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 Post subject: Towed Vehicles
PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 9:33 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2006 8:27 pm
Posts: 9
Being an absolute novice I was wondering if there is information somewhere on the methods and equiipment needed to tow a vehicle behind an RV? I have seen tow bars, caddies etc. Is one preferred over another? Is there a preferred towed vehicle type? How about light hook-ups and brake hook-ups? There are probably more questions I just don't know the right ones to ask. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Bob

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 11:28 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2005 7:38 pm
Posts: 63
Location: DeLand, FLorida
You can start here:
http://www.rv-coach.com/current_categor ... _list.html

You can use Google and enter the words RV Towing, and you will receive
3,090,000 web sites where you can find more information that you really wanted to know. www.google,com

No matter what you tow, you must have supplemental brakes. If you tow four on the floor, all wheels of your tow vehicle are on the ground, then by law you must have a supplemental braking system. I use the Brake Buddy system myself, and have for a number of years. I can stop the RV quicker with the combined braking power of the BF and the towed vehicle then I can with the RV alone.

My personal opinion that having a tow trailer just adds to your problens when you get where you are going, problems of where to store it, etc. There are a number of makes out there but remember it too must have its own braking system. With a trailer you are only getting the braking power of two wheels whereas without the trailer you are getting four wheels braking on the car.

You need to do a lot of homework as a towing sytem can be very expensive, especially if it does not do the job you intended.

A Class A Diesel might be able to get by without supplemental braking, but your BF can not for obvious safety reasons, even if it were not against the law.

If you have an accident and you are not in compliance with the law, you are already behind the eight ball in any law suit.

Wish you well.

Bob

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ROBERT D. DAVIS
USN Retired/CPA Retired
Contact me for PressurePro Tire Pressuring Monitoring Systems or see my ad under Vendors


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 Post subject: NEW TO RV TOWING
PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 4:20 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2005 8:05 pm
Posts: 2003
Location: Spencer, IA
Bob (bjepp),

I will try to add advice to what Robert Davis already posted. Your question is somewhat hard to answer because there are probably hundreds of various opinions by various people on what tow bar or tow dolly to use, what is the best vehicle to tow, which is the best supplimental braking system to use and, etc.

I will give you the benefit of my 7 years experience towing two different cars 4-wheels down behind a Born Free for a total of 65,000 miles or more. What advice I give here is based on what I chose to do and my experience.

A) 4-Wheels Down Towing

Any 4 wheel drive vehicle with a transfer case that can be put in neutral can be towed 4-wheels down and there are many choices there. There are a number of cars that happen to have automatic transmissions that can be towed 4-wheels down without any modifications. Most all models of the GM Saturn will tow that way. All Chevrolet Malibu's made since 1997 will work as will the equivalent model Pontiac (currently the G6) and some earlier but now discontinued Olds models. Except for some 2005 and 2006 models, most automatic transmission equipped Hondas can be towed 4-wheels down along with other models that I am not really aware of. A lot of RV'ers tow various manual transmission equipped Volkswegen models.

Now if you have a favorite car that you absoluting must tow but it is on the large list of vehicles with automatic transmissions that will destroy themselves if you tow it 4-wheels down - you do have choices.

B) TOW DOLLY

This is a choice I would not like because the dolly adds approximately 500 lb in addition to the weight of the car you are towing. You should try to keep your towed weight down, not increase it. Also, the tow dolly just gets in your way and is a hassle to store someplace once you arrive at a RV park. In my opinion, the tow dolly system involves more work to hookup and unhook than does the 4-wheels down towing method, but there are those that would disagree.

C) REMCO - DRIVE-LINE DISCONNECTS & TRANSMISSION LUBE PUMPS

This company in Omaha usually has either a drive line disconnect or an auxillary automatic transmission (AT) lubrication pump that can be used to protect cars with automatic transmissions that can't be normally towed. I have heard however of many cases where the aux electric lube pump for the transmission fails with resulting destruction of your AT anyway.

I decided early on to avoid all these hassles and just purchase a toad that could be towed 4-wheels down without any modifications necessary. I towed a 1998 Chev Malibu LS for 59,000 miles before upgrading to a 2005 Chev Malibu LS that I have now towed for 6000 and have had no towing problems with either one.

D) TOW BARS

The three largest manufactures probably are Roadmaster, Blue Ox, and Demco. All three make several models of tow bars and all three make good products.

Your other basic choice is whether the tow bar stays mounted on the front of your car or stays mounted on the rear of your motorhome when disconnected and not towing. Personally, I don't want to haul my tow bar around on the front of my car when using it seperate from the motorhome - it looks bad there, but I don't mind it folded up on the back of the motorhome.

