Bluebirds

Back Up Or Pull Forward - To "Lock" Tow Bar Pulling Toad-- JEEP GC

31 posts in this topic

2013 was our first year in Class A pulling toad. We occasionally had difficulty getting both sides of our blue ox aventa tow bar to "lock.". At first, we were hooking all up, then pulling MH forward with DW standing by toad to make sure ( signal to DH) when both sides locked. One especially difficult day, another long- time Class A RV person in a campground, came to help us newbies. He said hook up, but use Reverse and BACK toad up to get both sides tow bar to lock (noting easier to turn toad slightly while backing up if tow bar sides are not equal, so not locking simultaneously). We continued the "back toad" process. Worked great until we had to change toads. We had a FWD toad last time.

New toad is 2014 Jeep GC Overland, and we would like to know from others who already tow a 2013-14 GC, what steps do you use to lock - in both sides of your tow bar? ( i.e, do you hook up to tow bar, then put in reverse to get both sides tow bar "locked" BEFORE you do the steps in Jeep owners manual to set transmission and drive train to Neutral, etc.). The O manual says to do all the steps to Neutral for tow, THEN hook up tow bar. We need some first- hand advice -- thanks!

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Never heard of backing up-- would seem wrong to me.

Always put in neutral then hook up and then pull forward very tenderly.Tow bar should always fully extend equally and lock in place.Done this for years and always works without any hiccups.

I have seen where the lock springs are weak and the bar does not lock properly though.

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Not sure of the difference-- gently pulling the motorhome forward or gently backing the toad up. In both cases you are locking the bars in the EXTENDED position.

I will admit I often gently push the toad back to achieve this-- at least locking one arm in the extended position. Then drive the coach forward gently, turning slightly to lock the other arm.

And, if the arms don't lock easily, determine the reason and fix it. Tow bars live in a relatively dirty environment and can get "gunked up"

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Have all Blue Ox also .. have never had an issue ... just always start out slowly and can tell the towbars lock when you feel the little jolts... ...

Like said above, it really wouldn't matter whether you pull MH forward or back toad... but I just make sure my MH start is gentle, and can always "feel" them lock in place.

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One thing to remember is to always have your toads wheels straight when you begin moving.

Herman

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My tow bar is a Roadmaster, but both brands work alike. I connect toad then pull MH forward slowly until both sides fully extend. I can tell by the "bump" and by watching thru my rear camera. I used to work hard to make everything perfect before I pulled away. Have found over the years that the bars will extend properly simply by pulling forward slowly.

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I also have the Roadmaster. Quite often one side or the other does not lock in the extended position when I first connect the toad. As I begin to pull forward the Jeep automatically follows and straightens itself and the other side just naturally slips all the way out and locks itself. In fact after hooking up the towbar to the baseplate, even if neither side is fully extended, as soon as you start to pull forward with the coach, both will automatically fully extend and lock without any operator intervention.

I almost NEVER get the Jeep positioned exactly right to fully extend and lock both sides when first hooking up, but both sides ALWAYS fully extend and lock when I begin to move the coach.

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Hi and thanks to all! We will make sure tires are straight, and try pulling very slowly when we first pull toad after hooking up the BO tow bar, getting transmission in N etc.

First trip towing the Jeep GC will not be for a couple months, but we will post an update later on and let you know how we fare :-). We had just gotten comfortable with the set-up process of the first toad, now a little anxious about the first trip with a new toad and getting things set up.

We can't thank you enough for taking time to help!

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I'm with "wolfe10" on this issue. I always back the toad up and get at least one arm locked, half the time I get both. With one locked, you can pull

away and have your helper let you know when the other locks.

Do not try to hook up when heading down hill. I have talked with the Blue Ox factory reps and they have told me that backing up the toad is no more stressful than pulling the coach forward. The systems are designed for the stress of pulling up hills, and slamming on the brakes.

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I tow a 2011 Jeep GC overland summit.

Using the Jeep operators manual I typed out the procedure for disengaging the transmission in order to tow.

I put it in a clear cover and keep it in my glove box along with the blue ox brake procedure.

I refer to it every time I tow ensuring I never miss a step because I am not a full timer.

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When I had my Roadmaster installed they told me to gently steer to the right and then to the left, tow bar will seat, worked everytime I did it.

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On my Roadmaster, backing up would not work. If neither side was locked the bars would compress with possible damage. If one side was lacked the other would not on backing up. I pull forward gently and then physically get out and check if it locked properly. Backing the toad up will work IF things are lined up perfectly.

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On my Roadmaster, backing up would not work. If neither side was locked the bars would compress with possible damage. If one side was lacked the other would not on backing up. I pull forward gently and then physically get out and check if it locked properly. Backing the toad up will work IF things are lined up perfectly.

Bizsmith, I think they are suggesting backing the toad only, not the motorhome. I always back my Wrangler to lock at least one arm, turn the toad steering wheel about a 1/4 turn in the direction of the unlocked arm and when I pull the motorhome forward the unlocked arm will quickly lock. This is the information provided by a Blue Ox customer service rep when I bought my Blue Ox tow bar.

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Bluebird,

Now is the opportunity for going to a National or Area Rally. Go enjoy and while there have Blue Ox Service your tow bar. It cost $25.00 and they come to your coach, pickup the tow bar, take it to their trailer repair any problems and return it to your coach. Great tow bar and great people.

So go enjoy and geter dune!

Herman

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I do what dgwieb does with my Jeep Liberty and work everything except when I forgot to unlock steering wheel. I didn't get out of the campground before catching it but imagine how stupid I felt. :rolleyes:

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Bluebird,

Now is the opportunity for going to a National or Area Rally. Go enjoy and while there have Blue Ox Service your tow bar. It cost $25.00 and they come to your coach, pickup the tow bar, take it to their trailer repair any problems and return it to your coach. Great tow bar and great people.

