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Author Topic: Toad Suggestions for UK Novice  (Read 6974 times)

UK-RV

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Toad Suggestions for UK Novice
« on: July 03, 2005, 07:34:00 AM »

Hi

Our RV tour is getting closer.

I have finally talked my wife into buying a toad for our planned 38' DP.

Our problem is we have absolutely no idea what type/size of vehicle to buy, or what price small cars sell for in the US.

We will have the DP for 2-3 weeks driving practise before we buy the toad.

What suggestions (with new price) can people suggest ?

Also, what is the best way to tow (a-frame or trailer or other) ?

Many Thanks

Paul

Jim Dick

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Re: Toad Suggestions for UK Novice
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2005, 10:00:18 AM »
Hi UK Novice,

You have quite a few to chose from but I would suggest something that can be towed 4 wheels down. We have a 4 wheel drive Suzuki Grand Vitara that tows like a dream and is quite nimble off road. It weighs around 3100lbs and retail is probably around $21K. It is a reasonably comfortable vehicle for highway use and a lot of fun off road.

Jeep 4X4s can also be towed 4 down. The Liberty is similar to the GV but I believe they are a few thousand more. The Grand Cherokee costs more than that and weighs closer to 4000lbs. There's also the Wrangler but it has quite a different ride and is mainly designed for off road use.

There are other 4X4 vehicles but not all can be towed 4 down. There are other vehicles available as well but not as many as the 4X4. Motorhome Magazine usually lists those that can be towed in one of their issues, I think around March.

If you find something you like but aren't sure about it's towability, you can ask here or check Remco at 1-800-228-2481 or their web site at www.remcotowing.com.   They are towing experts and should be able to tell you if the vehicle needs any kind of modification. I prefer to stay away from that and tow a 4X4. 

« Last Edit: July 03, 2005, 10:07:27 AM by Jim Dick »
Jim

Titusville, Florida
U.S. Navy Veteran
2000 American Dream 40' DP
2012 GMC Terrain
2006 Suzuki Boulevard C50T Motorcycle
http://photo.net/photos/jimdick

Tom

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Re: Toad Suggestions for UK Novice
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2005, 10:08:25 AM »
Paul

I'm sure you'll get various suggestions on which toad to buy. Some things to consider are:

  • The towing capacity of the coach and the hitch that's installed on the rear of the coach.
  • Manual vs automatic transmission.
  • 2-wheel drive vs 4-wheel drive.
  • Can the toad be towed with all 4 wheels down, with or without modification?

You really don't want to have to use a trailer or a tow dolly (a short, single axle trailer on which you mount the drive axle of the tow vehicle), because you'll have one more issue to deal with at a campground, assuming there's a place to store it. There are some small 4x4's that can be towed by most DPs and require no modification beyond installation of the base plate for the tow bar. You'll probably need to have a company like Remco install whatever is needed.

[edit]I'll second Jim's suggestions of the Suzuki Grand Vitara and the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Both are very popular as toads.[/edit]
« Last Edit: July 03, 2005, 10:11:07 AM by Tom »
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UK-RV

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Re: Toad Suggestions for UK Novice
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2005, 10:11:14 AM »
Thanks Jim

Ideally, we are looking at MUCH less than $21k for the toad.

We want the reassurance of a new vehicle and will be bringing it back to the UK with us at the end of our tour.

We have new Ford cars (we have a model called a Fiesta) for sale here at £7k-£8k (c$14k) - thats the sort of price we want, plus towing gear.

My problem is that :-

a) I wouldnt know if our "fiesta" was available in the US, or what name it would be called (I looked at Escort on US Ebay and it is totally different to a UK Escort - I couldnt find a Fiesta listed).

b) Even if I found a small car, I wouldn't know if it were suitable to be towed and/or if it needed to be on a trailer etc etc.

Thanks

Paul

Another Thought :-

I think I may have to contact Ford direct on this one, but....

My brother-in-law works for Ford in the UK, and we (thru him) can buy a new Ford at a discount.

Does anyone know if employee discounts would be transferable across the pond ?



« Last Edit: July 03, 2005, 10:14:51 AM by UK-RV »

JerArdra

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Re: Toad Suggestions for UK Novice
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2005, 12:21:39 PM »
Paul,

For the following reasons I would reccomend a 2005 Honda CR-V.

First and foremost is safety.  It has passed the Insurance institutes front and broadside crash tests with the #1 best pick highest ratings.

