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Old 08-03-2015, 12:49 PM   #1
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TOAD for family of 5 with V10 Ford RV: choices

Hi Folks: I realize it is a bit painful to see yet another post here. I think I have narrowed down my choices and would really appreciate a few folks weighing in on my specific situation.

I have a family of 5, twin 4 year olds and a 9 year old. We got the RV about 1.5 years ago and enjoy it, but for sure we need a Toad. I tried a tow dolly with our Honda Odyssey, but really did not "enjoy" the experience. We also rented a car on arrival with Enterprise, but was time consuming and expensive. I have come to the realization that I should get a newer car to use as my daily driver and TOAD.

Understand I do not intend to replace my minivan for local use and regional travels. Rather, I need a car for my daily commute to work, which is ALONE 99.9% of the time (30 miles round trip each day). I am looking for something fuel efficient (but not hybrid) and easy 4-down towing. I think a small SUV or hatchback is fine. I do not mind the kids being a bit crowded in the back since they will rarely be riding in it, but they do need to fit. At current, I need 2x car seats (will be boosters soon). In a perfect world, I would have an automatic tranny, but it is not a prerequisite (my wife and I can both drive a stick - just prefer auto for my urban commute). I also have a utility trailer I pull from time to time for household needs (not that heavy - but pretty big). I use a 2003 Sequoia to pull it now...

After reading and reading, I think these are my finalists, but I am open to ideas.... Kia Soul, Honda CRV, Ford Focus, and maybe a Cherokee... I was surprised to see the Cherokee pop up for a light weight vehicle, but it seems their 4 cylinder Latitude (I think) might be about perfect.

For daily driving, I would love to get a Ford Focus ST (fun, efficient, seemingly ideal - probably quite cramped in the back seat). The Soul seems very reasonable, but not sure about fun for my daily commute... the CRV fails in there too, very practical, but seems kind of boring. The Jeep Cherokee latitude just came to me, and I like the idea of having a 4x4 for those occasional needs.

So, what say ye??? Thanks!!!
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Old 08-03-2015, 01:51 PM   #2
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Check out Subarus with a standard transmission. Easy to tow 4 down and very dependable.

I would say Chevy Spark with the 5 sp tran but with 5 people it would be too crowded.


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Old 08-03-2015, 11:49 PM   #3
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Thanks Jon, did not even think about a Subaru. We had a Forester years ago and liked it. I will check it out.
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Old 08-05-2015, 05:57 AM   #4
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X2 on the Subaru. Almost all Subie's with a manual tranny can be towed 4 down with no modifications needed. A Subi Forrester would fit your needs.
We tow a Subi Crosstrek, almost 7000 miles towing, no problems at all.
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Old 08-05-2015, 07:14 AM   #5
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Doc Vegas...the Ford Focus and Fiesta ST CANNOT be towed 4 down. They must be towed on a dolly.
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Old 08-05-2015, 11:23 AM   #6
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Thanks folks, bummer on the Focus ST. That's the one I wanted the most....
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Old 08-05-2015, 12:17 PM   #7
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The Honda CR-V cannot be underrated. It is an awesome vehicle, GREAT gas mileage, flat tows extremely well, very dependable, and easy to drive. BUT, Honda dealt us all blow when they put a CVT tranny in the 2015 CR-V. Sadly, the 2015's are NOT flat tow-able. :'(
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Old 08-05-2015, 10:06 PM   #8
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What year is your Odyssey? If it's at least a few years old, believe it or not it can be towed 4 down without a dolly. You just need the the tow bar, brake system, and lights. There's a certain set of procedures to follow just before you depart but it works well. There are many people who do it. Honda doesn't warranty it, but check the Remco site to double check. You might save some $$$ by doing so.
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Old 08-05-2015, 10:14 PM   #9
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Old 08-06-2015, 12:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Percival6 View Post
What year is your Odyssey? If it's at least a few years old, believe it or not it can be towed 4 down without a dolly. You just need the the tow bar, brake system, and lights. There's a certain set of procedures to follow just before you depart but it works well. There are many people who do it. Honda doesn't warranty it, but check the Remco site to double check. You might save some $$$ by doing so.
Ahhh, good question! It is a 2005 with around 100k miles. Here's my issue, I hate to invest the $$$$$$$$$ to install the plate on a car that is nearly it's lifespan for my family. This van has been with us since the first child. It is showing its age. I guess if I could figure out how to install it myself, then it would not be a massive investment, I do not have the time and possibly not the know-how. Especially if wiring is involved. One option I would consider is getting a newer Odyssey and going 4-down, but, I assumed the Odyssey is pretty heavy. We did tow our 2005 on a dolly once, worked "ok" but we had some issues (long story).
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Old 08-06-2015, 12:14 AM   #11
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When we had our '97 Type C way back then I towed a '95 Odyssey on a dolly with no problem. But the old Ody was much smaller than the new ones too.
We tow the '05 Ody behind our MH and have for years but then we've had much larger gas and diesel rigs too. We only have 105,000 on ours now but it's been used to haul our goods around when we sold at cat shows. A Honda should be good for 200,000 miles before needing anything major. We bought ours with the idea it would last till we expired.
We also towed a '97 Jeep GC four down. But, that's pretty heavy too.
The '05 and newer Ody's are not towable four down according to Honda, but I've towed ours for thousands of miles now with no trouble and I've talked with other owners that have also, one had a '10 model.
Really was considering getting a new CR-V since it's usually just the two of us but the new CR-V's aren't towable with the CVT transmission.
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Old 08-06-2015, 12:21 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Percival6 View Post
What year is your Odyssey? If it's at least a few years old, believe it or not it can be towed 4 down without a dolly. You just need the the tow bar, brake system, and lights. There's a certain set of procedures to follow just before you depart but it works well. There are many people who do it. Honda doesn't warranty it, but check the Remco site to double check. You might save some $$$ by doing so.
Remco has nothing for Honda's and don't plan on making anything since they say the Ody's are towable four down.
We just follow the CR-V instructions. Use all RoadMaster equipment since they are local to our stick house and I used to be a dealer for them although that was short lived!
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Old 08-06-2015, 10:02 AM   #13
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I would weigh any proposed toad to ensure you keep under your tow rating of 5,000#. Keep in mind that the tow equipment and other items you will add or leave in the toad. My Tahoe's "official" curb weight is 5,524# but actual weight is well over 6k without a driver. Car seats, clothes, blankets tow equipment all of it adds weight. I recommend getting a 4x4 with a transfer case that has a neutral position. It makes flat towing much simpler.
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Old 08-06-2015, 10:18 AM   #14
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Subaru toad

Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpy0374 View Post
X2 on the Subaru. Almost all Subie's with a manual tranny can be towed 4 down with no modifications needed. A Subi Forrester would fit your needs.
We tow a Subi Crosstrek, almost 7000 miles towing, no problems at all.
Grumpy
According to Subaru (last week, and they showed me in writing) even stick shifts if after 2009 model year, will void warranty if towed 4 down, AND will burn up either the transaxle, or transmission. (I can't remember which they said). We have a 2014 outback, but cannot tow that 4 down, we are currently using a 2004 Honda Element, but we were interested in getting a Forester we could tow 4 down. No luck, unless you go with a much older model.
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