What Vehicles Make the Perfect Toad? 13046

Motorhome owners know that it can be a real pain to pack up their RV and go into town to get something or do something. That’s where a toad or dingy comes into play. A toad is a vehicle you tow behind your motorhome. Its there so you can set up camp and still have an easy way of traveling around without having to drive your RV everywhere.

While you can use a wide variety of vehicles for this purpose, you generally want to think about something small and easy to tow behind your motorhome. That will make the actual act of towing easier and have a smaller impact on your RV’s gas mileage.

When choosing a vehicle to tow behind your RV, make sure to think about its drivetrain, too. If you want to buy a car or you own a car that the manufacturer doesn’t suggest towing it behind your RV flat, consider getting a tow dolly that can lift two of the wheels off the ground and not cause damage to the drivetrain.

Small Cars That Make Good Toads

RV with a car as a toad

The best thing about using a toad is that you likely already own a vehicle that would work. If you have a city car, a subcompact car, or a compact car then you have what you need. If you don’t own one of these vehicles and want one here’s a short list of smart options when it comes to small cars:

These are just a few of the options out there that would be at the top of my list. Like I said above, basically, any smaller car will get the job done. Shop for a used model that’s a few years old to save money. If you’re primarily going to use the car as a toad, then you don’t want to spend a ton of money on it.

However, if you plan on using the vehicle you want to use as a toad as your daily driver, too, then consider getting a newer model and perhaps looking for one of the higher trim level options. Small cars can be excellent everyday vehicles and come with tons of features an amenities at a good price.

Small Crossovers and SUVs That Make Good Toads

RV Coach Towing an Offroad 4X4 Vehicle

If a small car just isn’t something you want to drive or you need more capability than a small car can provide, consider one of the small crossovers or SUVs that are all over the place these days. These vehicles often come with four or all-wheel drive, providing you some ability to do a little off-roading if you wish. Here are some good options:

Again, you may already own a small crossover or SUV. If you do, then you have the vehicle you need. However, if you’re going to be looking for a vehicle. Think about how you want to use it. If you’re going to be doing some serious off-roading, then you should seriously consider the Jeep Wrangler as your option.

The Jeep has a long history of being a killer off-roader. While most crossovers or SUVs with four or all-wheel drive will do well in mild off-road situations if you’re really going to be going off the beaten path, the Wrangler has the tough body-on-frame design, solid axles, and serious four-wheel-drive system to get the job done. It is overkill for most folks’ purposes, but then it’s always better to have more capability and not need it than get stuck somewhere.

Wranglers can be quite expensive, though, so as long as you plan to stick to mostly pavement and some mild off-road situations, you’ll do absolutely fine with any of the other options listed above.

Do you currently have a toad? What do you use? What would you like to have? Leave a comment below.

Wade divides his time among various outdoor activities in both urban and rural environments. An adventurer by nature, he is always up for a challenging hike, fun hunt, or day out on the water with friends and family. When he isn’t enjoying the outdoors, he’s writing, reading, or tinkering with motorcycles and cars.
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    1. Buy a small rv and revel in the fact that you can back up and turn around easily. Rent a car when you need to. Uber and Lyft are expanding widely too. I’ve fulltimed in my 21’ Phoenix Cruiser with no car and it’s quite doable. Yes, there are disadvantages and compromises, but there are disadvantages and compromises to towing as well.

    2. Or you can put a bike rack on the back of your motorhome. The more fit you are, the better range you have for your outings. If you’re in a large city, it might be easier just to use the bus/train/lyft.
      I’ve also seen hitch racks that can hold a motorcycle (not a Harley, but a smaller bike), then you have a much large range.

  1. You better tell your readers to read the owners manual. Not all vehicles are suited for recreational towing.

  2. We’d like to use our current vehicle as our tow, but it’s all wheel drive. Is there a way to use it?

    1. Hey Janice, it depends on the vehicle. Start with the owner’s manual. If you can’t find an answer there, talk with your local mechanic or service center to see if it’s okay to tow without damaging it. If you can’t tow your vehicle with all four wheels on the ground, a towing dolly might help, but again it depends on the vehicle.

  3. Besides Jeep there is another 4WD/ AWD manual trans vehicle that can be towed 4 down without removing fuses or doing anything more than putting it in neutral and going. And the speedo doesn’t record miles, either. You missed the 2006 – 2014 Suzuki SX4 in this article. Been my pulling a 2011 for over 50,000 miles since it was new (speedo now shows it as a low mileage car with just 30K in the ticker). Never been in a shop, either.

  4. I have towed a Honda CRV and Honda Pilot for a lot of years. I believe any Honda (except their pickup ) can be towed four down. Only need to go from park down to drive, then up to neutral, turn key to accessory, and ready to go. You also should have a battery disconnect so it doesn’t die (ask me how I know!). I also use a Brake Buddy. My only problem with towing is the inability to turnaround easily after missing an exit. Hard as I try, it still happens occasionally (And the Co-pilot pretends to be asleep.)

  5. We found out that the new 2021 Chevy Trailblazer AWD can be dingy towed. We are buying one. Nobody makes a base plate for it yet but a company I called will soon. The Buick Encore GX AWD (2020) can also be towed. Finally a new car that is reasonably priced !

  6. Perhaps take a look at the Fiat Pop..Standard transmission. Only think to remember is to put it in neutral. Ignition does not need to be turned on, keys do not need to be in the car. Steering wheel does not lock so no need to worry.

    I’ve been towing one for years with ZERO problems..Love it, Love it, Love it.

  7. Very good article! My husband and I are considering a C Class and have talked about what we would tow. We own a KIA Optima and a VW Jetta. Which of these 2 would you recommend? Our thought is the Jetta . We look forward to hearing from you. Enjoy your weekend!

  8. Planning on purchasing a buick encore gx awd which Buick says can be flat towed. Would like your opinion

    1. Solera 2015/Mercedes Sprinter towing a 2009 Smart Car 4 down. Front wheel tire wear have been a MAJOR problem; alignment did not help a bit. I’m carrying 2 spares – destroyed 2 new ones on a less than 1000 mile trip driving approx. 55 Mph !! One tire down to the metal destroying plastic underneath; bodyshop parts and labor was $401 in AZ.

  9. We have a 26 foot class C and a 2005 PTCruiser(manual trans) that works perfect with all 4 on the ground. Small toad and seats 4 large adults. Works great with lots of room and you don’t know its even being toad. Super good and easy!!!!!

  10. We got 2 electric assist bikes, (Lectric). We got a rack for the back but they also fold in half if you have the storage room. If you use assist lvl1 you can get about a 45 mile range. Nice to know you have the power when needed and human power for added distance and if you run out – never happened so far. Couple of saddle bags and we’re set for supply runs and sight seeing.

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