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Best Small Dhingy Cars

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WillieontheRoad

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Best Small Dhingy Cars
« on: September 02, 2018, 11:39:49 am »
Howdy PC Experts,
This year we purchased a PC 2100 and have been surviving without a dinghy car. 
However, we are beginning to see that we might need to pull one if we go any longer.
We are only looking at what would be a second car used only to shop and sightsee, not our primary vehicle.
Can you give us any suggestions for the best 2-3,000lb dinghy cars?  Auto trans.  Reasons?
Thanks,
Alan and Joan
Austin, TX

 
« Last Edit: September 02, 2018, 11:42:45 am by WillieontheRoad »
Alan and Joan

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jatrax

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Re: Best Small Dhingy Cars
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2018, 03:00:04 pm »
https://images.goodsam.com/newmotorhome/towguides/2018DinghyGuide.pdf

One hazard of asking the question you asked is that there are too many variables.  Car makers change things every year and even within the model year different engines and transmissions might or might not be towable.  But you will still get people posting "I tow a xyz" and it's great.  I'm sure it is.  But unless they specify the model year and engine and transmission it is not a good answer.

The source listed above is good comprehensive guide.   But all listings should be checked by actually reading the owners manual of the specific vehicle you are purchasing.

I bought a 2017 Jeep Cherokee to tow.  And despite both the salesperson and the sales manager insisting that I could tow it "no problem it's a Jeep" it is NOT towable as is.  The owner's manual clearly states that but neither the sales person or the sales manager bothered to actually check the manual before telling me it was fine.  <end of rant>


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tswhitewater

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Re: Best Small Dhingy Cars
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2018, 03:26:23 pm »
I'm also in the market for a small dinghy.  I've done a ton of research and have settled on a 2019 Kia Soul base with manual transmission.  It light, reasonably spacious,  inexpensive and has better than average reliability.  Did I mention it's cheap!!!!!!

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Syd and Margo

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Re: Best Small Dhingy Cars
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2018, 11:48:40 am »
Mazda Miata 6 speed transmission. Only 2000 lbs and fun to drive.  Only negative is not much space for storage.

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TheLuvShack

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Re: Best Small Dhingy Cars
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2018, 03:44:12 pm »
http://www.motorhome.com/download-dinghy-guides/
Don't know how to make this a clicky but this guide lists towables back to 2000 model year. Might be useful since you're searching for a used vehicle. Remember, you'll have additional expenses to prepare the car for towing. Four down requires a baseplate, tow bar, lights and a braking system. Other option is a tow dolly and lights. You won't be able to back up so fuel stops need to be planned so you can enter and exit without backing. You may want to try renting at your destination or Uber or Lyft. Safe Travels!

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bftownes

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Re: Best Small Dhingy Cars
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2018, 07:23:50 pm »
Flat towing a 2012 GMC Terrain.

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BlueBlaze

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Re: Best Small Dhingy Cars
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2018, 12:11:18 pm »
Scion IQ

Any problems?  Seems like a great alternative to Smart, but I thought Toyota said it can't be towed.  Remco says you have to use a tow dolly. 

By the way, Remco's a great source:  http://www.remcoindustries.com/Towing/Store.php

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sailors35

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Re: Best Small Dhingy Cars
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2018, 12:38:07 pm »
Flat towing 2015 Fiat 500 Sport manual 5 speed.
Mike & Lynn Ratliff

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Re: Best Small Dhingy Cars
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2018, 02:55:46 pm »
I tow 4 down a 2014 smart car, 1800 lbs , so no aux brake needed. The problem we have is that we like to hike and many times there are a few miles of rough road to the trail head that we canít make due to low clearance.  Itís a great little city car that is easy to tow and we get 50 plus miles to the gallon putting along on the back roads but itís not filling all our rv needs.  Really depends on your needs I guess, there are tons of options.

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Ron Dittmer

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Re: Best Small Dhingy Cars
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2018, 01:20:52 pm »
In most states....maybe all states....you don't need secondary braking on a trailer or tow vehicle that weighs less than 2000 pounds.  I think the Smart car is the only vehicle below that weight.  Not having secondary braking makes matters more simple and more affordable.

