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Old 01-20-2004, 08:14 AM   #1
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We are shopping for a used motorhome for a planned trip from NC to Alaska and back - will be on the road for nine weeks. We can't decide if we should pull my car or not. Opinions? Is it alot of hassle, and is it worth it? Thanks.

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Old 01-20-2004, 08:14 AM   #2
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Location: Raleigh, NC USA
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We are shopping for a used motorhome for a planned trip from NC to Alaska and back - will be on the road for nine weeks. We can't decide if we should pull my car or not. Opinions? Is it alot of hassle, and is it worth it? Thanks.

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Old 01-20-2004, 12:11 PM   #3
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Is it a hassle to tow a car? If you have a tow dolly, YES! If you're set up for a tow bar, Not so much! But the car must be able to be towed with all 4 wheels down before you go. Check your owner's maunal and/or your dealer to find out.

Do you need a toad? Hard to say!

If you're driving from NC directly to Alaska you might not need a toad along the way. Most places along your route like grocery, restaurants, fuel, supplies will have parking lots you can get in and out of easily.

If you're planning to stop lots of places along the way and visit for a couple of days, then you'll want to have a vehicle. A toad is infinately less hassle than breaking camp to run to the store or to a tourist attraction then coming back to set up again.

Otherwise, you may want to consider renting a car when you get there to go sightseeing. If you're the type to do bus/boat tours while you're there, you may not need a car.

If you're going to explore on your own, you will need a way to get around.

'03 Gulfstream Friendship Quattro
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Old 01-27-2004, 10:35 AM   #4
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While I've never gone that far, I prefer not to deal with towing. I've wanted to back up and turn around too many times that wouldn't have been convenient with a toad - restaurant, gas station, side road, whatever. We never set up in one place for a long period either, 2 or 3 days at the most and for that rentals are more convenient.

So for us, it just doesn't seem worth it, epecially the farther you're traveling, but I must say most of the RV's I see on my trips are towing so many must prefer it. We just do too much sightseeing and side trips on the way but it may be the difference between full timers and those of us still working.
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Old 01-28-2004, 10:33 AM   #5
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I drove from Oregon to Alaska last year and towed a Suzuki Sidekick. I would definitely tow it again! I put about 2,000 additional miles on the Sidekick. There are just lots of places that are dificult with the motorhome. Some examples: We drove to Hyder and camped in the area. Then we took the car to see the viewpoint where the bears congregate in the river and fish. There was no easy parking for the motorhome in this area. We then continued down the dirt road and found that it took us up into the mountains past a mining operation and up to where you could look down on a really neat set of glaciers. You could not have taken a motorhome up this road. We also stayed in Dawson City, Tok and many other towns where we camped at the edge of town and used the car to go into town to see the sights. We could have used the motorhome in many cases but it was easier to park, etc. with the car. We also chose to drive the car down to Skagway because we had heard that the road has a 12% grade. It turned out that we could have taken the motorhome down there just fine but the point that I am making is that towing a car gives you a lot of flexibility during your trip.
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Old 01-28-2004, 11:53 AM   #6
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Always tow, even on weekend trips. The issue of being able to backup, turn around, etc, is real, but easily accomodated once you know the limitations of the combination of the two. Whether towing or not, I cannot tell the difference. The only difference when I tow is that I keep the rear camera on so I can glance back there periodically.
Did first year with dolly (only way with car you can't tow 4 wheels down, then bought a used Saturn and added tow bar kit. Much easier this way. Renting is obviously an option, but much more expensive. Pulling makes almost no difference in mileage so costs little more than going without.
I say this and maybe we are unique, but don't think so. When we travel (some long trips of 6000 miles), we almost always tour the local area even if only stopping overnight. That is part of the fun.

Ron Smith
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Old 02-02-2005, 05:01 PM   #7
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If you have a small Class A, you can get away from the need of a Toad. If you get a bigger rig, it really becomes a must. I have a 36' rig that's very comfortable to travel in, but it would really limit what I could go see and do if it was my only means of transport.

The Jeep I tow takes very little effort to hook up or disconnect. Can't really feel it back there and I leave the backup camera on, just as the other poster does.

Once I arrive at my destination, I have a nimble vehicle that can go anywhere, onroad or off. It also serves as my lifeboat if the motorhome has an issue.

As for getting places, the Toad isn't an issue. If the motorhome will fit, the Jeep will too. It follows in the path of the RV. If the worst thing you're worried about is having to disconnect to backup, don't sweat it! Total disconnect time is maybe 2 minutes. Just pay attention to where you are pulling into, and you'll avoid most issues. Look for the way out before committing, if possible. I pull into regular gas stations with my Toad in tow. Can't get into all of them, but most that are near the hwys.

Sounds like a great trip. I hope to do the same someday when I retire. It's tough fulltiming... and not being retired yet!

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Old 02-02-2005, 07:29 PM   #8
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I have made trips with and without a toad. Its a little more work, but it sure is nice to have that extra set of wheels.
The only time I did not bring my toad, I broke down and had to be towed. It sure would have been nice to have an extra set of wheels to get me and my family home. Instead we had to rely on family to come get us. Luckily, we were only 2 hours from home so it was not that big of a deal.
Never again will I leave my toad at home.
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Old 02-03-2005, 05:29 AM   #9
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Springer I spent 4 months in Alaska in a 35 foot class A towing a Jeep Wrangler. I cannot imagine going to Alaska without a Toad. 8000 miles on the Class a and another 3000 on the toad for the trip. There are so many things to see that you cannot see with a class a. Roads that you would not dare to take the Class A on are a breeze with the Wrangler. Avoid a Dolly if you can, 4 down is definately the best way to go.
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Old 02-03-2005, 07:29 AM   #10
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Lost my coach headlights on the New York Thruway one night in the rain, couldn't find the problem, unhooked the toad and used it's lights to lead the way to the next rest area. Have always traveled with it since. You can sit by the side of the road a long time waiting for help...
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Old 02-03-2005, 03:09 PM   #11
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We spent an entire summer in Alaska and northwestern Canada. If you like to look around, especially in Alaska, Yukon, and BC, you are definitely going to want a toad for those sidetrips. Distances are great (Alaska is more than double the size of Texas) and you won't find rental cars in many of the small northern towns.

I'd say if your rig is over about 25-26 feet, a toad is highly recommended.
Gary Brinck
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Old 02-24-2005, 05:57 PM   #12
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As previously said - it all depends on what you end up with for a MH - the larger you get, the more hassel it is to unhook for a short trip. Another thing to consider, is it's tough parking a MH in a lot of places if you're into sightseeing.
We either tow a trailer for the motorcycles, or tow a car on a dolly whenever we're out. I have nothing against the dolly, although some feel differently. It does allow me to use more than one vehicle.
Carol & Steve Vallancourt

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Old 02-25-2005, 05:00 AM   #13
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If you have a good tow bar it only takes a min. or two to get it hooked up and ready. Its nice to have that extra set of wheels to drive once you reach your CG.

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Old 02-25-2005, 08:40 AM   #14
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We went Seattle to Whitehorse YK, then SE AK last summer for 26 days in a 24 ft Class C (Jayco Greyhawk). We don't have a tow and didn't have any real issues. In Whitehorse we unhooked and drove the MH to wherever we wanted to go. In Skagway and PRince George we walked (Skagway is like 15 blocks by 5 blocks). In Juneau and Victoria BC we used the bus, and in Wrangle we used a combination of walking and MH (but we only spent one night there).

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