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Too big to not toad?


jacks

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Hi All,

I am curious about those of you in a class A who Do Not pull a toad and how long is your RV? I don't really want to pull a toad so I'm trying to decide how long an RV I might get and feel ok with out pulling a toad.

A generalized description of your lifestyle would help as well.

Thanks again, this forum is great!

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We have a 36' class A. We had no toad the 1st year we full-timed and got by, but having one is so much better. We hope to never be without one again.

 

I'm not sure the length has too much to do with it, rather it gets to be a pain to pack up, stow things away inside and have to move to go grocery shopping, errand running. We didn't like having to do it to get propane once a month. We got an extend-a-stay to take care of that. Once you get your site, get the chairs and rug out and make yourself at home , you like to stay put with the rv until time to leave.

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We have been full-timing for 12 years. We too Volunteer in State and National Parks, church camps, etc. We have a 38' MH and have ALWAYS had a toad. It would really be difficult to NOT have a toad. We Volunteered in Alaska and had minimal hookups. We had to unhook once a week, drive 15 miles, one-way to fill up with water and Dump. If we had to do that every time we went to town to get groceries, go to eat, go to the post office, etc., it would have driven us MORE crazy.

 

In the UP of Michigan, we worked at a Beautiful church camp, but it was 40 miles one way to town. It would have cost us a PILE of money and we would have been going to town all of the time!

 

Because we full-time, we have to carry 4-seasons of clothes with us. It would be difficult to "get by" with a smaller rig. We consider the toad to be essential to maintain our lifestyle.

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I am curious about those of you in a class A who Do Not pull a toad and how long is your RV? I don't really want to pull a toad so I'm trying to decide how long an RV I might get and feel ok with out pulling a toad.

As you may gather from the responses thus far, there are really not many who are full-time in a motorized RV who go very long without some type of additional transportation. That really isn't as much a question of RV size as of convenience. It really takes about the same amount of effort to hookup and unhook the RV as you come and go from an RV site no matter what size the RV happens to be. Larger motorhomes typically have larger tanks and so can use a site with only electricity when a smaller one may need water & sewer at every stop so while they may be more difficult to get into and out of the space assigned, they have less need for the utilities.

 

Parking can be an issue but even there the typical parking spot for standard vehicles is only 19' long & 9' wide so any RV that is longer or wider than a standard van conversion will require more than a typical on-street parking place. It really isn't a major problem to find a place to park when visiting attractions or shopping with your RV, but it does require some planning ahead. Nearly all attractions will have RV parking and any shopping center usually has plenty of space to park away from the buildings with an RV, even if you are towing a car. But the reason for nearly everyone towing something is more one of convenience and comfort.

 

It takes about 10 to 15 minutes to set up the RV and perhaps 1/2 of that to disconnect each time that you come and go. Actual times do vary but those would be close enough for discussion. That means that a 10 minute trip to the convenience store now takes more than 1/2 hour and it means that you are out in the weather each way if it happens to be raining, It also means that you need to somehow prevent another innocent person from moving into your site while you are gone in most public campgrounds, When in a place for an extended time it is pretty easy to get rides with other RV folks, at first but in time people get tired of being a taxi service and most of us also hate to be constantly asking, even if others don't mind, Towing a car also provides a far greater freedom than does travel with the RV only. No question that it can be done, especially with the smaller motorized RVs but very few of us find it pleasant for very long. Part of the question is whether you are planning an occasional trip and a few weekends per year, or do you mean to live the rest of your life in the RV with no car. These are very different issues. We drove a 25' class A and carried only bicycles for about 5 years, reasonably satisfactorily but then tried towing 4-down with our little pickup and from then on we only went out without the tow vehicle one time,

 

You can do this even with most of the larger motorhomes but lage or small, the issue is, will you be happy doing so and for how long? There are examples out there of people who are fulltime for many years, usually with a class B or C and never tow a vehicle. Some do have a bike of some sort but others do not. Even so, that type of person is unusual and often subject of discussion.

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Hi,

 

I've been full timing 2 1/2 years in a 25 foot class C with no toad and remain very happy with that decision. I think it depends a lot on your style of travel. If you like to be off somewhere every day or so exploring the sights, then a toad makes a lot of sense. I tend to park for a month or two (or more) for workamping jobs and then go out every 6 or 7 days for groceries, laundry, exploring, etc., grouping all my errands up on that one day.

