To Toad or Not to Toad

Friday, April 7, 2006

To toad or not....for those who don't know, a "toad" (in RVing terms) is a "towed" vehicle. This helps differentiate it from a "tow" vehicle which designates one that does the towing. Confused yet? LOL!

My first inclination was to go "toad-less", using my motorcycle as my only transportation. With that decision made I started to research carriers for the back of the RV. Discovered that unless I got a diesel pusher I wasn't going to be able to go this route. The weight of my current bike combined with the lift/carrier would be too much for the frame of the motorhome.

From there I moved to the idea of maybe towing a pickup truck and loading the bike in the back of that, again using a lift of some sort. I eventually tossed that idea out since I figured I'd need a full size pickup and that again brought the weight factor into play, this time it was tow weight.

Next thing tossed into my mental mixer was the sudden realization that campgrounds are often more dirt, gravel and grass than pavement. Not a bit deal, you say. Well, for an in-seam impaired motorcycle rider like me, it can least with a 750# motorcycle. Hmmm, maybe I should rethink what motorcycle I really need. No more ego trips....I've had almost 4 years of riding Harleys. That's more than some folks ever have.

I had already been researching sport tourer bikes, maybe that would be the way to go. Lighter bike would mean less problem holding it upright on those uneven surfaces. Unfortunately my being in-seam impaired makes this a difficult challenge as well. Extended my search into more dual sport bikes and found there are two bikes that I might want to consider, the BMW 650GS and the Suzuki V-Strom DL650. Both are still tall bikes but both are supposed to be able to be lowered enough that I might be able to handle them. They come in the 500# range which, while better than my Harley, are still probably heavier than I want.

Stopped at the Suzuki dealer (maybe I already mentioned this, sorry if I did), but I found what could be the perfect bike for what I want. It's close to 300# (great weight) and when I sat on it, the ergonomics were wonderful. What this would allow me to do is carry it on the back of the motorhome, at least with the right lift.

From there my mental gymnastics started suddenly occured to me that my early thoughts of just using the motorhome to swing into Wally World, etc. for groceries would only work if I were moving a lot. Since I plan to workamp as well as take advantage of monthly rates as much as possible, I won't be moving too often. So, no "toad" means no convenient way to get groceries, etc. Sure, I could bum rides but I really hate to do that. And what if I'm just not feeling like riding. Well, with the option of this little Suzuki GZ250, I could easily add a lightweight "toad"!

Now that I'm thinking along these lines, I am researching other little 250 bikes, there are several to choose from. Something small, lightweight, nimble and very appropriately named "Hopper".

Till next time - keep on rollin',


  1. Donna,
    A small bike could move a small trailer. That would allow you to get the bike you want and still get groceries etc. by putting them in the trailer. You may have to hunt a little or have one made to your specs. Many areas have trailer makers that would be happy to assemble a small (maybe collapsable) trailer for you.

  2. Donna,
    Did a litle checking and found this trailer. The slightly larger one, the MBT1 looks ideal.

    Good luck,



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