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Bruce and Sharon
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« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2014, 06:41:33 pm »

Heres another example of why I love this forum:

For six months Ive been thinking that no way could I haul bicycles on my bike rack with it attached to the rear of our PC and at the same time pull a toad because I thought that I would need to remove the bikes when we had to disconnect the toad before driving around the campsite.  Removing the bikes before moving the toad would be too logistically difficult.  Barry and Ron have helped me see some other possibilities.

First Barry told me that he can accomplish my desired task with his set-up and then Ron helped me see how I might maneuver the tow bar that was causing the problem in my attempts.

Ron, I had never thought of operating the tow bar in any way other than what I had always donepush the two arms together, lift them vertically, then fold them horizontally into the stored position.  From the photo you included in your last post, it looks like you usually leave  a part of the baseplate attached to the two tow bar arms when you disconnect your toad, and that keeps the arms in a triangle shape.  Thats something that I might like to do when I dont have my bike rack on the PC.  But, our bike rack is similar the Barrys (see his in the first photos in this thread) that has the dual track bars where the bike wheels sit.  Those track bars block lifting the tow bar arms up to vertical.   Your thoughts here of using a different approach helped me start thinking.

Perhaps instead of lifting the Roadmaster All Terain tow bar arms to vertical when I disconnect the toad, I could just push the arms together and then swing them right or left  horizontally to a position under the bike rack track bars.  The arms will not lock in that position, so I would need to strap them up to the track bars well enough to be able to drive the PC around in a manner suggested by Ron.

Barry, your photos show a tow bar the looks like a Blue Ox, so maybe that make it easier for you to disconnect your toad and drive the PC away without removing the bikes.  Am I right on that?  Any comment or suggestion on the possible plan Ive laid out above?

--Bruce
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ron.dittmer
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« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2014, 07:55:03 pm »

Sorry for adding even more complexity into this conversation, but there is one more thing to think about.  That is the "Levelness" of your tow bar.  If it is not level, you will get "tow-vehicle-bucking" while driving.  The greater the angle, the worse the bucking.  Using Quiet Hitches at every connection helps but does not resolve the problem.  It only masks it.  Leveling the tow bar eliminates it.

My picture here shows the "Condition To Avoid" of which I tolerated a lot of bucking.  Note the tow bar is low at the PC and high at the Jeep Liberty.  This was the day the light bulb went off inside my head and so I took this picture while on a trip.


In this picture taken a few years later, I added an offset receiver to level the tow bar.  "Cumulative Play" with the extra connection required Quiet Hitches at both interconnects.    This setup also required longer blue safety cables.  100% of the bucking was eliminated here.


If you think about it enough, it will make sense.  Every bump in the road changes the "vertical" relationship between tow vehicle and motor home.  An angled tow bar with out-of-sync vertical movement between vehicles changes the distance between them, just enough to cause that horrid bucking.  A horizontal bar would cause bucking only under every extreme conditions.  But then I think you would have something much greater to worry about, like jumping a curb or worse.  Getting the bar perfectly level is ideal, but getting it close works too.

I may stick this as an independent thread in the Tips & Tricks section.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2014, 08:57:56 am by ron.dittmer » Logged

Ron Dittmer (wife Irene) 2007 Model 2350 Without A Slideout
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Barry-Sue
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« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2014, 08:53:24 am »

Bruce,

Quote
show a tow bar the looks like a Blue Ox, so maybe that make it easier for you to disconnect your toad and drive the PC away without removing the bikes.  Am I right on that?  Any comment or suggestion on the possible plan Ive laid out above?

Yes, it is a Blue Ox (Aladdin).  It disconnects by removing the two pins attached to the toad, both bars then compress and swing either left or right.  The arms pivot in the standard pivot area that is used for storage of the tow bar.  Thus our tow bar is always in the storage position once we remove the toad.  We have a locking hitch pin so I have no worries about anything happening to the tow bar.  We are camping now so I will try to get use some pictures after I finish the dishes.


Barry
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« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2014, 10:08:15 am »

Bruce

Here is a picture of the tow bar in the store position.  You can see it pivoted to left and locked in with the bike rack above.

Barry
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Bruce and Sharon
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« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2014, 12:27:45 pm »

Barry,
I can see that the Blue Ox allows you to unhook and store the bars without moving the bikes.
As I mentioned earlier, I can unhook and move our Roadmaster tow bar laterally as you do, but it will not lock there.  I think I'll try in a safe area my idea of strapping up the bars to the bike rack at that point so that we could carefully drive the PC in the campground.
Another difference I see is the type of dual receiver adapters that we have.  Ours has the toad receiver straight out from the PC receiver to avoid a drop down there in order to keep level with the toad.  The bike rack receiver sits above the toad receiver.  That might leave less working space between the two receivers.
Thanks again for your help.
Bruce
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« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2014, 06:33:24 am »

I'd like to add one more thing to consider with all the hitch mounts - the ladder. We run with the ladder tied up using ball bungees so that we can get into the rear bin easier (that tip from Bill Golden). However, we occasionally need roof access. We've discovered that swinging the Blue Ox to the right blocks the ladder. So we swing left but the nifty cover only fits correctly if you swing both arms right. No biggie but another item to consider when storing everything back there. We just put the cover on and partially zip it as best we can.
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Bruce and Sharon
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« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2014, 06:29:13 pm »

A small receiver extender/adapter might place the tow bar out away from the spare tire cover enough so that the tow bar cover will fit easily.
Just a thought.
Bruce
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« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2014, 06:56:28 am »

We just spent the weekend with Jack D and they have a dual hitch with the extender on the back of their 2350. They don't have a toad so the bottom receiver holds a cargo rack with heavy duty bins, etc., and the top receiver holds their bike rack. They could easily open their rear bin. I didn't pay attention to the ladder so I'm not sure if it can swing down when loaded.
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John, Holly, Chloe & Snickers (The "nanny' cat)

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« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2014, 02:20:34 pm »

Hi Holly, et al,
The ladder will swing down over the cargo rack, but I have to remove the storage box - no big deal as long as I take the wts out first!
All the best,
Jack
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