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Old 06-29-2021, 07:47 PM   #1
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setting up a toad

howdy folks!

i picked up a tiny little car and want to set it up as a toad and ran into a question.

Colorado requires brakes on anything over 3000lbs. my new toad is only 2300lbs.

cool! i don't need a braking system....... do i?

i don't... except for a breakaway switch, maybe? but without a braking system, what would the switch operate?

i've never used a break away switch on any trailer i pull, but all of a sudden, i'm wondering whats legal as far as....idk.....towing law.


right now, im planning on skipping all that safety crap

is there a solution short of an rv braking system which i don't need?

thanks

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Old 06-29-2021, 11:32 PM   #2
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Does your towing law only apply in Colorado or do you need to comply in every state you travel thru? I have a Fiat with a five speed and was thinking of towing so will also be following this and doing some research.
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Old 06-30-2021, 12:01 AM   #3
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my understanding is that if i am legal at home, i am legal everywhere.

the toad is a fiat 500.

since, no brakes are required under 3000lbs, i'm guessing that means the breakaway as well. there is just nothing that it could activate that would slow the vehicle, without installing an rv braking system is there?

it just feels weird. maybe i'll try and add brakes after i get it set up. i'm going to see how it works like this, unless there is a reason to add more brake.

today i ordered the base plate, wiring kit, and tow bar.

will report back in a week or 2 when i get them installed.
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Old 06-30-2021, 12:17 AM   #4
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Yes mine is a Fiat 500 as well. I was under the same impression regarding towing here, similar to air brake ticket required for motorhomes here doesn't apply to motorhomes traveling thru BC if your home state doesn't require. Will post if I find anything.
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Old 06-30-2021, 10:05 AM   #5
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If you survive your first brake fade experience the second thing you will buy is a new or used toad brake system. The first thing you will buy is a new pair of tighty whities!

You know you want to do it. Toad brakes show up cheap on Craig's list all the time and that little tug you feel from your toad as you apply your brakes serves as a reminder what a smart thing you did.
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Old 06-30-2021, 11:46 AM   #6
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The brakes on a Fiat500 will do NOTHING to slow down or stop a bus towing it.
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Old 06-30-2021, 11:51 AM   #7
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fade smade, ive caught my brakes on fire twice coming home from the mountains.

j/k

i bet i pick something up. the recommended wiring from etrailer was a 7 to 4 connection for the lights. i changed and got a 7 to 6 so that i could power a brake controller in the toad in the future. my thinking is that this will not be my only toad i pull behind the bus.
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Old 06-30-2021, 11:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeNimble View Post
The brakes on a Fiat500 will do NOTHING to slow down or stop a bus towing it.
i'm more concerned about the break away system. if the toad comes loose, it'd be a bonus if it stopped on it's own.

dinghy towing is new to me.... just seeing how others do it.

i did get full coverage, so maybe its moot.
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Old 07-02-2021, 12:06 AM   #9
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i found a youtube video that states, it depends on your state. but the poster of the video opted to go without supplemental brakes.

about 9:20 in the video.
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Old 07-02-2021, 12:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeNimble View Post
The brakes on a Fiat500 will do NOTHING to slow down or stop a bus towing it.
Yep won’t do much for the bus but it would be nice to know with supplemental brakes you’re not throwing a 2000 lb missile at anyone.
Found conflicting info, Cali only some sites say 1500 lbs up required brakes and some sites say 3000lbs and many are saying you need to comply to the state you’re traveling in.
Also noted any trailer tow is restricted to 55mph, at the cops discretion I guess.
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Old 07-02-2021, 12:56 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ol trunt View Post
If you survive your first brake fade experience the second thing you will buy is a new or used toad brake system. The first thing you will buy is a new pair of tighty whities!

