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Old 04-21-2019, 05:05 PM   #1
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Another, hopefully not too repetitive, toad question

We are virgins in RVing. We rented a couple of times (expensive but a valuable step!) to see if we liked it and then found this immaculate 2007 Voyage.

Now as prepare to venture out on our first voyage in our Voyage we are trying to figure out which toad to buy. It will have to serve as a daily driver as well.

In reading this and other forums it appears that a Jeep is the clear winner. But we're not crazy about driving a Jeep, even a Cherokee, every day. In looking at the Dinghy towing guide we see that most if not all of the Ford Fusion models can be flat towed but I don't recall seeing any postings that talk about anyone doing that. Is the Fusion not a realistic option? If not, why not?

Are there any other regular cars that people would recommend?

Thanks in advance for your great advice to us newbies. We have already learned a ton by reading here.
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Old 04-21-2019, 05:15 PM   #2
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The Ford Fusion Hybrid and Energi models have small trunks (due to batteries) and probable a low tow point so a drop bar might be needed to get the tow bar level.

If you go back a few years, there are more choices. How new does it have to be? Honda CRV's before 2015 we're very popular.

We love our Ford Escape Hybrid, but you would have to go back to before 2013 models.
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Old 04-21-2019, 06:16 PM   #3
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Ford C-Max is towable, but may be too small for your everyday depending on number of pax. Four easy, five only if kids.
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Old 04-22-2019, 04:57 AM   #4
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We have a Ford C-Max Energi that has worked out well as both a toad and a daily commuter. If you need something larger I would look at the Ford Edge and the Chevy Equinox. Whatever you decide on, verify that the owner's manual states support for flat/recreational towing.
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Old 04-22-2019, 06:17 AM   #5
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toad

We went with an Equinox. We needed a toad that could be:

1) Towed 4 down with minimal muss & fuss
2) Rated to tow a 2000 lb. pontoon boat @ trailer as needed when at home.

We had to go with a V6 in order to get the 3500 lb. towing capacity (the 4 cylinder is only rated to tow 1500 lb.)
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Old 04-22-2019, 07:01 AM   #6
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We have a 2016 C-Max, which I used as a daily commuter. I didnít get the energi because of the loss of trunk space. More storage than the Prius it replaced and more power. You will need a drop down hitch as the tow bar must be absolutely level to prevent the dreaded death wobble.

Pros: Hybrid, fits bikes inside with just front wheels removed, flat towable, automatic transmission

Cons: PITA to change the air filter, difficult access to the firewall to run breakaway wire to passenger compartment (though you can access the firewall when changing the air filter).

We went with a diode kit for the lights. If you use a removable brake system like Blue Ox or Brake Buddy, you will have to get power from the rear power plug that is live all the time, the one on the console shuts off after a time and you will also need to connect a battery maintainer to the motor home charge line. If starting over, Iíd put in an Air Force One instead.

Good Luck!

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Old 04-22-2019, 07:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rvpilot> View Post
We are virgins in RVing. We rented a couple of times (expensive but a valuable step!) to see if we liked it and then found this immaculate 2007 Voyage.

Now as prepare to venture out on our first voyage in our Voyage we are trying to figure out which toad to buy. It will have to serve as a daily driver as well.

In reading this and other forums it appears that a Jeep is the clear winner. But we're not crazy about driving a Jeep, even a Cherokee, every day. In looking at the Dinghy towing guide we see that most if not all of the Ford Fusion models can be flat towed but I don't recall seeing any postings that talk about anyone doing that. Is the Fusion not a realistic option? If not, why not?

Are there any other regular cars that people would recommend?

Thanks in advance for your great advice to us newbies. We have already learned a ton by reading here.
Toad and daily driver -

No need for snow or off road ???

Just be carefull and fully explore the model you choose to be sure it has no history of issues - then go for it.

Always interesting to see what others are selling - here - Toads - RV & Motorhome Classifieds

Best of Luck,
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Old 04-22-2019, 09:00 AM   #8
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We have two towable Jeeps, a Wrangler and a Cherokee. My wife can't drive the Wrangler 5 speed. It also has no AC. She thinks the Cherokee is unreliable because the fuel pump went out once. She bought a 2018 Equinox Diesel AWD. It it was a very comfortable Towed Dingy this winter in Arizona and California.

