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Main Forum => Tips and Tricks => Topic started by: Awilson on July 20, 2013, 06:37:34 am



Title: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: Awilson on July 20, 2013, 06:37:34 am
I am wanting to buy a tow bar for the new Honda CR V we bought last weekend. I am getting a lot of pushback from DW.She is not relishing the thought of dragging that much money across the country behind a MH to possibly come unhooked, chipped up by rocks and basically costing several thousand more to get set up for towing. We have a PC 2400 which is really small enough to drive and sightsee by itself.  2o2 We have done just that since we got it five years ago. I anticipate buying a larger MH in the future so I was making some plans for that now. Example: I have my eye on a Roadmaster Sterling tow bar that has less than 2,000 miles of use for less than half the cost of a new one. It includes some extras that do not come with the tow bar that are needed but are bought separately. I want to go ahead and get it whether we tow this year or, most likely, next. She prefers to wait and see if we really even want to tow because we like this PC so much and it is so handy. Soooo, my question; is it worth the cost to set up a toad and does it have an adverse effect on the performance of your MH? I have installed a tune on the engine from Brazels RV which really made a big difference in the performance and drivability of the MH, especially the transmission. Currently we do not travel that much but I/we want to travel a lot in the next few years. Coast to coast and border to border and then some Mexico and Alaska. (My reasoning for buying a bigger MH) Let me know your thoughts, good or bad.


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: ron.dittmer on July 20, 2013, 08:56:57 am
We tow a 4x4 with our 2350 to be more adventurous taking primitive roads and for improved mobility in crowded national parks.  But if you manage well without towing, then don't go there.  If you think you'd like to tow on a trip to Alaska, don't.  Alaska is a trip on the move.  You won't be setting up base camp for days at a time which is where a tow vehicle comes in handy.  Then there are the ferry charges...by the inch.  You'll regret towing up there unless you tow an off road vehicle with plans for true adventure.



Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: gradygal on July 20, 2013, 09:24:21 am
We just bought a Honda Fit to tow. As a matter of fact, George is hooking it up now for our trip West. First time towing this vehicle.

We bought a bra for the front to try to prevent dings and one of those rock shield things for the rear of the PC

Now that we have the 2910, we can set up and tour areas without unhooking the PC from the site. We also are using it to store a couple of chairs, an additional cooler and other "stuff".

We did not tow with the 2350--towed a Tracker with the 2551--and now the Fit.

Judi


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: yankeeflyer on July 20, 2013, 10:01:21 am
We tow a 2013 Honda CRV with a Ready Brute tow bar on our 2551.Heading out to Eastport Maine and O'Leary,Prince Edward Island on Mon. morning.Don't think it adds that much more to the mpg,but like having the car with us for side trips.


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: TomHanlon on July 20, 2013, 10:21:42 am
Some times yes, some times no. It all depends on where we are going and if we might need it for side trips. When on longer western trips we don't tow but sometimes will rent a car for a day or two. If we (read DW) wants to go shopping while we are staying at a campgroung for a few days, then I will tow. Also good for taking her out to dinner without having to break camp.

When towing remeber that not only will your gas milage go down a little, but any tolls will be much higher. Some turnpikes count it as four axles, which is higher than a motorhome and a seperate car.

I doubt I have been of much help with this reply because it all depends on when and where we are going. If it was me, I would buy the tow bar and brake, get it all set up, then you have the option to tow or not in the future.


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: Barry-Sue on July 20, 2013, 10:28:52 am
We tow a 2004 Chevy Cavalier using a Blue OX aladdin tow bar.  It is very easy to use and takes about 5 minutes to hook everything up.  We towed with our 2008 2350 and now with our 2551.  We do not even know the car is back there.  We do not use any special type of protection for the toad.  It still looks like a brand new car.  The only ding we have on the hood was when the original owner had it. 
When we first had the 2350 we thought we could go without towing but our camping (traveling) style is to find a campground for a few days and then do everything in the area that we can.  It is alot easier to keep the PC in the base camp and just take the car when we sight see.  Our wintering in Florida keeps us at a campground for a minimum of 2 weeks at a time so the car comes in very handy.
When we go somewhere and know we will  not need the car then we just don't take it.  We like the option to tow or not tow!!

(http://www.phoenixusarv.com/community/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=819.0;attach=1886;image)


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: Bruce on July 20, 2013, 01:01:01 pm
Here is another reply from folks who like the option to tow or not.  We've been towing our 2003 Honda CR-V on most of our RV trips since we purchased it new.  We've never used any special type of protection for the toad (such as a bra or a shield attached to the tow bar), and the CR-V still looks like new with very few nicks or dings (maybe because we mostly drive on clean roads and highways).  The only visible dent on it happened while we were driving it totally separate from the PC.  We usually stay in one location for at least a few days and explore the area in the Honda.  During these side trips we often comment that we're very happy not to be driving the PC due to the terrain in the mountains, desert, narrow city streets, etc.  It is so much easier to run out for grocery shopping, a restaurant meal, etc. without needing to break camp.  That's our take on it.


