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Old 04-15-2012, 09:53 PM   #1
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1995 Geo Tracker Toad

We will soon be new owners of a 2011 Sunseeker 2300 class C ...and while looking around for possible 4wd toads we found a 1995 Geo Tracker in great condition and set up for towing. It is an automatic transmission with manual hubs. The owners manual says it can be towed up to 50mph. The instructions are a bit hard to believe... it says to shift the transmission into "Park" (and hubs freewheeling and neutral transfer case) and tow it. Really?? Park??? Nervous but assuming the manual is stated correctly. Can anyone verify this for us? We have a blue ox tow bar (found on Craigs List) and intend to get an electric cord to connect. Is there anything else we need? Brake buddy? (not sure what this is)... anything else? So hard to even know what questions to ask at this point.
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:14 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by cllecr View Post
We will soon be new owners of a 2011 Sunseeker 2300 class C ...and while looking around for possible 4wd toads we found a 1995 Geo Tracker in great condition and set up for towing. It is an automatic transmission with manual hubs. The owners manual says it can be towed up to 50mph. The instructions are a bit hard to believe... it says to shift the transmission into "Park" (and hubs freewheeling and neutral transfer case) and tow it. Really?? Park??? Nervous but assuming the manual is stated correctly. Can anyone verify this for us? We have a blue ox tow bar (found on Craigs List) and intend to get an electric cord to connect. Is there anything else we need? Brake buddy? (not sure what this is)... anything else? So hard to even know what questions to ask at this point.
If that's what it says that's what I'd do. We tow a Suzuki XL-7 4WD. Ours says the same thing. After hooking up the ReadyBrute tow bar I run the car for a couple of minutes and shift the transfer case to neutral then I put it in "P" and release the parking brake. Turn the key to "ACC" and I am good to go. It states to run it with the transmission in "D" every 200 miles and then back to "P" to tow.
Been across the country. No problems.
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:27 PM   #3
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I have a Sunseeker Class C and tow a Suzuki Sidekick. Both my vehicles are older and my Suzuki has standard transmission so all I have to do is put mine in neutral and go. It weighs only about 3000 lbs. and I usually can't even tell it is back there. I have had this combination for about 6 years and it is great!
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:38 PM   #4
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We have a 1997 Suzuki Sidekick..... Same car really. It's a standard tranny. Mine says to put the Transmission in second gear and the transfer case in neutral, unlock the front hubs and go. It works fine. I do need to stop between 200 and 300 miles and run the engine for a couple mins. in second gear with clutch engaged to stir up the transmission fluid. I stop at least that often anyway so it's no problem. The manual hubs are required so it's good yours aren't automatic.
This is a great little Toad, it only weighs about 2,500 lbs and track's very well behind our coach. The steering wheel does need to be unlocked so I turn off all accessories and with running it every 200 miles I have never had a problem with the battery. I have an Invisi Brake and it works well. It was an easy install, but with as light as the car is any brake will work fine.
You'll need to deal with the tail lights not being the combo type US cars have. The Sidekick anyway has separate Turn and Brake Lights, I bought a converter from http://www.etrailer.com/Accessories-and-Parts/Tow-Ready/118158.html about $25.00 and it did the trick just fine.
At least for us it's a good choice for a Toad, doesn't cost a fortune, light weight, fun to drive, good MPG about 30, and because there such a popular off-road vehicle the parts are everywhere if you need to fix it.

BTW I've towed mine at 63 MPH for thousands of miles with no problems. You will find the odometer regesters the towed miles so I keep track of that in my RV Log.

I checked my manual for the auto transmission and it says Transmission in Park and Transfer Case in Netural, Hubs Free, as well so that's correct. With the Transfer case in Netural nothing drives the Transmission or Engine.
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:58 PM   #5
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Yes I've heard that as well. They seem to make a nice toad. I looked at one once but decided on the PT.
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Old 04-17-2012, 01:24 PM   #6
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Towing in Park is the normal procedure for a 4WD automatic. The transfer case disconnects the tranny from the wheels and Park locks the transmission gearing in place.

All the 4Wd vehicle we towed were done that way.
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:42 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Elf View Post
If that's what it says that's what I'd do. We tow a Suzuki XL-7 4WD. Ours says the same thing. After hooking up the ReadyBrute tow bar I run the car for a couple of minutes and shift the transfer case to neutral then I put it in "P" and release the parking brake. Turn the key to "ACC" and I am good to go. It states to run it with the transmission in "D" every 200 miles and then back to "P" to tow.
Been across the country. No problems.
Shifting the transfer to neutral is the key here as
it disengages the transmission from the wheels
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Old 04-21-2012, 09:46 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the great feedback! so, park, it is. Now to get the proper electric cable. Also wondering if we need to do something with the brakes, as well... Nothing in the manual about that
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Old 04-21-2012, 09:55 AM   #9
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Just don't pull up on the Parking (E) Brake Lever!
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Old 04-21-2012, 11:04 AM   #10
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Yes, you want brakes! Many states require brakes on any towed vehicle weighing more than 1,500 lbs. You don't want a car pushing you when you try to stop for a kid in the road! (Either does your insurance company!)

If the transmission was not in park, friction by rotating wheels could be transfered through the drivetrain back to the transmission, which is not being lubricated by the engine. Damage could happen, not likely, but it's a CYA by the manufacturer.
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Old 04-22-2012, 05:36 PM   #11
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So what is involved in preparing the brakes of the toad? Does it mean buying another add on?
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Old 04-22-2012, 06:28 PM   #12
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Here's a pretty good list and description of the various brake systems available:

RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Dinghy Towing: Supplemental Brake Systems - update 8/7/06

I got a 'new' brake system on ebay for less than half price of a real new one, works great. You could also try: :: Hitch Trader - Pre-Owned Towing Equipment or Craig's list. My Blue Ox Aventa tow bar was $175 on Craig's list instead of $700+ new.
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:21 AM   #13
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Thank you... That list was exactly what I needed! Now, if I am reading the interactive map and laws correctly, a brake system is only needed if the toad exceeds 3000 lbs? I think the Geo Tracker is under this... Does that mean we don't need one? Would it be advisable to use one anyway or unnecessary? (I did find a used one listed for a reasonable price if it is still available... !)
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:03 AM   #14
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While state laws might not require brakes, Laws of physics say that a body in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted on by an outside force. (brakes) While your Sidekick might not weigh a lot, have you ever tried to stop it once it got moving? Brakes make you and others you share the road with safer. I have brakes, and my toad is a VW beetle. I sleep better and I am sure my insurance company does too.
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