Hello Guest

Considering Four Down Need Input

  • 48 Replies
  • 1941 Views
*

Ron Dittmer

  • *******
  • 4360
  • Ron and Irene
    • View Profile
    • My 2007 2350 Phoenix Cruiser
  • OwnPC: Yes
  • NewUsed: New
  • PurchDate: June 2007
  • Model: 2350 Ford
  • ModelYear: 2007
  • Slide: No
  • IntColor: Cherry Green&Gray
  • ExtColor: Full Body Gray
  • Location: Illinois
Re: Considering Four Down Need Input
« Reply #30 on: August 12, 2019, 11:46:13 am »
For me personally, It would be hard to buy a brand new expense 4x4 tow vehicle and immediately tow it, having lots of road debris messing up the paint work and all the rest a tow vehicle goes through.  It was mentally easy for me to accept our 3 year old purchase with 27,000 miles for less than half the negotiated price of a new one.  But that's me with my thinking, and I know I generally think differently than most people.  Heck, I don't like slide outs.....that should explain a lot.  roflol
Ron (& Irene) Dittmer

*

Joseph

  • ******
  • 473
    • View Profile
  • OwnPC: Yes
  • NewUsed: Used
  • PurchDate: 3/7/2015
  • Model: 2552
  • ModelYear: 2011
  • Slide: Yes
  • IntColor: Tan/Cherry
  • ExtColor: Gray / White
  • Location: California
Re: Considering Four Down Need Input
« Reply #31 on: August 12, 2019, 06:35:03 pm »
Ron , I agree besides the cost of depreciation as well.  I canít help but think of the 2012 Pc someone just noted going up for sale with 15,000 miles on it. Those are some costly miles and yet a bargain for someone else.  I really dislike buying new and I understand others like that new car smell and the money doesnít matter. Itís all good, and works for everyone.

So when the new bronco comes out, Iíll go look at it. Iíll oooooh and ahhhhhh and get it out of my system.


*

BlueBlaze

  • *****
  • 113
    • View Profile
  • OwnPC: Yes
  • NewUsed: Used
  • PurchDate: 06/2016
  • Model: 2350 Ford
  • ModelYear: 2008
  • Slide: No
  • IntColor: birch
  • ExtColor: white
  • Location: Texas
Re: Considering Four Down Need Input
« Reply #32 on: August 13, 2019, 12:26:44 pm »
The greatest toad ever built was the 1989-97 Suzuki/Geo/Chevy Tracker.  Small, high clearance, 4x4, convertible, 4 passenger, conventional drive train, easy to work on, barely 2000 lbs, and reliable.  So they turned it into a station wagon and then wondered why people quit buying them. 

Meanwhile, 25 billion dollar's worth of motorhomes are cranked out every year, but it's never occurred to the auto industry to create a purpose-built vehicle to tow behind them.

Weird but true!

*

Ron Dittmer

  • *******
  • 4360
  • Ron and Irene
    • View Profile
    • My 2007 2350 Phoenix Cruiser
  • OwnPC: Yes
  • NewUsed: New
  • PurchDate: June 2007
  • Model: 2350 Ford
  • ModelYear: 2007
  • Slide: No
  • IntColor: Cherry Green&Gray
  • ExtColor: Full Body Gray
  • Location: Illinois
Re: Considering Four Down Need Input
« Reply #33 on: August 13, 2019, 09:22:31 pm »
BlueBlaze,
Last year I sold my 94 year old mother's cream puff 2002 Chevy Tracker 4x4 with only 22,000 miles on it.  I worked hard to get $5,000 cash for it.  That vehicle was a real gem.


« Last Edit: August 13, 2019, 09:24:17 pm by Ron Dittmer »
Ron (& Irene) Dittmer

*

swiftboot

  • *****
  • 116
    • View Profile
  • OwnPC: Yes
  • NewUsed: Used
  • PurchDate: 10-31-16
  • Model: 2350 Ford
  • ModelYear: 2351----2015
  • Slide: Yes
  • ExtColor: Nightscape
  • Location: Central Florida
Re: Considering Four Down Need Input
« Reply #34 on: August 14, 2019, 03:52:50 pm »
I been following this thread closely.   I have almost decided on a 2010 liberty limited 4wd although a sport would have been fine.  It's a bit heavier than a sport but only slightly.  The liberty will double as farm vehicle as well and daily driver.  I have a p/u truck that stays offroad for the dirtier jobs.  My immediate concern is rigging for towing, its beyond my pay grade (base plate and breakaway brakes etc).  I think I will go with ready brakes elite with surge brakes.  If anyone has suggestions I would appreciate your advice.  Also have not a clue of labor costs of installation?  My apologies if this appears as a hijack of this topic.