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: frecklestweety on July 20, 2013, 02:52:06 pm
  I have been towing a 2006 Saturn Vue for the last 7 years, six with my former mH and just since December with the PC and I have had no problems and like to convienence of having the car for side trips. I get 24 miles to the gallon with the Saturn and the thoughts of breaking camp for side trips, especially when you get the MH level, is not always great.  I have a brake system  since the Vue is about 4000 lbs and use a roadmaster hitch.  It tows with no problem and always have to check to see if it is still there since it tows fine.  Taking the MH on side trips can be daunting since you don't know if there will be enough space to park plus using all the gas when you could be using your car/tow.  Gas mileage is not that bad in PC when towing. I get better mileage on the PC than I did with my former 33ft Gulf stream yellowstone, with 2 slides towing the car.   Now if you were staying for a long period it might be justified to rent a car but it is up to the campers and where and how long your are camping. There is no right or wrong .


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: Bob Mahon on July 20, 2013, 05:38:38 pm
Don't forget about an auxilliary braking system. Sure, the E series has good brakes. But I can tell you from experience; they ain't good enough when some fool dodges a car in front of you and jams on his brakes to make the exit. The results aren't good.


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: JJCruiser on July 20, 2013, 05:59:36 pm
Very good question and I have been very interested in the responses to your post   Earlier this year we added a tow bar to our 2013 Honda CR-V that we pull with our PC 2350.  I can share why we wanted to tow the CR-V and some of the things we learned: 

Why: 
Prior to our 2350, we had a class B RV that we liked very much.  At only 20 ft long, we could take it anywhere we wanted.  We just did not like the inconvenience of breaking up camp to go anywhere.  So we knew once we had a larger RV that had the power to tow a vehicle, we wanted to have the option to tow a smaller vehicle.   


What did we learn:
We really like to use our PC as a base camp staying several days at a time and then exploring a 60-100 mile radius with our CR-V.  We go on more spur of the moment trips while camping, whether it is simple trips shopping, out to eat, or sightseeing.  Plus when we do, we get the 25-30 mpg of the CR-V. 

It was costly to get set up to tow a vehicle.  We started from scratch so we needed:
-  Base plate for the CR-V (Blue Ox)
-  Tow bar (Blue Ox Aventa LX)
-  Brake Buddy to brake the CR-V
-  A wiring kit for the rear brake and turn signals
-  A switch to be able to turn off the CR-V displays and navigation so the CR-V's battery does not run down
-  A tire pressure monitoring system (Tire Minder) so I would know while driving the RV if any of the tires on the CR-V were low or blown.
-  Front bra for the CR-V.  Not sure I would buy this again.  It is a hassle to put on and off.  I only put it on for long trips.  I don't like leaving it on as it gets wet and dirty, I did not think this was good for the paint.

In our case, the CR-V was big enough that it negatively impacted the handling of the RV.  The RV would now wander going down the highway and be impacted by passing trucks.  It became a chore to drive the rv especially on windy days and on busy interstates with lots of tractor trailer trucks.  This started me down the path of doing several suspension improvements:
-  Safe-T-Plus steering damper
-  Rear sway bar (Roadmaster)
-  Rear Track-bar
-  Front Sway Bar (Hellwig)
-  Quiet hitch (eliminates any side to side play in the tow bar/reciever connection
All this has helped quite a bit.  On my last trip I could not even feel a thing when the large trucks passed me by.  You may not need any of this, it really depends on your rv and what you are comfortable with.  If I were to do it over again, I would have started with a good front end alignment as some debate that that can make a world of improvement by itself.  Then I would go from there. 

The Ford V10 has plenty of power for the CR-V.  I love having that power as our class B only had a 5L V-8.  There is a button on the gear selector that you can push when towing that helps expecially on hilly roads. 

Surprisingly our MPG when pulling the CR-V was not impacted that much.  It depends if you are doing more start/stop vs. highway travel.  I don't have alot of data on this yet, but I would say the impact is less then 1 mpg.  We have been averaging 10 mpg. 


For us, we are glad we now have the option to tow our CR-V.  It was alot more expensive to get set up then what we first atticipated.  We hope and plan to have many years of RVing in front of us.  Over time as we purchase new vehicles to tow or upgrade our RV, we will not have the expense of the tow bar, brake buddy, or TPMS as we will just transfer to the new set-up.  Hope this helps, keep us posted on what you decide is best for you.


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: ron.dittmer on July 20, 2013, 09:15:24 pm
Since we are sharing....

I installed the tow bracket hardware on two vehicles now, our previous 2000 Toyoya MR2 Spyder, and our current 2006 Jeep Liberty.  The Spyder was more in-depth but happy to have done both vehicles myself.

Wiring the tow vehicles, I did both myself.

Braking system, we got by without one for the Spyder given it weighed just 2100 pounds, but admitted it was marginal at best.  For our Liberty I myself installed, a Unified by US Gear.  I really like how the system works, it's effectiveness/performance, and seamless hooking up and unhooking.  But it is expensive to purchase, and if you hire a pro to install it, that too will run you some serious money.  It is a near permanent installation, not a project for the novice.  If or when we change tow vehicles, if the Unified is still working well, I will move it over to a new tow.  But I would not look forward to that challenge.

We tow with a 2007 2350 which was given a lot of suspension upgrades which makes towing a breeze.  My wife is not intimidated driving the PC with tow on the open road.  Passing trucks,  cross winds, uneven road surfaces, and all is still well.

