The Toad

Monday, July 16 Hopkins, MI

We now have a "toad", which is RV-language for a vehicle that's towed (get it?) behind the camper. Up to this point, I've been driving the camper and Dar's been driving the car -- our old 1999 Chevrolet Blazer with 127,000 miles on it. This arrangement isn't so bad on short trips. But on longer drives, like we've done this past week, it's boring as heck for Dar. Imagine following a bus going 55 or 60 mph -- for 250 miles. Probably too much to ask.

But today, Monday the 16th, we had a bunch of hardware put on the Chev and a little more on the camper, and we're now capable of towing the "toad" wherever we want. We can now ride together and talk conversationally, instead of over a little hand-held two-way radio. We towed the car about 20 miles home from the shop and Dar had a smile from ear to ear all the way. I'll like the company too.

The people who installed it all, Paul and Jack from Cummins Bridgeway in Grand Rapids, were just top-notch. They were personable, professional, and made sure we were trained properly before we left. The work they did was high-quality too. For a while last week it was looking like we wouldn't be able to get it installed this week due to difficulty in finding a key part for the 8 year old Blazer. But Paul called other installers around the country and found the part -- and saved the day.

So what's it like towing a car behind the camper? I could hardly feel any difference. Because the car is so much smaller than the camper, the rear camera is essential to a relaxed driving experience as it's the only real way to see it at all, to know it's is still there, still rolling along, still not on fire. Others who tow "toads" say there's very little impact in fuel mileage, so we should continue to get between 7 and 8 mpg.