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Old 07-03-2015, 03:57 PM   #1
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To tow or not to tow!?

We are new owners of a 40 ft. Country Coach, with the 350 hp Cummins. Would love to hear your pros and cons of towing a vehicle for extra mobility....already know the backing up issue....but there is so much more to consider.....thanks for your two cents worth.....
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Old 07-03-2015, 04:06 PM   #2
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We didn't tow for about 2 1/2 years. We either rented a car on long trips, or my wife followed me in her car when we traveled less than 150 miles or so. Finally decided we needed to get a tow car since neither of our current cars were towable. We knew we did not want a dolly, so we had to look for a car to be flat towed. We ended up with a Honda CRV. We've made 2 trips towing and so far feel we made a good decision. It costs us about $3000 to get everything set up; that's a negative.

I can't tell I have the car behind the coach. The mileage lost is minimal. We have a four month trip coming up this winter. Having our own car with us will be great.
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Old 07-03-2015, 04:12 PM   #3
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We made it one season without a toad. That was enough!
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Old 07-03-2015, 04:13 PM   #4
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New to RVing, but can add how we made our decision to tow.

At first we thought it would be easy to just get a rental car once we arrived at our destination. We tried that twice on short "Trial Run" trips to northern Michigan. Both times we had to go about 40 minutes out of our way or past our destination to retrieve and return the rental car. The cost of the two rentals of 3 days each, plus Sunday since their offices are closed, so 4 days each, was greater than a payment on a toad. Plus, I am a big fan of independence and rapid schedule changes, which a rental car will not always allow.

Decided on a Jeep and started researching base plates, lights and supplemental brake systems on irv2.com. Looked pretty straight forward, so I installed everything on the Jeep myself. I'm by no means a Mechanic, but I am fairly handy so had no trouble at all. Saved a lot of $$$ by doing it myself.

Went with the Blue Ox Base Plate, Roadmaster universal light kit and SMI Stay-In-Play Duo for brakes. Since the coach was in getting the new purchase punch list items resolved, I tested everything out with our Suburban, which was also great for calibrating the SMI brake system. Got a few strange looks, but it was actually quite fun!

Good luck with your decision!
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Old 07-03-2015, 04:32 PM   #5
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I can't imagine not having a toad. Yes, there are some set-up costs, but the independence is priceless. The biggest negative I have found is the inability to back up. You really need to plan ahead, especially when selecting gas stations.
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Old 07-03-2015, 04:53 PM   #6
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Started towing a towed back in '97 with a Type C MH and Odyssey on a dolly. Wouldn't go without one!.
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Old 07-03-2015, 05:31 PM   #7
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We have been towing since 91 first with a tow dolly ( if I was to tow on a dolly I would look real hard at the Acme tow dolly) then went to 4 down in the middle 90's, I have always used Roadmaster Base plates and have always done my on install it's not a hard job if you have tools. There are a lot of cars that can be towed 4 down and one of the best towing guides is on the FMCA web site, you will have to be a member to see it ( it's a good rv organization check it out ) the 2015 Honda CRV is not towable but the 14 is. I would not want to be without our tow car or truck.
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Old 07-03-2015, 05:52 PM   #8
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We started with towables (pop-tops and Travel Trailers), so we always knew we would use a set of wheels at all destinations and possibly even along the route, dropping the towable if needed.

The upgrade to Class A only demanded that we figure out how to bring along a car.

We decided to use the car we already had (not flat towable) and would change cars someday, so we got a lightweight and high quality dolly. The car is always there, it is safe and protected riding high up on the dolly, with no miles added to the car's lower drive line or cutting on the fascia to mount base plates and such...and the dolly has intregral brakes. We can back-up for short distances if required, the dolly fits under the overhang of the RV at tight camp spots, and loading/unloading takes about the same time as our friends who flat-tow...YMMV.

Best luck
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Old 07-03-2015, 06:05 PM   #9
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I think it all depends on the what you plan to do at your destination. We do lots of short weekend trips to nearby campgrounds - and rarely bring the dinghy for those trips. For most of those trips, the campground IS our destination - and the planned activities are read, sleep, walk, bicycle and hang around the campfire. They're short enough that we can easily plan and provision so that everything we need is on board before we leave the driveway. Anything a little longer in duration or where we've got sightseeing plans at our destination - the dinghy comes with us.


I couldn't imagine owning the coach and not having a tow ready dinghy at our disposal so that towing vs not towing wasn't simply a "game day decision" for a given trip.
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Old 07-03-2015, 06:09 PM   #10
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I have no toad and I drive 34ft coach touring around like it is a car. Have never had a problem. To me I like the idea of sitting high and we have all the convenience.
Spend a lot of time in the Canadian Rocky's and have never had a problem parking.
My wife has a mobility scooter if we park a bit farther than where we like. It takes me all of 3 minutes to get it out of the storage. We just don't set up like we're going to spend a lot of time. We even went to a graduation and we were the big hit with the kids as they used it to apply makeup and change into afterward clothes. We had a ball.
But I really have nothing against toads. I just don't need or want one.
I would say take your time before jumping in with both feet. Lots of good ideas on this site.
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Old 07-03-2015, 06:47 PM   #11
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To us, the cost of towing was simply one of the costs of RVing. I don't go on even short trips without my toad (Honda CR-V). We love to go to a camp site only as our base, then do excursions in the car. We would never be able to see as much if just using the RV.


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Old 07-03-2015, 07:21 PM   #12
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Been the short C no towed route. PITA but manageable most of the time. Finally moved to a bigger C to have a real bed. Towed became even less optional. Went with a towed on a dolly and I don't think I dare suggest not taking it on any future trips! I like a dolly on a cost, availability of vehicles, and a bit of backing basis so I will probably never go to a 4 down setup. I did add a hitch to the towed for managing the dolly at times.
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Old 07-03-2015, 07:31 PM   #13
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We wouldn't leave home without it. The Civic is light and I don't even know its back there. We had a dolly, but since we started flat towing the Civic, the dolly sits behind the barn.

On our last trip, the MH spit out an O2 sensor from the exhaust manifold. We backed into a truck stop and after I figured out what happened, we disconnected the TOAD and I went into town and found a new O2 sensor, got the MH fixed, and we were back on the road. Its nice having spare transportation in case something goes wrong.
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Old 07-03-2015, 08:39 PM   #14
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I've had the RV break down and very glad I had a toad, then I've had the toad break down and glad I had the RV...


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