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Old 05-20-2016, 01:34 PM   #1
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Towing Four Wheels Down Behind 2016 Unity

Hello All:

I am hoping for a little advice on the implications of flat towing a small vehicle behind our brand new Unity...We had originally thought the Unities size would eliminate the need, but it would be such a tremendous convenience we now intend to flat tow a small vehicle.

Having read all of the advice on line and having calculated the maximum weight we can legally haul (which is well under the tow hitch capacity of 5000LB's) we have settled upon a Fiat 500L which comes in at under 3300lbs curb weight...in a manual six speed. I would dearly love to find someone who has undertaken the task to marry a class C (or other class) with this vehicle to better appreciate the requirements in terms of base plate acquisition and vehicle modifications to the body work etc......

I just passed a camper at the New Smyrna Beach FL I95 exit today that had this exact vehicle behind a C class....I was unable to stop in time or my questions may have all been answered already!


Many thanks and happy camping to one and all....

PS I have to make one comment regarding the specs from Leisure Van...
The 5000lb tow hitch capacity might lead people to believe they can tow up to that weight and that is not the case....I finally became adequately confused by my dealer that I called Leisure Vans directly and they admitted that about 3700lbs was a safe maximum threshold. I think it should be made clear within their literature that the "actual capacity'' is driven by the Mercedes Sprinter Chassis at 7500lb's and the conversion cutting into that figure significantly.....
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Old 05-20-2016, 07:11 PM   #2
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Your tow limits are determined by the Sprinter chassis. The chassis alone can carry 11030 pounds. (GVWR- Gross vehicle weight)
It's total combined weight of the chassis and the tow vehicle is limited to 15250#. (GCWR- Gross combined weight)
You can see if you are at 11030 # your tow vehicle can only weigh 4220#.
My Siesta Sprinter is also a class C on the MB 3500 chassis. I weighed my RV when new, only full fuel and propane and a driver. Otherwise empty. It weighed just under 9975# so I have a 1055# carrying capacity. Weighed again with full fresh water and fully loaded to travel, I am at 10810#
I also have a 5000# hitch and the Suzuki weighs 3400# so I have some latitude in the tow.

You need to weigh your RV, fully loaded for a trip. Water, fuel, propane, clothes, tools, snacks and people to get an accurate weight. (primarily to insure you are not over the GVWR 11030#)

My neighbor and I installed the BlueOx baseplate on the Suzuki, their instructions are easy to follow and are available on their website. Trailer Hitches, Trailer Hitch Bike Racks & Trailer Hitch Accessories | Hitchsource.com | HitchSource.com
The baseplate will cost about $400 for the Fiat and having it installed will be another $700-1000 including the electrical.
There are several base plates available, I'm only familiar with Blue Ox.

I hope this helps...
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Old 05-20-2016, 07:12 PM   #3
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I know that my comment is not going to answer your question but I have gone through a very similar mental progression as you described in this post. We started out with a Class B Roadtrek was no intention of towing, moved to a 23' Class C and in year two thought for sure that we would start towing the following year.

We ended up not towing and the reason why is that we found the combination of Uber and Enterprise's local locations to be too convenient to justify the cost to setup towing.

Just curious if you've thought about Uber and Enterprise as options?
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Old 05-21-2016, 12:18 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jalan View Post
I know that my comment is not going to answer your question but I have gone through a very similar mental progression as you described in this post. We started out with a Class B Roadtrek was no intention of towing, moved to a 23' Class C and in year two thought for sure that we would start towing the following year.

We ended up not towing and the reason why is that we found the combination of Uber and Enterprise's local locations to be too convenient to justify the cost to setup towing.

Just curious if you've thought about Uber and Enterprise as options?
By chance do you have a cost analysis of this scenario, renting a vehicle can get quite expensive over an amount of time, if you use your MH a lot, of course if you use it once or twice a year, there may be an advantage to renting. It would also deal with places you might travel. Just more food for thought.
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Old 05-21-2016, 09:01 AM   #5
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Thanks for all of the advice....particularly helpful was the referral to the Blue Ox site...which answered all of my questions quickly......I had one private message regarding the Fiat's viability in terms of long term support and engineering integrity.......so will delve deeper before making any decisions......we have pets and so a hatchback was a requirement and complicates the Uber option.....and we have a preference for autonomous control over our travel....

This is a terrific site and we are grateful for your speedy and professional answers.
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Old 05-21-2016, 09:17 AM   #6
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Use of a TOAD depends on individual preference. When I had the 36ft DP we pulled the Suzuki on every trip. I have not found it necessary with this MH. We did rent a car at Niagara Falls, to visit the Canadian side. Trips to MD, SC, NC - whether to the beach or Blue Ridge Parkway, did not really find a car was needed..
The Suzuki was set up for tow with the prior RV, I probably would not set it up now.
The OP feels a TOAD would be convenient and the MB chassis is certainly capable..
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Old 05-21-2016, 10:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YosemiteBobR View Post
By chance do you have a cost analysis of this scenario, renting a vehicle can get quite expensive over an amount of time, if you use your MH a lot, of course if you use it once or twice a year, there may be an advantage to renting. It would also deal with places you might travel. Just more food for thought.
Good comments. No real cost analysis because it depends so much on where you like to travel and like you say, how often too. I looked at it that it took me about 25 trips to equal the cost of paying for a towing setup. It takes me about 6 years to get to 25 trips.In my scenario, that also meant maintaining a third car that wasn't either of our daily drivers so that was a big deal. Part of my decision was not monetary. One of the reasons we bought a 23' coach was the go anywhere / park anywhere capability and a TOAD can change that dynamic somewhat.

No right or wrong answer.
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