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Old 12-29-2019, 05:44 PM   #21
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The only reason I would not pull a toad is if I could afford to rent wherever I went, but that would be a hassle too. And depending where I ended up, renting may not be an option. I couldn't imagine not having a toad....
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Old 12-29-2019, 05:50 PM   #22
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I never leave home without it only trust your owner's manuals to figure out if your car is towable or not
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Old 12-29-2019, 05:53 PM   #23
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Buy a cheap toad when you need one

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Originally Posted by CarpeDiem View Post
Morich, also sound advice. It is funny I posted the same thing on a full time RV group at Facebook. The results were more mixed. Our current plan is to sell the car, go without for a few months as we are starting out by visiting lots of friends and relatives. Then likely buy something we can tow four down. Thanks to all for the excellent comments & suggestions.

Sounds like a good plan. Try without and see what your needs and wants are. All Honda CR-Vs through 2014 can be towed flat as can many manual tranny cars. Unless you make a fashion statement with your cars, a high mileage Honda or towable Toyota can be reliable for several to many years if mechanically sound and can be had for $4k to $8k. My 2006 has 240,000 miles and was my only car until recently when I wanted some safety features only available in the last 3 years. If you are traveling regularly, it will be mostly a trailer (towed) and actually driven only a few thousand miles a year. If you land in one place and intend to stay, then you might want a nicer car.
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Old 12-29-2019, 05:59 PM   #24
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I have been looking a Chevy Cobalt. Can find them reasonably priced and can tow 4 down.
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Old 12-29-2019, 06:06 PM   #25
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AWDs have to be trailered. Just an FYI
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Old 12-29-2019, 06:47 PM   #26
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We started out with a dolly, and it was an absolute nightmare. You've heard the reasons, so I won't repeat. After two road trips we ditched the dolly, bought a Chevy Sonic to flat tow, and couldn't be happier. By way of explanation, it's the least expensive car with an automatic transmission (for my wife's sake) that the manufacturer says can be towed. I do like the suggestion you try going without a toad for a while, in part because I feel a great freedom when driving without one. But in the end, I bet you'll find you'll want a toad, and that you'll agree flat tow's the best.
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Old 12-29-2019, 07:06 PM   #27
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I believe a good flat tow setup installed is about $3-4k...
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Old 12-29-2019, 07:10 PM   #28
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Yes to toad

The only time we did not tow a car was when we had a pull behind, and thus had the truck to get around. That said, I cannot imagine being stranded without a ride or having to depend on rentals. We really like to be in the small towns and unique places and not easy to find alternative transportation.

As to dolly -- had one, would not ever have one again. First, we are getting older and don't want to be crawling under that thing. Second, a friend actually drove their toad OVER the front of the dolly...you can imagine the rest.

We actually sold our first toad to get one that we can tow four-down without a lot of hassle. However, we travel 6 months of the year so it was worth the transfer for us. (I tried to get hubby to get a 3-wheeler, but he wouldn't go for it.)

Finally, we have a gas MH and toad so should we ever be in a situation where we can't find a gas station, we keep a siphon with us. Same with battery charge -- can use one vehicle to backup the other. And should the MH ever breakdown in a solitary place, we just unhook and go for help.
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Old 12-29-2019, 07:32 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarpeDiem View Post
We are preparing to go full time and we assumed we would tow our car behind our RV. We are well within the weight limit but will need a tow dolly. New dolly is roughly $1500. Also full coverage on the car is about $1400 a year. The car is paid for. We are thinking about selling the car and if we sight see when we land somewhere we could either Uber or rent a car. Seems like that would be cheaper and easier driving without a toad. Looking for pros and cons.
My opinion would be an Uber would be a total pain. Using a toad is very easy, a tow dolly probably not too bad but they are a little heavy and need room to store it. Renting a car once you get to an area also works as my friends do this. But continually renting a car everywhere you go I think would also be a pain. But having a car is totally necessary particularly if you are full time, unless all you do is hang around the campground.
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Old 12-29-2019, 08:21 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarpeDiem View Post
We are well within the weight limit but will need a tow dolly. New dolly is roughly $1500. Also full coverage on the car is about $1400 a year. The car is paid for. We are thinking about selling the car and if we sight see when we land somewhere we could either Uber or rent a car. Seems like that would be cheaper and easier driving without a toad. Looking for pros and cons.
Pros and cons; I'll start with the cons:
1) hardware (tow dolly or tow bar) setup
2) a bit harder to get in and out of fuel stations - yes, even the truck stops
3) a bit harder for any kind of pit stop be it restroom or dining stop
4) most cases backing up is not possible

Pros:
1) rescue vehicle is in tow. Spoken from experience. Yes, even with roadside assistance it is good to know that I am not totally stranded on the shoulder of the road in no-mans land.
2) your chariot (vehicle) is right there when you need it. No waiting on Uber or other methods of transportation. We were once delayed over an hour at a National Rental agency to get checked out.
3) it's your vehicle therefore you are familiar with it versus renting "whatever" from lot inventory.
4) you have additional stow area. Great place to put a few items such as lawn chairs or even the bag of dirty laundry. Also handy if you have to packup with wet gear or raining. I've been known to toss our patio mat in a plastic bag and place it in the hatch back area of our Trax until I can get it to dry out at the next stop.
5) on the road trips, it's nice to just unhitch and explore the area.

