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Author Topic: Roadtrek "toads"  (Read 11120 times)

pairadocs

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Roadtrek "toads"
« on: October 24, 2010, 11:15:46 AM »
I am a new Roadtrek owner and am thinking about towing a vehicle, preferably very small car, for day trips.  I would prefer to tow flat, but would consider a dolly. 

I have read the Motorhome Guide to Dinghy Towing, but am interested in advice or suggestions from people
based on actual experience.  Any comments will be appreciated.  Manual or automatic?  Flat or dolly?  Brake
assist experience?  What kinds of towbars have worked best for you?  What other accessories are recommended?

Thanks.

mariekie4

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Re: Roadtrek "toads"
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2010, 12:09:05 PM »
How about a Smart car. It can be towed flat and is light in weight. Another possibility is a Mini Cooper with a manual transmission.

Mariekie
If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.       George S. Patton.


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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Roadtrek "toads"
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2010, 03:37:37 PM »
You are going to be limited by the towing capacity of the Roadtrek, which I suspect is modest. Your first chore is to learn the GCWR of the coach and get its actual weight (take it to a scale) so you know the max limit (difference between actual weight and GCWR). Next limit is the hitch itself, which will have a rating (typically something like 2000 lb, 3500 lb or 5000 lb).

The best tow bars are the fancy expensive ones, e.. Blue Ox Aventa LX or Roadmaster All Terrain. "Best" here means most convenient to use and longest lasting. If you can do with less convenience, there rae a several to choose from by Roadmaster, Blue Ox and Demco. They are all good products - just choose the price and level of convenience that fits your needs.

A automatic s most people's choice - there are hundreds of automatic models that are towable without modifications and hundreds more if you spend some money to convert them. Manual tranny cars are mostly towable as is, but some front wheel drive manuals are not, so always check before buying. Remco Towing is the Bible of toads - see their site for charts of what can be towed.

So you probably need a  light vehicle, which means the Smart Car suggestion was a good one.  An older VW Beetle is another possibility, as is a Mini-Cooper. Larger toads will run around 3200-3500 lbs and offer more comfort, if you can tow that much weight
Gary
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jscott1000

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Re: Roadtrek "toads"
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2011, 11:38:40 PM »
You are going to be limited by the towing capacity of the Roadtrek, which I suspect is modest. Your first chore is to learn the GCWR of the coach and get its actual weight (take it to a scale) so you know the max limit (difference between actual weight and GCWR). Next limit is the hitch itself, which will have a rating (typically something like 2000 lb, 3500 lb or 5000 lb).

The best tow bars are the fancy expensive ones, e.. Blue Ox Aventa LX or Roadmaster All Terrain. "Best" here means most convenient to use and longest lasting. If you can do with less convenience, there rae a several to choose from by Roadmaster, Blue Ox and Demco. They are all good products - just choose the price and level of convenience that fits your needs.

A automatic s most people's choice - there are hundreds of automatic models that are towable without modifications and hundreds more if you spend some money to convert them. Manual tranny cars are mostly towable as is, but some front wheel drive manuals are not, so always check before buying. Remco Towing is the Bible of toads - see their site for charts of what can be towed.

So you probably need a  light vehicle, which means the Smart Car suggestion was a good one.  An older VW Beetle is another possibility, as is a Mini-Cooper. Larger toads will run around 3200-3500 lbs and offer more comfort, if you can tow that much weight

Roadtrek lists the towing capacity of the 170 as up to 8,000 pounds.  It's based on a 3/4 ton vehicle with an optional 6 liter V8.  Of course it's limited by the GCWR but I don't think you would have a problem finding a toad with that much capacity.  The bigger Roadtreks have considerably less towing capacity, especially the Sprinter based ones with the 3 liter V6. 


Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Roadtrek "toads"
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2011, 09:44:33 AM »
Looking at the 2010-2011 Roadtrek brochure, I see the 170 listed as up to 4600 lbs and the 190 up to 8100 lbs. Still pretty impressive, so you should have no problem towing another vehicle as long as you can meet the caveats for that tow rating, which I'm sure limits the people and gear weight carried onboard. But a toad like a Honda CRV ought to go nicely with a 170.

http://www.roadtrek.com/_images/brochures/2010-11_rt_brochure.pdf
Gary
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Lou Schneider

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Re: Roadtrek "toads"
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2011, 07:10:13 PM »
Something like a Nissan Versa would also be a good choice.  It's curb weight is 2250 lbs, very similar to the 1993 Nissan Sentra that's my toad.  The manual transmission can be towed as-is, the automatic requires a Remco lube pump.

