5 Tips for Bringing a Toad on a Road Trip

If you’re gearing up for a road trip in your RV this year, having a driving car with you greatly expands your ability to run daily errands and visit local attractions near your campsites.  You’ll realize the payoff the first time you find yourself out of eggs and need to quickly run to the local grocery store before you can make breakfast.  Having a toad with you can make your vacation much more relaxed and enjoyable.  Here are a few tips for hauling a vehicle behind your RV or motorhome:

  1. You’ll need a trailer hitch. Your RV likely has a trailer hitch already installed on it but if not, you’ll need to have one installed.  Hitches are typically installed as permanent fixtures.  You’ll need to determine the towing capacity of the hitch to make sure the weight of your vehicle (and trailer if you’re using one) falls within the acceptable range.
  2. Choose the right type of towing structure. There are several ways to tow a vehicle and the best method largely depends on the type of vehicle you’ll be towing.
  3. Four down. In this scenario, all four wheels of the toad vehicle are on the road.  Be careful selecting this method—if your car isn’t set up for this, you will likely ruin its transmission.
  4. Tow dolly. With a tow dolly, two wheels of the car are on the dolly while the back two are on the road.  This method works well for front-wheel drive vehicles but can work for rear-wheel-drive if the transmission is disconnected.
  5. Car hauler/trailer. This method is best for all-wheel and 4-wheel drive vehicles.
  6. Make sure the electrical system works. Transportation regulations require the towed vehicle or trailer to mirror your RV’s brake lights and turn signals.  It’s important that other drivers on the road can clearly see your intentions for slowing and lane changes.  Once your toad is hooked up, perform a safety check to make sure all these items work properly.
  7. Practice driving with the toad. Pulling a toad will change how your RV handles the road.  Of course, the toad will add weight so you’ll need more distance for braking than you’ve been used to.  Your toad adds length to your overall vehicle and may increase side-to-side pull in windy conditions.  By taking your RV and toad out on the road in familiar areas, you’ll be able to master the new driving conditions before hitting unexplored paths.
  8. Protect your toad with RV mud flaps. Having correctly sized mud flaps constructed of durable material will help prevent rocks, mud, and road debris from kicking up onto your toad as well as other cars on the road.
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