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Old 06-28-2010, 06:43 PM   #1
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Pulling a trailer with a car loaded on it

I have had a number of people recommend that I buy a trailer complete with a ramp and load my car onto it instead of attaching a tow bar to a car. Neither of my two cars is really recommended for towing. Although I have a complete trailer hitch on the back of my Phaeton and I own a break buddy.

Has anyone had experience towing a trailer with a car loaded on it?
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Old 06-28-2010, 07:08 PM   #2
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I tow a number of my vehicles on a trailer. I also flat tow a couple of them. I love the choice of vehicle/towing style depending on the situation. The main problem a lot of folk would have is what to do with the trailer once you have parked the motorhome. Of course a big advantage of towing with a trailer is the ability to back it up. I guess the other is not having to worry about not hooking something up correctly or fogetting some critical step in the process. Your rig certainly has the capability to do whatever you choose. Have fun with your decision making process.

Now, if you choose a trailer, you have the choice between a steel built trailer or an aluminum trailer. Once again, have fun.
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Old 06-28-2010, 07:38 PM   #3
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If your vehicles are not recommended for towing it seems that you have 3 choices:
1. Buy a vehicle that you can flat tow
2. Don't tow anything
3. Buy a trailer to tow your current vehicle on or....a 4th choice: Disregard the recommendation to not tow.

If you elect to buy a trailer to put your vehicle on do yourself a BIG favor and MAKE CERTAIN your vehicle will not only fit on the trailer but can actually be loaded on the trailer. And, after loading it you can open the drivers door to get out of the vehicle. some vehicles have very low ground clearance and the breakover angle from the ramps is too high and then the trailer fenders can be in the way of opening the car door.
Hope this helps you.

I've towed bot on a trailer and flat. I much prefer to flat tow.
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Old 06-29-2010, 08:11 AM   #4
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I've been towing what you see here for almost two years now, and I love it. I always towed four down prior to purchasing this car & trailer. Even though the Smartcar can be towed four down, I opted to use a trailer because of the little car being so close to the ground. Pot holes and other obstacles makes me feel better about the trailer.

I can now back up easily if I have to. No wear and tear on the car. No special braking system required on the car as should be used on four down towing.
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Old 06-29-2010, 08:15 AM   #5
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Nice looking car/trailer rig. Looks like aluminum trailer.

Your concern about ground clearance may want to include the trailer landing gear too.
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Old 06-29-2010, 10:20 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob (WA0MQE) View Post
I've been towing what you see here for almost two years now, and I love it. I always towed four down prior to purchasing this car & trailer. Even though the Smartcar can be towed four down, I opted to use a trailer because of the little car being so close to the ground. Pot holes and other obstacles makes me feel better about the trailer.

I can now back up easily if I have to. No wear and tear on the car. No special braking system required on the car as should be used on four down towing.

Bob,

Do you post this earlier?? . . . I have a relative with a SmartCar and showed him this set-up . . . he went to his local Aluma dealer and had trouble finding a single axle trailer suitable for the SmartCar.

Could you post or send me the exact specs/model number of your trailer??

Thanks!

-Ken
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Old 06-29-2010, 12:37 PM   #7
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I tow 4 wheels down and with a tow bar. The tow bar is MUCH easier. It takes much less time, too.

Yes, you can't back up, but it is easy to disconnect, move the toad and motorhome and then hook back up.

On our last trip, I was towing our Taurus X behind the motorhome. I entered a Denny's parking lot that looked like it went around the restaurant. I couldn't see the no trucks sign until after it was too late.

I had to unhook the Ford, move both around and then re-hook. Not a big deal.

If I had the Road Runner on a trailer, I don't know what I'd do. There wasn't room to turn around with a trailer hooked up. I couldn't unhook it unless I took my trailer dolly with me. Then I'd also have to unload/re-load the Road Runner, too.

Personally, I only use a trailer because I'm not putting a tow bar on the Road Runner. Finding campgrounds that can handle your trailer and motorhome will limit where you can stay.

I went to Assateague recently towing the Road Runner. I had to leave the trailer in the main parking lot and later hook it back up. That is much more time consuming.

I haven't used a tow dolly, but it's a better compromise for vehicles that can't be towed 4 wheels down (and can be put on a dolly, our all wheel drive Taurus X can't go on a dolly).

