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How much would you pay?

rjstractor
Nomad
Nomad
Imagine this- a small or midsize SUV, wagon or sedan equipped from the factory with a "toad package", including:

-Tow bar bracket receivers installed to accommodate major tow bar brands.
-Fully integrated braking that takes an input signal from your motorhome's electric brake controller. ABS on the toad would be fully functional.
-A factory installed 7 pin receiver in front for lighting, brakes and keeping the toad battery charged.
-A "connection mode" where after initial setup you pull up behind the motorhome, push a button, and your toad automatically positions itself perfectly for easy tow bar connection.
-All related components would be covered by the vehicle warranty, of course.
-No speed or distance restrictions for towing. Any procedures required for towing, such as shifting, etc., would be accomplished automatically when in "connection mode".

All of the required technology exists today. So, how much would you pay for all of this as an option? $3000, $4000, more?
2017 VW Golf Alltrack
2000 Ford F250 7.3
20 REPLIES 20

time2roll
Nomad
Nomad
valhalla360 wrote:
Reisender wrote:
There would be some funky engineering for the tow bar to be able to push though. Neat idea though.


With the car in towing mode, you could simply apply 75% of the power needed to compensate for the steepness of the hill. This way the tow bars would always be under tension but would reduce the load on the MH engine by 2500-3000lb.

On the downhill, you could engage the regenerative braking to help slow down the rig and top up the battery.
I would think a surge system for the speed control would work to create a neutral push/pull from the toad.

valhalla360
Nomad III
Nomad III
Reisender wrote:
There would be some funky engineering for the tow bar to be able to push though. Neat idea though.


With the car in towing mode, you could simply apply 75% of the power needed to compensate for the steepness of the hill. This way the tow bars would always be under tension but would reduce the load on the MH engine by 2500-3000lb.

On the downhill, you could engage the regenerative braking to help slow down the rig and top up the battery.
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV

Reisender
Nomad
Nomad
JRscooby wrote:
Reisender wrote:
JRscooby wrote:


And with electric, I think it would be fairly easy to turn the power on, help push up hills, and this could/would discharge the batteries so the drive motors could be used to slow the combination.


There would be some funky engineering for the tow bar to be able to push though. Neat idea though.


I have never used a RV towbar. Just half watching somebody hook up it looked like they parked the car behind MH, telescoped bars out to reach, hooked, then moved until fully extended to lock. Make bars longer, (And yes heavier) extend to hook, the lock the bars as short as will go. Not rocket surgery...
The self-driving feature would simplify, just need to override the front collision avoidance feature.
Ever wonder why the coal trains may have a engine in the back third?


Yah I suppose. Never thought of it. Pretty soon we’ll see million dollar pushers being pushed up the hill by...you know...100 thousand dollar Tesla pushers.

JRscooby
Explorer II
Explorer II
Reisender wrote:
JRscooby wrote:


And with electric, I think it would be fairly easy to turn the power on, help push up hills, and this could/would discharge the batteries so the drive motors could be used to slow the combination.


There would be some funky engineering for the tow bar to be able to push though. Neat idea though.


I have never used a RV towbar. Just half watching somebody hook up it looked like they parked the car behind MH, telescoped bars out to reach, hooked, then moved until fully extended to lock. Make bars longer, (And yes heavier) extend to hook, the lock the bars as short as will go. Not rocket surgery...
The self-driving feature would simplify, just need to override the front collision avoidance feature.
Ever wonder why the coal trains may have a engine in the back third?

SidecarFlip
Explorer III
Explorer III
Was thumbing through the owners manual for my wife's Suburban last night and came across a section devoted to flat towing a burb. Dang thing is bigger than most RV's but just think of all the extra storage space. Pretty simple setup. Add an aftermarket tow bar, put the transfer case in neutral, add tow lights and hook up and away you go with no hassle, no speed limitation or distance towed.
2015 Backpack SS1500
1997 Ford 7.3 OBS 4x4 CC LB

Mr_Mark1
Explorer
Explorer
Well, I would certainly pay the $3K-$4K if I could order a car with that package. I paid $5K for my current set-up that included the new baseplate and installation, AF-One supplemental braking system and installation and a new Roadmaster tow bar for the coach (tax included in price).

It would take less labor if done at the factory before the front-end was put on.

I have a front camera built-in under the 'Lincoln emblem' in the grill to help me line the car up to the tow bar. When I hit the button, the Lincoln emblem pops out exposing the camera.

