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Old 04-28-2011, 11:44 PM   #15
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My 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland tows 4 down with just putting the xfer case in neutral. Simple. and it has all the fancy toys
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Old 04-28-2011, 11:50 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimkate View Post
I can't answer your specific question about towing an Explorer. However, last year we found ourselves in the same situation with our Windstar which wasn't going to be easy to set up to tow.

We thought about something smaller like a Honda CRV to tow, but we just couldn't fit that vehicle size into our lifestyle. We decided on a 2005 Honda Pilot, which I think is about the same size and weight of the Explorer????

The bottom line is, we couldn't be happier. We NEVER know the vehicle is behind us. I keep the backup monitor on most of the time so that I can watch it, and I have a tire pressure monitor system on all tires including the toad.

We speculate that our mileage may have been lowered by 1/2 a mile per gallon, but it may not have been. We have pulled the Pilot up 7% grades, and I believe that it does not affect our power at all. Our coach has a 8.3C Cummins, there seems to be ample power.
Jim, only caution here has to be that Honda has taken the Pilot off of its list of toads since 2005 - but I can't recall which year it was yanked - same as Odyssey I think. I've chatted with a couple of Pilot owners who tow them (2005's) and their view was as positive as yours. Pity Honda couldn't solve whatever the problem was - and it couldn't have been very significant since I've not seen any pilot owners reporting problems.
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Old 04-29-2011, 07:46 AM   #17
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Pity Honda couldn't solve whatever the problem was - and it couldn't have been very significant since I've not seen any pilot owners reporting problems.
The Honda Pilot requires that the owner puts the transmission through a specific procedure before towing. Start the vehicle in park, then shift down to neutral, then shift through each forward gear, then back to neutral, and let the engine idle with transmission in neutral for minimum three minutes. If you inadvertently shift into reverse during this procedure, go back to Park and start the procedure all over again.

Supposedly then the vehicle can be towed for a maximum of eight hours. I don't do more than four hours.
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Old 04-29-2011, 08:54 AM   #18
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2011 Explorer Toad

WOW! Lots of great information. Thanks all. I bought the MH (2004 Journey 330HP DP, ) used. It came with a Roadmaster 5250 hitch. I assume that I HAVE to buy a Roadmaster baseplate. Is that correct? I called Roadmaster tech support. Very helpful, but I was a bit confused. They make two baseplates for a 2011 Explorer, 4427-3 (MX) and a 4427-1 (XL). He tried to explain the difference but I am not sure I "got" it. I will have it installed so that is not a problem, but I am not sure which one I should buy.
I also have a braking question. Someone told me about a system you hook up to the toad that hooks into the MH air brakes. A brake Buddy came with the MH but it looks complicated. if I could have the toad modified to make it easier, I would do it. What ever the guy was talking about hooked onto the toad near the brake cylinder. When you connect the toad to the MH you connect the electrical and an air connector and you on on your way. Somehow braking is actuated to the Toad by using MH air signal to the toad brake system and the MH and toad brake at the same time. Does this description sound familiar to anyone? Sounds easy.
Toad criteria is: Seat 6 as this will be our primary vehicle at home (often referred to as the grammy bus), flat towable, and as many creature comforts and bells and whistles as the Nissan Armada LX that it is replacing. I also want it to be smaller than the Armada (aptly named), but big enough to satisfy the primary driver. She says size counts!!!!
When we retire, the replacement vehicle and a 2002 Chrysler convertible will be our only vehicles. The convertible is for sunny sundays and for me to drive the very few times we go separate ways, which will be rare in retirement. We may tow the convertible someday but that will require a tow dolly. Thanks for all your input.
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Old 04-29-2011, 09:27 AM   #19
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Seating for 6 leaves out the new Jeep grand Cherokee as it only seats 5. Chrysler also has the new Dodge Durango which is essentially a JGC stretched 5 inches with a third row seat, it might be worth a look.

Seating 6 may be the hang up. I'm not sure if the CRV, Escape or others in this class are capable of more than 5 passengers. Haven't looked at the new explorer.
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Old 04-29-2011, 11:16 AM   #20
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Hmm-this turned into a hot topic, not exactly sure why. It's basically a personal decision.

Some things to consider: What are you going to use the toad for when it is not toading? 4X4 important to you? Cost important, vehicle and set up? Weight important? Comfort? Use when you are toading, off road, around town, to the store etc; Do it yourself installation or mechanic?

