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Best Toad for RV? RVers share what vehicles THEY tow

| Updated Nov 6, 2023

What do REAL RVers say is the best toad for RV travel? Here are their top picks for towed vehicles…

No, we are not talking about taking an amphibious creature RVing with us. In the RV world, the word toad is slang for a towed vehicle. It's a silly wordplay that brings a smile to RVers' faces, much like a stinky slinky and other RV terminology. A towed vehicle is also often called a “dinghy,” like on a ship.

But I digress. This article is about the most popular toad vehicles that real RVers tow behind their rigs.

A member of our RV Lifestyle Facebook group recently asked the following:

“Alright, friends, what's your vote on the best toad for RVs? Do you love/hate yours?”

She received a lot of helpful answers, and there was quite a bit of overlap with the answers. So, we cover some basic RV toad information that's good to know, and then jump into the most popular options that our RV community and other RVers recommend.

If you buy something through our links, we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. It helps keep our lights on so we can continue to provide helpful resources for RVers. Read our full affiliate disclosure here.

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How to Choose a Toad for Your RV

Choosing a good vehicle to tow behind your RV requires careful consideration to ensure that the vehicle is safe, reliable, and easy to tow. Here's an outline of the steps you should take when choosing a vehicle to tow behind your RV:

  1. Determine your RV's towing capacity: The first step in choosing a good vehicle to tow behind your RV is to determine your RV's towing capacity. This will help you determine how much weight you can safely tow.
  2. Consider the weight of the vehicle: The weight of the vehicle you choose to tow is crucial. You want to make sure that the weight of the vehicle does not exceed your RV's towing capacity. Additionally, you want to choose a vehicle that is light enough to be easily towed by your RV.
  3. Look for vehicles with flat tow capability: Some vehicles are designed for flat towing, which means they can be towed with all four wheels on the ground. This is typically the easiest and most convenient way to tow a vehicle behind an RV.
  4. Choose a vehicle with a neutral gear option: If the vehicle you choose does not have flat tow capability, make sure it has a neutral gear option. This will allow you to tow the vehicle with two wheels on the ground using a tow dolly. (Though, a flat-tow car is best.)
  5. Consider the braking system: Most states require a supplemental braking system for vehicles being towed behind an RV. Make sure the vehicle you choose can accommodate a braking system.
  6. Check the towing setup compatibility: Make sure the towing setup you have on your RV is compatible with the vehicle you choose. To ensure compatibility, you may need to purchase additional equipment, such as a baseplate or tow bar.
  7. Consider the ease of setup and hookup: Finally, consider how easy the vehicle is to set up and hook up to your RV. You want to choose a vehicle that is easy to prepare for towing and doesn't require a lot of time and effort to hook up to your RV.

Manual vs. Automatic Transmissions for Towed Vehicles

When choosing a vehicle to tow behind an RV, the type of transmission you choose can impact your towing experience. Here are some considerations when deciding between manual and automatic transmissions for vehicles you tow behind an RV.

Manual Transmission:

  • Generally, manual transmissions are easier to tow than automatic transmissions because they do not require any special equipment to disengage the transmission from the engine.
  • However, some manual transmissions require periodic running to lubricate the transmission gears, which can be inconvenient while on a road trip.
  • Manual transmissions are also becoming less common in new vehicles, so finding a vehicle with a manual transmission to tow may be more difficult.

Automatic Transmission:

  • Automatic transmissions require a transmission pump to lubricate the transmission while being towed. This pump is powered by the vehicle's battery, which can drain the battery over time if the vehicle is towed for long distances without being started.
  • However, many newer vehicles with automatic transmissions are designed to be flat-towed, which means that they can be towed without any special equipment to disengage the transmission from the engine.
  • Automatic transmissions are generally more convenient and easy to drive, which can be an advantage if you use the towed vehicle daily during your travels.

Both manual and automatic transmissions can be suitable for towing behind an RV, and the best vehicle depends on your preferences and the specific vehicle you plan to tow. It's important to consult the vehicle's owner's manual and follow the manufacturer's recommendations for towing the vehicle to ensure a safe and enjoyable towing experience.

7 of the Best Toad Vehicles for Your RV

Best Toad for RV? RVers share what vehicles THEY tow
Which cars are best?

We have compiled a list of cars that are some of the most popular toad vehicles that RVers recommend.

Just to be clear, these vehicles are great for being towed behind an RV to use as a “drive around” car whenever you're at camp.

Do not confuse a “towed vehicle” or “toad vehicle” with a “tow vehicle.” I know the lingo can be confusing, but a “tow vehicle” is what tows a travel trailer or 5th wheel behind it. A large pickup truck, like a Chevrolet Colorado, typically serves as a towing vehicle.

A toad, as you can guess, is usually a small car that people can zip around town in and easily tow behind their RV. However, some RVers opt to tow trucks and SUVs.

