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Author Topic: Best mode for a toad?  (Read 1485 times)

GeneS

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Best mode for a toad?
« on: December 26, 2017, 05:14:36 PM »
Choices, choices.  I have a 2016 Winnebago View.  Actual tow capacity is around 4400 pounds.  Up until now, toad has been my Harley Heritage Softtail in a 5x10 box trailer.  I have a 92 Celica GT i would like to use as a toad. 

A.  Being a 5 speed manual, i think i could tow it 4 flat, but that would incur over 2 grand for baseplate, tow bar, wiring, brake unit etc. +Brakes include, +minimal extra overall weight and +negligible tongue weight.  But, of course, that means -never being able to back up.

B.  For a bit more than that i can get a full size trailer, +brakes included.  +More flexibility as far as backing, but would leave - 3 separate units to park in a campsite/campground.  Also -heavier overall weight and -tongue weight.

C. I only started looking at a tow dolly. + Lighter overall weight, +easy to move by hand and store in a campsite, +brakes included.

Any other pros(+) or cons(-) i may have overlooked?  Camping style is usually only one or two nights in one spot, then moving on.  Exception for a couple of years has been 7-10 days in Escapees North Ranch in Congress, AZ.  Would really like to put all my eggs in one basket (View, Celica AND Harley), but that probably isn't realistic.
2016 Winnebago View 24M
2015 Heritage Softtail (in lieu of Toad)
1992 Celica GT (eventual Toad)
Home base - Faucett, MO

LarsMac

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Re: Best mode for a toad?
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2017, 05:55:57 PM »
Well, a Tow Dolly doesn't really solve your problem. Extra weight, and can't back up any better than a flat tow. Also, if memory servers a Tow dolly counts as a trailer (at least in some states) and my require a tag. And, could put you close to the weight limit for a good one.
A trailer would be overkill and probably overweight for a good one.

The '92 Celica 5-speed can be towed flat, so the towing setup would be the only additional expense.

So the KISS principle applies here, I think.
 

   
2000 Itasca Sundancer 430V
2007 Saturn Vue

"The trouble with people isn't that they don't know, but that they know so much that ain't so."

NY_Dutch

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Re: Best mode for a toad?
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2017, 05:59:21 PM »
Think about the parks you typically stay at, and try to picture where you would stow the dolly or trailer, and the Celica. Towing 4-down of course, you'd only need room for the Celica.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate

grashley

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Re: Best mode for a toad?
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2017, 09:41:29 PM »
IMHO, the tow dolly is a non starter.  Compared to 4 down towing:
Neither can be backed up more than a few feet.
Tow dolly adds weight being towed.
Hooking up to 4 down setup is quicker and easier than hitching tow dolly, loading car and tying it down.
Some braking systems can be permanently mounted and quickly connected for 4 down towing.  Check out Ready Brute.
Where to store tow dolly at camp ground?

Unless the tow dolly could also carry the Harley, it offers no advantages.
Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS  Progressive HW50C
Andersen Ultimate hitch
2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4   TST TMS  Garmin 760
Nimrod Series 70 popup (sold)
It's not a dumb question if you do not know the answer.

Back2PA

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Re: Best mode for a toad?
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2017, 10:16:11 PM »
If you want to take a poll of the general RV populace on this question, just start counting flat tow vs. trailer vs. dolly as you drive down the highway - flat tow wins by a very wide margin.
Scott
Fulltiming in a 2005 Newmar Dutch Star 3810, Spartan, Cat C7 350
Eezrv TPMS, 970W Solar, Tri-Metric Battery monitor
2002 Dodge RAM 1500 Quad Cab toad
Stowmaster towbar & Brakemaster toad braking system

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Best mode for a toad?
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2017, 09:34:25 AM »
Flat tow is more convenient when you arrive or when not towing at all.  A full vehicle trailer is more versatile and a dolly is just a smaller but limited use trailer. As Grashley says, a dolly has few benefits other than its lesser size and weight than a full trailer.

