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Old 11-26-2016, 04:04 PM   #1
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Axle to Hitch Distance for Towing

I'm about to hook up my Honda Element to the back of my 32' skoolie. I have the Roadmaster base plate installed on the car, the Brake Buddy, and the Roadmaster Stowmaster 5000 tow bar. Now we have to put a hitch on the bus. We currently have a 3.5' deck added to the back of the bus.

I'd love to be able to keep the deck and place the hitch at the very back of the deck, but I'm wondering if the tail swings out so far that it would drag the tires of my car sideways during a turn.

For all of you who tow; what is the distance between your rear axle and your tow hitch? Do you have any problems with dragging? Since the steering wheel can turn, will that eliminate the problem?

I don't have a measurement from my axle yet, but I'll do that later and put it on here. It's a 1993 International Navistar DT360 5.9L if anyone has a way to simply look up the specs.
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Old 11-26-2016, 04:12 PM   #2
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I don't have an answer to your question, but I am curious about an answer as well.

Here's a .gif which I find barely relevant.

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Old 11-26-2016, 04:48 PM   #3
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From my axle to my bumper is about 10 feet, and another 3.5 for the back deck.
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Old 11-26-2016, 04:58 PM   #4
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Also, I don't have an answer to your original question...
But I do have some valuable feedback regarding whipping.

If anything you're towing has brakes and a brake controller... And you're headed down a grade (or driving fast enough to create whipping) and things start whipping....

Apply brake pressure with your controller (not tow rig brakes) and it'll pull everything into line so you can drop to a slower speed that'll prevent whipping.

Whipping & Panic do not mix well
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Old 11-26-2016, 04:59 PM   #5
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I doubt you will have any problems. Most of the time when you are hitched up you will be going down the road and not making very many sharp corners.

I also seriously doubt you will have much of a problem with the tail wagging the dog. Your bus will out weigh your towed by a considerable amount making it hard to have the tail wag the dog.

But I would invest in a rear vision camera to keep an eye on things back there as you are going down the road.
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Old 11-26-2016, 05:04 PM   #6
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We have a back up camera that is always on as long as the lights are on. The Brake Buddy is entirely self contained and is basically a stick that pushes that brake pedal in the car. It says it's designed so that it won't ride the brakes on a downhill grade and will only push the brakes if I'm actually braking in the bus, but I'm not sure how it knows the difference since there is no communication between my bus brake and the Brake Buddy machine. I will have an alert light wired to my Element brake lights that shows an indication on the bus dash when my brake lights are on, that way I can tell that the brakes are working properly.

I read somewhere that for every 3 ft of overhand you can expect 1 ft of side swing. That seems like an awful lot.
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Old 11-26-2016, 05:34 PM   #7
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Join Date: Mar 2015
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Oh, I also have to brag a bit about the deals I got on all the parts.

Roadmaster Stowmaster 5000 tow bar: $100
Roadmaster Base Plate: $140
Brake Buddy: $200

The tow bar was missing the car half of the quick disconnect brackets, so I had to buy those from etrailer: $38
Magnetic tow lights (don't have to hook into my car wiring): $35
Breakaway switch for Brake Buddy: $7
Alert light system for Brake Buddy: $35
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Old 11-26-2016, 06:42 PM   #8
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Hitch

Aside from the whiplash effect, I would make sure that your extension is strong enough to accept a hitch. I know with a tow bar you have very little 'tongue weight,' but pulling a car down the road, and especially turning, will create a pull on the hitch and since it's not anchored directly to the frame, could stress the extension. Just give it a good look over and possibly add reinforcements if necessary.
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Old 11-26-2016, 09:25 PM   #9
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Never heard of a Brake Buddy but by your description I would bet it works on the same principal as the early style brake controllers.
i.e. there is a pendulum inside the "black box" and the more it swings forward, the more the brakes are actuated.
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