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Old 11-04-2013, 11:11 PM   #1
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Help on toad and towing system

Am so excited to pick up my new Berkshire 390RB this weekend. But I am wondering if I could get some assistance on towing. We want to tow our Trailblazer since we already own it. What type of tow system is easiest. One of the reasons I went from my TT To a motorhome is the ease of setup so I dont want to set up something that takes me thirty minutes to set up or unhook. Im thinking some kind of towbar system might be best?

In addition if you have any idea of what such systems cost, that would be helpful as well since I am female and not very mechanically inclined so it would be required for me to have someone else install it for me. We are going to rent a car when we go pick up the motorhome because we are going to stay a few days to check it out but would like to eat out a couple nights while were there.

By the way, a big thanks to whomever recommended RVDirect in Des Moines, IA as they really treated me right in this purchase process. I wouldnt hesitate to buy from them again, assuming I dont have any issues with the coach. Thanks for all the help.

Jo, soon to be driving the MOJO...
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:42 PM   #2
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Jo welcome to the forum and congrats on the MH. Always remember that pictures are necessary
We are all noisy and want to see your MH. As for towing I use Road Master Falcon2 and is rated to 7000 lbs and I pull a Buick Enclave with it. I also use a Break Buddy. I bought this from a hitch shop and they did the install. They did a great job and two years with no problems. If I was buying again I would opt for the all terrain
Model. I am petty handy but didn't want to tackle that job. You can't go wrong with any of them today they all make a quality product. The big thing is making sure the trailblazer is set up for four down. On mine I pull two fuses and leave the key on accy and the truck on neutral and I'm good to go. Good luck.
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Old 11-05-2013, 08:37 AM   #3
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Congrats on the new addition! First thing, and most important from my point of view and seconding Phil's advice, is make sure you can flat tow (4 wheels down) your Trailblazer. Some will tell you that even if your owners manual doesn't specifically recommend that type of towing, that it's still OK. Just know that you are taking a huge risk. There are websites out there, one in particular, that can tell you what is towable and what you need to do it. That site is not always correct. Someone else can post a link, I will no longer refer people to it. Your owners manual is your best bet for recreational towing.
If you can flat tow, that is by far the easiest to do and takes much less time to setup and take down. I tow a Ford Edge AWD with a RoadMaster system and a BrakeMaster 9000 (Air). It is simple to hook up and take down. I can do it all in less than 5 minutes. Takes the wife about 10. There are a couple types of RoadMaster tow bars, don't let them sell you the heavy duty unless you actually need it because of vehicle weight. Huge difference in price.
If you can't flat tow, your owners manual will tell you whether it's front axle up (dolly) or all 4 up (trailer). I'll let someone with experience in that realm give you advice. I will say that a dolly seems more problematic when you get to wherever you are going.

JJ
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Old 11-05-2013, 11:55 AM   #4
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Agree with all that's been posted so far.

Can't emphasize enough on protecting the toad transmission. I'd use the manufacturer as the final authority.

Many (if not most) vehicles will require mods to the tranny; a few will tow 4-down with no mods. I have a Ford Fiesta and it's in the latter group.

And oh yeah.... These comments are for automatic transmissions. Stick shifts just need to be put in neutral (AFAIK).

You may also want a Tire Pressure Monitoring System that monitors both the coach AND toad. If you were to blow a tire on the toad and not know about it, you could potentially be dragging a 3000+ lb brick down the road and it's on FIRE!!!

Finally, you're talking upwards of $1800 to get a good towing system. I have the Roadmaster Falcon2. I even bought the optional rock guard which added $500 to mine; around $2300 altogether.



Good Luck

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Old 11-05-2013, 07:18 PM   #5
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So I need the Falcon 2 and a separate brake for the TrailBlazer? Does that mean when I press on the motorhome brakes that the toad brakes also come on?
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Old 11-05-2013, 08:33 PM   #6
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Yes. It has a mini air compressor that plugs into the power point in the truck. When you press the break in the MH it activates the compressor and applies the break. It is a good idea to have a hot line from the MH to the batteries in the toad to keep the toad batteries from going dead on long trips. It all sounds complicated but really isn't. Once you hook it up a couple times it is a 5 min job. One thing that makes it easier to unhook is to get a Falcon2 all terrain. Sometimes my falcon 2 will bind up and not release easy.
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:19 PM   #7
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I am in the same boat. I have done a ton of research and there just doesn't seem anyway to cut corners that make any sense. I am going to Camping World as 3 other local labor estimates were actually more. Doing the Falcon 2 All-terrain, Invisibrake with all the other relays etc. You are talking $2,500 for the equipment and up to $800 for the labor. Even if you shop online at several places you don't save much from CW on the parts.

Good luck. I am getting mine done in 2 weeks so we will be towing the Jeep GC to out next outing.
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:24 PM   #8
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I use the blue ox aventa lx when towing my Cadillac SRX. I purchased it brand new off of eBay as a package deal. Came with the tow bar, base plates for your toad, cover and safety chains all for about $1400. As everyone else stated, I can hook up in less than 5 minutes and with the blue ox aventa lx, I don't have to be level or even with the coach to hook up. It had a ball type swivel that makes connecting and disconnecting a breeze! This tow bar is also rated for 10,000 lbs so if I ever upgrade to a larger toad, I only have to buy new base plates for the toad and not a new tow bar. I personally do not use a breaking system in the toad. I'm sure they work great and some states require them but my coach stops just fine without it and have just never used one. Good luck with the new coach!!! I just picked up my 14 berkshire back in July and love it!!! I also went through RV direct since I am friends with one of the owners. Both owners / brothers Donnie and Mark are great people and run outstanding dealerships! I've been going
Through them for years and they have sold all of my friends units also!!

Jason
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:31 PM   #9
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Just to clarify I was not giving advice and have only used a road master product. I don't think there is a bad product out their. I was at my first FMCA rally last year and saw all the products and wish I could have bought their. I think CW has several brands. Also you will get good advice from them. Shop around.
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Old 11-05-2013, 10:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil57 View Post
Yes. It has a mini air compressor that plugs into the power point in the truck. When you press the break in the MH it activates the compressor and applies the break. It is a good idea to have a hot line from the MH to the batteries in the toad to keep the toad batteries from going dead on long trips. It all sounds complicated but really isn't. Once you hook it up a couple times it is a 5 min job. One thing that makes it easier to unhook is to get a Falcon2 all terrain. Sometimes my falcon 2 will bind up and not release easy.
+1 on the all terrain comment.

I mis-typed before.... I have the falcon all terrain model. Even IT will sometimes bind a little, but if the DW moves the Fiesta an inch or two forward while I hold the release levers up it releases immediately.

BTW, these tow bars are NOT maintenance free. You MUST keep the locking mechanisms (on the collapsible bars) clean and properly lubricated. Even diesel exhaust is enough to gum up the works.

Also, I don't have toad brakes either, but my Fiesta only weight about 2600 lbs.

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