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Old 05-26-2016, 06:30 PM   #1
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Flat Towing Advice Needed

We recently bought our first MH, a Chateau 33SW, and we have a 2011 HHR for a toad. What do I need to tow the HHR? Iím not asking for brand recommendations Ė everybody has their favorites Ė but what items or parts are needed to flat tow a car.
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Old 05-26-2016, 06:35 PM   #2
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not familiar with the HH, is it front wheel drive?
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Old 05-26-2016, 07:28 PM   #3
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I assume the HHR is good for flat tow.

Tow bar for MH
Base Plate for Toad
Supplemental brake system in toad
lights system (turn, brakes, etc)
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Old 05-26-2016, 07:51 PM   #4
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Here's a link to dinghy information:
http://www.motorhome.com/download-dinghy-guides/. Go down the list to the 2011 Dinghy Guide.

According to the 2011 dinghy guide, Chev HHR (both manual & auto) can be flat towed. Note in guide says to remove Fuse 8 from floor console fuse block while towing. GMac's comment above pretty much covers what you'll need.

Be sure to check the HHR's owners' manual as well for any additional info about flat towing.
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Old 05-26-2016, 08:25 PM   #5
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The HHR is FWD and is flat towable according to the manual, MH Magazine and Remco Towing. I saw an HHR toad when we arrived at our current CG but he didnít have time to talk other than to say he liked it. I will have to pull a fuse Ė some people install a toggle switch, but thatís another question.

This is what I think I will need:
Tow bars
Base plate
Braking system
Tail light kit or will the brake lights work with something like a Brake Buddy
Safety cables
I'll probably need a drop receiver because the Chateau sits high.

I didnít think pulling a toad would be so much more involved than pulling a TT. I read the article in MH Magazine about dinghy braking systems and all Iím sure about is that I want a system I can move to another car if I want to.

Any advice is appreciated.

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Old 05-26-2016, 08:29 PM   #6
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While is brand specific, Blue Ox, it shows what you will need.
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Old 05-27-2016, 07:31 PM   #7
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You will need cabling for your lights. Although I have seen people use the magnetic light sets. The auxiliary brake system does not always activate on a slow stop.
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Old 05-28-2016, 02:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill/Kathy View Post
The HHR is FWD and is flat towable according to the manual, MH Magazine and Remco Towing. I saw an HHR toad when we arrived at our current CG but he didnít have time to talk other than to say he liked it. I will have to pull a fuse Ė some people install a toggle switch, but thatís another question.

This is what I think I will need:
Tow bars
Base plate
Braking system
Tail light kit or will the brake lights work with something like a Brake Buddy
Safety cables
I'll probably need a drop receiver because the Chateau sits high.

I didnít think pulling a toad would be so much more involved than pulling a TT. I read the article in MH Magazine about dinghy braking systems and all Iím sure about is that I want a system I can move to another car if I want to.

Any advice is appreciated.
You are on the right track. Those are exactly the things you need. It is costly to set up for flat tow, but much more convenient than a a tow dolly. If you can keep the car for several years, you spread out the expense.

When we set up to tow, I installed a Unified Tow Brake from US Gear, rather than the brake buddy. It is mounted under the dash and the hood of the toad, so you don't have to mess with taking it in and out. The controller was easy to move from our last coach to our Vegas. For the way we travel, towing a car this way is great.
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Old 09-23-2016, 03:17 PM   #9
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Has anyone had any experience with towing a larger dinghy with a Vegas or Axis? We have a Vegas 25.3 and a flat-towable F150 Ford Pick-up and are wondering how the tow would be, or if we are asking for trouble. Anyone..? Would be nice to NOT have to go dinghy-shopping and use what we already have.
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Old 09-23-2016, 03:40 PM   #10
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What year is your Vegas and do you know which frame you have (E350 or E450)?
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Old 09-23-2016, 03:56 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
What year is your Vegas and do you know which frame you have (E350 or E450)?
The Vegas is a 2016 with the E450 chassis.
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Old 09-23-2016, 04:01 PM   #12
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Well I've never pulled a toad that large so I can't speak of experience.

