View Full Version : Towing in General

David Bott
06-18-2008, 04:06 PM
Ok...Hi All...

Well, as we now have our new coach back we are looking to leave for the "Back to Home" rally.

Well, I want to flat tow and I am getting already for it. Here is the thing. I have a 2008 Tour Master, 42 Foot long, and I will be towing a 2008 Saturn Outlook. Hummm...I am new to RVing as some of you know. The 42' was not bad but I am nervous as I am adding like another 15 feet or so. Now for the question...

How but how do you know when you are safe to change lanes? I mean, they are so far back you can not use mirrors. I am thinking the rear camera, but when you turn on the directional the side camera comes on.

So, how do you all do it? Any tips? Add ons? Etc?




06-19-2008, 11:53 AM
yep use the rear monitor lets you see what clearance as you pass also lets you see if you are cutting the corners on a right turn make sure you swing out to clear for the toad I would practice in the neighborhood just to check it out before starting

06-19-2008, 03:33 PM

Though I'm only driving a 37' unit & a relatively short, light Chevy Blazer SUV, I can understand your concerns. As Hyall said, your backup camera is your friend. With that, you can tell who is behind you & alongside your toad. You can also keep track of who approaches from the rear.

With or without a toad, vehicles tend to pull into your blind spot which is right along the rear of your coach, just out of view of the camera but also outside of the range of your mirrors - and they sit there. The only defense against those idiots is to very slowly begin inching to where you want/need to go & listen for their horn - stupid idiots.

My Blazer tracks perfectly behind my RV. I wouldn't think you would want or should need to pull out to make a turn. Confirm that by driving around your neighborhood & watch how you track (as hyall said).

I think the single most valuable addition/modification would be to add ( or rewire) your side-marker lamps to blink with the turn signals. Ever see a truck have all their markers flashing? There is no mistaking his intentions. Cars hanging out along side of you will know exactly that they have to get out of there.

A good characteristic of the toad is that in cross-winds (& passing trucks), the toad seems to stabilize your MH sway due to the wind.

I am as comfortable driving with my Blazer attached as I am without it. Remember .... NEVER back up with your vehicle attached. It will not work. A later talk will discuss ways around this,,, but for now, if you are new, NEVER EVER try to back up.

David Bott
06-19-2008, 06:44 PM
Wow...Thanks for all that!!!!

Hey hyall...Question for you seeing you have a TM also. First do you have side cameras? If not, never mind the question. :)

When I turn on my directional my camera view switches to whatever side I have the directional on. Thus I loose the rear view. I can manually move it back to rear view. So, if you have side cams, did you defeat this function of the camera switch? If so, how?

I also moved the Outlook into more or less the position (Base plate goes on tomorrow) and took a look. I have have to move up cam view up just slightly, so time to get the ladder out. ;)

Scary times for me. I have grown use to the RV, not to comfortable, but feel good about it. So I guess it is time for this next step.

For those who do not know, you can follow along if you want on our adventure. http://rv.bott.net

I live on the internet doing what I do and thus must have data access. I have setup my coach with full wireless access right down to a web cam that sends up a photo every 60 seconds. (When while traveling.) It is kind of cool and not sure if anyone has done this before. :)


06-19-2008, 07:58 PM
You have gotten some good advice using the rear camera. We have towed more than 26k using the rear camera to make sure it is clear to move over, ETC.

After a few miles and passing a few trucks and cars seeing the toad in the rear camera, it will become second nature.


06-19-2008, 09:50 PM
no side cameras had them on our Southwind and with the split screen it was a pain lookin out using the mirrors and watching the monitor at the same time didn't like it

06-20-2008, 09:50 AM
Interesting discussion about the side cameras. I also, would find it disconcerting to loose the rear view each time I operated the turn signal. However, I have thought I'd sure like to install a 2nd video system that would take a feed from cameras located perhaps at each side mirror, and run the 2 feeds to a seperate split-screen monitor.

My MH has those useless floppy-eared mirrors that GulfStream tried for a year or so. A continuous video feed looking back both sides would be so much more helpful than a jiggling, crooked mirror could ever be.

Maybe when the lottery hits?

06-20-2008, 10:53 AM
Seems like you just need to keep it on the rear camera view until you are sure you are clear and then signal for the lane change...

David Bott
06-20-2008, 11:25 AM
Yes, that is more or less what I am thinking I will need to do. Just use the rear cam and then when ready show my intention. But that only works when you do not need to try to get into a busy lane when an exit is coming. :) Sometime you need to just turn it on to get people out of the way. :)

David Bott
06-22-2008, 04:37 PM

Ok, made it to the Bayshore KOA campground in Ohio. I am happy to report that it was much easier than I though and the Outlook does track great behind me.

Thanks all for the help.

06-22-2008, 05:43 PM
Have a great time!

David Bott
06-23-2008, 07:06 AM
Yes, we will. (Except for all the rain we have each time we travel. LOL)

But this week is looking good for us for the Rally.

Thanks again all.

06-23-2008, 02:58 PM

I use the rear camera 100% of the time when towing. I am running the TM40A at 42 feet plus an H2 behind me. My secret is in the daytime watch the shadows of your truck when you pass someone else. it might sound strange until you see it in your monitor. Also be patient. Dont let someone behind you "push you". Move over when your comofrtable.