I give a nod to the CR-V--mine is an 04 I purchased new and had the baseplate etc; installed. Silky smooth engine and transmission, roomy for it's size, easy to set up (Blue Ox, brake buddy). Just to hedge my bets about any troubles regarding towing and warranty I keep a log every time I tow, miles, duration, place to place so I can demonstrate I have not violated and towing instructions. I have had no problems. I'm long out of warranty.

CR-V does make road noise which can be determined by reading their reviews.

But all the suggestions are good, Explorer, Grand Cherokee, Bowties etc; I know people who tow them all w/o complaint. I see lots of all these models when towing.

What ever it is worth I have a friend with the same year Bowtie----he is trading his in this year, lots wrong with it---my CR-V is going strong.

Read some reviews, think through the options, make your choice---Oh yes posting on Irv2 is a good idea.
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Old 04-29-2011, 11:28 AM   #21
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Jim, I think the reason for two different baseplates for the 2011 Explorer "might" be the the adaptive cruise control. It has sensors tracking the vehicle in front of you and slows you automatically when that vehicle slows. Those sensors may be positioned in a location that requires an adjustment to the baseplates and that could be the reason for two versions. (I just checked on BO's sight and that is the case for their plates. I think their are adaptors to you can mix and match RM and BO plates and tow bars.)

As to selection of a Toad, seating six has been an issue with us at times. Actually, I'd love to seat 7. As I noted in another post here we swapped an Equinox for an Escape which is now our toad. The 2007 Tahoe LTZ that was our toad was swapped for a Flex. The Flex has a 2 by 2 by 2 seating (kind of wish it was 2x2x3. The Tahoe was 2x3x2 but the back two seats were totally useless - monsters with no foot room and they took up storage space when not needed so we took them out (but the Tahoe was a super driver). The Flex back two fold down very nicely. When I first saw the Flex I considered it the second most ugly car of recent times - the Pontiac Aztec taking first place. The Flex slowly grew on me and when I test drove one I was surprised how well it handled and drove. In some respects I'd have liked a three seat second row but with the two seats we have the refrigerator option between the seats and it works nicely at 40 deg for soft drinks or 20 degrees for ice cream. THE FLEX IS TOWABLE - weighs in at 4600 lbs though and since the Escape is over 1000 lighter we tow it. If you haven't seen the Flex up close, take a close look at it - you will either like it or hate it - there is almost no in between on this vehicle. Looking at the RM and BO installation instructions it appears that it is not the easiest vehicle for baseplate installation. It has a 3 hr installation time estimate at RM - same as the CRV and Equinox. The Escape is 2 hrs. New Explorer is 2.5 to 3. If you are having them installed it could mean $100 or so difference in cost which is peanuts compared with overall MH and toad ownership.

We have the Brake Buddy and the only issue is that it is bulky. It is not difficult to set up. You might wish to use it before you discard it.

Your next question will be MH to toad light connections. That will get you four different responses as to favourites.

Don
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Old 04-29-2011, 07:17 PM   #22
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[QUOTE=The Shadow;842612]Is there someone who won't tell you in plain English? My Colorado, Tahoe and Escape manuals all described the flat towing procedure in plain clear English.

Yes, many say nothing at all, or tap dance around the issue. Research this subject...every day there are questions..."can I tow this four down."

FYI, my RV dealer said they shudder when someone comes in with the new CRV and wants baseplates put on it. They said very difficult and time consuming job.

Find a new dealer, my baseplate was installed very easily, just a routine job my dealer said.

As to options, DW's Escape also has heated leather seats, dual digital climate control, many speaker stereo, Sirius radio, back up sensors, backup camera etc. Also has 240 HP.

Glad you enjoy your Escape. In 15 years my CRV will still be going strong, with new models coming out every year, while your Escape will be 10 years out of production and long since dead. Check the history of Honda and Ford...as an example...Accord and Taurus. Now get back to your Ford salesman job, before you get in trouble!
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Old 04-30-2011, 07:17 AM   #23
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Toad Issue

The conversation is getting spirited, but that is good. I might be at information critical mass, but I want to make an informed decision when I buy a toad and it has to meets my needs as well as the needs of my finance minister. She wants a vehicle that will hold 6 or more people. That is non negotiable. Everythign else is.
I want as few restrictions as possible. I want to be able to hook up and go and drive 65MPH. I would like to stay away from restrictions such as starting the vehicle every 2 hours, going through gears, putting in pumps, etc. I currently have 3 vehicles that could be towed on a dolly. I looked at dollies but could just barely move the empty dolly, and I "ain't gettin' any younger".