Your Vegas, however, should be up to the task with the 450 frame.
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Old 09-23-2016, 04:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
Well I've never pulled a toad that large so I can't speak of experience.

Your Vegas, however, should be up to the task with the 450 frame.
Well, once we get all the towing equipment installed and hook up, I'll let you know! Thanks for the quick reply!
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Old 09-23-2016, 04:39 PM   #14
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Without telling you that Blue Ox is the best here is what you will need. I would highly recommend looking at eTrailer.com prices versus what service shops may provide.

1. Baseplate installed on toad
2. taillight wiring harness. I would recommend a stand alone version that doesn't need to be spliced into your vehicle's wiring; something like the Blue Ox BX8869. Make sure you have the connector bracket for the base plate; usually sold separately.
3. Tow Bar.
3. Wiring coil/connector 7>6 or whichever your plug adapter is setup for from toad to RV.
3. Some type of Car Guard protector to keep your toad from getting beat up from rocks and debris from the road.
4. More than likely you will need a drop hitch receiver. Make sure to measure the distance to the ground from both toad base plate brackets and RV hitch. Usually want to be no more than 3" apart.
5. You will probably need a braking system depending on which states you intend to visit; best to have so you are legal everywhere including Canada.
6. I would also recommend a cover for your tow bar so it is protected while you are hanging out in the RV parks.
7. Not sure if you require a battery disconnect but I would double check your manual.

I hope this helps. Best of luck.
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Old 09-23-2016, 04:46 PM   #15
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Ford states in ads that all E-Series can tow up to 10,000 pounds.

As long as the Gross Combined Weight Rating isn't exceeded, it shouldn't make much difference whether it's an E-350 or E-450. The weak link may very well be in the hitch and frame extension (that's what would concern me most), and those appear the same after Thor upgraded from 5,000- to 8,000-pound receiver.
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Old 09-23-2016, 04:51 PM   #16
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Thank you, Erich! I also viewed the video above, posted by GBrown.... lots of information to absorb, but I do like their method of simply drilling new taillight holes in the dinghy's rear lights to accommodate another bulb and wires, leaving the factory wiring alone, when installing 'tow lights'. Also, I do like the idea of electronic breaking too. Thank you again for the 'shopping list'!
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Old 09-23-2016, 04:53 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chance View Post
Ford states in ads that all E-Series can tow up to 10,000 pounds.

As long as the Gross Combined Weight Rating isn't exceeded, it shouldn't make much difference whether it's an E-350 or E-450. The weak link may very well be in the hitch and frame extension (that's what would concern me most), and those appear the same after Thor upgraded from 5,000- to 8,000-pound receiver.
Good to know! Thanks!
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Old 09-23-2016, 05:54 PM   #18
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If you're not sure whether you want to flat tow or dolly tow, you can rent a tow dolly from U-Haul and can at least get exposure to what dolly towing is like. As for the flat towing, much more involved unless you know someone that has a flat tow already setup and you can borrow their car/tow equipment. Then compare the two yourself and decide.
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Old 10-27-2016, 01:23 AM   #19
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We finally had our tow setup installed. We chose Falcon 2 tow bars with a Brake Buddy Vantage Select braking system. Because of the height difference we needed a 6Ē drop adapter for the hitch and that required 12Ē extenders for the safety cables.

We pulled the HHR from Harrisburg, PA to Gaffney, SC through four campgrounds Ė one very tight Ė with no problems and no noticeable decrease in MPG.
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Old 12-30-2016, 12:25 AM   #20
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I think you will find flat towing far easier than dolly towing. Biggest problem, is when you get to a park, you have to do something with the dolly, usually means hand wrestling it to somewhere to store it, and some parks may have no provision for it at all. We have been towing our 2007 HHR since it was new, until a month ago with a 40+ foot DP, we now have a little Gemini, and though I can and have towed the HHR, I don't plan to do a lot of towing. We will use Uber and econobox rentals, but in reality the Gemini is so small it can go into parking lots for provisioning while we travel. That six inch drop is a lot, I only needed a two inch drop with the DP and none with the Gemini. My setup, BTW, is blue ox base plate, blue ox Aladdin tow bar, GM diode wiring kit for lights, and a US Gear unified braking system. It has all worked very well for many years.
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