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Open Roads Forum  >  Dinghy Towing

 > Has anyone used - Electric Tow Hitch

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RFCN2

MT

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Posted: 05/07/12 06:25pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I was reading this months FMCA magazine and came across the Electric Tow Hitch ad in the back of the book. I looked on their web site http://electrichitch.com/http://electrichitch.com/

and it is very slick. We have been using a very sturdy Roadmaster system on our 2002 Saturn. I want to tow my 2008 Avalon or 2008 Acura MDX. Both you need a tow dolly according to Remco. I don't like tow dollys. The Electric Tow Hitch looks like it would work. Anyone used it?


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Corkey05

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Posted: 05/07/12 06:34pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I haven't used it, but have seen the video before.

My concern would be the front tires of the towd, .. they are just a few inches above the pavement. I wonder how much if any the tires would contact the pavement when hitting those dips in the hwy at 60 MPH. The hitch is far enough behind the rear tires of the MH there would be a significant vertical movement of the towd I would think.


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willald

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Posted: 05/08/12 07:04am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow, I like it, if it would work.

Love the idea - Lifting the front wheels of the toad off the ground and towing it like a tow truck would solve a LOT of issues - backing up is not a problem, no worries about drivetrain, better tracking/maneuvering, etc.

And, the price is very reasonable - not much more than a dolly would cost, and probably cheaper than 4 down towing in many cases.

I would not be worried about the front wheels occasionally contacting the pavement and spinning some. Just leave tranny in neutral, I think a few turns of the front wheels every now and then when going over a bump is not going to hurt anything.

The big concern I have, and my major doubt, is with the obscene amount of tongue weight this thing is going to put on the Motorhome!

They claim in their FAQs that for a 2,850 lb vehicle, its only 450 lbs of tongue weight, and that they lighten the tongue weight by lengthening the tow bar/'stinger' they use. I actually just sent them an email asking that very question. How much tongue weight is a 4,000lb or more SUV or minivan going to put on the back of the MH??

Hmmmm, what about braking? Would you even need/want toad braking with a setup like this? Only the rear wheels would be on the pavement. I guess you'd definitely want a breakaway setup of some kind, at the very least..


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RFCN2

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Posted: 05/08/12 09:30am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hit me as a great idea when I first saw it. Then 30 seconds later one major and one medium concern hit me.

1. Weight on back of motorhome.
2. Loss of supplemental braking.

mowermech

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Posted: 05/08/12 10:54am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I wonder what kind of "receiver" they have attached to the front of the vehicle?
Given the length of the lever arm they are installing, it must be a very stout chunk of iron! I wonder how the vrame of the toad will handle that much stress?
Then there are the modern computerized cars with sensors on all four wheels. It seems to drive the computers insane when the rear wheels are going 60 mph and the front wheels are not moving (or so I have read).
To me, it seems to be another high-tech answer to a "problem" that is perceived by only a few people.
It is an interesting idea, but I don't want one.


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willald

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Posted: 05/08/12 12:42pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

..Powerhouse Coach has a (vaguely) similar solution to this on their coaches, their Ultimate Tow Vehicle system. Really cool, but comes at a VERY high price, haha! Coach has a huge bar that extends out from back, slides under front wheel of towed vehicle, and picks it up. Nothing to add to the towed vehicle at all (except maybe wiring for lights). No worries about tongue weight, as their coaches are sooo massive (built on Volvo class 8 truck chassis!), half the weight of the towed vehicle resting on the back is not a problem.

How about that, Mowermech? Beats having to fool with a flatbed trailer, dolly, or 4 down setup, huh?!

(..Of course, those coaches are so obscenely expensive and huge, most of us could not afford such, nor would want something so huge it wouldn't fit in many campsites..)

Will

mowermech

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Posted: 05/08/12 01:27pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

"How about that, Mowermech? Beats having to fool with a flatbed trailer, dolly, or 4 down setup, huh?!"

Well, perhaps...
I'm not too impressed with their video, though. It gives the impression that you don't need to strap the vehicle to that "wrecker arm", which seems just a little ridiculous (and unsafe). Surely, there is SOMETHING to secure that car to the lift! Then they state that you can tow ANY vehicle with the system, which we all know is NOT true! Not ALL vehicles can be towed!
Basically, it is just a modified wheel-lift wrecker arm, attached to the back of a Class 8 tractor (with a house on it), actuated by a electro-hydraulic pump instead of a PTO pump.
The only difference I see between that and a dolly is the lack of wheels and brakes. Seems to me you still have to get down there and attach the tie-downs and safety chain!
Again, if you can't tow your vehicle on a dolly, you can't tow it on that thing, either!

I do agree about the size and price, though. Not something I would buy, EVER!

N6JRA

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Posted: 06/21/12 01:51am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The Electric Tow Hitch works through simple physics. By making the bar "stinger" longer it moves the weight to the vehicle's tires and off the tongue. The bottom line is that regardless of what vehicle you have the tongue weight will be close to 450 lbs. While it isn't advertised, there doesn't seem to be much reason why you couldn't tow 4 down and pick up the car to back up... but not sure you'd want to do that.

I'm looking for a tow solution for a Jaguar. Remco just says no, which I translate to mean to lazy to make it work.





willald

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Posted: 06/21/12 07:59am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I got an email from these guys, when I had asked them if it was possible to set up their system to work on a vehicle like mine (Kia Sedona minivan).

They said they had set their tow hitch up for vehicles like mine, but it required them to use a more stout version of their hitch to handle the heavier tongue weight. That, and they had to upgrade the OEM receiver, as well as do some suspension mods to the MH to handle the extra tongue weight. Everything was included for this in their base price, EXCEPT any necessary suspension mods to the MH.

One downside, though, that you don't think about: This is a custom design for each setup. You have to bring both your MH and towed vehicle to their location in Florida, to have them set it up. Both your MH and towed vehicle will be tied up with them to complete the installation, for a minimum of 3 days. That could present some challenges, haha.

Must say I was a little tempted, as in my case, I could probably go this route for less than what it cost us to set the van up for 4 down towing. However, there's just too many things about this approach that would make me nervous. Few MHs were built to handle that much tongue weight, and I'm not convinced a few suspension mods would alleviate all the issues that would come with that.

rjstractor

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Posted: 06/21/12 09:34am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

N6JRA wrote:

The Electric Tow Hitch works through simple physics. By making the bar "stinger" longer it moves the weight to the vehicle's tires and off the tongue. The bottom line is that regardless of what vehicle you have the tongue weight will be close to 450 lbs.


I just don't see how that works. you pretty much have a trailer with the wheels all the way in the back, and most of the weight in the front. I doesn't look like the tongue get lifted anywhere near high enough to get much weight transfer. To beleive it I would have to see actual scale weights.


1998 Gulfstream Ultra B/H Ford E450 V10
2005 Chevy 2500HD 6.0 w/ Maxidump insert
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1998 Saturn SL2 toad
2012 VW Jetta S

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