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Post Info TOPIC: Preferred Toads?


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Preferred Toads?
 


I was waiting for someone to start this topic, but I couldn't wait any longer. 


What are the best toads and why?



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This is a your mileage may vary topic, haha.

We have used Chevrolet products with 4wd. The 1st was a Chev Blazer and it was a very good toad. Our current vehicle is a Chevrolet Colorado 4 door pickup.

They were/are very easy to setup to tow. Step 1, press 2 buttons until the transfer case goes into neutral. Step 2, remove 2 fuses. Step 3, with the Colorado, put in park and go. The Blazer had a steering lock so it was left in neutral with the key in.

That's it. This is not to say that these are the best vehicles to tow, but they work well for us. We tested Saturn and considered Honda but stayed with Chevy.

It is really too bad that more vehicles are not made to tow 4 down. The manufacturers have not figured out that we would like a better selection. I did contact both Toyota and Nissan and neither tow 4 down with an automatic.

There that started it.

Mike

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Our choice is a Honda CRV. We bought a used 2001 just for towing behind the MH & I would drive it back & forth to the train during the week for work. We would use my wife's car for the family car since it was newer & nicer. The CRV is easy to tow, just a shift thru all gears while running stopping in neutral from drive & then letting it run for 2 minutes. Leave the keyin the ignition in the unlocked position & you're good to go for 8 hours before doing it again. The weight of the CRV was one of the lighter ones at around 3200 lbs so you don't know it's back there, that's why I keep the b/u camera on while towing:) It's more comfortable than our other car & has a lot of room for loading everything to & from the MH since we don't leave it at the house. Also while we are traveling around wherever we might be we can load it up with things my wife seems she has to have!


The 2007 CRV has a new look so we might be looking into that before too long:)


That's what works for us!  


 


    



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We currently tow an Olds Alero, previously an Olds Cutlass.  We looked at Saturns but we are both tall and could not adjust the seats to where either one of us were comfortable.  We wanted a four-door car so we can take another couple or three grandkids to dinner, etc.  The Olds is no longer made, so would probably go with a Chevy Malibu next time.  Most of our friends have Saturns or Malibus.


 


Mary


'04 DutchStar 4015,  '02 Olds Alero


 



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We wanted some ability to drive dirt and gravel roads so we have an automatic 2002 Honda CRV with 4WD.  Those who really like to off road get Jeeps, all of which are towable with stick or automatics.  Suzuki 4WD's are towable but are limited to 55mph while towing.  Saturns and Chevy Malibus are popular with those who want a car in tow.  PT Cruiser stick shifts are also towable.  The newer Saturn VUE uses Honda parts and is towable and popular, the older one with the CVT transmission was not towable.  For those with a big ego all Hummers are towable and are popular behind Prevost bus conversions.


Up until sometime in 2005 all Honda automatics were towable, but then Honda made transmission changes and only the CRV was towable in late 2005 and into 2006.  We are worried that same transmission will be in the redesigned 2007 CRV.


The list of approved towable vehicles is on the Motorhome Magazine website main page, http://www.motorhomemagazine.com/, as "Dinghy Towing".  Many vehicles not approved can be towed with lube pumps and disconnects, check with Remco, http://www.remcotowing.com/, for a list.  People who want to tow a van need to get equipment from Remco (though pre-2005 Honda vans were towable).  You also need to check with your tow bar manufacturer to make sure they have a baseplate for the vehicle you want to tow.  Both Roadmaster and Blue Ox do make conversion setups, so you can tow a Blue Ox baseplate vehicle with a Roadmaster and vise versa.  Also make sure your towing vehicle has the towing capacity to tow the vehicle you want, some come with 4000lb limits, others 5000lbs, others 8000lbs and others 10000lbs.  You do have to have a towbar rated to handle the weight also.



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My DW and I think the new "Smart Car" will be perfect, do out in Jan.2008 I have read.... Only holds two but that's all we will need.



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I purchased a 2003 Honda Element AWD new specifically for its towability and the AWD aspect for using on mild back roads.  I have almost 20K towing miles on it as well as 63K road miles on it.  I have serviced the transmission twice as Honda recommended.  It has run well and never been in the shop for anything other than routine oil changes and scheduled maintainance.


The rear seats come out and you can carry huge amounts of stuff in it.  We carry two Honda 50cc motorscooters in back for riding around the areas we visit, Key West, Lake Tahoe, even road around Quartzsite last January, traffic jams didn't stop us.


So, if the Element is the "Toad", then should the motorscooters be called "Tadpoles"?


Best Regards!



