Author Topic: Towing with a CAR  (Read 18114 times)

Kaplin261

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Towing with a CAR
« on: January 09, 2016, 04:16:39 AM »
So MMM boasts about his awesome bike trailer towing lumber and large appliances. I think this is a great idea and I see myself incorporating this in my own life some time in the future.

So if pedal power can transport hundreds of pounds of cargo why couldn't my car that has the power of 110 horses be capable of transporting thousands of pounds? My car is a 2011 hyundai accent hatchback, with good driving habits I can get 40 mpg. For $200 I can score a 4x8 trailer off of facebook classifieds and in theory turns my car into a pickup truck.

So if I wanted to get serious and haul tons of weight with my car what modifications are needed, is 110 HP capable of such a task? I know the first step is to get a heavy duty tow hitch, then maybe upgrade the brakes and what about the suspension? I'm just theorycrafting as of right now, I know with normal light use these items would not be necessary but I would like to know what the boundaries are with this.

Mrs. PoP

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2016, 05:17:47 AM »
We once saw a Miata with a trailer attached being loaded with amodest load at Home Depot.  It was pretty freaking impressive.  (And if they could do it for the Miata, I imagine your Hyundai would be achievable...) 

After seeing that, Mr PoP did look into adding a hitch to our Miata since we were gearing up for our big kitchen remodel at the time, and if I recall correctly it was all about attaching the hitch to the right part of the frame for the Miata since it's such a small car.  In the end, we just opted to rent Home Depot trucks anytime we needed them ($20 for 75 minutes plus no gas charges for trips <10 miles) and that's proven cheaper for us than buying the hitch, trailer, etc.   

BlueBeard

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2016, 06:17:01 AM »
I tow with my prius all the time. I keep the total payload under 900lbs.

BudgetSlasher

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2016, 07:05:54 PM »
Review your owners manual, in the index there should be a reference to towing capacity.

Of course you will need a trailer hitch that matches that rating, depending on the trailer you may also want to get a brake controller.

I wouldn't attempt to tow *too* far beyond the rated amount, the brakes will not be too much of an issue because a heavy duty trailer should have its own brakes, suspension will also depend on the trailer (trailer weight and tongue weight a.k.a. the down force on the hitch are different) and the load placement on the trailer. I would be more worried about the stress on the transmissions and differentials, maybe even the engine, which are likely designed for the resistance that the vehicle and its rated load will produce during normal operation.

If I were routinely going to be towing/hauling outside of my vehicles design I would explore exchanging the vehicle, rather than re-engineering/rebuilding the vehicle to reliability perform beyond its design. Or just rent/borrow a truck when there is actually a need.

Cliff-noted version: A vehicle can be used to move beyond its rated towing capacity for a time, but if you are going to upgrade the suspension, brakes, and potentially driveline components for better towing you are better off either selling the vehicle and using the proceeds along with the money for the upgrades to buy a appropriate vehicle or purchasing a cheap older vehicle that meets the needs.

JLee

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2016, 08:01:39 PM »
What's 'possible' and what's 'safe' are different things -- if you're towing 2000lbs on a car that's rated for towing 1000lbs (or not rated to tow at all) and you get into an accident, you're looking at a really bad day.

http://www.glamisdunes.com/invision/index.php?showtopic=24262

Quote
Well, after almost a year has passed since my buddy lost control of his FS3000 toy hauler being pulled by his F-250 coming down Sierra pass. He had sway bars and bags. The trailer swayed somehow and took over the control of his tow rig. He ended up smashing into another vehicle and the passenger in the other was killed and the driver injured.

The highway patrol cited him for hauling the trailer with a tow vehicle that was not rated for the weights of the trailer even though he was not too loaded up. The injured sued him big time, the insurance company disowned him due to the fact that he was improperly rigged and was "using his vehicle for purposes not intended by the manufacturer" even though they insured both vehicles.

