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Old 05-02-2011, 06:06 PM   #1
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4 wheels on the ground toad

We have been towing an Acura using a dolly but would like to switch to a 4wheels on the ground toad. We've considered CR-V and Liberty as they seem to be the most popular, however used car prices for CR-V are high -- I can buy a new one for a couple of thousand more than a 2008 used one. I'd like to keep the weight down in the 3500 pound range. Also, what additional costs will we encounter to make the toad "tow-able"?

Anyone know of a site where already configured toads are for sale?
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Old 05-02-2011, 06:23 PM   #2
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Hi Harvy...

I'm not sure what you're asking but Motorhome Magazine publishes a Dinghy towing guide every year so check out their website.

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Old 05-02-2011, 06:46 PM   #3
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If you want to stay around 3500# the Liberty is too heavy. Mine weighs in around 4400#. But it's easy to hookup and tow.
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Old 05-02-2011, 07:04 PM   #4
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New up to $3,000.00 used like e-bay etc. who knows.
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Old 05-03-2011, 02:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HaRVie View Post
We have been towing an Acura using a dolly but would like to switch to a 4wheels on the ground toad. We've considered CR-V and Liberty as they seem to be the most popular, however used car prices for CR-V are high -- I can buy a new one for a couple of thousand more than a 2008 used one. I'd like to keep the weight down in the 3500 pound range. Also, what additional costs will we encounter to make the toad "tow-able"?

Anyone know of a site where already configured toads are for sale?
There are 2 toads in the classified section of iRV2, VW convert and a Jeep Wrangler. You will have a hard time finding a 4 door SUV in that weight range. Maybe an older CRV? Jeep Wranglers (2 door) will work and are very easy to set up to tow. Costs to set any toad up for 4 down will be base plate, tow bar and brake system. You can find a lot of this stuff used (I did for the base plate and tow bar and saved a bunch).
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Old 05-06-2011, 09:07 AM   #6
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The 2010-2011 Chevy Equinox are towable without any modifications and come close at about 3700 lbs. The 2008-2009 with 3.6L engine are also towable as is, but the other engines in those years use a different transmission and are not towable .
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Old 06-03-2011, 08:39 PM   #7
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Toads for 2011

I'm looking for a toad with automatic transmission also. Here's my "A" list:

Honda Fir
Honda CRV
Ford Fiesta

You can tow almost ANY manual transmission car 4 down. See the Motorhome Magazine Dinghy Guides.

Also, there are many new, small hatchbacks coming out this Fall that might fill the bill. check Chevy, Ford, VW, Audi, Mini, Mazda etc etc. Use Google,, it works great for 2012 models.
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Old 06-03-2011, 11:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HaRVie View Post
We have been towing an Acura using a dolly but would like to switch to a 4wheels on the ground toad. We've considered CR-V and Liberty as they seem to be the most popular, however used car prices for CR-V are high -- I can buy a new one for a couple of thousand more than a 2008 used one. I'd like to keep the weight down in the 3500 pound range. Also, what additional costs will we encounter to make the toad "tow-able"?

Anyone know of a site where already configured toads are for sale?
CR-V's have a good shelf life---you could look for an older model, low miles.

CR-Vs do not require modification for towing they can be towed 4 down--there is a shifting ritual to go through first then go----for eight hours then do the routine again.

You will need a baseplate to match your tow bar and a braking system---and it will not be cheap. YOu may find this stuff used on E-bay or elsewhere. All my stuff was new (in 04) and the package---Tow Bar baseplate and brake-pro and installation was close to two bills as I recall---
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Old 06-04-2011, 07:32 AM   #9
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Actually the most widely used toad vehicle is the Saturn Vue and fits your weight "wish list". Obviously it is 4 down towable. Yes it's an orphan but Honda (engine on early/mid 2000's) and GM should be here awhile.
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Old 06-04-2011, 08:25 AM   #10
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Go to Dinghy Towing and Dinghy Guide , and on the right hand side you can see the years and click on the link to download the list. We have towed a 2007 CRV, several jeeps, and our latest tow vehicle is a 2010 Ford Edge. We have also recently purchased a GMC Sierra that will be getting set up for towing this month. The ease and convenience of towing on all fours can't be beat . . . when I see people towing on all fours I always think of the inconvenience of having to stow that trailer. I will say that every time we hook up, it is my "job" to run the tow vehicle through its paces in preparation for towing. As long as I have done it, I STILL have the owner's manual in front of me and go through each step. I've had people stop by to chat as I'm doing it, and have had to stop and start over once they've left as I am paranoid about "frying" the transmission by doing it incorrectly. The manual transmission jeeps were the easiest, but the CRV and Edge are not challenging.
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Old 06-04-2011, 04:05 PM   #11
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The 84 to 01 keep cherokee will work. The 4x4 is perfect whether auto or manual trans. I tow a 2wd manual trans that weighs 2850lbs or so. No special setup, just key in the ignition that's it. The 4x4 needs the transfer case in neutral. They weigh less then 3500lbs and I bought mine as a used tow vehicle and super cheap, $1250 with a tow bar (blue ox) and a baseplate so it was ready to go.
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Old 06-12-2011, 01:49 AM   #12
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Just about any vehicle can be made towable, pick one out and run it by Remco.com and see what they have to say. In my estimation Remco does the hands on work to varify towability not just print what the manufactuers tell the magazine publishers. I am sure you have your reasons for needing a toad for 6 or 7 but do remember a motorhomes drinks 6, eats 4, and sleeps 2.

