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Old 06-03-2013, 09:28 AM   #29
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Do a google on towing a AWD mini and you will find that you are directed to tow on a trailer only.... I just double checked on numerous sites and found this to be what is reported to be the procedure for towing...

I don't tow an AWD so I can't speak with authority abt it.... I tow my five speed 4 down with no problems....
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Old 06-03-2013, 09:54 AM   #30
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Towing a Countryman All4 Down?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ernest917 View Post
Do a google on towing a AWD mini and you will find that you are directed to tow on a trailer only.... I just double checked on numerous sites and found this to be what is reported to be the procedure for towing...

I don't tow an AWD so I can't speak with authority abt it.... I tow my five speed 4 down with no problems....
Okay:

I did a series of Google searches. The only specific reference I could find was on a BMW expert chat line referring to hooking up a tow bar (which is allowed):

http://www.justanswer.com/bmw/6y8f6-...ountryman.html

Once again, just because one reads it on the internet doesn't make such anecdotal observations about towing does and don'ts true.

I'll stick with the owners manual, which states that a Countryman ALL4 manual can ONLY be towed 4 down in neutral or 4 up, but NEVER 2 down on a dolly.
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Old 06-03-2013, 10:20 AM   #31
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Not trying to argue with you.... Simply stated what I'd read....

It's your car so do what ever the heck you want.... I guess experience will end up being the best teacher down the road... Happy travels....
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Old 06-03-2013, 11:13 AM   #32
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I agree. Experience rules.
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Old 06-03-2013, 03:06 PM   #33
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Greetings All,

I expect to be most criticized contributor to this forum with the following:

It’s a myth, all manual transmissions are designed to be towed with their driving wheels on the ground.

There, I’ve said it.

I won’t dispute anyone who has towed their Mini (or other manual transmission vehicle) with no problems. Keep on truckin’ and reading.

This is one of those ‘the emperor isn’t wearing any clothes’ topics.

I love my 2009 John Cooper Works Mini 6-speed and would love to flat tow it. But, scarcity of dealers and expense of Mini parts make me say the risk to transmission isn’t worth it. I do everything I can to protect my Mini. She’s got 106k on her now and I still get a kick out of her.

So – I am going to dolly tow the Chili Red Miniac.

Read on to understand how I reached this conclusion.

The sure way to safely tow a non 4x4, manual transmission equipped vehicle on its driving wheels is to put transmission in neutral, start engine and let it idle while it is being towed. As engine idles with transmission in neutral, transmission gears spin and oil will fully lubricate transmission’s gear train. Problem solved. But, that’s insane you say and I agree.

I accept being newcomer to forum but I have 28 years of auto industry powertrain experience. I spent several years as towing representative to SAE subcommittee on towing representing my company. The AAA engineering director in Washington took his guidance from me on subject. It was crystal clear; the company’s official position was vehicles were to be towed with driving wheels off the ground – no exceptions. I’m retired now and know of nothing changed in transmission world.

BMW is mute on subject because they do not want to accept any liability for transmission failures. I’ve spoken to BMW/Mini representatives. No towing with drive wheels on the ground.

But, no published discussion on subject does not mean Mini approves. As proof, see what happens if you have transmission problem while flat towing during warranty - you’ll pay dearly for the repair – not Mini.

Someone responded to my previous post reflecting on my “guy” who is a Mini Cooper expert. All I know is, if Mini’s trans. fails, he’ll gladly take my $3000 to fix it – he has no ax to grind.

Looking through MotorHome’s 2013 Guide to Dinghy Towing, note there are no entries for BMW/Mini or many other brands. List only covers vehicles that can be flat towed according to manufacturers. Check out instructions included in “Special Procedures” column for caveats – interesting reading. You can go through previous years of MotorHome’s Dinghy Guide on the web and find similar info.

4x4 vehicles with transfer cases can be set to neutral as way to protect transmissions as Dinghy Roundup notes.

If you really want know why manual transmissions are at risk when towed, go to U-Tube and search manual transmission operation. There are some good animations and discussions of how M/T’s work. What is not described is when M/T is in neutral with clutch engaged and wheels turning on pavement (as when towed). In this scenario, transmission’s gear train is being held stationary by clutch while the output shaft spins on inner gear journals. This eventually leads to breakdown of journal lubrication and, ultimately, catastrophic failure of transmission - gear seizes on output shaft locking up transmission and wheels. Automatics have similar problem. This is not fantasy. I’ve seen it.

I know this will be a very unpopular discussion. I’ve had talks with others who believe I eat worms because of my transmission knowledge. As former manual transmission development engineer, my knowledge of subject is solid. You can call my mom names if you wish – she was a very sweet lady – but it doesn’t change engineering facts. (You can even yell at me – no change to facts.) But, I’m hoping it will help folks out there avoid trouble.

