Can Any Car Become a Toad?

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Mick & Pat

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Well depending on a forthcoming announcement from the UK DVLA we believe we have narrowed our selection for an A class diesel pusher RV down to two, however we now have a new dilemna that I hope the members of this forum can assist with.

Until recently we intended to buy a lift for the rear of the RV on which to carry a medium sized motorcycle / scooter to get about on whilst at a CG, however after a rethink we now intend to buy a small to medium sized car no bigger than say a Ford Focus to tow behind the RV.

Now I have searched the forums and the library and cannot see any previous postings covering my question which is this......... Can ANY vehicle become a toad?

This question really is inclined towards automatic vehicles as I know that most manual vehicles pose no problems when towed, however I have always understood that automatic vehicles can only be towed for a short distance and a slow speed.

Now both on this and other RV forums I have read owners who tow Jeep Grand Cherokees and Explorers both of which I believe are automatics ( well my European Explorer is ) so whats the answer, is there a web site somewhere that lists suitable automatic cars that can be towed?

I thank you and look forward to reading your replies.
 

Road Runner

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Tommy tows an auto Jag XJ6 but it has had an adaptation.

While over in the States amazed at the amount of 4 x 4s being used as it would certainly raise eye browses here in the UK as you know Mick as size/weight is such an issue.
 

Mick & Pat

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Thanks for that John, as I said in my original postings I have read other RV owners who mention that their toad is a Jeep GC or Ford Explorer but have they been modified to tow? :)
 

Carl L

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Nothing in the library because most folks work with a towing company called REMCO.  Root around their website HERE.  I undestand that they respond to direct telephone inquiries.

One reason for the popularity of 4wd toads in the US is the fact that those with manual transfer cases can be towed four down with only minor modification -- the transfer case will have a neutral setting that disconnects the wheels from the transmission.  There are a number of small 4wds that are very popular, the Jeep for instance.  Also the USA with 1/8th the population density of the UK as an awful lot of outback roads and jeep trails that offer a lot of attractions.
 

Tom

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Mick said:
Can ANY vehicle become a toad?

The simple answer is no, Mick. Oversimplifying it, there are essentially four kinds of vehicles for the purpose of this subject:

  • Manual transmission - put the transmission in neutral and off you go.
  • 4WD with a transfer case - put the transfer case in neutral and it's essentially the same as a manual transmission.
  • 2WD automatic transmission that can be towed a limited distance; May require stopping periodically, starting the engine and shifting between forward/reverse.
  • Automatic transmission that can't be towed without either raising the drive wheels off the ground (aka on a tow dolly or trailer), or a modification such as installing a pump to lubricate the transmission or a prop shaft disconnect.

Carl's suggestion to contact Remco is a good one. They know which cars can and can't be towed without modification and they have the solution for cars that require it. Not only does it vary by make/model, in some cases it varies by model year.

FWIW we tow a Chevy Suburban 4WD automatic. I press two buttons on the dash to shift the transfer case to neutral and I can tow unlimited miles, no modeification necessary and no requirement to stop periodically.
 

Smoky

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I am one of those that tows a car modified by Remco and I love it.  I am using their latest technology which is called "axle disconnect".  A simple twist of a ring and it goes from driving to towing mode and back again.  18,000 miles now without a problem.


After you talk with Remco HQ, tell them your location and ask for a dealer recommendation.  If there are any problems it will come from a dealer who makes a mistake.  Remco was very candid with me about the two dealers in the area I lived and I went with the one who had done hundreds of installations over the last 5 years as opposed to the other dealer who was new.

Our toad is a Ford Taurus station wagon which gives us a huge "storage bay".  ;D
 

Wendy

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Our 1993 Ford Explorer can NOT be towed 4-wheels-down. We were told by Ford that the next year models (1994) and beyond CAN be towed 4-wheels-down.
 

Mick & Pat

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Thanks for all of your replies.

Tom I am looking at the Remco web site as I type this post.

I presume to check if the vehicle you have in mind you select Vehicle Application Chart

Now we  quite like the Ford Focus so I chose the Ford Motors Vehicle List to see if it was suitable,this results in an Excel download of Ford vehicles.

On scrolling through the list of Ford Models at the bottom of their page I do not see the Focus listed all or most appear to be 4x4 or pickup type vehicles,have I looked in the right place?
 

John From Detroit

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There may be either two lists or two parts to the list (I forget which) one for Trucks and one for Cars.

I ran into the same problem with my car, When I looked it appeared the list was all trucks but way down the page was cars and mini-vans
 

Mick & Pat

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John,

Thanks for your reply which after reading I revisited the Remco web site and re checked the down load Excel file, the list of vehicles shown include the old Ford Capri so I would imagine that the current file included both cars & trucks.......perhaps they haven't yet included vehicles such as the Focus or Fiesta ??  I have e-mailed them directly and shall let the forum know of their reply should anyone else be interested.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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It may be that Remco has not designed a kit for the Focus yet - I haven't seen but one or two being towed and they may have been standard transmission models.  They don't invest their money in conversion kits unless there is an adequate demand for the make & model of vehicle and maybe the Focus hasn't been popular enough with the RVing crowd. The best bet is to telephone them and ask, but hopefully they will respond to your email.
 

Tom

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Mick,

As I suggested in my earlier response, you should contact them (by email or phone) to get the answer.
 
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