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Old 06-12-2011, 10:04 AM   #13
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To make a car towable.. There are several possible parts lists.

Minimum: Base plate: (This is where the tow bars hook up)
Aux braking System: Runs about 700-2,000 bucks new
Towed Light system: Plan on 100 bucks, more or less.
Optional: The tow bar to hook to the base plate, Again a wide range or prices depending on the features you want.
Optional: Depending on the model of vehicle, Drive shaft disconnect, Axle lock or Transmission Lube pump or switched fused.. The last item is a few bucks, the rest run around 500-700 plus installation.

Now: the brakes: I will discuss briefly a few systems,
"Brake in a box" like the Brake Buddy, Even Brake, ETC. These are really nice systems. but they do have one or two major issues.. Those being that they have to be installed EVERY TIME you tow and thus there is always the chance you can mess it up and cost yourself a brake job (See note below) or it won't work properly as a result. Also, there is a very good chance that you may be, say going to your dealer and say to yourself "Oh, It's only a few miles.. It's too much trouble to put this ting in" and of course they can grow legs and walk off if not secured when you are driving the towed.

You also have to bleed brake vacuum booster vacuum when you put 'em in.

They also eat battery power. Normally this is not much of a problem.

Their big advantage is when you get a new care,, They transfer easily.

M&G Air/Hydralic system. This uses motor home air to operate the towed brakes.
Positives: installed once, bypasses vacuum booster so no need to bleed, Uses NO towed battery power (Well the brake lights might), Negatives, Not easy to transfer to a new car, Motor home must have compressed air, Will not fit all toweds.

US-Gear Unified Brake Decelerator, this is an Electric/hydraulic system. Like the M&G you install once, and like the M&G not easily transferred to a new car, Since it uses ELectricity it includes a TOWED CHARGE feature, (kind of nice) Progressive (the harder you stand on the motor home brakes, the harder IT stands on the towed brakes) Proportional (You can adust the relative hardness with which it brakes) Fully reomtable (you can set the towed brakes independent of the motor home or disable the system from the driver's seat) This is as close to the control a semi driver has over his trailer brakes as you can possibly get. Oh, and it will not engage going down hill UNLESS you press the brake pedal.

No need to bleed as it will pump up the vacuum when it's operating.

Disadvantage: Not easily transferred to a new towed.

Ready Brake, This is very likely the simpliest of all systems. and KISS is a good policy (Keep it simply simple if you like the laundered version)

This system consists of a cable in 2 parts, one part runs from the brake pedal to the front of the towed, the other runs to a lever assemble in the hitch adapter When the towed pushes against the motor home the levers pull on the cable, which pulls on the brake pedal, applying towed brakes.

Now this is progressive (The harder you stop the harder it stops) it is auto-porportional (It applies the brakes on the towed ONLY as hard as needed) No need to bleed as it will adjust the pedal pressure to compensate, This is all automatic and governed by the laws of physics and those laws can not be broken.

Disadvantage: Well, it is not as easy to transfer to a new car as a "Brake in a box" but it is easier to transfer than the M&G or US-gear systems.

AIR-Force One.. This is a cross between the M&G and the "Brake in a box) it uses a air powered piston that stows under the driver's seat. You have to bleed vacuum (By pressing the pedal a few times) then hook it's pusher rod to the pedal every time you tow.. This is also a fairly easy to transfer (Not as easy as the Brake in a box but closer to the Ready Brake) but the hook up and stowage of the system is fairly easy. Less likely hood of a "Too much trouble for this short trip"


NOTES: I had a dealer screw up an install on the US-Gear system. Dealer's fault, cost me a brake job.

SOME folks say "You do not need brakes on a car in tow, It is not a Trailer" in fact there is a web page that says I do not need them being from Michigan It very clearly says, on that web page, that only TRAILERS need aux brakes, not cars.

Of course, when I take a look at the Michigan Vehicle Code, which I happen to have a digi copy of.. It says that a car, in tow, *IS* a trailer, and thus needs brakes.

Oh well.. When you get legal advice from the web, you get what you pay for.

Final note: The laws of physics, which as I said above can not be broken, They are NOT optional.. They say you need brakes on your towed.
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Old 06-12-2011, 10:57 AM   #14
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We've been towing our 03 Suzuki XL7 4WD with automatic transmission 4-down now for 7 years with zero issues.

The 03's were mfg in Japan and I have heard that some later models built on the same assembly line as the GM Trackers had some issues, but don't know any specifics.
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