So go enjoy and geter dune!

Herman

I had my towbar done in Perry. Yes great service I would highly recommend Blue Ox I kept seeing some dude in a pink cowboy hat in the distance but my golf cart wasn't fast enough to catch him.

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Bizsmith, I think they are suggesting backing the toad only, not the motorhome. I always back my Wrangler to lock at least one arm, turn the toad steering wheel about a 1/4 turn in the direction of the unlocked arm and when I pull the motorhome forward the unlocked arm will quickly lock. This is the information provided by a Blue Ox customer service rep when I bought my Blue Ox tow bar.

As Jim stated. Back the TOAD up slowly and one bar will lock for sure. Then, according to Blue Ox Adventa manual, turn the wheel in the direction of the arm that did not lock and pull the MH forward.

I do one other thing first. If one arm does not lock I turn the wheel in the opposit direction of the unlocked bar and back up again. Most times that locks the other arm. if really problematic I turn the wheel in the direciton of the unlocked arm and pull the MH ahead.

So far, so good. Did the same thing when I owned a DEMCO tow bar.

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I back up gently, then I can see if both arms are locked. If not simply turn coach gently in direction of arm that's not locked, i.e. if right arm (passenger) isn't locked pull away turning to right. Works great and you're not relying on backup camera to see if both are locked as you pull out. Have Blue Ox.

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Bill, the reason you could not make the catch, was you were chasing a pink hat. Most of the time you would have seen my Orange leading a coach to the vendor area.

Wish we could have visited. Will I see you in Shreveport?

Herman

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I copy and paste this from Roadmaster owners manual.

DRIVER MUST NOT BACK UP MOTORHOME WITH VEHICLE ATTACHED
Backing up with towed vehicle attached easily causes the vehicle to "jack-knife" and will damage the tow bar, mounting bracket, hitch, the towed vehicle front end and/or rear of the motorhome. This is the primary cause of tow bar damage and will void the warranty.
step 6
Now slowly pull away in the motorhome. Your tow bar will self center and the AUTOLOK system will "SNAP" into
position as you drive away. Visually verify that the locks have engaged before taking your trip.
TIP: If the BLACKHAWK™ arm does not automatically lock when you pull the motorhome ahead, try turning
the motorhome left, then right as you pull away. This will pull each arm in the necessary direction to
engage the locking mechanism.

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I copy and pasted this from Blue Ox owners manual

9. Disconnect the towed vehicle from the towing vehicle before backing up. Do Not Back Up
while vehicles are connected! Damage to both vehicles and the towing system may occur. The
towed vehicle may jackknife causing abnormal stress to the tow bar, car chassis, baseplate and/
or pintle hitch of the towing vehicle. These abnormal stresses may cause damage that may go
undetected
3. On the towed vehicle, disengage the parking brake and set up the transmission for towing and
unlock the steering wheel. Pull forward with the towing vehicle until one or both of the locking
handles are engaged and locked (When locked they will “pop” up). If only one locking handle is
locked, turn the towed vehicle’s steering wheel towards the unlocked tow bar leg approximately
1/2 to 3/4 turn, before continuing forward. Drive the towing vehicle forward until the second leg
locks into place.

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I think there is a misunderstanding.

It is not suggested to back up the MH when a TOAD is hooked up. Instead it is suggest to back the TOAD up to engage the tow bar locking system while the MH stays stationary.

And about unhooking: Never force the locking levers to dissengage the tow bar. Typically one will be loose and if it is, disconnect it. Then for the one that is still locked, just turn the wheel in one direction or the other for a full turn and check bars again, and 99% of the time it will loosen one of the locked bars. The same applies if both are to tight to pull the pin. Rotate in one direction and then try the pins again. One should be loose.

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If unhooking and won't unlock, I just use a claw hammer to pull the pins. Very easy just make sure you applied the parking brake first.

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9. Disconnect the towed vehicle from the towing vehicle before backing up. Do Not Back Up
while vehicles are connected! Damage to both vehicles and the towing system may occur. The
towed vehicle may jackknife causing abnormal stress to the tow bar, car chassis, baseplate and/
or pintle hitch of the towing vehicle. These abnormal stresses may cause damage that may go
undetected

This is not referring to backing up your tow vehicle. This is a referrence to not backing the motorhome up while the tow vehicle is connected.

When doing a connection and preparing to leave you want to connect the tow bar to the tow vehicle and then gently back up the tow vehicle until at least one leg of the tow bar locks. You will then be able to slowly move the motorhome forward pulling the tow vehicle into the proper alignment which will lock the second leg.

If you need to take additional steps before towing like running through the gears, doing a driveshaft disconnect or changing position in a transfer case, this can be done AFTER at least one leg is locked but before you begin to move the motorhome forward for alignment.

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This is not referring to backing up your tow vehicle. This is a referrence to not backing the motorhome up while the tow vehicle is connected.

When doing a connection and preparing to leave you want to connect the tow bar to the tow vehicle and then gently back up the tow vehicle until at least one leg of the tow bar locks. You will then be able to slowly move the motorhome forward pulling the tow vehicle into the proper alignment which will lock the second leg.

If you need to take additional steps before towing like running through the gears, doing a driveshaft disconnect or changing position in a transfer case, this can be done AFTER at least one leg is locked but before you begin to move the motorhome forward for alignment.

I don't back up the toad but only release the parking brake and push it back until it locks. Human power won't break as much as horsepower. :lol:

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