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Old 03-04-2021, 06:24 PM   #1
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I Gotta Get A TOAD -- Tell Me What You Got!

My rig: 2005 Minnie Winnie 31 w/ V10 Ford


I'd like a really small car, easy to tow, It need not be luxurious in any way. But, I do need automatic trans.



What's the deal between towing with front wheels up, or front wheels down? What's easiest for hook/unhook?



Any advice appreciated!
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Old 03-04-2021, 06:44 PM   #2
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since you want a small auto I think you will be getting a used car. Look at craigslist in tucson az there is a lot that has some crv's and something else for sale and they are already set up for towing


https://tucson.craigslist.org/rvd/d/...279980185.html
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Old 03-04-2021, 10:10 PM   #3
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Front wheels up or down is the difference between using a dolly or flat towing. Having done it both ways, my opinion is that flat towing is easier and you donít have to store the tow dolly. Often a dolly is used because itís cheaper than replacing an existing car that canít be towed 4 wheels down. Most automatics canít be flat towed, but there are enough options to choose from. Fiat 500 is probably the cheapest and smallest. Certain years of Honda CRV and Element work great. Find an old Saturn. Iíve got one thatís 21 years old and drives and tows great.

I also use the Ready Brute Elite tow bar / brake system. I think itís the best, simplest, and cheapest overall option when you factor in an auxiliary braking system required by most states when towing a vehicle thatís more than 1500 lbs.

Good luck.
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Old 03-04-2021, 10:34 PM   #4
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We usually tow our 1998 Ford Ranger extended cab. It is an automatic trans, so we installed a RemCo shaft disconnect. Decided that was the best solution to towing our paid for, rear drive, automatic trans. Love having a P\U following us around. Gives us a 6ft bed to haul really valuable stuff home. Later it is handy to haul the really valuable stuff to Goodwill.

We tow our Camry on our Acme EZ tow dolly. Front wheels up. IMHO, the advantages of flat tow over dolly is a wash in terms of hook up time/effort.

It is all a matter of practice. I am ALWAYS the guy in the instructional video. Some days I am the slick professional, some days it is like I've never seen this stuff.

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Old 03-05-2021, 03:54 AM   #5
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As for towing 4 down heres a good place to start.
https://www.motorhome.com/download-dinghy-guides/

I have towed a jeep wrangler 4 down and found it easy to hook up. It followed the MH everywhere.

I now use a dolly due to lack of cars that can tow 4 down. We had to make sure our KIA Sportage was NOT AWD. AWD cars can not be towed on a dolly.

I find the dolly towing vs. 4 down to be about equal in prep time. The dolly does require alittle more on the ground time.

Good Luck safe travels
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Old 03-05-2021, 05:48 AM   #6
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My opinion, and I tow 4 down is that tha dolly setup may be cheaper but the 4 down is more convenient. It really depends on your style and purpose of travel. If you are traveling for sightseeing, connecting and disconnecting the tow regularly you will appreciate a 4 down setup over a dolly, especially if you have move the dolly around in the campground, eg. backin sites. As for flat tow capable - check the owners manual of the intended car - they are available on line and specify towing requirements called "recreational towing" by most.
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Old 03-05-2021, 06:08 AM   #7
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We flat tow a 2014 Chevy Equinox AWD. Not real heavy and tows nice, the only catch is I need to start the engine and shift into drive and reverse to circulate fluid every 300 miles of towing. This really hasn't been a big deal though since I do a safety walk around every stop anyway. We towed it a little over 30K miles so far without any problems.
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Old 03-05-2021, 10:19 AM   #8
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Great info! I didn't realize how little I knew about all this! Being an old geezer, and getting frail and brittle, I don't like the sound of moving a dolly around. One reason we got out of towing TTs is the hookup work. I'd love to have a small car to use when camping, but I'll have to be careful not to burden myself with heavy work. Lots to consider now.



I'll dive into the links and see what shakes out! As always, thanks to the WinnieFolk!
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Old 03-05-2021, 10:38 AM   #9
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When we first started Flat-Towing we bought a used Fiat 500 with a manual transmission (the only kind that is flat-towable). It was cheap, light (2,200lbs), fun to drive and super super easy to tow. We bought it as a 3rd car just for towing. My daily driver wasn't towable and neither was my wife's. I didn't want the Fiat for a daily driver.

I got tired of having 3 cars for the two of us and sold the Fiat for near what I paid for it.

I had purchased the baseplate and the towbar used on Craigslist so, the whole experiment was pretty inexpensive.

I replaced my Expedition daily driver with a flat-towable Lincoln MKX. It's twice as heavy as the Fiat but works fine for both daily driving and flat-towing.
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Old 03-05-2021, 01:29 PM   #10
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We tow 2 toads alternating depending on travel needs, on an American Car Dolly. Our 2016 Ford Focus we tow front wheels up on the dolly and our 2007 Ford Ranger pick up we tow rear wheels on the dolly. Both are automatics. I add a bit of load (never a problem with this band of "we have to take everything" travelers) to the bed to assure no wiggling when towing the truck. Never had a problem with either one and pick one to haul other depending on travel plans at our destination. Flawless set ups and operation in over 70,000 miles of towing.