 

Even at a full hookup site, I only hook up to electricity (operating off of the water pump for water and using the campground dump station on errand day) so coming and going is very little trouble. 25 feet is very manageable for parking and navigating most places. And honestly, coming out from the grocery store on a hot day and being able to pop my cold items right into the refrigerator is a real treat. Having my house with me when exploring is also wonderful when I want to stop for lunch or even take a nap! Best part is my dog is always with me (on hot days I run the generator and the A/C for her while I shop).

 

Simplicity and cost are two very nice benefits of being toad-less but, again, it totally depends on your style of travel and camping.

 

Good luck in your planning and decision-making!

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We were happy with our 24 ft RV with no toad as long as we were in sightseer mode since we could back into a single parking spot if there was room for the back end to hang over the curb. We drove from one sight to another most days so stopping along the way for groceries or laundry was not a problem. When we slowed down we were still happy to move every week or so which, again, let us take care of errands along the way. When we bought a 35 foot rig we didn't fit as well in the parking lots of museums and diners so we bought a car to tow and that totally changed our style of travel. I'm glad we drove Historic Route 66 before we upsized.

 

Linda Sand

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Your style of travel will be very important in your choice.

 

If we planned to stay in a scenic area for a week or two we'd think nothing of traveling 50 miles in all directions to see what there is out there. This includes gravel roads where much of the hidden beauty lies. We loved getting off the main roads and getting on the country roads and mountain areas. Perhaps there would be a nearby lake or stream so we'd take off to do some fishing or watching the sunset and maybe for just a half-hour or so - spur-of-the-moment things. Someone in the campground might come excitingly back to the campground saying he just saw a bear or moose down the road. We'd hop in the car and go see it. We might feel like a pizza and make a quick trip to town. Having a car to make these quick or scenic jaunts was very important to us. We're not ones to stay in the campgrounds for days on end.

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I'm glad we drove Historic Route 66 before we upsized.

Here's a big rig doing Route 66 as reported on another forum:

 

 

Route 66 completed. Thank you for a great trip

 

I am delighted to report that a week ago we completed Route 66 at Santa Monica Pier – the fulfilment of my Bucket List Item 1, having started in Adams Street, Chicago 4 weeks earlier. Doing this route was the original reason we started down the road to buy a motorhome. Route 66 was a great trip which exceeded our expectations, and one we would thoroughly recommend with some caveats as below.

 

1. Take plenty of time. We took a month and could have used more time.

2. Take several reference books, but make sure that one of them is Jerry McClanahan’s EZ66 Guide for Travellers.

3. Do not expect to see everything there is to see.

4. If you want a comfortable ride use the freeway on those stretches where the original 66 runs alongside the Freeway.

5. Know before you start that you will make navigational errors because the signposting is not always clear, in which case, if married make sure that you start out with a strong marriage, and/or take a good navigator

6. Know that there are no quick stops.

7. Be willing to take diversions away from and back to the Route to see even more sights along the way.

 

As foreigners we were in plentiful company. Route 66 is obviously a draw for people from Europe, Asia, the present and former British Commonwealth countries and elsewhere – much more than we had appreciated beforehand. We salute the many people along the way who are excellent ambassadors for USA (even better than some politicians – smile) and who made our journey so interesting and very amusing.

 

The Route itself was a lesson to us in US social history and landscape. But of course most of all it was simply fun because of the many super people we met.

 

We travelled in our Class A motorhome and trailer rig combo which is 58 ft long. Apart from a single challenge due to my navigational error we had no difficulties whatsoever, including getting downtown Chicago and right down to the foot of the Santa Monica Pier. We did not see many Class A motorhomes doing the route when we did it.

 

We did our best to support Route 66 RV sites by staying with them. In general, with a few exceptions, the sites are fair to average standard and because of the location of Route 66, which typically follows the Rail Road and has been replaced by the Freeway, they are typically very noisy at night.

 

We did 2,500 miles in our motorhome and 1,200 miles in our toad.

