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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

We TOAD! We TOAD! We TOAD! For the first time....

Well, if you have been reading my past few blogs, you know we are getting ready to TOAD!

For all my non-RVing readers---  a "TOAD" is an RV term for towing a vehicle behind your motorhome with a towbar setup.   Our Geo Tracker is a nice little toad, lightweight and has a stick shift with manual dial out hubs to loosen up for towing (automatic hubs don't work)

Soooooo all the prep work has been done---

The tow base plate inspected, repainted, new bolts and put back on.  

We lined up the motorhome and the Tracker out on the road in front of our house

Steve hooked up the tow bars, safety cables and wiring to the lights

I was in the inside of the toad, doing the parking break, key position, shifter and transfer case.

He tested the lights from inside the motorhome while I watched from outside behind the toad.

I had tied a white rag to the top center of the steering wheel, (tell you why in a little bit)

Then we double checked each other's tasks....  good habit to start! 

He pulled ahead slowly while I watched for the two little levers to *pop* up --- 
meaning the tow arms are engaged and working properly.

We are nice and level with the tow bar and do not need a drop down receiver.

We were ready to roll!   

Our big TV inside over the driver's seat also is the monitor screen for our back-up camera.  We can see the toad out back through the tv!   (Our motorhome does not have a rear window)   By tying the white rag on the steering wheel, the co-pilot can see the wheel turn as you go around corners and return back to the upright position again.  If it does not return to the upright position, you know something is wrong and you should stop immediately to check it out. With the dark black interior of the Tracker, a white rag works well.

Here is my Steveio, piloting our rig and our toad down the country roads...  the evening sun is coming in strong on his side, so that new window shade we installed on the side window sure came in handy!   The camera only catches bars on the tv screen, but for sure it was a full clear picture as we were driving along.

We went around our big country block, which is a couple miles around.  All went just fine! 

We came home, reversed our procedure to unhook the toad.
And we made sure that we used the parking brake before unhooking.
Then once was all unhooked, we released the parking brake as I drove the toad back into our garage.

The tow bar can stay locked on the back of the motorhome and swivel up and out of the way to one side. 

And I had sewn a nice little vinyl cover for it when parked.  Blue Ox wanted $48 plus shipping for one!  

So there you have it---




  1. Yep, you toad! I like your back up camera idea. We don't have one, but do have a back window. I think the white towel is a great idea, think I'll try it.

    One thing I always try to remember is before you unhook the toad, set the emergency brake. The reason I always try to remember is because as a claim adjuster, I had an interesting claim one time where the guy didn't remember to set the brake and the toad went rolling away and did a good bit of damage!

    Looks good and now you're ready for your 2 week vacation. Anxious to see where you're going.

  2. Yup Karen, we did that too. I should have said that! I will go back and edit my post----

  3. Ode to A Toad by Pamela June Kimmell

    I kissed the toad on his warty old head
    To the prince of my dreams this would lead it was said
    As I waited and waited the toad did not flee
    Then he opened his mouth and explained this to me.

    "My dear woman is it true that you still believe the tale?
    Can it be at your age you think dreams cannot fail?
    You were sure that the books and their pretty little rhymes Would bring love, and your prince, then would turn back the time?

    Well I'm here just to say that I won't be your prince,
    And just for good measure please remember this hence,
    All that's good in this life, and the treasures it holds
    Can't be found in a book and the tales it has told.

    Look around for the jewels as they're plainly in view
    If you focus energy out instead of focusing just on you.
    As you bring others hope, your own happiness you will see
    It's right there in your heart, not an old toad like me!"

    He was right, the old toad, for just as he had said,
    When my eyes opened up and I cleared my own head,
    All my hope came alive as I stopped looking in,
    And my prince was right there where he always had been.

    So my friends take a hint, and don't waste all your time
    Seeking happiness or love in the lines of some old rhyme,
    Your fate is your own and your dreams will come true If you focus on others, instead of on you!

  4. That is excellent! Your set up looks great, everything is lined up perfectly. You both are dripping with talent, love your cover. Is there anything the two of you can't do?

    Happy miles, you've started a whole new angle on your RV lifestyle.

  5. It's really a pie! :)ce of cake, you know. I fulltimed with just a moped the first year before I realized I really needed a toad. Glad I made that decision. It gives you so much more freedom. :)

  6. very cool and very nice explanation of what you did...

  7. Happy Toading guys. Remember to carry extra toad keys because you might want to make sure your toad is locked when stopping for groceries or eats somewhere. Our toad carries a lot of goodies while traveling so don't need people helping themselves while we are in a Wally World somewhere. For some unknown reason your site had disappeared from our 'Blogs We Follow' so have missed some of your posts. I have re-added your site to our sidebar again so hopefully I can get caught up with you again.

  8. Great job on the toad, you guys are set now for Vacation and beyond. When will you run out of neat ideas for the motorhome, seems like they just keep comong. Good Job. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna....

  9. Yeah, a milestone, we haven't decided on a new toad since we fried the transmission in the Explorer but we are thinking of going to look at a Tracker we saw on Montana's Craigslist.

  10. Yea! You'd already found your Prince and now you have your Toad... what more could a beautiful RVing Princess ask for??

    Hope you have a great time on your vacation!

  11. Congrats on toading. The Blue ox makes it simple. I agree with Al, carry a second set of keys to loack the toad if you stop on the road to go shop or eat.
    Also, Karen is right, make sure you put the toad in park or emergency break on before you unhook.
    Mike & Gerri

  12. Why is that car following you so close? Put on your blinkers, that will make him pass you!


  13. Y'all are ready to roll! Loved your tips. Have fun! K

  14. If your backup camera has a microphone like ours does, you can listen for the "click click" as the little levers pop up. It's much easier that way, especially when it's nasty weather. Although it was a good source of exercise to jog until they were up. We have a Blue Ox tow bar too and love it.


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