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Old 02-02-2016, 05:49 PM   #1
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Another way to haul toad?

I've never seen one on road, but was interested in concept. I'm familiar with flat towing, dollies, trailers, and even large motorhomes with garages. But then I wondered why no one hauled toads like some wreckers do -- and a Google search later I found it's been done (or at least tried).

So what do you think? Other than maybe cost and needing large motorhome, does it look like it's practical and or advantageous? Not for me, but thought some of you with toads may find this interesting as well.
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Old 02-02-2016, 05:50 PM   #2
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Too much tongue weight.

If you don't use the hitch and there is some other frame mounting mechanism (allowing you to increase the tongue weight) I don't think its practical.

A dolly or flat-towing has virtually no (<100 lbs) tongue weight.
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Old 02-02-2016, 06:22 PM   #3
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Jamie, these types of lifts don't use the hitch. That would be too much weight.

Like on wreckers, the lift attaches to truck chassis (in this case motorhome's chassis) and can be designed to lift any weight you want. See picture below of massive system for 18-wheeler.

Obviously the motorhome carries a large part of toad's weight, but it's less than if it had a garage where it carries it all. And it doesn't waste the garage space, so in that sense it's more efficient. No doubt the motorhome would have to be designed for this type of application from onset. It would need extra cargo carrying capacity and less rear overhang to work right.

The lift retracts under RV so it doesn't use space. And it should be able to back up (I presume) since car is like a trailer.
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Old 02-02-2016, 06:48 PM   #4
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Just found concept interesting because it solves some issues often discussed on forum like no toad brakes, able to back up, no storage space at sight, can use with different FWD cars, etc.

Wreckers of all sizes have proven technology works, but whether it's practical for RV use is anyone's guess. I do think it should work easier/better on gasoline or FRED motorhomes than on diesel pushers.

RV Auto Lift Two Shower Seat Wheelchair Lift
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Old 02-02-2016, 07:03 PM   #5
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True, in the first picture it looked like it was just in the receiver.

Watching the video on that site, however, shows its much more than that! LOL (and most likely expensive).
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Old 02-02-2016, 08:56 PM   #6
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What would be too expensive? I'd guess around $2,000 if mass produced, not counting chassis GVWR upgrade that may not be that much.

To be honest I'm not sure cost would be the biggest hurdle. If it was superior (and I have no idea, but see potential) I think buyers would pay for the advantage.
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Old 02-04-2016, 04:47 AM   #7
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I could be a buyer if the bugs were figured out. With this system you would not be limited to just a few cars and/or trucks to tow. Virtually any vehicle, within specs I suppose. Very interesting indeed.
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Old 02-04-2016, 11:52 AM   #8
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I would guess that only diesel pushers on an industrial frame would be able to use that kind of setup. Neat idea though.
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Old 02-04-2016, 01:05 PM   #9
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Certainly helps the issue of storing a dolly at campsite/home... but as it is still only lifting the front wheels - still restricted to only cars can can be towed '2 up/2 down' - eliminates most 4WD/AWD.. Anything that can't be on a standard tow truck and needs a flatbed (or 4 down) wouldn't work here.

Much more weight on the RV frame - I assume well distributed - but still likely only possible on the large industrial chassis as FW28z said.
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Old 02-04-2016, 01:25 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by FW28z View Post
I would guess that only diesel pushers on an industrial frame would be able to use that kind of setup. Neat idea though.
Would depend on size/weight of car, don't you think?

Many wreckers (can do a Google search and see pictures) are built on 1-ton pickup truck chassis like F-350, although F-450 or F-550 may be common to tow heavier SUVs, vans, and the like.

I personally think diesel pushers would be a horrible fit for this idea unless they were the very largest. Smaller to medium DPs already have too much weight hanging off the tail end, which limits weight on front axle. Hanging another 2,000 pounds or more about 4-feet behind rear bumper isn't what I'd want. Not to mention that lift would need to sit just under engine. A front-engine motorhome would seem a lot cleaner an installation, just like with garages.

In my opinion the ideal would be the large Super Cs on a HD Freightliner chassis or similar, but I'm certain an F-53 with longer wheelbase and shorter rear overhang could work easily for average-size cars. You just wouldn't be able to tow a Hummer.

I see some similarities to having to design a motorhome from the onset for this tow system just like those that are designed for a car garage. The chassis and proportions would need to be optimized for this type of towing; and that's probably a major hurdle/issue to market. It would need to be dedicated to those that tow a car most of the time.

As a design afterthought and retrofit I think it would be destined to fail.
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Old 02-04-2016, 01:30 PM   #11
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...cut....

Much more weight on the RV frame - I assume well distributed - but still likely only possible on the large industrial chassis as FW28z said.
How hard would it be to spec an 18,000-pound F53 chassis instead of 16,000-pound, or whatever extra is needed? Maybe extra 4,000-pounds at most?
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Old 02-04-2016, 03:01 PM   #12
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Wreckers of all sizes have proven technology works, but whether it's practical for RV use is anyone's guess.
Not so much of a guess at all.

It's all about tongue weight, and the design of motorhomes. Using a wrecker's lift is not practical for a motorhome.

The rear bumper, (and tow hitch), of most motorhomes is located several feet behind the rear axle.

In engineering terms, that creates a big lever. In layman's terms, you lose steering capability and control.

I think it would be great fun to watch a 35'+ long bath and half gasser with a wrecker's lift loading up a 2or3 ton pickup for towing. I can almost hear the fiberglass siding buckling and cracking just thinking about it! Or, a 40'+ long DP attempt the same thing, and watching the oil pan scrape the pavement leaving a cool trail of sparks.
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Old 02-04-2016, 04:32 PM   #13
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Not so much of a guess at all.

It's all about tongue weight, and the design of motorhomes. Using a wrecker's lift is not practical for a motorhome.

The rear bumper, (and tow hitch), of most motorhomes is located several feet behind the rear axle.

In engineering terms, that creates a big lever. In layman's terms, you lose steering capability and control.

I think it would be great fun to watch a 35'+ long bath and half gasser with a wrecker's lift loading up a 2or3 ton pickup for towing. I can almost hear the fiberglass siding buckling and cracking just thinking about it! Or, a 40'+ long DP attempt the same thing, and watching the oil pan scrape the pavement leaving a cool trail of sparks.
You don't need to communicate engineering with me in "layman's terms".

And this is not the same as tongue weight -- it's actually worse. I know that, which is why I said the motorhome has to be designed for this particular application for it to be successful. It's no different than motorhomes with car garages, or toy haulers in that it has to be taken into account up front.

And from an engineering standpoint, that's the easiest thing of all.


P.S. -- In case you missed it before, these kinds of lifts attach to frame rails, and not to a hitch. I'll look for picture of better example.
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Old 02-04-2016, 07:43 PM   #14
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Beacher, here is one example of a mid-size flatbed tow truck which also has a wheel-lift attachment. As you can see it has significant rear overhang which "may" be of similar length as that of a motorhome if designed with the load in mind.

I'm just saying that it may not be practical for other reasons, but engineering limitations isn't one of them. Not when the MH manufacturer can extend wheelbase, shorten rear overhang, and/or shift MH center of gravity forward by other means.
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Old 02-04-2016, 07:45 PM   #15
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Same on a slightly heavier truck:
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Old 02-04-2016, 07:54 PM   #16
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Here you can better see how the wheel-lift attachment is supported from truck frame. This chassis appears comparable to medium-size MHs in size yet rear overhang is significant. Mechanically it doesn't look that tough, but whether it drives well enough for non-professional drivers I have no idea. Or whether people would buy it.
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