Larry

*

mikeh

  • *****
  • 149
    • View Profile
  • OwnPC: Yes
  • NewUsed: New
  • PurchDate: 02/2019
  • Model: 2552
  • ModelYear: 2019
  • Slide: Yes
  • IntColor: Toast
  • ExtColor: Toast
  • Location: Oklahoma
Re: Considering Four Down Need Input
« Reply #35 on: August 14, 2019, 08:29:30 pm »
My immediate concern is rigging for towing, its beyond my pay grade (base plate and breakaway brakes etc).  I think I will go with ready brakes elite with surge brakes.  If anyone has suggestions I would appreciate your advice.  Also have not a clue of labor costs of installation?

Larry

Larry,

I can only be of marginal help (if any) on your question since I use a different system, but maybe some of my info will apply.  I posted detailed information on my tow set-up earlier in this topic (second message, I think).  I personally recommend it highly based on my experience, but there are several very good tow packages available.  Based on what I can see quickly online regarding the NSA Ready Brake products, it looks like their tow bars are priced about the same as other top-line bars from Roadmaster and Blue Ox; they use the same base plates as other bars--so that cost is the same; their surge brake system at $400+ costs less than half the $1000 of some other good permanent installed brake systems.  Rear lights should be the same for all (depending on the light arrangement used).  There are quite a few "incidentals" required in installing a tow package--and I assume those end up being about the same for any system installed.

10 years ago I would have done my own tow installation without thinking twice about it--like I did everything else of a mechanical/electrical nature.  Yeah, to save some money---but primarily to be confident in the quality of the job.  Now, on the plus side of 75, and with much more limited flexibility and access to tight places, my fallback is to go to a professional operation to try to be assured of that quality job.  Dan's Service Center in Elkhart specializes in all types of hitch work and has developed a great reputation.  I dropped my Jeep off, took the new PC over, and two days later left them a check for $4.8K; with parts and components totaling $3400 and labor running $1400.  I'm sure they had a profit margin on some of the incidental components, but their invoice price for the big stuff (tow bar, base plates, integrated brake system) was very close to internet prices.  They provided high quality work, two-day turn-around, thorough walk-through and test drive, full support for all the component warranties and their labor, and even furnished me a loaner car while they had mine.  I'm not sure how that labor cost tracks with other quality shops but I bet it's pretty close for a turnkey job--between base plates, brake system and rear lights, there's quite a bit of work involved that needs to be done right to deliver a system that will be reliable over time.

All the best,        Mike

*

Ron Dittmer

  • *******
  • 4360
  • Ron and Irene
    • View Profile
    • My 2007 2350 Phoenix Cruiser
  • OwnPC: Yes
  • NewUsed: New
  • PurchDate: June 2007
  • Model: 2350 Ford
  • ModelYear: 2007
  • Slide: No
  • IntColor: Cherry Green&Gray
  • ExtColor: Full Body Gray
  • Location: Illinois
Re: Considering Four Down Need Input
« Reply #36 on: August 15, 2019, 07:57:27 am »
Larry,

Just sharing here that for our 2006 Jeep Liberty, it was easy installing the two tow bar brackets.  The tedious part was cutting out the low indents on the plastic front bumper, making sure to follow them accurately to look nice.

The 2008-2010 Liberty was restyled, not sure how different it is.  CLICK HERE for the Roadmaster base plate and installation guide for it.  The Roadmaster base plate kit for it HERE is very similar to ours HERE.  At a glance they look the same.

Roadmaster offers two different base plate kits, pending the design of your tow bar.  Make sure to select the right one to review.

I share this only for comparison.  I am not trying to promote the Roadmaster product.  Many here love the Blue Ox product.  It's worth the effort to compare them and decide which is best for you.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2019, 08:08:28 am by Ron Dittmer »
Ron (& Irene) Dittmer

*

Joseph

  • ******
  • 473
    • View Profile
  • OwnPC: Yes
  • NewUsed: Used
  • PurchDate: 3/7/2015
  • Model: 2552
  • ModelYear: 2011
  • Slide: Yes
  • IntColor: Tan/Cherry
  • ExtColor: Gray / White
  • Location: California
Re: Considering Four Down Need Input
« Reply #37 on: January 17, 2020, 08:33:20 pm »
Old thread I know.