It boils down to how much you value convenience, which includes parking the dolly or trailer when not in use as well as loading/unloading in various circumstances & weather. Your call...
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

grashley

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Re: Best mode for a toad?
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2017, 06:43:55 PM »
If you want to take a poll of the general RV populace on this question, just start counting flat tow vs. trailer vs. dolly as you drive down the highway - flat tow wins by a very wide margin.

I did this survey once.  I believe it was about 4 : 1 in favor of 4 down.
Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS  Progressive HW50C
Andersen Ultimate hitch
2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4   TST TMS  Garmin 760
Nimrod Series 70 popup (sold)
It's not a dumb question if you do not know the answer.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Best mode for a toad?
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2017, 09:36:48 AM »
There are good reasons for choosing the less-convenient modes, though. Two big ones are:
1. You already own (and like owning) a vehicle that is not 4-down towable
2. You need to tow other vehicles at different times or for different needs

Plus, the convenience factor is not all that significant for those who tow only a few times yearly, e.g. snow birds, sunbirds, or just for  annual vacations.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

LarsMac

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Re: Best mode for a toad?
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2017, 01:49:23 PM »
So, if it's on a trailer, is it still a Toad?
2000 Itasca Sundancer 430V
2007 Saturn Vue

"The trouble with people isn't that they don't know, but that they know so much that ain't so."

johnaye

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Re: Best mode for a toad?
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2017, 03:00:14 PM »
Before you make your decision, wait for a day with rain.  Borrow a truck with a tow bar or use your motorhome.  Go to U-Haul and rent a two dolly.  Hook you car up and pull it around for awhile.  Insure it is still raining when you unload from the tow dolly.  When you are done, turn in the tow dolly and head over to your RV dealer to have you car set up for towing.  The above process is what made me sell my Matrix, which cannot be flat towed and buy a Honda which can be flat towed. :)
John and Becky
2004 Alfa See Ya DP
2008 Honda CRV

Experience comes from mistakes.  I have a lot of experience

John From Detroit

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Re: Best mode for a toad?
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2017, 04:54:04 PM »
I have towed cars in all sorts of methods including Tow Trucks, though I did not drive those. (Well once, but it was not towing at the time).

Trailer. You need to line up, pull on, then stow the ramps, and tie  the car down with safety chains and straps.  But you CAN back up.. assuming you know how to back a trailer.

Dolly, LIke the trailer you need to line it up to load, and secure it.. Can not back up

Both, you have to stow the Trailer or dolly, different campgrounds have different rules

4-Down. Now this is a mixed bag. Some tow with a simple "A" frame ball hitch, nothing wrong with that save you must line up EXACTLY with the hitch over the ball (need not be aligned with the RV but the hitch MUST be over the ball)

Some tow with a telescoping tow bar system that stowes on the towed.. Ugly

I tow with a telescoping tow bar system (Blue ox, one of many) that stows on the RV  Neat

I can pull up at an angle, I can be a couple inches one way or the other. No need to be "Exact" and it only takes a couple minutes to hook up and go.

Downside: Not all cars can be towed that way..
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

LarsMac

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Re: Best mode for a toad?
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2017, 11:17:23 AM »
I have towed cars in all sorts of methods including Tow Trucks, though I did not drive those. (Well once, but it was not towing at the time).

Trailer. You need to line up, pull on, then stow the ramps, and tie  the car down with safety chains and straps.  But you CAN back up.. assuming you know how to back a trailer.

Dolly, LIke the trailer you need to line it up to load, and secure it.. Can not back up

Both, you have to stow the Trailer or dolly, different campgrounds have different rules

4-Down. Now this is a mixed bag. Some tow with a simple "A" frame ball hitch, nothing wrong with that save you must line up EXACTLY with the hitch over the ball (need not be aligned with the RV but the hitch MUST be over the ball)

Some tow with a telescoping tow bar system that stowes on the towed.. Ugly

I tow with a telescoping tow bar system (Blue ox, one of many) that stows on the RV  Neat

I can pull up at an angle, I can be a couple inches one way or the other. No need to be "Exact" and it only takes a couple minutes to hook up and go.

