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Old 01-29-2015, 11:56 AM   #1
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GCWR, automatic trans toads, brake assist

So sorry for combining all 3 topics here, but for me, they're all related. Hopefully I'll get the answers I need. I just spent the last 2 hours reading through many of the posts about four wheel towing. My wife and I have been debating everyday about a toad. We bought a Winn View believing we would have the option and ability to uproot ourselves from a camp site to drive into town and such. But, we just got back from Pt Mugu Naval Base and after 5 days on the beach there, we discovered it was do-able, but it is more of a hassle that we thought it would be...we rented a car for the last 3 days.

One of my many concerns is the GCWR of my 2015 Winn View is 15,250 After all the math, (dogs, wife, cargo and minimal fluids) I'm up to about 12,000 lbs. That would mean (I'm assuming) a toad would have to be no more than 3000 lbs. Jeeps are out but it looks like a Sonic would fit the bill. My concern is my wife will not even begin to entertain a standard shift...that leaves me fewer options...none of which are ideal when it comes to towing 4-down. Does anyone tow a sonic and if so, an automatic? Or...how about any other sub-3000 lb automatic toad??? If u do tow an auto, can you elaborate how difficult it is to set up for towing? Any info you can provide would be greatly appreciated. BTW, one of our problems is counting the RV, we have 4 vehicles right now. I was hoping to sell my wife's Prius (that she uses for work and running around) and use that money to buy a toad, that's why she is adamant about not wanting a standard shift. On a side note, assuming I find the right toad, if I install a brake assist unit such as AirForceOne, does the additional brakes lift the restriction of the maxed out GCWR (opening the door to a slightly heavier toad) or does one have nothing to do with the other? BTW, I have seen that website about dinghy tows that breaks down all the towables, but I want to hear from flesh and blood on the subject...folks who've been there/done that. Besides, I only saw the two free posted mags and chances are the toad I will be getting will be 3 or more years old...I will eventually go back and pay for, then download an older year. Thanks to all who respond...Art
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Old 01-29-2015, 12:10 PM   #2
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I flat tow a 2012 automatic Sonic.
The car has to be a non turbo model. Easy to set up for towing, 65mph max speed. Nothing changes your GCWR!
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Old 01-29-2015, 03:55 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 96 Wideglide View Post
I flat tow a 2012 automatic Sonic.
The car has to be a non turbo model. Easy to set up for towing, 65mph max speed. Nothing changes your GCWR!
I found a Sonic on Carmax that would have served our purpose to a "T" unfortunately, on 2nd viewing...it's a turbo. So, my question...are you absolutely positive a turbo would be a deal breaker on a flat tow? If so, do you have any idea why that is since the engine doesn't come into play during the tow. Thanks again for the quick response...Arty
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Old 01-29-2015, 04:00 PM   #4
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The turbo model has a different auto transmission that is not flat towable.
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Old 01-29-2015, 04:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 96 Wideglide View Post
Nothing changes your GCWR!
Actually it CAN happen, but it's very seldom.
Our rig came with a 12,000# front axle, weighted 12,050 if I filled the fuel and propane tanks. Newmar had Spartan replace the axle with a 14,600# unit. At that time Newmar issued us a "modified vehicle sticker" with new weight ratings for both the front axle, GVWR and GCVWR.
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Old 01-29-2015, 04:26 PM   #6
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If you want to check a vehicle, you can check out if a vehicle is towable on remco.com.