I would recommend the Equinox. Roomy and very comfortable. You do need to provice a 12 volt charge line to prevent the battery running down while being towed.
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Old 04-22-2019, 03:58 PM   #9
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Thanks you all for all of the advice. Lots to dwell on. It is just the two of us. We have one 26 yr old kid who is gone (knock on wood) and no grandkids so lots of space isn't an issue, nor is off the road. It also doesn't need to be new. It will be a toad and a winter vehicle for my wife. She drives a VW Eos in the summer and we have a Nissan Leaf as a grocery getter. I think we are going to troll for a 2014 or 2015 CRV and see what is out there. We had a 2001 CRV back in the day and they have improved greatly since then. It would be nice to have something that we could haul stuff in. A CRV should also be able to tow my little utility trailer.
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Old 04-23-2019, 12:08 AM   #10
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2014 is the last towable CRV. I have a Ford Edge but it might be a bit bigger than you want. Lots of CRV's being towed out there, prob your best bet.
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Old 04-23-2019, 12:54 AM   #11
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Here's my opinion on a few subjects you might not have thought about:

* Your toad is going to get very dirty and your paint is going to take a beating, no matter what type you drag behind you.
* Vehicles with a large windshields often have more slope and will no doubt receive more rock kisses vs. sedans, which are also and more economical and are lighter weight vehicles.
* ...But if you have a 38/40' RV I doubt your gas mileage will go down very much if you tow a mid-size vehicle vs. economy car.

* And while I really do not know, I'm guessing that if you tow a full size car or truck, the only difference you may feel is when you go up a hill or grade. However, I suppose it's possible that if you have a 330HP rig or less, you might find the automatic transmission down-shifting when you are driving down highways... over low hills... right at 55 to 65-MPH, which I would think is very annoying.
* A) New cars depreciate by 40-50% in 3 years, so I would start there if your budget is $10K-$15K. This implies you find a car with 3-5 years, and less than 40,000 miles (new tires, etc.) or...
* B) I would go to the complete opposite direction and by a cheap toad, and then spend $1,000 of maintenance to make it trip ready. So don't be afraid of 70,000 or 90,000 mile car or even 110,000 on the right economy car.

Specifically, I think can get a $4,000-$6,000 Saturn that already has a Blue-Ox tow plate installed , which means it probably will come with a Blue-Ox tow bar too. This is a $3,500 savings right there if you find one of these.

I tow a 2009 Saturn Aura and prefer the 4-cylinder model. And I also have owned a 2007 Saturn Vue (V6-Honda J-35 engine) and that too would make a good tow car.

Note: The Saturn sedan will sit lower vs. a cross-over ride, but the sedan has a locked trunk that may figure into your decision. And the sloping windshield on the sedan will deflect rocks better. For my needs I would prefer to tow the Aura over the Vue, but having more room in the Vue and more HP would be nice. And if you have kids, then you definitely should go with the Vue.

As a final point: I would buy a separate tow car and store it until next season vs. converting my everyday car to a tow vehicle. That way if you twist the suspension all to hell, or have to replace your windshield, or your brake buddy freezes up and burns your calipers all sh*^t... you won't care so much.

I put 10,000 miles on my RV every year and only 2,000 miles on my toad, so there is no way I want to hall around a newer car under these conditions. And 3 yrs later I can sell my toad for about $500 less than what I bought it for since it's very easy to unload a cheap tow car. That said, good luck finding a Saturn with all the tow goodies for sale, and if you do find one... buy it! The Saturn Vue V-6 2005-2008 are good models; and the Saturn Vue 2009/10 4-cylinder are also good models.
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Old 04-27-2019, 12:32 PM   #12
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kathy and thought about getting a blue ox tow kit and motorcycle lift for her mini cooper and my v rod but got the enclosed car hauler instead.

for the reasons of

1 the car and bike are protected
2 extra cargo space
3 you can back up with a trailer
4 since we are full timing it gives me a man cave/ garage/ workshop
5 MOST IMPORTANT THE TRAILER COST 1K LESS
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Old 04-27-2019, 01:46 PM   #13
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Be wary of small cars. They tend to have very low connections for the tow bar. Before you buy measure the height of your hitch. Then call all the tow bar makers and find out the exact height of the baseplate attachment points for the tow bar. Try to avoid more than a 4-5” difference in hitch to car baseplate connections as “tail dragging” will likely be a problem when you tow, especially in and out of uneven parking lots.

We did that and found the Demco tow bar and baseplate were the best match for a new Jeep Cherokee. Different cars will have much different heights. Do your homework before buying.
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Old 04-28-2019, 07:51 AM   #14
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Thank you all for your wisdom and advice. We found a mint condition 2013 CRV EX-L with less than 65k miles on it. The seats look new - even the driver's seat. It already had a trailer hitch on it which we would have had to add to pull our small utility trailer. It also has a remote start which will be helpful up here in the great white north (Minnesota) as it will also be our winter car as well as toad (my wife drives a Volkswagen Eos during the summer). IRV2 has been a great resource as we head out on this RV adventure!
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