More on toad towing. I've done both; flat tow and dolly tow. Both have their "issues".
Flat tow:
Don't think that flat tow is hook-up and go. Once all the tow bar hardware is installed and the toad lighting hardwired to the tow vehicle, you have to install the supplemental braking - and that's a whole other topic in itself on selecting the braking hardware.
Roughly 5 - 8 minutes from start of hook-up to ready to roll.

Dolly tow:
Not as fast as tow bar hook-up. Yes, you have to get on the ground. I have a rolled up yoga mat for that.
My tow dolly has built-in surge brakes so no in-vehicle brake system is needed and in all states the tow dolly lighting is sufficient for rear lights for the tow vehicle, no additional wiring of the tow vehicle necessary although I do carry a rear signal light bar to install on our Trax but to date have had no call to use them.
Roughly 8 - 10 minutes from start of hook-up to ready to roll.

Stowing the tow dolly is easy, basically park it under the rear of our Winnebago View.

As for the expenses of each; you'll spend more on hardware for flat tow with tow bar, supplemental brake system and base plate for the vehicle.
The tow dolly can be used for either flat tow or non, so technically it is a solution for most vehicles. Nothing else to buy if you change to another vehicle.
There are the vehicles out there that have to be trailer towed.

If it were me I would keep your current vehicle and go with the tow dolly. Both can be sold later if you find it doesn't suit you.

I've done thousands of mile towing a toad and I've never regretted taking the toad. There is one campground we frequent in Tennessee that has a couple cars they rent and I've been tempted, but the added security of having that rescue vehicle and the added potential cargo space always win out.

Bobby
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Old 12-29-2019, 08:47 PM   #31
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We just walked away from the table on a deal for a 2019 Chevy Equinox (new). I did a lot of research on the Equinox and as an "FYI", the AWD with the 2.0L engine is flat towable for 2018, 2019 and 2020. All FWD Equinox 2018, 2019, and 2020 flat towable. No longer have to pull a fuse as was true on some older Equinoxes. We rented one for 2 days using Hertz "Rent to buy" program and I fell in love with the car. You can get a brand new 2019 or 2020 FWD for about $22-23 with the Confidence and Convenience Pkg. The AWD with 2.0 gets up there, around 29-31. Prices will vary depending on options. Our 2002 Honda CRV has been a toad since day one (we are 2nd owner) has 102,000 driving miles on it + at least that many towed miles! It is in great shape, reliable, easy to set up, and no real "need" to replace it at this point. We all know that fine line between wants and needs. If the dealer had extended the advertised price, I was ready to buy, but when they started playing games, I walked away. Will revisit the topic in a few years. We love having the Honda with us when we travel. Just returned from a 4 month, 7,500 mile trip and had zero problems with it after I got an issue with the charge line resolved. We were getting dead batteries because the dealer didn't set up our charge line correctly. Now resolved and we didn't have to stop and run the vehicle to keep the battery charged, just once on long trips to keep the fluids flowing. We did have a tire blow on the toad once and didn't notice it right away. We have rectified that situation with a TPMS. Just as an example of how the toad comes in handy, we spent 5 days in Las Vegas at the Thousand Trails Park on Boulder Highway. The car was so handy for trips to the strip, downtown, shopping, and nearby casinos too far to walk to. Renting a car (we rented the Hertz Equinox to try it on for size for $49 day) was a time consuming hassle. (And cost over $100 for 2 days). The toad is very economical for us, because it is 17 years old, we carry liability only on it (only $20 month over and above the amounts we pay for our other 2 cars), $52 year MN license fee, and routine maintenance. My next toad will undoubtedly be the Chevy Equinox as it is a lot of car for the $. But in no hurry.

(We tow "4 down" and find it very easy. Takes about 5 minutes to connect or disconnect from the RV).
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Old 12-29-2019, 09:12 PM   #32
bkg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJFogelberg View Post
I did a lot of research on the Equinox and as an "FYI", the AWD with the 2.0L engine is flat towable for 2018, 2019 and 2020. All FWD Equinox 2018, 2019, and 2020 flat towable. No longer have to pull a fuse as was true on some older Equinoxes.
I agree on the Equinox, it is a great vehicle. It was our former before the Trax. The Equinox did great as a 4 down tow, the fuse pull was a minor step; the supplemental brake set-up was somewhat of a chore, not terrible, just another step to go through when hitching and un-hitching.

