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Old 11-20-2017, 10:34 PM   #1
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Backing up toad using Blue Ox System

I have been told by several people that backing up my Thor Compass 23TB with a 2015 Chevy Equinox toad connected with the Blue Ox system should never be done.

Does anyone out there know if someone was at the wheel of the toad, and if the ground was level, and the distance was only 20 to 30 feet, can backing be done safely by turning the steering wheel as needed to prevent a jack knife situation and/or damage to the tow bars?

j2iron (a newbee as you can tell from the question)
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Old 11-20-2017, 10:42 PM   #2
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With someone at the wheel of the toad that understands the turning dynamics, for a short distance? Sure.

In reverse the toad's wheels do not track due to the caster of the wheels so without positive intervention it should never be done.
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Old 11-20-2017, 11:39 PM   #3
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you'll not be able to 'stop' the toad steering wheel from turning by hand, there is too much force from the backing of the tow vehicle.... but, it's certainly NOT impossible to simply back with your toad, you just have to be careful since the narrow distance between your vehicle and the toad can 'easily' create a jack-knife situation... but, it's not only about the jack-knife, but also the ability for the vehicle to 'push' the toad wheels while they are at an angle, meaning that the toad tires might be 'dragged' if you are not careful.

but, yes, you CAN back with your toad, you just have to be careful and make it a short distance. It does happen to most of us infrequently at fuel stations, or tight situations. I've backed in some situations, where it was clear and no obstructions or other traffic, and I've safely unhooked and moved the toad when the situation demanded.
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Old 11-20-2017, 11:56 PM   #4
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If you're towing 4 down it seems to me that it would be far simpler to simply unhook, and drive the toad somewhere. Isn't that the point of towing four down: Unplug the wires, pop the two towbars off and the toad is free.

Now with a dolly its a bit more of a challenge...
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Old 11-21-2017, 12:20 AM   #5
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Backing more than a couple of feet, will cause the front wheels to turn all the way to the lock. The force would be impossible for a person to overcome, and continued backing will push the car skidding the front wheels in a full turn lock, a sure formula for expensive damage to the front end of your toad. With a toad attached, its best to imagine that reverse does not exist as a transmission option.
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Old 11-21-2017, 12:58 AM   #6
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We (really I) have run down a couple of rabbit holes - thats a place you cannot get out fo with your coach with toad attached - and tried to back up a couple of feet. Only real solution is to do the unhook and rehook thing. Takes about 5 minutes and could save thousands in damage.
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Old 11-21-2017, 01:17 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurnerFam View Post
you'll not be able to 'stop' the toad steering wheel from turning by hand, there is too much force from the backing of the tow vehicle.... but, it's certainly NOT impossible to simply back with your toad, you just have to be careful since the narrow distance between your vehicle and the toad can 'easily' create a jack-knife situation... but, it's not only about the jack-knife, but also the ability for the vehicle to 'push' the toad wheels while they are at an angle, meaning that the toad tires might be 'dragged' if you are not careful.

but, yes, you CAN back with your toad, you just have to be careful and make it a short distance. It does happen to most of us infrequently at fuel stations, or tight situations. I've backed in some situations, where it was clear and no obstructions or other traffic, and I've safely unhooked and moved the toad when the situation demanded.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laco View Post
Backing more than a couple of feet, will cause the front wheels to turn all the way to the lock. The force would be impossible for a person to overcome, and continued backing will push the car skidding the front wheels in a full turn lock, a sure formula for expensive damage to the front end of your toad. With a toad attached, its best to imagine that reverse does not exist as a transmission option.
Start the toad and let the power steering do the work.
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Old 11-21-2017, 03:30 AM   #8
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A seasoned rver that I asked about backing his motorhome with toad attached & his response was "of course I can back it up________about a foot".
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Old 11-21-2017, 11:43 PM   #9
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Don't do it, but if you do try to back your toad up more than a couple of feet, please take a video of it, so we can all be entertained!
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Old 11-22-2017, 01:44 AM   #10
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Sunshine - that is funny right there.
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Old 11-25-2017, 04:44 PM   #11
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Blue Ox says not to do it in their manual. Our Jeep manual also says not to back with a tow bar.
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Old 11-25-2017, 08:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tfryman View Post
Start the toad and let the power steering do the work.
I agree with you that it's not about being limited by steering effort/force; but I also think that it doesn't matter because it's essentially impossible for a driver in the toad to line up the front wheels in direction of travel (unless limited to 100% straight back). And if wheels are not lined up extremely close, then the damage is done anyway.

I tried it a few times with an open wheel buggy and gave up. It was easier (in my case) to let front wheels skid across road, which didn't hurt anything because front end was extremely light. However, I wouldn't do it with a normal car.



Most importantly, the Compass 23TB is on Ford Transit chassis which has semi-unitized construction, and it has a frame extension to make it even worse. Unintended side forces at hitch receiver could easily do damage to motorhome.
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Old 11-26-2017, 01:24 AM   #13
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We were told that the forces of trying to back up will bend the two bars within a foot or two of backward travel and that they cannot be straightened. Not worth the chance. Disconnect and the reconnect.
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