He is awaiting trial for manslaughter, lost a civil suit for 1.2 million dollars, of which he was able to get 300,000 dollars from his insurances company sold his home, toys and vacation property to pay for it.

His wife divorced him and he is probably going to do some time.

Bottom line is the man is broke, lost his wife, affected PERMANENTLY the life of another man, and killed a woman all because he didn't want to spend another few grand for the right sized tow vehicle.

Moral of this lesson: BE WARNED! You idiots out there that know you are over limits or running too small size tow rigs, PRAY you never get in an accident!

Some will argue "but I'm only going two miles to Home Depot"..well, that risk is on you. Just be aware.

Flyingkea

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2016, 02:34:03 AM »
I've done a little bit of towing with my cars, and what you need is a towball (with connectors for your lights) most trailers I've used don't have brakes. There are towing limits for your vehicles - you will need to make sure the trailer is suitable to be towed by your car, and the weight limits for BOTH car and trailer are adhered to. The roadcode for your country should also be of help to you in terms of the requirements - speed limits, lighting, registration, WOFs and weight limits.

Kaplin261

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2016, 03:15:28 AM »
What's 'possible' and what's 'safe' are different things -- if you're towing 2000lbs on a car that's rated for towing 1000lbs (or not rated to tow at all) and you get into an accident, you're looking at a really bad day.

http://www.glamisdunes.com/invision/index.php?showtopic=24262

Quote
Well, after almost a year has passed since my buddy lost control of his FS3000 toy hauler being pulled by his F-250 coming down Sierra pass. He had sway bars and bags. The trailer swayed somehow and took over the control of his tow rig. He ended up smashing into another vehicle and the passenger in the other was killed and the driver injured.

The highway patrol cited him for hauling the trailer with a tow vehicle that was not rated for the weights of the trailer even though he was not too loaded up. The injured sued him big time, the insurance company disowned him due to the fact that he was improperly rigged and was "using his vehicle for purposes not intended by the manufacturer" even though they insured both vehicles.

He is awaiting trial for manslaughter, lost a civil suit for 1.2 million dollars, of which he was able to get 300,000 dollars from his insurances company sold his home, toys and vacation property to pay for it.

His wife divorced him and he is probably going to do some time.

Bottom line is the man is broke, lost his wife, affected PERMANENTLY the life of another man, and killed a woman all because he didn't want to spend another few grand for the right sized tow vehicle.

Moral of this lesson: BE WARNED! You idiots out there that know you are over limits or running too small size tow rigs, PRAY you never get in an accident!

Some will argue "but I'm only going two miles to Home Depot"..well, that risk is on you. Just be aware.

Well this is enough to stop me from exploring this further. It sounded good on paper. Take a cheap gas efficient car and beef it up so it could have tow limits like a big truck. But since this puts me in the unknown territory or a area that has not been tested thoroughly  I don't want to take the risk. I'll just stick to the limits of my car, thanks!

lthenderson

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2016, 08:54:10 AM »
What's 'possible' and what's 'safe' are different things -- if you're towing 2000lbs on a car that's rated for towing 1000lbs (or not rated to tow at all) and you get into an accident, you're looking at a really bad day.

http://www.glamisdunes.com/invision/index.php?showtopic=24262

Quote
Well, after almost a year has passed since my buddy lost control of his FS3000 toy hauler being pulled by his F-250 coming down Sierra pass. He had sway bars and bags. The trailer swayed somehow and took over the control of his tow rig. He ended up smashing into another vehicle and the passenger in the other was killed and the driver injured.

The highway patrol cited him for hauling the trailer with a tow vehicle that was not rated for the weights of the trailer even though he was not too loaded up. The injured sued him big time, the insurance company disowned him due to the fact that he was improperly rigged and was "using his vehicle for purposes not intended by the manufacturer" even though they insured both vehicles.