With that said, we tow a 3700 pound 2006 Jeep Liberty 4x4.  With secondary braking on our PC and that tow vehicle for 9 years now, it has been working reliably well.  I did once had a failure-to-operate issue on a trip that I resolved with a can of WD-40 on the main solenoid located under the tow vehicle's driver seat.  A little lube did the trick.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2018, 01:22:51 pm by Ron Dittmer »
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BlueBlaze

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Re: Best Small Dhingy Cars
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2018, 08:07:17 pm »
I had decided that the Smart ForTwo was the closest thing to a purpose-built toad ever designed.  It seemed perfect.  So when towing my Ranger didn't work out, I started looking for a Smart.  I finally found a nice little 2012 Passion with 85K miles for $4000.

And now I'm starting to understand why these things aren't more popular.

It started with the transmission.  Part of the reason they are towable is that instead of a traditional automatic transmission, they have a standard transmission with a computer that does the shifting.  Wouldn't you know it, the gear indicator started blinking on the way home from the purchase.  So I took it to the dealership the next day.  $200 just to look at it, I guess because it's a Mercedes.  But good news!  The transmission computer just needed a software update.  They didn't even charge me (other than the $200, of course).

But then the guy informed me that they had no record of my car every being in for its 60K checkup.  And that's a big deal because these cars have solid lifters, which require adjustment, just like an old VW.  I was told that my car would likely self-destruct at any moment if I didn't get this done right way.  OK, how much, I asked.  $2,000!  Why?  Because they have to remove the entire engine from the car to do it!  But good news! Since it's included in the 60K service, they'd throw in new belts and spark plugs!

I said for that kind of money, I'd just have to take my chances.  (I later discovered on the smart car forum that hardly anybody actually does the valve adjustment, and it's only a couple of hundred if I don't let a Mercedes dealer do it.)

So then I asked how much for a spare key.  A mere $289.18!  But if I wanted it "programmed" to actually work, that's another $190!  $479 for a key!  Who knew that 12% of the entire value of a 2012 Smart car is on the key chain?  I was afraid to ask how much for a set of tires.  Good thing mine are in pretty good shape, but I bet you can't get a set of those at Costco.

Oh, well, I'm committed now.  It's just disheartening that the most expensive single item I need to outfit the car for towing is the spare key!

I thought I'd pass this along for anyone considering a Smart for a toad.  Be aware, it's a Mercedes.  You're going to be paying luxury car prices for anything you need from the dealer for your little economy car.  I wish I'd thought of that.  And for sure, don't let anyone sell you a car with only one key!



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Re: Best Small Dhingy Cars
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2018, 10:52:35 am »
Quote
Be aware, it's a Mercedes. 
We started our RV search looking at Sprinter based models.  After research and reading a lot on line we decided that Ford was a much better choice for our budget. :)  Mercedes makes nice stuff but they are really, really proud of the little emblem on the front.  roflol

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Ron Dittmer

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Re: Best Small Dhingy Cars
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2018, 03:34:06 pm »
Quote
Be aware, it's a Mercedes. 
We started our RV search looking at Sprinter based models.  After research and reading a lot on line we decided that Ford was a much better choice for our budget. :)  Mercedes makes nice stuff but they are really, really proud of the little emblem on the front.  roflol
I agree with you John.

There are very few automakers that have consistent quality control challenges, and I feel Ford is "not" one of them.  Ford makes a consistently good product, especially their E-Series.

On the other hand, I don't have a warm feeling about Chrysler products...never did since my earliest driving days thru to the Jeep Liberty that my wife loves and I despise so much.  I hate that I have to always fix things that should never get broken in the first place.  It's got only 75,000 miles on it and it is garaged all the time, but so many little things go bad like it has over 200,000 miles on it.  I could never recommend a Chrysler product for that reason.  Too much nickel and dime stuff.  If I paid someone to repair them, I could have bought a new vehicle with that money.
Ron (& Irene) Dittmer

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Joseph

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Re: Best Small Dhingy Cars
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2018, 07:23:41 pm »
Ron, weíre just getting back from a 2 month road trip covering about 6000 miles. The vehicle I saw being towed the most by far was jeep and the majority are wranglers . Weíre looking at purchasing one however Iím not completely sold on anything sold by Chrysler . I know many love them but my experience with dodge years ago left me with a bad taste.   So Iím not sure how I should/will proceed. All this said every person I spoke with was very happy with their jeep. Then again when they cost what they do you almost feel you have to love it.