Monday, March 7, 2011

Our 'toad'

A few years ago, when Jim’s mother was living with us (she passed away at age 97 in October 2009), we decided we needed a bigger car. When we traveled with Helen we had to pack two big suitcases, her walker, and other bulky items. Even routine outings—daily trips to the senior center—required transporting her walker. Our Honda Accord could barely accommodate our needs. So, we bought a new car—a Nissan Murano.
We loved that Murano. It was “sexy.” A crossover between an SUV and a car, it had lots of room, drove beautifully, got good mileage, and had a certain “look” about it that we really liked.
Unfortunately, we discovered that the Murano could not be towed behind our new motor home. Not all cars can be towed. I’m not sure why; I think it has something to do with the transmission. We could have purchased a dolly—essentially a trailer—to pull the Murano. But a dolly is expensive; it is a large piece of equipment; and it requires storage when not in use. So, rather than deal with the dolly, we opted to trade in our Murano for a “toad” (a towable car).
MotorHome magazine annually publishes a list of toads. From that list, we began to narrow our selections down to what was available locally. We finally settled on a 2009 Chevy HHR.

If you don’t know what an HHR looks like, welcome to the club. I had never heard of it, either. Turns out it is very similar to Chrysler’s PT Cruiser, a car I had long admired.
Jim installed the towing apparatus (base plate, lighting and braking wires) on the HHR, and we are ready to have our “baby” pull it.
Last night confirmed we had made the right decision. An old friend of a neighbor pulled up to his house in a 35-foot motorhome, dragging his Scion—on a dolly. For 15 minutes he complained about the problems of maneuvering the dolly, especially when backing up. To park the motorhome, he had to dismantle the dolly and remove the car from it. It was not an easy or quick process.
Saying good-bye to our Murano was hard; I get attached to my car. But watching my neighbor’s friend struggle with the dolly told me we made the right decision.
Until next time,
Linda