I bought a 2014 Taurus as a toad last summer. But then my mom liked the smell of our new car, so she bought a 2014 Focus. Then I bought her 2002 Pontiac Grand Am (37,000 miles) and since it was fully depreciated, I decided to use that for my toad.
At some point though, I'll likely buy her Focus when she goes for her next new car, so I see myself as a future Focus tow'er.
Honestly, though. I wish I would have looked at the Focus when we got the Taurus. But I am tall (6'2"), so I completely discounted the Focus. But when I went car shopping with my mom, I test drove a Focus, and I was really impressed with the interior leg room and head room for a tall guy like myself.
If I had to do it over again, I'd have bought the Focus and stayed with one vehicle (we're retired so we don't need a parking lot full of cars).
The Taurus is a nice car to be sure, but it weighs over 4,000lbs, which is still towable with my RV. However, it was too new and too expensive for me to start drilling holes in the fascia (as well, the fascia looks ugly after modification for a towbar).
Pages 201~203 of your owner's manual (at least for the 2014 Focus) has the procedure for towing. On page 202 and 203, is where it indicates to disconnect the negative lead of the battery (step 5).
Each vehicle has a different procedure - even those from the same manufacturer. One of the most complex is the CR-V. But for my Pontiac (uses the same transmission as most Saturns), I have to remove 3 fuses.
The two most popular towbar brands are made by BlueOx and Roadmaster. I went with BlueOx for my Pontiac as the baseplate was an easier install (I did it myself). Typically, one or the other baseplate will look better on any particular car (that is, the stuff sticking out of the front fascia), so that might influence your decision.
Normally, you would buy the same brand towbar as the baseplate. However, most of the manufacturers make adapters or even towbars for their competitor's baseplates.
For towbars, they cost anywhere from $100 to almost $1,000 and to the new shopper, they can be a bit confusing.
Basically there are two types; vehicle mounted (the towbar stays on the vehicle when disconnected) and motorhome mounted (the towbar stays on the motorhome).
Withing these two types, there are two "sub-types"; those with adjustable arms, and those with fixed arms.
The least expensive (and hardest to use) towbars are the vehicle mounted fixed arm type, but unless price is your overall goal, many people find them to be hard to use.
The main issue is aligning the vehicle with the motorhome to get the towbar to fit.
With a fixed arm towbar, you must position the toad (towed vehicle) exactly so that the towbar fits onto the motorhomes's ball hitch/receiver. With an adjustable arm towbar, you just need to get close, and then the arms will extend or retract to allow you a range of connecting the towbar to the motorhome's ball hitch/receiver.
Then with the adjustable towbar, when you initially pull forward, the arms will extend and lock into place.
If you go with a vehicle mounted towbar, it will usually have the traditional ball coupler, and you "store" the towbar on the vehicle when not in use (of course, you can always remove it). Some towbars are collapsible to make this easier, but the cheapest ones just stick up in the air. I have seen RV'ers simply use a bungee cord or two to keep it raised when driving around.
Motorhome mounted towbars simply stay attached to the motorhome.
One other issue is the fixed arm and vehicle mounted towbars can only fit certain widths of baseplates. If you ever think you might change out toads at some point, you may end up having to buy another towbar if the one you have will not fit your new car. The motorhome mounted towbars will fit virtually all baseplates.
For that reason, I bought a BlueOx Alpha (motorhome mounted adjustable) towbar.
For brakes, there are a couple of schools of thought. Most states allow up to 3,000lbs of towed weight before brakes are required. But some states are only 1,500lbs. However, most towing vehicles require brakes for towing anything more than 1,000lbs.
If you go with a brake system, it will be the most expensive part of the tow package. There are a couple of types; installed and portable. Installed brake systems can be of the surge brake style (cable attaches from the surge brake type coupler to brake pedal), externally air powered (if you have a diesel pusher), or installed as a unit.
Installing a system of course limits you if you change vehicles, and usually taps into the vehicle's brake/vacuum system (which I did not like).
The portable systems are either electrical or air ram powered, and operate by an accelerometer.
Costs of the installed systems are less initially, but if you pay for them to be installed, can rival the cost of the portable ones. And the installation can be fairly complex.
I have the RViBrake2 portable system, and to be honest, it only brakes under moderate conditions. For example, if I come to a stop slowly, and just feather the RV's brakes lightly, the portable braking system won't kick in. However, when I step on the brakes enough that I can feel my chest going forward, that is usually enough for the brakes to engage. And that is on the most sensitive position.
One other thing you will need to consider is tail-lights/brake lights on your toad.
On my Pontiac, I had enough room in the tail lights to wire a dedicated light kit (wiring harness and light bulbs). The new bulbs go into the tail lights so this is a completely independent system, and does not require tapping into the vehicle's lights.
This is an option though only if you have enough room in the tail light bezel to install another set of lights. I am not sure if you have enough room or not in your vehicle.
Other options is to use a diode kit to "steer" 12VDC from both the motorhome and car to the car's tail lights. On older cars this is not a big problem to install. But newer cars, especially with LED tail lights, they sometimes use PCM or other techniques to light the tail lights, and I would highly recommend not using a diode kit on those types of tail lights.
A third option is to use either a wired or wireless portable light system, which consists of two portable tail lights on magnets that you just affix to the vehicle (or perhaps attach to a piece of wood and place on the rear shelf or hatchback shelf).
One Idea I had before installing my tail light kit was since I have a trailer hitch on my toad, was to fashion a bracket that attached to the hitch receiver and mount the temporary lights to the bracket.
Other considerations you might want to make is installing a battery charger that is powered by the motorhome so you keep your toad's battery charged. One novel idea I had (when we were looking at a CR-V), was to make a roof rack bracket for a solar panel and charge the toad battery that way.
But I think too much.
By the way, I have a series of videos that cover the installation of my baseplate, selecting the tow bar, installing the tow bar, and so on that I can put a link to if you have interest.
I plan on doing a video on the brake system and setting up the towing system, but have not done it yet, and since we already have a ft of snow on the ground, I won't be doing that till spring.