Look here:  http://www.highwaysafety.org/vehicle_ratings/ratings.htm

After safety, other reasons are...

It is VERY reliable, few problems.

It's a 4-wheel drive SUV that can be towed four wheels down.

Consumers Reports Magazine (August 2005 issue, Page 50) gives it excellent rattings for:  engine and transmission, handling, room, standard safety features are not optional, crash test results, and reliability.  Their only listed negative was for road noise.  In the narrative of the review the reviewer had to resort to items such as, "you had to reach to far to reach the radio dials."  My opinion is when a reviewer has to resort to items like that as negatives it must be a pretty good car.

It is a nice looking car.

A friend of mine tows one and loves it.

JerryF
JerryF  ;D  ;D

JerArdra

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Re: Toad Suggestions for UK Novice
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2005, 12:29:42 PM »
Paul,

I forgot the following in my previous post.  The base price range for the 2005 Honda CR-V is US$20,200 to US$25,250.

JerryF
JerryF  ;D  ;D

Carl L

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Re: Toad Suggestions for UK Novice
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2005, 02:27:55 PM »
Thanks Jim

Ideally, we are looking at MUCH less than $21k for the toad.

We want the reassurance of a new vehicle and will be bringing it back to the UK with us at the end of our tour.

We have new Ford cars (we have a model called a Fiesta) for sale here at £7k-£8k (c$14k) - thats the sort of price we want, plus towing gear.

My problem is that :-

a) I wouldnt know if our "fiesta" was available in the US, or what name it would be called (I looked at Escort on US Ebay and it is totally different to a UK Escort - I couldnt find a Fiesta listed).

b) Even if I found a small car, I wouldn't know if it were suitable to be towed and/or if it needed to be on a trailer etc etc.

Thanks

Paul

Another Thought :-

I think I may have to contact Ford direct on this one, but....

My brother-in-law works for Ford in the UK, and we (thru him) can buy a new Ford at a discount.

Does anyone know if employee discounts would be transferable across the pond ?


Consider the GM Saturn.   GM is currently heavily discounting its models, claiming they are offering employee discounts to everyone.   Check them out in the towable ratings in Motorhome Magazine at http://www.motorhomemagazine.com/.   Saturns are a line of small sedans and SUVs.   In any case, do consult the Motorhome site.

Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

Prowler 23LV TT pulled by a '95 Ford Bronco

Jim Dick

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Re: Toad Suggestions for UK Novice
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2005, 02:51:51 PM »
Hi Paul,

Missed your name during my previous post. :) They used to sell the Ford Fiesta here but I haven't seen one for a few years. Hopefully others will respond with their knowledge of other cars that are towable and less than the GV and similar vehicles. Carl's suggestion on the Saturn is good. They have been a top seller for RVers since they were introduced. I've never owned one but have known friends that do. I mentioned a 4X4 because there is a lot of this country to see from the dirt trails, mostly out west. ;D

Check out the Motorhome site. I'm sure you'll find additional info there. I have no idea if your discount is transferrable but GM is in trouble and offering the "employee" discount to anyone right now.

Jim

Titusville, Florida
U.S. Navy Veteran
2000 American Dream 40' DP
2012 GMC Terrain
2006 Suzuki Boulevard C50T Motorcycle
http://photo.net/photos/jimdick

UK-RV

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Re: Toad Suggestions for UK Novice
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2005, 04:30:08 PM »


Thanks Guys

I would go for a 4x4 but I convinced the wife we should have the car - on condition we put our bikes on top and did SOME cycling.

I dont think she would appreciate a nice off-roader  ;D

Paul

Carl L

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Re: Toad Suggestions for UK Novice
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2005, 06:35:43 PM »
Quote
I dont think she would appreciate a nice off-roader 


Hey, those Jeep Cherokees can get pretty plush.
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

Prowler 23LV TT pulled by a '95 Ford Bronco

Ian H

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Re: Toad Suggestions for UK Novice
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2005, 07:10:14 PM »
Hi Paul
the fiesta over here is the same body as the Mazda 131 or even worse known as Kia Pride urgh! I would`nt like to be in one of those being passed by a semi at 85mph
its bad enough in a RV.The Ford Focus is over here same as UK but the auto box one we hired was thirsty in the gas dept.They don't have the RS focus or whatever guise it goes by now.Golf VR6 and Jetta VR6 are quite popular as is the Audi group of cars and they always demand high prices in the UK.The Suzuki vitara badged as GM Tracker seems popular i have seen several of them being towed
Ian and Doreen
Dodge 3500 Dually   Cedar Creek 5th Wheel

Cornwall UK   when not touring USA

Tom

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Re: Toad Suggestions for UK Novice
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2005, 07:38:47 PM »
those Jeep Cherokees can get pretty plush.

