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Old 01-27-2012, 02:34 PM   #1
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To tow or not to toad?

Am I the only one who has ever wondered if towing is worth the effort. Make no mistake, I still want my car when I am traveling (we are full-time & clock around 15k p/yr) I just question the bother of hooking-up, reduced maneuverability, & unhooking, to travel for a couple of hours down the road.

We often skip the whole thing and my wife drives the car while I drive the MH. If I could start over I am not sure I would bother with the +$3000 in equipment (tow hitch, tow bar, base plates, electrical, supplemental brake system) and a car bought because it tows 4 down rather than one I want!


Jack & Maggie
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Old 01-27-2012, 02:44 PM   #2
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Hi Jack1234,
If all your trips are "a couple of hours down the road" you could be correct. Especially if the spouse is willing to drive the distance. In my case neither of these items (destination distance and spouse willing to drive) exists. For me, we toad. I use a dolly or tow 4 down, it all depends on the car we are taking.

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Old 01-27-2012, 02:56 PM   #3
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Almost always tow no matter how far. It's a great place to put the firewood and extra stuff.
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Old 01-27-2012, 03:04 PM   #4
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Tow 4down, can't imagine traveling in separate vehicles. If we couldn't tow, and enjoy the area we are visiting, we probably won't travel in an RV.

Fred and Bonnie
2005 Dolphin LX 6375
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Old 01-27-2012, 03:57 PM   #5
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You raise a really good question. We have met folks who do just as you describe and seemed ok with it. It doesn't fit my situation (see Gary's response ) and I don't think I'd do it just to avoid the "hassle" but it might be a good exercise to run the numbers and see how long it would take to burn up the $3K initial cost in toad fuel.

Good luck.

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Old 01-27-2012, 04:08 PM   #6
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On our trip from MI to CA we were in 2 different vehiles, a PT Cruiser and a Z-71 with a HD on a trailer. We ended up not liking the 2 vehicle thing.
When we got here and starting discussing life and changing things, we got a 40ft DP, sold the truck and traded the car in for a 4Runner that can be 4 down towable. We still have the bike. We discussing for the next year or 2 whether it would be better for us to just trade in the little trailer for a bigger one to take the 4Runner and bike. I think for us that's the best option.

If you and your other half are happy in 2 vehicles then there shouldn't really be a problem. If not then you need to decide which way to go. It sounds like you both are just happier to drive 2 vehicles thou.
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Old 01-27-2012, 04:15 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by GaryKD View Post
Hi Jack1234,
If all your trips are "a couple of hours down the road" you could be correct. Especially if the spouse is willing to drive the distance. In my case neither of these items (destination distance and spouse willing to drive) exists. For me, we toad. I use a dolly or tow 4 down, it all depends on the car we are taking.
You hit that on the nose for us too!! Except I tow the same vehicle ('05 Odyssey) four down or on a dolly.
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Old 01-27-2012, 04:32 PM   #8
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I would think that if you're fulltiming the toad would definately be needed. It's cool though that your wife can drive the short distance drives. We have a dolly and now with our extended trips we always tow.
Steve & Sally / HiTee & Hudson Our Little Poms / Heidi & Houston Forever in our Hearts
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Old 01-27-2012, 05:45 PM   #9
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Last year was our first full year with the motorhome and we did not have a toad. This year I will be equipping our Subaru Forester (man transmission) with the necessary items to tow it behind the motorhome.

We did go on a week trip to Maryland where we thought that we would not need to go anywhere but left a couple of days short of our intended stay due to we needed to get out and do more.

So for weekends to our local state park, no I will probably not bring the toad but for a week out it will sure come in handy.
Gene & Ginger 04 Winnebago Adventurer 33V, Workhorse, 11 Subaru Forester (Toad), Blue Ox Avail, BrakeBuddy, ScanGaugeII, BatteryMINDer, KONI FSD's
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:30 PM   #10
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We always take our HHR with us. It's not hard to hook up or disconnect. We always go out and tour the areas we are at. We thought of renting but decided against it.
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:45 PM   #11
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This to-tow-or-not-to-tow question always makes me grateful for our Blue Ox Aladdin Tow set-up.

It takes perhaps 5 minutes for one person to hook up- possibly another 5 minutes to set up the Blue Ox supplemental braking system, test the lights and wipe the grease off the hands.

Maybe its not the towing, but the tow set-up that is the real problem for some folks.
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:47 PM   #12
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Money wise, there isn't much RV'rs do that makes good sense. We're kinda like government that way. Put a bundle into some trick then justify it later.
But I love the lifestyle. We hook up so we're both in the same rig, and Dear Love can make me a sandwich while tooling down the road. Sweet.
Traveling in the same vehicle- priceless!
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:57 PM   #13
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I have discovered that hooking and unhooking is just not as big a deal as I used to make it---something to do with my attitude, easy to correct.

When we first began MHing on occassion we would take the tow off to cross some mountain pass---something like that---what ever the reason. But after a few times when my wife would ask "do you want me to drive the car tomorrow"? I would say "no".

I just like having her up with me and the dog---together---I tell her so and she seems to like it.
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Old 01-27-2012, 08:40 PM   #14
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We've done four seasons, two a few years back with a real POS Class C and the last two with our signtaure Georgetown.

Tow or not is a real dilemma for us. Our daily driver (an '03 Kia Sedona) is heavy (4800 pounds) and, because it's not a popular toad, the kits to convert to 4-down are expensive (more than the van is worth!). With the help of another poster on here, we've identified a dolly that can handle the weight of the van, and will only pusj the hitch about 200 lb over its rating.

We're considering this, but in reality, we haven't had many situations so far where we haven't just wandered around whatever State Park we're in and didn't feel the absence of an independent set of wheels.

I don't know what adding another 5400 pounds to the weight of the rig will do to gas mileage. My guess is (haven't any actual weighbridge data yet) that we're several hundred pounds below max gross (two people, one Labrador and stuff for a couple of weeks away). I will be doing a weight check at the start of the season.

For us, a dolly makes the most sense - $1600 rather than close to $3200 and the 600 lb or so dolly weight isn't a big item in the overall weight calculation.

Frank Damp -Anacortes, WA,(DW- Eileen)
ex-pat Brits (1968) and now ex-RVers, as of 08 Dec 14.
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