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Old 08-22-2014, 12:25 AM   #1
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Need truck toad for older Fleetwood Southwind Storm

We're new to RV'ing. We have a Fleetwood Southwind Storm. I think it's a 1999 or a bit newer. In any case, the manual says it has a towing capacity of 3500 pounds. We had hoped to find a truck with an automatic transmission that we could dinghy tow, but we can't find one that light. We'd like a new truck since we keep our vehicles a long time. We had hoped to go on our dream trip in about 28 days from now. If we find a truck it needs to be an automatic because it will be my drive-around car.

If we can't find a truck that will work we thought we'd like a convertible, but now can't find a convertible either that will do because VW doesn't say Beetles can be dinghy towed. We don't want anything flashy, just something that would let us experience the outdoors. Again, new would be good because we'll probably keep it for 20 years. If it's a convertible it can be manual transmission because it will be our second car.

Does anyone have any suggestions about what to look for? We've been looking for weeks and have had no luck; run into dead-ends everywhere for one reason or another. DH will not want to tow something that will be chancy.

Thanks for any help you more experienced folks can provide. I'm afraid we're going to miss our trip, and I'm sure DH won't like long-distance RV'ing without a toad.
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Old 08-22-2014, 01:03 AM   #2
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Good luck with your search, hope you can get everything together for your trip.
Just one question , if a convertible , would a 2 seater be ok?
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Old 08-22-2014, 04:39 AM   #3
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Have you thought of a Mazda Miata as a second car and a dinghy? Durable, dependable, good used market, and fun.
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Old 08-22-2014, 06:46 AM   #4
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I think so; haven't asked DH, but it's just the two of us.
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Old 08-22-2014, 06:53 AM   #5
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I should say we were also hoping to get something with a high clearance so we can go not off-road but on unpaved rougher roads.
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Old 08-22-2014, 08:20 AM   #6
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The most popular and easiest to rig toads are the Honda CR-V and the Jeep Wrangler. The Wrangler is a little too heavy but the CR-V is about right. Both are tow able 4 down.

The Jeep can be used top down. Our CR-V has a sunroof. I don't consider our CR-V an off road vegicle but it has clearance and AWD.



One thing to be careful of, the 3500 weight limit is no doubt because of the hitch. But you also must consider Gross Combined weight ratio. It is not wise to exceed the Gross Weight ratio of the MH regardless of the hitch capacity. For instance my hitch can handle 5000 lbs but because of the Combined fully loaded weight of my MH I tow 4000 lbs or less.

Hypothetically if your Combined Weight ratio is 10,000 lbs and your MH loaded weighs 7000 lbs then you should not tow more than 3000 lbs regardless of hitch capacity.
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Old 08-22-2014, 10:08 PM   #7
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Now we've regrouped completely because of weight considerations, and are thinking of a Ford Focus or Chevy Sonic (auto trans on either one). Anyone have any thoughts on the merits/drawbacks on either of these? Thanks very much.
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Old 08-23-2014, 08:53 AM   #8
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Just be sure they are towable 4 down otherwise they are fine. Don't take anyone's word look in the owners manual to verify towing capacity.
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Old 08-23-2014, 10:12 AM   #9
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Towing four wheels down

This article may help
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Old 08-23-2014, 10:20 AM   #10
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It's Time for the 2012 Dinghy Guide

Here is another article with a link to a list of tow able vehicles. The source is reliable but still make sure you check the manual for the specific vehicle. Some vehicles have different transmission combinations even in the same model some are tow able some not.

Hey good luck, Getting set up is sometimes a pain but you will like the ride once you get past the start up Have fun. Report back on your first trip let us know how things are going and welcome to the forum.
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Old 08-23-2014, 09:54 PM   #11
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We were towing a BMW Z3 convertible on a tow dolly backwards, worked fine. This spring decided to put lube pump on our Lexus & pull 4 down. Disaster! Would not recommend doing that . Going back to dolly & Beemer.
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