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 > Tow a dinghy or rent a car?

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dgshaffer

Jerzee

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Posted: 12/12/09 04:45am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm not a full timer but I have been kicking around the idea of towing my Jetta around on longer trips. To the point where I actually found myself at a Master Tow dealer. I didn't buy one but have been watching Craigs list for that perfect deal on a used one.

Now I find myself second guessing the expense with the purchase on top of the hassle of storing it, the additional fuel and wear and tear on the Jetta versus the cost of renting a car when I get to where I was going.

This Christmas we're vacationing in Gulf Shores Alabama and there's an Enterprise rental 2.7 miles from the camp site and they'll come and get me. I've heard that a lot more rental agencies are offering pick up service as well.

With that, what reason other than having your own vehicle with you is there for a non-fulltimer to be towing a Dinghy?

I travel in a class A with our motorcycle in the back in case the MH were to break down.


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Bumpyroad

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Posted: 12/12/09 05:47am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

if your trips are only going to a destination for longer stays, a rental would be ideal. for sightseeing out in the boonies, you need a toad.
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j-d

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Posted: 12/12/09 05:51am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What other kinds of trips/outings do you do with the RV? If you get by happily on nearly all your trips (except this Christmas one) then it looks like rent. We seem to use a car enough of the days that we're traveling that we tow ours. But if it's a long tow to a short stay, like NJ to AL to stay a week or two, maybe rent. Especially if you fall into a good part of the rental price formula.


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dgshaffer

Jerzee

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Posted: 12/12/09 06:28am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I guess the formula is: Longer stays = tow, shorter stays = rent. That makes perfect sense, thank you both.

We do have the bike for the sight seeing part but we've been stuck indoors with all day rain events so this is what drove the thought of towing.

All of my trips are short at this point so I guess a rental is the best option. I'd have to rent a car on quite a few trips to out weigh the expense of purchasing a dolly and towing the Jetta

southernkilowatt

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Posted: 12/12/09 07:28am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It would depend on how much they want for a dolly. I found a guy the other day that had brand new Master Tow dollys for less than 1k, and had one that was only three months old (used) for 795.00

mowermech

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Posted: 12/12/09 09:18am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Will the cost of the additional fuel used to tow offset the cost of the rental?
For instance, if I decide to go to Moab, UT to play on the rocks with a Jeep, I can rent a Jeep Rubicon in Moab for a week, but it would cost me MUCH more than the extra fuel to tow MY Rubicon there and back.
Seems to me COST has to be one of the deciding factors, not simply the length of the stay!
Then there is the issue of intermediate stops. Will you rent a car at each stop if you want to go somewhere, or take the motorhome, or just not go anywhere or do anything at such stops? IMO, having a towed vehicle along gives much more mobility.


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20anOut

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Posted: 12/12/09 10:51am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Last summer we went through a long process of deciding on towing, hauling a motorcycle or renting. I ran a lengthy analysis of projected travel for the next 3 years estimating about 28K miles of travel and renting for a few days or a week at each stop we would cover the cost of setting up the toad and extra fuel to tow. To me our set up was pricy, there are much less costly set ups to choose from that could make having a toad more cost effective in less time.

The deciding factor for us was that we would only have had the rental at our destinations and not available during travel. A bike is limited to two of us, and good weather. We have two small dogs that travel everywhere with us and if we had a situation we would have a problem on the road with only having a bike. During our travels if we are near a town we like to stop early enough in the day to poke around so a vehicle is needed. For our situation having a vehicle available at all times is a necessity.

After we decided that we wanted a toad the process turned to which toad that would suit our comfort and needs, that is a whole other discussion.

Delaine and Lindy

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Posted: 12/12/09 10:58am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We double tow and our Freightliner doesn't know the Chevy HHR is back there. Yes the up front cost is more to set up to tow safely however our decision was easy. You see we have a 92 lb furr kid and he would fit well on the Motorcycle. I do believe the convenience alone is enough to justify a dinghy. Good Luck on your decision. GBY...


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Geaux Tigers

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Posted: 12/12/09 11:05am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When we first got our motorhome, it was our intention to rent cars at our destinations. After 2 trips, we decided that was not going to work out. First, too often the rental car companies were either by the airport, not open on the weekends, or on the other side of town from where the campground was located. Second, we found that renting a car limited us to where we could go. For example, we stayed in Knoxville, TN for a few days for our nephew's wedding and we rented a car for about $200/week. After the wedding, we wanted to go to Gatlinburg for a few days. Initially we were going to move the RV to a campground close to the National Park and rent another car in Gatlinburg however the cost of renting there was much more expensive. We ended up leaving the RV in Knoxville and commuted to the Gatlinburg area each day in the cheaper rental. It worked out okay but we easily lost at least 2 hours each day going back & forth.

I'm an old car nut so we now tow a '74 VW Beetle wherever we go. It was very inexpensive and the motorhome doesn't even know it is back there. No tow dolly to fool with and the fuel mileage in the RV did not change at all. As a bonus, the Bug is always a conversation piece at every stop!

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kjburns

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Posted: 12/12/09 11:24am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We decided to tow after two trips without. The first trip we rented. It was okay, but pretty inconvenient. The second trip was long and there weren't any rentals that were anywhere close to the campsite. That was it...we bought a 2001 Cherokee and haven't looked back.


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