In the past we towed a Cherokee 4 down- gave up on that one day when it decided to pass me in the motorhome when it broke loose. No more 4 down for me. Besides we load the dolly in about 7 minutes and my knees never touch the ground. We could probably do it faster but we are pokes.
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Old 03-05-2021, 04:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertRatt View Post
My rig: 2005 Minnie Winnie 31 w/ V10 Ford


I'd like a really small car, easy to tow, It need not be luxurious in any way. But, I do need automatic trans.



What's the deal between towing with front wheels up, or front wheels down? What's easiest for hook/unhook?



Any advice appreciated!
Jeep Wrangler or Grand Cherokee. any model that has a manually selected NEUTRAL POSITION in the transfer case SHOULD be able to be flat towed. check the owner's manual...not the sales critter.
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Old 03-05-2021, 07:04 PM   #12
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I have a 2012 CR-V AWD that can be flat towed but it would cost a couple grand for the full setup, but it can't be dolly towed. I have a couple FWD cars that could be dolly towed but not flat towed. I have a 3/4 ton 4x4 pickup that could be flat towed, but it exceeds my max weight by a bunch. I also have a UTV that we take camping, that requires a trailer.

So I bought an aluminum car hauler and just load up whichever we want for that trip. Except the truck, of course.
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Old 03-05-2021, 07:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wyocamper View Post
I have a 2012 CR-V AWD that can be flat towed but it would cost a couple grand for the full setup, but it can't be dolly towed. I have a couple FWD cars that could be dolly towed but not flat towed. I have a 3/4 ton 4x4 pickup that could be flat towed, but it exceeds my max weight by a bunch. I also have a UTV that we take camping, that requires a trailer.

So I bought an aluminum car hauler and just load up whichever we want for that trip. Except the truck, of course.

I have 2010 SRX that we have had for 10 years that can be flat towed, but I can't believe how much it cost close to $2,500 That is crazy money.
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Old 03-06-2021, 02:06 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkoldman View Post
I have 2010 SRX that we have had for 10 years that can be flat towed, but I can't believe how much it cost close to $2,500 That is crazy money.
We towed a 2014 SRX for 4 years - easy set up, for sure.

Gotta PAY to PLAY!
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Old 03-06-2021, 07:11 AM   #15
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We towed a 2014 SRX for 4 years - easy set up, for sure.

Gotta PAY to PLAY!
This is our SRX, it sits on the side of the house most of the time only getting about 1000 miles per year now , we were trying to sell it but not give it away, and then learned it was the only vehicle we had that was 4 down tow ready to go.

I don't like the "Pay to Play" concept $2,500 seems like a lot of money to throw at 10 year old car that is only worth $7500? Our RV is 30 ft and I can drive it around where we need to go, but my wife would love to have a toad. I fear it is just more work and a harder drive on the interstates with one more thing to worry about.

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Old 03-06-2021, 07:24 AM   #16
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Baseplate is the only part you might lose if you switch toads in the future - everything else can be transferred/used on the new toad. Don't look at it as an expense to a $7500 dollar car. It's an expense for the traveling and the added enjoyment you will reap.
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Old 03-06-2021, 08:58 AM   #17
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Depending on what you REALLY want as a towd car almost all components of the tow kit can be found USED thus more cheap than many think. Look at Craigslist and there usually are tow bars for sale with all accessories, only the base plates will need to be bought new if they cant be found. When we got our unit the seller gave al tow stuff, so had to buy base plates and have them installed. Found them on the new for less than at dealer but that then required finding someone to install. Got from camp world when they had a $39 install, they also installed the light kit (cable setup) and I think I paid maybe $900 for it. The guy also gave me the brake setup after he removed it from the car they had towed, ended up installing it myself so no additional cost there. I have decided that I may tow my ranger occasionally and bought a brand new brake setup, but then a guy gave me one that sits on the floor for it. So now have a new brake kit to get rid of!


Anyhow I have seen ads from a salvage yard in Yuma that had lots of baseplates/tow kits just never had a reason to check him out. There is a guy here in Tucson that sells tow bars etc fairly cheap, again check craigslist.
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Old 03-06-2021, 10:19 AM   #18
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I think I'm spiraling down a rabbit hole!



The more I discover about toads, the more it makes me wonder if I wasn't better off with the Suburban-Airstream TT setup. Ain't no free lunches in sight!



I don't have a farm or huge lot where I can store all these vehicles. So a toad would also mean more storage than I already have for the RV. 3 cars is more insurance, maintenance, etc too.



I dunno. Well, at least I'm getting educated on the subject! Thanks!
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Old 03-06-2021, 06:08 PM   #19
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depending on what the towed would be just liability would cover you if an event happens. Just would not have comprehensive to cover your damages.
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Old 03-07-2021, 10:03 AM   #20
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just found this on CL for use as an example:


https://tucson.craigslist.org/rvs/d/...279170926.html
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