 

The people in small businesses along the route deserve support and encouragement, not to mention those in Information Centres and Route 66 “Museums”. By their actions they are collectively attracting foreigners to come to USA to spend dollars, and also Americans, and in so doing creating jobs in areas that might not otherwise have jobs. We are very happy to lend our support to and admiration of them and to all those we met along the way who made our trip such a memorable road trip exceeding our expectations.

 

I am happy to share our experience and comment to fellow travellers if requested. Well done USA!

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Here's a big rig doing Route 66 as reported on another forum:

 

Route 66 completed. Thank you for a great trip

 

We travelled in our Class A motorhome and trailer rig combo which is 58 ft long.

 

We did 2,500 miles in our motorhome and 1,200 miles in our toad.

 

The main difference as I see it is they found campgrounds then explored in their toad. We simply stopped at museums and diners along the way since we could park right there. We even parked on the street in downtown Chicago by paying two meters so we could have breakfast at our first historic stop.

 

As in all other RVing there is no one right way to do things. We each choose our own path according to our own needs and wants. But there is no way we would have had that first breakfast stop if we had been in our future class A towing a CRV.

 

Linda Sand

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Well, as all of you can see the newbie here is getting an education:)

This isn't a question of who is right or wrong, nor is it a situation where we each vote and so choose for Jacks what way of life will work best for them! What is important isn't our opinions but sharing the information on our various experiences about the towing side of things and let them figure it out. There is no doubt that it is possible to live in a motorhome and not tow a vehicle. It is also possible to live fulltime in a tent, but very few people choose to do so.

 

Read through the opinions posted very carefully. Consider if you would be willing to do your touring as you move between campsites, or unhook and reconnect each time, and to limit your exploration to roads that you are comfortable traveling in your motorhome. Remember also that doing so will put miles on the RV much more rapidly than it does if you use a towed vehicle for touring and the smaller vehicles cost less to operate, maintain and even to replace. But there is the added expense of buying and insuring the vehicle that you tow.

 

We spent 12 years fulltime in our motorhome and in that time we put 77,000 miles on the motorhome and we put a total of almost 250,000 miles on the vehicles that we towed behind it. Our motorhome got about 8 mpg, while the towed vehicles got about 25 mpg.

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We spent 12 years fulltime in our motorhome and in that time we put 77,000 miles on the motorhome and we put a total of almost 250,000 miles on the vehicles that we towed behind it. Our motorhome got about 8 mpg, while the towed vehicles got about 25 mpg.

 

We were lucky in that our Sprinter-based diesel motorhome got 18 mpg so being able to stop along the route rather than go find a campground then double back in a toad was a reasonable thing for us to do. Plus we never had to think about leaving the RV at a Walmart while taking the toad to go to dinner; we just stopped for dinner on the way to Walmart or wherever we were spending the night. Like we keep saying: there are lots of right ways to RV; you just need to pick the one that bests suits YOU.

 

Linda Sand

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Back when we had our little 21' Toyota based Class C, we didn't tow. There were times though, when we were parked for more than a week and had to break everything down to go for groceries, that we sure missed having a car along. On a few occasions, we even rented a car for several days to go sight seeing and shopping, instead of breaking our campsite down. When we first started looking at Class A's, we knew right off that we would definitely be dragging a toad behind it. We made one fairly short trip with that first Class A as a shakedown cruise with no toad, and never made another one without a one. Our Class A's have been in the 33-34 foot range, and our travel style is a mix of 1-7 night stays and stays running to a month or more. About the only time we don't always unhook the toad is at one night stops when we get a pull-thru site. Even then we sometimes unhook to run out for dinner or groceries since it only takes a 2 or 3 minutes minutes.

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We have owned a 35ft and two 40ft motorhomes. For the first year we tried it without a toad. Seen a lot of campgrounds and not much else. America, IMHO, is about the back roads. To explore them you really need a toad.

As an aside. Check your insurance to see if you 'need' a toad. Many insurance companies get nervous about doing the shopping with a large RV.

 

regards

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We drive a 40ft DP with a toad. We travel, then sit. Sometimes we are volunteering for a few months at a time. Would not be without our car that we tow 4 down with a blue ox tow bar and the Air Force One brake system

X2 We have 43'DP with a blue ox and a Airforce One towing our Buick Enclave. I could never imagine not having our toad! We like to jump in the car and b bop around exploring the area.

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