The 'Neutral Tow Mode' in the instrument cluster is an easy set-up. A few hits toggling through the menu, you are ready to go. And, the display tells you 'Neutral Tow Engaged'.

Safe travels,
MM.
Mr.Mark
2021.5 Pleasure Way Plateau FL Class-B on the Sprinter Chassis
2018 Mini Cooper Hardtop Coupe, 2 dr., 6-speed manual
(SOLD) 2015 Prevost Liberty Coach, 45 ft, 500 hp Volvo
(SOLD) 2008 Monaco Dynasty, 42 ft, 425 hp Cummins

Reisender
Nomad
Nomad
JRscooby wrote:
Reisender wrote:
time2roll wrote:
I would pay your price if it was an electric vehicle.


You beat me to it. I’m not sure what the engineering challenges are but it would be very cool. Preferably something like a model Y or Eplus that sits a little higher.


And with electric, I think it would be fairly easy to turn the power on, help push up hills, and this could/would discharge the batteries so the drive motors could be used to slow the combination.


There would be some funky engineering for the tow bar to be able to push though. Neat idea though.

rjstractor
Nomad
Nomad
westernrvparkowner wrote:
Any such system from a manufacturer would assuredly also include an interface with the odometer that would record those miles the vehicle was towed. That would mean the warranty would expire much quicker for many owners Adding to the overall cost.
With the current 360 degree cameras any alignment system is redundant. Towbar brackets are not universal, so any system would need to have either to have options for the different tow bars or require the purchase/ownership of specific brands and models.
As for cost, it would need to be comparable at least to the cost of aftermarket, and likely less since you couldn't take the components with you when you change out to another vehicle. Finasly, for it to be practical for the RV market, it would need to be offered over a range of vehicles since different people want different types of toweds. Some want tough off road vehicles like jeeps. Some want small econo boxes, some want maximum people capacity, some want luxury, some want sporty, and some want to tow trucks with cargo beds filled with toys.
That is my long analysis, my short version is it isn't even remotely going to happen.


I think you are right. I didn't consider that the OEMs would record towing mileage and of course count that against the warranty. With the cost of R&D the OEMs probably would not have enough take rate to bother with it.
2017 VW Golf Alltrack
2000 Ford F250 7.3

JRscooby
Explorer II
Explorer II
Reisender wrote:
time2roll wrote:
I would pay your price if it was an electric vehicle.


You beat me to it. I’m not sure what the engineering challenges are but it would be very cool. Preferably something like a model Y or Eplus that sits a little higher.


And with electric, I think it would be fairly easy to turn the power on, help push up hills, and this could/would discharge the batteries so the drive motors could be used to slow the combination.

Reisender
Nomad
Nomad
time2roll wrote:
I would pay your price if it was an electric vehicle.


You beat me to it. I’m not sure what the engineering challenges are but it would be very cool. Preferably something like a model Y or Eplus that sits a little higher.

westernrvparkow
Explorer
Explorer
Any such system from a manufacturer would assuredly also include an interface with the odometer that would record those miles the vehicle was towed. That would mean the warranty would expire much quicker for many owners Adding to the overall cost.
With the current 360 degree cameras any alignment system is redundant. Towbar brackets are not universal, so any system would need to have either to have options for the different tow bars or require the purchase/ownership of specific brands and models.
As for cost, it would need to be comparable at least to the cost of aftermarket, and likely less since you couldn't take the components with you when you change out to another vehicle. Finasly, for it to be practical for the RV market, it would need to be offered over a range of vehicles since different people want different types of toweds. Some want tough off road vehicles like jeeps. Some want small econo boxes, some want maximum people capacity, some want luxury, some want sporty, and some want to tow trucks with cargo beds filled with toys.
That is my long analysis, my short version is it isn't even remotely going to happen.

valhalla360
Nomad III
Nomad III
Unless they could somehow dominate the TOAD market, you are probably looking at a $10k upgrade which would make it too expensive to be viable. Much simpler and cheaper to take it to a shop for after market outfitting.
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV

time2roll
Nomad
Nomad
I would pay your price if it was an electric vehicle.

D_E_Bishop
Explorer
Explorer
The first three things as a package maybe $2000 to 2500.

The Auto-align is senseless, just like parking assist. If you can't park a vehicle you should't drive.

The last two things shouldn't cost a $1.00. They would just be words in a sales brochure.
"I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to go". R. L. Stevenson

David Bishop
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 32V
2009 GMC Canyon
Roadmaster 5000
BrakeBuddy Classic II