 I have been contemplating going with out a toad. So much so I sold my toad (smart car). We have been on two trips now without a toad. One was only for 4 days where others there would have a vehicle for us to catch rides in. The second trips was from California to Fairhope Al for a weeks stay where we rented a car.  Driving the MH with out a toad is sooooo nice, cruising at 70, easy in and out of stations etc., we loved it, but then we learn the rest of the story. One, even with family offering rides depending on anyone else for transportation Sucks big time. It simply doesn't work, be when you depart or how long you stay and so on. Renting a car was a mess as well. The car they said they could deliver, suddenly they were too short staffed to make it happen. I get it stuff happens. Then we wanted to return it early which of course they were closed on Sunday and when we returned on Monday we are now fighting the no refunds for returning three days early. Doesn't really matter how that turns out at this point considering what we learned in what works and doesn't for us. Much as driving without a toad is a pleasure being without one at our destination isn't a good trade off, at least for us.

The smart car was so easy to tow but couldn't get us to so many places we wanted to go so no regrets in selling it. We're now looking into purchasing a Jeep Wrangler. It will get us to where we want and still be ok for around town and use in the low desert where we live.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2020, 08:40:06 pm by Joseph »

*

2 Lucky

  • *****
  • 111
    • View Profile
  • OwnPC: Yes
  • NewUsed: Used
  • PurchDate: 02/27/18
  • Model: 2551
  • ModelYear: 2010
  • Slide: Yes
  • IntColor: Cherry
  • ExtColor: Classic Umber
  • Location: Grand Junction, Colorado
Re: Considering Four Down Need Input
« Reply #38 on: January 18, 2020, 11:03:24 am »
We always did fine without a toad, until we got one. Now can't imagine going without it unless we know we won't need it. It hauls the bikes and the canoe and associated gear plus firewood, chairs etc.
We love our 2000 Tracker 4 door 4x4 high miles but well maintained looks like new...actually fun and comfy to drive. $4500 Gets us to those trail heads.
RVI brake system with RVI tire pressure monitor on all 10 wheels is great peace of mind. Easy set up and take down and can take it to the next toad if we ever lose "Dash" to old age.

*

Doneworking

  • ******
  • 340
    • View Profile
  • OwnPC: Yes
  • NewUsed: Used
  • PurchDate: September 2013
  • Model: 2350 Ford
  • ModelYear: 2013
  • Slide: Yes
  • Location: Oklahoma City
Re: Considering Four Down Need Input
« Reply #39 on: January 18, 2020, 12:44:44 pm »
I am like 2Lucky.   

I can't imagine the way we use our PC that we would enjoy it nearly as much if we didn't have a toad.  We have a Cherokee Trailhawk we tow and it is perfectly suited for towing and is my wife's full time vehicle.  Without a toadie we couldn't do the things we like to do when we boondock for several weeks at a time.   We selected the Trailhawk for the clearance, weight, 4 down neutral is easy, and we simply like Jeeps.   I have  driven a Jeep  for almost thirty years (six Jeeps all together) and every time I think I want something else I change my mind and stick with 'em.  Yes, they are quirky and can be rough riding but the Trailhawk is the best one we have ever owned.   It is a 2014 and has performed perfectly without any exception.   Plus, it is fun and economical to operate.

« Last Edit: January 20, 2020, 09:22:58 am by Doneworking »

*

Joseph

  • ******
  • 473
    • View Profile
  • OwnPC: Yes
  • NewUsed: Used
  • PurchDate: 3/7/2015
  • Model: 2552
  • ModelYear: 2011
  • Slide: Yes
  • IntColor: Tan/Cherry
  • ExtColor: Gray / White
  • Location: California
Re: Considering Four Down Need Input
« Reply #40 on: January 18, 2020, 02:06:27 pm »
Yup I get it. I learned a lesson, not that we couldn't do with out but we enjoy our trips so much more with one. I'm currently dealing on a 2005 wrangler TJ unlimited with 34,000 miles in like show room condition. I'm not keen on the JK or the LJ for that matter. Not a rush, but I will have a toad once again.

*

Engineerlt

  • ****
  • 57
  • A Little Project
    • View Profile
  • OwnPC: Yes
  • NewUsed: Used
  • PurchDate: Aug, 2019
  • Model: 2552
  • ModelYear: 2017
  • Slide: Yes
  • IntColor: Hickory
  • ExtColor: Toast
  • Location: St.Petersburg, Fl
Re: Considering Four Down Need Input
« Reply #41 on: January 19, 2020, 08:30:42 pm »
I tow a 2017 Cherokee Trailhawk, was looking for something a little smaller and lighter but it tows fine.  I use the InvisiBrake system and all my towing gear is by RoadMaster as well. I enjoy the idea of being able to go see and do things when I want, without having to disconnect or try and find a rental car.

