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Topic: Best 'kind' of vehicle to tow behind RV?

Posted By: BBC0 on 08/30/09 09:48pm

Hi, I presently don't own a suitable venicle to take along behind my RV and am wondering what kind of vehicle works best? Ther is just the two of us so it can be small, but what about auto or manual, 4X4 or 2WD?
I'd appreciate any tips.


Posted By: enblethen on 08/30/09 10:02pm

I have and like my Suzukis. All have been 4X4 automatics. Have two setup for towing right now and previously had a Sidekick.
We have towed for many miles. They all have got reasonably good gas mileage.
My XL-7 is a little heavier then the Vitara and Sidekick models. The Vitara and Grand Vitaras are right around 3000 pounds and the XL-7 is closer to 4000.


Bud
USAF Retired
Suzuki XL7 pushing Pace Arrow




Posted By: Fishinghat on 08/30/09 10:48pm

One of the most common dinghies we've seen is the Honda CRV with automatic transmission and four wheel drive. It can be towed without modifications.

The Suzuki Grand Vitaras are lighter and also very popular.

We tow a Hummer, but may be too heavy for your application. It's ideal for us.


Holiday Rambler Navigator DP, Hummer, and Honda VT1100C Shadow



Posted By: ihavenoid on 08/30/09 10:39pm

Not all 4X4's are tow able 4 down. Look for a (N) position on the transfer case.
The Suzuki owners manual says to start the car every 200 miles to lube the trans.


Posted By: ihavenoid on 08/30/09 10:08pm

I tow a 4X4 auto Suzuki Grand Vitara. Never had any problems.


Posted By: BBC0 on 08/30/09 10:12pm

Thanks for the responses. Are there any issues towing 4X4's. I own a Subaru right now and they warn against towing it, except on a flatbed trailer.


Posted By: rockhillmanor on 08/31/09 05:45am

Ttacker 4x4, 4 door, seats 5......if you can find one!

Who'd a thought you'd need a 4x4 in Florida, but it sure came in handy when we turned down a long road to look at a house and the road ended up being 2 ft deep and we started sinking, in sand!


"We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned,
so as to have the life that is waiting for us".



Posted By: Big Katuna on 08/30/09 10:59pm

Honda CRV or a Honda FIT or an 2003-2005 Honda Element.


My Kharma ran over my Dogma.


Posted By: Larry & Linda on 08/31/09 05:12am

We have been towing a Chevy HHR automatic 4 down for two years now. Lots of room and only 3100 lbs
Larry






Posted By: Bumpyroad on 08/31/09 05:49am

follow what it sez in the owner's manual as far as towing it.
bumpy






Posted By: Roadpilot on 08/31/09 04:22am

We love our Honda CR-V. It's 4wd and tows with no mods.


2006 Millennium Prevost
2013 Chevy Avalanche LTZ Black Diamond
2009 HD Electra Glide CVO Screaming Eagle - mine
2009 Yamaha VStar950 - DW
Cruiser Caddie motorcycle lift


Posted By: John&Joey on 08/31/09 05:53am

Don't forget Saturn. Pull one fuse, put in neutral, key to accessory, and go. Our little SC2 comes in at 2100 lbs and 34mpg.


Posted By: Bobbo on 08/31/09 04:57am

In about 1 or 2 years we are going to trade our tow dolly and toad and buy one we can tow 4 down. Our short list is Honda CRV, Honda Fit, Saturn VUE, Scion XB and Scion XD.


Bobbo, Linda and the furry kids (1&1/2 German Shepherds)
2007 Winnebago Outlook WF331C on a Ford E450 Super Duty Chassis
2010 Subaru Forester w/BlueOx baseplate & Ready Brute Elite towbar



Posted By: abrasv on 08/31/09 05:06am

We tow a 2000 Jeep Cherokee 4 down. Don't even know it is back there and not expensive to purchase. We use a Blue Ox system that I installed in a day.


