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Old 11-24-2010, 12:47 PM   #1
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What method of towing is best?

We are the recent proud owners of a 2000 Fleetwood Pace Arrow Vision, Model 36B and are loving it. It is 37' long.
We are exploring towing options since we discovered soon after purchase, that it's nice to have a vehicle with you when you travel so you have the ability to unhitch and see the local sites w/o worrying where to park the RV, and have to leave the campground each time.
First, we thought getting a used, but in good condition, tow dolly would be best, to avoid adding miles to the vehicle we tow; but we were recently advised by our local RV dealer that wasn't our best option. They advised that tow dollys are cumbersome, heavy to move after disconnected from the rig (and we'd have difficulty moving it as we're not getting any younger!), can easily be stolen when "parked" somewhere else in the RV campground since, because of their size, they have to be relocated after unhitching, as there is no space for the RV, vehicle, and tow dolly in most RV spots. We do have room to store one on our property at home.
So now we're checking out using a towbar system instead. Our local tow/brake dealer wants an arm&leg ($2089.00) for a new Roadmaster Tow Bar, brakes, wiring, combo it (w/electric diodes?), etc. installed. Of course, this is the price for the best system Roadmaster makes (according to them), hence the price.
We have seen several nice looking Roadmaster tow bar systems on Craigslist for considerably less. We have a Toyota Avalon (which can't be towed and I don't want a tow bar installed on the front of it, and a Ford F150 p/u, which is really too long for us to tow behind our 37' motorhome.
Research on-line (on DEMCO.com website), indicates that a Honda CRV is easily towed and doesn't require any "modifications" to the vehicle, like a fuel pump, or a different drive shaft, etc. So we're thinking about purchasing a used Honda CRV (like a 1999 or 2000), since they have a good track record and are the right size, and having a used tow system (from Craigslist) installed on it. We live in So. Oregon and deal with icy roads and some snow in the mountain passes, during the winter months, plus rain in winter.
Would appreciate hearing from other similar Fleetwood RV owners who are happy with the tow system and vehicle type they've chosen, to help us make the right decision. What tow system essentials do we need to have for safe and easy operation, especially for a Honda CRV. We'd prefer 4WD on the Honda. Does it make any difference if it's manual or automatic, for towing purposes?
Thanks for your help!
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Old 11-24-2010, 01:27 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meant2shop View Post
We are the recent proud owners of a 2000 Fleetwood Pace Arrow Vision, Model 36B and are loving it. It is 37' long.
We are exploring towing options since we discovered soon after purchase, that it's nice to have a vehicle with you when you travel so you have the ability to unhitch and see the local sites w/o worrying where to park the RV, and have to leave the campground each time.
First, we thought getting a used, but in good condition, tow dolly would be best, to avoid adding miles to the vehicle we tow; but we were recently advised by our local RV dealer that wasn't our best option. They advised that tow dollys are cumbersome, heavy to move after disconnected from the rig (and we'd have difficulty moving it as we're not getting any younger!), can easily be stolen when "parked" somewhere else in the RV campground since, because of their size, they have to be relocated after unhitching, as there is no space for the RV, vehicle, and tow dolly in most RV spots. We do have room to store one on our property at home.
So now we're checking out using a towbar system instead. Our local tow/brake dealer wants an arm&leg ($2089.00) for a new Roadmaster Tow Bar, brakes, wiring, combo it (w/electric diodes?), etc. installed. Of course, this is the price for the best system Roadmaster makes (according to them), hence the price.
We have seen several nice looking Roadmaster tow bar systems on Craigslist for considerably less. We have a Toyota Avalon (which can't be towed and I don't want a tow bar installed on the front of it, and a Ford F150 p/u, which is really too long for us to tow behind our 37' motorhome.
Research on-line (on DEMCO.com website), indicates that a Honda CRV is easily towed and doesn't require any "modifications" to the vehicle, like a fuel pump, or a different drive shaft, etc. So we're thinking about purchasing a used Honda CRV (like a 1999 or 2000), since they have a good track record and are the right size, and having a used tow system (from Craigslist) installed on it. We live in So. Oregon and deal with icy roads and some snow in the mountain passes, during the winter months, plus rain in winter.
Would appreciate hearing from other similar Fleetwood RV owners who are happy with the tow system and vehicle type they've chosen, to help us make the right decision. What tow system essentials do we need to have for safe and easy operation, especially for a Honda CRV. We'd prefer 4WD on the Honda. Does it make any difference if it's manual or automatic, for towing purposes?
Thanks for your help!
First, go to Motorhome Magazine website and look at the Towing Guide to see if that particular model can be towed 4 down. Next, go to Hitchtrader.com to shop for used tow bars, base plates and brake systems. I bought our base plate and tow bar there and saved several hundred dollars. The Roadmaster systems are good.
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Old 11-24-2010, 01:31 PM   #3
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Congratulations on your MH purchase. I have a Fleetwood Southwind 37c. I think towing on all 4 is best way. I tow 2007 Honda 2w dr. CR-V. I bought used Roadmaster Falcon tow bar $350.00, new base plate for Honda $434 and $600 to install base plate,wire up two lights on Honda and pigtail for lights. I also bought used Brake Buddy in box never used for $750.00. I really do not know the difference auto or manual for towing. Mine is auto and the book says not to tow over 65 mph. I like the system that I have, everything is easy to hook up and disconnect. Buying used I saved a lot of money. Hope this helps.
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Old 11-24-2010, 01:37 PM   #4
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A Honda CR-V is a great choice. You can flat tow both the 2 and 4 wheel drive and they are light, around 3,200lbs for the years you are interested in. The speedometer is electric so it doesn't record milage when you tow. Most people add tow brakes to the towed car but that is up to you and how good your brakes are for the combined weight. That is a very contraversial subject and folks are VERY adament one way or the other. Hope that helps.
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Old 11-24-2010, 03:44 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Chuck 1935 View Post
A Honda CR-V is a great choice. You can flat tow both the 2 and 4 wheel drive and they are light, around 3,200lbs for the years you are interested in. The speedometer is electric so it doesn't record milage when you tow. Most people add tow brakes to the towed car but that is up to you and how good your brakes are for the combined weight. That is a very contraversial subject and folks are VERY adament one way or the other. Hope that helps.
In many states the police are also adament.
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Old 11-25-2010, 10:37 PM   #6
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Smile Backing plate, electric brakes, & anyone w/Honda CRV w/tow pkg FOR SALE