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I have used a 96 tracker 4x4 with manual hubs. This is a 4 dr, auto, a/c, and most of the goodies.  This has been great for us.  Just what we wanted, were too old for all that serious off-road stuff.  In fact we used it around town because it's easier to get in and out of. (easier on the knees). The tracker has been trouble free, never had a problem of any type and got 26-28 mpg around town and 35 mpg highway.


With 10yrs and 50K miles I have been thinking of something new.  Have gone to 5 different car dealers and just have to say most will sell you a car but keep showing me the list price. Want me to sign something before they will even talk.  A couple of time salesman got up to check with mgr, but from what I could see they just joked and talked while I waited. Think this is an old trick.


Yesterday went to look at a  Pontiac VIBE. Only the manual shift can be towed 4 down per owners manual and  FMCA charts.  So 19K plus was priced @ 15K.  This car a little small but would be great with 30 mpg in town and 40 mpg highway.  The Red Tag sale advertized on TV. did not apply to all models.  


Guess I'll just keep on looking and maybe sell the Tracker /the MH.


With recent life events I have lost interest in a lot of thing including RV'g.  


Because I'll be in Marina Del Rey for an extended period over the holidays, sans computer, I'd like to wish all a happy, merry, safe and enjoyable holiday season. 



-- Edited by jomago at 13:40, 2006-11-28

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Well this is another of those "Whatever suits you best" type of opinion related questions. Really it boils down to what you want to do with the toad besides towing it. That said, I believe the best vehicle for towing 4 down to the Jeep 4 wheel drive products. The Jeep 4 wheel drives seem to be some of the toughest and some of the best designed of them all. They have been being towed one way or another since the 2nd world war. We have towed a Jeep for many years. Before that I towed a Geo Tracker. It is light and tracks well. Of course the Tracker was built for General Motors by Suzuki, which now markets the Vitara model and several others. The manual says to not tow over 55 mph but I have done it for over 30,000 miles with no ill effects. It also recommend stopping every 200 miles and running the engine of the vehicle for a few minutes. This was done to relubricate gears. If you need a pick up then you will have to do something else.

I really believe that most modern vehicles that the manufacturer says can be towed 4 down will give you lots of trouble free operation.

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I agree with ahoweth, you have to pick what works for you.  We are glad to have both reasonably fuel mileage and some ability to handle dirt and gravel roads with our Honda CRV.  A real off-roader will like Jeeps and you don't have to worry about a towing procedure like the CRV but your fuel mileage will drop.  If you want a family car, the Chevy Malibu is a good choice and has good fuel mileage.  If you want a van you will have to find which ones have modifications available from Remco, http://www.remcotowing.com/ , unless you can find an older Odyssey since in 2005 Honda explicitly said you can't tow the Odyssey.

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We have a 2006 Honda CRV with Blue OX baseplate and towbar. The deciding factor for us was the weight factor since our 32 Ft Winnebago Journey has the smaller Cummins 275 HP Diesel engine. I leave the BU Camera on while towing it because you don't even know it's back there. The gas Mileage loss is negligible (1/2 to 1 mpg loss) when towing it and recently towed it across some of the NC Blue Ridge mountains and I was passing trucks going up some of those mountains. The Jeep adds a good 1,000 ponds to that load. In the end it a decision that gets down to what your specific needs and desires are for the use of that vehicle. I did find the Motorhome Magazine information on Toads to be very helpful.

Ron and Pat
2001 Winnebago Journey

Leaving the Rat Race 3/31/2007

-- Edited by Papparazzi at 22:29, 2006-11-30

-- Edited by Papparazzi at 12:51, 2006-12-01

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Seems the “best” toad is the one that works “best” for you! Not an easy thing to decide on though.

Car or suv or pu, big or small, light or heavy, 2x4 or 4x4, AWD/full time/part time, foreign or domestic, green or blue, hybrid or not, cargo space or passenger space, on and on… So many choices, how to decide????

Here’s one approach to use starting at needs and ending with make and model (we typically do this analysis the other way around don‘t we?) all focused on the complete “system“ - vehicle, tow equipment, safety equipment and your unique needs..

First, I’d consider how you might use the vehicle while on the road (warning this might be very different than how you use at a stick/brick). List all your requirements (NOT make and model!) just your requirements. This is stuff like “I want to…” off road, cruise highways, store a golf cart in it, put the top down, burn gas , burn diesel, have a hitch, carry lots of gear, on and on…
Then factor in what you are comfortable with. Answer things like “I like …“ sedan/suv, small vehicles, heavy vehicles, 2 door, cute vehicles, impressive vehicles, leather, foreign, on and on…

Now you know your personal requirements for your on-road transportation. A couple more factors before we pick makes and models.

