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Open Roads Forum  >  Dinghy Towing

 > To dinghy or not to dinghy?

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dan23

Upstate NY

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Posted: 03/04/12 01:03pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My wife and I are new to class A motor home ownership, but we have previously camped with a truck and travel trailer. We are not sure about towing a dinghy. Among our options:

No dinghy. Get by with no short-jaunt vehicle excepting the RV. We will be taking along a 12' by 12' screen room with full wind curtains so if only one person wants to run to the store, the other can stay behind and still have shelter.

Motorcycle trailered behind the RV. Currently owned motorcycles are too heavy for my taste on a rear-mounted carrier. I'd have to buy a trailer of some sort. Or buy a smaller, lighter motorcycle.

Pull a Mazda Miata. I'd have to buy the tow bar and accessories and there are some real and imaginary issues with towing this manual transmission car. The car is light, but LOW to the ground which could be an issue.

Pull a Mazda 3. I'd have to buy the tow bar and accessories and it weighs considerably more than the Miata.

Our plan is to take a trip to Alaska and return, totaling at least 10K miles over 120 days. I'm figuring making about 100 miles daily forward progress with the other 20 days remaining in one spot. This schedule allows for easy adjustment.

I'm leaning toward the idea of taking the RV only, but I know there'll be days I will wish for either the Miata or a motorcycle.

Comments and experiences are welcome.

Thanks.

Golden_HVAC

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Posted: 03/04/12 01:14pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi,

I guess I am leaning more towards a really lightweight Enduro type dirtbike, for use on the rugged trails in Alaska, and some times being driven in the streets for a quick run to the store? Even something in the 250 CC range now days has a really powerful engine. Much more power than 10 years ago. Worth checking out anyway.

I used to tow a Manx dune buggy, but you would cover it with mud on the trip to Alaska, and it does not have a heater for cooler day trips, and not much protection from the rain. Very light and high on the "Cool" factor.

Check with RoadMasterInc.com for suggested towbar and hitch for the car. THey also sell a tow shield, it will prevent rocks from getting to the windshield.

Fred.

dan23

Upstate NY

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Posted: 03/04/12 01:33pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thank you for your reply. One thing I plan to do as soon as I get a chance is go look at local motorcycle dealers to see what they might have in stock at a decent price.

wny_pat

Western NYS

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Posted: 03/04/12 02:07pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

dan23 wrote:

..............................................................
Pull a Mazda 3. I'd have to buy the tow bar and accessories and it weighs considerably more than the Miata.........................

Our plan is to take a trip to Alaska and return, totaling at least 10K miles over 120 days. I'm figuring making about 100 miles daily forward progress with the other 20 days remaining in one spot. This schedule allows for easy adjustment.

I'm leaning toward the idea of taking the RV only, but I know there'll be days I will wish for either the Miata or a motorcycle.
Take a look at the Ford Festiva. Just like the Mazda 3 and the curb weight is under 3000 lbs.

I pull a Ford Focus (2600 curb weight) and don't even know it is back there. As to the tow bar, base plate and brakes, well there are deals out there if you look around! I did my whole set up for about $700 including the installation of the base plate and lights. And it was all new.


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rv2go

Fulltime 12 yrs (Knoxville, TN).or someplace else

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Posted: 03/04/12 02:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

First, Welcome to the Forum.

With a large class A, and are into exploring the "end" of the road, you are really going to be handicapped. I did it first in a small class C and still had problems. The bike might be OK just to run to the store, but it does rain in AK.

I would consider buying a early model 4x4 Geo Tracker or it's sister, the Suzuki. The setup on one is not all that expensive. They are light, easy to tow and make a great way to explore.


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jauguston

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Posted: 03/04/12 02:43pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

To fully enjoy the Class A travel experience you are eventually going to want a toad you can tow four down. You can try other ideas but I bet money you will not be happy until you have a toad. There is just too much you will NOT do because it is too big a hassle getting your camp broken down so you can go see the local sights driving the motorhome. Look at the Class A coaches going down the road and you will see a large percentage of them will be towing a vehicle. There is a reason. Suzuki makes a whole bunch of vehicles that can be towed without any modofications. We like our Samurai and at 2200# you never feel it back there. I would never leave home without a toad.

Jim


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Big Katuna

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Posted: 03/04/12 02:46pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I can not imagine going to Alaska without a toad of some sort. A Miata would be almost worthless. What if you have a breakdown and the RV is laid up for a few weeks? ALso no way to go adventuring and checking out lakes and stuff without a toad. A 4WD is almost mandatory. The Suzuki suggestion is good one or a used Jeep. A late 90's would be good. You could buy one and use it and sell it when you got back if you don't want to keep it around. You could probably turn it for some profit in AK just before you leave.


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dan23

Upstate NY

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Posted: 03/04/12 02:59pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jauguston wrote:

We like our Samurai and at 2200# you never feel it back there. I would never leave home without a toad.

Jim


I like the 2200 pound suggestion.

How much do Trackers weigh?

I'm a bit leery about using a motorcycle on this trip. Besides, I'd have to pack the extra gear.

jauguston

Bellingham, WA

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Posted: 03/04/12 03:23pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The Tracker/Side Kick (same vehicle) is about 2700#.

Jim

lj2654

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Posted: 03/04/12 03:25pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think Trackers weigh about 3300 to 3400 # ..My Honda CRV is about 3400#...they are close to same vehicle.


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