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Old 04-28-2021, 11:47 AM   #1
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Towing a toad question...

Iím getting ready to start flat towing my 2021 Chevy Spark. Iím having the roadmaster package installed in a couple of weeks. The RV is a 2017 Thor Outlaw 38RE.

Is there anything, other than no backing, that I need to do differently! Is the turning radius drastically different?

Any tips or suggestions?

Thank you in advance for any help!
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Old 04-28-2021, 12:06 PM   #2
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I just set up my 21 Spark for towing. Havenít tow it yet, but had a Mini Cooper previous and had no problems.
All you have to do is remember that itís behind you!

I did have one problem though, I got a flat on my way to SC . Didnít even feel it. Only saw it when I was pulling out of the gas pumps. Since then I have added a TPMS system.
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Old 04-28-2021, 09:46 PM   #3
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Agree that TPMS is well worth adding. Without it you might not notice a flat on the towed car. Personally I consider it essential on the coach as well inasmuch as itís tires operate near their design limits and a failure on an ill handling top heavy vehicle can be challenging. I use a TireMinder i10 and like it a lot.
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Old 04-28-2021, 10:20 PM   #4
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Most keep their back up camera on when towing as you are unlikely to see the toad in your mirrors. TPMS as stated is a good idea. Also unlike towing a trailer there is no tail swing as the front wheels are unlocked the toad follows in the exact track of the motorhome. If you have allowed enough clearance to get the motorhome through then the toad will follow.
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Old 04-28-2021, 10:33 PM   #5
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As others have said, the toad goes where it's towed without having to take into account its track 95 times out of 100. The other 5 times are when you are maneuvering around gas pumps: if you don't watch closely it is possible to clip one of those yellow poles near the end of the island with the toad. I have not done that, but I have got in a situation where the only way out was to disconnect the toad so I could back up and extract the MH to prevent doing that. That back up camera is essential when maneuvering in close quarters.
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Old 04-29-2021, 03:09 AM   #6
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LANE CHANGES! Don't forget your TOAD is back there or you will get a rude reminder if you change lanes too soon!
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Old 04-29-2021, 05:26 AM   #7
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When’s it is time to unhook try and be as level and straight as you can. The road masters are non binding but it’s still a lot easier if you are straight and level.
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Old 04-29-2021, 01:09 PM   #8
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Thank you all for the info! Much appreciated
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Old 04-29-2021, 01:45 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by 16ACE27 View Post
As others have said, the toad goes where it's towed without having to take into account its track 95 times out of 100. The other 5 times are when you are maneuvering around gas pumps: if you don't watch closely it is possible to clip one of those yellow poles near the end of the island with the toad. I have not done that, but I have got in a situation where the only way out was to disconnect the toad so I could back up and extract the MH to prevent doing that. That back up camera is essential when maneuvering in close quarters.


One of the things Iíve learned about motorhomes - towing or not - is to park at a gas pump farther away from the island than I do in my car. Gas hoses are pretty long and Iím usually 5 or 6 feet away. Makes it a lot easier to maneuver. Tail swing when pulling away can be a ďthingĒ.
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Old 04-29-2021, 05:24 PM   #10
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I always keep my rear view camera on 100% of the time, and yes you need to be aware just how much longer you are for changing lanes.
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Old 04-29-2021, 06:03 PM   #11
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Those are very good tips on towing. I am just getting into towing our car and plan on taking a few short trips to get used to the length difference and going in/out of gas stations.

Paul
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Old 04-30-2021, 04:05 PM   #12
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I always keep my rear view camera on 100% of the time, and yes you need to be aware just how much longer you are for changing lanes.
I have a backup camera I bought o install on my pickup truck. I may just use it to keep an eye on my toad.
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Old 05-01-2021, 10:58 PM   #13
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Create a checklist, and USE IT every time you hitch up. I went through a few "dress rehearsals" a week before our first trip towing my Wrangler. Make sure tranny is in neutral, all lights work, braking system etc. Double check everything, and NEVER get in a hurry! Cheers and safe travels!! ☺️
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Old 05-02-2021, 01:57 AM   #14
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Create a checklist, and USE IT every time you hitch up. I went through a few "dress rehearsals" a week before our first trip towing my Wrangler. Make sure tranny is in neutral, all lights work, braking system etc. Double check everything, and NEVER get in a hurry! Cheers and safe travels!!