He is awaiting trial for manslaughter, lost a civil suit for 1.2 million dollars, of which he was able to get 300,000 dollars from his insurances company sold his home, toys and vacation property to pay for it.

His wife divorced him and he is probably going to do some time.

Bottom line is the man is broke, lost his wife, affected PERMANENTLY the life of another man, and killed a woman all because he didn't want to spend another few grand for the right sized tow vehicle.

Moral of this lesson: BE WARNED! You idiots out there that know you are over limits or running too small size tow rigs, PRAY you never get in an accident!

Some will argue "but I'm only going two miles to Home Depot"..well, that risk is on you. Just be aware.

Well this is enough to stop me from exploring this further. It sounded good on paper. Take a cheap gas efficient car and beef it up so it could have tow limits like a big truck. But since this puts me in the unknown territory or a area that has not been tested thoroughly  I don't want to take the risk. I'll just stick to the limits of my car, thanks!

I wouldn't let one anecdote scare you. This person was using a large towing rig and towing down a steep mountain pass. Not stated but probably the case was that he wasn't using the best judgement on speed. Hauling across a flat town short distances using properly sized towing equipment for your vehicle can be very safe to do. I have a ball hitch on my Honda Civic that I can pull a small trailer behind. It can more than safely haul an appliance or some sheets of plywood across town and save me a $50 delivery fee every single time. In the fifteen years I've had my 'rig', I've more than saved the cost of the hitch, wiring and trailer by a factor of ten or more. I also wouldn't even dream of hauling something down a steep mountain pass with it.

JLee

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2016, 08:58:13 AM »
What's 'possible' and what's 'safe' are different things -- if you're towing 2000lbs on a car that's rated for towing 1000lbs (or not rated to tow at all) and you get into an accident, you're looking at a really bad day.

http://www.glamisdunes.com/invision/index.php?showtopic=24262

Quote
Well, after almost a year has passed since my buddy lost control of his FS3000 toy hauler being pulled by his F-250 coming down Sierra pass. He had sway bars and bags. The trailer swayed somehow and took over the control of his tow rig. He ended up smashing into another vehicle and the passenger in the other was killed and the driver injured.

The highway patrol cited him for hauling the trailer with a tow vehicle that was not rated for the weights of the trailer even though he was not too loaded up. The injured sued him big time, the insurance company disowned him due to the fact that he was improperly rigged and was "using his vehicle for purposes not intended by the manufacturer" even though they insured both vehicles.

He is awaiting trial for manslaughter, lost a civil suit for 1.2 million dollars, of which he was able to get 300,000 dollars from his insurances company sold his home, toys and vacation property to pay for it.

His wife divorced him and he is probably going to do some time.

Bottom line is the man is broke, lost his wife, affected PERMANENTLY the life of another man, and killed a woman all because he didn't want to spend another few grand for the right sized tow vehicle.

Moral of this lesson: BE WARNED! You idiots out there that know you are over limits or running too small size tow rigs, PRAY you never get in an accident!

Some will argue "but I'm only going two miles to Home Depot"..well, that risk is on you. Just be aware.

Well this is enough to stop me from exploring this further. It sounded good on paper. Take a cheap gas efficient car and beef it up so it could have tow limits like a big truck. But since this puts me in the unknown territory or a area that has not been tested thoroughly  I don't want to take the risk. I'll just stick to the limits of my car, thanks!

I wouldn't let one anecdote scare you. This person was using a large towing rig and towing down a steep mountain pass. Not stated but probably the case was that he wasn't using the best judgement on speed. Hauling across a flat town short distances using properly sized towing equipment for your vehicle can be very safe to do. I have a ball hitch on my Honda Civic that I can pull a small trailer behind. It can more than safely haul an appliance or some sheets of plywood across town and save me a $50 delivery fee every single time. In the fifteen years I've had my 'rig', I've more than saved the cost of the hitch, wiring and trailer by a factor of ten or more. I also wouldn't even dream of hauling something down a steep mountain pass with it.

