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Old 11-17-2017, 07:47 PM   #21
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This is an interesting thread for me. Because I'm on the other side of the fence. I often look admiringly at AIs, and think, boy, that work be comfortable on the road and can still park anywhere without being articulated with added length to accommodate in parking lots and such. I can certainly see how when one arrives at a campground and sets up, it's not as easy to head out on a whim.

Like I said, I'm on the other side of the fence as I don't have an AI, but a towed AS. Similar to the OP, I quite like having a separate vehicle once setup at camp. But one that has 4x4, clearance, and low range capability to take me off the beaten path to go site seeing. So I have a LX570 (Land Cruiser in a tuxedo) and 27FB. Different configuration, different compromises, but I think in some ways, same goals.
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Old 11-17-2017, 08:17 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
Or, had you a fine SUV ahead of a 20' you'd have not ever "left home without it". And had the capacity to never need consider a run to a grocery store.
The whole "trailer vs. notorhome" issue is always going to be an issue, because trailer owners don't understand why motorhome owners want to own motorhomes. But there's enough room in the RV community— and the Airstream community— for all of us. Otherwise Airstream wouldn't even make motorhomes.

Anyway "trailer vs. motorhome" is not what this thread is about. It's about "Class B with toad vs. Class B without toad." I had multiple reasons for wanting a Class B motorhome instead of a trailer, and my own reasons for wanting a toad to go along with the Class B, as I've already revealed in this and other threads. I have nothing against travel trailers. But they're not for me, and never will be. And I'm not going to give up my toad and use my Interstate as my only vehicle just because some trailer owner doesn't understand why I want to have a toad.

In the overall scheme of things, recommending an SUV and trailer to someone who already bought a Class B doesn't help anybody. Not us, not you either. And I really wish that trailer owners would quit trying to convert us Class B owners into trailer owners too.
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Old 11-17-2017, 09:19 PM   #23
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Forgot your antacid meds, huh? I do that, too.

And no thread any topic ever goes off track. Or is repeated. (Right).

I didn't ask you (or anyone else) to defend the decision. Quite the opposite. Please note the specificity of that request.

As you can't expect others not to wonder why. Pardon me for wondering aloud. Less space, less efficient, higher upfront, higher cpm, lower reliability, less capable, etc. But in the service of single-vehicle convenience. Got that. But then to complicate it with a toad?

So as it's apparently too personal, don't bother. I figured as much before. It's down the rabbit hole.

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Old 11-18-2017, 03:35 AM   #24
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But in the service of single-vehicle convenience. Got that. But then to complicate it with a toad?

So as it's apparently too personal, don't bother. I figured as much before. It's down the rabbit hole.
You offer a personal criticism based on one of my posts, and then specifically ask me not to respond? Not going to happen.

If you actually read my previous posts on the subject with anything resembling an open mind, you would know why I made the decisions I did about buying an Interstate instead of a trailer, and about having a toad to pull behind it. I can't speak for anyone else's decisions. But I am getting really tired of trailer owners second-guessing my choices, and trying to tell me that they're incomprehensible, or worse, stupid. You're only the latest of many, and you're the straw that broke this camel's back.

So one more time, for you and everybody else who doesn't understand, here's my rationale. Please try to follow along:
1 - I'm single, and an apartment dweller. It's not cost-effective for me to buy a house just to have a place to store my Airstream. It's not cost-effective to rent a separate place to store my Airstream. My income level just isn't that high. I can store my Interstate at my apartment complex for free, but I can't store a trailer there. The landlord won't allow it. So a trailer was never an option for me. Ever.
2 - I'm not going to use my Interstate as my only vehicle. While it can go almost anywhere, it can't go to downtown parking garages, and it's not always possible to find two vacant adjacent parallel-parking spaces downtown where an over-length vehicle can be parked without getting ticketed and/or booted. My subcompact daily driver makes good sense in a high-population-density urban environment.
3 - I live in an area where hurricane evacuation is an issue.
4 - I'm single, and can't drive two vehicles at once.
5 - Since I have two vehicles, having one of them as a toad is the only way to evacuate with both vehicles.
6 - Since my daily vehicle is outfitted as a toad, it would be wasteful not to use it as a toad. When pulling my toad, my Interstate only loses 1mpg at most. At current diesel prices, it costs me less than a penny a mile to tow my toad, and that even includes factoring the cost of the baseplates, towbar, supplemental brakes, and supplemental lights. And the per-mile cost of towing the toad only gets cheaper with every mile traveled with it.
7 - Since I have a second car, and it's outfitted as a toad, I can use that toad as a de facto utility trailer to carry extra stuff that doesn't fit in the van. So I can camp in greater comfort having the toad than not.
8 - Since my Interstate is not my daily driver, it's remarkably cheap to insure compared to its value. It would literally cost me thousands more per year in insurance if the Interstate was my only vehicle. I shopped around and learned that I could literally insure both vehicles for less than a quarter the price of insuring the Interstate alone.
9 - When one vehicle needs service, I take both vehicles to the shop, drop off the one being serviced, and use the other in the meantime, at no extra cost and without having to rent a car or rely on cabs or buses or impose on my friends to get around. With a trailer, if the tow vehicle breaks down, you're stranded. In a motorhome with toad, both vehicles would have to break down at once to leave me stranded.

