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Author Topic: Opinions on Suburban for toad  (Read 2876 times)
oldmansax
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« on: September 13, 2006, 03:52:35 PM »

I have a '95, 4 wheel drive, diesel Suburban I am considering using as a toad. Has anyone else ever used one? Can I just put the transfer case in neutral & tow it? It weighs 5700 lbs. Should I figure out how to put some kind of brakes on it? My other option is to put it on a trailer & tow that. I have a 20 ft., 10,000 lb. trailer I use to haul it with my dually. If I use that, I need to hook up the 12 Volt brakes & lights. I am open to any suggestions/ opinions. Undecided  Thanks!
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'82 BlueBird WanderLodge PT40 being rebuilt
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« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2006, 04:52:20 PM »

Hello OMS,

About the Suburban,  A Friend of mine had one that he towed. He remembers it weighing over 8,000#'s??

Is that so?  I'm thinking that when I weighed my Jeep Grand Cherokee it was in the 6500# range.

You might want to check that 5700# figure. Either way it's still towable. Like you said, Just switch the transfur case to neutral.

Nick-
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kyle4501
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« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2006, 04:55:51 PM »

By most state laws (& self preservation) you will need brakes on any towed vehicle or trailer over 1500#, It sure helps to maintain control during unexpected manuvers during hard braking. I saw somewhere, once upon a time, where someone used the same controls big rigs use for trailer brakes and used an air cylinder under the dash of the toad to apply pressure to the brake pedal.

The trailer can cause different oportunities when in campgrounds when it comes to parking it.

The 'burb is a great vehicle, but check the owners manual concerning towing to make sure it is OK to just use the transfer case neutral.
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« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2006, 05:18:14 PM »

Check the owners manual. If you do not have one, find one!  If it does not have electronic transfer case (push buttons), I sincerely doubt it is towable without some type of disconnect. Do not take anybodies word for this. Find it in writing.

I towed my 99 Tahoe at 5500 pounds all over the country, four down, but it had the electronic transfer case.

Yes you need brakes for that big a vehicle and more and more states are requiring brakes on all towed vehicles.  Canada also requires it.
Richard


I have a '95, 4 wheel drive, diesel Suburban I am considering using as a toad. Has anyone else ever used one? Can I just put the transfer case in neutral & tow it? It weighs 5700 lbs. Should I figure out how to put some kind of brakes on it? My other option is to put it on a trailer & tow that. I have a 20 ft., 10,000 lb. trailer I use to haul it with my dually. If I use that, I need to hook up the 12 Volt brakes & lights. I am open to any suggestions/ opinions. Undecided Thanks!
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oldmansax
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« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2006, 05:24:30 PM »

Nick- Just guessing on the wt. I had an '82 2WD that weighed about 5700. I will weigh it before I tow it.

Kyle- You are right, of course, about having brakes on the towed vehicle. I am just hoping to find some miraculous way to do this quickly with no fuss. I am finding out NOTHING is done quickly with no fuss.
 Sad

Richard- the more I learn the more I am leaning towards fixing the bus so I can tow a 12 volt trailer....Grumpydog is suppposed to be getting a price on a converter so I could just plug everything in.
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« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2006, 05:42:57 PM »

You won't need to weigh it.  It will have to have brakes in all states anyway.  Some states are 3000# and some are 1500#.  My Jeep Grand Cherokee weighs just under 3000#, so I don't have brakes on it and from towing it, don't think I really need them.  Nice thing about these buses is it's easy to set up a air cylinder on the brake pedal that works off you tag brake line.
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DrivingMissLazy
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« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2006, 05:51:42 PM »

Try and avoid using a trailer at all costs. It will be a real pain in the @ss I assure you. I orignially bought a tow dolly and after one cross country trip I parked it in the front yard and sold it for $50.
Richard
Richard- the more I learn the more I am leaning towards fixing the bus so I can tow a 12 volt trailer....Grumpydog is suppposed to be getting a price on a converter so I could just plug everything in.
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Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body. But rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, a good Reisling in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming:  WOO HOO, what a ride
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« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2006, 06:52:47 PM »

someone used the same controls big rigs use for trailer brakes and used an air cylinder under the dash of the toad to apply pressure to the brake pedal.