I'm not sure if you caught this part:

So MMM boasts about his awesome bike trailer towing lumber and large appliances. I think this is a great idea and I see myself incorporating this in my own life some time in the future.

So if pedal power can transport hundreds of pounds of cargo why couldn't my car that has the power of 110 horses be capable of transporting thousands of pounds? My car is a 2011 hyundai accent hatchback, with good driving habits I can get 40 mpg. For $200 I can score a 4x8 trailer off of facebook classifieds and in theory turns my car into a pickup truck.

So if I wanted to get serious and haul tons of weight with my car what modifications are needed, is 110 HP capable of such a task? I know the first step is to get a heavy duty tow hitch, then maybe upgrade the brakes and what about the suspension? I'm just theorycrafting as of right now, I know with normal light use these items would not be necessary but I would like to know what the boundaries are with this.

patrat

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2016, 06:11:07 PM »
Stay within the limits stated by your car manufacturer, and the hitch manufacturer, whichever is less. You will NOT haul tons (or even 1 ton, likely). However, you can move a very useful amount of weight with a small utility trailer, with most cars.

For example, my corolla is rated to pull 1500 lbm, with 150 of it on the tongue. For a small car, that is higher than most, I grant. Still, with a normal size utility trailer I can haul as much weight as I could (legally) in the bed of my Tacoma pickup truck. My old Porsche 944 was rated for 2000 pounds of trailer! Some cars have no rating. Depending on the state, you may still be able to tow, but you will have to look up the limits in the lawbook. For instance, in New Jersey it is something like half of your car's weight.

Stay within all weight limits to stay legal. Know your local laws for towing. Also, be mindful of the Gross Combined Weight Rating, if published. Usually a car or truck can not safely max out both the trailer weight and the passenger/cargo payload at the same time.

jawisco

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2016, 06:50:39 PM »
Be reasonable with your load, strap it down securely, drive carefully and you will be fine with your car. 

There is nothing to be afraid of.

paddedhat

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2016, 08:11:16 PM »
I wouldn't let one anecdote scare you. This person was using a large towing rig and towing down a steep mountain pass. Not stated but probably the case was that he wasn't using the best judgement on speed.

The cryptic info. on the trailer indicates that it's actually a 30' long trailer with a GVW of 13,000 lbs. The loss of control really isn't a surprise, given that many of these chucklenuts aren't happy unless they are doing 80+ in the left lane, with their $75K toy hauler swaying behind a $60K jacked up truck.  Testoterone, a tiny penis truck, and speeding, what can go wrong? I'm frequently on the road with our RV, often for months at a time. More than once I have seen the end result of this stupidity, including crawling past the wreckage of a trailer in the median, blow apart like a puff-ball mushroom, still loosely attached to a wadded up macho truck. During one really sad event, we sat for a long time on the interstate, before getting to a scene like this. The delay was waiting for multiple medevac units, as they loaded and took off. As correctly noted, all of this has exactly nothing to do with a small car, a small trailer and a small cargo load, operating by somebody with common sense.

Syonyk

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2016, 08:34:10 PM »
Preface: This forum is a shitty place to ask about towing.  "What you can get away with a few times" and "What you can do safely and reliably" are two different things.

So if pedal power can transport hundreds of pounds of cargo why couldn't my car that has the power of 110 horses be capable of transporting thousands of pounds? My car is a 2011 hyundai accent hatchback, with good driving habits I can get 40 mpg. For $200 I can score a 4x8 trailer off of facebook classifieds and in theory turns my car into a pickup truck.

Short answer: Because you're doing 3-5mph (maybe 7mph on the flats) when loaded with a heavy trailer, and aren't likely to kill or injure anyone but yourself if the load overwhelms his bike.  A bike doesn't have the brakes, weight, or traction to really handle that on any sort of slopes, and isn't subject to insurance (though if you injure or kill someone else, you sure as hell are subject to lawsuits).

