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Towing Dinghys

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Paul/Marilyn

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Towing Dinghys
« on: February 16, 2012, 04:47:55 pm »
We know that towing dinghys or toads has been discussed on the Forum before but we need a little more information. When we get our new Cruiser (you hear that positive note?) we've been toying with the idea of getting a dinghy. Haven't had one before.

The Q & A's on the Forum have been interesting and helpful. We've also done a good bit of research on our own, mainly on the internet. We have a list of 15 vehicles based on low curb weight (2293 to 2877 lbs.). This was taken from the Motorhome Magazine Dinghy Towing Guide.

We haven't found any specific information that lets us know what makes one vehicle better than another. We know from Forum discussions that some of you have the Jeep Liberty. If anybody has any opinions on what really matters in selecting a dinghy we would appreciate hearing from you.
Thanks,
Paul & Marilyn  :)

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pyrthkr

Re: Towing Dinghys
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2012, 05:08:34 pm »
I think everyone has their own personal preferences as to what attribute is more important than another in a dinghy.  I would recommend sitting down & figuring out exactly what you want to do w/the vehicle.  Are you just driving around the town you are in &/or exploring the area on paved roads VS getting out on the Forest Service roads or other "tracks"?  Can mean a huge difference in what you select.  For us; the attributes were:  light weight (like you) & we would also be using it on a semi-regular basis in town when not RVing.  The Honda Fit is the model we chose but others qualified as well.  DW thought the Fit was cute so that about nailed it for us.

Good luck!

 :cool

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lmichael

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Re: Towing Dinghys
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2012, 06:30:04 pm »
We chose a 2006 Jeep Wrangler as a toad mostly because a neighbor offered one with low mileage to us at a price we couldn't refuse.  Before the good deal offer, we were thinking seriously about a Honda CRV.  The best toad is the one that best fits your needs, desires, price and emotions.  We're very happy with the Jeep Wrangler, and it has been fairly inexpensive to rig for towing--and doesn't require any special attention like starting the engine at specific mileage intervals.  We also like being able to tow 4 down.  Whatever you decide on, having a toad expands the flexibility and enjoyment of your travels.

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TomHanlon

Re: Towing Dinghys
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2012, 06:55:40 pm »
X2 what they said plus remember you might to think about how many people you want to seat. If we meet up in a campground someday, I would let you take the DW and me out to dinner. So seating for four would be nice, I don't like being strapped to the roof.

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kevin

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Re: Towing Dinghys
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2012, 09:00:41 pm »
We went the route of using what we have.  (cheer) Next week TinkerBell - Linda's Smart Car - gets fitted with whatever it takes to become a dinghy.   (cheer)  Future reports will be forthcoming  :-D
kevin

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ron.dittmer

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Re: Towing Dinghys
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2012, 11:17:05 pm »
Ditto from me on everyone's replies.  Like was shared higher, we got the Liberty 4x4 to be more adventurous.  But that is not everyone's mission.  Our Liberty does weigh 3800 pounds, so it is not as light as many other choices.

We used to tow a 2100 pound Toyota MR2 Spyder without secondary braking, and I considered that "Just Getting By".  Anything heavier and I think you will want secondary braking.

As heavy as our Liberty is, with the seconday braking system we have, it actually helps slow down the motor home.  So if you later consider something heavier, the right braking kit can eliminate any concern of stopping quickly.
Ron (& Irene) Dittmer

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DownBy TheRiver

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Re: Towing Dinghys
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2012, 12:42:06 am »
And while Ron may cite a 3800# curb weight for his Jeep Liberty, I'd maintain that the actual curb weight of either a 4x4 Jeep Liberty, or that of a 4x4 Jeep Wrangler, is EASILY over 4,000#.

If indeed, towed and braked weight is of particular concern.

