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Old 08-15-2013, 04:49 PM   #1
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Chevy Spark as a Toad

Anyone have one of these?

Only into a MH for a year, swore I would not tow, interested in an Acme dolly and a 5 speed Spark. Finding not being able to "get out and about" is a real drag.

The Spark is only 2350 pounds, and gets great reviews for inside room, I'm 6'4".
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Old 08-16-2013, 03:39 PM   #2
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Is that a 5 speed automatic or manual? If manual it may be flat towable and that's the way I'd do it if I were you. We just started flat towing a Captiva behind our motorhome and it's easy! Just make sure everything is hooked up correctly before taking off, you have to do that no matter how you're towing, and away you go. Except for when climbing long steep hills we don't even know the car is back there when towing. Good luck with the Spark, I empathize with you on fitting into a car thats towable. At 6' I had to look for a while to find something light enough to tow but big enough that I could be comfortable in it, I'm sure at 6'4" it's even harder to find a good vehicle to use.
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Old 08-16-2013, 05:14 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Easyrider View Post
Is that a 5 speed automatic or manual? If manual it may be flat towable and that's the way I'd do it if I were you. We just started flat towing a Captiva behind our motorhome and it's easy! Just make sure everything is hooked up correctly before taking off, you have to do that no matter how you're towing, and away you go. Except for when climbing long steep hills we don't even know the car is back there when towing. Good luck with the Spark, I empathize with you on fitting into a car thats towable. At 6' I had to look for a while to find something light enough to tow but big enough that I could be comfortable in it, I'm sure at 6'4" it's even harder to find a good vehicle to use.
It is a 5 spd manual, in 2014 they have a new CVT. One of the auto magazines reviewed it with a 6'7" test driver, gave it good marks.

So far as the tow bar vs dolly the Acme has a good disc surge brake system. I am a KISS guy (keep it simple stupid) don't want to mess with a brake system, don't want to tow without brakes. Drive it on, tie it down, go go.
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Old 08-16-2013, 08:27 PM   #4
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Check into the ReadyBrute Elite tow bar, it may change your mind on a dolly. The ReadyBrute Elite has a built in surge brake and you really do just hook it up and go go.
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Old 08-17-2013, 06:19 AM   #5
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Check into the ReadyBrute Elite tow bar, it may change your mind on a dolly. The ReadyBrute Elite has a built in surge brake and you really do just hook it up and go go.

I looked at the ReadyBrute ad as you suggested, also see you have one on your rig. Does the cable stay on/in the car, or do you reinstall as you need it.
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Old 08-17-2013, 10:38 AM   #6
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It's a 2 cable system, 1 cable stays in the the car, installation was actually easier than I was imagining it was going to be, the other cable is connected at the outside front of your car and to the surge brake in the tow bar. It takes just seconds to hook up the brake when connecting the tow bar and toad.
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Old 08-17-2013, 10:45 AM   #7
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Also, if you look down through the "Toads and Motorhome Towing" forum for another posting I started titled "Captiva is Ready(Brute) to Go" and double click on the picture of the tow bar and look closely at the picture you can see where the cable connects the surge brake to the permanent cable in the car just under my front license plate.
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Old 08-17-2013, 10:34 PM   #8
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A 6' 7" driver in a Spark will make it impossible for any passengers in the backseat. It will accommodate tall drivers because of its high roof. Don't waste your time with a dolly. A Spark four down with a Ready Brute Elite is about as simple as it gets.
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Old 08-18-2013, 09:21 AM   #9
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The Remco Towing site shows the 5 speed to be towable "as is", with "speed and distance restrictions", "per the manual". Looks like you'll have to disable a fuse to keep the battery from going down (or install a battery shut off, as we did on our '07 Jeep). They recommend nothing over 55mph, and starting it frequently (to keep the battery from going dead).

For what it's worth, I think our '91 Geo Tracker had "speed and distance" restrictions too. I basically ignored the speed restrictions as impractical on the freeways, but I did start the engine every time we stopped for gas or a rest stop.
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Old 08-18-2013, 05:04 PM   #10
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We don't like to tow either, but the need for mobility at the destinations won-out.

Congrats on considering the use of a Dolly. Your car will be happy sitting up high away from rock strikes and saving those miles on the bottom of the drive-line that could be also be a question at resale time.

There are folks on this forum using the Acme EZE-Tow for everything from SmartCars to the bigger mini-vans...with no problems.