Quote
So if I wanted to get serious and haul tons of weight with my car what modifications are needed, is 110 HP capable of such a task? I know the first step is to get a heavy duty tow hitch, then maybe upgrade the brakes and what about the suspension? I'm just theorycrafting as of right now, I know with normal light use these items would not be necessary but I would like to know what the boundaries are with this.

If you want to haul "tons of weight," the first step is to sell your car and buy a truck suited to doing so.  A F150 class vehicle will tow a few tons, depending on configuration.  I wouldn't tow past about 75% of rated capacity as a general rule of thumb.

Long answer: The problem isn't just the power, brakes, and suspension - it's the weight.  If you're towing with a rear hitch, you cannot safely tow more than 50-60% of vehicle weight.  The weight on the hitch back there, even with suspension upgrades, unloads the front axle - and you use that to steer and brake.

The weight on the hitch is called the tongue weight - and it's vitally important to trailer stability.  You want 10-15% of the trailer weight as tongue weight (meaning the trailer is heavier in the front than the rear).  If this isn't done, the trailer is going to sway around, swing, wag the car, and generally be an unsafe nightmare to tow at any speed.  And your car's wight is correlated to safe tongue weight.  If you don't have a heavy enough to vehicle, a heavy tongue will unload your front axle enough to cause you problems with traction for steering.

If you look at how to tow heavy (10k+ lbs), almost everyone is using a 5th wheel hitch in a pickup.  The difference here is that the tongue weight is in front of the rear axle - so instead of pressing down behind the rear axle and lifting the front, it's pushing down in front of the rear axle and pushing the front down as well.  This means you don't suffer the loss of traction you would with a rear hitch.  Everyone towing heavy is using a 5th wheel in a pickup, for a damned good set of reasons.

In addition, your vehicle has a tow rating.  Exceeding that is very much at your own risk, because if you do cause damage with that configuration, your insurance company is likely to tell you that you didn't obey your vehicle limits, and they're not going to cover you.


...depending on the trailer you may also want to get a brake controller.

Most lightweight trailers you can tow behind a car either don't have brakes or have hydraulic surge brakes (which are annoying as hell, but get the job done).  I don't know of anyone who has a brake controller for electronic brakes in their car - trailers with electronic brakes generally are used to tow heavy things, which a car can't tow.

Quote
I wouldn't attempt to tow *too* far beyond the rated amount, the brakes will not be too much of an issue because a heavy duty trailer should have its own brakes, suspension will also depend on the trailer (trailer weight and tongue weight a.k.a. the down force on the hitch are different) and the load placement on the trailer.

I wouldn't attempt to tow at the rated amount unless it were something like clear, dry conditions in Iowa or Kansas.  The tow rating is an upper limit, not a recommended amount.  Towing at the tow rating of a vehicle with any sort of terrain or in less-than-perfect conditions is a bad idea.

What's 'possible' and what's 'safe' are different things -- if you're towing 2000lbs on a car that's rated for towing 1000lbs (or not rated to tow at all) and you get into an accident, you're looking at a really bad day.

Yup. :(  Not going to quote the whole story, but that type of thing scares the shit out of me.  I'm planning to (within the next year or two) buy a 5th wheel trailer for long road trips with the family, and despite having a pretty damned good tow vehicle, I don't intend to tow regularly beyond about 75% of rated capacity.  Yeah, that limits my trailer size, but I want to have a good excess margin of stability and braking.  Better that than losing control of the tow vehicle and trailer and injuring or killing myself, my family, and possibly other people.

Just because you can move it on flat ground does not mean you can tow it safely over the road.

Well this is enough to stop me from exploring this further. It sounded good on paper. Take a cheap gas efficient car and beef it up so it could have tow limits like a big truck. But since this puts me in the unknown territory or a area that has not been tested thoroughly  I don't want to take the risk. I'll just stick to the limits of my car, thanks!

