Saturday, April 19, 2014

From Tadpole to Full-Grown Toad

If you watch RVs going down the road, you'll notice that most of them tow a vehicle behind them. Most of these vehicles are flat-towed--that is, they are towed with all four wheels on the ground.

Unfortunately for RVers, the choice of which cars can be flat-towed is limited, especially if you want to operate a car other than a sedan, such as an SUV.
Good-bye tadpole, our 2006 HHR.

Hello, full-grown toad, our 2001 Ford Edge SEL

When we bought our first RV, we owned a 2006 Nissan Murano. Unfortunately, it was one of the cars that was not towable. So we had to shop for another car. We settled on the 2009 Chevy HHR, which we misnamed "toad." ("Toad" for "towed"--get it?)

I say "misnamed" because the HHR, although a fun car, was a pretty basic vehicle. And, it was small. It was more like a tadpole, rather than a full-grown toad.

The car was OK, but I was never in love with it. Reliable? Yes. Good mileage? Yes. Cute? Yes. Comfortable? Yes. (Actually, the seats were much more comfortable than the Murano's.) But it was small and I always felt cramped. And it didn't have some of the things I really liked in the Murano, such as a backup camera, a compass, and dual climate controls.

Jim liked the HHR better than I did, but he agreed it was time to look for a bigger SUV.

We did our homework, and we tentatively decided on a Ford Edge, a 5-passenger crossover SUV about the same size as our Murano. Before we made a decision on that car, though, we had to test-drive it.

So, while we were in Orlando last week, we spent an afternoon at CarMax and then at Greenway Ford. We narrowed our selection to the SEL model, which came with most of the things we wanted. You can probably guess what happened: We found a low-mileage 2011 Edge 2011 and  negotiated a really good deal.

I like it. No buyer's remorse. It has the features we wanted. We can even talk to it and it does our bidding. If I say "Radio," it asks what station I want. If I tell it "Climate," it asks what temperature I would like.

Of course, our new toad is not yet equipped to be towed, so I had to drive it home--in a driving rain. (I confess that I almost wiped out when I hit some standing water on the highway, but the car responded admirably and everything was OK.)

Jim hasn't decided if he will put on the towing base plate himself or will have it done. (I vote the latter.) We don't plan to travel for a couple of months, so there is no hurry.

But it's nice to know that when we do travel, we will be comfortable when we take off on day trips.

Until next time,

Your Reluctant RoVer,

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