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Author Topic: Toad towing issues  (Read 17697 times)

Karl

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Toad towing issues
« on: May 26, 2005, 10:51:25 PM »
Tom,

Could've, but didn't know you were asking! ;)
Karl (Cheesehead) Kolbus   Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "...holy cow ...what a ride!"

Tom

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Re: Toad towing issues
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2005, 05:30:50 AM »
Karl

I should have added a  :) to my last message.

We'd towed 10K miles before it occurred to me to ask about the fuse removal. That was a year ago and I alsways forget whenever we hitch up and go. Need to add it to my checklist  ;D
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Jeff

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Re: Toad towing issues
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2005, 10:58:53 AM »
Quote
That was a year ago and I alsways forget whenever we hitch up and go. Need to add it to my checklist†

Tom:

Here's a neat switch to make it quick and easy: http://www.rv-partsplus.com/home/accessories/

It would not take a rocket scientist to build one but this was convienent.

Tom

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Re: Toad towing issues
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2005, 11:07:45 AM »
Thanks Jeff. George Mullen built something similar for his Saturn (the article is in the Tech Topics area of our library). I must admit that, betwen motorhome trips, I forget about (or put off) some of this stuff. When it's time for a trip, unless it's a maintenance or safety item, I put it off until next time  :)

Not entirely true. Just before the Moab trip I installed a steering stabilizer and some other goodies on the coach and installed a breakaway air brake system on the toad. Also rewired/relocated the wiring hookup on the toad. Some final maintenance checks and it was time to leave. De-fusing was low on the priority list and didn't get done.
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PancakeBill

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Re: Toad towing issues
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2005, 07:33:23 AM »
Is this fuse pull for all Saturns?  I don't think my folks have ever done this.  I can see how easy it would be to install an inline switch for towing, but what purpose does this serve?  What is being taken out of the live circuit?  I missed that part, and if it is in here I keep missing it. 

 :-\
Bill & Jolene W & Koda

Old Faithful, Yellowstone Association Bookstore
1997 Southwind 35P
Toads: 1997 Honda Accord & 1986 Westfalia
FMCA F-401354
1995 OMI Dobro F-60
WA1RI

Tom

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Re: Toad towing issues
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2005, 08:19:41 AM »
Bill

Here's a quote from George's article:

"....I decided to buy a 2001 Saturn SW2 wagon, one of the last ones Saturn made. At the time of the sale I was aware that my Saturn was wired in such a way that it became necessary for the manufacturer to recommend removal of one fuse (labeled IGN1/4) before towing the vehicle. While the vehicle can be safely towed with the fuse in place the owner runs the risk of draining the battery if left in the towing configuration for longer than a dayís trip. This occurs because the Body Control Module is powered through that fuse with the key in the ACC position. See Saturnís Technical Information Bulletin number 00-T-33 issued June, 2000."
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Smoky

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Re: Toad towing issues
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2005, 10:48:11 AM »
Tom:

If the fuse is pulled, then no power to the Brake Buddy right?† I know you have the M&G, but since I am getting a brake buddy I wanted to explore this further.

Does this battery drain problem occur with any toad that has the brake buddy?† If so, how do people deal with toad battery drainage? This is a good testimonial for the M&G, but I am still going to go with the BB so I want to be sure I know what people do to keep their toad battery charged on long trips extending several days or more.

If these are dumb questions I apologize in advance.† I have not given much though to how the brake buddy is powered so I am pretty uninformed here.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2005, 12:26:29 PM by Smoky »
Smoky S  Ham radio - W3PY

The magic of a campfire
where the fish get bigger
the mountains get higher
the hike was uphill both ways
and new friends become old friends

2005 KSDP3910 Newmar Kountry Star
Toad - Taurus wagon w/ axle lock
On our way to the Poudre River in Colorado for the summer!

Tom

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Re: Toad towing issues
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2005, 11:22:43 AM »
Smoky

I may be wrong, but the battery drain on George's Saturn apparently comes from the ignition switch being in the unlocked position. The fused circuit that is opened by the switch doesn't isolate the cigarette lighter/12V outlet, so the BrakeBuddy still gets power. Most folks I know don't need to have the switch or pull a fuse.

In the case of my Burb, the de-fusing is for a different reason. The Burb doesn't have a mechanical steering lock, so we remove the key when towing. However, the Burb racks up towed miles.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2005, 11:24:48 AM by Tom »
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Smoky

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Re: Toad towing issues
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2005, 12:28:29 PM »
Thanks for the clarification Tom.

I am still left with the brake buddy battery drain issue.

