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Old 12-05-2019, 08:21 PM   #1
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THOR #14227
flat towing

Long time bumper pull and 5-W camping, but new to motor coach and flat towing. Question...how much can I back up when towing if necessary? NOT at all, 3 or 4 feet...? Thanks in advance.

JG
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Old 12-05-2019, 08:28 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Ozark Traveler View Post
Long time bumper pull and 5-W camping, but new to motor coach and flat towing. Question...how much can I back up when towing if necessary? NOT at all, 3 or 4 feet...? Thanks in advance.

JG
General rule of thumb is not at all unless you have money to burn replacing damaged tow equipment.

Others will tell you different, but bottom line, you can do whatever your wallet can afford.
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Old 12-05-2019, 08:44 PM   #3
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If in a straight line? 3 to 4 feet at the most not touching the steering wheel. Otherwise, see thew post above.
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Old 12-05-2019, 10:50 PM   #4
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My advice is donít try. I overshot a gas pump once and backed up about a foot but thatís about it. It takes some effort to avoid back up situations. Choose big truck stops on interstate highways for gas and be especially careful when stopping for meals to avoid tight parking lots. Easy though to unhook and re connect as needed.
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Old 12-05-2019, 11:46 PM   #5
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THOR #4735
I've backed up plenty of times when needed, at least 10-20 ft or more, if the wheels stay aligned. If you are trying to back up with anything other than straight, it could quickly jack-knife the vehicle. If you try to back up while the toad's wheels are already anything other than already straight, the vehicle will begin to make that turn as you are backing.

You tow equipment is not at risk, you are not backing up at 65mph, but at 1 1/2 mph, and your toad is in neutral.
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Old 12-05-2019, 11:50 PM   #6
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It's okay to back-up until JUST before metal and plastic start getting re-arranged.
In my case: that's about three inches!
Your mileage may vary...
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Old 12-06-2019, 01:03 AM   #7
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I tow a Chevrolet Equinox with a Demco Commander and don't seem to have any problems backing up a few feet when needed. What parts of the two set-up are people breaking? Have I just been whistling past the graveyard on this?
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Old 12-06-2019, 06:17 AM   #8
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Thanks for the replies. I've always tried not to pull into a fuel stop that doesn't seem to have a way out without backing up. I try to google new fuel stops a day or so ahead of time. Thanks, JG
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Old 12-11-2019, 06:06 PM   #9
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Ready to start towing 4 down for the first time, so I was interested in these comments. I have the Blue ox system (Ascent), so I asked the Blue ox folks. Their answer was never never never reverse at all. Highlighted in bold. Never. So, I'm pretty sure I'll be unhooking if I ever need to.
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Old 12-11-2019, 06:16 PM   #10
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With a little bit of forethought: it's not a big deal...
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Old 12-14-2019, 07:09 PM   #11
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If nothing is binding up and your toad isn't twisting at a horrible angle, just back up slow. If you are in a bind, try to straighten and have someone steer the toad to help you keep them on a line that can continue to move.

But yah if they get twisted up which they almost immediately tend to do when backing up flat towing, stop right away or something is going to go boom.
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Old 12-14-2019, 07:17 PM   #12
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Having a calm set of eyeballs that are watching the hitch connection, and has a direct line of communication to you: is always the best possible situation.
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Old 12-14-2019, 11:17 PM   #13
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The never, never, never is the correct answer in my book. I use Google maps to help me find gas stations that have good entrances and exits when I can.
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Old 12-14-2019, 11:20 PM   #14
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So could you do it with DW in the toad holding the steering wheel straight?
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Old 12-15-2019, 12:51 AM   #15
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We did three things this year that make life a lot easier for me when it comes to towing. All three come together in one neat package.

1. Bought the Jeep Grand Cherokee so it can be flat towed and sold our Master Tow tow dolly.
2. Had the RoadMaster InvsiBrake installed in the Jeep as part of the tow package. I do not have to remove or setup a braking system whenever we tow. I can have the Jeep hooked up in under three minutes and disconnected in under 2.
3. Traded the Challenger in on the Accolade which is a Super C on a Freightliner chassis. Use the truck lanes for fueling and with 100 gallons I estimate fueling every other day.