I could go on, but surely even the most obtuse of trailer owners ought to be able to see from this post that in my own case at least, I put a lot of thought into my choice of an Interstate plus toad versus a trailer plus tow vehicle, and it's a perfectly valid choice for me. It doesn't matter if it's a valid choice for anyone else. Whatever works best for them is fine with me.

But sometimes I really wish I had bought that damned Winnebago ERA instead of the Interstate, so I wouldn't have to deal with Airstream trailer owners here on the Forums (and at rallies) trying to convert me to the "true path" of Airstreaming.

I have never tried to tell a trailer owner that they made a mistake to buy a trailer instead of a motorhome. Why do trailer owners continually try to tell me that I made a mistake to buy a motorhome and toad instead of a trailer and tow vehicle? Can't they be more open-minded?
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Old 11-18-2017, 05:08 AM   #25
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While we would now have a hard time leaving the Airstream-WBAC community, we would only do it for a Prevost! And then we'd really need a toad! So, share with all of us here on the Forum your thoughts on Prevost vs. AI, please.

No need, really to leave the airstream fold to get into a larger motorhome.

Both the classic gasser and classic diesel pusher motorhomes are out there, and for a lot less than the cost of a Prevost, you could have a classic airstream motorhome completely up graded and repowered for modern use. They are a good size to drive. And still in the airstream family, even If something a bit different.

Whew Protagonist, hope you feel better now, airstream land is a very trailer centric world. Sometimes as a motorhome guy, I feel fortunate to be included.

Cheers Richard
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Old 11-18-2017, 05:15 AM   #26
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To Toad or Not to Toad? That is the Question!

In a matter of pure coincidence— I was telling my wife yesterday that I could see the logic in adding an AI to the stable and seeing the need for both on certain trips! Ha! Although I freely admit to having no experience, I’ve daydreamed about this enough to almost be an expert— and I’d have a toad (maybe painted like a life boat!) Have fun deciding! Any chance of picking up the needed hitch/brake gently used for a great price? Like Craigslist or other online route?

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Old 11-18-2017, 06:02 AM   #27
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As to towing with a Moho, it does add to the challenge of getting around easily while towing. There is NO BACKING UP with a toad hooked up. This can be hard to work around at times and calls for a good eye forward and slow approach into pulling into off road stops. Especially if traveling solo.

For me it's not worth towing if doing a long road trip type of traveling. If going to an area with lots of exploring to enjoy and staying for a while then having the car along is worth the trouble of towing it along.

I've reach maximum photo storage capacity here, so can't post pics. How do I delete pics from my file? Will that make it possible to post pics here again?

Cheers Richard
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Old 11-18-2017, 10:49 AM   #28
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...

I've reach maximum photo storage capacity here, so can't post pics. How do I delete pics from my file? Will that make it possible to post pics here again?

Cheers Richard

I don't think you can delete pics. But you get unlimited pic storage by becoming a supporting member for $20/year.
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Old 11-19-2017, 07:39 AM   #29
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We have traveled in our AI for a little over two years now, accumulating around 50,000 miles in the process. Have never needed a toad, like we did with our Class A. Discovered we will visit an area for 3 or 4 days then move on. On the rare need for a smaller vehicle in, say, Atlanta, we rented a car. It works for us but if we had a toad again we would likely choose a SmartCar again.
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Old 11-19-2017, 07:51 AM   #30
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You've discovered the problem with any motorhome, and the bigger the MH the bigger problem it is.
A trip to the grocery store becomes a test in packing.
I did it with motorcycles, and loved that means of transportation.
Tow an open trailer with a couple of Vespas? Not too much weight.
Or a single bike on a hitch mount. (Versahaul)

I also like the Smart. Not sure I'd fit in one, but I would have bought one except for the too high insurance here in Fl. Sort of a scooter with a roof.

