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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 12:39 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2007 4:06 pm
Posts: 24
Location: Eden Prairie, MN
Once again, I'm coming to collective wisdom of this forum for advice! I am looking for a tow vehicle and will be starting from ground zero as my 26 RB did not tow in the past.
A few auto's I am considering are used;
Jeep Wrangler or Liberty
PT Cruiser, Chrysler
Saturn Vue
Honda CRV
Any suggestions or comments are welcome and appreciated.

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Larry and Barb Nordby
2002, 26 RB Casual Elegance
Honda Pilot, AWD

"You can't be lost if you don't care where you're goin".


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 3:28 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 7:31 pm
Posts: 72
Location: Macon, Georgia
We have a 2006 Jeep 4x4 Liberty toad which we pull behind our BFT. It is very easy to shift into towing mode and it tracks perfectly behind the BFT.
We also use it as a daily driver car. It is a lot of fun to drive.


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 Post subject: Toad Choices?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 3:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2005 8:05 pm
Posts: 2000
Location: Spencer, IA
Larry,

From your list above, you seem to prefer a small SUV as a toad. If you want to consider a mid-size sedan then I could recommend the Chevrolet Malibu. All Malibu models starting in 1997 thru the present 2007 models can be towed 4-wheels down without any modifications such as a transmission lubricant pump. The normal published procedure on this car is to put the key in the ignition and switch to ACC position to unlock the transmission gear selection lever so that you can select NEUTRAL. Then depending on the model year, remove one or more fuses from the fuse box so that the battery will not be drained from the ignition switch being in the ACC position.

Even better, there is a simple modification that can be done to the car that envolves disconnecting the transmission lever interlock cable. When this mod is done, the transmission lever can be selected to NEUTRAL without it being necessary to have your ignition switch in the ACC position. So, then you don't even need to have the key in the ignition - it can be left in the OFF position and therefore no need to remove any fuses.

I would recommend the type of tow bar system where the tow bar stays attached and folded up on the back of the motorhome when not in use as opposed to the type that stays attached to the toad. Both Blue OX and Roadmaster make these types of tow bar systems. I have had very good service from my Blue Ox tow bar system and the model that I would currently recommend would be the Aventa LX Tow Bar.

The factory website link follows: http://www.blueox.us/Towbars/towbars.htm

The Blue OX base plate for the current 2007 Malibu is their P/N BX1666 and be found on the factory website link: http://www.blueox.us/baseplates.cfm?mfg=CHEVROLET&year=2007&submit=Search

A photo of this base plate installed in a 2007 Malibu is shown in the photo below. You will notice that only the two short connection tabs are visible when the tow bar is not connected.

And you should also install a 6" drop receiver to level the Aventa LX Tow Bar. The Blue OX P/N BX88195 drop receiver with the 4" extra length to fit the Born Free rear bumper hitch receiver works just fine and can be seen at the following factory website link: http://www.blueox.us/Accessories/droprcvrs.htm

Then finally you will need to have the Malibu wired with a cable so that the Born Free coach will operate your rear brake, turn signal, and running lights on the toad. Notice the electric cable connector directly under the license plate in the photo below - that is just an example/suggested location.


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File comment: Blue Ox BX1666 Base Plate Installation in 2007 Malibu
BX1666 Installation of 2007 Malibu.jpg
BX1666 Installation of 2007 Malibu.jpg [ 21.7 KiB | Viewed 12778 times ]

_________________
Bill Hemme - Spencer, Iowa
E-mail: whemme@earthlink.net
2002 Born Free (Ford E-450 V10) 26' RSB
2016 VW Golf GTI - toad


Last edited by whemme on Thu Aug 30, 2007 11:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 7:04 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 1:13 pm
Posts: 69
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Larry, you could add a Suzuki Grand Vitara to your list if you are looking for a small, light weight, fully functional SUV that is comfortable to drive. We tow a Chevy Tracker 4 x 4 and can play with the Jeeps on the mountain trails. Unfortunately Chevy discontinued their relationship with Suzuki (which built the Tracker) so no more Trackers. When we wear this one out we will likely move to the Suzuki. Our only concern is the dealership network. Good luck with your search!

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Greg and Linda Giuliani
2002 26' RSB
2003 Chevy Tracker 4x4 toad
Datastorm F1, D2, DW7000, 117W


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 Post subject: Toad choices
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 7:12 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 2:39 pm
Posts: 617
Location: North Scituate, RI
Larry, we have towed a saturn wagon (2002), a PT Cruiser, and now a Honda CR-V with real time 4 wheel drive and found them all to tow fine. As they all had automatic transmission the PT Cruiser was also equipped with the Remco Lube Pump.

LikeBill Hemme I also am partial to the Blue Ox equipment and with the Honda it is a perfect height match to our BF for the tow bar without any adjustment.

I would strongly recommend an auxillary braking system with a breakaway feature for your tow vehicle. Not only is it the law in most states it sure makes stopping a lot easier and safer. If you think picking out a tow vehicle is difficult, wait until you want to decide on a braking system.

