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Old 01-03-2013, 09:55 PM   #1
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Economical vehicle to tow

DW and I have been fretting over what type of vehicle to cart along with us for local transportation. We have researched briefly everything from bicycles, to those small motor bikes Sears sells, to street legal golf carts, to my F-250. We have also considered renting a vehicle at mid-length stay destinations, like 3-5 days or so. We would like to stay away from full size vehicles, but what recommendations does anyone have? Thanks, Grzly 03, Dick and Heather.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:05 PM   #2
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We typically bring along our Yamaha Vino 125 scooter. Great for our race track use, but most other locations as well. 92 mpg, 45 mph. Electric start, CVT trans, Yamaha reliability. Bought our 2009 used with 800 miles for $1400.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:21 PM   #3
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Saturns are relatively cheap and some make good towed's. We drove one some years ago and decided the seats would never do for us. Now tow an '05 Honda Odyssey on a dolly. Tried towing it four down but had battery troubles even with a new battery, lots more rock chips and knocked the alignment out on the CA roads.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:44 PM   #4
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If you only need 2 seats, I'd suggest you consider a Smart Car. Only 1840 pounds, about $14,000 for a brand new Pure (base model), tows 4 down, 40 mpg and the body is plastic so no rock chips in the paint. And, it's really fun to drive.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:45 AM   #5
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Take a look at a Jeep Wrangler TJ or the newer JK. We've towed our 04 Sport over 75,000 miles and driven it another 35,000+. In all those miles the only thing we've had to do other than change the oil regularly is replace the front brake pads, put on a new set of wiper blades, and a set of tires.

They can go almost anywhere and don't need any modifications for towing. I think we have nearly as many off road miles as we do on road miles. It's a great vehicle, and with the higher profile doesn't get damaged from towing. In over 100,000 total miles we don't have any rock chips or scratched up paint.
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:03 AM   #6
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Take a look at a Jeep Wrangler TJ or the newer JK. We've towed our 04 Sport over 75,000 miles and driven it another 35,000+. In all those miles the only thing we've had to do other than change the oil regularly is replace the front brake pads, put on a new set of wiper blades, and a set of tires.

They can go almost anywhere and don't need any modifications for towing. I think we have nearly as many off road miles as we do on road miles. It's a great vehicle, and with the higher profile doesn't get damaged from towing. In over 100,000 total miles we don't have any rock chips or scratched up paint.


Why not go where the tourists are not, see scenery and wildlife they cannot dream of?
For every 1000 miles on my rig I put about 3000 on my Jeep, 100s off-road, and all of it is grand.
I have a 12 Wrangler and tow 4-down. I have toaded it for 15K miles and have 2 chips (from off-road ).
Just follow your owners manual. Easy peasy.
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:07 AM   #7
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you might want to look at the Ford Focus
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:19 AM   #8
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If it money that is a factor in your post, I would say rent when you get where you are going. Some of the rentals will bring the car right to you and then return the driver back to the office, and reverse when done with it. One can do a lot of renting for $15,000.00. Having your owned auto with you cost to tow it and own it as you know but ends up at the convenance factor. Like us when we take our Harley on vacation when the weather gets bad we are stuck to home and we get a lot of cleaning done but with the car you cane go whenever you want. So everything has its goods and drawbacks when it comes to what to take with you or anything at all.
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:36 AM   #9
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Hi Grzly if you want a cheap tow behind car you might consider a VW bug you can find good used ones for about 2,500 you can buy a stock tow bar for under a 100 bucks you don't need toad brakes they are so light I think about 1300 lbs easy to hook up you don't know it is behind you. And it is fun to drive. We get comments all the time and thumbs up. It fits our needs.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:01 AM   #10
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The VW sounds like a good option. We have towed a 2000 Mazda for several years and have been happy with it. Only two seats, but sometimes that is an advantage. There are a lot of small relatively inexpensive cars that tow four-down and do not cost a lot to operate. The Mazda is light enough to not need an aux. braking system in most states but I have added it for legal protection. The towing setup will certainly cost in excess of $1,000, so that is a big cost factor to consider in your initial purchase. Rentals are the least expensive option, but what is convenience worth? We had a diesel breakdown once, and that TOAD was worth all the costs.
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:17 PM   #11
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if you need an automatic and economical, look into honda fit. 09 or after is better as it has traction control (esp). very light 2600 lbs and easy to tow 4 down.
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:31 PM   #12
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if you need an automatic and economical, look into honda fit. 09 or after is better as it has traction control (esp). very light 2600 lbs and easy to tow 4 down.
X 2 on the Honda Fit.
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:44 PM   #13
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I just purchased a few days ago a 2012 KIA Rio hatchback. It is a 5 door 5 passenger car. It weighs in at 2500 pounds and is rated at 39 mpg hwy. We did our first fill up and got 31 mpg and that was with a lot of city driving and idling. It towed real nice on our ACME tow dolly and I really don't think it made too much of a difference on the MH mpg. So first impressions are I would recommend the car.
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:47 PM   #14
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I think we'll go with a CR-V when upgrade time comes. Right now we're towing the '05 Odyssey on a dolly although we could tow the '08 Civic instead.
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