Good advice. I came within a gnats eyelash of driving off with my steering wheel still locked last time. My brain doesnít work like it used to.
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Old 05-02-2021, 01:28 PM   #15
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Checklist app?

I like the idea of using a checklist - for toad and for arrival, departure and even annual maintenance.

Is there an iOS or android app that anyone would recommend?

Id even be willing to dedicate an old phone or tablet for this purpose...
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Old 05-02-2021, 02:41 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WearyTraveler View Post
Iím getting ready to start flat towing my 2021 Chevy Spark. Iím having the roadmaster package installed in a couple of weeks. The RV is a 2017 Thor Outlaw 38RE.

Is there anything, other than no backing, that I need to do differently! Is the turning radius drastically different?

Any tips or suggestions?

Thank you in advance for any help!
I tow a 2020 Spark Activ 5 speed.
At 2200# itís a simple tow. In fact I donít use a brake package since itís lighter than most ďno-brakeĒ loaded utility trailers.

Chevy says to use a battery disconnect switch while being towíd.
And I generally start it after 300 miles of consistent towing just to lube the trans.

Also, I use magnetic lights on the rear end.

As said above, the best defense is to keep rear camera on permanently.
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Old 05-02-2021, 05:28 PM   #17
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With respect for those who think differently, I strongly recommend you use a braking system in your towed car. Braking on an RV isnít all that great to begin with and adding an extra ton or more of weight/momentum does nothing to improve the situation. I sometimes think good brakes on another four wheels actually helps as I can feel the car pulling during braking. Iím also in the camp that believes that it is required by law in most states to have brakes on a trailer. (Some folks donít think a car is a trailer).
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Old 05-02-2021, 06:30 PM   #18
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Checklist is IMO mandatory. I would hook the car up, then my wife would read through the checklist item by item. Forgetting even one step when hooking up could spell disaster. Got into the habit of using a checklist, during my flying days, which for pilots is mandatory during pre-flight check.
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Old 05-06-2021, 01:18 PM   #19
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Ok - getting close!

Alrighty then! Next Tuesday Iím heading to the local RV repair shop and having them install my Roadmaster tow bracket, brake system, lights and battery cut off on my 2021 Spark.
Iím still leery about the additional length and turning etc...
Itís just me and my pup so I plan to grab a buddy to take the shake down cruise. Iím thinking about a 3 day weekend trip where I stop at every rest area and practice hook / unhook as well as the ďno backingĒ parking.
I appreciate all your patience as well as the advice. Any last pieces of advice / gotchas / doníts?

Again - thank you in advance!
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Old 05-06-2021, 01:29 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by WearyTraveler View Post
Alrighty then! Next Tuesday I’m heading to the local RV repair shop and having them install my Roadmaster tow bracket, brake system, lights and battery cut off on my 2021 Spark.
I’m still leery about the additional length and turning etc...
It’s just me and my pup so I plan to grab a buddy to take the shake down cruise. I’m thinking about a 3 day weekend trip where I stop at every rest area and practice hook / unhook as well as the “no backing” parking.
I appreciate all your patience as well as the advice. Any last pieces of advice / gotchas / don’ts?

Again - thank you in advance!
Like stated above, suggest that you make a check-list
That way you won’t forget an important detail like...put shifter in neutral or release parking brake

One thing I really enjoy abt my Spark is that it’s so light that I can maneuver it in neutral with engine off.
That is, once I get it close enough to the hitch point on my tow vehicle, I can push/pull fairly easily to do the final hook-up attachment.
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