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Mel & Connie


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 Post subject: Toad
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 7:17 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 12:14 pm
Posts: 381
Location: Seneca, SC
Selecting a toad should depend on what you are going to do with it, and how much style and comfort you demand,
If you only need the toad to go to town for dinner, it would not be the same use as if you liked to explore out of the way wilderness and canyon trails
We tow a Chevy Tracker 4wd which suites us well because we are nosy and like to see what is at the end of the trail. It is rough riding because of its' short wheelbase, and because it also carries our Born Free spare tire and wheel, there is no extra room for guests.
On a personal note, I like the Tracker for around town at home because it is 4WD and a little higher which makes it easier on my old knees that no longer like to get up from a squat.
Aside from these preferences, the braking system should be considered.
We have permanent brake system installed, so the all we have to do is unhitch the tow bar, get in and drive. We have no hassle with a box in the front seat with a claw that needs to be attached to the pedal. Besides, we would have no place to store the brake box when not in use.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 7:29 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2005 9:21 pm
Posts: 165
Location: Woodinville, WA
I went through the same process last spring when we decided to tow. Regardless of which car you choose, I found the dinghy towing forum on Motorhomemagazine.com to be very helpful. They also have an excellent summary of supplemental braking systems in one of their first posts that saved me a lot of research.

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David and Janice Potter
Zoey the mutt
2005 Born Free Built for Two
2001 VW Cabrio


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 Post subject: Recommended toads
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 9:52 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2005 8:05 pm
Posts: 2000
Location: Spencer, IA
Larry,

As you can see, there are no best choices. Everyone has there own opinion and that is good.

On the subject of braking systems, I have a Brake Buddy system and have used it in both my prior 1998 Chevrolet Malibu and in my current 2005 model. It is a portable system that mounts on the floor just ahead of the driver's seat with a clevis that attaches to the brake pedal. In my estimation it is easy to install and remove and takes less than 5 minutes.

It is stored in the car's trunk along with a lexan plastic shield that mounts onto the Blue Ox tow bar to protect the front surfaces of the car from road debris kicked up by the coach. The fact that the Brake Buddy is a portable system makes it easy to transfer between a toad you now use and a new toad you will purchase later.

Having a car as a toad that has both a back seat area and a sizeable trunk area has proven beneficial to us. Those places are convenient to temporarily store and transport such things a bags full of dirty clothes that seem to outgrow the storage locations inside the Born Free from lengthly stays in one location.

_________________
Bill Hemme - Spencer, Iowa
E-mail: whemme@earthlink.net
2002 Born Free (Ford E-450 V10) 26' RSB
2016 VW Golf GTI - toad


Last edited by whemme on Thu Aug 30, 2007 11:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2007 1:23 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 6:55 pm
Posts: 1293
Location: Escondido. CA
Linda Giuliani wrote:
We tow a Chevy Tracker 4 x 4 and can play with the Jeeps on the mountain trails.


Linda/Greg:

You might also add that the Giuliani Tracker Team won "First Place" on the recently completed Colorado Rally mountain trail rides!

Bill
PS. Barb and I enjoyed seeing you again this year.

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Barb & Bill
2004 Born Free 22' Built for Two (Sold)
no longer towing a 2008 Smart ForTwo

Escondido, CA


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 Post subject: Re: Toad
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2007 1:26 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 6:55 pm
Posts: 1293
Location: Escondido. CA
bill crommett wrote:
...We have permanent brake system installed...


Bill, could you describe this system?

Thanks, Bill

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Barb & Bill
2004 Born Free 22' Built for Two (Sold)
no longer towing a 2008 Smart ForTwo

Escondido, CA


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2007 7:48 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 1:13 pm
Posts: 69
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Bill & Barb,
I think we were considered the most unlikely to succeed, so when we survived the trails it was a surprise :o . Sometimes it's nice to be underestimated, because the only way you can go is up! :lol:

Great to spend time with you two at the rally. Thanks for the 2 Buck Chuck. I must admit it's every bit as good as the 4 Buck Chuck! Thanks for the taters, too. Still haven't tried them but our trip is only half over.

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Greg and Linda Giuliani
2002 26' RSB
2003 Chevy Tracker 4x4 toad
Datastorm F1, D2, DW7000, 117W


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 Post subject: brakes
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2007 5:47 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 12:14 pm
Posts: 381
Location: Seneca, SC
Barb and Bill: (anybody named "Bill" can't be all bad)

Our brake system is an SMI "Stay in Play" system. Just Google up "SMI brakes" and it will give you several options of which ours , I believe, is the most expensive, but also the handiest and most reliable system.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2007 8:26 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 6:55 pm
Posts: 1293
Location: Escondido. CA
Bill, thanks, Bill :D

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Barb & Bill
2004 Born Free 22' Built for Two (Sold)
no longer towing a 2008 Smart ForTwo

Escondido, CA


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2007 11:52 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2005 9:28 pm
Posts: 168
Location: Central Oregon Coast
Also consider the Unified Tow Brake http://www.usgear.cc/unified_tow_brake.htm

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Larry & Sharon
2002 26' RSB
Suzuki X90 4x4 Toad


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