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Dinghy Towing (TOAD)

I researched what kind of vehicle I wanted to tow behind my Class A or Class C motor home and I decided to buy a Honda CR-V.  My other option was a Ford C-Max, but I really liked the Honda C-RV better.  And after all is said and done I was brave enough to be a little sentimental and pick the one that I thought was the prettiest. 

Here are some things I considered that influenced my choice:

  • Must weigh under 4,000 lbs. so it won't exceed towing limit of a smaller RV. 2013 Ford C-Max: 3,640; 2012 Honda CR-V: 3,305
  • Must cost less than $15,000.  Found one for around $13,000 in VA
  • Must buy at least 6 months before I move to Florida to avoid paying sales tax twice, or I need to buy it in Florida. (Done)
  • Want good gas mileage. CR-V has over 20 mpg city and 30 mpg highway. 
  • Want a high Kelley Blue Book rating.  C-Max rated 8.4; CR-V rated 7.6
  • I don't want to have to pull fuses to tow it. Neither requires that.
  • Prefer automatic transmission for city driving. Right now I live in a big city.

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Here is what Ford says about how to dinghy RV tow the 2013 Ford C-Max:

. . . . If you tow your vehicle with all four wheels on the ground: • Tow only in the forward direction. • Release the parking brake. • Place the transmission in position N. • Place the ignition in the accessory mode. See the Starting and Stopping the Engine chapter. • Do not exceed 70 mph (113 km/h). • Place the transmission in position P, start the engine and allow it to run for one minute at the beginning of each day (you may need to press the accelerator pedal in order to start the engine). After allowing the engine to run, place the transmission back into position N and the ignition in the accessory position. 

. . . Note: Put your climate control system in recirculated air mode to prevent exhaust fumes from entering your vehicle. See the Climate Control chapter 

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Here is what Honda says about towing the CR-V:

. . . Perform the following procedure before towing your vehicle. 1. Check the transmission fluid level. Make sure the fluid level is between the upper and lower marks. 2. Start the engine. 3. Depress the brake pedal. Move the shift lever through all its positions. 4. Shift to (D and hold for five seconds, then to (N. Let the engine run for three minutes, then turn it off. 5. Release the parking brake. 6. Leave the ignition switch in ACCESSORY (Make sure the steering wheel does not lock. 7. Turn off all the electric devices. Do not use any accessory power sockets. This can prevent the battery from running down. Do not exceed 65 mph (100 km/h). 

. . . If you tow your vehicle behind a motor home, the transmission fluid must be changed every 2 years or 30,000 miles (48,000 km), whichever comes first. 

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These are the other models I considered:

Manual Transmission Options

  • Fiat 500 (too small)
  • Fiat 500L (too small)
  • Mini Cooper (not approved by dealer)