A Jeep Liberty with a diesel? I heard Jeep/Fiat is discontinuing the Liberty.
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Old 08-31-2019, 10:24 AM   #31
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I have been towing a Jeep Grand Cherokee behind our AI EXT for several years on mostly flat interstates. Works great.
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Old 10-09-2019, 05:40 PM   #32
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New Toad

After a bunch of mechanical problems, I have retired the smart from toad service.

My wife can not drive a standard shift and my 87-year-old left hip no longer makes shifting gears much fun. I set out to find a light car with an automatic transmission. My target weight was 2500 pounds.

Turns out that the only 4-down towable automatic car in this weight range is a Ford Fiesta with the 6-speed dual-clutch transmission. It also turns out that the Ford dealers are offering great deals to get the last 2019s off the lot. 2019 is the last year for the Fiesta.

I drove away with a great deal on a 2019 ST hatch. After a couple of days checking it out, it spent 4 days torn apart in my garage while I installed a base plate, a battery disconnect, and wiring for the taillights. Blue Ox instructions are great and the base plate went on easily. The only hard thing is blindly putting on the plate nuts in the inside of the frame through a small hole. Running the wires for the taillights took a half-day of saying bad things, but that job is now done and the lights check out fine.

The red wire on the battery is the remote battery disconnect. I have the wire run into the interior, but I still need to mount the pushbutton switch to operate it. The car will not record towed miles with the battery disconnected.

I'll take the Fiesta out to the AI in the morning and check out the cable. We have an urban rally later this month and that will be the first use of the new toad.
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Old 10-09-2019, 08:45 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pahaska View Post
After a bunch of mechanical problems, I have retired the smart from toad service.

My wife can not drive a standard shift and my 87-year-old left hip no longer makes shifting gears much fun. I set out to find a light car with an automatic transmission. My target weight was 2500 pounds.

Turns out that the only 4-down towable automatic car in this weight range is a Ford Fiesta with the 6-speed dual-clutch transmission. It also turns out that the Ford dealers are offering great deals to get the last 2019s off the lot. 2019 is the last year for the Fiesta.

I drove away with a great deal on a 2019 ST hatch. After a couple of days checking it out, it spent 4 days torn apart in my garage while I installed a base plate, a battery disconnect, and wiring for the taillights. Blue Ox instructions are great and the base plate went on easily. The only hard thing is blindly putting on the plate nuts in the inside of the frame through a small hole. Running the wires for the taillights took a half-day of saying bad things, but that job is now done and the lights check out fine.

The red wire on the battery is the remote battery disconnect. I have the wire run into the interior, but I still need to mount the pushbutton switch to operate it. The car will not record towed miles with the battery disconnected.

I'll take the Fiesta out to the AI in the morning and check out the cable. We have an urban rally later this month and that will be the first use of the new toad.
Nice, John!
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Old 10-10-2019, 05:41 AM   #34
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Very nice. We just retired our Smart from toad-service as well. Just didn’t fit our needs. Went a little heavier than I want with its replacement, Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk (3900#). We’ll see how that works out.....
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Old 10-12-2019, 03:56 PM   #35
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Fiesta also

We have towed a Ford Fiesta for about 2000 miles this summer. I went with all Roadmaster and also did all the work myself. I installed the Invisibrake system so we didn’t have to mess with taking the brake system in and out.

We have been very pleased. It costs us about 1.5 to 2 mpg when we tow. Otherwise we don’t know that Freida the Following Ford Fiesta is even back there
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Old 10-12-2019, 05:14 PM   #36
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I installed Blue Ox and an RV3 brake controller. I had installed Blue Ox on the smart and I was familiar with the installation. Not too much different on the Fiesta. Nine 17/32" holes to be drilled into the frame.

The smart had a plain black grill and that made it a lot simpler to cut holes for the various baseplate projections. The Fiesta has chrome bars. The arms for the safety cables just happened come through at the perfect place, between the chrome bars. I had to cut holes for the sockets for the removable tow links and for the socket for the cable from the AI. The breakaway fit snugly between chrome bars.

The battery disconnect is installed and I also installed the pushbutton switch this morning.

I finished up this morning by routing the breakaway cable and tidying up all of the wiring. I still need to touch up the powder coat on the sockets where I scratched them while cutting away the grill.

I have already installed and tested the wiring for the Fiesta lights. Next is a road test.
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