When we take our bicycles, they go on a bike rack on the back of the Liberty, nice to take them out for the day with the tow.


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: Awilson on July 20, 2013, 10:02:38 pm
Wow! I am so happy to get so many great responses! I would never have dreamed that Alaska would not be a good place to bring a toad like ours. All the replies were totally the reasons I want a toad so tomorrow I /we are going to buy the tow bar as I think it is a good buy no matter if I use it or not. I believe I will be using it.

So DW and I had some dealer stuff put on the crv today and when we finished we decided to go MH shopping. Her opinion was that if I am buying a tow bar then we are getting a bigger MH. We looked at big class A gassers, even bigger DP, some smaller MB and an Itasca or two. We didn't find anything better than what we have and I didn't spend $100k. I think we will use our PC and set the crv up to be towed and use for all the reasons you guys have named. There are times we won't take it if we are just getting from point A to B. No matter what I will have a tow bar and a toad whether I need to use it or want to use it I will have it.

Thank you all for your really great responses.

Alan


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: Bob Mahon on July 20, 2013, 10:16:14 pm
As Ron says, "Since we are sharing":
Since 2006 we towed a Ford Edge behind an Alpine Coach DP, A Mercury Cougar and now a 2013 Ford Focus behind a 2552. All had the Blue Ox Baseplate, Blue Ox Aventa II bar and employed a Roadmaster Even Brake.
In all truth, the Even Brake is a PitA to install, test and later remove. However, it has worked well and there have been a few times (although I leave a lot of room in front of me) it may have saved us from an accident. It is somewhat sensitive to altitude though (I can explain that in more depth if asked).

I did not tow when we had the 2350 because it was handy enough to use casually. If we had, I would have never considered towing without an auxilliary braking system because the E350 doesn't have the brakes the E450 has.

Regardless of what others say, I would never consider towing without some kind of auxilliary braking system (it only has to save your bacon once to pay for itself).

As the saying goes, pay me now or pay me later.


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: Awilson on July 20, 2013, 10:43:04 pm
Ron, if I were a younger man I would probably attack the install myself. I no longer have the big shed to work in and the knees hurt just thinking of rolling around on the concrete.  :help I will do things that don't take a lot of getting up and down on concrete.

Soooo what is everyone's preference in brake controllers? I have read about the ones that sit on the floor and push the pedal in the car but that sounds like a pita. I have also heard of some that are somewhat permanent and you never see it. i think that is what i want. I have had another guy on IRV2 that has given me a lot of heads up on tow bars as well as setting up my crv for towing. I am always open for suggestions and improvements.

Btw Ron, I have added the suspension upgrades to my 2400 as well. The rear stabilizer made a big difference in the handling. Mine is close to needing new tires so if we keep it I plan to do the line up on the front to help some of the wandering it still has. I believe it was you that lined your MH up and it corrected that problem.

Thanks again everyone!

Alan


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: frecklestweety on July 21, 2013, 10:55:06 am
  As far as the braking systems, I have had US Gear in my previous and now my PC. When I traded to the PC I had the mechanic take out the system in the Yellowstone and installed in the PC.  In the beginning when I had it installed in the MH and the tow vehicle, it was expensive, as I am not mechanically inclined, but it has been worth the $$.  Once it is installed you don't have to remove anything like you do with Brake Buddy, etc.  I have heard some good and bad stories about removable brake systems.  If and when I decide to change my tow vehicle I will make sure the componant parts are removed and the mechanic can order the wiring. as they did when they removed the parts from the MH to install in the Phoenix. 
 It is so important to have a braking system for if you were ever in an accident, which I hope no one will be, It is for your assurance that you will be safe from any legal problems.
  Sure hope this helps as this has been quite a discussion and sharing on this topic.  It is so important to be safe and not sorry.

   Happy camping!!!


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: ron.dittmer on July 21, 2013, 12:33:52 pm
(Regarding Tow Brake Systems) I have also heard of some that are somewhat permanent and you never see it. i think that is what i want.
Unified by US Gear is seamless once installed. A large device called a solenoid gets mounted under the driver seat, and a vacuum pump is seen under-hood but you don't do anything with them.  You only connect one wire harness which handles both the lights and Unified tow brake wiring.  When the tow is plugged into the PC, the sytem is awake and ready.  There is also a simple break-away cable that you need to connect.  You will also need to do the usual towing prep like unlocking your tow steering wheel and putting the transmission in neutral (or whatever your specific tow vehicle requires).

Function and Installation Video On The Unified Tow Brake
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBGpCpWCQVc (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBGpCpWCQVc)

Here is our Jeep Liberty with Roadmaster towing hardware and Unified Tow Brake.  The red coily cable has 2 more connections than a standard 4 wire hitch connector.  All wires utilize the PC standard hitch connector, Nothing special is required for that.  If you look close, you can see a thin raw steel cable.  If a failure occurs for any reason and the tow vehicle separates from the PC, that cable pulls a plug which automatically activates the Unified to quickly stop the run-away tow vehicle.  The two blue cables are typical safety cables.
(http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6237/6263684266_611bdf5475_b.jpg)


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: Awilson on July 21, 2013, 05:59:04 pm
It sounds like everyone prefers the type of brake that is permanent and hidden rather than the type with the removable unit that sits on the floor of the toad. I am in no hurry to get everything set up yet and we purchased the tow bar, with DW's permission of course so I think we are going the right direction. It has been used very little so I am very happy to have gone and looked at it. The guy had just purchased a rather high dollar MH and was downsized a year later so it was not used but a couple trips. I have gotten way more information here than on another RV site. Thanks to everyone for sharing all your input, knowledge and experience and helping us decide what we should do.