Jim and Carol
'05 Discovery 39S
'06 Dodge Dakota 4x4 quad cab
'37 chevy sedan


Posted By: towing_fool on 09/04/09 10:16am

The best kind of tow vehicle is one that you already have (saves $ vs buying specifically for towing) however that is not what you wanted to know......is it?

1st decide if you needs will be met best by a car? truck? suv?
do you have certain brand favorites? there are vehicles right off the top that should be counted as NOs....right off the bat (please do not be offended, i am looking out for your best interest)
TOYOTA....usually a NO. because they will require modification to make them towable...exception (4-5 speed 2wd manual pickups)...everything else requires modification

there are a great many towable vehicles...general motors basicly rules with the highest number of towables in every single class...honda is another that is highly towable as is suzuki....
manual transmission vehicles are not automaticly towable, there are some you can't... if the vehicle is 4x4 does not make it towable in every case....

there are websites that you can see, to get more information and if or contact people like......www.remcotowing.com or www.recreationspecialties.com.... these people will assist you in your selection.

happy RVing
john


Posted By: Cody47 on 09/09/09 07:58pm

Another vote for the HHR. We have towed our 2009 over 6,000 miles this summer with excellent results. We used a Roadmaster tow plate and installed it ourselves. Took about 4 hours, but works great. We have a few pictures of the install at HHR Towplate pictures


Rick
2010 Winnebago Tour 42AD
2010 Buick Lacrosse Toad
http://fulltime-rv.blogspot.com/


Posted By: Triker33 on 08/31/09 03:18pm

HHR 3,200 lb. automatic, 30 + MPG, remote start, late 40's body style, seats 5 and a big storage area.



Larry Full Time Since 99
1999 34Q Discovery DP ISB 275HP 6 Speed Allison
Banks Powerpack
DataStorm SatMax5 | VMSpc | Pressure Pro
08 HHR LT2

Click here to see where I am



Posted By: mowermech on 08/31/09 01:19pm

Jeep Wrangler.
The Rubicon model is even better.
Yes, I'm prejudiced!


CM1, USN (RET)
2002 Fleetwood Southwind 32V, Ford V10
Toad 1: '06 PT Cruiser, Kar Kaddy dolly
Toy (and Toad 2): 2001 Dodge QC SWB, 360 Magnum, Auto, 4X4
"When seconds count, help is only minutes away!"


Posted By: debandi on 08/31/09 10:44pm

As was said above, any vehicle that meets your needs and can be towed or modified to be towed four down will work. For a list of vehicles by year that can be towed four down with out modification go to Mororhome Magazine web site or FMCA's web site.


John Spear RMCS(SW)USN RET '88
Debra is my nagagator! She tells me where to go.
HOME > 2000 Holiday Rambler Endeavor
TOAD > 2012 Honda CRV with Ready Brake installed


Posted By: Tony566 on 09/09/09 01:56pm

When it was time for me (the DH)to replace my daily driver, we decided that it would need to be a vehicle that we could tow 4 down. Much easier said than done. I looked at the "approved" list from MH Mag. and didn't see a vehicle listed that I would be interested in driving every day. After past experince, I'll never own another GM product, Honda CRV looked good but we already owned a small suv (AWD none-towable)Jeeps were an option but again, not really interested in another suv. I was more interesed in the "luxury" line of cars. I found out by watching others on the road and campgrounds that the Infiniti G35 manual was towable 4 down. Love it as a daily driver and haven't had any issues as a toad.

Keep in mind, 1) many, many vehicles are "towable" four down with modifications. 2) don't believe everything your read here or elsewhere. The owners manual must say it's towable 4 down or get it in writing from the dealer. When something goes bad towing....it's going to be really bad when it's time to get it repaired. $$$$$$$$


Posted By: Delaine and Lindy on 09/01/09 09:22am

The HHR ugly!! Well it may be in your eyes. But its not in ours, we just bought another 2009 HHR 2 LT and are in the process of setting it up to tow behind our 2010 Mobile Suites. Reading the forum trying to decide what base plate, tow bar and brake system to use?? Just to many choices. We are in middle Tennessee and there aren't many places to get a system installed. Does anyone have a recommendation? Thanks.... GBY....


