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Old 03-26-2017, 09:17 AM   #1
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Bring in the TOAD!

So, I skimmed a couple threads regarding tow hitchs/toads already but, being slightly neurotic as I am, decided I should fish for advice more specific to our personal situation...

We have an International 3800/T444e (with Allison 545 and hydraulic brakes) and a 2010 Honda Odyssey. We are considering towing the van, instead of trying to sell it. The rear end of the bus looks like this...





...and I suppose my questions would be several:

Can we tow from the bar/hooks that are currently in place?

Can a traditional hitch even be installed back there?

Can a Honda Odyssey be towed four-down? (I have read some Honda forums that suggest they can.)

Do you think four-down is a preferable towing method?

Shouldn't our bus be able to handle the toad load?

I imagine there would be extra braking power needed. Should it be toad-based braking?

Well, that's all I could think of for now. Also, it has been too long since we posted an update on Margot Tenenbus! She's now fully operational and we have begun our journey into the full-time skoolie life. Two months on the road, roaming the Southwest and now back on the GA coast to work a bit and visit with family before making our way to Alaska for the summer. I have stockpiled photos and will be sharing them on Margot's original thread soon. In addition, she has her own Instagram and Twitter accounts! Granted, Twitter tends to see less activity than IG. :/ Follow her: @margottenenbus (same handle for each account)!

Thanks again y'all, for your time!



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Old 03-26-2017, 09:44 AM   #2
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The Honda Odyssey is a bit on the heavy side. I was surprised that they weigh over 4300 lbs. In a toad that heavy I would certainly look at auxiliary braking.
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Old 03-26-2017, 11:19 AM   #3
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If you've got a nice car you probably don't want to tow it four down. All those miles pile up on your toad making it worth less. If you use a car trailer it solves your braking issues too.
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Old 03-26-2017, 12:31 PM   #4
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I own an odyssey, and they can indeed be flat towed
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Old 03-26-2017, 12:35 PM   #5
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If you're interested in a partial-DIY hitch (aka some assembly required) then the Draw-Tite 41990 receiver kit might interest you. Others have found their frame rail spacing to be a close-enough match to some pickups or chassis-cab type trucks and pulled a used receiver from a parts yard.
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Old 03-26-2017, 02:17 PM   #6
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If you are considering trailering the car I would suggest renting a Uhaul car trailer or similar to see how it suits you.

While traveling down the interstate they are great. When you overnight at an RV park they can quickly become a royal PITA.

Different strokes for different folks. I have towed 4 down, tow dolly and trailer and from a convenience & cost stand point 4 wheels down was the winner for me. However, it is, as the previous poster pointed out, at the cost of racking up the miles on the toad.
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Old 03-26-2017, 03:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
The Honda Odyssey is a bit on the heavy side. I was surprised that they weigh over 4300 lbs. In a toad that heavy I would certainly look at auxiliary braking.
So, what would be a reasonable, max. tow weight for a bus like this?

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Old 03-26-2017, 03:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by family wagon View Post
If you're interested in a partial-DIY hitch (aka some assembly required) then the Draw-Tite 41990 receiver kit might interest you. Others have found their frame rail spacing to be a close-enough match to some pickups or chassis-cab type trucks and pulled a used receiver from a parts yard.
Hard to tell just from the Amazon photo... but I imagine those brackets get bolted into the frame? Have you used one?

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Old 03-26-2017, 03:53 PM   #9
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4 down towing is the way the to go, dolly is ok but a pain to strap the wheels and load, plus you need to put it some where when camping. going 4 down doesn't add mileage to the odometer , you will need a good tow bar, base plate for your van, you need to put some sort of lighting set up for brake, turn signals, and you need aux braking, with a break away. Also you need to get a good hitch, one with a 2'' receiver , tow bar slides into it. it sounds like a lot, and it can be, but once you are set up it takes 5 mins to hook and unhook which is real handy in the rain or trying to turn around, remember you can't back up when you are hooked up. There's plenty of info check out IRV2.net.
your Honda is a bit on the heavy side, but it can be done. I will be sitting up my chevy sonic this year, I will be using a road master base plate, and readybrake tow bar it has a cable that hooks to your brake pedal and acts as a surge brake, for my light I will be using a kit that has sockets, you drill holes in your tail lights and run the wires back to front nice neat set up. The nice thing about dolly is they have there own brakes, and lights, but to much of pain for me.
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Old 03-26-2017, 04:00 PM   #10
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yes, you can tow from that.

