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Old 01-12-2019, 08:26 AM   #1
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Scotty, I need more power!

We are planning a long trip in our 2017 Winnebago Trend 23D Class C MH. Our last trip was about 2800 miles without a toad. We need to use a toad this time for logistics of this particular route.

The Winnebago Trend can only tow 2000 lbs. with max tongue weight of 200 lbs. I guess that's the same limits as a Class I hitch. We've seen many forum postings by Trend owners that flat-tow a Smart ForTwo since many of them are under 2000 lb. So we bought a 2015 Pure and then started pricing the tow bar package. Ouch, it'll cost over 4 grand to set up this vehicle for towing behind, and then you've got a bunch of hardware added to the car that you'll never recoup if you need to sell the car unless you're packaging it with the MH. Which we would not. I also realized after a while, I just don't like the idea of putting wear and tear on tires, brakes, etc. just to get this transportation appliance to the next campsite. Plus, the Smart's transmission has to be deactivated every time you tow, and the process is not foolproof (therefore don't assign the task to me).

Bottom line, I want to trailer the Smart car, there are trailers out there that work great, but it puts the total weight over 2000, if only by a few hundred. No, I wouldn't attempt to tow 2500+ with the Trend's Class I hitch, but is there a way to A) beef up the receiver to a Class II (replace it?), and B) get some more horsepower out of the ProMaster V6 gas engine (warranty be damned) to pull the bigger load? If A and B are possible I would get a trailer with electric brakes.

The obvious solution is get an RV that can tow more, but DW loves the Trend floor plan too much to trade.

Is this a misguided idea or is anyone out there doing the same tweaks/hacks on the Trend?
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:32 AM   #2
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Dolly might be cheaper, then just front wheels off the ground and some of them have brakes. You would have to look up the chassis you have to get a heavier hitch.
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:35 AM   #3
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Thinking outside the box, would renting a car at you destination work? or maybe even Uber?
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:37 AM   #4
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Dolly might be cheaper, then just front wheels off the ground and some of them have brakes. You would have to look up the chassis you have to get a heavier hitch.
+1 for this. The Acme Tow Dolly only weighs about 400lbs and works great.
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:43 AM   #5
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Thinking a little farther outside and back behind the box, could manage to do your "towed" requirements with a couple of mid-sized/ranged e-bikes? They'd (typically) be less weight, if your hitch limit is 200 lbs, for a carrier. Or, they might fit inside somehow, with a little creative space management.
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Old 01-12-2019, 03:31 PM   #6
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I don't know any car you can tow that weights less than/or 2000#. You will need to rent a car where you go. Another option is to have your wife follow you in a car. Sometimes when my DW wants to take lots of stuff, she fills her Caravan and follows me. Not ideal but a solution that works for us.
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Old 01-12-2019, 03:32 PM   #7
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Welcome to the forum!
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Old 01-12-2019, 04:05 PM   #8
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I don't know any car you can tow that weights less than/or 2000#. You will need to rent a car where you go. Another option is to have your wife follow you in a car. Sometimes when my DW wants to take lots of stuff, she fills her Caravan and follows me. Not ideal but a solution that works for us.
Smart Car is under 1700 lbs. That's what he wants.
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Old 01-12-2019, 04:25 PM   #9
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Smart for Two cars are rear wheel drive.

If you use a dolly, you still have the transmission issue unless you back it on the dolly.
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Old 01-12-2019, 05:21 PM   #10
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Maybe the Trend is just a little lightweight to tow a car? I'm thinking the answer to the original question may be find something with a few more di-lithium crystals in the warp core, and see if there's a similar floorplan to your current shuttle craft, available in it.
"Ya cannae get haggis from a stone, capt'n."
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Old 01-12-2019, 10:19 PM   #11
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That's why the ford e350/450's are so popular, if it were me I would call enterprise rac you will be surprised how reasonable they are.
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Old 01-12-2019, 10:44 PM   #12
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Just thinking outside the box. A vintage VW beetle weighs 1,850 pounds. And a towbar for it cost only $120 bucks and adds practically no weight. Put it in neutral and you can tow it all day. Any dolly you get for a Smart car will be much heavier than a VW tow bar. At least you would be within weight limits at least expense with it.
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Old 01-13-2019, 07:25 AM   #13
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That's why the ford e350/450's are so popular, if it were me I would call enterprise rac you will be surprised how reasonable they are.
Or anything on the Sprinter (15250 lbs GCWR) or Transit (13500 lbs GCWR) chassis have a little more room to tow than the Promaster (11500 lbs GCWR). Some class B versions of the Promaster might have a smidgen more capacity, as they aren't carrying the upfitted weight of the class C conversion.
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Old 01-13-2019, 07:43 AM   #14
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How about you get a Roadmaster base plate for $400 and a 5000# capacity tow bar for $100 and a light kit for $75 and either do the install yourself or find someone to do it for you at a reasonable rate.

$4000.00? Run away from that quote.
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