Thursday, February 23, 2006


We got "Hitched"!

Well, actually we got "Toad"......the road-language for a towed vehicle. Our 1999 Suzuki Vitara 2dr, complete w/canvas top (they don't make em anymore and I ain't sellin!) is now coupled to the Damon Challenger.

Our choice was a Falcon 2 tow bar by Roadmaster. This is a fairly light unit by the standards of towbars. It had several nice features we liked, and since we have a light vehicle, it works well for us. The features we liked? It folds flat against the back of the coach and does NOT have to be removed between tows. It has a nice vinyl cover and is not unattractive. The unit for the car is a single bar with pins, and then the connectors get more complicated, however as a gauge our 1st time I disconnected and stowed the entire unit in less than five minutes.

The man from Lazy Days where we bought the coach had it right. With the massive 7.4 liter V-8 on a workhorse chassis, you canot tell the Suzuki is behind us...except of course for the little canvas top in the bottom of my backup camera picture.

Towing means a few basic changes. You do not back up with the "toad" hooked on. Just not really feasible...even if it is technically possible. You have to allow for much more length. I am now not 33 feet long, but with the tow bar and Vitara I am more like 53 feet long. That takes planning for parking anywhere you stop...except of course at rest areas which almost universally provide drive thru sites making it foolproof.....well, almost so. When you arrive at a campground you disconnect while checking in so you can back and/or maneuver the coach for set up placement.

I live in Tampa, I have mentioned before...and this area is full of both RV sales and places for such items as towbars, etc. Just proceed carefully so you get a dependable dealer. We went on referral of our mechanic and transmission folks whom we have found to be God-fearing legitimate folks. We ended up at Rentz in Clearwater. One day in and out....and, of course, about $1,600 bucks! They have it down to a science. Deliver your toad one day. Come back the next with your coach and the vehicle is ready for hook up. The learning curve is real steep and you will find yourself on-your-way in about fifteen minutes.

The Duchess, by the way, had an early comment I hope was a joke....."The car is blue, the coach is green and white." I am not mentioning it as I cannot picture the Vitara in green!


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