Does anyone know if on a long multi day trip if this can be a problem?  And if so how to manage it?
Smoky S  Ham radio - W3PY

The magic of a campfire
where the fish get bigger
the mountains get higher
the hike was uphill both ways
and new friends become old friends

2005 KSDP3910 Newmar Kountry Star
Toad - Taurus wagon w/ axle lock
On our way to the Poudre River in Colorado for the summer!

Tom

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Re: Toad towing issues
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2005, 12:40:30 PM »
Smoky

Everyone I've talked to who uses a BB says that battery drain is not an issue. OTOH the BrakePro that I initially bought before the M&G will drain a battery in short order.

The BB (or the equivalent that Ned uses) is used by many people and I've read no reports of problems. This mention of de-fusing (for an entirely different reason) seems to have got you worried about something that's really a non-issue.
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Smoky

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Re: Toad towing issues
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2005, 12:55:12 PM »
Tom:

The fuse is indeed another issue.  All it did was trigger my thinking and I purposely segued into the battery drain question.

I should have phrased my battery question more clearly to separate it from the fuse issue, sorry.

So... beginning over ....

What I really want to know is how does the brake buddy get its power (cigarette lighter? or direct wiring?)  And if there are any special precautions to take if one is going to drive for days on end without use.  Especially if the toad is not used and we engage in heavy mountain braking.

Tom suggests that no matter how long someone drives or how heavily the brake pro is used, that there is no evidence that any special things need to be done to recharge the toad battery.  I just want to be really sure of this, because , as I made it clear in other threads, we do not expect to me doing very much toad driving our first year.

I have Tom's answer I believe already.  If no one else has any additional data to add, then I will certainly accept that I don't have to be concerned about the brake buddy and the toad battery no matter how long the toad is towed.
Smoky S  Ham radio - W3PY

The magic of a campfire
where the fish get bigger
the mountains get higher
the hike was uphill both ways
and new friends become old friends

2005 KSDP3910 Newmar Kountry Star
Toad - Taurus wagon w/ axle lock
On our way to the Poudre River in Colorado for the summer!

Tom

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Re: Toad towing issues
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2005, 03:44:36 PM »
No need for apologies Smoky. I was just trying to clarify things a little in case I caused you to worry unnecessarily.

...how does the brake buddy get its power (cigarette lighter? or direct wiring?) And if there are any special precautions to take if one is going to drive for days on end without use. Especially if the toad is not used and we engage in heavy mountain braking.

As I said, it's a cig lighter or 12V outlet. I have both in the Burb, the only difference being that one is rated at a higher current than the other (15A v 20A). The BB will run off either and comes with an appropriate plug on the end of the cord.

Quote
Tom suggests that no matter how long someone drives or how heavily the brake pro is used, that there is no evidence that any special things need to be done to recharge the toad battery.

Not sure I said that. I really don't know how many days you could go before discharging the toad battery to the point that the engine won't crank. I do know that the answer for the BrakePro was not very long (much less than a day). But it's a little like asking how is a piece of string.

Personally, I'd fire up the the toad's engine at the end of the day after a lot of braking. I would (and do) carry a pair of jumper cables, just in case. On our 3-month shakedown cruise I also carried and used a regular car battery charger - had to fire up the generator at a truck stop to recharge the toad battery several times on the same day. I would not expect this extreme with the Brake Buddy.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2005, 03:46:14 PM by Tom »
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Alaskansnowbirds

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Re: Toad towing issues
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2005, 02:06:10 AM »
What I really want to know is how does the brake buddy get its power (cigarette lighter? or direct wiring?)† And if there are any special precautions to take if one is going to drive for days on end without use.† Especially if the toad is not used and we engage in heavy mountain braking.

Tom suggests that no matter how long someone drives or how heavily the brake pro is used, that there is no evidence that any special things need to be done to recharge the toad battery.† I just want to be really sure of this, because , as I made it clear in other threads, we do not expect to me doing very much toad driving our first year.

I have Tom's answer I believe already.† If no one else has any additional data to add, then I will certainly accept that I don't have to be concerned about the brake buddy and the toad battery no matter how long the toad is towed.

Smoky,

We have used the BB since 2000 on our Ford Ranger and have never had a battery drain problem. That said, the longest that we have gone without using the toad has been two maybe three days.

You keep saying that you're not going to use the toad very much. First, unless every camp site you use or every place you camp is a PULL THROUGH you will be unhooking the toad and running the engine to move it. Second, IMHO you have underestimated how much you will use your toad. The motor home will be used to get from point A to point B where you will camp. Once camp is setup, all other travel in that area will be via your TOAD. Think back to the trip you took with your trailer. How much did you drive your truck? Did you never unhook it from the trailer?† ??? You will drive your toad at least as much as you drove your truck. The only way I can see not using your toad is if you set up camp then spend 24/7 in or around the motor home and never go to see any of the attractions in the local area.

