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Dinghy / Toad

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Simple Song

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Dinghy / Toad
« on: May 27, 2009, 09:49:44 am »
 :help    Would like to hear from other Phoenix Cruiser owners on what dinghy /  toad they use and tow bar / breaking system.  We have a 2001 Honda Odyssey van that can be towed four down but wonder if the complications and expense could  be partially avoided by purchasing a dolly.  Our other consideration is to purchase a Honda Fit which at 2500 lbs would be much easier to tow four down.

Open to all suggestions.   tymote

Tom

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Ron Dittmer

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Re: Dinghy / Toad
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2009, 04:21:30 pm »
We tow a light weight 2100 pound Toyota MR2 Spyder, the little red 2-seat convertible, using a Roadmaster tow bar & Falcon-II hitch kit.  Cost of parts was under $1000.  I installed the tow bar and did the wiring myself.





Because it is so close to the 2000 pound limit for not requiring secondary braking, we are getting by just fine.  It helps not to add more weight into the tow vehicle to store stuff, and the car has a very low center of gravity, making it a very friendly tow vehicle.  We don't know it's back there when towing it.  Without secondary braking, we can unhook and be on our way in 45 seconds.  Hooking up takes under 3 minutes, making it possible to be done right there on the camp ground roadway.  Pull-through and even in some back-in camp sites, I drive the car around to the back of the RV and hook it up on-site while my wife is doing other camp tear-down activities.

A tow dolly has it's inconveniences from that 3rd bulky thing to park on your campsite, to the double-work of hitching up the tow dolly to the RV, then driving and securing the tow vehicle to the dolly.  You generally can't do it on-site either.  You have to drive both vehicles to an area where there is room to "Do The Process".  Also consider you need to store the tow dolly at home when your vacation is over.

I think it depends on your type of RVing.  If you like to tour the country on the run like we do, we unhook and re-hook the car every couple days during a 3 week trip.  The tow dolly would be a pain for that.  If you go to one place and setup to stay the duration of a vacation, then a tow dolly is good as you only mess with it 4 times.  Twice at home, and twice at your destination.  One positive thing to consider with a tow dolly.  It takes care of your secondary braking as it has that built-in.  A tow dolly also offers a solution for most people who want to use their front wheel everyday home use vehicle.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2009, 06:12:26 pm by ron.dittmer »
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Simple Song

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Re: Dinghy / Toad
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2009, 04:53:33 pm »
Well - we traded the Odyssey van for a new Honda CRV not the Fit as originally stated.  Planning on a Blue OX Aladdin tow bar and CRV base plate.  Would really like to hear some "brake opinions." Can't make up my mind on Brake Buddy Vantage or Unified Tow Brake.  THe BBV seems "simple" to install and use.

Re: Dinghy / Toad
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2009, 09:21:18 pm »
I'm towing a Jeep Wrangler, 3000+ lbs, using an old blue ox hitch and a brake buddy behind a 2005 2550 on an E350 chassis.  Goes Great.

Re: Dinghy / Toad
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2009, 10:46:48 pm »
for mapper098

We, too,have a '05 2550 but have not as yet towed..  When u are towing, what is your average gas milage.. Without a tow, we were getting 10.88 on the trip out to the rally from Houston and back..
band v

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GoPhoenix

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Re: Dinghy / Toad
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2009, 08:45:50 am »
We have owned two prior vehicle used as dinghies.  Coming from a Class A, this time we wanted something that could also be used as storage for larger items.  And a requirement was a vehicle with an automatic transmission that could be flat towed without modifications.  We decided on the Chevy HHR, and it was a great decision.

It tows great; plenty of room for our small Weber grill, Brake Buddy and lots more   especially with one or both of the rear seats folded down when necessary; sits upright like an SUV (and like the Phoenix); and we love the styling.  Also, at home, my wife will always choose to drive the HHR rather than our Buick smaller and fun to drive.  The only addition was the base plate and wiring. We use the Blue Ox tow bar from our previous dinghy.  We would highly recommend the HHR (Heritage High Roof) as a dinghy.
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lghjr

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Re: Dinghy / Toad
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2009, 01:09:59 pm »
I tow a Suzuki Grand Vitara, 4X4, four down with a Roadmaster 9700 brake, Falcon 5250 tow bar (MH mounted).  The GV has a neutral in the transfer case allowing the 4 down tow. 
I would buy the Roadmaster products again.

Did the wiring and baseplates my self in two days and saved about $800-1000, over dealer install (their best guess). The car has less than 600 miles on it when I pulled the front end off to install the baseplates - the shrieks from my better half are still poignant.

I set the brake on light and so far that is adequate.  I have a charge line feedback problem on the PC 2700 that I believe is caused by a relay latching on the MH.  I have solved it temporarily by using a fuse as a plug and unplugging the car when stopped for any length of time. A diode block will probably work as a permanent solution - just have not gotten around to it.  Just completed a 2000+ mile trip and everything worked well except the feedback.

L. G.