kudzu

How many tour without a toad?

21 posts in this topic

If practicable, I would love to avoid the issues involved in towing a car. How many of you tour in a Class B+/C without dragging a toad along? If so, do you have tips or practices to avoid or minimize inconveniences and problems?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We lived in two Bs and a C without a toad. All were built on the Sprinter Chassis and were 24' long. We could park in one parking space if it was along the edge of a lot where we could let the back end hang over the grass or whatever; we mostly did that at museums, eateries, and laundromats. Otherwise we needed two spots front to back. In cities we looked for two meters side by side at a curb or loading zones that gave us a bit of extra space. For shopping you can almost always find two spots but you might have to use the back 40 to get them.

Linda Sand

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We toured for a couple of years in a 27' class C.  It worked OK.  We did spend 5-7 months a year traveling in it.  There were a number of times it would have been nice to have a toad. 

The shorter the Class C/B the better though. 

We now travel in a 29' class A pulling a toad.  More room and storage in the Class A.  I wouldn't want to go back to a smaller MH w/o a toad.  If you spend a lot of time in the RV it is nice having a toad.  Oh, yea we do a lot of sightseeing by auto, including NF/NP BLM land and on gravel roads.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Kudzu,

I like your post. My wife and I are only in our 2nd year as empty nesters. I am still working for another 8 years, so we bought a new to us '05 Casita 17' Freedom Deluxe towed by a mid-size SUV with a V8. 

Laura and I talk about retirement rigs. We love molded fiberglass trailers and may end up with an Oliver, Bigfoot, or Escape. All are 21' to 25' long. However, we are intrigued with small Motorhomes (Class Cs/B+) under 25'. They have many advantages, but have challenges as well. The hassle of a toad or the hassle of not having a toad in terms of breaking camp to take a day trip, etc.

I am hoping there are more responses to your post.

Happy Camping,

Dean

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, DeanCHS1980 said:

we are intrigued with small Motorhomes (Class Cs/B+) under 25'. They have many advantages, but have challenges as well. The hassle of a toad or the hassle of not having a toad in terms of breaking camp to take a day trip, etc.

Which is better depends on your style of travel. If you drive most days stopping to see the sights along the way, no toad is better. If you prefer to park for longer term stays, a toad is better. When we had no toad we were mostly doing things like driving Historic Route 66, the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Natchez Trace, the Great River Road, Highway 1 along the California coast, Highway 2 across the northern states, etc. When we wanted to park long enough to explore a particular place, we would rent a car. That made us feel like we had the best of both worlds.

Linda Sand

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really like the convenience of a toad.  It tows very easily and has little to no affect on gas mileage.

It's a CRV behind a 30' Class C.  The flexibility to go anywhere once we're on a campsite is worth it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Gary A said:

I really like the convenience of a toad.  It tows very easily and has little to no affect on gas mileage.

It's a CRV behind a 30' Class C.  The flexibility to go anywhere once we're on a campsite is worth it.

A toad is convenient. IF. You never try to stop at any sights between campgrounds. Having a toad that prevents you from parking in pretty much any parking area provides lots of inconvenience when wanting to stop at museums and diners along the way to the next campground. You would miss so much of what makes Historic Route 66 what it is if you had to find parking for a 30' rig plus toad at every sight. Somehow, driving right to the next campground then backtracking to see the sights would have decreased my the experience of that route. Even without that backtracking it took us a month to drive from Chicago to Santa Monica with all the stops we made along the way. All those museums and diners and driving down original pavements really enhanced our experience.

Linda Sand

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/8/2017 at 9:35 AM, DeanCHS1980 said:

Hi Kudzu,

I like your post. My wife and I are only in our 2nd year as empty nesters. I am still working for another 8 years, so we bought a new to us '05 Casita 17' Freedom Deluxe towed by a mid-size SUV with a V8. 

Laura and I talk about retirement rigs. We love molded fiberglass trailers and may end up with an Oliver, Bigfoot, or Escape. All are 21' to 25' long. However, we are intrigued with small Motorhomes (Class Cs/B+) under 25'. They have many advantages, but have challenges as well. The hassle of a toad or the hassle of not having a toad in terms of breaking camp to take a day trip, etc.