Just be sure to unlock the steering so the dolly/car set-up can pivot for turns, just like any flat towed car, and double check the straps for tightness, just like any dolly or trailer hold-down strap.

The Chevy Spark should be a great dingy - when towing, you probably won't even feel it is back there.

Best luck
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Old 08-19-2013, 06:39 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarab0088 View Post
We don't like to tow either, but the need for mobility at the destinations won-out.

Congrats on considering the use of a Dolly. Your car will be happy sitting up high away from rock strikes and saving those miles on the bottom of the drive-line that could be also be a question at resale time.

There are folks on this forum using the Acme EZE-Tow for everything from SmartCars to the bigger mini-vans...with no problems.

Just be sure to unlock the steering so the dolly/car set-up can pivot for turns, just like any flat towed car, and double check the straps for tightness, just like any dolly or trailer hold-down strap.

The Chevy Spark should be a great dingy - when towing, you probably won't even feel it is back there.

Best luck
I'm still leaning toward a dolly, the Acme in particular. It only weighs an advertised 405# and with those wide tires should be very easy to roll when needed. 80% of the places I have stayed were pull through and I had that option in some of the others. The non-modification of the car I buy to tow is a big factor to me also.
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Old 10-03-2013, 11:03 AM   #12
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Update on this Thread;

I have been "waffling around" on buying the Toad. I did buy an ACME Tow Dolly, it is a year old, never been used, still has the mold release nipples on the tire treads. It has the LED lights, spare tire, this puts the as new price a little North of $2300, I got it for $1100. I guess that in itself explains my decision to go the dolly direction.

In regards to the Chevy Spark; wife and I went to the dealership to test drive the Spark and both found it to be a fun little car, peppy, nice option list, light weight. While at the dealership we discovered the Chevy Sonic Hatchback and drove it. Nice car, about $3000 more than the Spark with same trim level but bigger, and more fun with the Turbo engine and 6 speed manual. The weight was still okay (I want to stay under 3500# with the dolly (dolly weighs 405#'s )) this combo puts me at 3150#'s. Tried to make a deal, cash, no trade, could not do it. That dealership charges a $650 fee for Title and License and a $600 document fee, and $399 for a dealer prep, that includes a full tank of gas, pin stripes and some plastic door edge guards (give me a break). After an hour of haggle they dropped the $399 they were not installed yet, I told them thanks but no thanks and walked.

So anyway this is my follow-up to this thread, my current Toad interest lies with the Chevy Sonic, Chevy Cruze, and possibly the KIA Soul (my wife hates the Soul's look), all these keep me where I want to be on $$ and weight. I'm going to start a thread on opinions of owners on those 3 tomorrow.

Thanks for your input, I have learned sooooooooo much on this forum.
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Old 10-03-2013, 06:05 PM   #13
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It's not too late to look at the Chevy Captiva, though at 6'4" you will at the max for leg room. At the price you bought your dolly you could probably sell it at a profit! That's a sweet deal you got on the dolly! Then get the ReadyBrute Elite and flat tow! Just saying.... but you gotta do what you gotta do. Good luck with the hunt for the best combo for you!
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Old 10-05-2013, 05:39 PM   #14
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Maybe find a different Chevy dealer that is more hungry? Sounds like you have already found a rig that you like. I've had the best luck with negotiating with the internet sales department before coming in. You can view the window sticker online to pick the rig with the exact options you want. Gives me the advantage and removes the hot box routine.

On my 2011 Subaru Outback, I had the price detail (invoice) from Consumer Reports, pre approved with our credit union for 2.5% financing and a $600 extended warranty from the CU as well. The dealer got to the price I wanted before I stepped in the door and included all incentives. I ignore payments and focus on the selling price. I came in for a test drive on the rig I had already picked out and used the $600 warranty as a means to get a much better warranty for $700 from Subaru directly that they were trying to sell for $2,500. I had the whole deal written up without the warranty and added that at the very end at my discretion; did not affect the sales price.

Spent maybe an hour in the dealership total.

Many different ways to go about buying a car. This has worked well on the past two new rigs I have purchased (2003 and 2011), buying them for much less than possible otherwise at least in my case.

We keep our rigs for at least 10 years, making a new one a viable option with a known vehicle history. On a used Chevy tracker we bought as a toad, I did the same negotiation tactic before entering the dealer and had it inspected by a mechanic.
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