Thanks all for the info. Would appreciate knowing what exactly is the "backing plate" that a couple of you referred to, what does it do, and where is it installed?

Also, I noted that electric brakes were discussed WRT towing a vehicle with our MH. We had electric brakes installed on our '05 F150 Lariat Supercrew, to use with our 30 ft trailer. We've since sold the trailer and now have the 37' Fleetwood Pace Arrow Vision. Can we have the electric brakes unistalled on the Ford F150 and installed on the dash of the RV, to use with a tow vehicle, instead of having to purchase electric brakes again for the MH?

One last question (at least for now!) - does anyone in iRV2-land (living in the Pacific Northwest area or Northern CA area) have a 1998-2001 Honda CRV, with a tow system already installed, that they would like to sell?
If so, we'd appreciate details and some photos, if possible.

Thanks all
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Old 11-25-2010, 11:14 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by meant2shop View Post
Thanks all for the info. Would appreciate knowing what exactly is the "backing plate" that a couple of you referred to, what does it do, and where is it installed?

Also, I noted that electric brakes were discussed WRT towing a vehicle with our MH. We had electric brakes installed on our '05 F150 Lariat Supercrew, to use with our 30 ft trailer. We've since sold the trailer and now have the 37' Fleetwood Pace Arrow Vision. Can we have the electric brakes unistalled on the Ford F150 and installed on the dash of the RV, to use with a tow vehicle, instead of having to purchase electric brakes again for the MH?

One last question (at least for now!) - does anyone in iRV2-land (living in the Pacific Northwest area or Northern CA area) have a 1998-2001 Honda CRV, with a tow system already installed, that they would like to sell?
If so, we'd appreciate details and some photos, if possible.

Thanks all
The "Base Plate" attaches to the frame of the toad and the tow bar attaches to it.
You will not be able to use your trailer brake controller for a toad brake system.
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Old 11-26-2010, 05:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meant2shop View Post
One last question (at least for now!) - does anyone in iRV2-land (living in the Pacific Northwest area or Northern CA area) have a 1998-2001 Honda CRV, with a tow system already installed, that they would like to sell?
If so, we'd appreciate details and some photos, if possible.

Thanks all
Something you should know about the 1st generation CRV (1996-2001). It is a great vehicle, but does have a known issue with the cylinder head design. There is a Honda technical service bulletin regarding the engines valve seats sinking into the cylinder head, and the head needs to be replaced with an updated part to repair this concern. If you find a 1st gen CRV, make sure the updated cylinder head has been installed, not just repaired.
I would recommend the 2nd gen CRV, 2002 and up model. They are bullet proof. In 2002 the engine was redesigned and uses a timing chain instead of a timing belt. This means one less maintenance item to worry about. A timing belt has to be replaced every 6 years or 105,000 miles under normal driving conditions vs. a timing chain that is not normally serviced at all because it is lubricated by the engines oiling system.
I am retired from American Honda. If you have any questions about Honda products, please feel free to PM me.
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