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Old 07-13-2018, 07:37 PM   #1
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Lightest TOAD?

I have what I hope is a simple question, what is the lightest TOAD?


I am not actively shopping, as my wife's new car is 4 down towing adaptable. This question is mostly for curiosity as I could not find a good thread on the subject after searching here.


The baseline requirements would be it can be towed 4 down, must cost under $20,000 on the used market, preferably less, so nothing too exotic, and must be able to be towed at typical highway speed say 65mph+ at least 200 miles per day without stopping. So anything that must be ran in drive for 5 minutes every 75 miles is out. It also can't be an antique, as one should expect to be able to obtain parts and service on the road.


Cars that are somewhat commonly used as TOAD's with few if any reported issues that don't have official manufacturer blessing are allowed, such as Mazda Miata with certain transmissions.


The lightest I have found in my limited searching is the Chevy Spark at 2246 pounds and allowed towing at up to 65 mph. The few that I have found that are lighter seem to have a max tow speed limit of 55 mph, which I don't feel is practical crossing Texas on I-10 in an 80 mph zone.
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Old 07-13-2018, 08:30 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
I have what I hope is a simple question, what is the lightest TOAD?


I am not actively shopping, as my wife's new car is 4 down towing adaptable. This question is mostly for curiosity as I could not find a good thread on the subject after searching here.


The baseline requirements would be it can be towed 4 down, must cost under $20,000 on the used market, preferably less, so nothing too exotic, and must be able to be towed at typical highway speed say 65mph+ at least 200 miles per day without stopping. So anything that must be ran in drive for 5 minutes every 75 miles is out. It also can't be an antique, as one should expect to be able to obtain parts and service on the road.


Cars that are somewhat commonly used as TOAD's with few if any reported issues that don't have official manufacturer blessing are allowed, such as Mazda Miata with certain transmissions.


The lightest I have found in my limited searching is the Chevy Spark at 2246 pounds and allowed towing at up to 65 mph. The few that I have found that are lighter seem to have a max tow speed limit of 55 mph, which I don't feel is practical crossing Texas on I-10 in an 80 mph zone.

Well, a couple I can think of:

1. Suzuki Samuri 4x4 (right close to 2060 lbs.)
2. Smart Car (right close to 1800 lbs)

Scott
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Old 07-14-2018, 06:38 AM   #3
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such as Mazda Miata with certain transmissions.
Isaac,

Please expand on this reference to "certain transmissions".

I towed a Miata 5-speed over 35,000 miles and have towed 2 6-speeds over 40,000 miles.

Tim
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Old 07-14-2018, 06:45 AM   #4
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We tow a Pontiac Solstice couldn’t find any info on towing it except owners manual stated it to be flatbed towed because of being low to the ground. So we found a baseplate for it hooked it up and 3000 miles no problem so far.
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Old 07-14-2018, 06:51 AM   #5
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I tow a 2015 Ford Focus 4-down. Weight approx. 3000 lbs, up to 70 mph, no limit to mileage.
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Old 07-14-2018, 06:59 AM   #6
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We tow a Pontiac Solstice couldn’t find any info on towing it except owners manual stated it to be flatbed towed because of being low to the ground. So we found a baseplate for it hooked it up and 3000 miles no problem so far.

I have a 2007 Solstice with an automatic transmission. Is yours a manual transmission?


Where is you find the baseplate?


Thanks
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Old 07-14-2018, 07:02 AM   #7
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2001 Honda Civic (2500 lbs) (auto tranny) I'd do Honda's pre-tow process every time we stopped.. Not a big deal.


2003 Saturn Vue (2900 lbs) (manual Tranny) I removed the steering column lock so I don't need to leave the key in it. This is my current toad.
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Old 07-14-2018, 07:10 AM   #8
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Lightest TOAD?

2016 Ford Focus with 5 speed manual transmission 4 down with a smi stay and play duo, like the2sharps said, about 3000 pounds, 70mph.

The whole setup procedure for towing is put in neutral, make sure parking brake is off, remove the key and flip on the brake module. DW said make is simple, I complied.

Purchased new, including baseplate and brake system it was under $20,000.
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Old 07-14-2018, 09:02 AM   #9
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Isaac,

Please expand on this reference to "certain transmissions".

I towed a Miata 5-speed over 35,000 miles and have towed 2 6-speeds over 40,000 miles.

Tim

It was my understanding that the 5 speed Miata transmission was not self lubricating when being towed in neutral, but that the 6 speed is.
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Old 07-14-2018, 01:43 PM   #10
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The absolute lightest would be the smart car at 1800 lbs - ours has tagged along behind our Bounder for over 35,000 miles now and we love it! We also have a Honda Goldwing motorcycle with a sidecar, but once you add in the weight of a trailer big enough you're up to the weight of the smart car, and the motorcycle doesn't do a good job of keeping you dry in the rain!
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Old 07-14-2018, 02:12 PM   #11
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Fiat 500 with manual transmission. Buy a used one cheap. We towed one for a year and it was super easy. We decided to replace my daily driver and the Fiat with one car rather than have a car dedicated to toad service. We replaced them both with a Lincoln MKX. It’s a great daily driver and a pretty good toad. Just not as light as the Fiat.
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Old 07-15-2018, 06:44 AM   #12
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The absolute lightest would be the smart car at 1800 lbs - ours has tagged along behind our Bounder for over 35,000 miles now and we love it! We also have a Honda Goldwing motorcycle with a sidecar, but once you add in the weight of a trailer big enough you're up to the weight of the smart car, and the motorcycle doesn't do a good job of keeping you dry in the rain!
Alan,
Are you towing the SC on tow dolly, trailer or flat tow. I have an acme tow dolly with removable ramps, thinking of backwards towing due to rear wheel drive. Your thoughts.
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Old 07-15-2018, 07:20 AM   #13
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Quote:
I have an acme tow dolly with removable ramps, thinking of backwards towing due to rear wheel drive. Your thoughts.
Acme will chime in here and say don't do it.

I believe you could tow backwards on the Acme dolly, but the turning radius will be greatly reduced before the dolly starts skidding sideways in a turn.

I find that mine will skid sideways in sharp turns. How often, I'm not sure. I believe this depends on how tight / lose the straps are on the tires. If towed backwards, the radius is reduced and the skidding will happen more more often, and in milder turns. How much stress can the dolly hold up to being pulled sideways more often??.. The heavier the car, the more stress on the dolly when pulling sideways.

Although the cars steering wheel contributes to the turning radius, I suspect the majority of the turning radius comes from the cars front wheels moving forward and backward on the dolly. In a turn, the inside wheel will tend to move forward and the outside wheel will tend to move backward. If the wheels can't move, the dolly gets pulled sideways in a turn.
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Old 07-15-2018, 07:26 AM   #14
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Acme will chime in here and say don't do it.



I believe you could tow backwards on the Acme dolly, but the turning radius will be greatly reduced before the dolly starts skidding sideways in a turn. Although I


Although the cars steering wheel contributes to the turning radius, I suspect the majority of the turning radius comes from the cars front wheels moving forward and backward on the dolly. In a turn, the inside wheel will tend to move forward and the outside wheel will tend to move backward. If the wheels can't move, the dolly gets pulled sideways in a turn.
I was thinking I could unlock steering allowing the front wheels to turn. Would attach bungee cord to allow movement and to bring wheel back to center when turn is complete.
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