You know you want to do it. Toad brakes show up cheap on Craig's list all the time and that little tug you feel from your toad as you apply your brakes serves as a reminder what a smart thing you did.
Jack
Absolutely Jack!
Do it right the first time and you won’t be somebody else’s holy Sh*t story.
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Old 07-02-2021, 08:14 AM   #12
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On the subject of Toads. I was doing some hydroseeding at a new RV park which they had already started pulling RVs in. Not fun spraying green stuff next to somebody's 100k plus rig.

One of the RVs had an EV for a toad. I hadn't thought of the genius of that idea before. I'm not sure how they are to tow but They are relatively light and if you are planning on staying in RV parks most of the the electric isn't metered. I'd bet the RV parks start charging extra if you show up with an EV.

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Old 07-02-2021, 08:46 AM   #13
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I have one of these

https://www.readybrake.com/store/p1/..._Style%29.html

And this for emergency braking.

https://www.readybrake.com/store/p5/..._Away_Kit.html

Initial installation was easy and it works great (I tow a Ford Ranger) Hooking up is a matter of hooking two cables to the tow vehicle. Whole process of hooking towbar to the towed takes maybe 5 minutes.
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Old 07-02-2021, 11:55 AM   #14
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here is a bit more info i found.

https://rvibrake.com/pages/flat-towing-law

the under 3000lb weight limit setup is legit most places. the states it is not legit:
Idaho - 1500lbs
Mississippi - 2000lbs
New Hampshire - 1500lbs
Ohio - 2000lbs

Alberta - 2000
British Columbia - 2000
Manitoba - 2000
NWT - any


save a trip to AK and i'd never pass through a state that requires it.

i sure understand the mindset of not launching a 2000lb missile in traffic.... its kind of why i started the thread. maybe i'm amazed at the simplicity of a lite tow vehicle.

did anyone ever put brakes on a little utility trailer that didn't require it? for safety sake?

i own 2 trailers now and the break away switch is the least used,. most annoying piece of hardware with both of those trailers.

i can install a brake system starting at $700ish up to $2k for a full blown dinghy braking system that isn't required by law in 46 states.

the toad is an upgrade for me. i have towed a trailered vehicle ~ 8000lbs with no trouble (both with and without brakes). this little thing is a quarter of that load.

past the break away issue, i think i'm more concerned about just chewing through tires and rims on the toad if i develop a problem without noticing it. i've lost trailer tires, rims and electric brakes before noticing the damage before.

tow bar should be here next week. want to hit the road next weekend.
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Old 07-02-2021, 12:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turf View Post

past the break away issue, i think i'm more concerned about just chewing through tires and rims on the toad if i develop a problem without noticing it. i've lost trailer tires, rims and electric brakes before noticing the damage before.
We picked up a TPMS for this reason. Ours is EEZtire brand, off Amazon, but there are many others. Its nice peace of mind.
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Old 07-02-2021, 12:34 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turf View Post
here is a bit more info i found.

https://rvibrake.com/pages/flat-towing-law

the under 3000lb weight limit setup is legit most places. the states it is not legit:
Idaho - 1500lbs
Mississippi - 2000lbs
New Hampshire - 1500lbs
Ohio - 2000lbs

Alberta - 2000
British Columbia - 2000
Manitoba - 2000
NWT - any


save a trip to AK and i'd never pass through a state that requires it.

i sure understand the mindset of not launching a 2000lb missile in traffic.... its kind of why i started the thread. maybe i'm amazed at the simplicity of a lite tow vehicle.

did anyone ever put brakes on a little utility trailer that didn't require it? for safety sake?

i own 2 trailers now and the break away switch is the least used,. most annoying piece of hardware with both of those trailers.

i can install a brake system starting at $700ish up to $2k for a full blown dinghy braking system that isn't required by law in 46 states.

the toad is an upgrade for me. i have towed a trailered vehicle ~ 8000lbs with no trouble (both with and without brakes). this little thing is a quarter of that load.

