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Old 05-07-2012, 04:36 PM   #1
BGR
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Towing 2009 Mini Cooper 4 down

I am interested in hearing from any members who have towed a Mini Cooper 4 wheels down and in particular, those who have tapped into the mini's electrical system for wiring lights and have towed without supplemental braking.

On the lighting, I have 2009 convertible and that makes using magnetic lights difficult. The only place to really mount them is on the side and while the cooper width is narrow enough where these would still be within the width of my rig, I don't really like the idea of having these hang on the side. At the same time, I've read numerous posts where people say DO NOT attempt to tap into the mini's electrical system as it's complex and can lead to problems. I want to hear from owners who have done this without issue before moving forward. I am also concerned about the warranty issue here, but without a good option I'm willing to take the risk.

I also want to avoid the use of supplemental braking if possible. My rig is a 2005 27' Rexhall Vision. It certainly doesn't match the weight of the 32+ rigs, but the mini at 2500 lbs is likely still inconsequential and keeps total weight within rated vehicle weight. Can owners towing this without supplemental braking let me know their experience here? Thanks!
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:39 PM   #2
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Oops, wrong forum. I would delete, but it seems I can't. I'll leave it to the mods, thanks.
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Old 05-07-2012, 05:29 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BGR View Post
I also want to avoid the use of supplemental braking if possible. My rig is a 2005 27' Rexhall Vision. It certainly doesn't match the weight of the 32+ rigs, but the mini at 2500 lbs is likely still inconsequential and keeps total weight within rated vehicle weight.
The only states with laws not allowing you to travel through are: Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Dakota, & Tennessee. Other states have performance based laws, combined vehicles at specified speed have to stop in stated distance.

BUT....
Newton's Law says "A body in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force." This law is not inconsequential, but very important moving down the road.

EXPERIMENT: Take your mini to a open flat parking lot. Leave brake off, get out and start pushing until jogging. Then grab the rear bumper and try to stop it. (Don't get in front of it) Now multiply that force by the much greater speed you'll be towing it.

That is not inconsequential, especially if coming up on a stopped vehicle, child, or some other hazard on the road in front. You'll want every wheel on the road braking to its maximum. Your insurance company wants you to stop, lawyers who make their living with lawsuits probably don't. I tow a VW Beetle, but I wouldn't dream of pulling it without supplemental brakes.
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:40 PM   #4
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Towing a mini

Hey BG, We have a friend in Texas who flat tows a mini Clubman behind a Marathon. He found there was just enough space in the brakelight housing to add a separate light and socket, which he wired directly to a plug in front. No communication with the car's harness. You don't even notice the extra bulbs. Apparently a neat solution. Good luck!
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Old 05-08-2012, 12:18 AM   #5
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!

I understand the physics involved and it makes perfect sense to me that if I am moving down an incline of any degree and need to make a short stop it will be dicey with the extra weight pushing on me and stressing my brakes. I see many folks say they've never had an issue stopping towing a cooper, but I imagine this also varies with type of rig, size, type of brakes, etc. The risk is acknowledged.

That's a novel idea on the lighting option Monkeywrench and I've seen people mention some other creative options.

After reading through a lot of posts today I'm now leaning towards a dolly (with brakes. ) More than anything I'm concerned about voiding my warranty and my desire to tow 4 down costing me a lot more if something happens to the car and dealer says, sorry! With 3 years and 35K left on my warranty it's just not worth it.
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Old 05-08-2012, 12:30 AM   #6
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I have towed my 2006 Mini Convertible for over 15000 miles now, since its an auto I use a dolly which has braking system, but I've forgotten numerous times to turn it on. I can't tell the difference when its on, the MH,s braking is fully capable of handling it, I use magnet lights attached to rear seat chrome roll bar with bungie straps.
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Old 05-08-2012, 12:38 AM   #7
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Both Ford and Workhorse require supplemental braking if you tow anything that weighs 1500#'s or more. This is to keep the warranty in effect, but you're out of warranty anyway. It's in most of the owners manuals
However the laws of physics apply anyway.

