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Setting up a toad

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Johnnycrab

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Setting up a toad
« on: November 02, 2012, 06:09:21 pm »
Well we finally have a delivery date for our 2910T.  November 15th.  Can't wait.  My next concern will be how to set up a toad.  Currently we have a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu.  The owners manual states we can tow it four down.  Can anyone recommend  the necessary apparatus? I.e. tow bar, braking system, etc.  Suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks

John
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Barry-Sue

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Re: Setting up a toad
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2012, 07:29:14 pm »
John

Towing equipment ends up being a lot of personal choices.  Two of the big manufacturer's are Blue Ox and Roadmaster plus several other smaller ones.  Both have web site with a lot of information about towing.

http://www.blueox.us/

http://roadmasterinc.com/

Motorhome Magazine is also a good source for introductory towing information

http://www.motorhomemagazine.com/index.php?s=towing&x=0&y=0

There is not going to be one correct answer for selecting towing equipment.  Some of the things you might want to think about:
1.  When the toad is disconnected for the motor home do you want the tow bar stored on toad or PC.
2.  Weight of tow bar.
3.  Base plate used on toad.
4.  Drop hitch to maintain level connection between toad and PC.
5.  Supplemental braking or not -- Big decision!!!!!!
6.  Type of supplemental braking.
7.  Price.

There is a lot information to digest before you are ready to buy.

I have had good luck with Blue Ox both the equipment and customer service.

Keep the questions coming.  Everyone here is eager to help.

Barry
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classact

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Re: Setting up a toad
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2012, 09:00:26 pm »
I'll echo Barry's comments - lots of personal choice on this one.

We are big fans of Blue Ox products.  I especially like that our base plate fits inconspicuously on our toad (Pontiac Vibe) such that you can't really even tell it's there.  I also like that the tow bar folds up against the coach when not in use, instead of in front of the toad, which just looks clunky.   Once we detatch, you woudn't event know our Vibe has been towed behind the coach.

Another thing to keep in mind,  no matter what brand you choose - is the ease of attaching/detatching.  The telescoping arms on our tow bar allows us to get in approximate position and hook up instead of rigid arms where you have to be in exact position (and therefore a 2-person job) in order to hook up. 

In our case we do not use auxiliary braking because of the light way of our toad (just over 2000 lb). It would still be a good idea to have it, particularly in your case with a heavier car like the Malibu.

Mike
2007 Jayco Melbourne
PC 3100 Wannabe

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lghjr

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Re: Setting up a toad
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2012, 09:08:28 pm »
I have had both Blue Ox and Roadmaster.  Liked the fit and finish of the Ox better but definitely liked the lower weight of the Roadmaster setup.
I realize that's not helpful, just an opinion.
Never had a problem or failed to perform with a Roadmaster brake setup, although there have been significant updates/upgrades made in that arena since I had that equipment.

Part of the fun of RV'ing is getting stuff together and making it work to our preferences.

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Ron Dittmer

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Re: Setting up a toad
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2012, 10:37:19 pm »
I have a Roadmaster bar/hitch system and a Unified braking system.  It all works good and am pleased with everything about them.  But I don't have experience with other brands.  Owners of Blue Ox praise their decision.  The best I can offer is to increase the confusion.

One thing about the Unified braking system....it really really works well, but it is complex and installed "into" the tow vehicle.  Unless you know what you are doing, it isn't easy to remove and install in another vehicle.  If you can install it in the first tow vehicle, then you are qualified to remove it and install it in a replacement tow.  But don't plan on switching back and forth for it is too integrated into the tow vehicle..
Ron (& Irene) Dittmer

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TomHanlon

Re: Setting up a toad
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2012, 06:32:37 am »
I agree with Berry's posting. That being said I have a nine year old Blue Ox tow bar that stays on the motorhome when not towing. When I get home I remove it and store it inside. My only complain is that sucker is heavy when I have to carry it. I understand that the newer models don't weight as much and the Roadmasters are also lighter.

I would suggest you get three locking pins so your toad is locked to the motorhome when towing/parked. You will most likely have to leave the key in the toad in order to tow it. If it is locked to the motorhome than no one can steal it without taking both the car and the motorhome. Just make sure you get locks with the same key number. I use the Blue Ox pins.

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Johnnycrab

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Re: Setting up a toad
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2012, 06:41:05 am »
I definitely want to use a setup where the tow bar can stay with the PC after we unhook.  Ok I will look at the information in Motorhome magazine and start some research.  I think the most confusing is the braking system. 

Thanks for the replies thus far.

John
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Johnnycrab

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Re: Setting up a toad
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2012, 07:23:54 am »
So let me see if I have this right.  The components I will need are as follows:

Tow bar
Base plate to be installed on Malibu
Some sort of electrical harness to electrically attach toad to PC
Braking system
Locking pins to prevent theft

I know I have to remove a fuse from Malibu, I believe the transmission is left in neutral, not sure about key in ignition.  Little more research required.

John

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Barry-Sue

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Re: Setting up a toad
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2012, 07:54:24 am »
John


After you connect the Toad to the PC

1. Turn the ignition to ACC/ACCESSORY.

2. Shift the transmission to N (Neutral).

3. Release the parking brake.

There is also a notice in the owner's manual to not exceed 65 MPH while towing.

I have also found setting the A/C to MAX helps keep dust out

Barry
« Last Edit: November 03, 2012, 07:59:19 am by Barry-Sue »
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