Really glad to hear that.  Your car doesn't have a 5th wheel hitch option.  If you manage to work one up, I'd love to see the photos, but then you run into the problems that your frame isn't designed for that kind of load.

Keep your gross weight per axle within the limits on your door, or you're a test pilot.  And that's not good.

I wouldn't let one anecdote scare you. This person was using a large towing rig and towing down a steep mountain pass. Not stated but probably the case was that he wasn't using the best judgement on speed. Hauling across a flat town short distances using properly sized towing equipment for your vehicle can be very safe to do. I have a ball hitch on my Honda Civic that I can pull a small trailer behind. It can more than safely haul an appliance or some sheets of plywood across town and save me a $50 delivery fee every single time. In the fifteen years I've had my 'rig', I've more than saved the cost of the hitch, wiring and trailer by a factor of ten or more. I also wouldn't even dream of hauling something down a steep mountain pass with it.

Your Civic probably has either no tow rating or a 1000lb tow rating.  It's a small economy car, so I'll be nice and give you 1000 lbs.  A cheap Harbor Freight trailer weighs around 300-400 lbs, so you can tow ~500 lbs without exceeding the tow rating.

That's very different from "a couple tons" as the OP wants to tow, which I will, again, strongly assert you cannot do safely with an economy car.

And you note that you wouldn't tow it down a mountain.  Good. :)

==============

Seriously.  If you have a small car, 1000 lbs is a good limit.  And if your car has a tow rating, don't exceed about 75% of it unless you know damned well what you're doing.

If you want to tow heavy (3000-4000 lbs or more), get a truck.

Syonyk

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2016, 08:38:00 PM »
As correctly noted, all of this has exactly nothing to do with a small car, a small trailer and a small cargo load, operating by somebody with common sense.

Context:

My car is a 2011 hyundai accent hatchback, with good driving habits I can get 40 mpg. For $200 I can score a 4x8 trailer off of facebook classifieds and in theory turns my car into a pickup truck.

So if I wanted to get serious and haul tons of weight with my car what modifications are needed...

This is a 2400 lb car.

It cannot safely tow "tons of weight."  It cannot safely tow a ton of weight.  It questionably can tow half a ton of weight, but I wouldn't suggest it.  It can probably safely tow a quarter ton of weight, which is just a couple hundred pounds of payload past the empty trailer weight.

Kaplin261

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2016, 09:52:11 PM »
As correctly noted, all of this has exactly nothing to do with a small car, a small trailer and a small cargo load, operating by somebody with common sense.

Context:

My car is a 2011 hyundai accent hatchback, with good driving habits I can get 40 mpg. For $200 I can score a 4x8 trailer off of facebook classifieds and in theory turns my car into a pickup truck.

So if I wanted to get serious and haul tons of weight with my car what modifications are needed...

This is a 2400 lb car.

It cannot safely tow "tons of weight."  It cannot safely tow a ton of weight.  It questionably can tow half a ton of weight, but I wouldn't suggest it.  It can probably safely tow a quarter ton of weight, which is just a couple hundred pounds of payload past the empty trailer weight.

You told me what it couldn't do. Now tell me how you came up with this conclusion.

Syonyk

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2016, 10:11:49 PM »
You told me what it couldn't do. Now tell me how you came up with this conclusion.

Lots of reading on towing safely, and lots of friends who tow a lot.

WerKater

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2016, 12:20:07 AM »
As correctly noted, all of this has exactly nothing to do with a small car, a small trailer and a small cargo load, operating by somebody with common sense.

Context:

My car is a 2011 hyundai accent hatchback, with good driving habits I can get 40 mpg. For $200 I can score a 4x8 trailer off of facebook classifieds and in theory turns my car into a pickup truck.

So if I wanted to get serious and haul tons of weight with my car what modifications are needed...

