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Old 07-22-2018, 08:21 PM   #1
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Recommend a good used toad?

We are looking for a good used vehicle we can tow 4-wheels-down in the $5,000 to $7,000 price range. Something in the 2000-2010 year range is probably where we will end up.

What vehicles in that year and price range are suitable for towing 4-down?

And if anyone knows of one for sale in the Seattle/Tacoma area, let us know!

Lee and Jennifer Scott
Isla Saboga, Panama
'06 Itasca Ellipse 40'
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Old 07-22-2018, 08:29 PM   #2
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Newmar Owners Club
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Glad to have you here in the forum with us. You're gonna like it here.

Top of the page is a classifieds tab. In the drop down there is a vehicles/accessories tab. It's a good place to start looking.

You also need to ask yourself how this toad will be used. Are you planning to take it off road once in a while? Are you just going to use it as a form of transportation at your destinations? Will it be your primary car?

There are a lot of cars/trucks that will fit your need.

Happy Trails!!!

Tony & Ruth........... FMCA#F416727
Newmar Dutch Star 4320, Spartan MM Chassis, Cat C9, 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit, Blue Ox Aventa LX, and Brake Buddy. TST 507 TPMS
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Old 07-22-2018, 08:36 PM   #3
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The Honda CRV and the Subaru Forester have been great toads for us.

Towed the Subaru (2009) for 5 years and the CRV (2014) for the past 4 years. No problems with either.

If you consider one it will have to be a 2014 or older to tow 4-down. Both went to the fancy CVT tranny and it's not towable in any configuration.

Good Luck with you search.
Remember, we are all good at something... I happen to be a good bad example.

2016 Forest River Forester 3011DSF
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Old 07-23-2018, 08:12 AM   #4
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Many thanks! I will put them on our list of vehicles to look for!
Lee and Jennifer Scott
Isla Saboga, Panama
'06 Itasca Ellipse 40'
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Old 07-23-2018, 08:26 AM   #5
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Think twice about a fiat

My Fiat 500l just met its death and cause unknown. This vehicle had been towed intermittently over the last 3 years but on a trip from Denver to Cheyenne, it met its demise. When I arrived the clutch was on the floor, towed to the shop and discovered a very large crack in the engine. Road hazard? no definitive answer to why it happened but totaled.
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Old 07-23-2018, 08:32 AM   #6
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Chevy Equinox V6 is an excellent toad. Pull one fuse, put in neutral, tow all day.
2013 Tiffin Phaeton 40QBH
2016 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ AWD V6
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Old 07-23-2018, 08:37 AM   #7
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You don’t say if type of transmission matters. But if you want an automatic Chevy HHR or Sonic are two light weight easy to tow options. I have owned both and currently tow the Sonic. Both cars, other than self inflicted issue, have had zero complaints from me.
Tom Wilds
Blythewood SC
2016 Newmar Bay Star Sport 3004
2015 Jeep Wrangler 2DR 4WD Sahara, Automatic, Hard Top
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Old 07-23-2018, 08:58 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by wildtoad View Post
You donít say if type of transmission matters. But if you want an automatic Chevy HHR or Sonic are two light weight easy to tow options. I have owned both and currently tow the Sonic. Both cars, other than self inflicted issue, have had zero complaints from me.

Our next one might be a Sonic . We have a Focus now , not a happy camper
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Old 07-23-2018, 09:13 AM   #9
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Two years ago we purchased a 2000 Subaru Outback AWD, manual transmission. Less than 100k miles, immaculate condition, sunroof, heated sets, the works. Already set up with Roadmaster baseplate, ready brake braking system, plus roadmaster tow bar for $4600.00. Only thing I had to do to it was replace the tires as they were 10 years old. They're out there!

We also have a 2004 Honda Element set up for towing, not our best toad, limited to 65mph, which isn't really a problem, but on long down hills, I have been known to exceed 65mph, and I didn't want that as a limiting factor, plus you had to run it, shift through the gear is a certain order before turning off and towing, and you were limited to a specific number of hours towing before you had to go through the process again.