Alan


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: bobander on July 21, 2013, 06:59:24 pm
We tow a Jeep Wrangler behind our 2551.  On our last trip we towed it 2000 miles and then drove it an additional 2000 miles, obviously we use it a lot and would be frustrated not to have it.  We do a lot of back road exploring and the Jeep is made for that, we are going to Moab this Fall and planning some spectacular trips into Canyonlands National Park that can only be done with a 4wd high clearance vehicle.

I installed the US Gear Unified Brake system 3 years ago and have put 23,000 miles on it, it has worked flawlessly.  As others have said, it is invisible once installed, nothing extra to do except attach the breakaway cable.  I have had to hit the brakes hard a couple times and it felt like I was dragging an anchor.  The system senses how hard you are decelerating and applies the towed vehicle's brakes accordingly.

I don't notice the Jeep behind now that I have done some suspension upgrades.  Front and rear heavier anti-swaybars and rear trackbar; those, along with alignment, proper tire pressure, and Quiet Hitch clamp make it a pleasure to drive.

Bob


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: Awilson on July 21, 2013, 08:58:21 pm
I think this is the second US Gear brake system mentioned if I remember right. I will do some serious looking at them. I do prefer something seamless like mentioned earlier and that really interests me alot. I don't want any more stuff to do or keep track of than needed and the sound of setting up a brake system every time I break camp just doesn't trip my trigger. tymote


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: Awilson on July 22, 2013, 06:45:20 am
We tow a 4x4 with our 2350 to be more adventurous taking primitive roads and for improved mobility in crowded national parks.  But if you manage well without towing, then don't go there.  If you think you'd like to tow on a trip to Alaska, don't.  Alaska is a trip on the move.  You won't be setting up base camp for days at a time which is where a tow vehicle comes in handy.  Then there are the ferry charges...by the inch.  You'll regret towing up there unless you tow an off road vehicle with plans for true adventure.



Ron, I would never have thought to not tow a car up there. I had plans of parking in a place for a few nights while exploring the NP and the local area. I have heard some horror stories of getting there and how bad the roads are but then I have heard others it is not so bad. I don't know what to believe anymore. My wife was not disappointed you said to not tow as she doesn't even want to drive it. She would rather fly up, rent a car and get a private tour package for a few weeks and then catch a cruise or a rail adventure back to the states to fly back home. Winter in Mexico sounds great to me as I hate snow and cold. I know I live in it and have all my life but doesn't stop me from liking the warmth. Thanks for your input and pictures and information on your set up.

Alan


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: Awilson on July 22, 2013, 06:47:39 am
We just bought a Honda Fit to tow. As a matter of fact, George is hooking it up now for our trip West. First time towing this vehicle.

We bought a bra for the front to try to prevent dings and one of those rock shield things for the rear of the PC

Now that we have the 2910, we can set up and tour areas without unhooking the PC from the site. We also are using it to store a couple of chairs, an additional cooler and other "stuff".

We did not tow with the 2350--towed a Tracker with the 2551--and now the Fit.

Judi

We looked pretty close at the Fit but decided we needed a little more room to stow stuff. Thanks for your input.

Alan


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: ron.dittmer on July 22, 2013, 07:54:57 am
If you think you'd like to tow on a trip to Alaska, don't.  Alaska is a trip on the move.  You won't be setting up base camp for days at a time which is where a tow vehicle comes in handy.  Then there are the ferry charges...by the inch.  You'll regret towing up there unless you tow an off road vehicle with plans for true adventure.
Ron, I would never have thought to not tow a car up there. I had plans of parking in a place for a few nights while exploring the NP and the local area. I have heard some horror stories of getting there and how bad the roads are but then I have heard others it is not so bad. I don't know what to believe anymore. My wife was not disappointed you said to not tow as she doesn't even want to drive it. She would rather fly up, rent a car and get a private tour package for a few weeks and then catch a cruise or a rail adventure back to the states to fly back home.
Alan
Alan, I never drove to Alaska, but my brother & wife did 2 years ago and his advise is what I share.  We did take a cruise from Vancouver to Whitier, followed by taking an Alaska Railroad trip to Denali NP, with a bus return trip to Anchorage where we got on a plane.

The road to Alaska is paved, but road heaves in the permafrost region is rough on vehicles.

Much of beautiful Alaska is in the southern fiord region where taking a ferry from one city to another will save 800-1200 miles of mundane driving.  The ferry ride is very scenic with sights of snowcapped mountains and sea life including whales.  The ferry ride has a bit of cruise ship passenger care with narration of what is seen off the boat and restaurants, etc.  In the south is that famous Kodiak bear feading ground viewed from a high boardwalk.