Even our DSDP would require supplemental braking for the Mini in some states.
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Old 05-08-2012, 10:03 AM   #8
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I see many folks say they've never had an issue stopping towing a cooper, but I imagine this also varies with type of rig, size, type of brakes, etc. The risk is acknowledged.

I'm concerned about voiding my warranty and my desire to tow 4 down costing me a lot more if something happens to the car and dealer says, sorry! With 3 years and 35K left on my warranty it's just not worth it.
I've seen that before, "I've towed (insert distance here) and NEVER had an issue." Yes, jumping off a building won't cause any issues either, until the last inch. Its not only on an incline, I used to teach laws of physics with an wheeled office chair in the gym. Students pushing and trying to stop fellow student on FLAT floor gives an idea of the forces involved, that's why I suggested the 'experiment' to you.

Interesting that you seem to ignore Workhorse, Ford recommendations, State and natural laws, BUT your Mini Cooper warranty makes you hesitate??
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:03 PM   #9
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I've seen that before, "I've towed (insert distance here) and NEVER had an issue." Yes, jumping off a building won't cause any issues either, until the last inch. Its not only on an incline, I used to teach laws of physics with an wheeled office chair in the gym. Students pushing and trying to stop fellow student on FLAT floor gives an idea of the forces involved, that's why I suggested the 'experiment' to you.

Interesting that you seem to ignore Workhorse, Ford recommendations, State and natural laws, BUT your Mini Cooper warranty makes you hesitate??
Thanks Bob. I hadn't researched the Ford/Workhorse recommendations and I'm not ignoring anything or looking for a specific answer that I want to hear as you assume. That is why I am here asking questions. You've made your point.
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BGR View Post
I am interested in hearing from any members who have towed a Mini Cooper 4 wheels down and in particular, those who have tapped into the mini's electrical system for wiring lights and have towed without supplemental braking.

On the lighting, I have 2009 convertible and that makes using magnetic lights difficult. The only place to really mount them is on the side and while the cooper width is narrow enough where these would still be within the width of my rig, I don't really like the idea of having these hang on the side. At the same time, I've read numerous posts where people say DO NOT attempt to tap into the mini's electrical system as it's complex and can lead to problems. I want to hear from owners who have done this without issue before moving forward. I am also concerned about the warranty issue here, but without a good option I'm willing to take the risk.

I also want to avoid the use of supplemental braking if possible. My rig is a 2005 27' Rexhall Vision. It certainly doesn't match the weight of the 32+ rigs, but the mini at 2500 lbs is likely still inconsequential and keeps total weight within rated vehicle weight. Can owners towing this without supplemental braking let me know their experience here? Thanks!
BGR - I'll try to stay within the topic and not offer an opinion about towing, physics, or other things above my head. Just my personal experience.

I've been towing my 2010 Mini Cooper S for about 8 thousand miles, four down with a road master 10K tow package. There is no supplemental braking system on mine, and like you, I don't need to hear more about the argument either way. I've made my choice. The Mini tows well behind my 37 footer.

When the tow package was installed (Spillars Custom Hitch, Austin, TX) we made the decision to install an extra set of lines and lights for stop, brake, turn, ect. There is plenty of room in the stock lens for the additional two filiment bulbs. This was primarily driven by the fact that I use an after market battery disconnect and it was the proper work-around for that application. Yes, tapping into the Mini's system creates problems - this is due in large part to the way the on-board computer works (try the Mini Cooper Forum web site for detail information) Using different lines, and not tapping into the system keeps your warranty issues at bay.

The Mini does NOT calculate miles on the odometer when you use a battery disconnect - albeit the key fob must be inserted to the first "push" - yet, if you leave the battery connected, it will calculate the miles. Another reason for the batt disconnect switch for me.

I hope this helps and doesn't generate more helpful hints about why we should be responsible adults and using supplemental braking.
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