Downside: Not all cars can be towed that way..

A good write-up.
I think it work the extra dollars to buy a tow bar with telescoping arms, like the Blue Ox. makes hooking the Toad up so much easier. Also being able to tie the arms to the RV bumper when parked is great.

But yes, the whole plan depends on the car you want to tow. A friend of mine has an older MG B they haul around, and they load it up on a trailer, and wrap it up in a Tarp. It's worth it to them to go to all that trouble.
 
2000 Itasca Sundancer 430V
2007 Saturn Vue

"The trouble with people isn't that they don't know, but that they know so much that ain't so."

GA_Boy

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Re: Best mode for a toad?
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2017, 02:33:32 PM »
Here again, I see erroneous information posted.
ie: A.  Being a 5 speed manual, i think i could tow it 4 flat, but that would incur over 2 grand for baseplate, tow bar, wiring, brake unit etc. +Brakes include, +minimal extra overall weight and +negligible tongue weight.  But, of course, that means -never being able to back up.
All you need to back up a  flat tow is to lock the steering wheel straight forward and back it as you would a trailer.
I'll never understand why folks post stuff like it's Gospel and not doing research to learn that it is only an old wives tale.
Marvin

Lou Schneider

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Re: Best mode for a toad?
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2017, 05:33:12 PM »
Here again, I see erroneous information posted.
ie: A.  Being a 5 speed manual, i think i could tow it 4 flat, but that would incur over 2 grand for baseplate, tow bar, wiring, brake unit etc. +Brakes include, +minimal extra overall weight and +negligible tongue weight.  But, of course, that means -never being able to back up.
All you need to back up a  flat tow is to lock the steering wheel straight forward and back it as you would a trailer.
I'll never understand why folks post stuff like it's Gospel and not doing research to learn that it is only an old wives tale.
Marvin

Not an old wives tale at all.  The problem is geometry.

With the pivot point at the front of the towbar, there exists a straight line between there and the tow car's rear axle.  Since the toad's front axle is several feet behind the pivot, the front wheels are pulled sideways during a turn.

Going forward, the tow bar pulls the front of the car in the direction of the turn, the wheels steer in the proper direction and all is fine.

When you back up, the tow bar tries to create a jackknife at the front of the car, pushing it towards the outside of the turn.  Since it's rigidly attached to the car, the side forces push the car's wheels in the wrong direction.

Locking the steering column makes the front tires scrub sideways, the geometry of the steering translates this into pretty strong forces along the steering components.

Ever sit in a tow car and try and hold the steering wheel in place while backing up?  I have, and it isn't fun.  The wheel immediately whips so violently to full lock that it's impossible to hold it back.  Locking it in place is a good way to bend or break something.

Then there's the positive caster that keeps the front end centered going forward, but turns negative and makes the wheels want to go anywhere but straight when backing up.  If you doubt the effect of caster when backing, next time you're in the supermarket try to pull the shopping cart backwards without the front wheels swivelling around.  The same thing happens to the toad, except the wheels stop when they reach the steering's end of travel.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2017, 05:50:49 PM by Lou Schneider »

NY_Dutch

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Re: Best mode for a toad?
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2017, 06:25:55 PM »
I think the ease that a toad can be backed up may be somewhat related to the "stiffness" of the non-operating power steering drag on the front end geometry. I've backed up both of the two RAV4's we've towed, but the 2002 RAV usually started to "castor" a little sooner than our current 2011. The 2011 also has a longer wheelbase, which may also be a factor. I've backed both of them up ~20 feet though, more than enough to get out of a couple of tight situations. Some other toads I've backed up started to castor in much shorter distances, and I once backed a towed military version Humvee around 100 feet with no castoring at all.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate

johnaye

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Re: Best mode for a toad?
« Reply #15 on: January 01, 2018, 06:17:25 PM »
It is my understanding that backing up with a Blue Ox tow bar can damage the bar.  I do not know about other tow bars.
John and Becky
2004 Alfa See Ya DP
2008 Honda CRV