Getting on and off the ferry invloves steep angles because of tide variation.  If your PC has a little rear-end sag like ours, you might consider installing rear air bags and fill them up to max height just prior to a ferry trip.  You can let out the air afterward to soften your ride.  Just carry a tiny 12v air compressor for that purpose.  Ferries charge by the inch.  Cost is very steep, but still cheaper than driving.  A tow vehicle could cost hundreds more.

Unless you have specific ideas & plans, Alaska is generally a trip where you drive, sight see, and repeat that over and over.  10,000 miles of that.  You sleep wherever you happen to be at that moment, then move on the next day.  You will be dragging a tow vehicle for most of the trip but never unhook it.  The few times you might want it, consider a rental.  But given you own a 2400, it's small enough to get around in with little hassle.

About Denali NP, a tow vehicle won't help you there either because private vehicles are prohibited in the park unless a passenger is handicapped.  They have great bus service for that which is quite nice.  The driver is very good about explaining a lot of things and stopping for wildlife and scenery.  It is quite the experience.....I am speaking from 2008 personal experience on this one.


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: ragoodsp on July 22, 2013, 12:35:50 pm
Not much I can add to the discussion that has not all ready been said!  I have towed with my last five motor homes and have used the same set up for all, Brake Buddy brake assist, Roadmaster bar.  I would just say make sure the tow bar is within 3" of being level between the Ford and the Honda, you do not want the Honda riding up or going under the chassis (alot of leverage on that tow bar that can act as a lever and push hard).  To be honest,  I just do not like towing I find it is just one more thing to worry about, a pain when you have to pull in for gas, etc., towing makes the chassis work harder and the hills just become a little slower to get up and over.  I pull a 2006 Jeep Liberty diesel that tips the scales at 4400 lbs. (350 lbs more compared to the gas unit) so it is not a light vehicle.... I can not say I do not know it is there because i do.  I like having a car at the campsite and like being able to bring my kayaks, bikes, etc. but the PC as I have it set up drives so nicely by itself I just always hate hooking that jeep up.  Will be heading out for a week next week and the Jeep will be coming along so there you go.....Best of luck, Ron


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: Awilson on July 22, 2013, 01:49:45 pm
Alan, I never drove to Alaska, but my brother & wife did 2 years ago and his advise is what I share.  We did take a cruise from Vancouver to Whitier, followed by taking an Alaska Railroad trip to Denali NP, with a bus return trip to Anchorage where we got on a plane.

The road to Alaska is paved, but road heaves in the perafrost region is rough on vehicles.

Much of beautiful Alaska is in the southern fiord region where taking a ferry from one city to another will save 800-1200 miles of mundane driving.  The ferry ride is very scenic with sights of snowcapped mountains and sea life including whales.  The ferry ride has a bit of cruise ship passenger care with narration of what is seen off the boat and restaurants, etc.  In the south is that famous Kodiak bear feading ground viewed from a high boardwalk.

Getting on and off the ferry invloves steep angles because of tide variation.  If your PC has a little rear-end sag like ours, you might consider installing rear air bags and fill them up to max height just prior to a ferry trip.  You can let out the air afterward to soften your ride.  Just carry a tiny 12v air compressor for that purpose.  Ferries charge by the inch.  Cost is very steep, but still cheaper than driving.  A tow vehicle could cost hundreds more.

Unless you have specific ideas, Alaska is generally a trip where you drive, sight see, and repeat that over and over.  10,000 miles of that.  You sleep wherever you happen to be at that moment, then move on the next day.  You will be dragging a tow vehicle for most of the trip but never unhook it.  The few times you might want it, I would inquire about a rental.  But given you own a 2400, it's small enough to get around in like a regular car.

About Denali NP, a tow vehicle won't help you there either because private vehicles are prohibited in the park.  They have bus service for that which is quite nice.  The driver is very good explaining things and stopping for wildlife and scenery.  It is quite the experience.....speaking from 2008 personal experience on this one.
[/quote]

Well now that is not what I expected. Maybe the other half has the better idea here. I am all about the adventure and the journey. The destination is just the cherry on top!  :-D I think we will leave Alaska to be done with a plane fare, rental car, ferry, rail service and on foot where needed. Thanks for the heads up.

Alan


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: Awilson on July 22, 2013, 02:05:20 pm
Not much I can add to the discussion that has not all ready been said!  I have towed with my last five motor homes and have used the same set up for all, Brake Buddy brake assist, Roadmaster bar.  I would just say make sure the tow bar is within 3" of being level between the Ford and the Honda, you do not want the Honda riding up or going under the chassis (alot of leverage on that tow bar that can act as a lever and push hard).  To be honest,  I just do not like towing I find it is just one more thing to worry about, a pain when you have to pull in for gas, etc., towing makes the chassis work harder and the hills just become a little slower to get up and over.  I pull a 2006 Jeep Liberty diesel that tips the scales at 4400 lbs. (350 lbs more compared to the gas unit) so it is not a light vehicle.... I can not say I do not know it is there because i do.  I like having a car at the campsite and like being able to bring my kayaks, bikes, etc. but the PC as I have it set up drives so nicely by itself I just always hate hooking that jeep up.  Will be heading out for a week next week and the Jeep will be coming along so there you go.....Best of luck, Ron

Well my response above this just didn't come out right at all! Anyway, I agree with what you say about more things to worry about. I don't want to create more things to do but make my journey better and more fun. My 2400 gets around very well without towing a car, which is where I was getting all the push back from DW. We have been all over the US with it as it is but as someone else mentioned earlier about the hassle of sightseeing in it, finding a place to park, is it level, going for lunch/dinner, getting into tight places or going on walking tours where we have to leave it on a level place is a real pita.  pyho Wife doesn't want to tow as she doesn't see the problem. I never get to see anything where I am constantly looking for clearance, width and cannot move around inside much to see the sights while I am driving. Not whining (not too much anyway!) I hope the CR V pulls pretty good..