I am hoping there are more responses to your post.

Happy Camping,

Dean

Hi Dean. . .we too owned a 17 ft Casita Spirit Deluxe in our attempt to downsize from fulltiming in our 40 ft Foretravel.  However, it was way too uncomfortable for long periods of sitting inside during cold, wet weather, which was pretty much all we had during our first long trip.  Plus, when we got our second 25 lb Cocker Spaniel, the Casita became wa-a-a-y too small; so, we bought our 2012 Phoenix Cruiser 2400 Sprinter B+ (we named him Fawkes after the Phoenix bird in the "Harry Potter" books).

We do what Linda Sand sez in her posts about parking; and, It took some major realignment of our RVing style to get used to accommodate not having a toad.  We try to do our provision shopping before we get to our destination.  Fawkes has possibly the most cabinet storage, and the best, roomiest refrigerator/freezer we have ever owned, including the excellent Foretravel.  When we do find we need to break camp to go somewhere, we have quick detachable water hose connections; bike cable secured surge protector and Anderson levelers to make getting back on level a snap. 

When we are in places like Las Vegas (spending 3 weeks there at Nellis AFB in January 2018), we will rent a car as needed.  We will be spending two and a half months in Mesa, AZ with long time amigos, and when we aren't riding with them, we'll be using a friend who drives with Uber.  So, one can do OK without a toad if some planning goes into the mix and your RVing lifestyle develops into an enjoyable experience.  Happy Trails.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Jeff & Suzanne said:

Hi Dean. . .we too owned a 17 ft Casita Spirit Deluxe in our attempt to downsize from fulltiming in our 40 ft Foretravel.  However, it was way too uncomfortable for long periods of sitting inside during cold, wet weather, which was pretty much all we had during our first long trip.  Plus, when we got our second 25 lb Cocker Spaniel, the Casita became wa-a-a-y too small; so, we bought our 2012 Phoenix Cruiser 2400 Sprinter B+ (we named him Fawkes after the Phoenix bird in the "Harry Potter" books).

We do what Linda Sand sez in her posts about parking; and, It took some major realignment of our RVing style to get used to accommodate not having a toad.  We try to do our provision shopping before we get to our destination.  Fawkes has possibly the most cabinet storage, and the best, roomiest refrigerator/freezer we have ever owned, including the excellent Foretravel.  When we do find we need to break camp to go somewhere, we have quick detachable water hose connections; bike cable secured surge protector and Anderson levelers to make getting back on level a snap. 

When we are in places like Las Vegas (spending 3 weeks there at Nellis AFB in January 2018), we will rent a car as needed.  We will be spending two and a half months in Mesa, AZ with long time amigos, and when we aren't riding with them, we'll be using a friend who drives with Uber.  So, one can do OK without a toad if some planning goes into the mix and your RVing lifestyle develops into an enjoyable experience.  Happy Trails.

Jeff & Suzanne,

Our Casita is the Freedom Deluxe. It has the swivel chairs. Very comfy. You are right, though. The Casita is very small, but perfect for our current travels. Comfy bed, two person dinette with comfy swivel chairs, and a wet bath. That is all we need for our long weekends and occasional 6 to 10 day trips.

By the way, I LOVE Phoenix Cruisers. They are at the top of my list for a Motorhome under 30', particularly 25'. I love the 2350, 2351, and 2400. We were just looking at the floorplan of the 2400 the other day.

Take care,

Dean

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On July 8, 2017 at 3:44 PM, sandsys said:

Which is better depends on your style of travel. If you drive most days stopping to see the sights along the way, no toad is better. If you prefer to park for longer term stays, a toad is better. When we had no toad we were mostly doing things like driving Historic Route 66, the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Natchez Trace, the Great River Road, Highway 1 along the California coast, Highway 2 across the northern states, etc. When we wanted to park long enough to explore a particular place, we would rent a car. That made us feel like we had the best of both worlds.

