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TOPIC: Towing update .....

Towing update ..... 3 weeks 5 days ago #1

Well - this will probably start a long thread.

Got into North Carolina yesterday after about a 300 mile tow with the Focus hooked on back. Absolutely no issues, tows like a dream, can't even tell it's back there unless I see it in a corner or look in the mirror. Handling and braking every bit as good as before, I actually think braking a bit better. I'm also thinking the towbar and car actually stabilized the back end of trailer more as virtually nothing moved around inside and we were on some really rotten sections of I 95 in Virginia and Maryland for awhile.

For those that are interested, the setup is as follows : truck has the Max Tow option, Airlift Airbags with onboard compressor and remote for suspension control. Thinking of adding swaybars but not sure yet. Hitch is a 24k Comfort Ride and pinbox is 24k MorRyde. Trailer has MorRyde IS suspension, Kodiak disc brakes, Sailun S637 H rated tires, rear view camera. The hitch drop Z extension to get the towbar level and mount the bike rack and also the towbar are all bolts together. No slop or play so better tracking. Car is set up with BlueOx towbar and baseplate and SMI Stay in Play fully proportional inertia sensing brake system. Lighting for the car is hard wired. Focus weighs 2740 lbs (got a funny look from truckstop lady when I pulled on CAT Scale and asked to be weighed, lol ). Don't know what overall length is, don't intend to measure.

As far as legal - we'll, see where it goes. I've talked to both a Maryland State Police DOT enforcement officer and also a friend who is a Motor Vehicle Enforcement officer for the largest County PD in Maryland (over 300 officers). Both said that according to Maryland motor vehicle regs I am legal. Maryland permits double tow as long as properly equipped and under max weights (I am). On private vehicles there is no length restriction. I have a non commercial Class A and as they both said, that's what I want to have. The DOT officer laughed and said, let me have your license for a minute. He turned it over and pointed and said "any non commercial motor vehicle" that's just what it means, go have fun. If I had a CDL it would present all types of problems as then it's a mix of commercial and private. The way it is now, I'm legal at home and in their professional opinions other states should recognize that and be reciprocal. Have to see on that part but will say that we passed or were passed by MD Troopers, MD Transportation authority police, VA Trooper and NC trooper. No one gave us a second look other than two of them who waved and gave a thumbs up.

Will post more pictures tomorrow of hitch setup and also a few more when we move to Georgia next week.
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Vaughan & Tracy and the Critters 2013 Redwood 36RL following a 2013 Ford F350 DRW. MorRyde IS, Kodiak Disc, Comfort Ride Hitch, MorRyde Pinbox, and a bunch more. And coming soon ~ Fred the Focus tagging along behind Tilda the Redwood.
Last Edit: by Piperguy.

Towing update ..... 3 weeks 5 days ago #2

Piperguy wrote: Well - this will probably start a long thread.

Got into North Carolina yesterday after about a 300 mile tow with the Focus hooked on back....


All I can say is WOW! You just can't make this stuff up! I'll admit that I am envious. That just looks like a headache when pulling into tight turns on the roads or a lot of extra work when setting up in a campground.

Don't get me wrong...I like the idea....:)

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Towing update ..... 3 weeks 5 days ago #3

Turns are no problem. Anything the coach will go around the car clears by a bunch as it's further out in the turn. the Blue Ox towbar is an easy hookup and the SMI brake system is permanently mount d so just takes a flip of a switch. Hookup or taking it off is about 3 minutes. Only drawback it's just like a motorhome I can't back up with the car on. Put quite a bit of thought and planning into this and so far very happy with the results.

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Vaughan & Tracy and the Critters 2013 Redwood 36RL following a 2013 Ford F350 DRW. MorRyde IS, Kodiak Disc, Comfort Ride Hitch, MorRyde Pinbox, and a bunch more. And coming soon ~ Fred the Focus tagging along behind Tilda the Redwood.

Towing update ..... 3 weeks 5 days ago #4

See it all the time around Denver Colo......Not a big deal.......But it could be I suppose....

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Towing update ..... 3 weeks 4 days ago #5

Vaughan - you are a crazy man!....................just like the rest of us :)

Makes for a nice looking rig!