The critical advice here I think is to choose a tow bar that is easy to connect and disconnect - some choices are a one man operation and some choices require two people and I certainly don't recommend the later. My tow bar choice was a Blue Ox model Aventa II tow bar system and I have used it all 7 years. It stays motorhome mounted and this tow bar uses a base plate that mounts to the front frame of the car with only two small tabs that protrude from the grill to which you hookup to the tow bar. If I were buying a new tow bar, I would now select their newer model called the Alexus - it has the new advantage of gimbal that is even better at avoiding twisting forces on the tow bar when on unlevel ground that normally makes a tow bar sometimes difficult to hookup or unhook.

Another thing to be aware of is that your tow bar system should be as level as possible when on level ground. Normally with a Born Free rear hitch system towing a car, the tow bar will be noticibly higher at the motorhome end. If your tow bar is more than 2" out of level, they make drop receivers in 2", 4", 6", and 8" drop sizes to fix this problem. Having a level tow bar is being kind to your toad's front suspension, frame, wheels and tires.

E) AUX BRAKING SYSTEM

Like Robert Davis, I use a Brake Buddy and highly recommend it. It is simply to use, install, and uninstall.

F) WIRING FROM YOUR MOTORHOME TO YOUR TOAD - BRAKE LIGHTS, TURN SIGNALS, AND TAIL LIGHTS

Both of my Malibus were wired to operate the existing rear brake lights, turn signal lights and tail lights from the motorhome when towed. I highly recommend a wiring kit with isolation diodes to eliminate common feedback problems. Your other choice is us an auxillary lighting system usually magnetically mounted on the trunk lid of your toad and plugged into the motorhome. This method eliminates the need to install the custom lighting wiring harness and isolation diodes into your toad, but like a tow dolly, it again causes installation, removal, and storage problems.

Here is my advice when you are a novice at this towing game. Have a professional with experience install your tow bar system and your toad lighting cable harness. It will cost in the order of $2000 or more to properly setup a car for safe RV towing.

I would be happy to try to answer any specific towing questions that you might encounter.

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Bill Hemme - Spencer, Iowa
E-mail: whemme@earthlink.net
2002 Born Free (Ford E-450 V10) 26' RSB
2016 VW Golf GTI - toad


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:30 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 10:23 am
Posts: 40
Location: Melbourne, Florida
If you haven't made your choice of a toad yet, I have one that I just decided to sell. It is a 2004 Oldsmobile Alero GL Coupe. It has P/S, P/B, AC, Auto transmission and much more. It has 31,000 miles on it and is still under factory warrenty.(Extended warrenty is available.) It comes complete with a Blue Ox Aventa tow bar (tow bar stays on the motorhome), Blue Ox Hidden baseplate, motorhome to toad wiring, safety cables, tow bar cover and accessory bag. In other words, just "plug in and go". The car is in excellent condition and tows very well. Current NADA value for the car alone is $10,500. I am asking $9,000 obo for the car including the tow equipment. Reason for sale is I have 2 "toads" and one of them has to go. My wife wants to keep the other one, so the Oldsmobile is on the market. Pictures are available on request. Call me at (321) 259-9708 or e-mail at gkarschnick@cfl.rr.com. The car is in Melbourne, FL. I can deliver it for expenses. Note: Sold on Monday, May 22nd. Thanks to all who e-mailed me.

Per the photo posting rules on this forum, the author's 28.444" wide photo was reduced in size to meet the maximum 7.5" wide requirement - 6/4/2006

bfadmin


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 11:22 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2006 8:27 pm
Posts: 9
This may seem like a very broad question, but is there a preferred toad or several preferred options? I assume manual trans are better, true? According to my trusted mechanic, my 93 Honda Accord should not be towed with four down.

Suggestions?

Bob

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 12:04 am 
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Posts: 9
Deleted double posting by bjepp,

bfadmin

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 12:49 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2005 7:38 pm
Posts: 63
Location: DeLand, FLorida
There are several vehicles that are easy to tow, and the Honda Accord with an automatic transmission is one of them. I am not sure about the 93, but I have a 98 V6 with automatic transmission and I have towed it with my BF for 30,000 plus miles. They do recommend you run the engine and put the car through the various gears every 200 or so miles for a couple of minutes. I have a pattern. If I am towing for successive days without removing the tow car, then I run through the gears in the evening when I arrive at the campsite or I do it in the morning before I start off. Then since I always stop for lunch about noon time, I do it again. Sometimes when I pull into a rest stop for a quick potty run, I do it then. You can run through the gears while still hooked up to the RV by putting your foot on the brake petal.