Linda Sand

Hi Linda,

Great points. Laura and I are only in our 2nd camping season. Luckily, our little 17' Casita if fairly nimble, so we can balance "camping" vs. "traveling". When we first started, I would have predicted us to be travelers; however, I have been surprised at how much we enjoy staying in one location for several days relaxing with the occasional day trips with our SUV leaving the Casita in the campground. 

We have about 8 years to fine tune our style before retirement and doing some serious RVing!!! :)

Take care,

Dean

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Jeff & Suzanne said:

We try to do our provision shopping before we get to our destination. 

It is great to come out of the grocery store and put food away in the fridge/freezer so you can continue sightseeing without having to hurry back to camp. I also liked coming out of the laundromat with clothes already on hangers going straight into the closet.

Our first motorhome trip was in a rented Class C. We are train nuts. We stopped at a depot at lunch time to watch Amtrak go by only to discover a note saying it was running 30 minutes late. Back into the rig to eat then getting to see the train without having to worry that we'd not get served fast enough if we went to the nearby cafe.

When the weather changed while we were out we didn't have to regret not putting coats or rain gear in the car.

There are some real advantages to doing all your travel in your RV.

Linda Sand

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, DeanCHS1980 said:

Jeff & Suzanne,

Our Casita is the Freedom Deluxe. It has the swivel chairs. Very comfy. You are right, though. The Casita is very small, but perfect for our current travels. Comfy bed, two person dinette with comfy swivel chairs, and a wet bath. By the way, I LOVE Phoenix Cruisers. They are at the top of my list for a Motorhome under 30', particularly 25'. I love the 2350, 2351, and 2400. We were just looking at the floorplan of the 2400 the other day.

Take care,

Dean

After we bought our Spirit Deluxe with the small, side dinette seats made as preformed fiberglass seats that were basically just an extended part of the shell, we decided the make the rear dinette permanently into our bed so we wouldn't have to convert it from dinette to bed every night.  We did buy a very comfortable memory foam mattress for the now permanent bed.  We had planned to install aftermarket swivel seats in the side dinette, but never got around to it.

Now, wouldn't you know it, the PC 2400 Sprinter has a sofa that has to be made into a bed every night. . .there is no way to leave it down and still be able to use the living space.  In addition, although the Ford 350 chassis PC2400 has a memory foam sofa/bed, the Sprinter (because of its wheel well location) has a sofa/Aerobed.  Yep, air mattress.  However, we replaced the aftermarket mediocre Queen size air mattress that came with the rig when we bought it with a top of the line air mattress that is supremely comfortable and not that difficult to deal with.  SWMBO and I have a routine that gets the bed up in the evening and down in the morning in no time at all...really no more effort than just making a bed.  We prefer it to a corner bed since no one has to crawl over the other to get to the WC in the night.  Besides, our two Cocker Spaniels find it very accommodating.

If you do decide to shop for pre-owned Phoenix Cruiser, you won't go wrong to keep an eye on the factory's used trade in inventory.  They often have just what you are looking for, and they make sure the pre-owned PC's are up to snuff; and they will even help with any repairs even though you didn't buy new.  We bought "Fawkes" from a Florida dealer, and when we had cabinet latches failing from lack of care, Phoenix sent me at least a dozen at no charge so I could replace them.  The guys at Phoenix USA, Kermit, Bob, Kyle and Earl are really great supporters of their RVs.

Edited by Jeff & Suzanne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Jeff and Suzanne,

Love the PC videos by Earl and Kyle. I have watched dozens or more. I think PCs are amongst the best small Motorhomes on the market. Leisure Travel Vans, Pleasure Way, Coach House, and the smaller Born Frees are great small Motorhomes, but very pricey. I like the Winnebago Views and Fuses, too. What are your thoughts about the MB Sprinter chassis compared to the Ford E350/450 chassis.

Take care,

Dean

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, sandsys said:

It is great to come out of the grocery store and put food away in the fridge/freezer so you can continue sightseeing without having to hurry back to camp. I also liked coming out of the laundromat with clothes already on hangers going straight into the closet.

Our first motorhome trip was in a rented Class C. We are train nuts. We stopped at a depot at lunch time to watch Amtrak go by only to discover a note saying it was running 30 minutes late. Back into the rig to eat then getting to see the train without having to worry that we'd not get served fast enough if we went to the nearby cafe.