Fred Hobe has an air cylinder brake actuator in his pickup toad. An air chuck at the back of the bus connects it to the bus braking system. Although I haven't checked, he may have a description of the toad brake posted on his website. I saw it at Timmonsville last year. I believe he was towing a full sized Dodge pickup. Fred had an interesting perspective on the purpose of toad brakes...I'll let him explain if he wishes to do so.
Nick, I believe you had some contraband (bus parts?) in your Grand Cherokee when you weighed it...they usually weigh about 3800--4000#s, and a Cherokee XJ (little boxy Cherokee) weights about 3300#s. Both are relative lightweights in American iron.
List me in the 4 down group...only way to go.
Cheers, JR




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« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2006, 08:03:23 PM »

I have a 1995 GMC 4X4 pick up that I tow four down without problems. It has the manual transfer case wich makes it very easy to know that you are in neutral. Transfer case goes top neutral, then put column shift in park, and turn ignition key to off so the steering wheel does not lock and you should be set to go.
I do not use brakes as mine is only a half ton short bed and it is not very heavy, If I were to be going into the mountains I would get brakes for sure. Your suburban will be much heavier so you decide on the brakes.
Jim Callaghan 4106
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« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2006, 08:45:01 PM »

My '03 Chevy tracker is ok 4 down, Manual Transfer case in neutral, shifter in park, ignition OFF lock position,(first click as in acc) BUT according to the manual you must start it up (recomended) every 200 miles. Something about not having fluid circulation in the trans.

Don & Sheila
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Brian Diehl
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« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2006, 06:09:30 AM »

It is not that difficult to add brakes to the TOAD (time or money whichever you have the most of). Go spend $1000 - $1200 for a RoadMaster or Blue Ox brake box or build your own. I've built my own including a brake-away switch to apply the brakes if the Jeep should leave the tow bar behind!

2" air cylinder from eplace: $25
2 gallon air tank from eplace: $20
12v DC air solenoid from eplace: $12
Trailer-brake away switch from eplace: $8
Check Valve, DOT 1/4" airline and fittings from local truck supply: $45
Scrap aluminum laying around shop: $4
Misc bolts, supplies: $10

Total = $120
Total time invested ~12 hours
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Busted Knuckle
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« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2006, 06:58:30 AM »

Again Brian I like the way you think! And for personal use your set up is great & cheaper, than what I would have suggested! In the towing business we use a product called brake buddy which is a commercially built (for liability issues!) unit simular to your set up. But for personal use I'd probably build my own! I don't recall but seems to me the "Brake Buddy"  ran about $ 500.00 if anyones interested I can find my catalog an look it up. !  BK  Grin
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oldmansax
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« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2006, 07:02:49 AM »

Try and avoid using a trailer at all costs. It will be a real pain in the @ss I assure you. I orignially bought a tow dolly and after one cross country trip I parked it in the front yard and sold it for $50.
Richard
Richard- the more I learn the more I am leaning towards fixing the bus so I can tow a 12 volt trailer....Grumpydog is suppposed to be getting a price on a converter so I could just plug everything in.

Why is trailer such a pain? Not disputing your opinion, just want reasons...LOL INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW
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« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2006, 07:11:54 AM »

OMS,

The biggest thing is in most campgrounds you'll be lucky to have enough room for a bus AND a toad, then you add a trailer that's bigger than the toad (or else the toad won't fit on it!) and it either makes for a very crowded and cluttered camp spot. Also with a toad once loaded you have to crawl under and chain or strap it down securely! Also putting a large vehicle such as a 4X4 Suburban up on a trailer raises the center of gravity quite a bit, which not always but could causes extra problems with the handling of the trailer and such! But again the storing of the trailer is the biggest issue! At least from what I've learned from those who actually use toads! (when's the last time you saw a loaded charter bus full of people pulling a toad? LOL!) BK  Grin
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
KY Lakeside Travel's Busted Knuckle Garage
Huntingdon, TN 12 minutes N of I-40 @ exit 108
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« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2006, 07:18:25 AM »

Search the archives on this board and on BNO. Dozens of posts explaining difficulties encountered with trailers. BK's is only one of many that have been posted.
Richard


Try and avoid using a trailer at all costs. It will be a real pain in the @ss I assure you. I orignially bought a tow dolly and after one cross country trip I parked it in the front yard and sold it for $50.
Richard
Richard- the more I learn the more I am leaning towards fixing the bus so I can tow a 12 volt trailer....Grumpydog is suppposed to be getting a price on a converter so I could just plug everything in.

Why is trailer such a pain? Not disputing your opinion, just want reasons...LOL INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW
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Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body. But rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, a good Reisling in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming:  WOO HOO, what a ride
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