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Old 04-15-2014, 04:01 PM   #1
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thinking of a toad

Any thoughts on a VW dune buggy or a Suzuki Samurai?
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Old 04-15-2014, 04:15 PM   #2
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Roadmaster makes towbar brackets for the Suzuki Samurai, all model years, 4×4 only. It's the "classic" bracket for older vehicles, that permanently sticks out in front of the bumper, so if that's okay…

I'm sure other makers such as Blue Ox and Sami have them as well.

Don't know how well it will tow, but you can tow it.

As for the VW dune buggy, no clue. You'd probably need custom towbar brackets for it at the very least, and that would run up the price.
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Old 04-15-2014, 04:49 PM   #3
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I used to to VW's 4 down with a very basic tow bar that went under the car and clipped to the front suspension- no brakes-
The Vw will not track straight with this configuration. It is constantly weaving side to side. I guess you could tie the steering wheel in place to alleviate some of the wandering.
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Old 04-17-2014, 03:08 PM   #4
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And for the safety of everyone around you, please consider a braking system for the Toad. You've got an 11,000#GVW vehicle towing something in the range of 2500-7000# vehicle depending on what you use for the Toad. And the Mercedes rating, depending on your model is only 5000# or 7000# of towing capacity. Just about every state has some brake-weight requirement for towing a "trailer" usually starting around 3000#, and yes, there are those who state "I'm not towing a trailer, I'm towing a car!" Its a trailer unless someone is driving it and operating the Toad's brakes in conjunction with your Airstream brakes.
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Old 04-17-2014, 03:19 PM   #5
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Does a vintage bug weigh over 3,000#?
Does a Suzuki Samurai weigh over 3,000#?
I don't know how much a bug weighs, but I have towed many bugs 4 wheels on the ground with no brakes, right or wrong-
I have also towed bug-based sand rails 4-down with no brakes, just a tow bar- a dune buggy should weigh less than a stock bug, and a Samurai convertible should weigh less than the hard top, but I don't know how much any of them weigh.
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Old 04-17-2014, 03:50 PM   #6
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well there bikerbill i appreciate your sermon but that is not the info I asked for. The vehicles I was referring to should be close to my rating which is max 2000# . M.honey and Potangonist thanks for your input.
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Old 04-17-2014, 08:48 PM   #7
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Tsk Tsk, W Va Beer sounds like he missed his cold beer tonite beer.

I was only trying to point out the SAFETY. Protagonist was giving you advice on various tow bars, I was giving advice on SAFETY. I see you have a larger motorhome than the Interstate but did not know if THAT was the motorhome you were going to use. I was only trying to point out safety issues. I've been motor homing for over 20+ years with bigger equipment until recently and have traveled in all 48 contiguous states and have seen plenty of "things" being towed. Most safely, but the ones that were not safely anchored or properly fitted with the correct equipment were quite obvious. And many were along the side of the road broken down.
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Old 04-18-2014, 05:34 AM   #8
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Thank for your concern. Despite our stereotype. This Hillbilly knows the important of brakes. Remember we have mountains? I do not use brakes for 2500 lb or less with a 18000 lb tow vehicle. No offense
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Old 04-18-2014, 07:20 AM   #9
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One last thought I had last night. Possibly a tow dolly. Easier sometimes to use as you don't have some of the problems associated with steering small vehicles and the need to tie the steering wheel in place. AND another benefit is the overall cost especially if one may change vehicles in a short time. I've seen used ones go for less than a grand and sometimes the necessary vehicle specific tow bar and connections can cost more than that, unless you've got a friendly welder. Only drawback is sometimes slipping the straps over the wheels to tie it down can get messy in wet, muddy weather.
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Old 04-18-2014, 10:19 AM   #10
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We bought our present Samurai in Arizona and towed it home to Minnesota behind our 1995 VW Camper, as well as locally in both places. Used a simple bumper hitch tow bar, no extra brakes. The VW had a towing capacity of 5000# as I recall, may have been 3500, and the Samurai weighs around 1800#.

It actually towed very well, followed right along and the 5 cylinder, 5 speed manual transmission handled it well. The Samurai is a nice little off-roader, very capable. Good around town vehicle with its small size, but I don't like driving over 55 mph and you will feel every bump. We'll keep ours for the long run and rebuild it if anything ever breaks, so far nothing has but its only 25 years old.

There is something in the Samurai owner's manual about putting the transmission and transfer case in neutral to tow, and each day running the engine to lube the gear boxes. No need to unhook. By the way the steering followed perfectly through turns, but you cannot back up with it or it will jackknife.
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Old 04-20-2014, 05:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wvabeer View Post
I do not use brakes for 2500 lb or less with a 18000 lb tow vehicle.
If your state only requires trailer brakes for trailers over 3000 pounds, than as long as your toad's GVWR is under 3000 pounds, you're okay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikerbill View Post
One last thought I had last night. Possibly a tow dolly.
Not for 4wd. A 4wd has to be towed 4-down, or 4-up on a trailer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
By the way the steering followed perfectly through turns, but you cannot back up with it or it will jackknife.
Pretty much true of all toads.
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Old 04-22-2014, 11:24 PM   #12
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A VW Dune buggy will tow pretty easy and with a fiberglass body is very light. My Dad and I built one in 1969 and when the family moved from Virginia to California towed it behind a 1968 Dodge station wagon. It had a Meyers Manx body and weighed in around 1200 lbs.
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Old 08-22-2014, 10:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
If your state only requires trailer brakes for trailers over 3000 pounds, than as long as your toad's GVWR is under 3000 pounds, you're okay.

Not for 4wd. A 4wd has to be towed 4-down, or 4-up on a trailer.

Pretty much true of all toads.
Protagonist. I've searched everywhere and cannot find a place that says it's okay to tow a 1990 ford festiva as a toad. Front wheel drive, manual trans, light weight. Totally restored to original. What say the guru?
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Old 08-23-2014, 06:12 AM   #14
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Protagonist. I've searched everywhere and cannot find a place that says it's okay to tow a 1990 ford festiva as a toad. Front wheel drive, manual trans, light weight. Totally restored to original. What say the guru?
I'm not all-seeing, all-knowing, so calling me the guru is blatant flattery, which as we all know will get you nowhere…

As a front-wheel-drive vehicle, the Festiva can certainly be dolly-towed. ALL front-wheel drive vehicles can be dolly-towed, as long as the overhang at the rear of the vehicle is short so the rear bumper doesn't drag the ground.

If you're looking to flat-tow the Festiva, I can at least look up the vehicle on towbar manufacturers' websites.

Roadmaster's "Bracket Application Guide" shows that they make towbar baseplate brackets for 1983-1990 Festivas. Part number 404-1.

Blue Ox also makes towbar baseplate brackets for the Festiva. Part number BX2106.

So it looks like the Festiva is flat-towable as well as dolly-towable. HOWEVER, neither of these manufactuers' websites indicate what other, if any, preparations need to be made in order to flat-tow. Some vehicles require installation of a transmission lube pump or other additional devices. Some require that you remove certain fuses. Some require that you leave the key in the ignition turned to the "on" or "auxiliary" position to unlock the steering wheel. The Roadmaster and Blue Ox webpages don't have that information, so if your owner's manual doesn't have it either, you'd be risking damage to the vehicle's powertrain or steering.

My recommendation is, stick with towing it on a dolly. We KNOW that will work, and will not require any additional prep of the vehicle.
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