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Old 08-05-2012, 02:49 PM   #15
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Have done it both ways. In the end I rather have my own vehicle with me. Cost wise, for me at least, it is far cheaper to tow my own vehicle rather than rent. Since my tow vehicle is my daily driver, there is no added cost for that. The cost of setting the vehicle up to tow was not to terrible since I did the install and only bought the baseplate and the towbar was given to me by a friend. There is not much difference in fuel economy either towing or not towing a vehicle. Having your own vehicle with you at all times gives you the ability to take a lot of extra side trips as you travel to destination that you may have missed by having to get a rental.
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:05 PM   #16
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Is your Dakota automatic transmission?
Yes sir! Ours is an 05 Laramie with full time 4wd. Not sure if all the Dakota transfer cases will allow it, but ours has an electrically controlled transfer case with positions that allow full time 4wd, part time 4wd (which locks the center diff), and to allow switching it to neutral. I've had 2 older Dakotas, both with neutral positions in manually shifted transfer cases, and they would both tow 4 wheels down as well.
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:46 PM   #17
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A toad vs rental analysis should also include costs based on wear and tear on the toad. For example, the current IRS mileage rate is 55.5 cents per mile. While a portion of that reflects fuel cost, the remainder of it is based on things like periodic service and repair of the automobile and the fact an automobile won't run an infinite number of miles (it has a useful life). These additional costs can be significant. At $4.00/gallon and 30 miles/gallon, the fuel cost is 13.33 cents/mile, so the remaining 42 cents/mile (55.5 - 13.3) reflects IRS estimates for ongoing service and asset useful life. You can bet the IRS isn't low balling the overall cost per mile, so the the guess of 42 cents/mile might even be low. A $20k car that lasts 200k miles costs $.10/mile WITHOUT figuring service, repairs or gas. A $30k car that lasts 150k miles costs $.20/mile (and so on).

I'm new to the RV scene (just recently bought a used class A), and haven't figured out (myself) which way to go yet.

Edit: This reminds me. I had a business trip taking me to the Denver area, and a friend happened to be there at the same time (also for work, different employer). I rented a car with unlimited mileage. I picked it up on Friday afternoon, the car was brand new and had 3 miles on it. On Monday morning when I returned it, it had 1300 miles on it. We traveled from Denver over the Rockies to Grand Junction and camped in the area. The next day we went to Arches and around the area, and camped on some BLS mountain trail. Then came back over the Rockies again (stopped in a few more places) and finally back to Denver. I don't think the rental car company made money on that rental.
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:56 PM   #18
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We have a Honda Odyssey. Would that be expensive to turn into a toad?
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:04 PM   #19
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Old 08-05-2012, 11:55 PM   #20
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A toad vs rental analysis should also include costs based on wear and tear on the toad...
Good point if towing on all 4. But with a dolly, the driveline is fully isolated from wear and tear.
I will concede that the tires of the dolly and rear tires of the Toad will get the miles, but that's not a high cost compared to a rental.

One of the many reasons I use a dolly
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Old 08-06-2012, 01:01 AM   #21
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Think he ment the wear and tear while using the toad to travel around..
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Old 08-06-2012, 01:24 AM   #22
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Think he ment the wear and tear while using the toad to travel around..
Errrr, you are probably right I didn't think about that, because we always try to park the RV as close to our destination as possible.
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Old 08-06-2012, 06:20 AM   #23
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i toad for the same reason i have a motorhome i want my own stuff .and if if have to do a cost analysis before hand then i know i cant afford it. we toad a 2011 wrangler and am adding our 2012 explorer to the stable.
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Old 08-06-2012, 06:37 AM   #24
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When I was still working and the trips were of a two to three duration we found that renting was the way to go. Now that I'm retired our trips are much, much longer and we spend a lot more time in one area. We find having a toad with us in this situation makes a lot more sense.
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Old 08-06-2012, 06:47 AM   #25
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We are going to try our first snowbird trip with just bicycles. Vacations have worked well. The longer trips.... I'm not so sure. We are pre planning to stay at places that have groceries and other shopping close enough < 5 miles. As retirement is new, we want to see how we will use transportation before we invest in setting up a towed. It is the intangibles that will drive our decision, I'm sure, not the cost. After all convenience is worth something.
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:36 AM   #26
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Has anyone done a cost analysis of using toad vs rental?
We will not be staying in one place long and the extra fuel cost and other expenses make me wonder about using rental on occasion instead
"Extra fuel cost"? Towing our Saturn Vue we find no difference in MPG - None...
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:06 AM   #27
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RVing started for us as an escape pod from NE winter for a few weeks while still employed. Side trips took too much time out of vacation so we drove, slept long enough to get back on the road and got somewhere warm. When we arrived at our usual destination there was a rental agency right on the way so rather than get at vehicle we could tow (neither we had where practical) we rented. One nice thing is that if you have a breakdown the rental company brings you another car.

We tried towing Harleys in a trailer for one season but they were not so good for grocery runs and no fun if it rained.

When we retired I bought our little Tracker for a song to have a toad in the interim until we found a permanent toad. I like the little thing so much we stopped looking.

So to answer the question. If you are going short term to one location rentals are a good option. Consider the price of another car if yours can't be easily towed plus insurance and maintenance. There is also a considerable start up cost to a dolly or tow bar set up. For long term like us (6 months) there is no option. We need the toad.
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:19 AM   #28
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We are in our first year of RVing and not getting a lot of trips in yet. Our 2 trips so far were down with a rental car at the destination. Both times had Enterprise and some real good weekend rates. They picked us up but we did a drop off. The office was on our way back home with ample room to get in and out with the RV.

We don't like being pinned into a CG no matter how nice it is. We want to explore. When the lease comes up on my car this December, I will be getting a used Honda CRV for next summer's travels.

Side bar question:

It seems like the DP folks report no significant difference in MPG with a toad. Is that reasonably true for gas rigs?
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