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Old 06-17-2019, 10:58 AM   #1
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Toad mph/handling

Newbie question about toads, does it effect overall mpg and does MH handle any differently especially in winds or when semi's passing?
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Old 06-17-2019, 11:25 AM   #2
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Most toads track really well regardless of method (4-down, dolly, etc.). (There has been occasional discussion about the dreaded Jeep "Death Wobble" but I think that applies to just about any solid front axle vehicle.)

MPG isn't affected as much as you'd think (an additional 4k on a 20k vehicle isn't really that noticeable). You'll find a greater MPG variation between 60 mph and 70 mph than you will between towing and not towing (You're driving a brick in the wind: air resistance at speed provides more affect on mileage than a vehicle in the negative pressure zone behind the RV).
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Old 06-17-2019, 04:10 PM   #3
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The death wobble I think was more due to a chance i. Steering on some late model wranglers. Our 2013 pulls great mileage is the same whether we are towing or not. Biggest factor for us in mileage is the wind. Going 60 versus 70 doesn’t seem to change much.
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Old 06-18-2019, 11:35 PM   #4
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I tow a Honda CRV I would guest-a-mate I lose about 1/4 or so MPG when the Honda is along for the ride. No noticeable change in handling of the coach. Unfortunately it doesn't act like a sea anchor and help stabilize the tail of the coach. I have felt the back end wiggle once or twice.
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Old 06-19-2019, 12:01 AM   #5
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Not sure about others but the Sprinter 3500 tows as though nothing is there. Mpg about 1 mph change best I can tell.
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Old 06-19-2019, 08:00 PM   #6
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If your MH has a stable front end you will not notice the toad. Front end stability is a function of having enough +caster. A typical front end should have at least +5.5 degrees of caster. IMO.
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Old 06-19-2019, 08:25 PM   #7
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A toad may affect handling if not properly set up. If your tow bar is not parallel to the ground your toad may get a bit jiggy. I don't track fuel mileage so I can answer that part.
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Old 06-19-2019, 08:45 PM   #8
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Well I will be the dissenter in the group. My coach is stable without the dolly and Rampside truck. Adding the dolly and truck, I could feel the pull on the coach in a turn or on a rutted Interstate. Adding a rear track bar cured that problem. Part of my problem is I have a short wheel base coach (190") with a long rear overhang (150"). Yes, I can feel the toad on acceleration and it does effect the fuel mileage about 1/2 mpg on the flat and 3/4 mpg in the mountains. The dolly's surge brakes work perfectly, so I do not notice any difference in braking with the dolly. I have towed one of cars our two cars or the truck for about 1/2 of the coach's 31,000 miles.
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Old 06-21-2019, 04:00 AM   #9
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Our Cherokee Trailhawk tips the scales at around 4300 lbs. Pulling an additional two tons does effect the V-10s acceleration and I'm sure it knocks off MPG (though I haven't bothered checking mpg). You can't move that much weight without using more fuel to get moving or, pull it up a hill. I have not noticed any handling issues with the coach due to the Cherokee in tow. Last week we hauled the Jeep in 30 mph gusts. The MH was a handful did not notice the Cherokee getting tossed around at all.
My biggest issue is finding gas stations in small towns you can get the coach and toad in and out of. Interstates have service stations designed for travel trailers and MH's. The two lane highways through rural America we like to travel, fueling in small town USA can be a problem.
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Old 06-21-2019, 11:36 AM   #10
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our averages, over almost 100,000 miles, in just under 5 years, is about
12.4 without our Ford Fiesta or Focus toad, and
11.4 with towing...

so, 1 mph difference... on average
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Old 06-21-2019, 12:32 PM   #11
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I tow a CR-V behind my Chateau 31E. I don't notice any difference in handling, but the RV does struggle towing up hills.
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Old 06-22-2019, 01:48 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by MJC62 View Post
Our Cherokee Trailhawk tips the scales at around 4300 lbs. Pulling an additional two tons does effect the V-10s acceleration and I'm sure it knocks off MPG (though I haven't bothered checking mpg). You can't move that much weight without using more fuel to get moving or, pull it up a hill. I have not noticed any handling issues with the coach due to the Cherokee in tow. Last week we hauled the Jeep in 30 mph gusts. The MH was a handful did not notice the Cherokee getting tossed around at all.
My biggest issue is finding gas stations in small towns you can get the coach and toad in and out of. Interstates have service stations designed for travel trailers and MH's. The two lane highways through rural America we like to travel, fueling in small town USA can be a problem.
We pull a 2107 Cherokee Trailhawk. I guess that we lose maybe 1 MPG but itís tough to say as we havenít put many miles on our 2017 ACE 30.1 without a toad. Before the Trailhawk we dolly towed a Mini Cooper S. The ACE is a dog headed up our Colorado passes with or without the toad. At 9-10K ft there isnít a lot of power so itís patience as you slog up the pass at 35-40 mph. In tow/haul mode going down isnít a problem as the transmission downshifts, but the engine is a screamer. Saves the brakes though.

I find that many small towns usually have at least one older gas station with pumps that parallel the road. In mid size towns (Steamboat Springs Iím talking about you) itís often more difficult to find a station that can handle the the coach and toad. Too many (almost all) newer stations attached to convenience stores have their pumps perpendicular to the road and unless you snag an left side end row with a generous space between the pumps and the store you are SOL. Iíve had a few very close calls.When considering pulling into one of those spots they get a long look with the hairy eyeball before I decide to pull in.