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: ron.dittmer on July 22, 2013, 02:28:13 pm
I would just say make sure the tow bar is within 3" of being level between the Ford and the Honda, you do not want the Honda riding up or going under the chassis (alot of leverage on that tow bar that can act as a lever and push hard).
Oh yes, it is very important that the tow bar be as level as you can get it.  The steeper the angle the worse the bucking.  I call it the steam locomotive effect between the steam piston and the drive wheel.  With that bar uneven, when the motor home or the tow vehicle hits a bump, the bar pushes & pulls with a quick jerk creating that bucking effect.  With the bar level, there is none.  It is a matter of physics.

Our Jeep Liberty shown in that 1st picture is "BAD" because the bar is at a significant angle, low to the motor home, up to the tow vehicle.  I have since bought a riser but have yet to try it out.

This picture shows the angle of which we had some serious bucking.  The Quiet Hitch hardware helped immensely, but masks the real problem.
(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7020/6641812687_8e01997fa2_b.jpg)


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: bhgareau on July 22, 2013, 07:32:59 pm
We live in Alaska and have driven the Alaska Highway four times so far in our PC. Lots of people travel up here towing a toad, but I would never recommend it to anyone because of the condition of the roads particularly in the Yukon. There are tons of RV's in Alaska and most places readily accommodate all but the biggest. Our PC is a 2400 and we have chosen not to tow so far, we rent a car when we are visiting cities like Chicago, Boston, or Pittsburgh.


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: Awilson on July 23, 2013, 09:08:57 pm
We live in Alaska and have driven the Alaska Highway four times so far in our PC. Lots of people travel up here towing a toad, but I would never recommend it to anyone because of the condition of the roads particularly in the Yukon. There are tons of RV's in Alaska and most places readily accommodate all but the biggest. Our PC is a 2400 and we have chosen not to tow so far, we rent a car when we are visiting cities like Chicago, Boston, or Pittsburgh.

I think I am not going to travel to Alaska in the MH. It sounds so great but I just don't think I want to tear my MH up. Looks like it will be an airline trip.

I see you have a 2400 also. We love ours and just can't find anything any better. The only issue we have is the sofa bed and it isn't an issue for me but for her. Her height makes one of the crossbars in the couch hits her in the back whereas I don't even feel it. We solved that problem with a queen size 4" thick memory foam mattress topper but it is a hassle putting it on each night and putting it away each morning.  >( Sleep like a baby now. 2o2 It is so handy that is why my wife questions my sanity in getting a toad. She may be right but I still want something smaller to sightsee in. I have been making small improvements to it here and there and I am down to the last few things so I may just keep it for a few more years. I want to replace my chair with a recliner and have some customizing done on the couch and then I think I am done! Well, new tires and a line up and then I am done.

Thanks for sharing,

Alan


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: Shipper on July 28, 2013, 03:17:17 pm
It sounds like everyone prefers the type of brake that is permanent and hidden rather than the type with the removable unit that sits on the floor of the toad.Alan

I use the RVi brake system which is one you describe as one "that sits on the floor". I have used it with two class A's and now my PC. I find that it's an outstanding system and is readily exchangeable with different toads and RVs. We have two toads that we tow four down and it's a simple job to switch the brake system between them. I understand that their latest unit has a tire sensor system built-in. I would highly recommend them for a brake system.

Our favorite toad with the PC is our small Ford Ranger pick-up truck with a covered bed. Storage is tight after stepping down from a class A. Towing the 3100# Ranger allows us to carry some of the goodies that we enjoy on trips, but could not carry otherwise. We have the freedom to explore or just go out to eat. I doubt that it costs a mile per gallon, but we wouldn't be without it. 


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: Awilson on July 28, 2013, 05:28:15 pm
Shipper,

Thanks for your input and we condidered the Ranger to begn with but could not find one that hadn't been beat. I think we will be the same way soon when ever DW discovers the convenience of having small wheel along. She grew up very close to MO so i have to show her on occasion. Donw side is I grew up about two miles from where she did so I have to have someone show me also! LOL!!

Thanks for your input. i appreciate it.

Alan


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: ron.dittmer on July 29, 2013, 12:31:49 pm
I need to get a picture of our Liberty in-tow with the riser in-place.  Test drives to work and back have proven to eliminate all the bucking.

But our upcoming 4 week trip, we made the decision to leave the Liberty home and try going solo.  Admittedly we have mixed feeling about it.


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: Awilson on July 29, 2013, 01:38:22 pm
I need to get a picture of our Liberty in-tow with the riser in-place.  Test drives to work and back have proven to eliminate all the bucking.

