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Old 05-18-2018, 11:20 AM   #1
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First time towing, no problems!

Finally got everything installed, hooked up and rolling, four down towing. I bought a 2017 Ford Focus hatchback, just decided it was a good, small car with room for some storage and 4 people to fit. I installed a Blue Ox baseplate, hooked to a Blue Ox Avail tow bar. The baseplate was fairly easy to install, had to take the whole front fascia off the car but it wasn't really very hard, just had several screws and those plastic push pins to remove. I like the fit and finish of the baseplate, you can almost not even tell it's on there. There's a bracket to mount the break away switch and also the wiring plug. I did have to trim part of the front plastic grill fins for the pin holders to poke through but that was easy. The instructions mentioned having to trim other areas but the only thing I had to do was to cut off part of the washer reservoir bracket but they have a new mount on the baseplate to take place of that. The worst part was drilling those 1-1/4" holes in each side of the frame. I was lucky enough to have a 1" drill bit which I was able to "wallow" the holes out large enough. For the brake/tail/signal lights, I decided to go with the ones where you drill into the tail light housing and install separate bulbs. Originally, I was going to go with the diodes and tap into my wiring but after a LOT of thought, decided to not have anything electrical going into the car wiring so IF I have any problems with the transmission, the factory cannot say it was energized in some way by the MH. Once I unhook the battery (I unhook the positive cable) there is no juice going into the car except power to one, isolated socket where I plug the RVI brake controller in. I have a battery cable end that I push onto the post where the car positive cable came off with a wire hooked to it running just to the socket inside the car. So far I'm very pleased, can't even tell the car is back there!

Shout out to these vendors - Blue Ox and RVI Brake for making some great products!
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Old 05-18-2018, 11:56 AM   #2
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Congratulations on taming your Toad...
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Old 05-20-2018, 11:36 PM   #3
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Oh, and in case anyone should want to know, this 2017 Focus DOES NOT accumulate mileage while towing. There's been on and off opinions about this but I know FOR A FACT my Focus does not add miles on the odometer. Funny thing is, the dealer told me it would add miles and used that as a pitch to try and sell me an extended warranty. I told him I didn't care even if it did add miles I did not want it! I shoulda backed out of the deal then but decided to just ignore the outright lie.
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Old 05-21-2018, 12:00 AM   #4
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Well, you are adding miles to the Focus, they just aren't showing up on the odometer. The tires, brakes, shocks, suspension, etc will all "accumulate" more miles on the vehicle.
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Old 05-21-2018, 12:43 AM   #5
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Does a toad lose resale value just by being (obviously) set up for towing? Ie will your Focus be worth less than another similar vehicle showing similar mileage? I have a manual transmission Focus that I’ve been thinking about setting up to tow behind my Class A. Not sure it’s worth the cost of all the needed equipment, wear and tear on the Focus and possible loss of value. “Enterprise will pick you up” has been my motto so far.
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Old 05-21-2018, 07:25 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Tfryman View Post
Well, you are adding miles to the Focus, they just aren't showing up on the odometer. The tires, brakes, shocks, suspension, etc will all "accumulate" more miles on the vehicle.
Yes, I realize that, hence the reason my post stated it wasn't adding miles "to the odometer". A lot of people have asked that question when considering a tow vehicle so I wanted to let them know this one doesn't. True, everything except the engine and transmission would accumulate miles but most people are concerned with miles on the engine.
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Old 05-21-2018, 07:50 AM   #7
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Does a toad lose resale value just by being (obviously) set up for towing? Ie will your Focus be worth less than another similar vehicle showing similar mileage? I have a manual transmission Focus that I’ve been thinking about setting up to tow behind my Class A. Not sure it’s worth the cost of all the needed equipment, wear and tear on the Focus and possible loss of value. “Enterprise will pick you up” has been my motto so far.
The only wear and tear would be on all the running gear except the engine and transmission. Since the ODOMETER doesn't count the miles, really the only way someone could tell the car had been towed more miles than it's showing is if the shocks, brakes, suspension, etc. were worn out or excessively worn. I wouldn't worry too much about it because I doubt it would impact the car enough to be able to tell. I also considered just renting a car but then thought about being out on the open road in a remote area, maybe breaking down or somewhere not close to an area to rent a car so I wanted the peace of mind knowing I wasn't at the mercy of someone else. In my case, I had to buy another car just for towing, well, I didn't HAVE to but wanted to. I could have towed my Wrangler but it's jacked up with big tires and it's a standard which my wife can't drive. I didn't want to tow my heavy truck which weighs 6,000 lbs. although the MH has the capacity. The Focus is small enough that you can't tell it's back there, yet big enough to haul 4 people. I spent about $3,000 on my set up and did all the work myself. While not cheap, you figure if you spend $200 each time you rent a car, if you go on 5 trips a year, in about three years you'll recoup your money. But again, peace of mind, it being your own vehicle, not having to worry about if you have an accident, the rental car getting dings or scratches, etc., etc. all weigh in as well.

If I were in your situation, I'd go the tow route since owning a MH and traveling is all about freedom to do as you want. Good luck!
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Old 05-21-2018, 10:21 AM   #8
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Has anyone ever used a older 4x4 Toyota Truck or 4Runner to use as a toad, have a Blue Ox bar and building baseplate brackets for it and forums on my FB Toyota sites differ so much, and really want to use it but not tear it up?? Help!!
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Old 05-21-2018, 11:08 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Pete'sMH View Post
Does a toad lose resale value just by being (obviously) set up for towing? Ie will your Focus be worth less than another similar vehicle showing similar mileage? I have a manual transmission Focus that I’ve been thinking about setting up to tow behind my Class A. Not sure it’s worth the cost of all the needed equipment, wear and tear on the Focus and possible loss of value. “Enterprise will pick you up” has been my motto so far.
But Enterprise doesn't pick you up in more remote areas. We made a trip last year to the Lake Hartwell area near the border of SC and GA over the July 4 weekend. No "Enterprise" available. We would have had to travel 40+ miles to get a rental at a ridiculous daily rate to travel to the various waterfalls and other sites we went to over that 4 day period. So substitute for bringing your own touring vehicle.
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Old 05-21-2018, 09:51 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Tfryman View Post
But Enterprise doesn't pick you up in more remote areas. We made a trip last year to the Lake Hartwell area near the border of SC and GA over the July 4 weekend. No "Enterprise" available. We would have had to travel 40+ miles to get a rental at a ridiculous daily rate to travel to the various waterfalls and other sites we went to over that 4 day period. So substitute for bringing your own touring vehicle.
Absolutely right T, that's why I chose to tow and not depend on a rental. Besides, it's kind of inconvenient, if there's no Enterprise, just picking one up and returning it could be a challenge. It takes me all of 5 minutes to hook my toad up and go, less to unhook .... pretty darn convenient!
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