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Old 11-16-2012, 12:42 AM   #15
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Protag,

Interstates are made to tow something, and I have never heard of there being problems. We have seen class Bs towing trailers, as ours was used for at the dealer to tow trailers to RV shows.

It depends on what you want. A cute little car with good gas mileage would be handy, but would add to issues of maneuverability, parking, windy highway driving, etc.

Sometimes we are in a campground overnight, sometimes to see an area, sometimes to just sit for a few days and cook, read, etc. When we know we are going to be running around during the day, we have our water tank filled and just hook up to electric. Easy to unhook and take off in the mornings, and then we always have what we and the dog need with us. The only thing we have to "put up" inside is our coffee pot.

We leave chairs, etc., at our campsite when we are sightseeing, never have had a problem with anything being stolen. Have even left a crockpot going on the picnic table.

Do what works for you.


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Old 11-16-2012, 08:22 AM   #16
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I could suggest towing a smart but having two of them I might be a bit biased. They weigh in at about 1600 lbs. and tow easily. If it's just you or you and a partner they are great and to top it off they are a ball to drive. But again I may be biased.
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Neatest rig I ever saw on the road was an airstream motor home pulling a utility trailer with a smart car in it. Was a 30 footer or so, but your rig would probably do it too.
Intriguing ideas, but the thought of driving a Smart Car in New Orleans traffic for daily use scares the pants off of me!

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Bought a Honda Fit for toad and it makes an excellent daily driver around town. Turns out to be a good choice and gives good gas mileage.
A Honda Fit Sport, with the 5-speed manual transmission, is looking better and better as my choice of a toad and daily-use car. Better MSRP, better Consumer Reports reviews, and better fuel economy than my previous "preferred" choice are key factors. And with a curb weight of only 2500 pounds, it shouldn't be too disastrous on my Interstate's fuel economy while towing.

Not a lot of wiggle room for price negotiation, though; MSRP is only about $400 over invoice, according to both NADA and Edmunds. Most of my negotiating would be on the dealer-installed options, and the trade-in value of my Durango.

I do wish that Honda would make their owner's manuals available online, though. I'd really like to see what it says about flat towing, and see if that matches the information in the Motorhome Magazine's Dinghy Towing Guide.

Next step is to let it stew for a week while I'm camping at DeGray Lake, and set up a test drive after I come back.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:55 AM   #17
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So basically, it's OK when a motorhome person makes jokes on a trailer hitch thread, but not when a trailer person makes jokes on a motorhome thread?
Touchet ... it keeps it interesting; good read.
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:34 AM   #18
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Once someone comes through with an answer to my question, feel free to hijack my thread and joke all you want about how motorhome owners are idiots for not buying trailers. After all, some of us ARE idiots, for one reason or another.

And I sincerely hope that I wasn't one of the motorhome owners making jokes about "shoulda bought a motorhome" on a trailer hitch thread.
Okay, I've gotten answers to my questions, so have at it!
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:11 AM   #19
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Intriguing ideas, but the thought of driving a Smart Car in New Orleans traffic for daily use scares the pants off of me!

Next step is to let it stew for a week while I'm camping at DeGray Lake, and set up a test drive after I come back.
Again I am biased but test drive a smart before you write it off. They are very highly safety rated, 5 star front and side and 4 star rear impact. I haves driven mine from Seattle to Tucson and Seattle to Los Angeles several times. They actually are considered to be "city cars" by many.

Cheers, Dan
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:30 AM   #20
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Again I am biased but test drive a smart before you write it off. They are very highly safety rated, 5 star front and side and 4 star rear impact. I haves driven mine from Seattle to Tucson and Seattle to Los Angeles several times. They actually are considered to be "city cars" by many.

Cheers, Dan
Not arguing that. Just can't overcome that visceral, atavistic fear of being on the road with the worst drivers in the world, in a car smaller than ANYTHING they might hit me with. Never mind the crash tests. Crash tests are not conducted by live people experiencing an, "Oh, my God!" reaction to three tons of metal approaching a glorified golf cart at a high rate of speed.

Okay, I know a Smart Car is considerably safer than a golf cart. But in terms of size, it's not a lot different, and that's the source of the fear factor.
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:38 AM   #21
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I know a guy that tows his Element with an Airstream Sprinter. I think he flat tows it. He seems pretty happy with the rig.
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Old 11-17-2012, 08:30 AM   #22
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Not arguing that. Just can't overcome that visceral, atavistic fear of being on the road with the worst drivers in the world, in a car smaller than ANYTHING they might hit me with. Never mind the crash tests. Crash tests are not conducted by live people experiencing an, "Oh, my God!" reaction to three tons of metal approaching
My thoughts exactly about the Fit, but this post might alleviate those fears.

Honda Fit Crashes into G55 AMG: Mercedes Rolls Over - autoevolution

I figured the front end is protected with a double bumper once I installed the baseplate, heavier steel than the original bumper, to protect the rear I have installed a tow hitch mainly for a bicycle rack, wish it was higher.

Honda does post it's manual online, and it is approved in the manual for towing, automatic or manual shift.