I was not aware the Equinox AWD was 4 down towable. Interesting. Most AWD are not as well as most (if not all) hybrids.
The Chevy Trax has been a suitable replacement for the Equinox and considerably better fuel economy.
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Old 12-29-2019, 09:54 PM   #33
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On the Chevy Equinox, Chevrolet includes towing information in their owner's manual. These are downloadable with a google search "Chevrolet Equinox 2019 Owners Manual" as an example. Then look in the index under "Towing" and there is specific information on "Recreational Vehicle Towing). Then I went to Remco Towing guide online to verify that the specific model was flat towable. Sales agents often know little about flat towing, so buyer needs to do their own research. There is a lot of safety technology on the newer Equinox especially with the upgraded "Confidence" package, which is one of the primary reasons I want to upgrade from the '02 CRV.
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Old 12-29-2019, 10:23 PM   #34
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Quote:
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On the Chevy Equinox, Chevrolet includes towing information in their owner's manual. Sales agents often know little about flat towing, so buyer needs to do their own research.
I 100% agree; rely on the owners manual that comes with the vehicle. Not even Google or Good Sam guide is 100% reliable. There are on occasions on-the-line changes in manufacturing due to recalls or supplier issues. The manual is written to support the specific vehicle it comes with. I go with that before any word of mouth.
Reading the Good Sam dingy guide it states the Equinox AWD is flat towable but that the chime will sound for like 30 minutes - wow!
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Old 12-29-2019, 11:40 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodBoss View Post
We are not full-time and I don't have a car that can be towed easily. I decided to compromise with a scooter. It's fun & easy to drive and more than capable for highway use. It's a 250cc Honda Reflex. I bought a rack and customized it to work with our rig. It's not a car but we are not stuck at the campsite either.
While reading through this thread, your post caught my eye. I was going to start a separate thread, but you should have the info I'd need. I race vintage motocross bikes up and down the west coast, so bought a 1999 Itasca SunFlyer 33B with the V-10 to get away from tents or motels. I had planned on towing my 6x12 cargo trailer, but it's kind of large and heavy for just carrying one bike, so am now investigating a rear carrier.

I assume you use a single ramp-loaded carrier that couples to the trailer hitch and then gets tied down.

Here's a few questions:
- Is there a brand of carrier you recommend or specifically don't recommend?
- Approximately how much does the whole carrier (minus bike) weigh?
- Is a standard trailer hitch sturdy enough to hold the bike steady or do you need to add braces at each end to keep it from rocking?
- My race bike is only about 230 lbs, but would putting it and the carrier that far behind the rear axle require beefing up the rear suspension?
- Do you put a cover on the scooter or does it stay reasonably clean?
- Any other comments or advice?

Any help you (or anyone else on here) could provide would be most helpful.
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Old 12-30-2019, 05:49 AM   #36
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Toad yes. Put some kind of protection on the front end, especially the windshield. We’ve replaced two Mini and two Jeep windshields, even with the rear flap. Strapping a dolly is no fun in the mud. Flat towing is better, disconnect in three minutes.
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Old 12-30-2019, 10:15 AM   #37
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rentin a car

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarpeDiem View Post
What are some of the other benefits of having the toad as opposed to renting a car?
I've done both, started with a tow dolly then went to flat towing, thought I could save fuel by not towing a vehicle. So I rented for about three or four
trips, and went back towing. When I did the car rental thing it was a pain in the neck. I'd have to drive the motorhome to the rental sight because they always
had an excuse that they couldn't deliver the car as they advertised. My wife would follow me to the RV park, and then when we left she had to follow me back to the rental sight to turn the vehicle in. As some one else has already
mentioned unless you always camp near a city there aren't always rental
companies available. A tow dolly isn't the most convenient, but it's better then
renting in my experience.
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Old 12-30-2019, 10:51 AM   #38
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I agree. I don't want to depend on someone else to have a vehicle. I want one at my disposal. Haven't towed our toad yet, but I won't even know it's there, so I'm told... Its going to be my older Jeep or a fullsize chev truck.

Jeeps are probably the #1 toad... See them everywhere..
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Old 12-30-2019, 10:58 AM   #39
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I would like to tow one of these, but a tad pricey.

https://vanderhallusa.com/venice/
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Old 12-30-2019, 11:11 AM   #40
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For many years we towed with a dolly... and HATED it! I won't enumerate all the reasons here but on our car, because the front bumper was pretty low, we required auxiliary ramps. This compounded and lengthened the time for hook up. Secondly, sometimes there was an issue of what to do with the dolly once we were docked. There are other reasons, but these are primary.
A couple of years ago we went ahead and fitted our car and MH for flat towing. Now hooking up and disconnecting are a breeze. All this is to say we greatly prefer flat towing, but if you get a dolly, be sure you can drive up on it without auxiliary ramps.

Regarding Americanseal, who implied that the risk of a toad breaking loose with a dolly is less than flat towing, I've seen exactly the same thing he described happen with a dolly towed vehicle. Despite best practices, this is still, although remote, a possibility in all towing systems.
Also if your dolly is fitted with surge brakes, then you cannot back up at all.
Just more peas to throw in the decision bucket.
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