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Subject:  Re: Considering an RV Date:  5/12/2012  12:02 PM
Author:  Goofyhoofy Number:  2257 of 2374

believe I've read that Canadian customs is in the habit of checking for the presence of one of these devices on cars being towed behind motorhomes, and not letting people into the country if they don't have it.

I've been back and forth through Canada multiple times, at different checkpoints, and have yet to be checked.

With one of these installed, your motorhome will stop BETTER while towing the van than without the van.

That's probably true, but for me it seems to make no difference. That is likely because we have a 38' diesel rig, and the "towable" is a Geo Tracker, so the difference in momentum is minimal at best. We have a BrakeBuddy, an old one and it works fine but we never use it anymore. I carry it in the vehicle, but I might as well leave it in the garage at home for all the use it gets. Still, in case we were ever questioned, I'd at least have it with me.

DO NOT accept a ball hitch.

At Camping World you will find a selection for towing cars, none of which use a "ball" hitch. I think all of their towbars are slide-in hitch mounts. (I'm not pimping for CW, I find their prices high, but it's a nice place to shop and, in an emergency, get service.) Each car takes a different set up to attach properly to the frame; those are custom to the car model. I ordered and installed it myself; it's not rocket science but you do want to do it right and be confident in it if you're going to go that route.

I strongly recommend the kind that attaches to the rig rather than the car. (You've seen the cars driving around with the big "Y" tilted back up over the hood. Awful. And you definitely want one with adjustable legs, which means you don't have to be perfectly precise positioning the car. You get it close, then the legs do the adjustment where necessary, then "lock" into place as you pull away.

The towable needs remote lights. Some people get fancy with the install; diodes and using the same taillights and all. I chose to add a set of separate lights on the back and run a cable up to the plug which was already there. Much cheaper, and it doesn't interfere with the car system in any way, so no mysterious problems to detect.

f you do this, you will never need those spare fuses;

Good advice. They're cheap, just buy an assortment pack. Then if you blow one, go buy a pack of that particular amperage, as it is probably the one which will blow again.

First check if your minivan is four-wheel towable. Otherwise you'll need at least a tow dolly (lifts two wheels off the ground) and possibly a flatbed trailer (your minivan would be parked on the trailer).

This tends to really limit your options because it takes much longer to mount/dismount than a 4-down towing setup. So you tend to stay longer, travel less just to avoid the hassle. Or you find campgrounds that only have a pull-through for you, and those generally go first and sometimes cost more.

Memberships: Passport America and Good Sam's strongly recommended; Camping World may be a good idea too.

Good Sam's is now Camping World and vice versa. They merged. I would recommend both the KOA card and the Good Sam's card. If you're going to be out for any length of time they will pay for themselves with the nightly discount. Yes, KOA's are pricier. They're also nicer. There is also a National Parks membership which might save you, depending on what kind of camping you're going to do.

We rarely drive as much as 200 miles in a day, but I figure that every day we move the RV costs $100 (vehicle costs & space rental) whereas a day we don't move the RV is almost always under $30 and frequently under $20.

I don't know where you're staying that it's "under $20", but more power to you. We generally travel 3 hours, maybe 4. Once in a great while it'll be 5 or even 6, but that's a rarity and is usually driven by external events (calendar, weather approaching, etc.) We tend to pull out between 10AM and 11AM, drive for a few hours, pull into a campground at 3PM or 4PM (which usually puts us there before the rush, so we get a better choice of spots), and then we can disconnect the car, walk the dog, and go out for dinner or grocery shop and make it back at the RV, and still have a bit of time to reconnoiter the area. Then we'll stay a full day, maybe two, then pack up and pull out the following morning and repeat, repeat.

Others like to drive like crazy, plant themselves for a week or two, then drive like crazy again. Not for us, but different strokes and all...
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