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Old 10-22-2004, 09:06 AM   #1
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I am considering buying a 2001 Tracker that has the tow bar setup on it. Is there anything I should look for on a vehicle that was towed? Does towing a vehicle stress any of the components other than the tires?
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Old 10-22-2004, 09:06 AM   #2
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I am considering buying a 2001 Tracker that has the tow bar setup on it. Is there anything I should look for on a vehicle that was towed? Does towing a vehicle stress any of the components other than the tires?
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Old 10-22-2004, 11:45 AM   #3
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Chevy highly suggests that the tranny/transfer case and differentials be drained and changed every 15K. Them and the other running gear are always working when being pulled. Chevy also highly suggests that you stop pulling and run the engine with the tran in park and T. Case still in neutral for a few minutes every 200 miles. Make sure you get all the records on the vehicle or that you personnaly can trust the seller. That said, I bought used and have had no running gear problems with my tracker.
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Old 10-22-2004, 07:09 PM   #4
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Keith,

I have a 2002 Ford Explorer Eddy Bauer, loaded in excellent condition, all records-55,000, non-smoker, setup with Blue Ox tow Pins in front and auxilary lights that are in the tail light housing. This vehicle handles great and drives straight, new Mitchelens Xtarrains . I could be pursaded to include a new Brake Buddy.

Tomcat F15
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Old 10-23-2004, 01:31 PM   #5
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Keith, I bought a new 2001 Cavalier new for towing. The odometer has only 11,000 miles on it but it has another 35,000 miles being towed. That means the tires, shocks, springs, brakes,axles, etc all have allot more miles than it would appear on the surface. It doesn't handle or drive like a car with 11,000 miles on it. In my opinion it's time to get rid of it and trade up, it really doesn't drive very well anymore. It also has developed allot of rattles etc. I have a baseplate that's all but hidden so you really can't tell without close inspection that it is a tow vehicle.
In a nutshell I'd avoid a toad.
Floyd
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Old 10-24-2004, 06:54 AM   #6
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I think in choosing any kind of tow vehicle, if your looking for something cheap, thats what your going to end up with a subcompact that in basics, are hard riding and uncomfortable for long drives. Keep in mind here folks, these vehicles will get more miles on them then your motorhome, I know thats true for us.

When we travel with the motorhome and tow the Explorer, we do just that, WE EXPLORE! Isn't that what motorhoming is all about? Once we set the coach up at the site and square everything away, we're out of there and exploring the surrounding area or head off to the attraction that we came to see. Some times this can be an hour or two in another direction. The last thing I'm going to be doing at age 58, is be driving some buckboard-shoebox death mobile thats going to fall apart in two or three years.

When we got in this motorhome thing three years agao, keep in mind, I've been in the RV Industry since 1976, but it wasn't until two years ago that we bought our first motorhome. We have had all the other types of rvs, but an the Adventurer 35U was our first big class A.

Now, knowing that we like to explore, no matter what type of vehicle we camp with, and knowing that we a new Eddy Bauer Explorer. I have to tell you, and my wife will too. The 2002 Explorer has the latest independent suspension system and drives better then the Lincoln did. And for long drives, it's not a back breaker, it's actual a lot of fun to drive.

I think the last thing you'd want to do is buy a light, inexpensive, uncomfortable tow vehicle and think that will do the job.

There are a lot of good used Program vehicles out there that have low miles on them. I think it's money well spent, to buy a vehical that will make your exploring just as enjoyable as the motorhome.


Tomcat F15
"You have but one time on this earth, how you live it is up to you, but remember, you can't take it with you, screw the kids, let them earn it the way we did."
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Old 10-24-2004, 08:44 AM   #7
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KeithT,

Please take into consideration that even though odometer mileage may not have accumulated, everything that moves while rolling will have Driven + Towed mileage, be sure to ask for maintenance records on the vehicle. Do a careful inspection of the tow bar set, looking at all wear points, look for any bent or missing parts, carefuly inspect all welded joints, stress cracks do happen, nuts and bolts may loosen.

An example, a '94 Saturn I recently sold: Odometer = 123001, with odometer not functioning = 4000, from my driving log, miles towed = 105000. Total Miles = 232001.

With proper research you could have a good vehicle.

Bill
RV: '93 Ultrasport
Toad: "00 Jimmy 2WD w/ driveshaft disconnect
Tow Bar: Blue Ox Aventa
Left Hip: 7 days old.

[QUOTE]Originally posted by KeithT:
I am considering buying a 2001 Tracker that has the tow bar setup on it. Is there anything I should look for on a vehicle that was towed? Does towing a vehicle stress any of the components other than the tires?[QUOTE]
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Old 10-24-2004, 11:53 AM   #8
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>A cheap rattle & roll bucket of bolts. I don't understand why anyone would spend their hard earned money on a cheap tow vehicle?