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TomHanlon

Re: Towing Dinghys
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2012, 07:39:26 am »
Ron and Dave,

You could both be right and both be wrong according to the January 2012 Family Motor Coaching towing guide. On page 65 it sates that the Jeep Liberty approximate curb weight is 4.290 lbs. The Wrangler is 3,760 lbs and the Wrangler Unlimited is 4,075 lbs. Ron could be right if his Liberty is a two drive model and not the heavier 4x4.

Motorhome magazine just came out with their towing guide but I gave my copy to a friend.

To find out more about towing, and what makes a good toad,  you might want to go to the web site for FMCA or Good Sam Club or Motorhome magazine.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2012, 07:41:57 am by TomHanlon »

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ron.dittmer

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Re: Towing Dinghys
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2012, 09:46:39 am »
Interesting about the weight of a 1st generation Liberty.  I got that 3800 pound figure when shopping for a 4x4 three years ago.

I was going to backup my figures so I did new research.  According to Jeep Horizons HERE

With the most common gasoline engine, 3.7L-V6
- manual 6spd 2wd = 3846
- manual 6spd 4wd = 4044
- auto 4spd 4wd = 4115
- auto 5spd 4wd = 4296  (We own this one)

So, you are correct fellows.  I was 500 pounds off my numbers.  Boy my Liberty is awfully heavy.   :'(   It weighs twice that of my little MR2.

Thanks for the correction.  I've been saying 3800 pounds all along....sheesh.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2012, 09:58:48 am by ron.dittmer »
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bobander

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Re: Towing Dinghys
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2012, 11:32:53 am »
My 2003 Jeep Wrangler weighs 4100 lbs, I weighed it at a scale while towed by the PC on a trip last year.  It is the short WB, not the Unlimited, has hard top, after market hardware, lifted, oversize tires, heavy bumpers, winch, and it carries tools and recovery gear for off road adventures.  Also it had chairs and table in the back.

Even at that heavy weight, the 2551 PC tows it without issue.

Bob
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Barry-Sue

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Re: Towing Dinghys
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2012, 07:31:52 pm »
I think the first thing that needs to be considered when choosing a toad is the towing rate of the hitch.  On my 2012 2551 the towing rate of the hitch is 5,000 pounds.   I think this is the standard hitch on the PC unless you specifically request something different.    So, if  you start with a 4,300 pound car add a couple of bikes, a bike rack, tow bar, base plates, drop hitch, saftey chains, and all the extras you store in your toad  you could be pretty close to that 5,000 pound limit.

Thus before you choose your toad think about how much weight you will be towing.  That might guide you to one toad versus another.

Remember the motto of all toads:  "I GO WHERE I'M TOAD"  :lol

Barry
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ron.dittmer

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Re: Towing Dinghys
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2012, 08:45:27 pm »
Barry, With my Liberty weighing a "corrected" 4300 pounds  :'( before I add all the extras like tow bars, rear hitch, bikes and rack, golf clubs, etc, etc., I still would not exceed 5000 pounds.  But your comment is well noted.  If considering a heavier vehicle yet, then adding all that extra stuff, it could exceed the limit.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2012, 08:47:23 pm by ron.dittmer »
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Paul/Marilyn

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Re: Towing Dinghys
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2012, 06:36:40 pm »
Many thanks to everybody who gave us your towing suggestions. All good info and helpful. We probably will use the dinghy for touring whatever area we're in on fair to good roads, not out on rough forrest roads. We've never had any problem with the gravel roads in the southwest mountain and desert areas. We've decided to keep the curb weight below 3,000 lbs. Also, we're not going to load bicycles, kayaks or other weight on it. One problem we're aware of is ground clearance on small cars.

Prythker, would you believe we had a Honda Fit, red, no less, but traded in on a Mazda 5 for a little more people carrying room before we had any thought of needing a dinghy! Loved the Fit.

TomHanlon, we'll plan on getting something with seating for four so we can take you guys to dinner!

Kevin, we agree with your wife, the Smart car is absolutely the cutest. Parked by one today and it would be perfect.

Thanks again,  :)
Paul & Marilyn