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Old 03-21-2012, 05:41 AM   #1
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Minis as a toad

I've been following using the Mini as toad thread. Since going full time in our '99 Tour Master, we've been thinking of getting a Mini. BUT we've not driven one yet or have met anyone with experience with them.

What are good years and models to consider and to stay away from? New is out as we'd like to stay under $20K out the door here in California.

Thanks in advance,
Roy
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Old 03-22-2012, 05:19 PM   #2
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Before the DW settled on her new VW bug, we both drove two Minis, one 'S' and one standard. Both were too small for me...the sales guy said the auto trans required a dolly and the manual trans was towable 4 down. That's been awhile, so things probably have changed. No info on troubled models or years. Better go down and drive a few before any more consideration so you'll know even IF you like them. Good luck with the choice. Bob
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Old 03-22-2012, 05:34 PM   #3
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I like the Mini - I can get in and out easily and I'm 6'1" and 210 (OK make it 225) but it is easier for me to get in and out of the Mini than it was the 86 corvette I was driving. I will not try the back seat - that's for petite people. As above you cannot tow the automatic four down and I believe the newer all wheel drive cannot be towed four down or dolly. Mini's are fun to drive and relatively economical to drive.
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:11 PM   #4
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I have a 2003 Mini Cooper and absolutely live it... It's a standard so it will tow 4 down... Doesn't require an auxiliary brake since it only weighs 2,500 lbs... Bought it to tow behind our Berkshire

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but love the mpg so much (37 mpg hwy; 33 city) that I drive it around town...

It's an absolute blast to drive.... Mine has all the bells and whistles (all power, heated seats, sun roof, etc.) so i lose none of the comforts in our full-sized Ford Edge....

I don't think you would ever regret getting a Mini for your toad....
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:10 PM   #5
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Mini's ROCK!

I own a lot of cars and my 2011 Mini Clubman S gets driven the most out of all of them.

The car never sits still. If for some reason I am in something else, my wife/son/daughter will be in the Mini.

I have never owned a car that consistently puts a smile on my face when I drive it. That's saying quite a bit as many miles as I log and as many cars that I own or owned.

I have had it 11 months and put 23,000 miles on it without issue. It gets 30.9 miles to the gallon and I am consistently hitting 100MPH.

I just purchased a new MH and plan to pull the Mini with a dolly.

In my opinion, it's like an American Express card, Don't leave home without it!
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:33 PM   #6
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We pull a 03 Mini Cooper S manual 6 speed four down. Hooking up takes about two or three minutes. No need for an additional brakes because it is so light. We came back from the Good Sam Rally in Phoenix to Tucson doing 75 - 90 mph (had to get out of the way from the fast traffic) and made 34 mpg. Fun to drive, great economy and a great conversation starter. I am 5' 11" and over 250# and have no trouble getting in or out and am very comfortable driving it. Really fun car. I also put a sign in the back window when we are towing it...."I'm pushing as hard as I can."
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Old 03-27-2012, 06:08 PM   #7
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Meandering Retiree....

May I pick your brain for a moment or two???

I have almost the same mini as you do except mine isn't the "S" I'm sorry to say....

Could you explain to me slowly, cause I'm old, exactly how do you prepare your mini for towing??? Say I'm all hooked up with tow bar and all - now exactly how do I deal with the key position to be assured that the steering wheel doesn't lock on me???

That's my number one concern... Just had diodes put in the tail lights so I'm good there and I have Roadmaster tow bar and brackets... So I'm good-to-go there... In a couple of weeks, I'm heading for Nashville from Texas on our first trip towing the mini....
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Old 03-27-2012, 06:30 PM   #8
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My wife, who is charge of the Mini, says that she starts the engine, and then turns it off without removing the key from the ignition. That way the steering wheel does not lock and the battery will not run down. Happy trails!
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Old 03-27-2012, 06:37 PM   #9
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Tell your wife I said thanks a bunch....
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Old 03-27-2012, 06:43 PM   #10
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That's what we do with out 2006 Mini five speed trans - basic model not an S - but great to drive.
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:36 PM   #11
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Well, that sounds easy enough.... Thanks guys (and gals)...
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:44 PM   #12
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We have a 2009 Mini Clubman S with manual 6 speed. Car had 32,000 miles and is warrantied for 36,000 ( bumper to bumper) and 50,000 miles full coverage. Only problem is Mini is not towable per manual and Mini dealer and the warranty is not valid if there is a possibility that the towing of the car caused the damage. So I pull it with Demco SS dolly. In that way the dealer doesn't have any way to know that we tow it. A great toad and even better as a sporty car. Wife now drives it whenever she has a chance. Mileage is over 34 MPG and is a blast to drive.. It has such a low road clearance that the dolly's hitch has to be raised to prevent interference with the front air dam. Takes maybe 5 minutes to set up. Believe aux brakes are necessary in most states, Clubman weight over 2500#s. and dolly has surge brakes. We changed the run flat tires to regular tires and have a mini spare in the lower rear compartment. Another advantage of a dolly is there is less likely to have stones thrown up and damage the front end. The mini front end on the dolly is 5 inches higher than if it has been flat towed, plus the dolly itself takes the hit from the stones.

A 2009 Clubman with low mileage should go for less than $20000
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ernest917 View Post
Meandering Retiree....

May I pick your brain for a moment or two???

I have almost the same mini as you do except mine isn't the "S" I'm sorry to say....

Could you explain to me slowly, cause I'm old, exactly how do you prepare your mini for towing??? Say I'm all hooked up with tow bar and all - now exactly how do I deal with the key position to be assured that the steering wheel doesn't lock on me???

That's my number one concern... Just had diodes put in the tail lights so I'm good there and I have Roadmaster tow bar and brackets... So I'm good-to-go there... In a couple of weeks, I'm heading for Nashville from Texas on our first trip towing the mini....
As Meandering Retiree said, when I hook up my 2010 S all I do is put the key fob in the ignition, press the start button once (which places it in ACC Mode), put the manual trans in "N". . .with one addition: I added a battery disconnect switch to the front grill and after doing the above, and the last thing before travel, is turn it off. I've never had an issue with a dead or weak battery and it goes without saying I am a major fan of Mini's as a TOAD.

The only thing I've towed that weights less was a sand rail, but heck, my Mini has AC, a roof, and wipers!

Best of Luck, personally I think Mini is the way to go.
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rg neumann View Post
We changed the run flat tires to regular tires and have a mini spare in the lower rear compartment.
Here is an important tidbit of information!
I think Mini does themselves a lot of harm using run flats. I get the idea, but it's a whole different car after dumping them.
I carry a tire repair kit (plugs) and a small compressor.
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