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Old 04-16-2016, 04:23 AM   #1
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New Smart Cars now need to be trailered

Hi there! so I am trying to understand what is the right way to pull a smart car on a trailer. New smart cars can no longer be towed long distances with wheels down (more than 30 mph or for more than 30 miles) Can small trailers be used with no brakes? Is it safe? It seems that some use a small aluminum trailer with no brakes and I also see web advertisements for smart car trailers with brakes. I am looking for accurate advice if anyone can help on this topic. Thanks
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Old 04-16-2016, 05:48 AM   #2
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I am going through something similar currently.

Except mine is brakes in a flat tow car.

I get lots of advice, as you will here - but here is my story - you make up your own mind.

I am about to add a tow vehicle to my diesel pusher. At first I was going to set up my Ford F-150. 5K#. Fully flat towable - essay-peezy - don't even have to unhook the battery.

Then the wife said - "Let's get a smaller car to tow!" Not sure why but a happy wife is a happy life.

So we go get a Ford Fiesta. Again, fully flat towable but I can't go over 70mph and I have to disconnect the neg battery cable. No problem - oh - and it only weighs 2500K#.

So I check the different state laws in regards to trailer brakes. Most states, especially the ones I will be doing the majority of traveling in require a brake in tow vehicles over 3000K#. So I decided to go "brakeless" at this time.

I do generally lean towards safety and if I see a dangerous difference in the braking of the coach or if we ever leave the relative flatlands of the Midwest and head West - I will add the brake.

My thoughts........good luck with your decision.

g
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Old 04-16-2016, 05:49 AM   #3
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Towing with the Winnebago View in your profile, I wouldn't do it without trailer brakes. The trailer and Smart Fortwo are probably under the statutory maximum for unbraked trailers in most states, but the weight and braking capacity of your very nice RV are too low to risk it. The worst-case scenario is having to brake going downhill on a slippery road. An unbraked trailer can cause your rear wheels to lose traction and drag the entire RV off the road.


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Old 04-16-2016, 05:57 AM   #4
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Larger RVs have other options.

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Old 04-16-2016, 06:56 PM   #5
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They make trailers just for hauling Smart Cars and they are less expensive than equipping it for 4 down. I used to have the link. Do a search.

I sent the link to a friend a couple of years ago. Based on it, he had one custom built. He tows it behind a 24' Cinook.

I don't know if either has breaks but I suspect that the total weight is under what states require for brakes.
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Old 04-16-2016, 07:17 PM   #6
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I believe for years the Smart Car Manuals have had the 30mph, 30mi restriction, yet most owners have towed them successfully as long as they have a battery disconnect. This may have been put in by attorneys not wanting to take responsibility for this?

I just finished a 6K mi trip with no problems. The SmartCarofAmerica.com forum is filled with threads dealing with just this subject.
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Old 04-16-2016, 07:50 PM   #7
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I checked at the Smart Car dealer in Boston on a 2015 year they had. It can be towed 4 down, but not with a 2016. They say the car has been totally re-engineered. That is what info I found. Anyways I did not want to set out to prove other people right or wrong and ruin my brand new car. I also found out that installing a tow bar plate to the smart car involves an estimate 7 hours of labor taking the front end apart plus the wiring and $2,700 of purchase from Blue OX. Thats one expensive tow bar that everytime I might update the car I would have to reinstall at 7 hours labor plus the plate part cost. When using the tow bar BRAKES are part of the package and using a tow dolly it also involves brakes, so it made sense to me to have brakes on a trailer pulling the same wieght. Also in talking with two trailer manufactures both did not recommend getting an aluminum trailer. As much info as this is...when I have Googled for smart car trailers I see ALL sorts of trailers and comments. Lots of conflicting comments but I think that HR posted the most accurate advice. I am going to have brakes on the trailer that I order. THANK YOU everyone
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