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Old 05-05-2016, 10:59 AM   #1
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What's Wrong With an Old Toad?

We have decided that we will hitch up a toad as we generally get to a site and then sight-see from there. Our RV is rated to tow 5,000#. My BIL is getting out of RVing and has generously offered his 4 down Roadmaster towing gear to us. It is 16 years old but in good condition. We have a 2013 Lincoln MKX which is towable 4 down but I really don't want to expose such a nice car to the indignities of riding behind the RV.

That leads me to buying a cheap toad. I am leaning towards a mid 90's Ford Ranger, manual, 2WD which is towable 4 down and well under the weight restriction. I have seen several on CL that were former toads which may come with the baseplates already installed. Most come with stone chips and scratches already installed so I won't have that to worry about. My question is why do so many of you tow newer vehicles? Is there a reason why an older vehicle isn't a good toad? I suspect it may be because many use their toad as a second vehicle and therefore want something more reliable. That would not be the case for us. If it won't start or has issues on the road, I guess I'd just tow it home or to a garage to get it fixed. Am I missing something here?
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Old 05-05-2016, 11:07 AM   #2
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Current toad was a low mileage , family owned unit , 12 years old when I set it up for towing.
As you say scratches and chips were standard equipment.
JMHO: It's your $$$ or $ , spend what you want , tow what you want.
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Old 05-05-2016, 11:20 AM   #3
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I'm still working and my toad is also my everyday car. It's not new, but I didn't want to go too old and spend more time with the mechanic. If it's just for towing, nothing wrong with old.
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Old 05-05-2016, 11:37 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OlYeller View Post
We have decided that we will hitch up a toad as we generally get to a site and then sight-see from there. Our RV is rated to tow 5,000#. My BIL is getting out of RVing and has generously offered his 4 down Roadmaster towing gear to us. It is 16 years old but in good condition. We have a 2013 Lincoln MKX which is towable 4 down but I really don't want to expose such a nice car to the indignities of riding behind the RV.

That leads me to buying a cheap toad. I am leaning towards a mid 90's Ford Ranger, manual, 2WD which is towable 4 down and well under the weight restriction. I have seen several on CL that were former toads which may come with the baseplates already installed. Most come with stone chips and scratches already installed so I won't have that to worry about. My question is why do so many of you tow newer vehicles? Is there a reason why an older vehicle isn't a good toad? I suspect it may be because many use their toad as a second vehicle and therefore want something more reliable. That would not be the case for us. If it won't start or has issues on the road, I guess I'd just tow it home or to a garage to get it fixed. Am I missing something here?
There is absolutely nothing wrong with an older toad. Many folks get newer or brand new toads simply because they want to and or, can afford to. Many can't work on the toads themselves so, they depend on other folks to do it, and that means they get warranty when buying new. If you're the type that's handy, can do things for yourself, do your own maintenance/repairs/alterations, etc., then there's ZERO wrong with getting an older toad.

Get the little Ranger of your choice, check it out, make it safe, do what you think is needed for getting it ready for your trips and, have a ball. One thing, before you get a Ranger, especially a TWO WHEEL DRIVE model, I'd mosey on down to the local Ford dealer and or, a good stick transmission tech, and talk to them about towing a 2WD Ranger Stick version. You see, not all Stick vehicles can safely be flat towed.

Not all bearings and shafts in those transmissions are properly lubed if and when towing. A good Ford transmission tech or, private transmission garage will be able to advise on this matter.
Scott
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Old 05-05-2016, 12:08 PM   #5
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For us it's because we will be FTing for a while and it will be our primary transportation at some extended stay winter CG's. It may not be brand new, but close to new.
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Old 05-05-2016, 12:32 PM   #6
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We towed our 86 Toyota 4x4, 5-speed manual pickup for years. Great little truck (we still have it with almost 300K miles on it) and toad, but would only seat 2 people. We wanted something with a little more room, more safety features, modern electronics, quieter, smoother, and would get decent mpg.

Our good friends had a 97 (I think) 5-speed Ranger and it also was a great toad and one of the few older vehicles that would not rack up the odometer while being towed.

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Old 05-05-2016, 12:35 PM   #7
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What's wrong with an old toad?

Beats me, ours is a 92 Tracker. It has a driveshaft disconnect and travels coast to coast as well as fishing and hunting in OR. It is also set up to carry a Honda CT 90 on the front and back. It has been our toad for the last ten years and will continue to be for many more, unless we find something we like better. It is also light.

I do my own maint. and repair which makes it more economical for us to have an older toad. This may not be the case with others.

It may be a consideration to find out what the base plate with the towing gear is for, if you have it. I don't think they are interchangeable. You can also buy one to match the toad, whatever it turns out to be.

As others have said, make sure whatever you get can be towed 4 down without damaging it. Our Tracker can, and has been. I just felt the disconnect would be better for long trips.

Best of luck.

Steve
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Old 05-05-2016, 01:40 PM   #8
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Not a blasted thing is wrong with an older toad. I use a tow dolly because my 93 Cutlass convertible is not 4 down towable and I refuse to get rid of it.
I've had a new engine put in and just replaced the top last year. I like it because it doesn't look like everything out there on the road.

But then again, my motor home is a 96 and I'm not getting rid of it either.

Just color me different. LOL
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Old 05-05-2016, 02:12 PM   #9
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Nothing wrong with an older toad. Lot of people just got to have new, with all the newest bells and whistles, so they trade every 2-3 years. Bought my current toad new as we're Subi nuts, and couldn't find a used XV. Plan on keeping it a loooong time.
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Old 05-05-2016, 04:24 PM   #10
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I tow my 52 GMC hot rod pickup, that is getting pretty old! I did have to put a driveshaft disconnect in so I could flat-tow it however.

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Old 05-05-2016, 04:44 PM   #11
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I tow my 1989 Ford Ranger XLT 4X4 ext cab. I bought the truck new and it's at 190,000 miles right now. I disconnect drive shaft to tow 4 down.
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Old 05-05-2016, 05:29 PM   #12
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Thanks for the great advice. I owned a Ranger in the past and am very comfortable with them. As none of my SILs own a truck I figure having a truck back in the family to pick up large items or make dump runs would be a good thing.

As for things mechanical, I own a 1990 Buick Reatta convertible so it keeps my skills sharp. I have also restored many cars from frame off so older vehicles don't scare me. I didn't mean to disparage anyone with newer toads. I understand that you buy what works for you. I was just wondering if anyone tows old iron.
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Old 05-06-2016, 12:31 AM   #13
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I towed a 1986 Toyota 4-speed stick PU for years: no air conditioner, no power steering, no auto tranny! The DW complained too much so I bought from her friend a 1991 Honda Accord auto tranny, air conditioner, power steering. Now she wants a shiny new SUV! What's a DH to do :-(
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Old 05-06-2016, 12:42 AM   #14
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The '05 Ody works well for a towed, it's set up to be towed and it's paid for. It's only got 105,000 miles on it and a couple months ago I had the timing belt, water pump and plugs replaced. Should be good for another 10 years, and I may not be!! It's already been towed some 40,000 miles now plus the 105,000 on the odometer. The present rig doesn't even notice it's there. Some scratches and the headlights are fogging up again, most stuff works except for a few of switch lights plus it's comfortable to drive. The MH is rated to tow 15,000#'s and the Ody weighs about 4,500#.
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