But our upcoming 4 week trip, we made the decision to leave the Liberty home and try going solo.  Admittedly we have mixed feeling about it.

Wow Ron!

A four week trip is exactly the kind I would take my toad on. Well, unless it is one of those trips where you are constantly on the move. We have done those and a toad would not be of much value on those kinds of trips. Myself, I am looking forward to the days I can travel and stay as long as I want, or am allowed, and explore the area where we are.

Where are you off to? We would like to go to Denver to see family for a few days, then Yellowstone for more than just one 18 hour day, head on up to Montana to Glacier National Park, on out to Washington to visit a lot of family out there, stop and see Brazels RV performance while we are there for a few minor things I want to do, south to see the large Redwood trees and on south to Mexico for the winter. Will we do that all this year? Not likely as it is too late in the year to do this like I want so it will be 2014 trip when I can ease my way out of the company I am working for. DW and I have a great number of travel plans for the next five years that include North America but also South America, Europe and a few other parts of the world. If the MH was a diesel I would consider freighting it overseas and traveling with it, which is partially why I am looking for another MH. It just sounds exciting! If you are adventurous and a little younger than me do a search for 'trek of the America's' about a four month adventure around South America. We can catch a cruise ship to Antarctica down there so we could see where Shakleton's men spent several months stranded on Elephant Island. If it sounds over the top, it probably is but I have always chased my dreams and lived a great many of those dreams I have chased so I see no reason to stop now.

Alan


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: ron.dittmer on July 29, 2013, 03:38:23 pm
Alan, we are covering a lot of ground.  Basically taking on the north/west region.  If we are not driving, we hope our bodies will cooperate with a lot of day hikes.  We will need to work up to that given the calluses that have formed on my buttocks from my job at the office.  We hope to keep our campsite accomodations primative whenever possible for the sake of cost, and avoid urban development as much as possible.  That is one of many reasons why the PC appealed to us.  It's a good rig for such independance.


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: Awilson on July 29, 2013, 10:01:53 pm
Alan, we are covering a lot of ground.  Basically taking on the north/west region.  If we are not driving, we hope our bodies will cooperate with a lot of day hikes.  We will need to work up to that given the calluses that have formed on my buttocks from my job at the office.  We hope to keep our campsite accomodations primative whenever possible for the sake of cost, and avoid urban development as much as possible.  That is one of many reasons why the PC appealed to us.  It's a good rig for such independance.

Ron,

That is my favorite area so far, except in the winter. I don't like cold weather. If you are not kicking back then a toad would just be a hassle. I have calluses as well. Sick of living in an office.

Safe travels,

Alan


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: ron.dittmer on July 29, 2013, 11:23:45 pm
Here is my setup without the riser.  This is bad because the difference in height causes bucking when either vehicle bounces.
(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5541/9398970458_9cdb11b392_c.jpg)

Here is the same setup with the riser added.  With the tow bar level, the bucking is eliminated.
Note the two Quiet Hitchs added.  They eliminate all clanking.
(http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2885/9398957260_f31c2c27f1_c.jpg)


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: ron.dittmer on July 29, 2013, 11:29:09 pm
Today, just days before we leave, my wife's Liberty has fallen ill.  We are now feeling better about going solo.  I'll fix her Liberty after we return.


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: Awilson on July 30, 2013, 06:29:01 am
Ron,

Too bad about the Jeep no matter if you were taking it or not. I see the quiet hitch but wht two? Do you have two receivers?

Alan


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: ron.dittmer on July 30, 2013, 11:16:45 am
One Quiet Hitch between the PC hitch and riser, the other between the riser and tow bar.  Quiet Hitch is effective wherever there is such a connection to eliminate play within that connection.  Eliminating the play also extends the life of the connection by dramatically slowing down the ovaling of the hitch pin holes from the constant hammering.

Of coarse the drawback is that you need a wrench to disconnect that stuff.  But we leave the tow bar attached to the motor home throughout our trips so I deal with the Quiet Hitch only at home, before and after our trips.


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: Awilson on July 31, 2013, 06:35:10 am
I understand now how those quiet hitches work. Thanks for the heads up. Problem is every time I read these posts I keep finding more stuff to buy!  :-D


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: Awilson on August 19, 2013, 08:08:51 pm
To all of you still following this thread, I FINALLY got the tow bar and brackets installed as well as the SMI brakes on the Honda. That turned into quite an ordeal. The dealer that thought he could install it to begin with misunderstood what I wanted done so I was back on the search to find another installer. I did find one 2 1/2 hours west of us. The wife and I left after I got off work getting us out there on a Wednesday evening about 7:30. We were to leave it till Saturday and come back then. We were tired and decided to take a short break before driving back so we decided to eat at a Burger King. After eating, we got headed back home and about an hourand ten minutes into the drive we were talking about the logistics of getting back there on Saturday. That is when it hit me! I could think of no instance where the Honda and the motor home would ever be separated so I put both sets of storage and motor home keys in the Honda. this is one instance i had not thought of. DW did not have storage keys on her keyring as I had not had time to get her a key made. I called the shop and they said they' could overnight the keys on Thursday and I would have them on Friday. What a plan! I got one set of keys on Friday and they were the wrong ones. No keys to the storage complex. Some how my keys got put in the center console. A pure miracle happened that my SIL that lives reasonably close to the shop was coming within a mile of our place on Saturday morning allowing us just enough time to pick up the keys we asked her to pick up. Council Hitch did a great job on the installation and it was trouble free in startup and using it the rest of the weekend.