I'm trying to understand your reasoning for thinking that you won't be driving your toad. If you're not going to see any of the attractions in the area you're camped, why did you go there?† ???

Don & Peg
Alaska/Arizona
Currently located here.
Weather at Camp Verde, AZ.

Smoky

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Re: Toad towing issues
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2005, 08:31:20 AM »
Don Peg & Jack.

Yes three days would be plenty for me.

"Think back to the trip you took with your trailer. How much did you drive your truck? "

After reading this forum I think our style may be very different from most here.  On my ten week trip I used my truck solo very seldom.

For example I spent three weeks in Lava Hot Springs where I could walk to all the stores from my campsite.  I spent a week at McCall Idaho, where my friend John Campbell ferried me around to meet all his friends and go ATVing.  I did take a three day trip where I left the trailer at the camp in Lava  and toured the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, and Jackson Hole in my truck.  I did a one day similar thing with the Grand Canyon.  Another one day near Bryce and Zion.

I do spend more time reading, people-watching, sunning at the pool, than I do sight seeing, but still I see a lot of the sights.  I get a lot of down time in though as well.  Mostly I like to hike with my dog, and most of the campgrounds have all that right there.

Most places I overnighted were where I could walk to everything I needed.  I am a big walker. <g>  And in many cases they had tours I could go on. 

Another habit of mine, and I wrote about this in the journal I posted on CompuServe, is that I really like to settle in one place for awhile, and get to know the local life.  In Lava Hot Springs they did an article in the local weekly on me and my dog and titled it, "Almost a Local". <g>

The main situation I was worried about would be when I am on a long haul, and might stop three nights in a row at a WalMart, Truck stop, or Cracker Barrel type place.  In those instances I would never unhook and I just wanted to be sure the battery could take it.  If I have any problem I might do what Tom suggested and run the engine a bit.  I wonder why the brake buddy doesn't take its power off the wiring harness from the Motorhome?
Smoky S  Ham radio - W3PY

The magic of a campfire
where the fish get bigger
the mountains get higher
the hike was uphill both ways
and new friends become old friends

2005 KSDP3910 Newmar Kountry Star
Toad - Taurus wagon w/ axle lock
On our way to the Poudre River in Colorado for the summer!

Ron

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Re: Toad towing issues
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2005, 08:53:52 AM »
Smoky,

Having used the Brake Buddy for around ten years we have never worried about the toad battery running down.   We have towed for several days without ever disconnecting the toad and never had a dead battery except  recently I did find the toad battery dead on arriving at Moab but I found a door was not properly closed and the interior lights were on.  Nothing to do with the Brake Buddy.

Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Tom

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Re: Toad towing issues
« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2005, 09:11:07 AM »
I wonder why the brake buddy doesn't take its power off the wiring harness from the Motorhome?

Smoky, that would mean some permanent wiring and would remove one of the advantages of the BB, i.e. the ability to quickly and easily disconnect and remove from the vehicle, in addition to the ability to easily switch between different cars. Presumably, if you had a spare heavy gauge wire in the harness between coach and toad you could hard-wire an additional 12V receptacle in the toad and plug the BB into that.

Given the responses here from BB users, it sounds like it's a non-issue.
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Smoky

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Re: Toad towing issues
« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2005, 11:56:50 AM »
Thanks guys for the reassurance.  Looks like thigs will be just fine.
Smoky S  Ham radio - W3PY

The magic of a campfire
where the fish get bigger
the mountains get higher
the hike was uphill both ways
and new friends become old friends

2005 KSDP3910 Newmar Kountry Star
Toad - Taurus wagon w/ axle lock
On our way to the Poudre River in Colorado for the summer!

PancakeBill

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Re: Toad towing issues
« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2005, 08:11:51 PM »
I guess my question is what toad?  Many need to be run as in started and idles every so often during the course of the tow.  Of you have to do this, then that woul probably eliminate what appears to be basically a non-issue. 

I have a different issue.  In towing a 5-er, is the way to take a motorcycle using a bumper type hitch the way to go?  I don't think I want a toy hauler, so next option is some type of carrier.  Anyone carry a mc on the back of the 5?
Bill & Jolene W & Koda

Old Faithful, Yellowstone Association Bookstore
1997 Southwind 35P
Toads: 1997 Honda Accord & 1986 Westfalia
FMCA F-401354
1995 OMI Dobro F-60
WA1RI

Tom

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Re: Toad towing issues
« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2005, 08:23:56 PM »
Quote
Many need to be run as in started and idles every so often during the course of the tow.

