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Old 08-27-2019, 03:46 PM   #1
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Our entry into the world of TOADS!

This past spring, we came to a conclusion that living for 8 months in FL and 4 in Michigan was not allowing us to travel and see the country the way we really envisioned in retirement. So, we decided to get a MH and spend four months or so in each (MH, MI, FL). Our plan was to NOT use a toad for most of our trips, so we purchased a MH that was small enough to get around most anywhere, yet still big enough to tow something if we decided to later on.

For the past 13 years, our second car has been a MB convertible, originally an SL and for the past two years, an SLK. Absolutely a blast to drive, but pretty useless as a tow vehicle! This vehicle also requires trailering down to Florida during the winter season, which is a bit of a pain in itself. This past weekend, we realized that maybe (because of our new lifestyle) it's time to sell the convertible and pick up a more realistic 2nd car. A vehicle which could be flat-towed easily behind both our MH and our Ford Explorer. A vehicle which could have our inflatable kayaks or bikes thrown into the back of it without worrying about dirt or mud or theft. A vehicle which could offer a fun experience, although nothing is going to compare to our MB!

Having said all of that, we believe there is really only one choice, and yes, it's the obvious one: a Jeep! This vehicle can do everything that I mentioned above and I am really having difficulty finding anything else that does so.

So, before I get TOO far down this road, I wanted to check with my forum-friends and hear from you. Am I correct in this choice, or is there another vehicle out there that will meet these needs? If it matters, we are talking about a very used vehicle, one which will only be driven about 5,000 miles a year as a 2nd car and toad, so we are NOT looking at new or late-models.

Looking forward to hearing your opinions!
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Old 08-27-2019, 03:52 PM   #2
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Yeah Jeep's are very popular as toads for good reason. You still have a decision, however, as there are more than one model of Jeep*

* Yes: Jeep is a brand and a specific vehicle.
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Old 08-27-2019, 03:56 PM   #3
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I have towed 3 different Jeeps for the last 25 years. 2 were manual transmission, now I tow a Wrangler Sport 2 door with automatic transmission. No problems worth mentioning
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Old 08-27-2019, 03:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
Yeah Jeep's are very popular as toads for good reason. You still have a decision, however, as there are more than one model of Jeep*

* Yes: Jeep is a brand and a specific vehicle.
True. We actually sat in one and drove one yesterday for the first time in our lives! After that visit, we decided it would probably be a Jeep Wrangler with 4 doors. The 2-door variant just didn't leave enough room for bikes with the seats folded up!
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Old 08-27-2019, 03:59 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by K0LCB View Post
I have towed 3 different Jeeps for the last 25 years. 2 were manual transmission, now I tow a Wrangler Sport 2 door with automatic transmission. No problems worth mentioning
Good to know. Thanks!
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Old 08-27-2019, 03:59 PM   #6
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Wrangler 4 door unlimited. Easy to tow and fun to drive
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Old 08-27-2019, 04:03 PM   #7
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Wrangler 4 door unlimited. Easy to tow and fun to drive
That's what we're thinking! Thanks!
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Old 08-27-2019, 04:04 PM   #8
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I'll throw one more your way: Mine is a Nissan Xterra. Great 4X4s, but the only ones that you can flat tow are the manual transmission models. And they're pretty scarce.
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Old 08-27-2019, 04:08 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by MRichaud View Post
I'll throw one more your way: Mine is a Nissan Xterra. Great 4X4s, but the only ones that you can flat tow are the manual transmission models. And they're pretty scarce.
I just KNEW I'd forget to mention SOMETHING! We really prefer (require) that it has an auto trans. Thanks!
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Old 08-27-2019, 04:47 PM   #10
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Look at what weight you can safely tow and then consider the Jeep to tow. Some Jeep models such as the Grand Cherokee hover around a certain weight. Once you select the trim package the weight can either increase or decrease to to installed options. For instance the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk weights more than other trim levels because of the addition of skid plates etc...