Okay, now that that's cleared up, let's dive into what RVers say are the best toads for RV travel…

1. Jeep Wrangler

The Jeep Wrangler is a popular choice for RV owners due to its off-road capabilities and flat-tow capabilities. It has a powerful engine and can easily navigate rough terrain, making it a great option for adventurous travelers.

2. Jeep Liberty

Another popular choice from the Jeep lineup, the Liberty is a mid-size SUV with a comfortable interior and good towing capacity. It also has flat tow capability, making it easy to set up and use with your RV.

Jeep has discontinued making the Liberty model. However, buying a used Liberty is still a good option.

3. Jeep Grand Cherokee

By this point, you shouldn't be surprised that another Jeep is on this list. The Jeep Cherokee is also equipped with flat-tow capabilities, making it a great choice for RV owners who want a comfortable, more spacious tow vehicle.

As Bill put it in the Facebook post, “75 % of towed vehicles are jeep – there has to be a reason !!!!”

4. Honda CR-V

The Honda CRV is a versatile and reliable SUV with a good balance of towing capability and fuel efficiency. It also has a spacious interior and comfortable ride, making it a great choice for day trips away from your campsite.

5. Chevrolet Spark

The Chevy Spark is a popular choice because it's a smaller vehicle with a smaller price tag. BUT only Sparks with a manual transmission can be flat towed. Standard models with auto transmissions are not equipped for flat-towing.

6. Ford Focus

Both manual and automatic Ford Focuses can be flat-towed. However, a manual Ford Focus is usually easier to tow than its automatic brethren. An automatic Focus may require special features or accessories, depending on model years and features.

Like the Jeep Liberty, Ford has retired the Focus model. However, it's still considered one of the best cars to pull behind an RV if you don't mind a used vehicle.

7. Ford Ranger

If you want to pull a truck behind your RV, you're not alone. Some RVers opt to hook up a Ford Ranger to the back of their rigs. One big benefit is you can haul more toys in the truck bed!

Another popular truck toad is a Ford F-150, despite its large size like the Ranger. So, don't think you can only tow compact or subcompact cars! It just depends on your RV's tow capacity and what you're comfortable with.

Speaking of Towing Vehicles…

Like what you see in these videos? We'd appreciate it if you would Subscribe to our YouTube Channel (easy to do right here) and consider “ringing the bell icon” to be notified of any new video from us. 🙂 Thanks!

Come along as we head to Keystone RV Company to learn the way of the fifth wheel! We knew we would have new skills to learn when we started our 5th wheel journey, and being able to tow properly was right at the top of the list.

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Best Toad for RV? RVers share what vehicles THEY tow 2

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Mike Wendland

Published on 2023-11-06

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

11 Responses to “Best Toad for RV? RVers share what vehicles THEY tow”

February 25, 2024at4:25 am, Joe Flinn said:

I own a 2015 Ford Focus with a automatic transmission. It tows great but it is limited to 70 MPH. In my case that’s fast enough as I cruise at 65 MPH.

Reply

November 07, 2023at11:08 am, Rick Renaud said:

Just wanted to say that if You flat towing a Honda CR-V the vehicle really needs to be between a 2004-2014 as after 2014 they changed the transmission and without special alterations they are really not flat towable, The ones You can flat tow are Absolutely Great Flat Tow Vehicles!!

Reply

November 10, 2023at7:41 am, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Thanks for the info, Rick – Team RV Lifestyle

Reply

November 07, 2023at7:24 am, Nicholas Ward said:

We purchased a 2017 GMC Acadia for our toad. We pull it with a Blue Ox tow bar behind a Fleetwood Discovery 40G. We have towed it several thousand miles with no issues. We chose it for its 3rd row capability as we have 6 in our family.

Reply

November 07, 2023at8:53 am, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Thanks for sharing this, Nicholas – Team RV Lifestyle

Reply

November 07, 2023at7:22 am, LeeAnn Haight said:

I have a Nissan Xterra 4×4. Anyone ever towed one. Thinking about trailer towing it. A

Reply

November 07, 2023at8:18 am, Ed Shapiro said:

I tow a 09 mustang on a 18 ft trailer
Behind my 30 holiday rambler. I like the trailer method easier to back and never had a problem going up the mountains in New Mexico so I vote trailer

Reply

March 18, 2023at1:14 am, Pam Shook said:

Why is it called a “Toad”?

Reply

March 18, 2023at10:07 am, Team RV Lifestyle said:

We think it is because a vehicle that is “towed” behind an RV, sounds a lot like “toad” … good question! Team RV Lifestyle

Reply

March 11, 2023at1:23 pm, Barbie Wiborg said:

I have had 3 Jeep Libertys and love them! Be sure tho, to get one with 4 wheel drive. The 2 wheel drive Jeeps cannot be flat-towed.

Reply

March 11, 2023at5:45 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Thanks for sharing this helpful advice! Team RV Lifestyle

Reply

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