When the weather changed while we were out we didn't have to regret not putting coats or rain gear in the car.

There are some real advantages to doing all your travel in your RV.

Linda Sand

Hi Linda,

I can definitely see the benefits of a small Motorhome without a toad, particularly if you can master the logistics of getting supplies and ease of transition from campground to road and back.

Take care,

Dean

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How about a moped or powered bicycle? We recently had a Jetson electric moped which had a range of 40 miles per charge and could run 23 MPH. The storage box or milk crate could hold a lot of groceries. No special licenses was needed and it was pedal bike legal with the pedals as a backup power source. Just another option.

Greg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, DeanCHS1980 said:

Hey Jeff and Suzanne,

Love the PC videos by Earl and Kyle. I have watched dozens or more. I think PCs are amongst the best small Motorhomes on the market. Leisure Travel Vans, Pleasure Way, Coach House, and the smaller Born Frees are great small Motorhomes, but very pricey. I like the Winnebago Views and Fuses, too. What are your thoughts about the MB Sprinter chassis compared to the Ford E350/450 chassis.

Take care,

Dean

We haven't driven a small RV with the Ford chassis; but after RVing with both diesel (Class A) and gas powered RVs (travel trailer tow vehicles), we appreciate the torque generated by a diesel engine when climbing mountains, not to mention better mpg.  SWMBO has done a ton of research comparing what other RVers say about going up and down steep grades with both types and, for us anyway, the diesel wins hands down.  The Sprinter cab is also roomier than the Ford.  Yes, the MB is more expensive to purchase (unless you find such a deal. . .we did), and maintenance at a MB dealer is nothing to sneeze at; but the time between regular visits is much longer than for a gas rig.  I guess one has to read and compare and see what works.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you take a Sprinter based vehicle to Arrowhead Mercedes in Phoenix don't ask them to add DEF for you. They charged me 1/2 hour labor to do that because it was a different department. They gave me a paper to sign saying it could cost up to that amount but it turned out to be their minimum not maximum. But it is a lovely facility with lots of free treats in the customer lounge (if you beat employees to them) and desk areas with outlets for your computer.

Linda Sand

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our DEF tank on our Phoenix Cruiser is accessed through a lift up door on the passenger side just behind the cab.  The tank cap is unscrewed and SWMBO and I use a funnel with a long, flexible tube to pour the fluid in.  SWMBO holds the funnel in one hand and the end of the flexible tube in the tank opening.  I do the lifting of the one gallon bottles to pour them into the funnel.  We quit using the 2 1/2 gallon bottles because they are too heavy for these old arms. When SWMBO feels the fluid hit the top of the tank opening, job's done. Easy task.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kudzu--I have been happily toad-less for three years of full-timing in a 25-foot B+, primarily for reasons of cost and simplicity.  As others have rightly pointed out, whether that works for you depends totally on your style of travel.  One suggestion if you are still in doubt when the time comes to purchase your rig, etc:  Try without a toad at first.  You can always add one later.  That's how I approached the dilemma and it worked well for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been full-timinig solo for five years in a 32' C without a toad.   Yes, it takes a little more planning and there are some very rare times I have difficulty getting parked some times, but nearly always that means only having to walk an extra block or two.  On the other hand, there are difficulties in trying to get into and out of some gas stations or places towing another vehicle, so I think it evens out.

And I tend to do more traveling than "sitting" in one place for a long time, so I run my errands and stop for groceries between campgrounds.  If I want to go out to see something, I don't hesitate to unhook (only takes a few minutes) and drive off for the day.  Also, I travel slowly, often driving only 100 miles from one campground to another, so I often have lots of time during that drive to stop at places along the way. 

And I do occasionally rent cars if I am near a big city that would be difficult to get into and out of with my big C.  I figure the money I would spend on a toad, hitch, and insurance enables me to rent a couple of weekends per month, although I really don't rent that often.  Enterprise does nearly always pick you up as long as you are within maybe 10-15 miles away. 

So, I agree with the others who say try it without a toad first.  If you decide your particular style requires one, you can always add it later. 

Edited by Solo18

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now