Next factor in how you’ll tow it and how you’ll stop it. Answer “I want to tow using…“ (flat-dolly-trailer) and then answer “I want to stop it how…“ number and type of trailer or dolly brakes? Brakes actuated how? electronic, mechanical, air, vacuum assist, wired or wireless,, fully proportional or not, on and on…
Then factor in towing concerns - Look at factors like must fit inside a trailer of specific dimensions, easy to tie down to a trailer floor, or can’t be all time 4x4 if on a dolly and has nice open front wheel access to strap on the dolly tire tie downs, or you do/don’t want to make mechanical modifications to flat tow, do/don‘t want to do routine flat tow related servicing, availability of tow unit adapters, and on and on.

Now you know your requirements for the vehicle AND towing that jewel around.

Finally you can work backwards and identify specific make and models that meet your personal AND towing needs specified above. Then pick you colors and options.

My personal logic went like this. I need 4x4 for what I do "out there", smaller better than larger, automatic trans, something that doesn’t attract attention (i.e. thieves as I’ll be leaving it at many trailheads unattended for days) , commonly serviceable and parts available at most any garage/parts store (I DIY), can add a hitch for a bike rack, can add roof racks, fit my 6’2” frame, prefer gas (even though rig is diesel - more reasons), I will flat tow, I do not want to modify in any way for flat tow (i.e. no aux lube pumps), further I want NO flat tow restrictions (i.e. I do NOT want to have to stop every 500 miles and start it or have a max tow speed, etc.), positively the easiest one person system for connecting/disconnecting from brake system AND hitch system, no brake boxes on the floor, fully proportional air driven braking, ultra light weight tow bar with positively a true no-bind design, and tow bar brackets that are easily installed... I haven’t said a word about brands, makes or models have I?

Now I can work all that backwards with the guide books, owners manuals, catalogs and forum advice to find what makes/models/products meet all these requirements for my complete “towing system.“ I arrived at essentially only one choice - a “basic beige” (not really) Jeep Liberty with an M&G air driven brake system (SMI Air Force 1 is another top choice for me) on a Sterling All Terrain Aluminum bar (actually there are several choices on the bar). This full “system” hits every one of my requirements - regardless of any preconceived notions. As a result…

That’s what turned out “best” for me. Your towing will vary!

-- Edited by RVDude at 20:14, 2006-12-01

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We  went on the site you  gave, but we did not see the VW on the  2004 list.
I have a 2004  standard VW beetle convertible Turbo as my little  fun car, and I wanted to use it for our toad  instead of  my husbands big SUV.
She is  dark Navy blue and I call her Bluebell.....
I had a  beetle  in college, and I  wanted another  to relive those fun days.
I am back in my second  childhood and loving it.
She has been so much fun.
Now I am so disappointed ...is there another place that may  have  a list ?


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In an earlier post I talked about our Chevy 4WDs. They were easy to set up to tow.

However, in December, we purchased a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee. It is 4WD, that is a requirement. To tow, put the transfer case in neutral and the key in the "unlocked off" position. That's it. Roll on.

It is about a 1000 lbs lighter than the Colorado PU and my mileage is up at least 0.5 mpg. I love the sun roof and leather seats. The dog has her own spot in the far back. It is a comfortable vehicle and has a great radio for my XM 50s.

Mike

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VW does not approve any vehicles for towing but many tow them and you can get towbar baseplates for them. The lists are for "approved" vehicles and ones Remco makes modifications to. You have to ask Blue Ox or Roadmaster what baseplates they make to find the list of vehicles that can be towed without modifications but the manufacturer will not approve it.

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Thank you  for all the information about the  towing, and the VW.
Really helped, and very much appreciated.
Now we  just  have to decide on what we will  tow.

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Not to bust any bubbles, but today I saw a VW Convertible (latest style) towed behind a Beaver motor home. Didn't have a chance to ask what was done to allow the tow, but it can be done.

Mike

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almost anything can be towed with a Remco setup like mentioned above.  Other than that, i sure hope thye knew what they were doing.

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VW standard shifts tow fine, but Volkswagon won't approve any vehicle for towing. There is a difference between a vehicle that can be towed and one that is approved by its manufacturer to be towed. If the warranty is over go ahead.