Flat tow your manual transmission at your own risk. Someone had to say it.

I’m ready for my flames.
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Old 06-03-2013, 03:18 PM   #34
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A very well-stated position. Please don't be so hard on yourself, but also realize that one sees a lot of tech rumor on any forum, and IRV2 is no exception, thus the skepticism concerning un-referenced 'facts'.

Thanks for clarifying your opinion.
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Old 06-03-2013, 08:19 PM   #35
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No intent to flame at all.

However, as you all know, many on this and other RV forums will tell people "check with Remco" as they are the supposed experts at flat towing.

Therefore, I, like many have taken the cue from them and this is their response to the following question:


Can I tow my Front Wheel Drive (FWD) Manual Transmission 5-Speed behind my RV? I donít see my vehicle on your website?

"Any Front Wheel Drive, Manual Transmission 5-Speed vehicle can be flat towed safely behind a Motor Home. Remco has not formally tested most of these vehicles, but we have accumulated this data throughout our over 30 years of flat towing experience. You are safe to tow a Manual Transmission vehicle behind your RV as long as it is a Front-Wheel Drive with a 5-Speed Manual Transmission."


source: click here


So this is the advice I see on RV forums quite frequently as, again, most consider Remco the experts.

Now I don't know what to think.

-harry
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Old 06-03-2013, 08:30 PM   #36
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I'm going to continue to flat tow mine and just enjoy the heck out of having it with me....
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Old 06-03-2013, 08:40 PM   #37
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I think that's an excellent idea: Mini TOAD = Maxi FUN!
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Old 06-03-2013, 08:50 PM   #38
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I am certain Remco has accumulated significant customer information over the past 30 years. They say they have not formally tested vehicles equipped with 5-speed manual transmissions. So, I would question the validity of their claim.

The MotorHome Guide to Dinghy Towing is a more objective source. They are not selling anything but Motor Home info.

The acid test would be for Remco to issue a transmission warranty with all their products to stand behind their claim. The auto manufacturers have defined their position on this issue.

Car/Truck manufacturers test all the components that go into their vehicles. They warrant those parts when used according to their stated guidelines. Go outside their guidelines and whatever third party warranties are made are the obligation of the third party who makes the claim.

Transmissions are expensive - both manuals and automatics. Choices can be made but it's up to the consumer (me) to understand the potential results of my choices.

I stand by my decision to tow my Mini on a dolly.

Good luck and happy camping to everyone!
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Old 06-03-2013, 08:56 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomaspryan View Post
Our Mini weighs 3200 lbs, which is fairly light.
That much, maybe its because it don't have all the emission controls and air bags and what not, but I have a old Camaro with a hunk of V8 iron that only weighs 3450, I would of never figured a Mini weighed that much, heck my V6 Accord weighs about the same as the Camaro but its new and like all new cars uses tin foil for metal and has more air bags and junk than one could imagine ...... Now my Dakota Quad Cab (V8) is a pig for what it is weighs like a 1/2 ton truck

Well the lil Mini aint as mini as I thought , but still better than towing a SUV (Soccer Utility Vehicle) or a truck that's big enough to pull the MH
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Old 06-03-2013, 09:53 PM   #40
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Your point is well taken, GR8Daysahead. Yes, the Motorhome Magazine list should be the one to follow as they list only vehicles that are "sanctioned" by the manufacturer to be towed 4-down. But as I mentioned on another recent thread, many are towing vehicles not on the list, like MINIs, with thousands of miles towed without any problems. That's not to say they will continue to be problem free.

So again, I'm not certain how much risk I'm willing to take. I'd like to tow a VW Jetta TDI Sportwagen or a Golf TDI with a 6-speed manual (with a clutch pedal as opposed to a DSG tranny) and it's not on the list but I know some are towing them. Just like the MINI where many are towing them with a manual transmission but they've never been on the Motorhome Magazine list.

But, as you say, to be safe, one should only be towing those vehicles on the Motorhome Magazine list; which I currently am (a Subaru Outback). I'd sure like to tow a MINI or that VW TDI but how much risk do I want to take? I'm not certain at this point.

-harry
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Old 06-04-2013, 05:30 AM   #41
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As the creator of this thread, allow me to remind the subscribers that the purpose was for those who have Mini TOADs to share their experiences, positive or negative. Much to my regret, it has been transformed into an unwinnable debate on the proper choice of a TOAD vehicle.

This was certainly not my intent, and for that, I apologize to any who actually push a motorhome with a Mini Cooper.

As I think it unlikely that we will return to the intent of my original post, I am reluctantly unsubscribing.

Thanks to all who contributed.
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