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Old 05-23-2013, 03:16 PM   #1
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Toad Questions

Planning on taking the family (six of us) on a 4 week trip next summer and was just considering whether or not to pull a toad. First, not sure what kind of MPG hit i am going to take and if it will be a huge strain on the cummins. Second, i haven't seen a small enough toad that will accommodate the six of us. Lastly, do people typically use a front wheel dolly/trailer or just pull them with all four tires on the road?

I guess my other option is to not take one with us but am concerned that we may want to go places during the trip where the MH won't be ideal.

Appreciate any comments/suggestions.

Thanks in advance.
-Rob
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Old 05-23-2013, 03:41 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broadrun View Post
Planning on taking the family (six of us) on a 4 week trip next summer and was just considering whether or not to pull a toad. First, not sure what kind of MPG hit i am going to take and if it will be a huge strain on the cummins. Second, i haven't seen a small enough toad that will accommodate the six of us. Lastly, do people typically use a front wheel dolly/trailer or just pull them with all four tires on the road?

I guess my other option is to not take one with us but am concerned that we may want to go places during the trip where the MH won't be ideal.

Appreciate any comments/suggestions.

Thanks in advance.
-Rob
First of all I doubt it will strain your cummins since it doesen't really strain our gasser,you won't even know it's back there. I've only noticed about a 1 to 2 MPG drop towing,and it depends on the vehicle you are planning to tow if can be towed 4 down or not,not all can be.you didn't say where you were going,but you might want to consider renting a car if you need one when you get there.
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Old 05-23-2013, 03:48 PM   #3
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Hi Rob!

I personally would not want to mess with a tow dolly, but lots of people use them. If you decide to tow 4-down, be SURE that the manufacturer approves that vehicle for towing! If you tow one that is not approved you could burn up the transmission, and if the vehicle is in warranty they would not cover it! One thought here, Honda does not "officially" approve the Accord for towing, but we have a letter from Honda engineering that says it is OK to do it if you follow a procedure before towing. We have pulled a 2001 Honda Accord for the last year, and just sold it to get a 2008 Accord 4-door sedan for more room, and have equipped it for towing.

You don't say which engine you have, but it should not be any problem for most of the Cummins engines. My ISC 350 doesn't seem to know the toad is back there!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 05-23-2013, 05:14 PM   #4
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It is important to have toad brakes. Please see this.
The Physics of Towed-Vehicle Braking
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Old 05-23-2013, 07:35 PM   #5
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When we first started using our coach, we thought we would not bother towing a vehicle. We decided to travel to our destination, then rent a car. That didn't work out too well for us.

Now we tow our 2005 Honda Pilot everywhere we go. We have the dash monitor on most of the time so that we know that it's back there. To date, I cannot tell you if towing it costs us anything in fuel, and I cannot say that we have ever noticed a loss of power. In fact, our coach handles better on the road when we're pulling the toad.

The Honda Pilot is a great toad, and it seats eight!
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Old 05-23-2013, 07:41 PM   #6
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Unless this is a one time trip... you're probably going to want a toad.

It sounds like you're at the stage of buying a toad and need one that will carry six. We tow a Ford Explorer with a third row seat and it doesn't put any kind of strain on my Cummins at all. I nearly always have it back there but I think the mpg hit is less than 1 mpg.

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Old 05-23-2013, 08:33 PM   #7
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We like having a toad for several reasons.
1 Easier to drive around in and park than the RV
2 Better fuel milage than the RV
3 Don't have to pack up everthing in the RV to go someplace
and the list goes on.

Most important if DW wants to sleep in I can still take the toad and head out someplace.

I bought a used tow dolly with electric brakes. I would have also been happy with surge brakes. The tow dolly allows me to take just about any vehicle that is front wheel drive. I have pulled a Villager mini van, Honda Civic, Mazda 6, and Buick LaCrosse. Yes it is a little more work with a tow dolly than pulling 4 down. Setting up a vehicle for 4 down will probably cost as much or more than a tow dolly. Now that I am retired and not putting 600 miles a week going to and from work I may be able to keep a vehicle long enough to invest in setting it up for 4 down.

If you take a trip thru the Rocky Mountains you will notice the toad is back there. The Minivan and LaCrosse where over 4000lbs. It might take you a little longer going up but it will get there. Going down you just have to watch the speed.

Good luck and enjoy the trip.

Steve
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:33 PM   #8
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After many trips to the 'lower 48' and renting vehicles, we decided that we would take a vehicle with us this time. We set up our old, 1999 Dodge Durango this time. While it did cost about $2700 to set it up, I feel that for this trip it has been a good idea. On the trip down we averaged 8.4 MPG in our old 2003 Endeavor with a 330 HP Cummins. Not sure how the 'new to us' 2009 Diplomat' is going to do but......
A newer vehicle would have been nice but the Durango is paid for and we had it. Besides the Durango can be towed four down. The other thing that we had to deal with is that we travel with our Labs and rental companies do not like having pets in their vehicles. The other thing that we considered is that with the Durango, if something happened to the MH, then we have a vehicle to use.
Good luck on your trip!
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:51 PM   #9
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Thanks to all for the thoughtful and helpful responses.

Our girls (yes, we have four) are all under 12 years old and we plan on taking many trips so the investment in a toad is probably a good idea... (probably not a good idea to tow my wife's excursion which weighs almost 8,000 lbs)
;-)

Thanks again!
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Old 05-23-2013, 10:14 PM   #10
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Couple of things...

Cost me about .50 to .75 mpg towing a 2007 CRV four down.
No noticeable performance degradation towing. (315 Cummins ISC)
You won't know its back there. (see next item)
You can't back up. (with a few exceptions)
You'll learn how to unhook in a hurry. (see previous item)
You're gonna drop a couple grand in tow gear & brake.
Gives me a place for the bikes, on the back of the Honda.


That said, I wouldn't be without the toad.
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Old 05-24-2013, 03:20 AM   #11
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Looks like you have a coach with a 10000lb hitch

If it were me I'd just get a base plate, blue ox and brake buddy and hook up and go.
Can't see why you'd go to the expense of changing.
It will cost you .75 mpg as per others but a small price to pay in my opinion
Can't be without a toad
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Old 05-24-2013, 05:39 AM   #12
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Looks like you have a coach with a 10000lb hitch

If it were me I'd just get a base plate, blue ox and brake buddy and hook up and go.
Can't see why you'd go to the expense of changing.
It will cost you .75 mpg as per others but a small price to pay in my opinion
Can't be without a toad
I agree with Steve here. If the Excursion is towable 4 down I wouldn't think twice. You would, of course, take a big hit to trade and any vehicle that will accommodate 6 will weigh at least 4500 pounds anyway.

Anyway, I raise 3 daughters and a son so I know that you have bigger issues than trying to find another toad.
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:38 AM   #13
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If that Excursion can be towed four down, then that makes sense. Your RV should handle it very well.
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:50 AM   #14
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I never considered towing the X but maybe it's the best option. Just need to check with Ford. Also, another bonus is if anything happens to the MH, it could just become the toad since the X has a Powerstroke. Just kidding ;-)
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