Three individual actions that weren't planned to work together but come together in a nice cohesive package.

My wallet could not afford a stupid mistake like the damage done from backing a TOAD but it could afford the three changes we made this year.

Happy towing and I am in the never, never, never camp. I inadvertently, in a moment of stupidity, caused an issue with my tow dolly backing about one or two feet. When I heard the metal strain I knew I made a mistake. Luckily pulling forward and a couple of tight turns got the rotating table to re-seat on the dolly. Now you know the reason why I am in the never, never, never group.

But like I always say, you can do whatever your wallet can afford. Remember the red necks famous last words "Hold my beer, watch this".

Safe travels and happy towing.
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Old 12-15-2019, 03:28 AM   #16
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It’s really not worth the possible cost of backing up. It’s sucks to unhook sometimes but I would rather lose 30 mins then some money. The best way to avoid the backing up is just experience you will learn what you can get into and what you can’t. You will develop new curse words when someone sneaks in and takes the gas pump at the end that you were waiting for. It’s just part of it
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Old 12-15-2019, 12:34 PM   #17
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Don't back up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete'sMH View Post
My advice is donít try. I overshot a gas pump once and backed up about a foot but thatís about it. It takes some effort to avoid back up situations. Choose big truck stops on interstate highways for gas and be especially careful when stopping for meals to avoid tight parking lots. Easy though to unhook and re connect as needed.
I couldn't agree more. No backing up. I recently got hung up at Pilot station and couldn't back up to get out of situation so just pulled forward, disconnected the TOAD, got gas, then reconnected. Not worth damage you can do to you rig.
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Old 12-17-2019, 06:31 PM   #18
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I am in the NEVER, NEVER, NEVER camp, but for one exception in which I was very, very, very careful. I was parked with the toad on a slight incline (front was uphill) near a fast food place on an access road near the interstate. Their parking lot did not look like it was "safe". I waited for the DW to come back with lunch. For some reason, I don't recall, I needed to back up a few feet. Aware of the physics involved, I just put the MH in neutral and let the toad roll straight back, as it was in neutral and the wheels were straight. Letting weight of the toad keep the tension on the towbar was the key here. It seemed as safe as having the toad disconnected and letting it roll back in neutral. I did not and have not and will not ever attempt a powered back up of the MH with the toad attached. I do not want to take a chance of damaging the towbar or the baseplate.

Two or three of times, we have had to disconnect the toad and maneuver and reconnect. Since then, if I am not planning to stop at a "truck stop" for the next fill up, I always use Google maps to check out the access in and out of the stations.
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Old 12-17-2019, 06:48 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Goodbar View Post
I am in the NEVER, NEVER, NEVER camp, but for one exception in which I was very, very, very careful. I was parked with the toad on a slight incline (front was uphill) near a fast food place on an access road near the interstate. Their parking lot did not look like it was "safe". I waited for the DW to come back with lunch. For some reason, I don't recall, I needed to back up a few feet. Aware of the physics involved, I just put the MH in neutral and let the toad roll straight back, as it was in neutral and the wheels were straight. Letting weight of the toad keep the tension on the towbar was the key here. It seemed as safe as having the toad disconnected and letting it roll back in neutral. I did not and have not and will not ever attempt a powered back up of the MH with the toad attached. I do not want to take a chance of damaging the towbar or the baseplate.

Two or three of times, we have had to disconnect the toad and maneuver and reconnect. Since then, if I am not planning to stop at a "truck stop" for the next fill up, I always use Google maps to check out the access in and out of the stations.
It didn't occur to you that with both vehicles in neutral that gravity was pulling both vehicles backward and there may or may not have been any tension on the tow bar?

If tension on the tow bar was a requirement for straight tracking what would happen when the MH downshifted or applied brakes more strongly than the toad?

Tension or compression make not difference on the toad's steering while backing; it's how far out of a straight roll that matters and causes the caster to crank the toad's wheels against the roll.
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Old 12-17-2019, 08:52 PM   #20
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Wold it work to ask DW to sit in the toad and hold the wheels straight? Could she do it? Or would the forces be so strong that she couldnít without the power assist?
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