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Old 04-14-2016, 09:56 PM   #1
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Rookie Toad Driver

Maiden trip with my new toad set up this weekend. I pulled a pop up for many years but never anything behind a MH.

The MH is a 2015 FR3 30DS, the toad is a 2016 Chevy Sonic LT automatic. Blue Ox baseplate, towbar, BrakeBuddy Vantage Select. I've gone through the set up at the dealer and on my own, but I've only driven about 50 yds in the storage lot.

The advice I've gotten so far is don't ever go backwards (it will break, unhook if you get in a jam), always run tow/haul mode, do not exceed 65 mph (per Sonic), and keep the MH backup camera on. That all makes sense.

Some tip's I've gotten so far, they sound good but I'd like to bounce them of you.

The car will track in the shadow of the MH, so take your turns as you always do without the tow.

Never level the MH with the car hooked on, it will stress the jacks.

It's easier to unhook before going to the campsite, have the wife register while you unhook and let her drive the car to the site. You never know for sure you will be level.

Try to fuel in the morning, don't hook up, have the wife follow you to the gas station and hook up on the way out. On the road, if the gas station doesn't have a straight shot in and out of the pumps then don't fight it, just un-hook and re-hook.

Any horror stories to avoid or sage advice for the rookie?
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Old 04-15-2016, 01:05 PM   #2
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[QUOTE=TLAK;1164999]Maiden trip with my new toad set up this weekend. I pulled a pop up for many years but never anything behind a MH.

The advice I've gotten so far is don't ever go backwards (it will break, unhook if you get in a jam), always run tow/haul mode, do not exceed 65 mph (per Sonic), and keep the MH backup camera on. That all makes sense

The car will track in the shadow of the MH, so take your turns as you always do without the tow.

Never level the MH with the car hooked on, it will stress the jacks.

Try to fuel in the morning, don't hook up, have the wife follow you to the gas station and hook up on the way out.

I have a Roadmaster tow bar and I have had to back up (very short distances) several times. You won't break the tow bar. Backing up is not a recommended procedure however.

If you rely on that kind of tracking you will be repairing your toad in short order. Go out to your practice area and see what the tracking actually is. In and out of gas stations without a straight shot in and out is where the tale will be told.

I do not disconnect at the camp site if just an overnighter and don't need the toad to go somewhere. The leveling system will not be stressed.

Whatever your toad manual says about speed limit should be followed. My toad also is limited per its manual to 65mph (I also have to stop every 7 hours and run the tow setup procedure for my toad, engine start etc.). However, occasional briefly exceeding that requirement (down steep grades etc.) has not damaged anything in ten years.

If I came in with the toad hooked up I leave with the toad hooked up even if I have to stop for gas.

I don't boondock and therefore my inputs are referenced to camping at commercial camp grounds. The camp ground attendant will let you know if you need to disconnect before going to your camp site. Always ask though.
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Old 04-17-2016, 10:09 PM   #3
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Thumbs up

First trip went great, I'm very happy with the set up. I know it's a cliche, but unless I looked at the backup camera I wouldn't have known it was there.

bubbles, thanks for your post. I found that the toad does track inside the RV on the road, like on clover leafs and ramps, but it gets weird when you maneuver and turn the RV sharply. The FR3 has about a 12 foot swing, so if I cut the RV hard to the right the car goes way to the left first before it comes back. I bet I could bend it up pretty good during that swing.

My round trip was only 140 miles and I didn't need gas . Listening to bubbles, I didn't unhook and I noticed that none of my neighbors unhooked, everything was fine. Then we realized we didn't bring any milk for the coffee, having the car available to run for such 'emergencies' is wonderful.

Mission accomplished, the new tow is good to go, I'm dewinterized and sanitized. All the devices (WH, AC, furnace, fridge etc) worked fine. Bring on the new camping season!
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Old 04-23-2016, 09:36 PM   #4
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Great info!

We're in the process of setting up our toad for our new Sunseeker. Driving, backing, unhooking tips are greatly appreciated.
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