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Bill, Mike, and Chad,
Thanks again for the information.
I  think  my husband will talk with the VW dealership garage  and see what they  say about it.
It is scary as we  even have the extended  warranty on  it.
I just wanted  the fun of having  "Bluebell"  as our  toad !!
Larry  would have the big  MotorHome to play with, and I'd  have my little Turbo  convertible bug !
Thought that was fair !
That's a woman  for you !
Hey...if  we have  to sell her  along  with  Larry's  SUV ...so be it.
Guess then we'll  have to get an appoved  toad.
BUT...Of  everything ....our lovely home, and all our treasured things in it...I'm " gonna " miss  my little  BUG !  Crazy woman !!
Like I said  before  I had one while in college  (the old one of course ) and this new little Turbo has  just been a lot of  fun and  made  me  feel like a  college  kid  again...hee
Larry said  I was never excited about any of our  big and  nice cars or trucks .....but I am about my VW !
Who knew ?!
Thanks again
If you do run across anyone out there  with one.... ( standard ) I'd sure love to know what they  have to say about it all.
Thanks guys.



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We just purchased a 2003 Hyundai Sante Fe. Front wheel drive, 5 speed manual trans.
Lots of room for the dogs in the back hatch area with back seats up.

turn key to acc. put vehicle in neutral, tow 4 wheels down.

Good warranty still on the vehicle. 83,000 kil. on this one.

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Geo Tracker, hardtop convertible...

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Howard wrote:

I was waiting for someone to start this topic, but I couldn't wait any longer.  smile.gif


What are the best toads and why?



Guess it is  whatever your heart desires...(as long as you  find out it is a safe..doable vehicle of course)
We're  sticking with my "Bluebell"
VW Turbo Convertible...standard 5 speed transmission...4 down.
A matter of  fact...she goes in tomorrow to the dealer where we bought the  new Vectra and has the tow pkg. installed.
We're excited.
Larry and I  were over at the beach in York, Maine  for dinner the other night, and in the parking lot was a beautiful Dutch Star MH, and  they were towing a VW convertible Turbo. We were happy to see it up close ....Pretty  rig!
 We got to talk with the owners having a glass of wine before dinner waiting  for our table, and they were lovely people from CA. originally,  & fulltimers for over 2 years now. They have towed the  VW for over 2 years   ...4 down.
No problems. smile
Just proved again  how  nice  RV....people are.
Sooooo...that is our toad story and what we will be doing soon.
Thanks Howard  for the question, and everyone for the great info and answers.
By the way...as you can see  we changed our photo on here to Bluebell...as I think she is prettier to look at ....instead  of us !! hee
Arlene  aww




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Who could possibly resist this for a toad?????

Earthroamer XV-JP, ready to be towed, ready to tow, and really ready to go! Based on a Jeep Rubicon, isn't it the perfect toad? At about $110k I wish I had the money for one!

img_82471020710033_std.jpg


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Our twocents.gif
Decision, decision,  all this stress. 
Okay here we go, we have a 2005 Saturn Vue happy.gif to push our 2001 Safari MH.  We like the Vue as while we are in an area we load up our camping gear (8X10 tent, cots, coleman road trip grill, all of our gear and attach the bikes) and take off for a two or three night excursion.  We luv the Vue as it is eazy to get in and out of and has plenty of cagro space.  When we are at our home we keep the golf clubs in the car. Now we realize everybody has their favorite toad and it fits them to a tee.

thumbsup.gif 

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Jdensie,
Thanks for your input.  We visited our local Saturn dealership last week, and fell in love with the new 2008.  They have exactly what we were looking for, due to arrive in about a week.  It is redesigned with a new look.  We're just hoping we like it when it gets heresmile

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We did it - the 2008 Saturn Vue arrived at the lot today.  We took it for a test drive, asked a lot of questions, and fell in love with it.  It is the AWD V6.  I was pleasantly surprised at the power of this engine.  We have an appointment to get the towbar, braking system, face plate, etc in a couple of weeks.  On the road September 10th smilesmilesmilesmilesmilesmile



-- Edited by Tylersamma at 23:27, 2007-08-09

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Our personal choice was the 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid. 3600#s, 32 MPG, seats 4 *large* adults comfortably (or 5 regular people), and has enough cargo area in the back to carry our motorcycle trailer (the kind that is towed behind the bike) which is where we store our two sets of clubs or our SE 330 kayak. Got to have all our toys with us smile.gif.

Love the car, too, btw.

-- Edited by jcw at 17:29, 2008-02-06

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LDM


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Qustion..we also will use a Chev Colorodo..why the two fuses?
Thanks LDM

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Mike, I also have a Colorado and am getting ready to pull behind our motorhome..Question..which two fuses do you pull rather than disconnecting the battery?
Any other tips...I'm interested.

Thanks LDM

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