Also tow (most often used) a 2005 GMC Canyon (same as a Chevy Colorado), 4 wheel drive version, put transfer case in neutral, transmission in park, and off you go! We use this toad most of the time as we travel mostly for Art Shows, and we need to space in the truck bed for our work (with topper).

Lots of choices out there. Good luck with your search!
Scot & Laura Kellersberger
Newmar 4 wheel drive Dutch Star 3891, 2005 GMC Canyon. Demco Tow Bar & Baseplate U.S.Army (ret)
1985 - 2006
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Old 07-23-2018, 10:10 AM   #10
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Hi Lee & Jenifer! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

We really love our Honda CRV. They are towable through the 2014 models. Before that we towed Honda Accords.

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
Joe & Annette

2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
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Old 07-25-2018, 06:43 PM   #11
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First of all, Motorhome magazine publishes a pretty exhaustive annual list of toads. They're published by model year so you'll need to look and several issues to cover your date range:


You should make a list of what you'd like and need in a toad. In doing so, don't forget that it's also going to be something you'll use at home so take that into account. For example, one of the most popular and most often recommended toads is the Jeep Wrangler, but, for several reasons, it just won't work for me.

I know you've made this decision, but for others, the first consideration will be flat tow vs. dolly vs. trailer.

Some starters are:

1. Weight - Probably not an big issue with your MH but, nonetheless, it's a consideration.

2. Manual vs. automatic

3. 2WD vs 4WD/AWD

4. Type/size- SUV, Sedan, P/U, Van, 2 door vs 4 door, hatchback vs trunk, etc. along with passenger, dog, cargo carrying capacity.

5. Tow capacity - Will you be using your toad to tow a boat or other trailer when at home?

6. Accessibility - Do you have any accessibility/mobility issues that will affect your gettin in and out of the vehicle.

7. Roof Rack - I know from experience that Yakima racks (and presumably Thule racks) won't fit on some vehicles. This can be a key issue for kayakers.

8. Age- Newer models of some popular toads aren't flat towable so keep this in mind if you want a new or relatively new vehicle. (Again, I know you're looking at an older vehicles, but for others this is a consideration.)

9. Ease/cost of converting to flat towing (baseplates, braking systems). If you're lucky, you may find a toad that's already equipped. Note that you can set up Craig's List searches based on key words (like "toad") that will alert you if something comes up in your and surrounding areas.
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Old 07-25-2018, 07:52 PM   #12
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Thanks all!

OK, I have some good suggestions, so now it's off to AutoTrader and see what I can find out in the Tacoma area. We have until the end of September to find something, get the Blue Ox base plates installed and get it ready for towing. Fortunately we have a son in the Tacoma area who can check out whatever we find and help with getting it set up.

We will fly in from Panama first week of September, pick up the motorhome, and head off back to North Carolina!

I kind of like the Jeep Liberty as a concept, but I'm not sure about reliability. Jeeps don't have a great reputation. I loved my Honda Accord (put 245,000 miles on it and it was rock solid and drove like new when we sold it), so the Honda CRV is also attractive from a reliability POV.
Lee and Jennifer Scott
Isla Saboga, Panama
'06 Itasca Ellipse 40'
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Old 07-25-2018, 07:57 PM   #13
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Our 2012 Cadillac SRX is the easiest we have had. Wish they still made them.
Dean & Mary (Retired U.S.A.F.)
Miss Lilly (Japanese Bob Tail)
2012 Itasca Sunova 33C, 2012 Cadillac SRX
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Old 07-26-2018, 06:00 AM   #14
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When you buy a base plate and a tow bar, verify that they are compatible with each other, i.e. the tow bar pins can be connected to the base plate.

Also - On a lot of vehicles, the steering column lock can be disabled. I removed the locking paw from the mechanism on my Saturn Vue. The advantage, there is no need to leave a key in the ignition while towing or remove any fuses etc..

1999 Fleetwood Southwind 35S (Ford F53 6.8L V10 275hp 4R100 4 spd trans) - Toad 2003 Saturn Vue.

It won't do MACH 2, but I can get a sandwich and take a pee.
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