The original purpose of this thread was to get information concerning mileage difference between a 6/7 passenger car such as an Explorer vs a smaller vehicle. If milage difference between an Explorer and a Smart Car is .5 MPG,(or there is none... a toad, is a toad, is a toad) I will quit worring aobut it. If the difference is 2 MPG, then I have to weigh the cost difference over the next 10 or 15 years. My bride wants an Explorer because her daughter bought an Explorer. If her daughter bought a Yugo, she would want a Yugo. Welcome to my world. But I could talk her out of the Explorer if it was not a good toad. That is why I am doing so much research. I want a vehicle that will do it all.
I do appreciate the information and everybody's input. Everythign is on the table, as long as the vehicle will hold 6 people. If the Explorer works I will go with it to please my secretary of war, if there is something out there that is better, easier, etc, I will consider it.
Thanks for your input. One thing that I do not understand, someone mentioned a bowtie. I guess this is an RV term that I can't figure out what it is.
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Old 04-30-2011, 07:23 AM   #24
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Bowtie = Chevy. The Chevy emblem is known as a bowtie.

GMC/Chevy 4WD SUVs are easily towed.
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Old 04-30-2011, 11:13 AM   #25
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Just my thought but to keep peace in the family - get the Explorer. It seems to meet you requirements and will make the spouse happy, no?
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Old 04-30-2011, 11:54 AM   #26
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Jim, check out the 3rd row seating leg room - make sure the biggest person who will have to sit there occasionally will be fine. Our experience has been that the third row in vans are usually pretty good. As I said earlier our Tahoe was terrible - I could not sit there at all as the 2nd row seat would not come back and lock without crushing me. The Flex is great. The Explorer is 4 inches shorter than the Flex and if that came out of the 3rd row, foot room could be tight. I've not seen an Explorer yet with a third row set up for me to try.

One of the specs I like for the AWD Explorer is towing capacity - 5,000 lbs. As I said earlier, if it was available when we were swapping, we might well have ended up with one. I almost got the Lincoln MkX and initially thought its high tech instrument panel was great. I'm considered a gadget guy by the family (several GPS's, iPods, iPad, etc) but even though I like the tech aspects DW and I felt it was dangerous - as did Consumers in its review a couple of months later. Almost like texting while driving. It appears that same instrument cluster is on the Explorer.

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Old 04-30-2011, 12:03 PM   #27
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[QUOTE=hooverbill;843402]
Quote:
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Is there someone who won't tell you in plain English? My Colorado, Tahoe and Escape manuals all described the flat towing procedure in plain clear English.

Yes, many say nothing at all, or tap dance around the issue. Research this subject...every day there are questions..."can I tow this four down."

FYI, my RV dealer said they shudder when someone comes in with the new CRV and wants baseplates put on it. They said very difficult and time consuming job.

Find a new dealer, my baseplate was installed very easily, just a routine job my dealer said.

As to options, DW's Escape also has heated leather seats, dual digital climate control, many speaker stereo, Sirius radio, back up sensors, backup camera etc. Also has 240 HP.

Glad you enjoy your Escape. In 15 years my CRV will still be going strong, with new models coming out every year, while your Escape will be 10 years out of production and long since dead. Check the history of Honda and Ford...as an example...Accord and Taurus. Now get back to your Ford salesman job, before you get in trouble!
Oh, let me understand this now. You can pump the CRV and you aren't a Honda salesman. But I mention the Escape and you get uptight. Dream on. You seem to be about as biased as they come.

What you and Chuck missed or didn't want to read or glossed over was the fact that I tried to get a CRV for towing and an Odyssey - but their lot was bare. Tried to consider an Escape Hybrid as well but none available either.

I do like your taste in MH's though. It should still be around and running well 15 years from now even if you don't have your CRV. If I were to go back to a 40 footer it would be on my shopping list for sure.
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Old 04-30-2011, 12:17 PM   #28
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[QUOTE=hooverbill;843402]
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Shadow View Post
Is there someone who won't tell you in plain English? My Colorado, Tahoe and Escape manuals all described the flat towing procedure in plain clear English.

Yes, many say nothing at all, or tap dance around the issue. Research this subject...every day there are questions..."can I tow this four down."

[/B]
Who tap dances - you I guess. The reason there are lot of questions is that many new MH owners don't know where to look - like the FMCA annual list. Many make assumptions such as "if it was towable one year then it must still be towable" (Honda Pilot is an example as well as the Honda Van). How many get the operator's manual out of a vehicle they are considering and check its wording for flat towing. I DO. I want to make sure that the toad is in fact approved for flat towing by the manufacturer before I will sign on the dotted line. Otherwise, a toad that has lost its warranty on the drive drain would not be a good buy. I found most of the salespeople at the dealers are NOT familiar with flat towing issues.

Don
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