Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Towing a Toad: So Easy, Right?
On this first extended trip I got the bright idea that I would need to tow my car along. That way the Seeker is truly a home base set up in camp and my car, now known affectionately as “Toad” is handy for driving into town and exploring. In theory, this all sounds good. In practice, well, I hope to get better with practice.
When we hooked up in Nashville it took about 30 minutes to get all the connections just right. The Blue Ox system is brand new and as the installer told me, the fittings are tight until it gets used a few times. I’m looking forward to the broken in stage already. And connecting the line for the lights required a certain fat old lady to lay on the ground with her head up under the rear end of the Seeker and then under the front end of Toad. Like I said, will be glad when the connections get to the broken in stage.
Then there’s the Brake Buddy set up which is a box that sets in front of the driver’s seat in Toad and pushes the brake pedal when I brake Seeker. That one is pretty easy but somewhere between West Virginia and Pennsylvania the fuse blew in the cigarette lighter which powers BB so for a while I guess I had no auxiliary brakes. We spent our first morning in Warren, PA at the local Chevy dealer because we had also blown the front left turn signal bulb which requires removing a section of the front end to get to it. Hey, I know when I’m licked so while we were there I let the nice folks at Jones Chevrolet replace the bulbs (back left was out too) and the fuse. One hour and $42 later we were on our way. And I was able to walk Gus to a cache near the dealership while Brenda waited in the WiFi enabled waiting room (that’s another story).
OK, so it hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing. But with time I hope to get better. And every time I mess up I learn an invaluable lesson which I hope means I will never make that mistake again. For instance, I now know how fast Brenda can run and will never make the mistake of forgetting to set the parking brake before unhooking Toad from the tow bar. Also, I will never forget to double check that all electricals are turned off in Toad before we pull away in towing mode and have to relive the “getting to know your new neighbors in the park by going around begging for jumper cables” moment. Yep, battery goes totally dead if you leave the lights and wipers on while in towing mode.
Overall, I’m glad to have my little Toad along for the journey. It’s so easy to jump in the car and go exploring. And I’m learning so much.