*

Ron Dittmer

  • *******
  • 4360
  • Ron and Irene
    • View Profile
    • My 2007 2350 Phoenix Cruiser
  • OwnPC: Yes
  • NewUsed: New
  • PurchDate: June 2007
  • Model: 2350 Ford
  • ModelYear: 2007
  • Slide: No
  • IntColor: Cherry Green&Gray
  • ExtColor: Full Body Gray
  • Location: Illinois
Re: Considering Four Down Need Input
« Reply #42 on: January 24, 2020, 07:22:13 am »
We have owned our PC for 13 years now.  One trip out west, we left our tow vehicle home thinking we wouldn't need it which was a big mistake.  In our case with our 2350 and our travel style, the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages.  I feel model 2100 is the exception because it fits in many more automobile parking spots.

As far as a tow vehicle choice is concerned?  Our experience with both a tiny Toyota MR2 Spyder and an unmodified Jeep Liberty 4x4, the Liberty is our winner.  But there are still times I wished we had that little convertible.  The desert region is 4x4 territory hands-down.  The farther northwest we go, the less we need 4x4 capability as well as when heading eastbound from here in the Chicago area.

I have one concern towing a Jeep Wrangler, even an unmodified one.
Some years ago another couple with a Phoenix 2350 Sprinter stopped by our house to say hello.  The outer glass of their thermal pane rear window was shattered.  I asked them what happened.  They said this was the second time the window shattered.  Towing their Wrangler on the highway, stones from the front tires eject towards their PC.  Their Wrangler was the current generation, unmodified but with the aggressive package, maybe a Renegade.  The style of the front bumper provides a space for stones to shoot forward.  Maybe not a direct line of fire to the window, but maybe ricochets off the front bumper.  I imagine the tire thread design is also influential.

To you Wrangler owners, have you experienced stones shooting forward off your front tires?
« Last Edit: January 26, 2020, 02:32:04 pm by Ron Dittmer »
Ron (& Irene) Dittmer

*

Joseph

  • ******
  • 473
    • View Profile
  • OwnPC: Yes
  • NewUsed: Used
  • PurchDate: 3/7/2015
  • Model: 2552
  • ModelYear: 2011
  • Slide: Yes
  • IntColor: Tan/Cherry
  • ExtColor: Gray / White
  • Location: California
Re: Considering Four Down Need Input
« Reply #43 on: January 25, 2020, 05:59:35 pm »
Ron.  Good to know thank you . We havenít bought yet but I highly doubt Iíll be buying anything newer than 06. The JK and JL models are wider and different fenders and maybe that comes into play?  Weíre avoiding them being the  3.8 engine hasnít  held up well and the newer 3.6 all though much better in power has its share of issues as well with class action suits for the engine and frame of the Jeep itself.

Problem weíre having is finding one with lower miles in the longer wheel base.

Options for toads that fit our needs are becoming limited with more and more unable to be towed 4 down.

After Sara pointed to some Jeep issues we did a lot of research before we started looking. It was a true awakening.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2020, 11:50:56 am by Joseph »

*

Sarz272000

  • *****
  • 269
    • View Profile
  • OwnPC: Yes
  • NewUsed: Used
  • PurchDate: August 2018
  • Model: 2551
  • ModelYear: 2010
  • Slide: Yes
  • IntColor: Gray
  • ExtColor: Gray
  • Location: Michigan
Re: Considering Four Down Need Input
« Reply #44 on: January 26, 2020, 01:06:21 pm »
Some like the Buick Essence.  No need to start engine at stops and no limit on highway speed. I find it a little small and expensive.  The new 2020 Ford Escape ,hybrid only, is towable four down.  Probably the perfect vehicle if you like hybrids.  I found it acceptable but lacked acceleration. Also first year vehicles are not desired. I also considered a Ford Ranger.  A little heavy and not as powerful as thought it should be.  Jeep Cherokee on list but just canít pull trigger on a Jeep.

I am probably too picky.  But I will find one.  May just go with dolly and our 2914 Escape until one comes along.  It took two years to find the PC.....we want to go to Florida next month so something will give.

Ron S
« Last Edit: January 26, 2020, 07:24:28 pm by Sarz272000 »