Not the $14K version.
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Ian H

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Re: Toad Suggestions for UK Novice
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2005, 08:46:02 PM »
Could always go for Kia or Hyundia nice long warranty
but very little UK resale value, or my better half`s favourite PT Cruiser
Ian and Doreen
Dodge 3500 Dually   Cedar Creek 5th Wheel

Cornwall UK   when not touring USA

UK-RV

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Re: Toad Suggestions for UK Novice
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2005, 01:16:49 AM »

Thanks for the replies guys.

Im not too worried about UK resale on the car.

We were going to garage our car in the UK whilst we are away, but as we are going for the toad option, we will sell the UK car.

So, we will need the US Import for 12 months or so when we get back here.

I may be tempted to buy something typically US which isnt seen on our roads - the resale value could be very good if someone wants to "stand out" or it could be useless if people feel they cant get parts, service etc in UK.

.....and I thought researching the MH was tough  ;D

Paul

Jim Dick

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Re: Toad Suggestions for UK Novice
« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2005, 06:21:57 AM »

Thanks Guys

I would go for a 4x4 but I convinced the wife we should have the car - on condition we put our bikes on top and did SOME cycling.

I dont think she would appreciate a nice off-roader  ;D

Paul


I have had three bikes on top of our GV. If you are short it could be a problem. :) I'm around 5'7" and can fairly easily get the two bikes on and off. The racks are mounted on the outer edge of the roof.

I also like the GV because I don't have to step down into the vehicle. We had a Mazda Miata a few years ago. I loved the car but it was sometimes difficult to get out of it. ;D

Jim

Titusville, Florida
U.S. Navy Veteran
2000 American Dream 40' DP
2012 GMC Terrain
2006 Suzuki Boulevard C50T Motorcycle
http://photo.net/photos/jimdick

Ian H

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Re: Toad Suggestions for UK Novice
« Reply #15 on: July 04, 2005, 07:19:33 AM »
Hi Paul
To find something typicaly US that will be sought after in the UK will be hard,we were surprised to see so much Japanese and Korean cars on the road.Most of the cars in your price range US or Japanese fall into the normal looking car range.If i was to take a car back it would have to be a late Mustang or Hemi powered truck ,you will find over here that most cars have greater bhp than ours, but dont they have a taste for gas ,not bad over here£1.30 per gallon
Ian and Doreen
Dodge 3500 Dually   Cedar Creek 5th Wheel

Cornwall UK   when not touring USA

Cam

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Re: Toad Suggestions for UK Novice
« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2005, 10:08:55 AM »
Hi Paul.

I too have been doing the research but in my case I can't do this for another 2 or 3 years.

In your post you stated that you would have the DP for 2-3 weeks before buying the TOAD.

A couple of months back I was looking into insurance quotes for a fulltimer in a Class A 34' MH.  The insurance company I contacted, Progressive, advised me that, as a fulltimer, they would require one to have a toad before they would insure the RV.  I don't know whether all insurers would have the same criterion but I thought you might like to know,  just in case.

Rgds 

Cam.
 

UK-RV

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Re: Toad Suggestions for UK Novice
« Reply #17 on: July 04, 2005, 10:18:38 AM »

Thanks for that Cam

Im not sure what the situation is to be honest - insurance quotes are still way down my list of things to do.

Maybe Ian H can give us a clue as he didnt buy a toad for his MH

Paul

Ian H

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Re: Toad Suggestions for UK Novice
« Reply #18 on: July 04, 2005, 10:38:43 AM »
Hi chaps
Rv fulltime insurance with progresive i paid $1890 for 12 months no toad not even asked ,that was with a UK drivers licence
i am led to believe that car insurance is expensive for UK drivers the people on this forum should help www.FloridaDays.co.uk will be best to inform you on car insurance
i beleive one is a broker but not sure
Ian and Doreen
Dodge 3500 Dually   Cedar Creek 5th Wheel

Cornwall UK   when not touring USA

Tom

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Re: Toad Suggestions for UK Novice
« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2005, 09:40:45 PM »
That's a pretty feeble site Ian. Not a lot of help there for car insurance. One guy asked a question and received one reply. Not sure I'd recommend it as the place for advice.
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