2012 Chevy Silverado 3500HD DRW's LTZ ******Traded******
Trailer Saver Air Ride (SOLD) (Sold)

2010 Mobile Suites 38 RSSB 3, with vanity slide (SOLD)









"Montana" our Sweet Furr Kid
12/21/10 "RIP" miss you!!





We are BLESSED!!!!


Posted By: smkettner on 08/31/09 02:37pm

I think an all electric vehicle would be best
Putt around and then just plug in when you return to camp.


2001 F150 SuperCrew
2006 Keystone Springdale 249FWBHLS
675 watts solar
Send a PM if I missed something


Posted By: tatest on 08/31/09 11:17am

The best kind of vehicle is one that meets your transportation needs and does not need to be modified for towing. This can be anything from a sub-compact sedan to a full size truck.

CRVs are popular because they are a nice size and need no modification, towable either 2WD or AWD, manual or automatic. Most small FWD manual transmission cars can be towed. Most small GM cars (Chevy, Pontiac, Saturn) can be towed if they have the right automatic transmission (in older cars, it was the lighter model of the 4-speed overdrive, for newer cars check the owner's manual).

Most modern 4x4's, if they have a neutral in the transfer case, can be towed four down. Some can't, it depends on the type of transfer case and how the manufacturer or importer feels about his warranty claim history on vehicles damaged by recreational towing.

My tow is a small manual transmission pickup; I need a small pickup in the maintenance of properties I own, so it is double duty. Within our RV club, other toads include small pickups, small GM sedans, and Suzuki/Geo 4x4 mini-SUVs.

My advice is to get something that is useful to you when you are not towing it, and don't buy a brand new vehicle just for towing, because towing is hard on the toad, and most people like their brand new vehicles to stay like new.


Tom Test
Itasca Spirit 29B



Posted By: nancyinj on 08/31/09 11:31am

When we bought a new larger MH in 2001, we decided we needed a tow vehicle. As it happens DH was looking to replace his car. We looked for an automatic that could be towed 4 down, was comfortable for him to drive to work and settled on a 2001 Chevy Malibu. It has served us well, given us no problems and still drives like new, except for the fact that after all these years of him driving the driver's seat is molded to him and I really don't like to drive the car. But, I do all of the MH driving, so when we arrive and go out and about, it is his turn!


Posted By: obgraham on 08/31/09 11:19pm

But, MAN that HHR is one ugly rig!


Posted By: Bumpyroad on 09/05/09 04:28am

and on GM cars be sure to check the fine print. at one time it had to be a certain transmission to be able to tow it.
bumpy


Posted By: jim & pat on 09/04/09 08:29pm

we tow a chevy hhr automatic trans. roadmaster tow bar and brakemaster. very happy with it.


Posted By: Not a Clue on 08/31/09 02:33pm

We tow a 2008 Saturn Vue, as it meets our needs and is used for a daily driver.


Linda B.
Our Blog
2009 29' Fleetwood, Fiesta V10 - The Little Bus
2008 Saturn Vue (Toad)with US Gear UBS
& Demco baseplate and tow bar.
FMCA# F412985
Traveling with Robin(friend)& Buddee(cavalier)




Posted By: Bobbo on 08/31/09 09:27pm

smkettner wrote:

I think an all electric vehicle would be best
Putt around and then just plug in when you return to camp.

I've wondered how many amps it pulls when charging. On a 30 amp rig would it overload the system when added to AC, water heater, refrigerator, microwave, etc?


Posted By: rr2254545 on 08/31/09 09:13pm

We have 2000 miles on our new 09 Honda Fit in the last month and love it. The odometer does not record while being towed so that is a plus also.


