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Old 12-21-2011, 06:51 PM   #1
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towing a toad

does anybody tow a toad(car) with them when you travell?, if so what type? how well do you think a full size t444e with 545 tranny handle towing? Im just starting to think about it,, for now im just going to build a platform for my motorcycle.

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Old 12-21-2011, 07:41 PM   #2
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Re: towing a toad

1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4x4. We tow 4 down. Tow bar is a Stowmaster 5000 with hidden brackets. The tow bars stays on the Jeep all the time. I bought both off Hitchtrader. First the brackets (harder to find since brackets are customized for the make,model & year) then the bar to go with the brackets. David pulled the Jeep 1700+ miles from NC to NM. Put a camera on the back to watch the towed because David did not know when he blew a tire. He never felt a thing. The rim was destroyed. I have a hitchhaul on the back of the Jeep. It carries a big black storage box and I put trailer lights (kit from Wal-Mart) on the hitchhaul. A homemade 4 wire harness runs from the back of the bus (or what ever is towing the Jeep), over the top of the Jeep and to the lights. The harness goes from the plug on the tow vehicle loops thru a small aluminum carbiner attached to the grill on the Jeep, threaded under one of the front windshield wipers, over the roof (held in place to the luggage rack on the roof with ball bungies), down to the rear window and tucked under the rear wiper blade and down to the hitchhaul. I can also plug the hitchhaul into the 4 wire plug on the Jeep to run the lights. Traditionally, you would drill holes in the rear tail lights and tap into the Jeeps wiring. My Jeeps electrical is so temperamental (or insane) that if I did that, it would most likely blow every fuse it has. This is the vehicle that will not run right if it gets soap on it! It can get wet, just not washed.

This last trip I followed in the Jeep and the bus pulled the food cart. If you click on the pic it will take you to a larger pic and you can zoom in on it to see the tow bar on the Jeep (hard to see). It took me about 12 months to get both the bracket and then the tow bar for the price I wanted to pay for them. If you are willing to pay more and your vehicle isn't as old as mine, you should take anywhere near that long. David kinda bet me that I couldn't get a complete tow set up for under $400... including shipping.


I don't have a good pic of the front of the Jeep. Sorry.
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Old 12-25-2011, 04:08 AM   #3
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Re: towing a toad

I pefer to tow something like a festiva since i have 2 of them if im towing a car. I really don't worry about weight when i pull my 20' trailer, cause my friends 5 yard dump truck with a cat 3208 and a mt 643 pulls his equipment trailer with cat or excavator.
as far as tow bars for me or some customers, they can be ordered from the trailer parts catalog, or just made up easily.
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Old 12-25-2011, 12:27 PM   #4
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Re: towing a toad

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Originally Posted by chev49
... as far as tow bars for me or some customers, they can be ordered from the trailer parts catalog, or just made up easily.
yes they can. Hooking up a toad on uneven ground with a vehicle as large as a bus is a real PITA. That is why I recommend a tow bar that one person can hook up. The Stowmaster 5000 (mine is rated to haul up to 6K lbs) is not the only one on the market but, at the time, was the only one rated high enough to to my Jeep (5500 lbs). 5K seems to be the dividing line. You have inexpensive tow bars that will tow vehicles up to 5K and then you have expensive tow bars that will tow vehicles up to 10K.

It is so easy to just pull the Jeep up close enough to the bus (or whatever is towing the Jeep), unfold the tow bar, stretch out the arms and lock the coupler and safety cables to the tow vehicle. Hop in the tow vehicle an d pull away. The arms stretch out and lock into place. We usually have to made a slight left & right turn to get the arms to lock. No listening to David get frustrated because we can't get lined up exactly. Wonderful! It's one of the best things I have bought. Takes less than 5 minutes to pull up, hookup, run light harness, set up Jeep to roll... and leave. And that is taking our time. I've had my share of homemade tow bars. I will stick to the Factory "one person setup" units for now on.


No matter what you use...USE SAFETY CHAINS OR CABLES CORRECTLY!!!! There are plenty of sites on the web that tell you how to use safety chains. I would also suggest that you secure your chains/cables in some way to prevent them from being removed. I have heard lots of stories of folks having their chains unhooked while they stopped for fuel or for a rest stop. I would not have believed these stories if we hadn't had a safety chain stolen off of a popup we had. We solved that problem with a threaded link with Lock-tite applied to the threads. It took some doing to get the chain off after that. It wouldn't stop some one who is determined (with time and tools) but it would stop an opportunistic passerby. We do walk around at every stop and stop after traveling a couple miles down the road after an overnight stop... just to make sure every thing is okay.

This is a nice short article on towing a vehicle 4 down... just one of many. The article is wrong on why you can't back up with a 4 down towed... the vehicles front tires are cambered. But you really can't back up with a 4 down towed, not even 12 inches... so pay attention and don't overshoot the fuel pumps. You learn this and just avoid (or try to avoid) situations that will require you to back up.
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Old 12-26-2011, 03:33 AM   #5
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Re: towing a toad

Quote:
Originally Posted by chev49
I pefer to tow something like a festiva since i have 2 of them if im towing a car. I really don't worry about weight when i pull my 20' trailer, cause my friends 5 yard dump truck with a cat 3208 and a mt 643 pulls his equipment trailer with cat or excavator.
as far as tow bars for me or some customers, they can be ordered from the trailer parts catalog, or just made up easily.

You have two Ford Festivas? Lucky you are. Those were great cars. I have not seen one for years.
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Old 12-26-2011, 12:23 PM   #6
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Re: towing a toad

I think the ford festivas, or the little geo's are great tow cars... and we have one geo engine out for the next small plane that we build. Modern cars.. maybe the smart car or that little fiat will make good ones. One could almost put a smart car sideways on the back of a bus...
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Old 12-26-2011, 01:00 PM   #7
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Re: towing a toad

Quote:
Originally Posted by chev49
. . . One could almost put a smart car sideways on the back of a bus...
Actually, if you look at the HDT (Heavy-Duty Truck) section of the Escapees BBS, you will see some of the full-timers who pull fifth-wheel trailers with modified semi-tractors do indeed carry Smart Cars turned sideways on the frame between the cab and the trailer.

I went to a dealer look at the Smarts when they first came here. I found the USA version has such poor gas mileage for what it is, that it isn't worth the compromises for economy, only for size. All the car makers seem to feel that Americans need to go 0-60 in 8 seconds or less in everything they drive. A Mini Cooper is a better choice for economy in the USA. Now if you can get a Canadian diesel version of the Smart into the States, that is another story . . .

My Festiva died over 10 years ago when all the little balls fell out of the right front wheel bearing while driving on the interstate coming home from work. Fortunately, that evening there was 6-8 inches of un-plowed snow on the road, and the few travelers' speeds ranged from 30 to 45 MPH. I tried to find a place to leave it, but with the snow there was none, so I ground the spindle the last 25 miles to my driveway. It was eventually replaced with a sporty Hyundai Accent 5-speed that got a dismal 34.5 MPG highway with the air conditioning off. I would have been happy with 35 or 36 MPG, but it never did that well. If I hadn't replaced it with a company car, I might have eventually tried taller wheels . . .
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Old 12-26-2011, 01:04 PM   #8
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Re: towing a toad

A long time ago, I saw how someone was able to fit a 70's Honda Civic that had the roof cut off and made the windshield on a hinge, fit into their belly bin on the bus. I do not remember how they loaded that car into the bus.
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