Even though the Roadtrek can tow up to 8000 lbs, doing so might not be a great idea.  I've towed my car with my Ford F-250 pickup, and while it had no trouble with the weight, you definitely know it's there, much more than towing it behind the motorhome .  I strongly suggest investing in a toad braking system, as even a light toad will be a bigger percentage of the combination's total weight than if it was being towed behind a larger motorhome.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2011, 07:20:55 PM by Lou Schneider »

Oldedit

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Re: Roadtrek "toads"
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2011, 11:36:02 AM »
We find that our Sprinter van Roadtrek Adventurous is a perfect car for side trips. No toads needed or wanted.
2014 Newmar Ventana 4037 12.17-
2013 Itasca Reyo T 2012-12.12.17
2006 Roadtrek Adventurous Mercedes (Freightliner)
Colorado 2009-2012
Toad: 2016 Jeep Patriot Stick with Blue Ox

Karsty

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Re: Roadtrek "toads"
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2012, 09:54:08 AM »
We find that our Sprinter van Roadtrek Adventurous is a perfect car for side trips. No toads needed or wanted.

I have to agree with Oldedit. The main reason I purchased the Class B ERA was so that I wouldn't have to tow another vehicle. I suppose if I was planning to stay at one location for an extended period I might consider towing a "toad". ie: Spending several months in Florida during the winter. I don't see that happening anytime soon however.  I pack the vehicle meticulously with everything in it's place. I have a check list when putting everything away before leaving. I can be ready to go in less than 10 minutes ... that includes stowing the bedding, clearing off the kitchen counter and ensuring that everything is stored properly and secured for travel.

I currently have a 2005 Toyota ECHO hatchback with manual transmission. If I was going to tow ,,, that would be it. I don't have the equipment necessary to tow yet and won't buy until I figure I need to tow. (Blue Ox and braking system etc.)

2012 Winnebago ERA.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

Wendy

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Re: Roadtrek "toads"
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2012, 08:38:31 PM »
Saw a Roadtrek towing a Smartcar today while we were filling up with water at Qtz. He said it tows like it's not even there and they like having it so they can leave the RV in a campsite and run around doing touristy things in the SC.
 
Wendy
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seilerbird

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Re: Roadtrek "toads"
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2012, 09:13:31 PM »
I agree with oldedit. I full time in a 27 foot class A and I don't have a toad. I have no problem driving it as a vehicle when I need to go somewhere.

MikeCoke

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Re: Roadtrek "toads"
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2012, 02:22:09 AM »
I guess it all depends on how much sightseeing you do. For example we just spent 30 days in the desert and while camped we put over 500 miles on our VW Beetle running around the desert geocaching and sightseeing. If we had not had a toad we would not have done that much. reason VW MPG about 30 so 500 miles would cost about $66. vs motorhome 7.5 MPG $266 So it would have cost $200 more to drive the Motorhome & we could not have gone to all the places we did with the VW.  I will admit we owned a 24' Class C for 15 years & never had a toad but we did very little sightseeing away from campground once we got to the place we camped. We did most sightseeing on the way to camps.  When we camped in a VW camper bus we did leave camp to sightsee so if I had a Roadtrek I might not have a toad.
Mike
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TravMan

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Re: Roadtrek "toads"
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2017, 09:53:27 AM »
Even though the Roadtrek can tow up to 8000 lbs, doing so might not be a great idea.  I've towed my car with my Ford F-250 pickup, and while it had no trouble with the weight, you definitely know it's there, much more than towing it behind the motorhome .  I strongly suggest investing in a toad braking system, as even a light toad will be a bigger percentage of the combination's total weight than if it was being towed behind a larger motorhome.

Keep in mind the tow weight generally is based on an empty van. Once you add water, passengers, cargo, RV equipment and systems, et al, that reduces the towing capacity. It's prudent to double check the specs, have the van weighed when full and ready for a trip, to determine the actual towing capacity. I find that number, then reduce it another 10-20% for longevity of the van and general safety.

dcbinvt

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Re: Roadtrek "toads"
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2017, 07:17:27 PM »
I'm with several of the posts above, I bought my Roadtrek "B" for travel convenience. Travels well, reasonable cost, parks well, and no need for a toad. Went from a class "A". Oh, it's and just the dog and I so it all works out - basically bought it to travel rather than destination camping. I also travel with my ferret.

dcb in VT   

ManWonder

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Re: Roadtrek "toads"
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2017, 10:58:22 AM »
we've been considering hauling a motorbike or two on the back of our roadtrek - we like to hike and being able to have vehicles at the start and the end is very nice

also, while our roadtrek does not get stellar MPGs, it is in the ballpark of some of the trucks and SUVs folks drive around all the time
« Last Edit: March 17, 2017, 11:00:37 AM by ManWonder »

DearMissMermaid

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Re: Roadtrek "toads"
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2017, 10:05:09 PM »
Twice in 7 years,  I've seen camper vans with smart cars attached.

