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bizsmith@yahoo.com

Looking for the Ideal Toad

8 posts in this topic

I currently tow an '03 Honda CRV and I must say it has been as near ideal as I could ask for. However, it has 108000 miles on the odometer and I would estimate an additional 70000 towed miles that don't show on the odometer. I would like to replace it but I can't find a new four wheels down toad that I like as well.

The Honda Element would have been the ideal interior configuration but Honda said they would not honor the warranty if it was towed even though the drive train was identical to the CRV.

We carry a fairly large dog crate at all times so we need something like a small SUV. I do not like the interior arrangement of the '14 CRV as well as my '03 and the Fit is TOO small.

Automatic tranny is desired because my copilot does not get along well with a stick shift. Because of a left knee problem, i would not either. Tohe copilot does most of the driving in the toad. That is the deal, I drive the coach and she drives the toad.

Any suggestions?

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We have towed a Chevrolet Equinox for 2 years. Newer years are still towable. With the automatic transmission you simply pull one fuse or install a switch, put the transmission in neutral, and turn the ignition to Accessory. Chevrolet states you should run the engine for 5 minutes each morning for 5 minutes and when you refuel. I don't think they mean 400 to 500 miles before you refuel the motor home. I run the engine again at lunch.

We carry a 3/4 size golf cart, Cricket, in the rear of the Equinox. When we are at our destination, we unload the Cricket and the rear seat slides back giving as much leg room for the rear seat as there is in front. very good seating for five.

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Look at the HHR. It has the same interior space as was the Pontiac Vibe or Toyota Matrix. We towed one of those for 4 years without problem.

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We tow a 2001 4x4 Chevy Tracker ZR2. 2'5 ltr, automatic trans. The Suzuki Vitara is the exact same vehicle regardless of year as long as it is a second generation model. Tows 4 down with transfer case in neutral. Chevrolet advises run engine and trans for two minutes every 250 mi. to lubricate the transmission, which is not a problem because we rarely drive more than that in a day. These vehicles are out of production but can be found easily and at a good price. Ours has leather seats and all the upgrades ( ZR2 )

The 1st generation Geo Tracker which was a Chevy / Suzuki built in Canada is also a great tow vehicle but had less upgrades than the 2nd gen has.

Going back even farther there was the Suzuki Samurai 1986 - 1988. These are no frills 4x4 short wheel base light weight vehicles. Many, many, many motor homers used them as toads in previous years. With the advent of big horse diesel rigs, the Jeep Wrangler is now the most popular with the Hondas a close second. The Tracker/Suzukis are a lot less weight and cheaper and more fun to drive when you get there, especially if you like to go four wheeling. JMHO

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Op... the Tracker / Suzukis have swing tailgates and fold down seats which would accommodate a large dog pen. I am 6' and fit well in all the above.

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I prefer Jeep vehicles because they are simple to prepare to be flat towed. I had a 2004 Liberty with an automatic transmission and a manual transfer case. I traded it in this year for a new Grand Cherokee because the Liberty has a short wheel base that made for a rough ride other than short, local trips when we stopped. My copilot and I both enjoy the extra leg room of the GC. We don't go off-roading but have always had a 4x4 or AWD for driving on snow and ice. The Liberty also had a smaller cargo area than the GC. The 2014 GC does not need to have the ignition in the ACC position to free the steering wheel to be towed. The engineers designed the transmission to automatically shift to Park when the transfer case is shifted to neutral -- which requires only pushing a small button on the center console -- but leaves the steering wheel unlocked.

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