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Old 03-25-2014, 08:10 AM   #1
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Toad, Tow dolly, Car trailer, or enclosed?

Hi All,

My first post on IRV2, and I'm a brand newbie to RVing.

I'm in the process of shopping/ buying both a car and a RV at the moment. A friend told me the Honda CRV is one of the few vehicles that will allow use in "Toad" mode (tow-haul?). Whereas other cars will have to be modded or put on a dolly. I like the CRV and I like the idea of not having to deal with a dolly, car trailer, or enclosed. However, the latter two bring in benefits to the equation as well (less wear-and-tear on our car if it's sitting on a trailer). If end up with a DP I suppose we could tow a large enclosed car trailer and maybe a couple of toys like a dirt bike or ATV.

But my main concern here is ease-of-use and dealing with the campgrounds. Are the various campgrounds trailer-friendly? Are they going to nickel-and-dime me for carrying a trailer (paying extra parking fees)? I have read that some charge, some don't.

My secondary concern is weight. If we end up getting a gas-powered RV (say V10 or 460 with a Banks pack), will it pull a car-trailer in the hills or through the mountains? So is the benefit of keeping the car on a trailer offset by the added weight of the trailer? And will a V-10 37' gasser Class A pull a car trailer or enclosed trailer? Can it be done safely? (not exceeding vehicle limits)

I have towed big loads before (Dually F450 and a Dodge Ram 3500 towing 35' Flybridge boat across US a few times), so I am familiar with the risks of towing. We don't tow fast. We never rush when traveling. Plan on doing 60-65 in the slow lane the whole way.

We are presently shopping for a Class A with at least one slide and have made a few offers on some this past week. Since we're new to this we gave ourselves a budget to try it out and see if we like it since we're boaters (not sure we'll be into two leisure hobbies). While the budget keeps moving higher as we discover more, it is still a budget that limiting our access to the DP market but we can afford a lower-priced used one (paying cash for everything). What we would like to do is stick with a gas-powered RV since we can get more bang for our buck in terms of a newer model year. Plus we live overseas so it will only be used in the US a few times a year, stored most of the time.

Thanks for the advice.
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Old 03-25-2014, 09:02 AM   #2
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Ease of use is definitely towing 4 wheels down. There are many cars/trucks that can be towed this way. Dollies and trailers are ok but they do represent a major hassle when you are at campgrounds. Some CGs won't let you store a trailer on your site, you have to park them elsewhere. Many times they charge extra to do this. Wear and tear on a trailer offsets the wear on a toad being towed. If the tow vehicle you want can't be towed 4 down then you will have to use a dolly or trailer.
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:47 PM   #3
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Skip the trailer. An open car trailer typically weighs around 2,000 pounds; an enclosed will run at least 4,000 pounds. That's a lot of extra weight to pull. Then take into account that you have to drive the car onto the trailer and then strap it down, which will probably require crawling under the car.

Then take into account that the trailer is like having another RV from a maintenance standpoint. Two more axles and 4 more tires to take care of.
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Old 03-27-2014, 09:02 PM   #4
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hello I have tried all the above and like the 4 down approach the best and I tow a jeep just because it's fun to drive and explore , take the top off on nice days and it's really light weight also with the toy hauler we can take the golf cart or off road toys the possibilities are endless just go with what what your life style is there are many choices out there for any life style..... Good luck and Happy shopping
Rivers and Heather 1 Daughter 2 Boys and a Lab 2014 Outlaw 37LS Toy Hauler 2017 GMC Canyon Diesel toad .... Toys on board depends on destination !
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Old 03-27-2014, 10:46 PM   #5
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In deciding which way to go with your toad, just look around the RV parks and see how many dollies and trailers you see. There is a reason most of the toads are four down. Tire wear is a very small price to pay for the speed and convenience towing four down provides. It takes less than five minutes to unhook and drive the toad. We have a Ford Edge which is heavier than the CRV and the owners manual does not have any restrictions on towing four down. Years ago we had a dolly because the car we had would not trail. What a pain in the ..... I got rid of both and bought a car I could tow.
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Old 03-27-2014, 11:26 PM   #6
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Got it. Toad all the way!

I have a Dodge Caravan that has a transmission pump and tow hitches up front for towing behind a RV. I bought it from a 90 yr old guy that towed it behind his Class A. Unfortunately, it's not here. I shipped it overseas and use it at my home there.

But that pump set-up makes virtually all cars available for towing, right?

I just won an Ebay auction for a bought '99 Dodge ram 2500 (V10, not diesel). That's too heavy to tow behind a gasser Class A, right? It's a shortbed 2WD, so probably the lightest of all the HD trucks, I'm thinking too heavy to tow though. I bought it to tow my boat since I shipped my Dodge Ram 3500 overseas and well and no longer have a tow vehicle.

