Thursday, November 30, 2023


RV boo-boos: Didja take off the toad brakes, Harry?

There’s a lot to be said for having an RV checklist. And using it. In this case, it may have saved money on tires, and certainly some embarrassment. Yep, it’s always good to remember to take the parking brakes off (and out of gear, as needed) when you start down the road with a toad behind you.

Yes, the motorhome was rolling with a reluctant toad behind. The Swag on

If you’ve seen, witnessed, or had your own “RV boo-boo” moment and have a photo to share with others, let us know. Fill out the form below, and put “boo-boo” on the subject line. Be sure to link your photo with the attachment tool on the form. We toad you so!

Click or drag a file to this area to upload.

Other stories by Russ and Tiña De Maris


Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña went from childhood tent camping to RVing in the 1980s when the ground got too hard. They've been tutored in the ways of RVing (and RV repair) by a series of rigs, from truck campers, to a fifth-wheel, and several travel trailers. In addition to writing scores of articles on RVing topics, they've also taught college classes for folks new to RVing. They authored the book, RV Boondocking Basics.



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Greg S (@guest_176927)
1 year ago

I can’t find it now, but last year there was an article about a guy with a new Jeep. Hooked it up to the Class A, but left the transfer case in low range and transmission in low gear. The repair shop used the gear ratios to calculate engine rpm at 70 mph to be in tens of thousands. Cost to replace the drive train was upwards of $24k – not covered under his new vehicle warranty.
More than once I’ve had to undo the setup on my GMC and start over because I got distracted.

Last edited 1 year ago by Greg S
Joseph Eafrati (@guest_177076)
1 year ago
Reply to  Greg S

Yes, I saw a picture of the engine, and tranny was torn apart. What a mess.

KellyR (@guest_176909)
1 year ago

Not RVing but in our camper van – at 1:00am, many moons ago, wife said “the baby is coming”. Got in the van and THEN when we got to the hospital I went to set the emergency brake and found it was already on. That gave our daughter her first baby story to tell. (she waited another 12 hours to get here). Hospital bills plus a brake job.

Lawrence Neely (@guest_176882)
1 year ago

I had a friend who has had a toad for 3 years. Got a little complacent and forgot to put it in nuetral (left it in reverse, manual shift). Smoked right away. New transmission

Dave (@guest_176797)
1 year ago

After 2 months, we were leaving our last stop when the manager stopped us to say we still had our antenna up. Now the funny part is that we have a light on our dash that says “antenna up”. Now, we’re kind of newbies at this, we’ve only been FT for 16 years.

Kaeleen Buckingham (@guest_176752)
1 year ago

Our first outing with a toad we forgot to release the brakes. I knew almost immediately that something wasn’t right. I could feel it in the drive of the motorhome. However, now part of the checklist as we leave for the day is to make sure all 4 wheels are turning.

Martin Dave (@guest_176743)
1 year ago

If the steering column on a Jeep Liberty is locked it takes exactly 12.5 miles at 65 mph to remove all of the tread off brand new front tires. Don’t ask me how I know.

Gary Broughton (@guest_176684)
1 year ago

Had a friend who didn’t tow much and on their big trip to Alaska, he left the brakes on. After about 4 miles he was waved down and had to replace 2 new tires.

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