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Old 02-25-2016, 06:21 PM   #1
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Considering Dinghy Towing

I'm here because I read some posts in the Tow Forum and concluded it was all about towing, and no T.O.A.D. Vehicles .

Reaching out to those with experience.

We are considering a Dinghy (Four on the ground) ..... Possibly a Subaru Crosstrek or a Toyota Corola.

Is there anyone here that tows either of these vehicles, or knows of some one with experience in towing these vehicles....???

What do you tow....???

I saw the poll, but it's not specific just names the manufactures....
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Old 02-25-2016, 06:51 PM   #2
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My signature lists my toad (towed, your preference). I'm new to the game of towing as I've only done it once. Second time around will be better as I relax into it. It's more stressful driving a MH than a car and towing just adds another layer. Not unmanageable by any means, just something else to think about.

FYI, the entire setup cost me $2566, to include tow bar, braking, lights, tow bar cover, safety chains, break away brake setup, and baseplate. It all came from Amazon.
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Old 02-25-2016, 06:52 PM   #3
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I tow a Jeep Unlimited and don't even know it's back there. Go to the following web site and look at some of their videos and you will learn a lot. Rib rake.com. You can call them and they will tell you just what you need for any vehicle..
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Old 02-25-2016, 06:53 PM   #4
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That's Rvibrake.com.
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Old 02-25-2016, 07:09 PM   #5
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I currently have two toads, which one we take is determined by whether it is just a getaway for the wife and I, or whether other people will be riding with us when get to our destination.

Our small car is a 2013 Ford Focus ST (Ecoboost) which has a six-speed manual transmission. It has the pushbutton start so there is no steering column lock. Put it in neutral and tow. No limits on tow time since it is a stick.

My larger vehicle is a 2014 Ford Explorer Sport (also Ecoboost). Six-speed automatic transmission with pushbutton start so again, no column lock to contend with. To hookup the Explorer I have to shut off the vehicle in neutral and leave it in the "Accessory Power" mode. Every 6 hours I stop and start the Explorer and shift it through all the gears and let it idle for about 10 minutes to circulate and cool the transmission fluid. I also turn off both cars climate control systems to prevent any fume entry while towing.

For both I use a Roadmaster EvenBrake auxiliary braking system. Each vehicle has the electronics and breakaway switch permanently installed, hooking up the EvenBrake takes just 2 or 3 minutes. For both vehicles I have a 5-pole electrical connection so I have the regular tail/brake/turn lights plus a +12-volt feed to keep the toad's battery at full charge despite the draw of the EvenBrake and the Explorer having to be left in Accessory mode. The EvenBrake has a monitor that is on my Seneca's dash to let me know what the EvenBrake is doing at all times.

Even though both toad vehicles have a factory TPMS, it doesn't help when you are towing. Plus the Freightliner does not have a factory tire monitoring system. So I have a TireMinder system that monitors both the MH tires and the toad's. I just install the TireMinder transmitters on which ever vehicle we are towing. I do have the TireMinder booster installed in the bedroom of the Seneca and have never had a tire "drop out" and not register. My new TireMinder display allows me to quickly drop out the toad's tires when not towing so I don't get missing tire "errors" when I am just driving the MH around.

I don't know anything about the suitability of towing your listed vehicles. There are a variety of references readily available to determine whether a vehicle is suitable for 4-wheel down towing. But my advice is to check the specific owner's manual of the chosen vehicle to see if it is actually (in writing) as being suitable. Even some vehicles not factory-ready to be towed 4-down can be modified with a transmission lube pump. I have heard some people have good luck with those, some not so good. And I believe some vehicles originally "approved" by the manufacturer for dingy towing have had problems after time, and then the factory recommends not towing 4-down. So do your homework carefully before equipping a vehicle.

This is the third MH I have towed with, and a total of 5 toads over time. I fortunately have never had a failure related to towing. I have installed all of the brackets and wiring myself, I know I will do it right and not take any shortcuts. But it isn't for the faint of heart, you have to have considerable mechanical skills. If you do it wrong it could be disastrous, and not just for your vehicle. You also need a patient spouse who doesn't go nuts when 2 days after getting a brand new vehicle finds it all torn apart in the garage!
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Old 02-25-2016, 10:05 PM   #6
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Wilson, FMCA and MH Magazine both publish towable model lists. These lists are per the manufacturer. Others may be towable, for example, VW's, but the mfger may not warranty if towed.

Per FMCA Corolla L and S Plus are towable only with manual transmission. Subaru Crosstrek 2.0L and S Plus with manual transmission are also towable.

You should consider what it is that you want to do with your toad - explore rugged areas like Chaco Canyon, normal sight-seeing, etc. How many passengers do you want it to carry? 4 adults?

I have 2 toads, a 2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (automatic and 4 wheel drive) and a 2012 Kia Soul with manual trans. The Jeep weighs 1500 lbs more but we like to wander off the beaten track every now and then - unpaved roads (read 2 ruts), sandy beaches, etc. The Jeep does this and the automatic is easier for all to drive plus does not require ignition lock to be on for steering to work.

With the Melbourne's power you might want to stay as light as possible especially if you plan on traveling in the high mountains out west. GCWR suggests that a Jeep Wrangler is out of the question.
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Old 02-25-2016, 11:31 PM   #7
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I visited the Motorhome Mag Dinghy site before I posted. I came up with the Corolla, The Crosstrek, and the Forester as vehicles I would consider. Which ever vehicle we choose, will also be a daily driver. We are considering giving up the Avalon. I need to keep the Toyota FJ Cruiser so I can make Lowe's runs with the trailer.
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Old 02-26-2016, 04:50 AM   #8
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Just bought a 2015 Jeep Wrangler and will be installing the Ready Brute Elite Tow System and lights this weekend. Everything from Amazon...except the Jeep! You Tube has great videos of the various systems.

Boudreaux...you can come help!
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Old 02-26-2016, 01:52 PM   #9
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Here's another source your can check out.... Store : Remco
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Old 02-27-2016, 08:20 PM   #10
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I tow a Toyota 4wd Tacoma size pickup, manual transmission. Weighs 4,000. I am on the hunt for a smaller toad. But that will become another vehicle at my house because I still need the pickup. SO, any new toad has to be lighter, has to be a cute car, probably a convertible. Thinking of a Fiat 500C, or VW Cabrio. I think both can be flat towed if manual transmission. The 4,000# pickup tows ok, and I don't notice much difference in MPG, but I sure would not go heavier than that.
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