Who Can Pass this Test? What Is the Make and Model of this Toad?

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Ray D

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I am trying to retain the little that is left of my sanity, and would appreciate a boost from anyone who has an idea. I?ve been wading through several hundred manufacturers, each making dozens of vehicle types, each type with hundreds of models. I?ll never get there!  :(

So, I designed my own tow vehicle. Here are the minimum specs. Who makes it?  ???

1.  It is towable, four down.
2.  It weighs less than 3,300 lbs, empty. (5,000 lb hitch.)
3.  It has a covered cargo area that can carry two Mobility Scooters, each 24"W X 48"L.
4.  It must also transport at least 3 passengers, 2 people and a large dog.
5.  It has an automatic transmission.
6.  It has AC.

(Hint: I haven?t found anything, yet, that had 50" of clearance between the rear wheel wells!)

In addition, it would be nice if it had - - .

7.  Some type of noise maker, inside. (CD player - radio - ??)
8.  Convertible to haul 4 passengers and large dog, if scooters are removed.
9.  4WD or AWD wouldn?t hurt.  ::)

I?ll be handing out grades and Gold Stars, at the end of the test.  ;D

Ray D
 

Will

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Okay, this one is good:  Saturn Vue 4cylinder weighs 3345 Dry with an Automatic.
 

Ray D

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Good effort. I looked at an older model Wrangler. Was drooling on the carpet 'til we found out the weight.    :(

Ray D
 

Ray D

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I'll go look at the Saturn Vue, again. Didn't think there was 4' between the wheel wells. Need to look closer. I'll take a tape along, and measure it.

Ray D.
 

Kenneth

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What about the Chevy Colorado crew cab pickup ? Weights: gross vehicle weight rating (lbs) 5,000, curb weight (lbs) 3,684

Cargo area dimensions: length (inches): 61.1, front width (inches): 57.2, width between arches (inches): 42.6, height (inches): 18.6 and loading floor height (inches): 27.5

Put a camper topper on it to keep the weather off the scooters.
 

Will

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Actually, the '06 Wrangler Unlimited (non-Rubicon edition), which was still 2 doors but had a longer wheelbase, is rated at 3268lbs with the auto tranny.  Given the choice, I'd much rather have that.
 

Ron

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Will said:
Actually, the '06 Wrangler Unlimited (non-Rubicon edition), which was still 2 doors but had a longer wheelbase, is rated at 3268lbs with the auto tranny.? Given the choice, I'd much rather have that.


Yep I would take the Wrangler too.
 

Ray D

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I'm a makin a list and a checkin' it twice!  Really appreciate the help, cutting down on the list of vehicles to check. Keep it coming. someone else may be looking, too.

I'll definately be measuring the the inside width of the Wrangler and the Vue, again, this time with a tape measure.

The Colorado looks interesting, and I hadn't checked it because I thought it was just too big. I'll take another look.

I checked the Element, first, after talking to someone who using one as a toad. The dealer told me it weighed 4,200, which would put it out of the running - even tho I had seen it towed by a happy couple who loved it. (Said they had 30,000 miles, towing it!) I'll check the weight, again, this time from a better source.

By the way, I have never cared before, but is there an easy and quick way to get the dry weight (or any weight) of a vehicle when one is shopping the whole market? I have no idea what a vehicle weighs, just by looking at it, and salesmen seem just to say whatever comes to mind.

Ray D
 

Will

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On the manufacturer's websites, check out the vehicle specs.  It is usually listed as "curb weight" under the "specs" or "capacities" catagories.

According to Honda's website, the 2wd Automatic Element weighs 3499-3523lbs
 

John From Detroit

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My towed is a Chevy Lumina APV 1992 vintage, it's 4,000 lbs registration weight which is a bit more than you cite but it does carry a mobility scooter, and I think there is room there for a 2nd without removing the front row of back seats (3 seats). 

In addition it is rigged to haul one electric wheel chair instead of the mobility scooter it carries now.

4 back seats are standard, I have one stored and carry 3, plunty of room, The scooter I have can be lifted by me w/o aid but I can also use ramps (the same ones I have to the power chair).

You might want to look at that class of ride.

Oh, 4-down towing,  With a Remco Axel Lock most anything can be towed 4 down,  This is no exception

 

Will

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Personally, I'd go with the '03-'06 Wrangler Unlimited Sport (Rubicon adds too much weight).  The new Wranglers are ugly and porky (besides being to heavy for your application).  I choked on hot coffee when I saw the 4 door Wrangler.

Keep us up to date on the search.  I'd like the chance to talk you out of whatever you decide to buy :)
 

Ray D

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Got out today to continue the search. Checked the Honda Element, the Saturn Vue, and the Chevy Colorado. Actually, I was most impressed with the Saturn Vue. I looked mostly at 2005 models. The rub? Not one of them will hold two scooters without dissasembly. The problem is the inside wheel wells. just too narrow.

I have the means to pivot one sideways, once it is inside the vehicle. So, I also measured to see if I could put one sideways behind the front seat and the other lengthways between the wheel wells. Doesn't work.

I have a hunch I am chasing a rainbow. It strikes me that the distance between the rear wheels on a vehicle in this weight class is probably pretty much the same from one to the next. If so, then the flat area between the wheel wells is not going to rise to 48", which is what I need. Today, the distance varied from 38" to 42". Doesn't cut it.

Not sure if larger vehicles have that minimun wheel well distance or not. I will check a few, just to see. Even then, they'll be heavier and the weight goblins will get me!

Going to check some more, but think I am back to the drawing board.

Anybody checked the price on sky hooks, latelly? I suppose EBay probably has 'em.

Ray D.
 

Will

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Try this, Look at the Chrysler PT Cruiser.  Measure the distance ABOVE the wheel wells.  With the back seat folded down and the cargo tray mounted flush with the back seat, you might have enough space.  It only weighs 3147lbs with Auto.

The PT Cruiser may be funky looking but it is an amazingly versatile vehicle
 

Will

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PT Cruiser Cargo
 

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Rollie

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Go to  http://www.motorhomemagazine.com/output.cfm?ID=1073647 and download the 2006 dingy guide.  It has all the info you will need.  Other years are also available.  It does not list the Element but the CRV weighs in at 3400+lbs.
 

Will

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Chevy Malibu Maxx wagon.  towable 4 down with automatic, 3400 lbs, and a fairly wide vehicle.
 

Ray D

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Funny how things work out. Frustrated, decided to give the toad subject a rest, and work on it again, later. Like maybe in the spring.

So, went to pick up some ammunition that I had on order, that finally came in. Guy there recognized me and in the course of conversation, discovered that both of us had recently bought scooters. He wanted to show me his new car, that he traded for, so he could haul his scooter.

Very nice looking mini-van. It is wide enough inside to put our two scooters side by side. It is long enough that I might be able to put them in, end to end! Hey, I liked that! Got everything there is, including, even a tire monitoring system! It's a Kia Sedona.

Went to the RV Dinghy Guide in the Motorhome Magazine, as soon as I got home. The Kias that are listed, are only towable with standard transmissions and the Sedona isn't even listed!  :(  Bummer!

Well, back to the drawing board.

Somebody has to make a mini-van that is equally wide inside, and towable. At least, I think I now know I am looking for a minivan.

Ray D
 

Will

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Seriously, before you give up, look at the Chevy Mailbu Maxx.  It might work.

Minivans appear to all be in the 4000lb and up category.
 
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