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Old 07-16-2008, 09:20 AM   #1
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I am having trouble insuring that my MCS (2005 Mini Cooper S) will fit on different Tow Dollies. Low clearance on the MCS is the issue as well as 17" tires on some dollies.

I called around the Seattle area to find one 'in-stock' that I could try out and so far have found only one as very few people actually stock them.

RoadMaster technical support said that theirs will not work.

The Demco Kar Kaddy manuals give me some measurements to make, but it is so close I am afraid to order one and take a chance with trying it first.

Is there any one out there using a tow dolly for an MCS? If so what is the brand, issues, etc.?

Thanks....
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Old 07-16-2008, 09:20 AM   #2
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I am having trouble insuring that my MCS (2005 Mini Cooper S) will fit on different Tow Dollies. Low clearance on the MCS is the issue as well as 17" tires on some dollies.

I called around the Seattle area to find one 'in-stock' that I could try out and so far have found only one as very few people actually stock them.

RoadMaster technical support said that theirs will not work.

The Demco Kar Kaddy manuals give me some measurements to make, but it is so close I am afraid to order one and take a chance with trying it first.

Is there any one out there using a tow dolly for an MCS? If so what is the brand, issues, etc.?

Thanks....
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Old 07-16-2008, 03:27 PM   #3
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We tow our 03 Mini Super 4 down since it is a 6 speed. The odometer is not affected and we would not know it was back there unless we looked in the monitor. Unless yours is an automatic you should be able to tow 4 down.
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Old 07-16-2008, 04:22 PM   #4
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Wally,

Although I don't have many miles at doing it yet, I'm towing a 2005 Mini Cooper S 'four wheels down.' I've got the six speed manual transmission. So far, no problems.

Paul
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Old 07-16-2008, 07:41 PM   #5
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For those that are towing their Mini 4 down, how big of a drop do you have on your ball? I have an '07 Mini with a 6 speed and figure I would need something on the order of a 10" drop to get the towbar close to level. I also tow a 6x12 trailer (with my Goldwing inside) and use a 6" drop with the trailer. I drag the ball going into or out of almost every driveway. I could not imagine using a 10" drop...

TIA
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Old 07-17-2008, 10:11 AM   #6
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I'm using a 10" drop. I haven't hit it on anything yet, but, then again, I don't have a lot of miles towing the Mini.
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Old 07-17-2008, 11:12 AM   #7
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Try looking at the Demo line. 14" wheels, I load a 2007 VW EOS which is fairly low with it's optional sports suspension. What does the Mini measure from lower lip to road? I could measure the EOS next time we load, July 25th, and let you know the clearance.

Great dolly with the best rachet system I've ever used, you just don't have the problems like some of the other brands. I have the KarKaddySS for storage in my townhome garage and ease of getting out of the way when at the site.

http://www.demco-products.com/pages/RV/kkss.htm
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Old 07-17-2008, 11:18 AM   #8
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by doghowz3:
I'm using a 10" drop. I haven't hit it on anything yet, but, then again, I don't have a lot of miles towing the Mini. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Just as a comparison I tow my 04 Subaru WRX/STI 4 down. The car is modified with coil overs and set for autocross and track time (very low). It took a 10" drop to bring the tow bar in line with the ball with a 1"+ rise to the ball.
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Old 07-17-2008, 01:31 PM   #9
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Hi Doc,

The clearance is 3.5" on the front air dam. Based upon my measurements, the owner's manual data and the tech staff at Demco, their dollies will not work for me... at least by the load angle clearance and possibly by the tire stops clearance.

Based upon other's responses and various other information, I am going to try an all four down towing configuration, (at least for today's flavor).

I am pretty sure I am going to the Roadmaster Sterling All Terrain Aluminum tow bar and the Brake Buddy Vantage Select. There is a local installer (within a 100 miles) that has installed the Roadmaster systems on several Mini Coopers and recommends the Brake Buddy over the other equivalents based upon their experience with them over some years. They assure me that I'll still recognize my MCS (Mini Copper S) after they have drilled and holed the front body work as necessary, (at least by the yellow color and license plate number) They also are the most often recommended and mentioned installer by the local motor home dealers as well as price competitive
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Old 07-18-2008, 04:48 AM   #10
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WOW! That's a low front air dam. I also tow an 04 Subaru STi 4 down that's set up for autocross and track days. I just measured my distance from the optional factory air dam to ground and it's 3.75". The car is lowered 1.25" on coil overs and presents some challenges. I only tow the car in-state low milage, cross country duty goes to the wife's VW EOS on the dolly.

Be careful for small dead animals on the road and campground inner roads that have a high center crown. Since I tow this car short distances I don't have to worry about creeping into gas stations when it's attached. Minnesota has a 3,000 lbs or less no brakes needed regulations (the STi is 2,800 lbs), again use in-state only so the Workhorse handles it very well. The factory air dam is $300 and I am not anxious to replace it. Keep us "low profile" people posted.
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Old 07-18-2008, 04:16 PM   #11
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Hi Doc,

Yes, it is a bit low. not as low as my 1958 Austin Healey 100-6 BN6. That one could not get over a crushed up Marlboro pack.

It is quite a transition in driving going to/from the MCS and the motor home. I am hoping (as well as everyone else around me is too I'm sure) that I have no "senior moments" where I think I'm piloting the MCS and I'm really in the motor home.
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Old 07-18-2008, 07:24 PM   #12
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I use a 6 inch drop and it seems to work fine. I am careful when I make turns into service stations and on high crown roads. I started with no drop at all but worried that in a hard stop the Mini could run under the coach. We did some measuring and the 6 inch drop seems to do the job.
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Old 07-21-2008, 03:29 AM   #13
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When I had my mini S, I used a Master Tow dolly without any problems with clearance.
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Old 07-24-2008, 06:42 AM   #14
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PAUL & JOY / MEANDERING RETIREE: On my MCS, I find that if I turn my key to the position that unlocks the steering and then turn it back off the steering wheel will stay unlocked until I pull the key out. Only then (when I pull the key out) does it lock the steering wheel. I am not sure if it will stay unlocked indefinitely yet or not. If it will stay unlocked, I am considering running a new line for power to the Brake Buddy as a the instruments on the steering column stay on otherwise, and I would prefer all that stuff stay off and not potentially drain the battery. (although I understand that just inserting one's key into the ignition on these new cars will put power into the electronic bus systems)

What position do you leave your ignition at? Do you use an aux brake system? If you do use an aux brake system (like the Brake Buddy or Even Brake) how do you find the power consumption of it (I.E. how long have you been able to run it without draining the Mini Cooper's battery)?

TIA: They set me up with a 4" drop.
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