Turning is actually no problem because of the long tail swing on the 5er! I takes the 3rd vehicle way out wide in a turn so no curb issues. We have done it for decades here in Denver.



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2014 36RL (Sold) - Brad, Dory & Sarah

Towing update ..... 3 weeks 4 days ago #6

I just gotta ask....

That hitch on the rear is only rated for 2000 lbs. or so...

What is the weight being towed?

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Towing update ..... 3 weeks 4 days ago #7

Hitch is rated for 3000 lbs. it's a little different whether you tow a vehicle with an onboard brake system or a trailer. For instance, I have virtually no tongue weight on the hitch. Just the bikes and towbar setup. Maybe 200 lbs tops. The Focus weighs 2740 and the brake system is proportional and tied in with the brake lights of the trailer and an adjustable inertia switch in the car. Right now I have it set so that under heavy braking the car brakes a split second before the trailer so that there are no stability issues. I may reinforce the hitch but a welder/fabricator friend looked at it and said he thought it would be fine for what I'm doing.

When I get to Tampa I'll take a good look at th hitch for any signs of fatigue. By that point it will have over 1k miles towing.

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Vaughan & Tracy and the Critters 2013 Redwood 36RL following a 2013 Ford F350 DRW. MorRyde IS, Kodiak Disc, Comfort Ride Hitch, MorRyde Pinbox, and a bunch more. And coming soon ~ Fred the Focus tagging along behind Tilda the Redwood.

Towing update ..... 3 weeks 3 days ago #8

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Very nice set up Vaughan!! What is your total footage might I ask? I will be picking up our HDT in couple of weeks and will be right at 65 feet or so.

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Life is great when you can scratch that hitch itch!!!

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2014 Redwood 38GK, The Beast Tamer

Towing update ..... 3 weeks 3 days ago #9

Hi Tom
Not sure on total length. Haven't measured no don't intend to. Lol

If I had to guess I would think around 70'. I will say that the whole rig drives no differently than without the car other than I think the back of the trailer is somewhat stabilized with the car on. Braking is no change, possibly better.

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Vaughan & Tracy and the Critters 2013 Redwood 36RL following a 2013 Ford F350 DRW. MorRyde IS, Kodiak Disc, Comfort Ride Hitch, MorRyde Pinbox, and a bunch more. And coming soon ~ Fred the Focus tagging along behind Tilda the Redwood.

Towing update ..... 3 weeks 3 days ago #10

Probably closer to 75' than 70'. Ours was 74' with the Jeep.

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2014 36RL (Sold) - Brad, Dory & Sarah
Last Edit: by atom ant.

Towing update ..... 3 weeks 3 days ago #11

Here are a few pictures of the towbar attachments. The bungee cords on the side stabilize the bikes and the bungee hanging the towbar is just cause it's easier than removing a bike and swinging it up into the lock.

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Vaughan & Tracy and the Critters 2013 Redwood 36RL following a 2013 Ford F350 DRW. MorRyde IS, Kodiak Disc, Comfort Ride Hitch, MorRyde Pinbox, and a bunch more. And coming soon ~ Fred the Focus tagging along behind Tilda the Redwood.

Towing update ..... 3 weeks 3 days ago #12

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Vaughan & Tracy and the Critters 2013 Redwood 36RL following a 2013 Ford F350 DRW. MorRyde IS, Kodiak Disc, Comfort Ride Hitch, MorRyde Pinbox, and a bunch more. And coming soon ~ Fred the Focus tagging along behind Tilda the Redwood.

Towing update ..... 3 weeks 3 days ago #13

Brad - I really didn't want to know that ..... I'm sticking to my 70' estimate. Just sounds better. lol

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Vaughan & Tracy and the Critters 2013 Redwood 36RL following a 2013 Ford F350 DRW. MorRyde IS, Kodiak Disc, Comfort Ride Hitch, MorRyde Pinbox, and a bunch more. And coming soon ~ Fred the Focus tagging along behind Tilda the Redwood.

Towing update ..... 3 weeks 3 days ago #14

Tom - if you're not already, join a Facebook group called HDT's. And the name of the group is just as I have it here with the apostrophe and lower case s. Really good bunch of people, very knowledgeable and very, very helpful. A little more than 480 HDT pulling coaches.