Pros outweigh the cons of the Fit, for my purposes. Fitfreaks forum can show what people owning think about them.
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:24 AM   #23
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Interstate pulling a toad

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I've had my Interstate for almost a year now, and I've been thinking, I really like this whole RV camping thing. But one drawback to the Interstate is, once I set up camp, I'm awfully limited in my ability to explore surrounding communities since I'd have to break camp again to drive anywhere.

Plus, although I was fortunate in not having to evacuate for Hurricane Isaac, I may not be so lucky next time. The thought of having to abandon my other vehicle in favor of saving my Airstream Interstate really sticks in my craw.

I'm thinking of trading in my 2003 Durango on a smaller, lighter, and stick-shift vehicle suitable for towing. Maybe a Chevy Sonic hatchback, outfitted for towing with a Roadmaster system.

My question to the Sprinter and B-van community is this… Have any of you tried pulling a toad with your Interstate? Anything in particular to watch out for?

Didn't have an Interstate (not available then) but an early Spinter conversion with which I pulled a rebuilt 1983 CJ7 Jeep (3800 lbs.) Worked great, simple to hook up, did have remote braking activator, great for extra storage space (chairs, grills, etc) and was very handy. Downside was you couldn't backup much more than 6 inches (front wheels turned and jack knifed the toad). You had to plan ahead and anticipate, but no biggy!

4WD is very handy especially if there's a low-range differential that you can lock-out into neutral for towing. With this system you can do almost everything but fly or sail. Wish I could do it with the TT A/S.
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:24 PM   #24
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Unless I missed it, the primary question is what the Interstate is rated to tow...
Everything else is secondary.
The joy of the Motorhome, for me is traveling long distances without needing to stop and use outside facilities!

I am still a novice in the Toad zone, but a few things I feel are important to note, aside from the weight issue...
Personally, we want a Toad with mild 4x4 capabilities, so the Geo or Suzuki is on the list.
Flat towing any vehicle behind a MH, even with a stickshift vehicle requires mods. Tow bar, base plate, braking, and lighting.
Add those costs up... I had a shock!! I looked up the cost of towing my old Jeep Grand Cherokee... came to well over $2000.
Did I read somewhere that you should never reverse with a flat towed vehicle... because if so, that is an issue!
I am leaning more towands a good used trailer, so I can take what I want!
Of course, the trailer adds weight... but gains flexibility.
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Old 12-01-2012, 04:04 PM   #25
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Followup…

Just signed the paperwork on a 2013 Honda Fit Sport.

Do they train salesmen to act that way, or does it come naturally to them?
Me: "Dealer XX over across the lake already quoted me a price that's $250 less than that."
Salesman: "You're not going to quibble over $250, are you?"
Me: "Yes. I am. It will only cost me $8 in gas to drive to that other dealer. Sorry for wasting your time."
Salesman: "Don't be too hasty. I can talk to my manager…"

And later…
Salesman: "But look at the things we added that aren't on the sticker!"
Me: "$1400 for pinstripes, locking wheel lugs, and paint protection? Forget it. I'll give you the price of the locking wheel lugs, but not the cost to install them. I didn't ask you to install them. Paint protection means you washed and waxed it. You do that to all your cars anyway, and I didn't ask for it. I'd rather buy it dirty and wash it myself. And you added the pinstripes on your own, without me asking for them. Take them off; they're only a vinyl appliqué anyway."
They cheated a little, and marked the "add-ons" down to $89, which they claimed was the price of the locking wheel lugnuts, though I know for a fact that their parts department only charges $55 for them. But that's still a lot better than an extra $1400 for fluff.

And then, they computed the price of tax, title, and license BEFORE deducting the value of my trade-in. Which would have given them an extra 8.75% of $3000. I saw what they were doing, but didn't say anything about it. Especially since they also figured the license cost based on regular passenger-car plates, more than I pay for my handicapped plates. I just told them to deduct the TTL altogether. Since I qualify for a handicapped license plate, it will be easier for me to go to the DMV and take care of the TTL myself to make sure I get the right license plate the first time. It's NOT easier, of course, but it saves me more money.

Buying a new car is hard work!

Next step after I get the license plate and inspection sticker is to take it to Camping World and get the towing baseplates installed. I already told the insurance company that I'd be doing that, too, so the towing kit will be covered if I get in a wreck. The insurance company was very understanding about that, since I added the car to my RV insurance policy.
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Old 12-01-2012, 05:43 PM   #26
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Did you get the Sport manual or automatic? Or did you get the Sport with Navigation which is only available in automatic (why I have no idea)?
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Old 12-02-2012, 02:39 AM   #27
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Did you get the Sport manual or automatic? Or did you get the Sport with Navigation which is only available in automatic (why I have no idea)?
Auto. With navigation.
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Old 12-08-2012, 05:49 PM   #28
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We are contemplating this as a toad on an aluminum trailer. The trailer is a "yet to be determined" manufacturer and configuration.
BMW C 600 Sport and BMW C 650 GT - New BMW Scooters
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