On days when I need gas I spend some quality time with Google maps looking at satellite and street views to locate some candidates. Often when we stay in a RV park in a small town we will disconnect and then drive the coach into town to a station that can take the coach only. The ACE by itself has a remarkably small turning radius. (My wifeís Acura RDX has a bigger one than the ACE.) However you need enough space to get the back wheels clear of the pump island. Always use the left outside island so tail wag doesnít put you into a bollard post.

We try and stay away from a Pilot, Loves, etc on the the road.Too crazy and a far too large of a supply of people who donít understand that itís not OK to go have lunch while you fill up, so they block an entire pump row for half an hour or more instead of finding a parking spot. If a Google maps view shows they have an RV lane, then maybe.
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Old 06-29-2019, 07:55 PM   #13
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toad/handling

We tow a 2nd generation 2008 Jeep Liberty@ 4200 lbs. You do notice the weight a bit when accelerating/ towing but you get accustomed to it very quickly. Most of the time you don't notice you are towing at all except the occasional "tug" when you go over a dip or hump. Guessing 1/2-1mpg less while towing.

Interestingly, last week we climbed Cuesta Grade in San Luis Obispo, CA.
A mile or so before the grade a newish diesel pusher whizzed pass us going about 65-70mph also towing a Jeep. We were at 55 mph. We hit the grade and soon and I noticed we were steadily gaining on the diesel without even trying. We actually had to pass it half way up the grade as he could not seem to exceed about 40 mph. Our V-10 could probably could have done 50-55mph but I held it at 45. Sorry I didn't catch the make or model-a quite new diesel though.
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Old 06-29-2019, 10:57 PM   #14
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2800 miles much of it at high elevations coming across I80 (Nevada, Wyoming, etc.) a lot of crosswinds and some headwinds.
65-70 mph max
Toad is a 5200# Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited
Tow bar is Blue Ox 10k
2017 E450 Thor Vegas - 6.8L V10 / 6 speed Trans. Roadmaster Sway Bars, Stabilizers. Tires aired up to 80PSI.
Avg MPG was calculated by hand, totalling up all our fuel slips.
6.48 MPG average over the whole trip.
ó
Handling.
Iíve towed everything from our old 3500# RPod single axle trailer to our 19k# 42í triple axle tow hauler. This was the first time I ever drug a 4 wheels down vehicle more than 20 miles.
It was a hand full whenever we were passed by anything larger than a pickup truck. The wall of wind would hit the toad which would move the toad to the right. The force on the back of the motorhome would point us to the left. From there on it was a wiggle-dance of decreasing oscillations for the next little while.
I have checked in with the folks at Blue Ox and they say my tow bar is performing normally.
My Toad is aligned perfectly, has Highway tread tires aired up to 42 PSI.
Iím not a fan of tow bars, but it looks like Iíll have to get used to it and to slow down 10 mph...
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Old 06-29-2019, 11:59 PM   #15
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Sprinter 24 foot flat towing a Honda CRV. Donít even know itís there unless I need to back up then. Woah.
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Old 06-30-2019, 12:50 AM   #16
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Last month, we bought a 2000 Jeep Wrangler Sport to tow behind the Axis. We are getting setup with Blue Ox package and Patriot braking (it was a trade in so we got it for a great price) Ö we have pulled enclosed trailers for many years Ö towing a vehicle is new to us. We have read and printed all the necessary information regarding towing the Jeep...however,
ANY and ALL feedback will be appreciated.
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Old 06-30-2019, 02:51 AM   #17
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Can’t tell any difference in handling, takes slightly longer to stop and slight increase in mpg.
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Old 06-30-2019, 12:24 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by vkb View Post
Last month, we bought a 2000 Jeep Wrangler Sport to tow behind the Axis. We are getting setup with Blue Ox package and Patriot braking (it was a trade in so we got it for a great price) Ö we have pulled enclosed trailers for many years Ö towing a vehicle is new to us. We have read and printed all the necessary information regarding towing the Jeep...however,

ANY and ALL feedback will be appreciated.

Attachment 18595


1. Donít even think of backing up.
2. If you think of backing up, see #1..
3. If you insist on backing up, please record your rear view camera feed for us...

But seriously, great choice for a toad... We tow a 2010 Wrangler. Notice the weight on acceleration.. Downshifts more often on hills.
Never notice it stopping with supplemental brakes.
(I use Roadmaster, but nothing wrong at all with your setup)

As mentioned, look carefully before pulling into gas station, or any tight parking lot... plan your exit before you enter to avoid temptation (to backup) or having to unhook.
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Old 06-30-2019, 01:32 PM   #19
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Yeah - backing up with a toad on a tow bar can be a bit of a problem. Iíve backed straight about 6í to get aligned with a dump station once, but thatís it..
I think if you tried to back up and have your wheels on the MH turned, you will definitely have troubles...
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Old 06-30-2019, 03:44 PM   #20
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Yeah - backing up with a toad on a tow bar can be a bit of a problem. Iíve backed straight about 6í to get aligned with a dump station once, but thatís it..
I think if you tried to back up and have your wheels on the MH turned, you will definitely have troubles...

Like most things there are some exceptions.

I use to tow a very light dune buggy built from a rear engine VW, and the front was very light (maybe 300~400 pounds). When I got home I often backed up to park it just like if it was a trailer. The front wheels would steer in opposite direction as soon as I started to move backwards, but Iíd just let them slide across the pavement and grass. There wasnít enough weight to cause any harm.

Iíve thought about some day getting a little street legal dune buggy as a toad in place of a motorcycle or scooter. It would not replace a car, but could function more like a motorcycle to get around, and to go off-road also. At about 1,000 pounds (never weighed it) it was extremely easy to tow behind my car or my dadís 4X4 pickup. Behind a heavy motorhome it would be easy to forget it was back there.
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