2012 Winnebago Journey 36M Cummins 360
2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited, Air Force One
175 Campgrounds in the past 5 years


Posted By: D.E.Bishop on 09/09/09 10:15pm

I have a Suzi Sidekick 4X4 with an Auto and about 130k miles, don't really notice it until I try to go up the hill to the house.


"I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to go". R. L. Stevenson

David Bishop
1990 Bounder 27D
06 Suzuki Grand Vitara 4X4
Stowmaster 5000
Blue Ox Apollo Brake Sys.(missing after break in, shopping for new one)



Posted By: Peralko on 09/09/09 09:53pm

Nissan and Toyotas with manual transmisions are flat towable. We bought a 2006 Nissan Maxima with manual tranny. Nothing else flat-towable without mods appealed to us.


Peralko
USAF Retired
95 Country Coach Affinity
2006 Nissan Maxima


Posted By: debandi on 01/04/10 10:39am

We've towed our 06 Saturn VUE back and forth across this USA a couple times, no problems. Its 4 cyc, auto, 2wd. Just pull one fuse, put it in N, key in ACC and it will follow the motorhome where ever it is TOAD!


Posted By: brobox on 09/14/09 10:48am

The best toad is going to be one that servers your needs. We take long side trips in National Parks, and scenic drives in other areas, 100 to 200 miles round trip. Our previous toad was a "killer" comfort wise on those trips. Our new toad servers our needs, 200% and we love it. However it did take a mod to be able to tow, but it was worth every penny to us. Whatever you decide on, make sure it is comfortable to drive further than going to the store.


Chuck
02 Travel Supreme, 2 street side slides
09 Toyota Tacoma 2WD



Posted By: Big Katuna on 01/04/10 06:55am

I don't mount the lights permanently. I ran the wiring permanently from the front by the towbar to the rear and shortened the wires from the lights and added flat four wire connectors by the rear door. When traveling, I just take the lights down and set them inside. I can unplug them and store them in the RV when home. I don't like tapping into the car's factory wiring.


Posted By: Big Katuna on 01/03/10 05:38pm

BBC0 wrote:

Well I just got a quote for installing a Blue Ox towing set-up to pull a Jeep Wrangler behind my MH and it came out at $2500. Just wondering if this is ball park or would this be for all the bells and whistles? I wasn't home to take the phone call so got no details.


I bought a Ready Brute self locking, aluminum and stainless steel tow bar with built-in surge braking for about $750. Baseplate from Demco for about $300. Installed it myself. Bought magnetic lights from NAPA for around $20 and wired it in permanently. Have towed tens of thousands of miles with it and it works great.


Posted By: JaBob on 09/14/09 08:18am

The most popular Toad, one year ago per Good Sams was the Honda CVR.
The best is the one you like.
I tow a Toyota Corolla manual trans and like it.

Bob


Posted By: enblethen on 09/10/09 07:30pm

Watch what you ask for!
Mexico is part of North America.


Posted By: driveby on 01/04/10 04:03pm

BBC0 wrote:

Driveby: Could you please explain the brakes that you had, and the kind you replaced it with?
Thanks



sure - I had the Blue Ox Apollo which is very much like the Brake Buddy etc options. I hated it and it wouldn't sit nicely in my Wrangler. went to the US Gear Unified Brake and couldn't be happier. wallet was lighter but I'm happy


2008 Itasca Sunova 35J Class A
1997 TJ Sahara, hard and soft tops and AC
Held together via Roadmaster Falcon 2 tow bar and stopped by US Gear Unified Brake system.



Posted By: driveby on 09/10/09 05:23pm

first off, we didn't have a TOAD in the family already and didn't want to have a nice car parked in the garage for most of the year. I also love Wranglers (I'm on my 3rd).