my bumper was exactly the same. i removed the tow hooks and cut a hole out of the drop bar on both sides. then i cut the ends off an old tow bar and had it welded in place of the tow hooks.

i've seen other bumper hitches, and if i changed it again i would drop the tow bar a bit lower. i have to use a huge drop to tow level.



with an allison AT545, you should add a transmission cooler.
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Old 03-26-2017, 05:18 PM   #11
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4 down towing is the way the to go, dolly is ok but a pain to strap the wheels and load, plus you need to put it some where when camping. going 4 down doesn't add mileage to the odometer ,
Have to agree on the tow dolly. What I ran into that was a pain was stopping at RV parks for one night and having the park management insist that I disconnect the tow dolly even though I was just spending one night. Unstrap, back off the dolly, park, unhook the dolly, stow the dolly, sleep, get up and reverse the process....

With the tow bar & 4 wheels down the disconnect/reconnect process is MUCH simpler, quicher & easier.

On the odometer I have to differ. I have put 200k+ miles on towing two different vehicles and both of them reflected the towed miles when towed 4 down.

My Honda did not show miles when pulled on the tow dolly but my Ford Ranger did. Make sense though. the drive wheels were on the ground with the Ranger and the drive wheels on the Honda were not.
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Old 03-26-2017, 06:39 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
Have to agree on the tow dolly. What I ran into that was a pain was stopping at RV parks for one night and having the park management insist that I disconnect the tow dolly even though I was just spending one night. Unstrap, back off the dolly, park, unhook the dolly, stow the dolly, sleep, get up and reverse the process....

With the tow bar & 4 wheels down the disconnect/reconnect process is MUCH simpler, quicher & easier.

On the odometer I have to differ. I have put 200k+ miles on towing two different vehicles and both of them reflected the towed miles when towed 4 down.

My Honda did not show miles when pulled on the tow dolly but my Ford Ranger did. Make sense though. the drive wheels were on the ground with the Ranger and the drive wheels on the Honda were not.
must be cable speedo drives?, Every one I have talked that's 4 down say no mileage, mind you , you have to pull a fuse out so you battery doesn't go dead, you have to have your steering wheel unlocked, so maybe that has something to so with it .
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Old 03-26-2017, 07:04 PM   #13
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The speedo cable comes from the transmission so whenever the drive wheels are on the ground you're going to accumulate miles. A honda with the front drive wheels on a dolly isn't going to clock miles. If you towed you PU backwards on a dolly it wouldn't log miles either because the drive wheels are off the ground.

Yeah, I know. That would put all the weight on the front end of the PU. However if you towed you PU four down backwards you could end up with a low mileage truck. Don't wonder, yes that's a weak attempt at a joke.
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Old 03-26-2017, 07:36 PM   #14
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The speedo cable comes from the transmission so whenever the drive wheels are on the ground you're going to accumulate miles. A honda with the front drive wheels on a dolly isn't going to clock miles. If you towed you PU backwards on a dolly it wouldn't log miles either because the drive wheels are off the ground.

Yeah, I know. That would put all the weight on the front end of the PU. However if you towed you PU four down backwards you could end up with a low mileage truck. Don't wonder, yes that's a weak attempt at a joke.
modern cars and trucks, and even buses use wheel speed sensors, and transmission sensors, runs the speedo/odometer the feed info to the ecm, plug and play systems, got to love em, I can't even remember the last vehicle that's been in the shop that has a cable for a speedo.
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Old 03-26-2017, 07:44 PM   #15
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That shows how out of date I am.
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Old 03-26-2017, 07:53 PM   #16
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That shows how out of date I am.
don't feel bad, I retired 10 years ago from wrenching on vehicle's, so much has changed in the automotive world, I would be lost getting back into with todays cars, and trucks
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Old 03-26-2017, 08:03 PM   #17
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Dude, I quit wrenching in 1980. I'm so far behind.
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Old 03-30-2017, 09:58 AM   #18
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Thanks for the info, guys. Sounds like we might consider other options for local transport... I would live to pull a smaller toad. :/

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