Experience comes from mistakes.  I have a lot of experience

GA_Boy

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Re: Best mode for a toad?
« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2018, 09:04:29 PM »
Lou (Moderator)----------------------You are correct in describing design features, but I will stick to my statement "Lock the steering wheel straight forward and back as if it was a trailer".   So the front tires drag a bit, no big deal since your backing will be minimal to get you out of a bad situation.  We full timed for over 20 years and towed single and double and never experienced a back up problem but the first time I got into a jam I unhooked.  Never again once I learned how.   I have backed my Fiver with a Oldsmobile tied to it because another Camper blocked the exit at a Restaurant. Back 20', pull up 10', etc, etc, etc.
For those that are afraid they will harm something or don't understand how to, Then take the advice and unhook.
For me that is too much time that I could be doing something else.
Marvin
 
« Last Edit: January 01, 2018, 09:09:58 PM by GA_Boy »

RVRAC

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Re: Best mode for a toad?
« Reply #17 on: January 01, 2018, 09:22:06 PM »
I agree with those who said flat towing is more convenient.  However, some of us have two cars at home and neither one can be flat towing.  In addition, we do not keep our cars for many years, so this would mean new baseplates when getting a new car. I have been using a dolly this year for the first time and have no problems in several campgrounds.  Actually, in all I have been able to keep the dolly hooked. It is also a less expensive investment.

For someone who has a car that can be flat towed and is going to keep it for a long time to make the same baseplate, then tow bar is the way to go.  But that is not us.
2017 Leprechaun 311 FS
Toad: 2016 Jeep Patriot
American Dolly
Home: WI
Snowbird 6 months/yr.

grashley

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Re: Best mode for a toad?
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2018, 05:12:00 PM »
I agree with those who said flat towing is more convenient.  However, some of us have two cars at home and neither one can be flat towing.  In addition, we do not keep our cars for many years, so this would mean new baseplates when getting a new car. I have been using a dolly this year for the first time and have no problems in several campgrounds.  Actually, in all I have been able to keep the dolly hooked. It is also a less expensive investment.

For someone who has a car that can be flat towed and is going to keep it for a long time to make the same baseplate, then tow bar is the way to go.  But that is not us.

You make an excellent case for when a TOW DOLLY is the better choice, which it is in some cases.
You also make an excellent case for when 4 DOWN is the better choice.
Very well stated!
Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS  Progressive HW50C
Andersen Ultimate hitch
2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4   TST TMS  Garmin 760
Nimrod Series 70 popup (sold)
It's not a dumb question if you do not know the answer.

GeneS

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Re: Best mode for a toad?
« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2018, 08:20:47 PM »
Well, in shopping around, there's not much of a price difference between a Roadmaster dolly and Roadmaster components for a tow bar.  Installlation of the base plate and wiring would run the cost up though. 

And as someone suggested, if registration and tags are required for a dolly (I haven't yet checked for Missouri), there's another annual cost, plus yet another increase in annual Personal Property Tax. (The View was calculated in this year--just paid over double tax from previous years :o).

Still on the fence, but leaning way more in the direction of the tow bar solution.  One more factor to throw in, my travels are nearly all solo, or with a my 14 yo grandson, thus disconnect/unload would have to be done solo.
2016 Winnebago View 24M
2015 Heritage Softtail (in lieu of Toad)
1992 Celica GT (eventual Toad)
Home base - Faucett, MO

NY_Dutch

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Re: Best mode for a toad?
« Reply #20 on: January 04, 2018, 08:40:30 PM »
Hooking/unhooking our toad solo adds at most 1-2 minutes to the process.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate