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5vrme
What is the best vehicle to tow behind a class A?
Texasrvers
Jeep Grand Cherokee
edcornflake
Can't say - I pull a 5er... but if I were driving a bus, I'd pull my truck behind it so I could put a golf cart in the back of the truck!!! biggrin.gif
RFCN2
The "best" vehicle to tow has a lot to do with personal preference and the kind of tow vehicle you want. We have a Saturn sedan and it has been a great first tow car. Very reliable, low cost, durable plastic body panels, tows very very well with no issues. It also gets great mpg and is very fast. We have the V6.

After towing the Saturn sedan for 2 1/2 years it would be my opinion that a small SUV is a very good choice for a tow car. Saturn makes these, so does Jeep, Honda, Chevy, and Ford.

What I would really like is a Jeep Wrangler I can take the top off. What may keep me from getting that is I know it is going to ride harsh on the street, get poor mpg, and not be all that comfortable. I still want one.

Based on the high cost of fuel large tow vehicles like big SUVs, Trucks, Hummers, and so on are too heavy for my next towed.

Saturn has been closed by GM.
BC Wanderer
QUOTE(5vrme @ Mar 6 2012, 12:14 PM) *

What is the best vehicle to tow behind a class A?


I've been towing my Jeep Wrangler since it was new in 1998. My best guess is that it has about 40000 miles un-registered. It's been behind three coaches now and we love it. It's very compact so when we are out touring it's easy to park etc. It is very light so you don't even know you are towing. We don't find any difference in performance of the coach towing or note any extra fuel usage. We also like going into the back country so the 4X is a plus. It has a stiffer ride but I don't really consider that much of a hindrance. There are no modifications that have to be made to tow with four wheels down and we can have it connected in less than thirty seconds.

The negatives are....it does get poor mileage. When we have the soft top on you cannot safely lock and valuables in it. If you are planning to go somewhere where you need to get dressed up a little, my wife tells me that it's difficult to enter and exit wearing a dress.

What ever you decide on please make sure that you have it properly equiped to tow.

Darrell
joez
Best is a matter of personal needs and desires. Do you want to tow four down or with a dolly? What is your weight limit? Do you want a vehicle that can be towed four down without modification, or are you willing to put a transmission lube pump or drive shaft disconnect on it? Do you need 4WD? Do you want new, or is used ok?

The most popular autos for towds seem to be Jeeps, Honda CRV, and older Saturns, but we have seen just about anything towed. We are starting to see more Smart cars, and even a Prius or two. We tow a CRV and, for us, it has been great. Jeeps, for a number of reasons, would be a horrible choice for us but for others they are perfect. FMCA publishes a towing guide towing guide. Perhaps this would be a good place to start your search.
Irene Mac
QUOTE(joez @ Mar 7 2012, 07:30 AM) *

Best is a matter of personal needs and desires. Do you want to tow four down or with a dolly? What is your weight limit? Do you want a vehicle that can be towed four down without modification, or are you willing to put a transmission lube pump or drive shaft disconnect on it? Do you need 4WD? Do you want new, or is used ok?

The most popular autos for towds seem to be Jeeps, Honda CRV, and older Saturns, but we have seen just about anything towed. We are starting to see more Smart cars, and even a Prius or two. We tow a CRV and, for us, it has been great. Jeeps, for a number of reasons, would be a horrible choice for us but for others they are perfect. FMCA publishes a towing guide towing guide. Perhaps this would be a good place to start your search.


We tow a 2000 Suzuki Grand Vitara 4x4 (standard) behind our 38 ft. Its small but has 4 doors and a cargo area and is peppy with a V6. Its easy to drive, easy to hook up and gets great gas milage. We hardly know its behind us. Only downside is every 200 or so miles you have do a run through the gears. Hasn't been much of a problem though as we usually stop about then for a break anyway.
John Blue
We have used our Honda CRV for a lot of years now and it works great. Weight is only 3100 lbs, and we have M&G air braking system on the Honda. No problems over the years with his 1999 CRV.
RFCN2
JDollen - How do you get a Jeep hooked up in 30 seconds? I have to putz around with my Saturn for at least five minutes. I have the roadmaster hookup and brake system.
BC Wanderer
QUOTE(RFCN2 @ Mar 7 2012, 09:57 AM) *

JDollen - How do you get a Jeep hooked up in 30 seconds? I have to putz around with my Saturn for at least five minutes. I have the roadmaster hookup and brake system.


I guess we have it down to a fine art. My wife drives the Jeep while I direct. We have a SOLID tow bar (not a blue ox type). Once the tow bar is connected to the hitch my wife positions the Brake Buddy while I connect the wiring cable and safety chains. By the time I have completed that the Brake Buddy's compressor has completed it's charge. I bleed it then shift the Transfer Case into neutral, Drop the shifter into park, shut the engine off and we are gone. Pretty simple. The longest wait is for the Brake Buddy. I don't know how the Road Master sets up but my Brake Buddy just sits on the floor with an arm to the Brake Pedal. It rests against the front of the driver's seat. It seems to work very well.

The Jeep does not require any special modifications to tow four down. Shift the transfer case into neutral and thats it. You must leave the steering wheel unlocked but you have to do that with any other vehicle as well unless you use a dolly.
Florida Native
Having a 4 wheel drive really expands your opportunities when you are camping, We have a 4 wheel drive pickup and have taken it everywhere from the deserts around Quartzite to the mountains of the Smokies. I was recently in Custer State Park on a Off Road only drive and ended up surround by a herd of buffalo. Stunning. Mine is a crew cab. If I had to do it again, I would get a 4 door midsized 4 wheel drive pickup.

http://www.linandnancy.com/custerstatepark1.html
BC Wanderer
QUOTE(Lindsay Richards @ Mar 8 2012, 11:53 AM) *

Having a 4 wheel drive really expands your opportunities when you are camping, We have a 4 wheel drive pickup and have taken it everywhere from the deserts around Quartzite to the mountains of the Smokies. I was recently in Custer State Park on a Off Road only drive and ended up surround by a herd of buffalo. Stunning. Mine is a crew cab. If I had to do it again, I would get a 4 door midsized 4 wheel drive pickup.

http://www.linandnancy.com/custerstatepark1.html



I have to agree Lindsay. Last October we were in Death Valley. I had read about Race Track Playa and wanted to see it. It was a hard drive even for the Jeep. The road doesn't look all that bad but it was washboard, sharp rock and boulders all the way. Was the trip worth it? You bet. Would I do it again. No. Once is enough but not having the Jeep, or like vehicle, would have limited me to just reading about it.
RLM
QUOTE(Lindsay Richards @ Mar 8 2012, 11:53 AM) *

Having a 4 wheel drive really expands your opportunities when you are camping


I also have to agree with Lindsay. We have had a 6 cyl, 2WD pickup that we've used as a toad for five years. We opted for manual transmission instead of 4WD because it gets better mpg and all we have to do is hook it, put it in neutral, and turn the key to acc.

Pickups are pretty tough and we have been places that we would never think about going in a car. The added bonus is that I can throw alot of stuff in the bed that I would normally have to pack away in the rig and I don't care how dirty it is.

I have a friends who tow Saturn, Honda, and Chevy HHR. They are all happy so I guess it's whatever one intends to use it for when it's being towed.
Florida Native
My toad is 2006 5 speed stick shift Nissan Fronter with 4 wheel drive and an electronic selector for shifting from 2 to 4 wheel drive. Many of the 2006's were nontowable 4 wheels down, but we made sure on ours before buying it. I also have the Blue Ox toad brake which is all under the hood and requires no setup when going from driving to towing except for plugging in the light plug. I set the gear to neutral and the selector switch to 2 wheel drive and am ready to go. I figure we are approaching 500 times of setting up to tow, so it has surely paid for itself. If I had to do it over again, I'd do it the same except for getting the real back seat. An ideal would be the back seat model and extended bed mode. We have forded streams and taken our 4 wheel drive into unbelievable places.
Butch
QUOTE(Lindsay Richards @ Mar 9 2012, 11:33 AM) *

My toad is 2006 5 speed stick shift with 4 wheel drive and an electronic selector for shifting from 2 to 4 wheel drive. Many of the 2006's were nontowable 4 wheels down, but we made sure on ours before buying it. I also have the Blue Ox toad brake which is all under the hood and requires no setup when going from driving to towing except for plugging in the light plug. I set the gear to neutral and the selector switch to 2 wheel drive and am ready to go. I figure we are approaching 500 times of setting up to tow, so it has surely paid for itself. If I had to do it over again, I'd do it the same except for getting the real back seat. An ideal would be the back seat model and extended bed mode. We have forded streams and taken our 4 wheel drive into unbelievable places.



Okay, but what make are you talking about????

We tow the dreaded Ford Escape, but we have not had a problem with it, (knock on wood). Read with interest about the problems others have had with this vehicle. We have towed it over 5000 miles..."A" okay so far. It is a late production 2009, and have followed Ford's requirements to the letter.
Ron Bernstein
I have a HUMMER H3 and it is the easiest thing to tow or hook up. Just press the 4X4 buttons on the dash and it goes into neutral. The 2 pins for the tow bar and 1 plug for the lights. Maybe 1 minute is all it takes. I do not use a Brake unit as I don't really feel it behind my diesel pusher.
Most brake units will not work for the H3.
Florida Native
Most states have a requirement for a braking system for toads over 3,000 pounds. If you have a wreck of any kind, the opposing attorney will make it you fault, if you don't have one. Sad to say, but this is the world we live in. There are places on the internet where you can get a state by state summery of the laws and hopefully somebody here will post a link. Don't leave home without it.
John Blue
All tows 3000 lbs or over need a braking system per the laws in most states and some states a lot less weight. If you have a wreck the other persons attorney will love to see you in court. We have a DP and our tow is 3100 so I have the M & G air brake system in place. We all need to run legal out on the road. In some cases one more second of stopping time would have saved you from that impact. My last close call was on I-10 on that long 18 mile bridge over the swamp near Henderson, LA. A local car moved over into my lane and I had a 1/2 sec to slow down before I hit him, it was close

Here are the towing laws listed by state.

http://www.towingworld.com/articles/TowingLaws.htm
BC Wanderer
QUOTE(Ron Bernstein @ Nov 13 2012, 04:28 PM) *

I have a HUMMER H3 and it is the easiest thing to tow or hook up. Just press the 4X4 buttons on the dash and it goes into neutral. The 2 pins for the tow bar and 1 plug for the lights. Maybe 1 minute is all it takes. I do not use a Brake unit as I don't really feel it behind my diesel pusher.
Most brake units will not work for the H3.


The safety factor I would worry about is if your Hummer broke free from your hitch. Can you imagine the damage it could cause barreling down a highway out of control? A tow brake set up could save many lives. They are not that costly. I hope you change your mind and have one installed.
GRL
Just started Motorhoming from a 5th wheel. I did all the research and I bought a Jeep Grand Cherokee. With the Blu Ox tow bar set up I can hook it up in less than 1 minute, if I have my tool bag out and ready. Did not want a car that I needed to keep the key in the ignition to tow. Towing a toad without a braking system is "STUPID". I live in TN and it isn't required here but even if it isn't required in your state you can be ticketed in any state that does require a braking system. That being said, "Better safe than Sorry"..... Just my 2 cents
docj
QUOTE(GRL @ Nov 17 2012, 01:33 AM) *

Did not want a car that I needed to keep the key in the ignition to tow.


Not sure why you are reluctant to keep a key in the ignition for towing unless you are worried about someone stealing your toad. I solved that problem with my Malibu by having the local hardware store making a key that turns in the ignition but doesn't have the necessary "chip" to cause the ignition to fire. One nice thing about using a dummy key is that we can adopt a procedure that the key is to be in the ignition any time the car is on the tow-bar. That way we can't ever forget to do it, but there's no risk of theft. We keep the dummy in the dashboard tray all the time.
Texasrvers
QUOTE(docj @ Nov 17 2012, 09:38 AM) *

a key that turns in the ignition but doesn't have the necessary "chip" to cause the ignition to fire.


I did not know you could get a key like that. What a great idea!
docj
QUOTE(Texasrvers @ Nov 17 2012, 12:29 PM) *

I did not know you could get a key like that. What a great idea!



Compared to the cost of a "real key" for a modern car, a non-working dummy key is a ~$2 investment at your local hardware store.
GRL
I think that some vehicles using a dummy key could screw up your computer.....

Of course I worry about someone stealing my toad.....

Turns out I don't need to leave a key in anyway....

Problem solved..... wink.gif
B. Kidd
We tow a 2009 Toyota Yaris 5-speed manual 2-door hatchback. Comes in well under 3,000 pounds, gets close to 40 m.p.g and it hasn't missed a beat in the last 3 1/2 years of full-timing. Due to the great gas mileage, it gives us the flexibility to choose from a wider variety of RV parks near destination spots without having to choose just from the RV parks located right at destination spots.
Imagine being surrounded by herds of bison being led by bulls that are as large as our Yaris which happened in 2010 at the National Bison Range in Moiese, Montana.
Beyond this, two sets of golf clubs and collapsible pull carts fit just fine in the storage area.
Jefferey
Yeah Jeep Grand Cherokee is also a better option.
edcornflake
QUOTE(B. Kidd @ Nov 20 2012, 02:32 PM) *

Imagine being surrounded by herds of bison being led by bulls that are as large as our Yaris which happened in 2010 at the National Bison Range in Moiese, Montana.
Beyond this, two sets of golf clubs and collapsible pull carts fit just fine in the storage area.


I had a Yaris rental once - I think a full grown Bison is about 3x the size! biggrin.gif
Florida Native
I was surrounded by a herd of bison in my 4 wheeled drive truck and it was a little scary.

http://www.linandnancy.com/custerstatepark1.html
Gerry9
[My new wrangler is great, and easy to hook up with the Blue ox tow system.
B. Kidd
QUOTE(edcornflake @ Feb 13 2013, 03:26 PM) *

I had a Yaris rental once - I think a full grown Bison is about 3x the size! biggrin.gif



I'd be a liar EdCF if I said I was not intimidated.
edcornflake
QUOTE(B. Kidd @ Feb 16 2013, 01:33 AM) *

I'd be a liar EdCF if I said I was not intimidated.


I drive past a Buffalo farm on my daily commute (in NJ of all places) and they are some big animals. One of these days I have to bring my camera and pull over for some good pictures. Maybe in the spring when the newborns are running around!
SAWSAW
Does anyone think I could tow our Infiniti G37? It's a 5-speed automatic. thx
joez
QUOTE
Does anyone think I could tow our Infiniti G37? It's a 5-speed automatic. thx


What does the owner's manual say?
SAWSAW
QUOTE(SAWSAW @ Mar 1 2013, 09:53 AM) *

Does anyone think I could tow our Infiniti G37? It's a 5-speed automatic. thx


DUH -- thanks for setting me straight on the owner's manual look-up..the answer is NO.


Florida Native
Never go by what a salesman tells you either. Lots of horror stories on doing it.
edcornflake
QUOTE(SAWSAW @ Mar 1 2013, 11:53 AM) *

Does anyone think I could tow our Infiniti G37? It's a 5-speed automatic. thx


So, I don't tow a car (I pull a 5er), but I always wondered why folks didn't just use a utility type trailer and pull whatever car/suv you want to pull up on it? Wouldn't it have brakes, and lights and keep you from racking up mileage, kicking stones into your own windshield, etc..? Or is there an issue with weight, height, and storage of the trailer?
Florida Native
The problem is what to do with trailer when you get there. Towing 4 down takes 2 minutes to get ready in and out. Only thing you wear is tires and brakes. You do that either way.
edcornflake
QUOTE(Lindsay Richards @ Mar 5 2013, 03:41 PM) *

The problem is what to do with trailer when you get there. Towing 4 down takes 2 minutes to get ready in and out. Only thing you wear is tires and brakes. You do that either way.


Good Point.
Texasrvers
When we got our first motorhome, we chose a tow dolly because we did not have a car that could be towed 4 down. We struggled with it for a year before we got our Jeep which is so much easier to hook up and tow flat. With the tow dolly we could push it partially underneath the coach, so storage was not our big problem. What was the problem was trying to get the car up on the tow dolly straight. We just were not good at that, and when we finally managed, then it took quite some time to get all the tie downs on it. It was a huge aggravation for us. A flatbed or cargo trailer would probably be easier to load the car onto, but they do add quite a bit of weight, and storage at RV parks does become a problem. The Jeep is now 11 years old, has over 120,000+ driven miles, and another 65,000+ towed miles, and is still going strong. We are on the 4th set of tires and have had 3 (I think) brake jobs, but even so, towing 4 down has definitely been the best for us.
Driver John
I tow an '02 Explorer Sport Trac 2wd 5spd. While I know they made them, it's the first I ever ran across. So, I bought it. I love the truck and haven't had a moments problem, however, at 4300 lbs, it is a bit heavy.
justinemily
QUOTE(JDOLLEN @ Mar 8 2012, 08:39 AM) *

I guess we have it down to a fine art. My wife drives the Jeep while I direct. We have a SOLID tow bar (not a blue ox type). Once the tow bar is connected to the hitch my wife positions the Brake Buddy while I connect the wiring cable and safety chains. By the time I have completed that the Brake Buddy's compressor has completed it's charge. I bleed it then shift the Transfer Case into neutral, Drop the shifter into park, shut the engine off and we are gone. Pretty simple. The longest wait is for the Brake Buddy. I don't know how the Road Master sets up but my Brake Buddy just sits on the floor with an arm to the Brake Pedal. It rests against the front of the driver's seat. It seems to work very well.

The Jeep does not require any special modifications to tow four down. Shift the transfer case into neutral and thats it. You must leave the steering wheel unlocked but you have to do that with any other vehicle as well unless you use a dolly.






Beautiful Camping park..
Florida Native
How did your wife train you? Mine stands behind the toad and tells me if the turn and brake lights work.
BC Wanderer
QUOTE(Lindsay Richards @ Mar 13 2013, 06:28 AM) *

How did your wife train you? Mine stands behind the toad and tells me if the turn and brake lights work.


Hey Lindsay,

I'm not sure if your question is directed at me but I'll answer anyway. smile.gif

I'm pretty sure that my wife trained me by letting me think I was training her. Having said that, we make a pretty good team. We get things done with a minimum of fuss and as long as things go her way, life is fine.

Darrell
Florida Native
We also make a good team and check each other's work. I once miss installed a pin on my tow bar and lost one arm of it at highway speeds. The towed tried to pass me (In the Everglades) Whoops. Another time, she forgot to take the towed out of gear and we dragged it for a bit. We now check each other's work. We are a great team and someday she will let me be quarterback.
Motorhome Madness
I haven't chimed in on this one yet, but I figured I'd mention what we tow as I haven't seen it mentioned. When we first started RVing, we had a SUV that wasn't towable per the owner's manual, but by adding a Remco lube pump we were able to tow it. If you really want to tow something that the owners manual says you can't, check with Remco to see if there is a solution.

The tow vehicle really depends on what your doing, how many you have traveling and stuff like that. Eight years ago we ditched the SUV as a toad, although we still have it and it's still outfitted for towing. We researched and decided that since we didn't already have a pickup truck, and we wanted to take some toys camping with us down the road we opted for a Dodge Dakota 4-door 4-wd pickup truck. We have a removable rack for kayaks to go on top, typically all the mountain bikes and kayaking gear are stored in the back of the truck. It has the M&G brake system like John mentioned he was using in this thread. With the M&G, you simply plug an air hose into the motorhome for supplemental and emergency braking on the toad. On the SUV we used the brake buddy, but it was something else to move around and store. The M&G is much simpler, and nothing inside the truck. I have always used the Demco Excalibar tow bar, but have just retired it after 10 years of towing. It's has been replaced with a Demco Excalibar II tow bar I purchased from http://www.adventurerv.net, although I haven't been anywhere yet to try it out. The locking mechanism looks much improved, I just hope it serves me as well as the Excalibar did on those trips through the Canadian Rockies and Alaska. I did have a problem with the battery running down, so I added a disconnect switch under the hood. I also had one of the dummy keys previously mentioned cut for it to use while towing, but I had to go to 5 different stores to find one that would cut a non-chip copy of a chip key. I have tried starting it with the dummy key, and it won't start and hasn't caused any computer problems with the engine computer.

Connecting and disconnecting the truck takes less than 3 minutes with the old tow bar, and I imagine it to be much faster with the new Excalibar II. Sometimes I had to get the tool to
break loose the latches on the old one, but the new one needs no tool.

This year we considered getting a new toad, but opted to put better tail lights (LED) on the dakota and get replacement carpet for it. Maybe we will get another 8 years out of it, it has around 40,000 driven miles and 40,000 towed miles on it.
docj
QUOTE(Webmaster @ Apr 13 2013, 12:53 AM) *

I also had one of the dummy keys previously mentioned cut for it to use while towing, but I had to go to 5 different stores to find one that would cut a non-chip copy of a chip key. I have tried starting it with the dummy key, and it won't start and hasn't caused any computer problems with the engine computer.



I had my dummy key made at a local hardware store and no one even asked why I would want a key that couldn't start my car. laugh.gif

FWIW I'm pretty confident that this stuff about a dummy key messing up your engine computer is nothing but internet "urban legend". Your car is designed not to start if it encounters a key with the wrong chip (or no chip at all). That's all it needs to do; a key with no chip can't even interact with the engine computer to mess it up!
fasteddy64
I tow a 2004 Toyota Corolla behind my 2012 Coachman Freelander 32BH Class C.
It tows great, you really cant even tell it is back there.
docj
QUOTE(fasteddy64 @ May 11 2013, 02:56 PM) *

I tow a 2004 Toyota Corolla behind my 2012 Coachman Freelander 32BH Class C.
It tows great, you really cant even tell it is back there.



I assume your Corolla has a manual transmission since the automatic is not supposed to be towed 4-down without installation of a transmission lube pump.
ducmons
We towed a Chevy Avalanche for a while, which can be flat towed.
Then we got a Golf, which can't, so we had a tow dolly. What a PITA.
Now we're setting up our '14 Sierra since it's so versatile. Flat towing is the way to go if you can.
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