past the break away issue, i think i'm more concerned about just chewing through tires and rims on the toad if i develop a problem without noticing it. i've lost trailer tires, rims and electric brakes before noticing the damage before.

tow bar should be here next week. want to hit the road next weekend.
Good point on not noticing tire damage, something that light you'd never even feel it if things went sideways. What about putting a camera back there aimed down at toad so you could keep an eye on it?
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Old 07-02-2021, 12:53 PM   #17
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There are some great points in here and some well-researched input. But I should caution against the "I'm legal at home, so I'm legal anywhere" philosophy. While states do have reciprocity for Class D licensing...your AZ auto drivers license is legal in TX, for example...and registration and, maybe, a few other things like insurance limits...I'm not aware of any such reciprocity for things like trailer requirements.

Each state can set, and enforce, different limits. In some states, for example, a semi tractor can pull 3 trailers...while in others just 2. The laws in the state of home registration don't trump these local laws. This issue comes up with the CDL requirements all the time, as some states (like AZ) require a CDL for a bus based only on vehicle weight and/or passenger capacity...and make no mention of commercial or non-commercial use. While other states exempt non-commercial use. According to AZ law, the officer can issue a citation for "unlicensed driver" if the vehicle isn't registered as an RV/MH...even if the driver's home state doesn't require a CDL. I believe the same applies here for trailer requirements...so that may apply in other states, as well.
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Old 07-05-2021, 01:40 PM   #18
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re:
braking on towed vehicle
.
We delivered RecreationVehicles and heavy machinery manufacturer-to-dealer and dealer-to-shows.
We preferred motorhomes and heavy-trucks such as cranes and concrete-mixers so we could tow our truck for sight-seeing along the way back.
.
One point:
* level the tow-bars
.
* Tow-bars at an incline 'down' from the front of the towed vehicle have the potential of sliding the towed vehicle under the rear of the tow vehicle during braking.
* Tow-bars inclining 'up' from the front of the towed vehicle to the hitch of the tow vehicle can slightly lift the rear axle of the motorhome or heavy equipment during braking.
.
The technical term for this lifting is 'unstick'.
In racing, getting unstuck can put you into the wall... resulting in frowns from the owners, no kissy-face from the trophy-girls in the winner circle.
.
You wouldn't think that little lift would make much of a difference on a forty-ton crane... but it happened to us about thirty years ago in Yuba City, California.
We suddenly faced the traffic behind us, an instantaneous one-eighty faster than you could blink.
If you believe you can control-steer out of events happening faster than your eyes and brain can process...
.
In the 1970s, I was a commercial pilot.
I am experienced with the effects of inner-ear de-stabilizing.
That reversal in Yuba City was:
* instant
* utterly devoid of warning
My inner-ear didn't have time to alert me to the spin.
That quick.
.
My advice:
* don't mess around
Do it right.
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Old 07-05-2021, 09:10 PM   #19
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thanks for all the input! every little bit helps!


after all the reading and searching...i'd agree that the state you travel in probably makes the rules for tow vehicles..... the legal at home bit doesnt apply to towing.

thanks for the tow bar tips.... new info for me and appreciated. the angle of my tow bar is going to be tough to get flat. the ad says its adjustable 3" up or down. my tow hitch on the bus is at 26"... the car base plate is going to be about 16". i ordered an 8" drop and hoping that the 3" play is enough to ride flat.

etrailer sucked a big egg on shipping my in stock parts last week. hoping that they ship tomorrow or sometime this week. its not going to make it here by my planned trip this weekend. so i broke out a trailer or 2.

first trailer - enclosed 7x14' it fits - but no go on opening a car door. 4300lbs total.

second trailer - open utility - it fits - going to work fine for my trip. 4800lbs total.


toad install getting kicked down a week or 2 now. heading to montana
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Old 07-05-2021, 10:16 PM   #20
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Awesome work!
Safe travels and enjoy the holiday.
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