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Old 09-27-2014, 01:23 PM   #1
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Dinghy Towing

I realize that the choice of what vehicle to tow is very individual, but my question is....

Is there an appreciable difference in fuel economy, braking distance and handling between flat towing towing a 3,900 pound small suv versus a 2,900 pound small sedan?

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Old 09-27-2014, 06:02 PM   #2
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Hard to measure the difference. No difference in wind resistance, hiding behind the motorhome. Slightly more weight, but when your whole rig may weigh in more than 20 tons, a thousand pounds won't matter. I had a smaller motorhome and I used to make some trips with and without a toad, and only found a difference of 1 mpg or less. I think the equation is related to the relative weight difference (1000 lbs in your case) and the total rig weight. Bigger rig, less impact.

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Old 09-27-2014, 09:20 PM   #3
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My guess is that you will only notice the difference when going up a long steep hill. You'll make it up the hill with either one, probably at the same speed, but your foot will be pushing on the pedal more for the heavier toad. We went from towing a motorcycle in a enclosed trailer (about 1500 lbs) to towing a small suv (about 3700 lbs) and easily notice the difference when going up long hills. Braking is actually better since we have a brake system for the toad and didn't for the motorcycle trailer.
Steve & Nancy
2005 Itasca Sunrise 33', W20 Chassis, Ultrapower, Henderson Trac Bar
2012 Chevy Captiva Sport AWD, ReadyBrute Elite Tow Bar, Blue Ox Base Plate, Protect-A-Tow
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Old 09-27-2014, 09:25 PM   #4
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Notice? Yes, likely so. But not to an objectionable extent IMHO.
Vince and Susan
2011 Tiffin Phaeton 40QTH (Cummins ISC/Freightliner)
Flat towing a modified 2005 Jeep (Rubicon Wrangler)
Previously a 2002 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 37A and a 1995 Safari Trek 2830.
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Old 09-29-2014, 04:22 AM   #5
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We are considering a Ford C-Max Energi as a towed vehicle. Does anyone tow one of these? I know we can trickle charge the vehicle, but can one also use a type 2 portable charger and if so, can it plug into the campground post?

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Old 09-29-2014, 05:54 AM   #6
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A lot depends on what you are towing the toad with. I had a DP with a 350 Cat. I towed a Honda Pilot flat. I had no mileage difference with it hooked up or left at home. Same for hill climbing. I did have air brakes on the Honda connected to coach. That was a big help when a little red Miata jumped in front of me, then hit brakes to turn at exit. It took most of my air to hit the brakes, the rest for my air horn.... but all went well.
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Old 09-29-2014, 05:58 AM   #7
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Yup, my thought as well. 40' Class A much less likely to notice the difference. Make the tow vehicle a Class B? Safe bet you notice the difference pretty easily....
1997 37' HR Endeavor, 275hp Cat, Freightliner
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Old 09-29-2014, 07:02 AM   #8
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I've driven our MH with and without a vehicle in tow. Frankly, I cannot tell the difference. Tough to see any difference in mpg, doesn't seem to change the handling, ditto with braking (we have Air Force One on the toad) ... I've also done U turns in both configurations, no difference.

I guess having no toad means you can back up more readily ... plus you miss seeing it every time you glance at the monitor for the rear view camera!

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