RV Experience Sharing our experience about RVing

August 8, 2005

Toad Setup

Filed under: Uncategorized — donwood49 @ 12:58 am

Our towed vehicle (Toad) is a 1992 Volvo 245 station wagon. This is our “new” car as our other car is a 1987 just like it. We like them so the decision to set it up as our toad was easy. The cost of the modifications probably exceeded the value of the car? There were three problems to be overcome in preparing this vehicle to be towed on its own wheels. One was to disconnect the drive line; the other was to setup the brake system.

The front towbar mounts for our 1992 Volvo 245 station wagon. The brackets are not removable, only the cross-bar can be removed. We always leave it in place.

The Roadmaster Sterling towbar on the RV.

Remco driveline disconnect control. Attached on paassenger side of driveline hump.

Remco driveline disconnect

The Unified Brake System from US Gear on our Volvo is installed under the hood, not under the seat as it would normally be. This made a much cleaner installation. The brake solenoid (actuator) is shown on the left center of the above picture, the gold tube with the cable circling to the top right.

The vacuum pump (gray box in center of picture) for the brake system that makes it work more effectively.

The control for the brake system is the device on the top left of the dash to the right of the headlight switch. This can be used to set the sensitivity of the brakes and to manually apply the brakes.
Hookup and disconnect couldn’t be easier. Just hookup the tow-bar, connect the umbilical cord, place the transmission in neutral and pull the disconnect lever. This connects the brake system and lighting. The Unified Braking System is a proportional braking system and we never even notice we are towing the extra weight.
4/1/05 Our Toad was setup almost two years ago now. The Remco drive line disconnect has worked well except for some difficulty re-engaging it after disconnect. It almost always involved some pushing or rolling of the car. For this reason, I tried to disconnect on pavement and on a slight grade. Forget about trying it on gravel.
Finally, we had an occasion when we couldn’t get it engaged. I looked underneath and decided the cable sheath had come loose from the holding clamp so it didn’t apply any force to engage the disconnect. I crawled under and wrapped some #18 wire around the sheath and reinstalled the clamp. It now works like it should have all along. Now it snaps right in with just a slight roll to mesh the cogs. I intended to adjust it sometime but necessity forced this to the top of the list. It’s probably been loose from day one. I had the Remco disconnect installed but I don’t blame the installer. It looks like the clamp wasn’t sized appropriately. The sheath has a plastic coat over the metal sheath. The plastic had pushed out of the way and the clamp wasn’t tight on the metal sheath. The addition of the coil of wire around the sheath increased the diameter such that the clamp now holds the sheath tight. The control now has a positive feel and engages easily. Wish I hadn’t waited so long but that is the power of procrastination.

5/2007 More problems reconnecting the drive-line. It was next to impossible. When the car was in for service last time I requested the mechanic to put some grease on the disconnect mechanism. (I’ve become a bit too large to squeeze under the car anymore). He did and it made a wonderful difference. It works again. It didn’t have any grease on it when new but I’ll bet the manual, if I’d read it, mentions lubrication.

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