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Old 04-28-2015, 08:04 AM   #1
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Toad options

So we have kicking around ideas for a toad, and have pretty much discounted anything modern, as being too heavy and complicated except maybe a Smart on a trailer.

Then I got a little inspired by Fred pulling his Beetle with his 20ft, and thought.....mid '70s Beetle (maybe).....beach buggy (not practical).....Type 181 (why not?). Plus it opens the opportunity for describing the 'rig' as Thing One and Thing Two....a Thing pulling a Thing etc.

Any experience? Input?
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Old 04-28-2015, 11:14 AM   #2
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discounted anything modern, as being too heavy and complicated except maybe a Smart on a trailer.

Any experience? Input?
My choice was a ford ranger, after weighing it, 4000#, started looking again, weight and needed automatic, came up with the Honda Fit, lightest of modern, only problem so far is it was designed too close to the ground.
Doesn't have enough clearance to roll over semi tire carcasses on roadway, vw thing might be a better choice, but I wanted a daily driver.
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Old 04-28-2015, 12:49 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response. Our 20ft only has the 350 motor so I am more worried about weight in terms of effect on hills rather than GVWR.

We have ditched lots of the heavy items (generator, roof AC) and fitted smaller tanks so expect the curb weight to be down to under 6000lb (the 20ft are only 6790lb to start with) and that will allow 5000lb additional weight. The Thing comes in at around 2000lb vs near 3000lb for something like a mini cooper. So most small cars would be OK, but I would love some feedback from anyone towing with the stock 350.

Any reason why the Thing couldn't be a daily driver, it's basically a beetle?
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Old 04-30-2015, 09:07 PM   #4
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Old 05-01-2015, 10:41 AM   #5
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Thanks for the response. Our 20ft only has the 350 motor so I am more worried about weight in terms of effect on hills rather than GVWR.

We have ditched lots of the heavy items (generator, roof AC) and fitted smaller tanks so expect the curb weight to be down to under 6000lb (the 20ft are only 6790lb to start with) and that will allow 5000lb additional weight. The Thing comes in at around 2000lb vs near 3000lb for something like a mini cooper. So most small cars would be OK, but I would love some feedback from anyone towing with the stock 350.

Any reason why the Thing couldn't be a daily driver, it's basically a beetle?
Martin,

I used to tow a flatbed trailer (~1200 lbs) with a Triumph Spitfire (~1500 lbs in race form) with a load of gear on the trailer (~400 lbs) with a 1976 20' Coachmen motorhome with a 350. Other than the typical losing some speed on the hills overall the performance wasn't objectionable with the 350. The towing included climbing the mountains in West Virginia, Maryland and Virginia.

The 20' Coachmen would likely weigh more than your trimmed down 20' Argosy so that's a plus.

Brad
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Old 05-04-2015, 11:16 AM   #6
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Sorry for the delayed response Brad, we were at Chilly Man over the weekend so just getting a chance to catch up.

This is great information, and gives me the green light to start Thing hunting!
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Old 05-06-2015, 10:46 AM   #7
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Another RV'er towing a Beetle

Martin,

We ran into this fellow in Pigeon Forge towing a 68 Beetle behind his Class-C.
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Old 05-06-2015, 09:44 PM   #8
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Old 05-06-2015, 10:34 PM   #9
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Starting prices at $64k. I don't think I will be wasting my money with them.
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Old 05-07-2015, 08:35 AM   #10
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I was interested until I saw the 80-100mile range, plus I'm not sure what the effect of flat towing what effectively is a 'dynamo' both in over charging the on-board systems and drag on the Argosy.....I am looking for a simple, mechanical, 'neutral' where I don't have to worry about dropping drive shafts and electronic systems.
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Old 05-07-2015, 11:00 AM   #11
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....I am looking for a simple, mechanical, 'neutral' where I don't have to worry about dropping drive shafts and electronic systems.
Which brings you back to a Beetle or a Thing! You cannot beat the simplicity of the Beetle. I just turned the key, released the brake, and put it in neutral and towed away. While the tow bar is very inexpensive, you have the challenge of stowing it somewhere. Putting it on the Beetle does require you to get on the ground to insert the pins so no pretty boys are welcome in that club.

The one modification I'd like to make is to change the wiring to utilize the Beetle's lights instead of the magnetic stick on lights.

I think mine has a bad fuel pump. Outside of that, it has been rock solid reliable.
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Old 05-07-2015, 11:08 AM   #12
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I really wasnt being too serious, I just saw them the other day and thought they were interesting. I still love the old Beetles
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Old 05-07-2015, 02:42 PM   #13
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If you want light and simple try a Citroen 2 CV. They a basically a French Model T. I have 1958 that weighs in at a little over 1100 lbs. They are very simple and best of all an absolute ball to drive.
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Old 05-07-2015, 03:22 PM   #14
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I'm pretty familiar with the 'deux chevaux'. One of my friends have one in the UK, and just the two of us can pick it up and move it. I have driven his but felt seasick from the lateral movement in the suspension - he actually got in a minor accident one day and there was no damage to either vehicle as the suspension on the 2CV simply rocked backwards and when the vehicles parted rocked forward again.
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