toad in such a situation? And hitching for departure? I guess the answer is "it depends on the campground", but I'd appreciate any guidance.

Since this is new to me, I expect to take it slowly, so disconnecting in the roadway isn't necessarily ideal. And connecting again (including the in-truck neutral and brake controller stuff) would likely take longer.
David,
Don't overthink this Partner. It's not rocket science. Each and every situation in camping and traveling dictates its own set of circumstances. If you're traveling and are the kind of folks that really don't get into the *reservation* thing, and you pull into a campground/RV park, check into the office, and find you have procured a pull through, AND, you're leaving in the morning, well, it's a no-brainer.

But, if you find all they have is back-ins, well, that's a no brainer too. If no one's behind you in the check in area, well, you can disconnect there. That way, if you have to snake through an RV park that may have some tighter turns, you're not having to compensate for dragging Amtrak through the park when you could have easily disconnected in front of, or near the office.

Some folks get their panties in a wad if they're FORCED to disconnect for any reason other than at the end of their journey. We've disconnected so many times in our travels, I lost count decades ago. Although, I will say me and the CEO have down to about 45 seconds to 1 minute, for a complete disconnect, from start to the point she's driving the toad away. When it comes to hooking up, since we tow two different toads, and both are equal in operation, it's no biggie. The first is a '15 Jeep JKUR and, since it's a '15, there's no steering lock and no need to have the battery on for any reason. And the transfer case is place in neutral and there's factory built in lube pump in the rear of that T/C that handles lubing all that's turning so, no need to run that Jeep for ANY length of time, prior to blast off in the morning.

The second toad is an '11 GMC Sierra 1500 4x4 Extended cab. It too, being 4WD, also has the transfer case in neutral and has its own lubing system. And, again, no steering lock and no need for any battery disconnect so, NO RUNNING of the engine for take off of towing.

You simply take things as they come. Hook up, take off and enjoy the ride. When you get to a stopping point, THEN decide what's needed. Yeah, you can plan for each inch of a trip, if things go as planned, no traffic, no accidents to stop you for hours, no break downs, no wrong turns,(GPS units are famous for that!) fuel stops that take longer than planned, and a whole lot more can alter a days drive. Good luck and happy RVing.
Scott
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Old 10-07-2021, 04:50 PM   #10
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The simple answer......don't block anyone else!

Every campground is different. Sometimes I unhook while my wife is checking in. In really tight campgrounds, two I can think of, we have to disconnect down the street and we drive in separately. Pull thru's are not an issue. Back-ins, I make sure I'm off to one side of the road an out of the way.

I've watched people with old rusted tow bars and equipment pull into a campground, block everyone and then spend 20 minutes beating the pins out. DON'T BE THAT GUY. Know your equipment, keep it lubed/operating well and follow the same procedure each time.
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Old 10-07-2021, 05:30 PM   #11
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David,
Don't overthink this Partner. It's not rocket science. Each and every situation in camping and traveling dictates its own set of circumstances. If you're traveling and are the kind of folks that really don't get into the *reservation* thing, and you pull into a campground/RV park, check into the office, and find you have procured a pull through, AND, you're leaving in the morning, well, it's a no-brainer.

But, if you find all they have is back-ins, well, that's a no brainer too. If no one's behind you in the check in area, well, you can disconnect there. That way, if you have to snake through an RV park that may have some tighter turns, you're not having to compensate for dragging Amtrak through the park when you could have easily disconnected in front of, or near the office.

Some folks get their panties in a wad if they're FORCED to disconnect for any reason other than at the end of their journey. We've disconnected so many times in our travels, I lost count decades ago. Although, I will say me and the CEO have down to about 45 seconds to 1 minute, for a complete disconnect, from start to the point she's driving the toad away. When it comes to hooking up, since we tow two different toads, and both are equal in operation, it's no biggie. The first is a '15 Jeep JKUR and, since it's a '15, there's no steering lock and no need to have the battery on for any reason. And the transfer case is place in neutral and there's factory built in lube pump in the rear of that T/C that handles lubing all that's turning so, no need to run that Jeep for ANY length of time, prior to blast off in the morning.

The second toad is an '11 GMC Sierra 1500 4x4 Extended cab. It too, being 4WD, also has the transfer case in neutral and has its own lubing system. And, again, no steering lock and no need for any battery disconnect so, NO RUNNING of the engine for take off of towing.

You simply take things as they come. Hook up, take off and enjoy the ride. When you get to a stopping point, THEN decide what's needed. Yeah, you can plan for each inch of a trip, if things go as planned, no traffic, no accidents to stop you for hours, no break downs, no wrong turns,(GPS units are famous for that!) fuel stops that take longer than planned, and a whole lot more can alter a days drive. Good luck and happy RVing.
Scott
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Old 10-07-2021, 07:05 PM   #12
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While we do not have a lot of first hand experience towing, as we often travel sans TOAD I am of the don't block other people any longer than you have to camp, and try not to block them at all. Scouting out sites in advance using google satellite view, etc. can often be helpful. Don't be like the guy we had block us in at a State park site for nearly half an hour at checkout time while he loaded up his toy hauler in the middle of the one way camping loop a while back.



His site was so short he could not open the rear door of his 5th wheel toy hauler while it was in the site, and once his truck was hooked up to the 5th wheel he blocked half the narrow roadway, so we were stuck not just waiting for him to hook up the 5th wheel, and pull out, but then for him to load his side by side, and other toys in the back of the 5th wheel while it was in the middle of the road at 10 am on a Sunday morning in a state park.
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Old 10-07-2021, 08:09 PM   #13
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When arriving I try to get as close to the site as possible before unhooking the toad. When leaving I try to connect as close to the campsite as possible.
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Old 10-08-2021, 09:13 PM   #14
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We have no set way to do it. I usually unhook wherever it is safe without blocking anyone else. Usually in a parking lot close to campground.
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