With the introduction of Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (See NEV at Wikipedia), RV toads have hopped on the eco-friendly bandwagon. Towable cars, or “toads,” are vehicles that are pulled behind your RV motorhome or travel trailer and used to get around once you reach your destination. Toads come in many shapes and sizes; but small economy cars, golf carts and ATVs are popular choices.
While popular with RVers because they are typically small and light-weight which makes them easy to transport, golf carts and ATVs are not considered street-legal in many states. They’re great for cruising around RV resorts, but you can’t drive them into town to pick up a load of groceries which limits their value.
Equally transportable, NEVs offer an affordable street-legal alternative that is gaining popularity with RVers. Called low speed vehicles (LSV) by some manufacturers, these small electric cars plug into a standard 110-volt outlet and can travel at speeds of 25-35 mph compared to a top speed of 15 mph for golf carts.
Unlike golf carts, NEVs are subject to NHTSA and state DMV rules which means that, like cars, they must be titled, licensed, insured and driven by licensed drivers. It also means they have to meet federal and state safety regulations and be equipped with standard safety features such as three-point safety belts, turn signals, brakes lights, halogen head lamps, adjustable mirrors, windshield wipers and auto glass.
A safer and more flexible toad choice, expect NEVs to start showing up at RV shows. Currently, the top selling NEV according to Wikipedia is Polaris’ GEM (Global Electric Motorcar). If you’re looking for a toad, check out RVT.com’s towable car listings.