There was a discussion the other day about licenses and the consensus was that if you are using the truck privately to pull a private coach, go with a non-commercial .Class A license (unless you already have a CDL ). Makes life much easier

They also can give you a lot of ideas for the bed and towing setups. Couple of the members are fabricators and make custom beds for the HDT. If I was in a position $$$ wise to do it, I would have a Volvo 630.

Oh, and overwhelmingly, the hitch of choice is a Comfort Ride 308. Adjustable for weight hitch and will handle anything from 14k to 30k trailer. I have the 24k 245 model and love it.

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Vaughan & Tracy and the Critters 2013 Redwood 36RL following a 2013 Ford F350 DRW. MorRyde IS, Kodiak Disc, Comfort Ride Hitch, MorRyde Pinbox, and a bunch more. And coming soon ~ Fred the Focus tagging along behind Tilda the Redwood.
Last Edit: by Piperguy.

Towing update ..... 2 weeks 3 days ago #15

Vaughan,
LOVE IT! George says if he can make a U-Turn with the truck, he can U-Turn our entire set up. We are just under 75 feet.

You are right when you say it generates a lot of discussion. We've towed a jeep for over 10 years. I can't imagine not having the jeep with us. We also have talked to law enforcement. All have said it is a non-issue, they said they wouldn't stop us as long as we were driving safely.

A family of FIVE were camping in the small camper parked next to us.
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George & Lisa

Towing update ..... 2 weeks 3 days ago #16

PricelessRVAdventures wrote: Vaughan,
LOVE IT! George says if he can make a U-Turn with the truck, he can U-Turn our entire set up. We are just under 75 feet.

You are right when you say it generates a lot of discussion. We've towed a jeep for over 10 years. I can't imagine not having the jeep with us. We also have talked to law enforcement. All have said it is a non-issue, they said they wouldn't stop us as long as we were driving safely.

A family of FIVE were camping in the small camper parked next to us.

The little drop camper? With the Prius? :)

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2014 36RL (Sold) - Brad, Dory & Sarah

Towing update ..... 2 weeks 2 days ago #17

Thanks Lisa !! Went into downtown Savannah yesterday with the car. Couldn't imagine taking th Dually into old town and down to River Street. We'll be working our way along the Gulf after the Tampa Show. Figure the car will come in really nice when we go to New Orleans.

After more than 800 miles, a couple of observances -

No sway or wiggle in the rig, even in a 20-30 mph crosswind that we had leaving North Carolina. Only way to tell Fred is back there is to look in camera. Overall mpg change is about .3 mpg. A little slower on initial takeoff but not much.
Braking every bit as good as before, maybe even a little better as the SMI unit is top of the heap (many thanks Brad).

Had a Georgia trooper pull into rest area next to us on way down - I was getting ready to put my thoughts in order - he looked over and gave me a thumbs up !!

Leaving on Tuesday for Florida, will have to see what we get down there. So far very happy with decision. Oh, and brad I think you're right, think I'm at about 75' like you and Lisa.

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Vaughan & Tracy and the Critters 2013 Redwood 36RL following a 2013 Ford F350 DRW. MorRyde IS, Kodiak Disc, Comfort Ride Hitch, MorRyde Pinbox, and a bunch more. And coming soon ~ Fred the Focus tagging along behind Tilda the Redwood.

Towing update ..... 2 weeks 6 hours ago #18

Well - the journey so far has been through all the east coast states from Maryland to Florida. Both on Interstates and rural highways, troopers and local LEO. Nobody gave us a second look other than the two that gave me a thumbs up.

Have been in some tight spots, one that I had to drop car so I could back up and get out of (takes 2 minutes to drop car and pull away, same to hook up).
Am I happy with results ? A resounding yes. Looking forward to exploring Tampa and Mobile and New Orleans in a small car and not a Dually.

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Vaughan & Tracy and the Critters 2013 Redwood 36RL following a 2013 Ford F350 DRW. MorRyde IS, Kodiak Disc, Comfort Ride Hitch, MorRyde Pinbox, and a bunch more. And coming soon ~ Fred the Focus tagging along behind Tilda the Redwood.