Good point Bill. IIRC the Honda Accord is one such toad, but I don't know which others. I don't believe there's such a requirement for a 4x4 with a transfer case (?)
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Smoky

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Re: Toad towing issues
« Reply #19 on: May 30, 2005, 08:29:16 PM »
I will be towing a Taurus.  My understanding is that it is towed with engine off and in park.  Has the axel lock installed of course.
Smoky S  Ham radio - W3PY

The magic of a campfire
where the fish get bigger
the mountains get higher
the hike was uphill both ways
and new friends become old friends

2005 KSDP3910 Newmar Kountry Star
Toad - Taurus wagon w/ axle lock
On our way to the Poudre River in Colorado for the summer!

Tom

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Re: Toad towing issues
« Reply #20 on: May 30, 2005, 08:47:12 PM »
Smoky

Does that mean the Taurus can be towed for unlimited miles without having to start the engine and excercise the transmission?
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Smoky

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Re: Toad towing issues
« Reply #21 on: May 30, 2005, 08:48:15 PM »
I have no idea Tom.
Smoky S  Ham radio - W3PY

The magic of a campfire
where the fish get bigger
the mountains get higher
the hike was uphill both ways
and new friends become old friends

2005 KSDP3910 Newmar Kountry Star
Toad - Taurus wagon w/ axle lock
On our way to the Poudre River in Colorado for the summer!

Tom

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Re: Toad towing issues
« Reply #22 on: May 30, 2005, 08:51:23 PM »
BTW Smoky, how can you tow the Taurus with all 4 down with the transmission in park? Are you going to be using some kind of shaft disconnect?
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BernieD

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Re: Toad towing issues
« Reply #23 on: May 30, 2005, 08:57:37 PM »
BTW Smoky, how can you tow the Taurus with all 4 down with the transmission in park? Are you going to be using some kind of shaft disconnect?

Tom

The axle disconnect works like the drive shaft disconnect. With the axle disconnect the axle freewheels and there is no movement to the transmission and nothing drives the gears. Having the transmission in park just holds all the parts together so that they don't move which they would in neutral.
Bernie & Marlene Dobrin
Home is Goodyear, AZ
Missing our Travel Supreme

Smoky

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Re: Toad towing issues
« Reply #24 on: May 30, 2005, 08:59:44 PM »
Tom:

Bernie got it right.
Smoky S  Ham radio - W3PY

The magic of a campfire
where the fish get bigger
the mountains get higher
the hike was uphill both ways
and new friends become old friends

2005 KSDP3910 Newmar Kountry Star
Toad - Taurus wagon w/ axle lock
On our way to the Poudre River in Colorado for the summer!

Tom

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Re: Toad towing issues
« Reply #25 on: May 30, 2005, 09:06:57 PM »
OK thanks Bernie. I didn't know that Smoky had the disconnect, which was why I asked the question.
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Smoky

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Re: Toad towing issues
« Reply #26 on: May 30, 2005, 09:20:13 PM »
Tom:

It is called "Axle lock" by Remco.  It is the same idea as the older drive shaft disconnect.  But the newer axle lock is called by a different name.  Must be very new because I have run into many Remco dealers who did not know what an axle lock was.  Fortunately the dealer in Annapolis has installed a few hundred.
Smoky S  Ham radio - W3PY

The magic of a campfire
where the fish get bigger
the mountains get higher
the hike was uphill both ways
and new friends become old friends

2005 KSDP3910 Newmar Kountry Star
Toad - Taurus wagon w/ axle lock
On our way to the Poudre River in Colorado for the summer!

Tom

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Re: Toad towing issues
« Reply #27 on: May 30, 2005, 09:40:57 PM »
It is called "Axle lock" by Remco. It is the same idea as the older drive shaft disconnect.

Thanks for clarification. I guess I was confused by that misleading new name they've given it.
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Karl

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Re: Toad towing issues
« Reply #28 on: June 06, 2005, 09:33:14 AM »
Bernie,

IMHO it wouldn't make any difference whether you had it in park or neutral with the axle lock in the disconnected position. The engine isn't turning, so the tranny isn't either.
Karl (Cheesehead) Kolbus   Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "...holy cow ...what a ride!"

Karl

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Re: Toad towing issues
« Reply #29 on: June 06, 2005, 09:40:37 AM »
Smokey,

Quote
I wonder why the brake buddy doesn't take its power off the wiring harness from the Motorhome?

The circuits for the brake/tail/turn signals are fused for that specific load only, and adding the drain necessary for the BB would certainly blow them in quick order. A separate wire could be installed (if you have a spare one at the connector), but it would have to be fused for the BB load and you would NOT put a diode in the curcuit because that would drop the voltage by .6 volts. That, combined with the voltage drop of the wire itself, may be too much for the BB to operate properly.   
Karl (Cheesehead) Kolbus   Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "...holy cow ...what a ride!"

 

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