I think you might want to lighten up your rhetoric a bit. Perhaps some of us are either not as enlightened as others in choosing vehicles, or perhaps have other priorities as to how we spend our money. Either of which is arguably our choice.
Now getting back to Kieth's question, I was simply pointing out any towed auto is going to accumulate more wear than the odometer reflects whether it is a high end vehicle like some drive or a bucket of bolts like some of the unwashed so are drive.
Floyd
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Old 10-24-2004, 02:33 PM   #9
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We are on our second Tracker toad and have been very pleased with them. Have towed them all over the USA, including Alaska, and Canada, somewhere around 55,000 miles.

That said, any vehicle used as a toad has potentially had a lot more wear than the odo suggests. Parts affected are wheels bearings, axles and suspension, transfer case & transmission, steering and also the brakes if the toad was equipped with a brake unit. How do you tell short of disaeembling all those parts and inspecting closely (assuming you are a hired mechanic knows what wear in each of these looks like)? Maintenance records are a clue - if they exist the chances are that the owner cared enough to take adequate care of things.

Another check would be to pull the tranny dipstick and look/smell the fluid. If it is not nice and red, reasonable clear or if it has a burnt toast aroma to it, it may have been towed to th epoint where internal damage to the transfer case and tranny could have occurred. Its not guaranteed by any means, but its a warning sign.

Frankly, buying a toad involves some risk and the price ought to be commensurate.
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Old 10-25-2004, 03:48 PM   #10
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Tomcat F15:
I think in choosing any kind of tow vehicle, if your looking for something cheap, thats what your going to end up with. A cheap rattle & roll bucket of bolts. I don't understand why anyone would spend their hard earned money on a cheap tow vehicle? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

This may or may not help anyone looking for a cheap tow vehicle.

There are auto auctions that are open to the public (have to be careful that they are really standard auctions and not just a different way of dealers selling their inventory). We go to one in Blue Ridge GA (www.braainc.com). I bought my Jeep Grand Cherokee for half of the going price on used car lots ($6000 + $600 auction fee Same yr/model was going for $12K & up). Same for our Chevy S-10 (my first car - van- that we bought cost $500 & we sold it a year later for $500). We know car dealers that buy/sell at this particular auction. They will buy a car and then double (atleast) the price to sell on the car lot. For cars that cost over a certain amount ($2K) you get a 30 day warrenty on major stuff (that's more than the used car lots are giving). Also the titles have been run thru Carfax for this particular auction house (mostly dealers there, so they aren't going to try to put one over on another dealer... that will make sure that none of their cars sell at the auction). Only catch it that we sat thru 3 different auctions before buying the Jeep. If you are looking for something in particular then you have to go a few times. I have seen what some of the toads look like after being dragged behind an RV. We will stick with an auction vehicle and we also like the price. You can do a search using one of the search engines (we like www.monstercrawler.com) for "car auction" and you will turn up several pages of car auctions, some of which are only open to the public on certain days.
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Old 10-26-2004, 04:39 PM   #11
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This topic has set dead for the last couple days, so I'll get it started again. I hold to my opinion, that bigger is better and safer.

Tomcat F15
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Old 11-08-2004, 03:00 PM   #12
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Keith, I'm selling my toad. Its a 7-passenger minivan.

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Old 11-17-2004, 05:40 PM   #13
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Tomcat F15:
I think in choosing any kind of tow vehicle, if your looking for something cheap, thats what your going to end up with a subcompact that in basics, are hard riding and uncomfortable for long drives. Keep in mind here folks, these vehicles will get more miles on them then your motorhome, I know thats true for us.

When we travel with the motorhome and tow the Explorer, we do just that, WE EXPLORE! Isn't that what motorhoming is all about? Once we set the coach up at the site and square everything away, we're out of there and exploring the surrounding area or head off to the attraction that we came to see. Some times this can be an hour or two in another direction. The last thing I'm going to be doing at age 58, is be driving some buckboard-shoebox death mobile thats going to fall apart in two or three years.

When we got in this motorhome thing three years agao, keep in mind, I've been in the RV Industry since 1976, but it wasn't until two years ago that we bought our first motorhome. We have had all the other types of rvs, but an the Adventurer 35U was our first big class A.

Now, knowing that we like to explore, no matter what type of vehicle we camp with, and knowing that we a new Eddy Bauer Explorer. I have to tell you, and my wife will too. The 2002 Explorer has the latest independent suspension system and drives better then the Lincoln did. And for long drives, it's not a back breaker, it's actual a lot of fun to drive.

I think the last thing you'd want to do is buy a light, inexpensive, uncomfortable tow vehicle and think that will do the job.

There are a lot of good used Program vehicles out there that have low miles on them. I think it's money well spent, to buy a vehical that will make your exploring just as enjoyable as the motorhome.


Tomcat F15
"You have but one time on this earth, how you live it is up to you, but remember, you can't take it with you, screw the kids, let them earn it the way we did." <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
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Old 01-05-2005, 03:03 AM   #14
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The discussion has gone all over the map and some of it is pertinant and lots of it is personal preference. The tracker (built by Suzuki for Chev.)is built on a truck frame and is designed to be towed. We have towed one all over and been very happy. We upgraded to the XL7 and are very happy with it. Suzuki warrants the power train for 7 years! We know many people that have towed Suzuki products for many years with no inordinate problems. The vehicle will last you for a long time reasonably trouble free if it was not abused and was maintained reasonably.
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