Currently we own a Toyota Camry and an old beater of a pickup truck. Neither of which will provide us a toad that will do what we want to be able to do. So what do want in a toad?
- It has to be able to go off the road – not extreme off roading but capable of going on neglected dirt roads
- gas mileage should be over 20
- it has to be light weight
- it has to be readily towable with all four wheels down
- it needs adequate storage
- it needs to be capable of carrying two kayaks
The lighter the tow vehicle, the better since this helps decrease the stopping distance. More weight makes it more difficult to stop. The cost of acquiring a toad doesn’t stop at buying it… one can expect to add upwards to $3,000 to get your toad towable. So what is needed to make it towable?
- A tow bar : Typically the tow bar is mounted to the toad and connects to the RV by a 2″ trailer hitch. Blue Ox is a very popular brand of these.
- A wiring harness : All lights on the toad need to be connected to the RV. This is so the signal lights, brake lights and tail lights all operated correctly.
- A braking system : A braking system allows the toad’s brakes to be applied when the RV’s brakes are applied. Braking system help eliminate jackknifing during any sudden stops. Brake Buddy is a popular brand of these.
- A drive shaft disconnect : A drive shaft disconnect allows the toad’s wheels to spin freely when the transmission is in park. or a lube pump : If the toad is an automatic, significant damage can occur if the moving parts in the transmission aren’t lubricated while moving. The lube pump will circulate the transmission fluid while you are in neutral and in tow.
- Some type of deflector shield : This will protect the toad from rock chips or any other debris that the RV throws up from its tires.
N ow on the RV itself you want to be sure to check the rating of the hitch receiver to know what it is rated for as the heaviest load it can tow. This helps determine what toad you actually want to get. The toad I am leaning towards is a Honda CR-V AWD. It can be towed four wheels down without any major modifications having to be made. We will need to buy and mount the tow-bar and base plate and then install a braking system on it. We also need to follow all manufacturers specifications while towing this toad.
So why the Honda CR-V AWD?
It has a base curb weight of only 3500 lbs. It is towable with both a manual transmission and with an automatic transmission. It gets good gas mileage of 23/30 (City/Hwy). The only limitation is the manufacturer suggest the max speed while towing is 65 mph. Guess that means I won’t be able to take it for tow in Daytona for a lap or two… :)