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Old 11-24-2011, 07:39 PM   #1
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1985 Mallard Class C is there anything I can tow?

I had put up a thread awhile back about towing a utility trailer, and I have since decided that a trailer was not something I wanted to invest in and store. I figured out other ways to haul what I needed (except the mobility scooter).

I am curious if there is any kind of Toad I can tow with my rig. What all do I need to consider when looking into this?

I am interested in a toad set up for 2 reasons...

1. I hated having to split the family up when we went to the In-Laws' lake and to Mahoney park. Would love to just tow a car when we travel places far away or have activities outside the campsite.

2. There is a possibility this summer I may be living in the old Mallard while taking a week long class at school. The wife says I am too grumpy commuting in the Saturn daily. (Classes are 8-5 & school is 98 miles round trip). Would love to camp for the week and drag the Saturn down to use.

My most likely candidate for a toad is a 2003 Saturn LW200 Wagon.

My motor home is a 1985 Mallard Class C. It has the Chevy 350/400 drive train. My wife's Grandpa (the previous owner - sold it to me for $5) said it can tow a car. However, after looking over the hitch I am skeptical. The hitch has a 350 tongue weight ball on it, and it isn't a receiver hitch. I am guessing that means the max weight for the hitch is 3500 lbs.

Teach me what I need to know about towing and help me figure out if I can tow a car with this rig please.
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Old 11-25-2011, 08:43 AM   #2
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Eagle,

Crawl under your rig and carefully examine the frame as it extends back from the leaf spring mounts. I had a 23 ft 1976 Midas Mini, on a GMC chopped van chassis with a small block 400 engine. What looked like a continuous frame was just an extension that was not capable of supporting a trailer hitch. The original frame ended as a box cross member just behind the spring mounts, and Midas had added the extension to this. Not knowing this, I hauled a small race car trailer and the frame extension broke loose due to the trailer tongue weight. I had the frame "joint" welded, and a support truss added on each side, but we never got the alignment exactly right and had some cracks appear at the back of the Aluminum coach sidewalls.

Flat towing a car won't create the same tongue weight as a trailer, but I would have the rear frame construction examined by someone who has the knowledge to tell you about the construction. BTW, we bought that Midas new and drove it for 97,000 miles.

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Originally Posted by 83Eagle View Post
I had put up a thread awhile back about towing a utility trailer, and I have since decided that a trailer was not something I wanted to invest in and store. I figured out other ways to haul what I needed (except the mobility scooter).

I am curious if there is any kind of Toad I can tow with my rig. What all do I need to consider when looking into this?

I am interested in a toad set up for 2 reasons...

1. I hated having to split the family up when we went to the In-Laws' lake and to Mahoney park. Would love to just tow a car when we travel places far away or have activities outside the campsite.

2. There is a possibility this summer I may be living in the old Mallard while taking a week long class at school. The wife says I am too grumpy commuting in the Saturn daily. (Classes are 8-5 & school is 98 miles round trip). Would love to camp for the week and drag the Saturn down to use.

My most likely candidate for a toad is a 2003 Saturn LW200 Wagon.

My motor home is a 1985 Mallard Class C. It has the Chevy 350/400 drive train. My wife's Grandpa (the previous owner - sold it to me for $5) said it can tow a car. However, after looking over the hitch I am skeptical. The hitch has a 350 tongue weight ball on it, and it isn't a receiver hitch. I am guessing that means the max weight for the hitch is 3500 lbs.

Teach me what I need to know about towing and help me figure out if I can tow a car with this rig please.
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Old 11-25-2011, 08:50 AM   #3
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Thanks. I will have to haul it over to the gentleman who installed the hitch on my Caravan and ask his opinion. He has been rigging vehicles for towing for most of my life, so I imagine he'd know what the motor home is capable of.

With flat towing, does the towed vehicle gain mileage on the odometer? I would think not, but never really thought about it before. I have a 2003 Saturn LW 200 (L series wagon).
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Old 11-26-2011, 10:53 PM   #4
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If I can flat four tow my Saturn (which was a toad with the previous owners) I would need to figure out how to disconnect the transaxle correct?
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Old 11-27-2011, 06:37 AM   #5
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Many, but not all, Saturns are towable without mods. What year and model Saturn do you have?
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Old 11-27-2011, 01:39 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
Many, but not all, Saturns are towable without mods. What year and model Saturn do you have?
My Saturn is a 2003 LW200 Wagon.
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Old 11-27-2011, 02:38 PM   #7
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Found this posted on an RV site regarding TOADS...

"I purchased a 2002 Saturn Wagon for 2 reasons. 1) Saturn says they are approved as TOADS and include instructions in the owners manual for this. 2) I needed more room for storage as I only had a 28' motor home
(now has a 33' powered by a Chev 454).

The TOAD now has over 100k on it & that doesn't count towed miles (odometer doesn't register towed miles). I am really glad I bought the Saturn."

Looks like I need to go to the owners manual

I know the previous owner of this wagon towed it behind a motor home. I just do not know how said towing was accomplished. If I am correct it does have mounts for a tow bar on it (not sure that is what I am looking at though).
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Old 12-05-2011, 12:33 AM   #8
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Okay, I took my hitch guy out to check out the Mallard when he got off work yesterday evening. He says that the hitch is definitely a 3500 lb hitch. He says it is a full frame, not an extension past the leaf spring mounts.

Other info I gathered on the Mallard...
GVWR = 10500 lbs
GAWR (Front) = 3900 lbs
GAWR = (RR) = 7200

Someone tell me if this rig will be able to flat four tow something like my Saturn LW200 or something like a Jeep CJ.

Also, what all would I need to get to make this happen?

I have seen a variety of tow bars for sale here locally. I know I would need a tow bar and safety chains. I am assuming I would need a base plate as well right? What else do I need? Magnetic set of tow lights?

Thanks,

Brandon
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