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Old 09-04-2014, 11:35 AM   #1
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To Toad or not to Toad (and how to Toad) ...

I'm in the process of acquiring a new Solera R and thinking about whether to pull a toad and, if so, whether to use a tow dolly or not. I'd appreciate input from other Solera owners on their experiences and preferences.

I guess my first questions are for those who don't pull a toad - how is that working for you? How much of a hassle is it to put the Solera on the road just to go to the grocery store? How does the Solera do in the grocery store parking lot? All in all, I'd prefer not having a toad, but I am concerned about the inconveniences involved.

If you do pull a toad, do you flat tow or use a dolly? I have flat towed in the past and, with a larger unit, I would have had problems at some campsites if I'd had a dolly. I don't think that would be an issue with the Solera, but I'm not sure how much is involved in getting a car on and off a dolly. The dolly certainly opens up the range of towable vehicles and seems like it might be about a wash, cost-wise, when compared to tow bar, base plate and braking system.

So...there are my questions (well, the ones I've thought of!) and I'd appreciate any and all comments and opinions.


Dave Jordan

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Old 09-04-2014, 01:00 PM   #2
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Location: Orange Park Fl.
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I have an R and initially did not tow. I did find it a little inconvenient unhooking to make a run. The RV does not have any problems maneuvering in parking lots, so going to the store with it is not a problem.
Towing is also not a problem and I tow all wheels down. The length of the RV with a toad is very manageable and have yet to encounter anywhere that became an issue. The dolly is not a bad solution, but it is additional weight.
Other than the weight and storage it is probably a wash.

2014 Solera 24R
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Old 09-04-2014, 03:01 PM   #3
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Location: San Diego
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We tried no toad and camped outside of Yosemite and drove solara there every day. Wife decided we needed a toad. We tow a 2 door jeep. Only dropped gas milage down 2-4mpg
Way more convenient to have a little fun vehicle and leave solera at campground

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Old 09-04-2014, 03:38 PM   #4
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The tow bar I have uses a "surge brake". A cable to the toads brake pedal takes care of the braking needs. More expensive tow bar, but much cheaper braking system and it works really well. Even with the cost of the base plate I am still ahead.
2014 Solera 24R
USN Retired
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Old 09-04-2014, 05:55 PM   #5
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Location: Florida/Thailand/Texas
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I tow an "Open Road" two wheel trailer (Electric Brakes) with a Smart Car on it. I am really amazed how well the Solera handles-It's like it is not even back there. I use a Tekonsha Prodigy P3 Trailer Brake Controller installed in the Solera for the trailer electric brakes. This works very well for my wife and I. Good Luck in your assessment.
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Old 09-04-2014, 07:29 PM   #6
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: No. CA
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I just went through this as I feel my 24R is small enough to get around with. Am now having our 2011 Equinox set up to tow behind 4 wheels down. Weight of the Equinox is close to 4,000 lbs. so do not want anything heavier. Decided it would be nice to have the toad along on some trips but think we will go without on many trips. At least I will now have the option.
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Old 09-04-2014, 07:39 PM   #7
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No toad. Over 36K miles including an Alaska trip and a cross-country trip. If we are going to camp somewhere for several nights we reserve a rental car near the campground and pick it up on our way to the campground. Otherwise we stop for groceries or go out to dinner before we set up to camp (hook up). No issue so far with store parking lots. Works for us.
2012 Solera "S"
Calif SF Bay Area
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Old 09-04-2014, 08:17 PM   #8
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Location: Missouri
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We have about 17,000 miles on our 24R and we have never towed a vehicle. It really depends on where you are planning on traveling. We go to a lot of western National Parks and driving the Solera through them works great for us. If it is time to eat we just park at a scenic site and fix something to eat. On the other hand if you like a lot of city museums it would be a pain to try and find parking in downtown areas.

We have no problems in grocery store parking lots however getting into and out of them with the low hanging stabilizer can be a pain. If there is much of a dip the stabilizers will drag no matter how slow or what angle tried.

To lessen the need for a vehicle we stay at some RV parks that have access to public transportation to areas we might be interested in. For example both Deadwood, South Dakota and Durango, Colorado have trolley's that stop as some RV parks.

I would suggest try it without first.
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Old 09-04-2014, 10:02 PM   #9
Join Date: Jan 2012
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I went another route. I didn't want to have to move the rig to go to a store or a trailhead, but didn't want the extra hassle of towing.

Bought a used 125 Scooter and a hitch mounted rack. The scooter is very light and I don't even know its there when driving. It's light enough I can easily load/unload it by myself. Best of all, it's a hoot to ride. I have a box that goes on the back and easily holds 2-3 bags of groceries. Works for me.
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Old 09-09-2014, 07:58 PM   #10
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Lethbridge, Alberta
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I pull a Kia Forte behind my 2014 24R. Flat tow using a Blue Ox system. We take it everywhere we go and it is no problem and tows exceptionally well. My wife can even hook it up. Great set up.

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