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Old 07-30-2012, 04:03 PM   #1
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need input on towing

We could use some input on towing a vehicle. Our RV is a 31ft. Fleetwood with a V10 Ford engine. This was our first year full timing and we thought that a pair of scooters, carried on a back rack, would be the way to go. They are a ton of fun but, for all intents and purposes, not practical. We are looking to buy something we can flat tow and could use some experienced advice on do's and don't's. Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-30-2012, 04:34 PM   #2
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I started out with a scooter also, but like you, I found it impractible. Now I tow a Smart car. At only 1840 pounds I wouldn't know it was back there without the rearview camera. If you don't need more than 2 seats it's a GREAT little car, and surprisingly roomy.

You will need a towbar, baseplate, towlights, breakaway system and supplemental braking. I use a ReadyBrute Elite towbar that has a built-in supplemental braking system and ReadyBrake breakaway system. It is the easiest and cheapest braking system. I installed all my own equipment and I'm not a mechanic by any means. I am really pleased with the Demco baseplate. It has the cleanest appearance of all.

I use cheap towlights, but don't recommend them. I'm going to install a different system.

Here are some links:

Readybrake RV Tow Bars and RV Surge Braking Systems for Car Towing - NSA RV Products

Demco Towing Products

I bought everything online and saved over $300 by comparing prices from different suppliers.
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Old 07-30-2012, 05:02 PM   #3
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You'll find a lot of info and opinions here --

Toads and Motorhome Related Towing - iRV2 Forums

Have fun!
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Barb (RVM18), Sena (capuchin monkey, RVM Head Mascot) & Lily (Maltese/Yorkie)
2011 Shasta Cynara 230F, 2012 Smart Car toad FMCA #F466348
The Journey is Our Destination. Full-timing since 5/18/2011 and loving it.
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Old 08-01-2012, 02:03 PM   #4
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[QUOTE=okmunky;1260630]I started out with a scooter also, but like you, I found it impractible. Now I tow a Smart car. At only 1840 pounds I wouldn't know it was back there without the rearview camera. If you don't need more than 2 seats it's a GREAT little car, and surprisingly roomy.

You will need a towbar, baseplate, towlights, breakaway system and supplemental braking. I use a ReadyBrute Elite towbar that has a built-in supplemental braking system and ReadyBrake breakaway system. It is the easiest and cheapest braking system. I installed all my own equipment and I'm not a mechanic by any means. I am really pleased with the Demco baseplate. It has the cleanest appearance of all.

I use cheap towlights, but don't recommend them. I'm going to install a different system.

Here are some links:

Readybrake RV Tow Bars and RV Surge Braking Systems for Car Towing - NSA RV Products

Demco Towing Products

I bought everything online and saved over $300 by comparing prices from different suppliers.[/QU
Thanks for the info and links to the products. We're probably looking for something, vehicle wise, a little different from a Smart Car, like a Rav4 or maybe a small Honda but the vehicle weight is definitely a consideration.
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Old 08-01-2012, 07:09 PM   #5
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like Okmonkey - I bought a Smart car to tow - in my case weight was the critical factor.

It has been perfect for me. Can put 2 sets of golf clubs in it and there is room for two. A great tow car. One that can be towed at any speed yet can be driven at highway speeds by itself and can park in very tight spots.

I downsized from a 40 ft Monaco Dynasty with tag axel to a 25ft B+ Leisure Van Libero and my other toad, a Malibu Maxx, which I still have is 3400 lbs and it felt real sluggish behind the 340 hp V8 gasser. No problem behind my 400+ hp diesel pusher.

Weight is more significant on a B+ and Smart is the lightest car I could find. Hardly know it is there from a performance perspective. I installed a Ready Brake control on it but only for additional safety. I could stop within legal distance without the extra braking but more wheels braking is obviously better. I had a Blue Ox tow bar and my other Toad is equipped with Blue Ox so I put a Blue Ox base plate on Smarty but I understand Demco is a good choice also. Light wiring was a snap on the Smart.

I thought about a scooter but that did not seem the right thing for me, especially since I want an all weather capability in my secondary road transportation. I have other vehicles so I mostly use the Smart as a Toad but it is a good runabout. My wife often takes it instead of her Escalade.

Good luck on your Toad choice but again - weight does matter.
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Old 08-01-2012, 07:44 PM   #6
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I see others have covered the needed stuff.

I will say just two things.. Do not think "Oh I don't need aux braking system with a car this light" trust me when I tell you that if you rear end me without an aux braking system I'm going to get rich at your expense.


Next... Pay attention to your max combined vehicle weight and your hitch ratings.. And if you wind up usinjg a "Drop Hitch" adapter those hitch ratings go down. FAST... My 5,000 pound hitch failed with a 4,000 poound tow on a 4" drop . Thankfully no secondary damage to speak of (Replaced rear wheel on bicycle also carried by hitch).
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Old 08-02-2012, 12:13 AM   #7
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Right on re the combined weight. My GVWR is 12840 and the book says I can tow 5000 lbs but my combined weight is 16000lbs. So I can obviously not tow 5000 pounds if I am near my GVWR. And indeed a drop hitch lowers the tow rating. The greater the drop the more tow capability you lose. Good to know what that reduced rating is and drop required before you commit to a specific tow vehicle.

Re Brakes, If a towed vehicle is less than 2000lbs and/or can stop within specified distances, it is legal in many jurisdictions where Toad brakes are required - some areas don't even have statutes on that, however I like to have every advantage I can get when I hit the brakes so I strongly suggest having brakes operating on any Towed vehicle right from the getgo. It does make a.difference and could mean the difference between a none serious incident and death.

Good luck on your Toad acqusition.
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