The FMCA website (www.fmca.com) puts out a monthly magazine and every year they include an article listing the best vehicles that year for towing. I looked at the back issues on line, but they do not go back to 1993. If you decide to become a member of the FMCA (which by the way is an excellent investment), you may be able to get a copy of the back issue for 1993.

Another advantage to joining the FMCA is the availability of their coach-net road service. This will cover your RV and your cars are included at no extra cost. I believe the cost is $95.00 a year, but one service call will more than compensate for that.

You might want to look through your Honda owners manual and see what it says about towing.

There is a RVer on one of the RV Foreums that tows a 1993 Honda Accord, but he did not say if it was an automatic or a manual transmission.

BlueOx (www.blueox.us) sells base plates (the part that goes on your car) for the 93 Accord (not including the SE or the Wagon). If you send them an e-mail at info@blueox.us they can advise you if your car can be towed and what else may be required. They do not sell direct so you will need to buy any Blueox product from a local dealer. I strongly recommend professional installation. They had to remove the entire front end of my car to install my base places on my 98 Accord. I have the type of base plate where the connecting portion that is permanently attached to the car is very unobtrusive. Unless you were looking for it, you would hardly see it. My tow bar remains on the motor home. I use a locking pin to keep it from being stolen.

You might want to take a look down the RV aisle at your local Super Walmart. They sell many of the items you will need in your RV at a reasonable cost.

Just one last passing thought unrelated to towing. Be sure to use the special paper (sold at Walmart) for RV toilets. Using regular household paper will jam up your system as it does not desolve quickly enough. You really do not want to tackle that job of cleaning out a clogged holding tank!

I have found that there is an extensive amount of information about all of the facets of RVing on the internet. Use your search engine (google) and enter a few word description and you will find an answer to any question you may have.

Having said that, do not stop asking your questions on this Board, as a former college professor, I used to tell my students, that there is no such thing as a dumb question, only dumb answers.

Good luck. And keep the questions coming.

Regards,

Robert

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ROBERT D. DAVIS
USN Retired/CPA Retired
Contact me for PressurePro Tire Pressuring Monitoring Systems or see my ad under Vendors


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 Post subject: Honda Towing
PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 1:04 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2005 8:05 pm
Posts: 2003
Location: Spencer, IA
bjepp,

Honda issued a special Service Bulletin some time ago about the special procedure to go relating to the automatic transmission in Accords and other Honda cars. I can't find the bulletin on the internet but the website link below refers to it in a post by Simonton. The only caution is that the newer Hondas (2005 and newer) are now not generally towable 4-wheels down but the older models including your 1993 Accord should be OK.

http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fusea ... m#13270236

Go to your Honda dealer and have them get you a copy of the Service Bulletin as it applies to you 1993 Accord - I think you will find that it will be safe to tow 4-wheels down as Robert Davis indicates above.

As I understand it, the key to the safe use of this procedure is to as your are shifting thru the gear positions to never, never go thru Reverse and then to Neutral. Your automatic transmission will be destroyed if you do that. Follow that procedure precisely.

Go have either a Blue Ox Aventa II or Alexus tow bar system installed along with toad rear lighting wiring and purchase a Brake Buddy system for your 1993 Honda Accord and I don't think you will disappointed with the resulting towing system.

_________________
Bill Hemme - Spencer, Iowa
E-mail: whemme@earthlink.net
2002 Born Free (Ford E-450 V10) 26' RSB
2016 VW Golf GTI - toad


Last edited by whemme on Thu Mar 30, 2006 3:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 1:18 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2005 7:38 pm
Posts: 63
Location: DeLand, FLorida
Thank you Bill for the addition about shifting through the gears. I had intended to include it but by the time I got to the end of the posting, I forgot. Just one of the many side benefits of getting old.

You can move through any of the gears (while standing still with your foot on the brake), but as Bill pointed out, it is absolute critical that the last shift is from first gear to neutral. Shifting from reverse to neutral leaves a portion of your transmission engaged and driving that way any distance at all can result in a severly damaged transmission. I have often gone though the process and when I was done, I could not recall how I ended up. So I always did the process over just to be on the safe side.
================
Just another tidbit of information. The parking brake on the RV (at least on the 1997 and 2002 Ford models) is not connected to the wheels, but is a band around the drive shaft. It is very easy to forget to release the brake petal before you drive off. Living in Florida with very few hills, I normally do not use the parking brake, but I have found that when I have left my vehicle for service, often the mechanic will engage the brake when he parks it. I had to replace the parking brake on my 1997 and it cost over $800 then. As a result, I went to Radio Shack and purchased a 2 or 3 dollar buzzer and had it connected to the brake petal. That way, when I turn the key on and the brake is engaged, I get a very loud warning signal. It has saved me a few times from driving with the parking brake on. By the way, the Ford engine is so powerful that you can easily drive with the parking brake on and you will not know you are damaging the braking band until the damage is done.