Bottom line is to do the research on what you would like before you buy.

In the words of a famous rock band "You can't always get what you want"

Enjoy.
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Old 08-27-2019, 04:50 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by dstankov View Post
Look at what weight you can safely tow and then consider the Jeep to tow. Some Jeep models such as the Grand Cherokee hover around a certain weight. Once you select the trim package the weight can either increase or decrease to to installed options. For instance the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk weights more than other trim levels because of the addition of skid plates etc...

Bottom line is to do the research on what you would like before you buy.

In the words of a famous rock band "You can't always get what you want"

Enjoy.
Agreed. It will definitely be a Wrangler 4-door (assuming no one talks us out of the Jeep). Thanks!
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Old 08-27-2019, 08:17 PM   #12
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I drove an SL500 for a time and it was an amazing car. But the expense of maintaining it always was an aggravation. Sold it and, for reasons not unlike yours, I now drive a 2 door Wrangler Unlimited. I like it better than the MB. Iím currently setting it up to tow for our snowbird trip to Florida this year. Go for it!
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Old 08-27-2019, 08:33 PM   #13
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If you're towing a Jeep: don't forget the proper tire cover...

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Old 08-27-2019, 08:45 PM   #14
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Think you have it right. Hard to beat a Wrangler in my opinion. I have had three and wish I had one now. I think you will find you want a good set of nerf bars or running boards. If you get the bigger tires it can be a long way up and down. Good Luck and enjoy the search.
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Old 08-27-2019, 10:22 PM   #15
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now, I'm a Jeep man, but I don't tow one, I tow a Ford Focus - simpler, easy, automatic, fwd, 4door, and 50mpg highway...

I like my JK, but when I ordered and received it in March 2007, I order a two-wheel drive version, never 'knowing' the future, where finding that it could not be 'towed' 4-down would be in play.

Later, I also had a 4 door Cherokee, the brand new smaller Cherokee back in 2014, the Latitude model - a great 'Jeep', if you'd rather have more of a sedan, but also NOT towable 4 down : /

Jeeps are great, but they are also some of the most expensive vehicles out there when you go to compare them to many other towable options.....
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Old 08-27-2019, 10:31 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete'sMH View Post
I drove an SL500 for a time and it was an amazing car. But the expense of maintaining it always was an aggravation. Sold it and, for reasons not unlike yours, I now drive a 2 door Wrangler Unlimited. I like it better than the MB. Iím currently setting it up to tow for our snowbird trip to Florida this year. Go for it!
I don't like the expensive fixes, either, but feeling that wind in your hair is incomparable. I'm sure the Jeep will be "fun" but I'm limiting my expectations; I'm buying it for the fun places I'll be able to take my bikes and kayaks!
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Old 08-27-2019, 10:32 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by mountainsam View Post
Think you have it right. Hard to beat a Wrangler in my opinion. I have had three and wish I had one now. I think you will find you want a good set of nerf bars or running boards. If you get the bigger tires it can be a long way up and down. Good Luck and enjoy the search.
My wife and I noticed that yesterday in our test drive and this one didn't even have the big tires!!!
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Old 08-27-2019, 10:36 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by TurnerFam View Post
...Jeeps are great, but they are also some of the most expensive vehicles out there when you go to compare them to many other towable options.....
Yeah, I do realize that. With my list of givens, though, I don't see a lot of options, which was kind of why I asked this question. I want room inside for bikes and our (inflatable) kayaks, auto-trans, four-down towing, etc. Having a removable top is an added bonus which will to a small degree offset the loss of our beloved SLK!

Thanks!
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Old 08-27-2019, 10:45 PM   #19
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You can remove the top on any car with the appropriate application of a circle grinder.
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Old 08-27-2019, 10:52 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
You can remove the top on any car with the appropriate application of a circle grinder.
Well, technically ANY car can be towed four-down,...
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