So for not a lot of money you can find an older used Wrangler. Easy to tow, light, and simple to maintain. *however* ride sucks, mileage sucks and they aren't so easy for my 86 year old Gramma to hop in and out of - so they aren't for everyone. Me however, top down tunes up or bumper deep snow doing donuts in the abandoned mall parking lots.... not to mention actual TOAD uses, exploring wherever we end up. Including forestry roads, Yellowstone in snow and tight city/tourist parking spaces


Posted By: driveby on 01/03/10 12:47pm

it that includes wiring for lights, tow bar and braking (Box style not something the M&G or Unified Tow Brake) then that is high but not unreasonable. I had a custom mount for my Wrangler, Falcon tow bar, lighting and Apollo brake for around that (IIRC ~2200) a couple years back.

Btw after one use I dumped the box style brake and went with the permanent mount for $!600 installed. Couldn't be happier.


Posted By: driveby on 01/01/10 04:06pm

BBC0 wrote:

I have another question regarding 'toads'.
When towing a vehicle on the flat, are vehicle brakes required? If there are, how do they work? Also what about breakaway braking?


Every state/Province has their own rules. Most are badly worded or silent. Even worse most highway patrol/police don't know the rules either. So it is a crapshoot at best.

However there is some Newtonian Law that applies - gravity. As well some chassis (Ford F53 as example) state over 1500# requires brakes.


Posted By: smkettner on 09/14/09 10:54am

Bobbo wrote:

smkettner wrote:

I think an all electric vehicle would be best
Putt around and then just plug in when you return to camp.

I've wondered how many amps it pulls when charging. On a 30 amp rig would it overload the system when added to AC, water heater, refrigerator, microwave, etc?
If the pedestal has a 30 & 20 connector the electric should plug into the 20 amp just fine and not effect the main supply. Lots of posts where people do this to run two air conditioners. Why not a vehicle.


Posted By: revump on 01/03/10 10:08pm

I tow an 03 Tahoe. It is good for seeing animals, hunting, caring the GKs. We are not crowded. And it is paid for.


Bob


Posted By: Bumpyroad on 01/04/10 09:08am

Big Katuna wrote:

I don't mount the lights permanently. I ran the wiring permanently from the front by the towbar to the rear and shortened the wires from the lights and added flat four wire connectors by the rear door. When traveling, I just take the lights down and set them inside. I can unplug them and store them in the RV when home. I don't like tapping into the car's factory wiring.


Ah, that's what I did on my Vue.
bumpy


Posted By: Bumpyroad on 01/04/10 04:39am

Big Katuna's remarks about mounting the lights permanently reminds me that when I towed pickups with caps on them, I just mounted my lights on the cap, got fairly small standard lights to mount there.
bumpy


Posted By: Jamboree89 on 09/10/09 06:55pm

We tow a 2005 Scion XB with 5-speed manual, 4 down. Plenty roomy for 2 and a couple of retrievers. The back seats fold for even more room on the DW's shoping trips. Good on gas. Doesn't record miles towing. Only about 2500 pounds, we don't even notice it back there. Its also short.


1998 Monaco Dynasty
Scion Xb
Collin and Alfie the dogs



Posted By: BBC0 on 09/10/09 06:59pm

Thanks for all the ideas people. I guess I really should have asked for suggestions on vehicles which need no mods to be towed as we all have our own ideas on which is 'best'. Whatever I do buy though, for sure it will be made in North America.


Posted By: BBC0 on 01/01/10 03:52pm

I have another question regarding 'toads'.
When towing a vehicle on the flat, are vehicle brakes required? If there are, how do they work? Also what about breakaway braking?


Posted By: BBC0 on 01/03/10 12:38pm

Well I just got a quote for installing a Blue Ox towing set-up to pull a Jeep Wrangler behind my MH and it came out at $2500. Just wondering if this is ball park or would this be for all the bells and whistles? I wasn't home to take the phone call so got no details.


Posted By: BBC0 on 01/04/10 03:16pm

Driveby: Could you please explain the brakes that you had, and the kind you replaced it with?
Thanks


Posted By: BBC0 on 09/13/09 08:05pm

Ouch!! Hahaha


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