Alternatively, I looked at CRVs this week but I didn't like the crash-test ratings and noticed the car is "made in Mexico". I don't see the point in paying the 15-20% premium for a Honda if it's not made in Japan... or even America as most foreign-built cars are made these days (VW, BMW, Toyota). I was thinking on a KIA Soul for three reasons: lighter, top-notch crash test ratings, and 20% less than a Honda CRV. I mean, it's not going to be my permanent car. Just one we tow behind the RV and use occasionally.

Is that transmission pump for towing reliable? What's the approximate cost of that set-up?

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Old 03-28-2014, 09:51 AM   #7
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Kia Soul for toad

If you are considering towing a Kia, you might check with the manufacturer. They may not be approved to tow four down from the manufacturer. That does not mean you can't but you may have to make some modifications. Most of the ones that "can't" be towed are the ones with an automatic. If you don't mind a stick shift, there are a lot more options.

I get a "Guide to Dinghy Towing" every year with my Motorhome magazine. This year's addition does not even list a Kia. A very good source for information is Remco Towing. They make a lot of equipment for towing and can suggest what you might need for the Kia.

Even though the Ford Edge is fairly heavy (4000 lbs.), there are no manufacturer's restrictions. No pumps, no fuses to pull, just put it in neutral, put the key in the steering unlocked position and go. I do have a US Gear Unified Tow Brake that I installed myself. Not easy to install but it works well and I have a charge line from the motorhome to keep the battery charged.

Hope some of this helps.

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Old 03-28-2014, 09:59 AM   #8
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Old 03-28-2014, 10:11 AM   #9
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Definitely four down! We have pulled our 08 Ford Edge with Roadmaster Invibrake assist for over three years plus. No issues, just start the Ford at fuel or rest stops to circulate the fluids. The Invibrake keeps the toad battery charged.
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Old 03-28-2014, 04:56 PM   #10
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Another vehicle to consider for towing 4 down is the Chevy Captiva. Similar in size to the CR-V, but made by GM.
Steve & Nancy
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2012 Chevy Captiva Sport AWD, ReadyBrute Elite Tow Bar, Blue Ox Base Plate, Protect-A-Tow
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Old 03-28-2014, 05:00 PM   #11
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Welcome aboard and glad to have you with us. I suggest a toad 4 down.
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Old 03-28-2014, 05:27 PM   #12
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Ah, the Flat-tow vs. Dolly or Car carrier thread.

Just use the search box at the top block of the page to see all the threads on this topic...flat towing is not always best.

I have a full set-up to flat tow (long story) but we use a dolly.

Since the OP is considering buying a car with towing behind the RV in mind, here's my wishes of luck at getting a car that can be flat towed.

But we, and many here use a dolly for many reasons, like because our car cannot be flat pump will make it OK. There are no miles added on the lower driveline of the car, there are no rock strikes on the car being safe up-high on the dolly, and no risk of lost value at resale of the car.

We've never had an issue with keeping the dolly at any campsite we've visited (can easily be pushed under the RV overhang), and we do not have to get on the ground for hook-up.

We can switch cars with no mods to the car or pricey/dedicated equipment and we added a small hitch on the toad to take the dolly anywhere needed (can also be used as a bike rack mount)

Which ever way you decide to tow, PLEASE get brakes on the set-up. It is not required by law in many places, but it is smart and safer...especially for a gas powered (lighter) RV.

Brakes on a dolly are part of the purchase and typically not too expensive. Flat tow brakes are a different story.

Safe travels
Kim and Steve, Mustang LCDR (USCG Ret), Outlaw #1193
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Old 03-29-2014, 05:52 AM   #13
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I prefer 4 down if you purchase a gasser a enclosed trailer would probably put you over your weight limit. A tow dolly you will have to do something with it at a campground just like a trailer unless you have a large pull through spot. It will totally depend on what car you have if it's something that cost as much as the MH than by a DP and a enclosed trailer.
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Old 03-29-2014, 04:45 PM   #14
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4 down towing

One thing I didn't mention in this discussion. My wife and I have always made sure that if I were to become incapacitated, could she get us back home. With that in mind, she drives the coach and we trade off every couple of hours. She can also hook and unhook the toad. We practice this every season to make sure. When we had a dolly, there was no way she could load and unload the car. It always took both of us to do that and much more time.

I even learned to relax and take a nap when she is driving. It took a while but she is a good driver.
2007 Itasca Suncruiser 38T
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dolly, toad, tow dolly

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