Bob

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ROBERT D. DAVIS
USN Retired/CPA Retired
Contact me for PressurePro Tire Pressuring Monitoring Systems or see my ad under Vendors


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 8:20 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2006 6:41 pm
Posts: 98
Location: near Falcon, Colorado
Towing a car trailer, either an open or closed unit, is another option that makes sense for us since we have two non-towable cars, both BMW X3s.

The Motorhome Magazine link to Dinghy towing is on their homepage and shows vehicles from 2002 to 2006: http://www.motorhomemagazine.com/

We have the gross weight capacity with the 32-foot President, but as I mentioned in another thread, we'd need to upgrade the Class IV hitch to Class V. Having a braking axle on the trailer eliminates the need for a brake augmentation system (like Brake Buddy), plus we won't have the towbar on the coach and base plate hardware on the cars - and the added flexibility of towing either car.

Someone mentioned buying a cheap toad, but I think working with what we have gives us the long-term benefit of changing vehicles at any time.

Just a different point of view. As mentioned, there are many choices.

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2006 BF 32' RT President


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 8:31 am 
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Posts: 40
Location: Melbourne, Florida
Bob, to add to what we discussed over the phone. I successfully towed a '91 Honda Accord for a couple of years using the techniques discussed elsewhere, (shift into neutral from drive and stop every couple of hundred miles and run the transmission through the gears). You might want to look at the wisdom of going through the expense of baseplate, towbar and wiring harness on a high milage older car versus a newer car that might be less prone to break down. I am a Honda fan, however, and I do think that with proper maintanence, they will last for 150,000 miles or more. Give me a call and I can steer you to a couple of used Brake Buddy's that are for sale.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 8:35 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2006 8:27 pm
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Gentlemen,

You cannot begin to imagine the help you and this forum has been. I almost scraped the whole idea yesterday when I heard I could not use my 93 accord in a four down towing configuration. I have been accused of being impulsive and discovering critical issues after the fact. I am trying to do thorough due diligence prior to investment. Thanks for all of your help.

Bob

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 Post subject: '93 Honda Accord Dinghy
PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 1:28 pm 
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Posts: 509
Location: Klamath Falls, OR
Bob,

Don't give up hope on that '93 Honda yet. Your mechanic just might not have the whole story.

I've been searching the house for the '93 Trailer Life Tow Guide. However, we're in temporary living quarters until we get the new house built and it's probably in storage. (It's been 18 months and we're going crazy! :cry: 6 months to go. :) ) I've never towed a car, however, that edition also has the capacity ratings for my '93 truck.

Through the years Honda has always publicly stated that their cars aren't towable but most are towable if you follow the recommended lubrication routine and Honda's official position supports that. And, I seem to remember that was also true in '93 but it's been too long since I referenced the table and the Honda wasn't my primary interest at the time so I can't be sure.

You can get the information the same way I did. Send Motorhome Magazine (dinghies used to be included in the Trailer Life Tow Guide) an email and they will send you a reprint and a bill for $3.95. See the website: http://www.motorhomemagazine.com/output.cfm?ID=1073647 and go here to order back issues: http://www.motorhomemagazine.com/articleindexes/index.cfm Good luck!

Mike

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 Post subject: Car Hauler in Tow
PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 10:51 pm 
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Posts: 98
Location: near Falcon, Colorado
Well, this week we took delivery of a 14-ft car hauler with dual axle brakes, and dovetail for easier loading. My thinking is that a standard RV parking slot will be at least 50-ft long, so the combined length of the 32-ft President plus trailer and hitch is right on 50-ft.

I loaded both cars without any problems and have attached photos. I will still need to upgrade the Class III hitch to give a Class IV capability to tow the BMW X3, but notice we replaced the other X3 with a Mini and it is well within Class III limits.

I hope this is a final solution for a long time. I plan to tow the Mini on business to Omaha, then to Homecoming this month.


Attachments:
File comment: The Mini Cooper S Loaded
Mini on Trailer.JPG
Mini on Trailer.JPG [ 19.17 KiB | Viewed 16810 times ]
File comment: X3 loaded up on 14-ft Car Hauler
X3 on Trailer.JPG
X3 on Trailer.JPG [ 26.06 KiB | Viewed 16810 times ]

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2006 8:56 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2005 10:22 am
Posts: 8
Different stocks for different folks
When I started out in 1990 I had a carrier for the back of my motorhome for a Vespa 125cc. Could back up when ever I wanted to can't do that with car.
Now I can tow Kmyco 250cc also my MINI at same time
Good Luck


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