I've been running around in a Class C, 28 footer for 7  fulltime years with no toad.

One thing to note is that, if you don't have a toad and are going sightseeing, you don't have to pack everything up. I leave behind hoses, chairs, table, patio mat, bicycle, grill etc. I come back and it's all there waiting on me. (Well I do lock my bicycle since it has wheels.)  ;D

I pretty much keep my rig organized with things put away so I don't have much to do to get ready to drive. I have added fiddles in some places to help out (I'm an old sailor). For instance I installed fiddles around the bedroom end table so I can leave stuff on it and drive and it can't fall in the floor. My kitchen has fiddles so the big chopping board doesn't have to be put away and the fiddles keep it from banging to the floor.

My friend with a Pleasureway wanted to keep a round basket on top of his microwave, to hold useful stuff . The microwave vents out the back rather than the top.  He asked me if I had any ideas how to make the wicker basket stay put. I plopped down 2 magnetic hooks I had on hand (now I have to go buy some more!)  and that basket has never fallen in the floor. He thought my idea was rather ingenious.  :P

Instead of a toad...
I did eventually learn to ride a bicycle (again!) and then I added an electric assist kit to it, so when I am tired or the head winds slap me, I can push the magic button for some help. Wheeeeee!

I get fabulous up front parking everywhere. I can ride on trails, beaches, streets, grass, dirt, pedways and many sidewalks that are largely unused.  I absolutely LOVE sightseeing on the bicycle. So much more to see and I can stop anywhere and lock it to a post or tree or bike rack if need be. I am not athletic at all but I enjoy being out in nature.
http://DearMissMermaid.Com

Living, working. playing  in a Class C, 1994 Tioga Montara, 28'

Pack half the stuff and twice the cash.
http://dearmissmermaid.blogspot.com/

OLDRACER

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Re: Roadtrek "toads"
« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2017, 07:28:42 AM »
One of the reasons we bought a Roadtrek is that we do not have to tow. Towing puts you right back in an unwieldy combination which negates the reason for a B in the first place.

The old radio show "Click and Clack The Tappet Bothers" commented on an small vehicle a little bigger than a Smart Car by saying "It should not come with a spare tire, should be equipped with a funeral wreath".

I have a standard Golf cart, which is actually, side by side comparison, a little longer than a Smart car. . I would be happy to own a Smart car and drive it anywhere I take the Golf cart in our small Florida town.

TravMan

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Re: Roadtrek "toads"
« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2017, 08:42:01 PM »
I have to agree with those in the no-toad camp. Exactly why I no longer have a Class A. Love having everything with me while sightseeing, serves as my day base camp while exploring, allows me to head back for a quick break, lunch, nap, etc. Especially nice in downtown areas, beach, amusement parks, and so on. Once I stopped looking at the Roadtrek as an RV, and started looking at it as a car with additional 'comfort capabilities' and got into the hang of it, I wouldn't want to tow again. It's such a better way to travel for us.

My Roadtrek (Dodge 3500 chassis) fully loaded leaves me about 3,000 to 4,000lbs towing capacity. So towing a small vehicle is possible. I don't know how well it would work in practice as I haven't tried. I generally don't like to load any RV near max capacity, especially when towing in mountain areas. Most I have towed is a cargo trailer, about 1,800 to 2,000lbs, and it tows very well and hardly noticeable.

Catgrrl

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Re: Roadtrek "toads"
« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2017, 07:04:47 PM »
So, I'm a newbie doing research... I've got a Roadtrek in my future and would like to haul a motorcycle on the back. Weight of the bike is only 553lbs so weight shouldn't be an issue. Just wondering if there is already a truck hitch on the back of the Popular/Versatile 170/190 versions? I'd also have to consider whether the back doors open (which I would prefer) or just a solid closed back (probably the only way I could have the bike rack?)

Anyhoo, I look forward to participating in this forum! Thanks for any advice you may offer~

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Roadtrek "toads"
« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2017, 08:40:06 AM »
The back doors open on the Roadtrek.

Are you talking about pulling a trailer with the bike, or mounting a carrier on the receiver hitch? If a carrier, weight most certainly IS a concern, since the motorhome body & furnishings alone pushes the van to near its max weight. Hanging 550 lbs plus the carrier weight on the back is very likely to push the rear axle load past max, and quite possibly the the total weight beyond the GVWR as well. Max total passengers and gear in a 190 Popular is 2000 lbs, before any optional equipment is added. Or even the driver, water, and propane.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

 

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