If you get a trailer, as others mentioned, make sure your car has clearance to get on the trailer. If it's a low car, you might need longer ramps.

Check to see if you can open the driver's door and clear the trailer fender. I have to remove my fender, which isn't a big deal.

If you get an air dam at the front of the trailer, keep in mind this makes hooking up the tie-down straps more difficult (less room to maneuver).

Aluminum is MUCH more expensive, but weighs a lot less. I got mine right before they raised the cost of the trailer by $1000 due to the cost of aluminum.

Get LED lights. Get an electric jack. Tie down straps that go over the tires are easier to use than ones that connect under the vehicle.

If you get a light enough aluminum trailer, get a trailer dolly (got mine at Harbor Freight) so you can move the trailer around if necessary. You must be in decent shape to do so.
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Old 06-29-2010, 03:00 PM   #8
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I tow and also have a trailer to put cars in they stay clean easy to back up and you have room to put more stuff the wife likes to bring
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Old 06-29-2010, 06:19 PM   #9
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Man, what an interesting topic. I flat tow a Buick Enclave but also have a street rod and my wife's car that I'd like to take sometimes. A trailer, either open or enclosed is the only way to take those two cars. I'm learning a lot.
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Old 06-30-2010, 02:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken-55 View Post
Bob,

Do you post this earlier?? . . . I have a relative with a SmartCar and showed him this set-up . . . he went to his local Aluma dealer and had trouble finding a single axle trailer suitable for the SmartCar.

Could you post or send me the exact specs/model number of your trailer??

Thanks!

-Ken
With the Smart Car we are really looking at an ATV trailer since the Smart Car is so narrow and light. Track is 55", length 106", weight 1700# (with gas).

It looks to me like the Aluma 6310H would handle the Smart Car just fine. 120" bed, 62.5" bed width, bi-fold tailgate, 3000# axle.

BUT, there is no option for brakes, and I am really surprised that they sell trailers with a 3000# capability without electric brakes.

I don't know how much the Aluma trailer weighs, but the Smart Car and trailer together would be under 2500#.

BTW: Triton makes a 14' x 64" trailer (AUT1464) with surge or electric brakes, plus you use can use the extra length for a storage box.
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Old 06-30-2010, 03:02 PM   #11
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I have done both. All the answers so far are true. I use a trailer when I take one of the Vettes. You do need longer loading ramps for a low car. I was able to extend my steel ramps by sliding in a couple of treated 2 X 12's. They work great and store right in the ramp. The biggest problem is what do you do with the trailer at the camp ground. Some have have a place to park it and some don't. I would usually call and ask if they have a place for the trailer. If you get a nice long pull through spot you might be OK.
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Old 06-30-2010, 06:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich and Cork View Post
I tow a number of my vehicles on a trailer. I also flat tow a couple of them. I love the choice of vehicle/towing style depending on the situation. The main problem a lot of folk would have is what to do with the trailer once you have parked the motorhome. Of course a big advantage of towing with a trailer is the ability to back it up. I guess the other is not having to worry about not hooking something up correctly or fogetting some critical step in the process. Your rig certainly has the capability to do whatever you choose. Have fun with your decision making process.

Now, if you choose a trailer, you have the choice between a steel built trailer or an aluminum trailer. Once again, have fun.

x2
we use a transport trailer, so far its not been an issue, even when hooking up to leave if the spaces are short.
one person looked irritable because we were taking up half the road one late morning, while we loaded up
but other than that its been good. plus I LIKE TO BACK UP

some how i cant find a pic of us loaded and the edge is now gone and its replacement is a 2010 f150
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Old 06-30-2010, 07:42 PM   #13
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Sounds like your best bet is to buy a trailer and have the option of towing either car.

If you don't like it you can always sell the trailer easier than selling and buying a new car.

Towing with a trailer might not be a problem for you because of where you go. Something to think about.

Good luck
Tom
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Old 07-18-2010, 10:42 PM   #14
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We pull a trailer, but I am going to put a tow bar on our Enclave. We have an enclosed trailer for the race cars, and stay at the track, so no problem there.

The problem with pulling a trailer to go to a campground, is where to put it? Most places will make you park it in overflow, or somewhere else, and it is not real easy to manuver it with the motorhome. So we will tow bar the Enclave, unless we are racing.
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