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Towbars, Hitches and Braking Systems for your Toads, etc. Questions, concerns, or suggestions regarding what equipment to use to tow your Toad with are discussed here.

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  #11  
Old 01-20-2008
Jim Barone Jim Barone is offline
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We tow an 06 Chevy HHR with automatic. It has a 100,000 mile powertrain warranty and does not require any mods to tow 4 wheels down. In fact the manual specifically states that this vehicle can be towed without mods. It gets 34 MPG. Been a good car. Jim Barone 1991 WLWB currently in Tubac Arizona
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  #12  
Old 01-20-2008
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peteaeonix peteaeonix is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
that is not true for all cars


Where are they made and what is the quality?
PT Cruisers are manufactured at the Toluca Mexico assembly plant. The owner satisfaction ratings for PT Cruiser are very high. Consumer Reports has rated the PT Cruiser better than average on reliability, and average on satisfaction and depreciation.


this is just one example


I did say nearly all non-modified toad candidates rate poorly. There are a few that are OK. When I say "poorly" I mean rated "average" or below by the CU reliability rating. Since some poor experiences in the 70s, I've pretty much stayed with buying vehicles rated "above average" to "much above average" for the overall CU reliability rating. Perhaps I should also have added that my criteria also include (1) weight below 4000 lbs.; (2) must have automatic transmission (my spouse is shiftless -- and let's leave it at that); and (3) as few speed/distance restrictions (and complex preparation measures) as possible.

With those considerations, looking at the recent FMCA magazine's toad directory, and parsing for the other criteria that's important to me:

Chevy
Cobalt - CU reliability rating worse than average
Colorado - not in ratings (but most GM cars are rated "average" to "worse than average")
Equinox - worse than average
HHR - average (but only one year of data)
Malibu - average (but earlier years show declining ratings)

Chrysler
Manual transmission only. PT Cruiser is rated average for non-turbo and better than average for turbo models. Since AT model is not towable without modification it's "out" for me...

Dodge
All listed vehicles over 4000 lbs.

Ford
Escape Hybrid - average
Ranger 4x4 - average (requires a dealer installed "neutral" kit)
Taurus - discontinued for 08 but in the past average to better than average -- a used one might qualify.

GMC
Canyon - worse than average

Honda
CR-V - much better than average. Limit to 65 mph under tow. Requires "procedure" (shifting through forward gears with engine running) every 8 hours of towing. Note: this procedure may make several Honda models towable, but Honda has removed the towing endorsement from the owner's manuals starting in '08 from all other models, although the transmission is unchanged. (Towing would then render the warranty void.) Most Hondas are rated better than average to much better than average in reliability. (I am considering a used 4WD Element as a definite possibility.)

Note- I prefer to cruise at about 70 where legally permitted, so the 65 mph limit is annoying. The "procedure" does not appear to be overly burdensome. but the penalty for forgetting is significant (transmission damage).

Jeep
Liberty - just over my 4000 lb limit, but rated average. Sadly, when I went in for a fitting, the redesigned 08 model has reduced the foot-room for the driver (and passenger) with the installation of a massive center console. I doubt I'd be comfortable driving it... The '07 was better and new ones are still available with nice discounts. The ease and simplicity (just put transfer case in neutral) is attractive.
Wrangler - qualifies, but is 'out' due to the primitive comfort aspects. '08 is "new" and unrated, but '07 is rated worse than average and '06 is rated much worse than average in reliability.

Lincoln-Mercury
Sable - discontinued for '08 (Ford Focus analog). Had better than average ratings for past several years. (Used one is a candidate.)
MKX - just over my desired weight -- CU does not list a rating.

Mazda
Most models rated better than average. Only the Tribute Hybrid AT can be towed (other models with AT may not). New model is unrated -- and I'm a little leery of the hybrid technology.

Pontiac
Analog models to Saturn models are towable
G6 - average
Torrent GXP - better than average, only 1 year of data.

Saturn
Aura - not listed in CU
Outlook - not listed in CU
Vue - new '08, earlier years rated average, above average
Note: GM quality has improved somewhat in recent years, but does not have an impressive record over time.


My requirements are somewhat arbitrary, but are based on my analysis of our needs. The AT requirement severely cuts the number of vehicles i can consider as does the 4000 lb weight -- The AT is non-negotiable, my spouse simply does not wish to learn how to shift a manual transmission. The weight is more flexible -- I did buy a tow bar rated to 10k lbs. But the less weight towed, the less impact on the coach's performance.

At present, I'm relatively satisfied with towing my 93 Toyota Camry (with Remco transmission lube pump installed). The primary advantage is that it's paid for and I'm not at all worried about the inevitable nicks and dings that collect on any car being towed behind an RV. OTOH, it won't last forever -- and I have a 'situation' with transporting my invalid mother-in-law, who lives in snow country, that gives me an incentive for easier access and 4WD. The Honda Element seems to fill the access requirement (with it's "french" doors) and 4WD models are available. The 65 mph limit and the transmission "procedure" every 8 hours are minus factors.

Frankly, I had hoped that the Jeep Liberty would have been suitable, but it was quite cramped and uncomfortable to me -- and that was without even driving it.

So, I'm just a bit frustrated with the choices that meet my criteria. There are several other vehicles that are rated average or higher by CU, but fall outside my criteria.

I hope this clarifies my comment.
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  #13  
Old 01-20-2008
Stephen Stephen is offline
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your arbitrary qualifications of a towable vehicle quantifies the purchase of an enclosed trailer
Sorry we could not help further
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  #14  
Old 01-20-2008
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The majority of toweds I see are the 4,300 pound Jeep Grand Cherokee. Been using one of these for about 5 years myself. Been trouble free, sporty, off-road capable, on road luxury, well appointed/well equiped, great appearance, plenty of power, easy to make ready, lots of them out there, and AUTOMATIC!

What more could ya ask for?

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  #15  
Old 01-22-2008
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PirateJohn PirateJohn is offline
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We just trailer our vehicles rather than tow them. Most of the time it's this Land Rover Disco getting towed, but I'm working on rebuilding a classic Range Rover for more serious off road use. Also, this trailer has since been replaced with another trailer that looks similar but is heavier duty and which will be set up to carry motorcycles as well as a 4-wheel vehicle.

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  #16  
Old 01-30-2008
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I am looking into towing my Dodge 3500(standard shift), if and when my S-10 dies.
Any suggestions, pro and con. I saw one on a trailer, but that was an overkill(imo).
Steve Gureasko
90PT40 Jus Chillin
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  #17  
Old 01-30-2008
Stephen Stephen is offline
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is it 4wheel drive or 2
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  #18  
Old 01-31-2008
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birds_first birds_first is offline
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My ideal tow would be something which I could haul my fishing boat, 3 canoes, a Jeep Cherokee, a Harley Fatboy, my wife's Acura MDX, a couple 4 wheelers my Honda generator, all my fishing gear & outdoor fish cooking gear, the grand kid's stuff, extra snacks, fuel, and my tools & chainsaw, portable winch, extra oil, filters, & spare parts. I guess if I could get it with extra sleeping quarters for the loaner kids the grand kids want to bring with them I could use that too. If anyone can find me something that meets that criteria I'll take two.
John 88FC35 Jeffersonville, IN/Louisville, KY
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  #19  
Old 01-31-2008
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Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is online now
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the Santa Fe railroad just may fit the bill,John!!

Randy
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  #20  
Old 01-31-2008
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The Dodge is 2wd.
Steve Gureasko
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