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: TomHanlon on August 20, 2013, 07:32:41 am
 roflol

I am glad it all worked out in the end.
What do you think of the SMI system?


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: Awilson on August 21, 2013, 06:33:20 am
roflol

I am glad it all worked out in the end.
What do you think of the SMI system?

They have worked flawlessly so far. The Honda alone has very aggressive brakes so when I apply the motorhome brakes I can tell the Honda is applying the brakes. Really slows us down much more than I anticipated. :) we leave for Northern MN in a couple of days so we will get tot est them a little more in the next week and a half.

Alan


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: Awilson on August 29, 2013, 10:27:46 am
We took a trip north into the upper regions of Minnesota to get away from work and heat. It was really hot up there with lots more humidity. Anyway,I got a chance to tow the CRV up and back with the new tow bar and testing the Brazels Ultra Tune on the V10. I am really happy with both units. I drove 55 - 65 most of the trip, mostly because the roads are awful up there! Fuel economy averaged 10.55 MPG. Overall, life is good, trip was good and MH is better than ever.


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: Jim Triplett on April 23, 2014, 06:49:53 pm
Does anyone have a rock guard installed to protect their toad?  If so, what kind do you suggest?


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: ron.dittmer on April 24, 2014, 11:42:10 am
I cannot provide you any input on a rock guard.  But generally speaking it is easy to find a front bra for most vehicles.  When I towed our little Toyota MR2 Spyder, I had wondered if a clear bra film like the Diamond Shield installed on PCs, or even a black clip/snap/strap on vinyl bra would do the job well.  It does not protect the windshield, but most debris is hitting the tow vehicle much lower anyway.

Just offering an alternative to a rock guard shield.


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: TomHanlon on April 24, 2014, 11:53:31 am
I have heard that a bra that is not properly installed can flap in the wind when being towed. It then can wear the car's paint down leaving marks on the car. I also heard that the cotton backing if left on the car when wet can mildew and hurt the paint. These two reasons have kept me from using one. I have not had any problems with paint chip while towing our Jeep Liberty for the last ten years.


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: ron.dittmer on April 24, 2014, 12:31:04 pm
I have had black vinyl bras on my Corvettes and never had any such damage.  But like Tom says, if not properly installed or left on indefinitely, they can do harm to paint.  Just be sure it's on tightly and take it off when your trip is over.

On our MR2 Spyder, the entire front was painted, so a full covering vinyl bra would have done good.  Our current tow vehicle a 2006 Liberty, it has a raw plastic bumper so it is less concerning.  It's painted grille seems to be doing well, no rock chips at all after a number of towing trips.  My wife loves the Groucho Marx hood deflector/protector.  Personally, I despise it, but it's her daily driver.

Here is a pic of the same hood protector my wife's Liberty has....Hi Groucho!
(http://b.cdnbrm.com/images/products/schem/stampede/large/stampede_394-2.jpg)


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: TomHanlon on April 24, 2014, 01:23:40 pm
If my wife ever put one of those on her Liberty, I would have to think about putting a paper bag over my head when in her car.  roflol


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: ron.dittmer on April 24, 2014, 01:26:59 pm
If my wife ever put one of those on her Liberty, I would have to think about putting a paper bag over my head when in her car.  roflol
Now you've got me thinking.   roflol


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: Jim Triplett on April 24, 2014, 01:45:28 pm
I guess I didn't explain myself?  I was asking about the rock guard that goes on the back of the MH, like a big long mudflap.


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: ron.dittmer on April 24, 2014, 02:17:09 pm
Ah!  Sorry, I have no experience with that one.  I did wonder if they did that much better than the nice mudflaps we all already have.  I suppose more is better.

I do get dust-like sand and such debris that accumulates by the wiper blades of the tow vehicle.  But I figured it was coming from around the sides of the PC, not from the rear PC tires.  Maybe I am wrong.


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: TomHanlon on April 24, 2014, 02:47:54 pm
Those long mud flaps have a tendency to drag when exiting gas stations and over bumps. When they drag they throw small rocks at your toed. The grass ones sail back at high speed and do nothing for you. I had one on my class A.  Save yor money for better things. 2o2


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: RichardP on April 24, 2014, 07:24:46 pm
I have a Protect-a-Tow that works well.  Fits under the hitch from the PC to the Honda.  Costs about $220.00, but it is easy to use.  Here is a link. 

 http://protectatow.tripod.com/


Title: Re: To tow or not to tow. That is the question.
Post by: lmwsrq on November 21, 2016, 08:06:57 pm
A little late replying.  Spent summer towing honda crv behind pc2350.  Had blue ox Trac bars and safety steer installed.  Still had quite a bit of pull from wind and passing trucks.  Also has brake buddy.  Hate the fact that you are very aware every time you apply brakes particularly quickly.  When I got home I traded my 2014 crv for 2013 honda fit.  Had a stealth brake system  installed.  Between the smaller car and new brake system towing was a pleasure.  It was worth it.don't forget honda made after 2013 are not flat towable!!