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Today is the day we make our first purchase for our Journey. This purchase is for a vehicle that we will be using as well as our Motorhome.
To bring this vehicle along with us it will need to be towed behind the Motorhome. There are a few ways to do this.
4-down Towing: The vehicle is towed with the 4 wheels of the vehicle on the ground.
Dolly: Two of the vehicles wheels are put on a dolly and towed
Trailer: The vehicle is put on a trailer and towed.
Each one of these solutions has it’s pros an cons.
4-down Towing: Pros-Easiest to hook up and disconnect. Cons-Only certain vehicles can be towed 4-down
Dolly: Pros-Most front wheel drive vehicles can be towed with this method. Cons-Takes time to secure front wheels to dolly and hook dolly up to Motorhome. Need to find a place to store dolly at destinations.
Trailer: Pros-All vehicles can be towed. Cons-Takes the most time to get vehicle on trailer and hook up to Motorhome. Need to find a place to store trailer at destinations. Weight of trailer and vehicle may be over maximum that Motorhome is designed to tow.
We currently have BMW X3 which has All Wheel Drive. BMW states that this vehicle may not be towed 4-down or on a dolly. This means if we were to bring the BMW X3 with us we would need to tow it on a car trailer. The weight of the BMW is about 4200 lbs. The hitch on most Motorhomes is rated up to 5000 lbs. This would mean that the weight of the trailer would need to weigh less than 800 lbs. which is almost impossible.
After looking at all of the pros and cons we decided it would be best to sell our BMW X3 and get a vehicle we can tow 4-down. This narrow down the search for a towed vehicle quite a bit since only certain vehicles can be towed 4-down.
We started our search looking for a vehicle by using the Internet. A vehicle that is towed behind a Motorhome can be called a few different names. 4-down, Towed, Toad, Dinghy etc… We found a wonderful resource from “Motorhome” Magazine. Every Year they publish a “Dingy Guide” which list the vehicles that are released that year that can be towed 4-down. We downloaded all of the guides and then stored them on Google Drive so that they are available to us on our smartphones when we are shopping for a new vehicle. This allows us to pull up the dingy guides while looking at vehicle on a lot and determining if they can be towed 4-down. This worked out great. We then went to many car dealers looking at vehicles in the lots and deciding on what types of vehicles we liked and then what size of vehicle. We wanted to have a larger vehicle for us as well as our two dogs so when we are driving around we will all have ample room and not feel confined. We started narrowing our search down to SUVs. We looked at vehicles that were built on truck chassis as well as car chassis. We thought the vehicle built on truck chassis looked too heavy and decided to concentrate our effort on a large SUV built on a car chassis. After looking back and forth we decided to look more into the Chevrolet Traverse. It had a large fold down storage area that can be folded back up to seat 8 passengers. This was a big plus in our book. So we finally decided on what vehicle to get.
The next hurdle was were to get it from and for what price. We went to a few different dealers looking at Chevrolet Traverses and they all had a little something wrong with them that just didn’t feel right. We were getting frustrated at not being able to find the RIGHT vehicle. We decided to expand our searching to not only car lots but Craigslist ads as well. After doing a search on Craigslist for “Chevrolet Traverse” we noticed we were seeing some of the Traverse we looked at already. Dealers had been putting them on Craigslist as well. So we created a Saved Search for “Chevrolet Traverse” and set it up to email us whenever a new one was listed. This worked out great as multiple times a day we would get emails and then check them out online first. Many of them were further away than we would like to travel to see them but many of them also were priced too high so we decided not to pursue even looking at those vehicles.
Then earlier yesterday I received an email alert of a Chevrolet Traverse listed just a few miles from where we live. This was great and it was also perfect timing as I was about to leave for that area anyway to do some shopping. Lesa was out of town so I decided to pursue this on my own and maybe surprise here when she came back home with a new car. I made it to the dealership less than 10 minutes after the email came through. When I arrived at the dealership they didn’t even have it out of the showroom yet as they were still taking photos and posting them. Everything seemed to be falling into place. I waited a bit for it come out onto the lot and took a look at it. I was expecting to find something wrong as I had so many times with the other dealership vehicles. I wasn’t able to find anything wrong with the vehicle. After looking around at it I also noticed that it was the model above the base model which I was just looking at the base model as we don’t need all the fancy bells and whistles to drive around towns. I told the dealer I would sleep on it and come back tomorrow.
Today I went back in the dealership and looked at the vehicle which was now on the lot. I looked at every vehicle on that lot but was always drawn back to the one I saw yesterday. This confirmed my decision to pursue purchasing the vehicle. After going back and forth we finally settled on a price which was less than any of the other dealerships that were selling the base model for. After a few hours I had the keys in my hand and a new car in the driveway. As for surprising Lesa with it, she was alerted by the Bank of an unusually large transfer of money which tipped her off. Oh well at least I tried.
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