Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Like any other new comer, I had no idea what I really needed as a vehicle to tow behind the Hula Hut.  As a result, during an 18 month period, I ran through a lot of different vehicles.  Yeah, I know, not the best of plans, but what the heck, as with everything else, I'm single - so who's gonna tell me not to?

I started with the idea of keeping my BWM 330ci convertible and using a 25' car trailer behind the bus.  Loved the car; hated the trailer.  And, no, that's not my RV parked next to it. The total tow weight was somewhere around 5800 pounds.  And yes, it impacted the heck out of my MPG rates.

After towing this rig from Texas, throughout the South, and settling in Ft. Bragg for awhile, I came to the realization I was going to have to give up the car/trailer combination for something I could tow 4 down.  I've been a 4 wheel guy for years, so Jeep was my next choice...only because I couldn't find a 1996 Bronco in prime condition anywhere in the tri-state area.  But, that's another story. The Jeep weighted in around 4800 pounds and the MPG savings for the Hula Hut was barely noticeable.

The Jeep is a great choice for towing behind the Hut, and it was smooth sailing from NC up through the TN valley, down through AR and back to TX during early fall of 2010.   But frankly, it was less then comfortable around town and as I told a friend at the time "it's just not doing it for me."  I soon moved on by looking for something else, and a full size Hummer H2 became my choice.

The H2 had all kinds of neat bells and whistles, plenty of room, and I could take it anywhere on or off road.  At 7 MPG around town, and barely 12 MPG on the highway, it soon lost it's appeal.  It towed great behind the Hut, but there too, the MPG impact was pretty bad. But, in fairness, this thing weights in at 6800 pounds of dry weight, so what did I expect? 

So what to do?  I decided to find something lighter, with a single purpose use...a friend recommended a sand rail, and that appealed to my sense of adventure!

I must admit I loved towing this thing.  Weight was less then 1800 lbs fully loaded with fuel, and you cannot even feel the impact on the RV.  The downside is obviously weather.  Of course, that's what rainsuits are for, right?

Alas, it was apparent that the H2 was just not going to be the long term solution, and once again I set off on a quest for the next vehicle.  After plenty of discussion, lots of reviews on the iRV website, and a bunch of test drives I found a 2010 Mini Cooper S.  6 speed turbo, added the tow package, and wham, it was done.

I've probably towed this Mini more miles than all the rest so far, and obviously the weight is negligible (barely 2600 pounds), the ease in hooking up and dropping is minutes, and it still works great around town and on the highway at 26/38 MPG. . .so far it's been the best (and hopefully last) solution.

So, that's my tall tale about TOAD's in general.  It may not help you, but it is at least a cautionary tale of what has, and has not worked for me...

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