500,000 bottles of sparkling wine mature in this section of the underground cellars at Cricova Winery just north of Chisinau, Moldova. Photo taken December 3, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Transnistria. The country that doesn't exist!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

We don't have a toad

Those of you who own motorhomes will know what I'm talking about. Those of you who don't own a motorhome probably need an explanation. You're probably thinking "well, I don't have any reptiles either"!

For people who own a motorhome, a toad is the common term for the vehicle you tow behind your motorhome. Usually it's a small car, but we have seen many large motorhomes towing some very large toads!

Obviously, this term "toad" comes from the word "towed"...in other words, the toad is the name for the vehicle being towed.

There are three main types of recreational vehicles (RV's). Motorhomes, travel trailers, and 5th wheels.

Everybody knows that a motorhome has it's own living quarters and drivetrain built into a single unit. Travel trailers can be pulled by any suitable vehicle, and 5th wheels are actually trailers, with a different design so that they need to be towed by a special hitch built into a pick up truck box. So people with travel trailers and 5th wheel trailers are able to detach their vehicle from the trailer and then have a suitable vehicle to go and explore or buy groceries or whatever. But people with motorhomes have to actually drive their motorhome to go anywhere. Or use some other transportation.

Hence, the toad.

The majority of people who travel in their motorhome, buy a special bracket for the front of a car and then tow the car behind their motorhome.

We actually own the perfect car for this application...

But we decided not to take the car with us on any of our motorhome trips. The vast majority of RV'ers wouldn't go anywhere without having another vehicle with them, so we realize that we are different. But there are a lot of factors to consider.

It's not cheap to buy all the equipment needed to tow a vehicle. You need to spend at least $1,500 CAN on a tow bar setup. And then another few hundred on an auxiliary braking system for the toad. And then you want to protect the toad from wear and tear so you need a "bra" for the front end to protect from rock and stone chips.

We like to have our bicycles with us, and we like to use them. We were afraid we would get too lazy with having the car with us, so by not having the car, we are forced to get some exercise on the bikes, and we've proven that we use them quite a bit when we're on a motorhome trip.

And, we use public transportation a lot. We've even rented a car when near major cities. You can get a cheap car rental for well under $30 a day if you know how to shop the car rental agencies.

And having a towed vehicle limits your maneuverability a lot when it's hooked up to the motorhome. You can't back up without disconnecting the toad first.

Anyhow, that's why we don't have a toad!

3 comments:

  1. We don't have a toad either at this time. But we do have a rack that goes in our hitch, and carry a Honda Helix scooter that rolls right down off a ramp. It rides two of us easily, gets great mileage, and goes up to 70mph so we can go virtually anywhere, compared to tiny scooters that go 30mph. Helps us get around and see things or pick up groceries if needed. Perhaps someday we will tow a toad too.

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  2. We have thought about that since we were in Mexico last year. We are keeping our eyes open for a good deal on a used one if possible. We are in no rush, but think it is a great idea.

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  3. Reckon the European motorhomes with a garage are the way to go it you want to have a scooter with you. Only problem is Steve doens´t have a scooter licence - well maybe not the only problem, being motorhomeless at the moment is another!

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