I tow a Honda CRV but the curb weight is 3300+ pounds.
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Old 01-29-2015, 04:43 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Mr_D View Post
Actually it CAN happen, but it's very seldom.
Our rig came with a 12,000# front axle, weighted 12,050 if I filled the fuel and propane tanks. Newmar had Spartan replace the axle with a 14,600# unit. At that time Newmar issued us a "modified vehicle sticker" with new weight ratings for both the front axle, GVWR and GCVWR.
LOL .......... OK, Ya got me D !!
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Old 01-29-2015, 10:29 PM   #8
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The turbo model has a different auto transmission that is not flat towable.
Oh yeah, OK, I just noticed that too. It looks like the RS model comes standard with a Turbo and the beefed up tranny and though the LT model does not come standard with the Turbo, a Turbo is optional and of course the beefed up tranny comes with it. That's the problem with the LT model at Carmax that I found...Turbo. Thanks a bunch.
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Old 01-30-2015, 10:14 AM   #9
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A pre-2015 Honda Fit makes a much better toad than a Chev Sonic. It's roomier, better bulit, and has amazing folding seats that allow you to haul more stuff than you can believe. Auto or manual, both can be towed. The automatic Fit weighs in at less than 2600 lbs.
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Old 01-30-2015, 02:35 PM   #10
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Hello,
You could consider a Ford Fiesta or Focus automatic. I've been towing a 2012 Focus automatic for 3 years and thousands of miles with no problems. It is right at 3000 lbs and the Fiesta is a litte smaller and lighter. Double check this but I think 2012 is the first year they used this transmission that is towable 4 down. It doesn't require a extra lube pump or running the engine before towing. Maximum speed is 70 MPH. It does require disconnecting the toad battery but that has'nt been big issue. If your aux brake needs 12v power you can run a wire from the coach to do it.
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Old 01-30-2015, 02:55 PM   #11
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A pre-2015 Honda Fit makes a much better toad than a Chev Sonic. It's roomier, better bulit, and has amazing folding seats that allow you to haul more stuff than you can believe. Auto or manual, both can be towed. The automatic Fit weighs in at less than 2600 lbs.
Thanks for the tip. I looked at the Fit and thought it was a good idea...until my wife woke up and took a look at it. Her sister has a Honda Fit. I always thought it was a pretty cool car with lots of pep, but my wife reminded me how she's hated that car since her sister bought one. But I certainly appreciate your input on it. We found a 2013 auto Sonic at Carmax and today we're heading over there to discuss it. It only has 9K miles on it...very low for a two yr old high mpg vehicle. It is also only 2670 lbs. Maybe you could offer me some input on a simple, inexpensive but reliable supplemental braking system for the Sonic. I may post a new thread on that after searching around for an older thread.
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Old 01-30-2015, 03:06 PM   #12
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Hello,
You could consider a Ford Fiesta or Focus automatic. I've been towing a 2012 Focus automatic for 3 years and thousands of miles with no problems. It is right at 3000 lbs and the Fiesta is a litte smaller and lighter. Double check this but I think 2012 is the first year they used this transmission that is towable 4 down. It doesn't require a extra lube pump or running the engine before towing. Maximum speed is 70 MPH. It does require disconnecting the toad battery but that has'nt been big issue. If your aux brake needs 12v power you can run a wire from the coach to do it.
Carter, thanks for the input on the Ford. It certainly has some positive points to consider. But in trying to keep the weight down some, the 230 pound difference in weight between the Sonic and the Focus would be like towing a Sonic...with my mother in law sitting in side. A daunting thought wouldn't you say? But it looks like we will be getting the Sonic that I just mentioned in my last post. It's hard to pass up a car with only 9000 miles in two years and a remaining manufact. warranty as well. As I mentioned in the last post, maybe you could offer some insight as to which way to go for a simple, (relatively) inexpensive yet effective/reliable supplemental braking system for the Sonic. I'd been reading about the Blue Ox Patriot...I just need some convincing that is an effective error free braking system...what do you think; what do you use?
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Old 01-30-2015, 06:49 PM   #13
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Toad Weight

Am I missing something here but are you not able to tow up to what your hitch is rated for. I purchased last October a 2013 Itasca Navion IQ 24G. We love it. The manual states that it is rated to tow up to 5,000#. That is also what camping World told us at time of purchase. Not sure what the weight of the coach has to do with tow weight unless you are tying it to the roof. We have a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Summit that at 4,900# is too heavy to tow. Going to the Portland,Oregon auto show next weekend to find a toad in the 3,200# to 3,500# range. As long as the hitch can handle it, the motor can pull it and supplemental Brakes are in the toad I see no reason my listed tow weight cannot be used.
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Old 01-30-2015, 06:58 PM   #14
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I have a 5000 lb hitch but only have 4000 lbs of towing capacity. GVWR is 26000 and the GCWR in 30000. I could install a 10000 lb hitch and still could only tow 4000 lbs.

GV = gross weight of the MH

GC = gross combined weight of MH and towed vehicle / trailer
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