Fellow RVer Don Sinclair offers today’s tips.
One of the first things you might hear from a seasoned driver towing a toad is “relax, you won’t even know it’s there”. And as you gain experience, that may become partially true as it does indeed become second nature with experience as time goes by. But don’t be fooled by that statement, You MUST know it is there to drive safely.
I began hauling my toad, a 2001 Suzuki Grand Vitara 4 x 4 using the four wheels down method. If you are going to haul a toad four wheels down, in my opinion the easiest way to haul any toad, there are some things you need to learn before you embark on that first trip.
First and foremost, choose and install a brake system in the toad. I use and love my ReadyBrake system, which is a simple surge brake set up that can be purchased and installed for about $400 to $500. Never tow a toad without additional braking capability.
Then familiarize your self with hooking up and unhooking, Don’t do it once and think you know how. Tow it around a place with limited traffic to start out as practice. I like to go to an industrial park on a Sunday morning for this purpose. It’s quiet and with little traffic you can pull over, or into a parking lot for example. Be sure to unhook and hook up the toad under different conditions. You will encounter all kinds of different positions in the real world, so try and create some of the frequent ones to practice. Park on a slight uphill incline and unhook and hook up. (I’m not talking a hill here,
just a slight incline. Then do it the opposite way so the rig is below the toad on a slight decline. You will run into these situations in a campground or a parking lot and you need to experience for yourself the way the toad behaves under these conditions.
In one case, the incline, the weight of the toad is pulling on the hitch and you may have to ease it forward slightly to pull the pins. In the other, the weight of the toad is pushing on the hitch and may have to be reversed slightly.
Also try unhooking and hooking up when the toad is at a slight angle to the motor home. You will have to do this in some campgrounds, so you might as well see what problems this can present in the quiet of a parking lot on a Sunday morning. Once you are confident that you can handle hooking and unhooking, you are better prepared for your first trip actually towing.
Also prepare a step-by-step list of the procedure you use to both hook up and unhook and then follow it every time. That way you won’t leave the pins on the hood of the toad like I once did. Include activating and deactivating the braking system in this list as well.
Visit Don Sinclair’s Website St. Albert