Towing update ..... 1 week 5 days ago #19

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That is great when you get out West you can use the car to push you up the mountain passes. A friend of mine asked me if I knew why all those motorhomes need to have a car on the back. I told him all about them being called a toad explained it to him. His serious as all get out, told me they were hauling them to help push them up the big hills...... Needless to say as I gave him that deer in the headlight look he busted out laughing!!

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Life is great when you can scratch that hitch itch!!!

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Towing update ..... 1 week 4 days ago #20

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TomGina06 wrote: That is great when you get out West you can use the car to push you up the mountain passes. A friend of mine asked me if I knew why all those motorhomes need to have a car on the back. I told him all about them being called a toad explained it to him. His serious as all get out, told me they were hauling them to help push them up the big hills...... Needless to say as I gave him that deer in the headlight look he busted out laughing!!



Well, Vaughn will certainly need the car to push that big rig of his up those BIG HILLS in Florida! :lol:

Vaughn, good luck at the the Tampa RV show this year. Wish I could stop in for a visit, but, we are stuck in cold, snowy Indiana this year, although it being for a good reason. Hopefully next year.

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Guy & Phyllis
2012 Redwood 36RL, DualA/C, KodiakDiskBrakes,TrailAir Tri-Glide, GY_G614's,Mor/RydeSRE4000,HDShackles
2011Dodge3500Laramie, CrewCab,4x4, SRW, Michelins, LongBed, 6.7LCTD, 3.73, PullRiteSuper5th20.5KHitch, BlueOxBedsaver

Towing update ..... 1 week 4 days ago #21

Thanks Guy. I will probably drop you a note later on as I have to replace my slide topper fabric and could use some pointers. Going material shopping at the show.

Tom ~ I do have a small graphic on the back of the Focus that says "I'm pushing as hard as I can "

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Vaughan & Tracy and the Critters 2013 Redwood 36RL following a 2013 Ford F350 DRW. MorRyde IS, Kodiak Disc, Comfort Ride Hitch, MorRyde Pinbox, and a bunch more. And coming soon ~ Fred the Focus tagging along behind Tilda the Redwood.

Towing update ..... 1 week 2 days ago #22

Piperguy wrote: Thanks Guy. I will probably drop you a note later on as I have to replace my slide topper fabric and could use some pointers. Going material shopping at the show.

Tom ~ I do have a small graphic on the back of the Focus that says "I'm pushing as hard as I can "

:lol:

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Towing update ..... 1 week 1 day ago #23

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Piperguy wrote: Thanks Guy. I will probably drop you a note later on as I have to replace my slide topper fabric and could use some pointers. Going material shopping at the show.

Tom ~ I do have a small graphic on the back of the Focus that says "I'm pushing as hard as I can "


Vaughn,
Send me a PM or an email. It is not a difficult process. I generally have to work on things by myself and discover how to do it as I go along. I worked on the dining side slide topper. I was going to replace the topper material because the threads around the periphery were rotting out. But, after getting the topper off, I decided the the material was fine.......it just needed to be cleaned well and to be re-sewn. I cleaned up the material with Simple Green and my wife has a very good sewing machine. We used 20 lb test, braided fishing line to re-sew the material and it seems to have worked quite well.

I also had to do some repair to the roller take-up spring mechanism. I thought I might have to order some new parts from Carefree but discovered I could repair everything. The only thing I had to purchase was a few larger rivets to replace those I drilled out on the roller end pieces.

Enjoy Florida and the RV show.

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Guy & Phyllis
2012 Redwood 36RL, DualA/C, KodiakDiskBrakes,TrailAir Tri-Glide, GY_G614's,Mor/RydeSRE4000,HDShackles
2011Dodge3500Laramie, CrewCab,4x4, SRW, Michelins, LongBed, 6.7LCTD, 3.73, PullRiteSuper5th20.5KHitch, BlueOxBedsaver

Towing update ..... 1 week 1 day ago #24

Piperguy wrote: Thanks Guy. I will probably drop you a note later on as I have to replace my slide topper fabric and could use some pointers. Going material shopping at the show.

Tom ~ I do have a small graphic on the back of the Focus that says "I'm pushing as hard as I can "

:)
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2014 36RL (Sold) - Brad, Dory & Sarah
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