View Full Version : Planning to Tow

04-29-2007, 08:50 PM
At long last, we are planning to tow. Our current vehicles are not among the list of towables. Our first pass is at SUVs/wagons such as Toyota Matrix, Hyundai Tucson, Subaru Impreza and Ford Escape. The preference is to tow four wheels down. We have a Tour Master with a Mercedes engine. Does towing always add to the odometer? But here's a real basic question---does the toad follow the direct path of the RV? For example, when making a turn at an intersection, do the rv and car follow the same exact path? Or does the car make a smaller, less wide turn than the rv? Any comments, suggestions, help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Charlie

04-29-2007, 10:17 PM
Hi Charlie,
Sorry we missed you when you stopped by to visit when you were in Florida. They told me in the office that you stopped by looking for us. We were out running around town shopping, not that I wanted to. :cry:

Anyway, we tow a Ford Explorer behind our coach. We use a Blue Ox tow bar. The Explorer follows the rear and tracks as the rear swings, so it really doesn't follow the same track as the MH on a turn but follows the rear swing. It does track right behind when we are going straight.
Hope I explained it so that you understand that it follows the hitch on the coach. In other words, you are aware that the rear of the coach "swings" out on a turn, the toad follows the rear in that "swing".

On the vehicles today, the odometer is electronic and it does not add miles on the odometer when the ignition is turned off which is what position it will be in, but it must be in the "unlocked" postion for the steering wheel to turn so the front tires can turn right or left to follow the coach in a turn.

On our Ford Explorer for it to be towed, the dealer had to install a Neutral Tow Kit which is made by Ford. All it is a light mounted under the dash and the dealer had to program the GEM Module so that it would shift the transfer case into neutral after the following procedure:

1) Have the engine running and place your foot on the brake pedal and hold it down while you turn the ignition key to the first "Off/Unlocked" position.
2) The light under the dash will blink three times and then glow on. When the light comes on solid, just remove your foot from the brake pedal and it is ready to tow. Do not turn the ignition switch. Leave it in the "Off/unlocked" Position. The key must remain in the vehicle.
After a period of time the GEM module will turn the LED light under the dash off to conserve the battery.

One thing I always do while towing is I turn on the rear camera on with the sound turned down so I can see the toad and what it is doing. I can also see when I am clear to move back into a lane when passing or I can see when someone is coming up beside the toad.

Oh, Also forget about backing when towing "four down" with a tow bar, so always keep an eye out so that You don't get in a position where you have to, because you will have to unhook, backup, hook back up. I had to do that once, it wasn't nice when I was blocking other drivers in car. I believe they were referring to my ancestors or something to that effect. :roll:

I have managed to back up about ten feet straight but I really don't recommend it nor do the tow bar manufacturers. It is doable, but with extreme caution or one will bend/break something on the tow bar.

After towing a few miles, you will be able to tell how it feels and the toad tracks. I have towed the Explorer about 25k miles now with no problems.

I highly recommend Blue Ox, they are great with customer support. They are always at the Gulf Streamers Back Home Rally and they inspect, lube and do any repairs to our tow bars for free. They always give a inspection report on what they did and if replaced any parts. They do this without having to be asked. If you have a Blue Ox hanging on the back the coach, the take care of it without you being there.
Now that is customer support!!!


05-03-2007, 06:53 PM
Ron, thank you for your towing description and and advice. We did look at a lot of cars, including Fords. Since we decided on a manual transmission the selections were somewhat limited. We purchased a Hyundai Tucson which the CT dealer located in MA. Per your suggestion we have had Long View order the Blue Ox tow bar and baseplate. In addition, we ordered a US Gear unified tow brake. Now that we've made the mental leap into towing all we have to do is wait for installation and drive. I do admit that lots will open up for Sue and me when we do travel. It would have been good to meet you and your wife in FL. We did, though, have an enjoyable drive around Sherwood Forest. The office staff was extremely friendly and they got a kick out of "a friend of Ron." We had a pleasant stay at Ft. Wilderness with their tight sites. Charlie