Towing

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Keith Haw

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Jul 20, 2006
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Hello everyone..
Been a lerker here for a little while but now I have a question..
I bought my first class A a little while ago but haven't had much of a chance to use it yet.. It's a Georgie Boy Swinger 34' on a Ford chassis.
I'm getting ready to start towing for the first time. My toad is a 05 Wrangler about 4000#.  Being a truck driver and living out west I'm kind of concerned about braking on hills.. I do not have a brake buddie of any kind yet but plan to in the future. I know there isn't an engine brake available being it's a gas rig either.. What can I expect going down hills?  Or I just being overly concerned for no reason?
Thanks
Keith
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Your concern is well placed. I definitely recommend adding brakes to the Wrangler toad and if you read the owner manual on the Ford chassis you may well find they require auxiliary brakes for any tow over 1500 lbs.

You didn't mention the year of the motorhome/chassis, but if it has 16 inch wheels the chassis brakes are marginal for the weight you are moving around. If 19.5 inch wheels, they are probably pretty decent. In any case, be very careful of overheating the brakes on downgrades. They are hydraulic and can boil the fluid if they get too hot.    Slow way down on the top and use lower gears to keep the  speed from building up - a gas engine retards OK without having an exhaust brake.  Avoid riding the brakes all the way down - ease off to let them cool, the brake again.
 

Keith Haw

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Jul 20, 2006
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Thanks  for  the reply...My Georgie Boy is a 1995 with the 16" wheels.  It's a Ford F53(?) chassis..  The brakes are not overly aggressive which is why I was concerned..Being my first class A I wasn't sure if that was normal or not..  I'm ashamed to admit it but I'm not even sure it has disk all the way around, I haven't looked.  My last RV was a class C  24 footer but that was almost 20 years ago.
Keith
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Back in 95 they were not putting warnings about towing in the owner manuals. Then Fleetwood got sued over this issue and chassis manufacturers decided they had better start warning about excessive trailering loads. The key factor is the GCWR - subtract the actual weight of the motorome (loaded for travel) from the GCWR and that gives you the absolute max ou can tow. But the F3 brakes are only rated to stop the GVWR, not the entire GCWR, so any weight thatexceeds te GVWR must be stopped with some form of aux braking in the trailer, e.g. a Brake Buddy. And since you have the 16 inch wheels, I would not be comfortable even at the GVWR - the brakes simply are not very effective.

I would not be surprised if the GB has a 4000 lb hitch receiver, which would put you right at that limit too. Better check that out - could be either 4k or 5k.

I had a 96 rig on a Ford chassis and if I remember correcty it was disc front and drum rear. It had a tag axle and the tag was drums, but I'm a bit vague about whether the rear drive axle was drum or disc.
 

Shayne

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Jan 22, 2006
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Gary  It was probbly discs on the drive axle  most all were
 

Keith Haw

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Jul 20, 2006
Posts
29
Thanks for all the replies... My MH is in the shop right now getting the generator worked on but I'll check all that out when I get it back.. I think I might just go ahead and do the brake setup on the Jeep anyway. That seems like the most sensible idea and like I said before, the GB brakes aren't that great.
Keith
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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There's another reason to have brakes on the toad - it will keep the toad behind you in a panic stop. Without any toad braking, the toad will tend to swing around (jack knife) in a hard braking maneuver, unless you happen to be perfectly straight when it happens and you remain that way throughout the stop.  Brakes on the toad act something like a drogue parachute, keeping the toad lagging behind the motorhome as it stops.
 
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