This is a 2400 lb car.

It cannot safely tow "tons of weight."  It cannot safely tow a ton of weight.  It questionably can tow half a ton of weight, but I wouldn't suggest it.  It can probably safely tow a quarter ton of weight, which is just a couple hundred pounds of payload past the empty trailer weight.
That is extremely pessimistic. My Skoda Fabia which weighs about 1000kg itself is rated to tow 900kg if the trailer has its own brakes and 500kg if it does not.

paddedhat

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2016, 06:10:47 AM »
That is extremely pessimistic. My Skoda Fabia which weighs about 1000kg itself is rated to tow 900kg if the trailer has its own brakes and 500kg if it does not.

Ah, now we are into the reality of towing with smaller vehicles, based on the long held rules and practices of Europe and even Australia, VS myths and manufacturer's attempts to control the market here in North America. Fact is, while using a smaller vehicle, you can safely tow a hell of a lot more than most people believe.  two things prevent this, first the common perception that EVERYBODY needs a big macho pickup truck or SUV to haul anything bigger than a bag of groceries in our society, and secondly the underrated, or even "not recommended" tow ratings provided by manufacturers. The same manufacturers who really wants to convince their target audience that they NEED buy that hugely profitable truck or SUV.  Some of these manufacturers will give much larger ratings to the same vehicle sold in other countries, since that is what the market demands. A while back the Subaru Wagon came with a US tow rating of #2000LBs and the exact same vehicle, sold in Australia was rated for #3500. Honda is famous giving their cars a "not recommended" tow rating, regardless of their ability to tow modest amounts.  The big three even put absurdly low tow ratings on their big real wheel drive performance cars. Even though, decades ago, they built much lesser versions of them, and rated them to tow several tons.

So, it's possible to find a VW owner in England heading out for their summer vacation, pulling 20' long, 7' wide 2500LB  travel trailer, and joining hundreds of thousands of others doing the same. While an American, using the same vehicle is leaving Home Depot, towing a modest flat bed trailer loaded with a 600LB lawn tractor and a few bags of mulch. The Brit is waving at his admiring neighbors, the American is being sneered at for being too dumb to buy a pickup truck, as the condescending  quietly tell themselves that the guy is going to kill himself being so stupid.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2016, 06:13:11 AM by paddedhat »

Syonyk

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2016, 08:46:53 AM »
And even a 900kg load is not "a couple tons."

I've towed with an early 2000s Subaru with a 2k lb tow rating. It was not very happy with 1400lbs, and I can't imagine towing 3500 cross country behind it.

Distances and speeds in the US exceed those in most of Europe as well.

JLee

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2016, 08:59:24 AM »
And even a 900kg load is not "a couple tons."

I've towed with an early 2000s Subaru with a 2k lb tow rating. It was not very happy with 1400lbs, and I can't imagine towing 3500 cross country behind it.

Distances and speeds in the US exceed those in most of Europe as well.
Yep.

Short answer, if you're modifying a vehicle to tow more than it's supposed to and something happens, you're going to have a huge liability problem (not to mention the potential safety issue as well). It doesn't matter if "the Australian ones are rated to tow more" -- you're still going to have a really bad day in court if something goes sideways.

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2016, 09:16:17 AM »
Short answer, if you're modifying a vehicle to tow more than it's supposed to and something happens, you're going to have a huge liability problem (not to mention the potential safety issue as well). It doesn't matter if "the Australian ones are rated to tow more" -- you're still going to have a really bad day in court if something goes sideways.

Pretty much.

I've no interest in risking my accumulated wealth in a lawsuit to save a tiny bit on tow vehicle costs.  Plus, by the time you start replacing suspension, brakes, adding transmission coolers, etc, you're starting to get up to the price of a cheap used truck that's still going to be better at towing.

And even with a good tow vehicle, I still have no interest in towing at or above the limits - I'm rated to 14300, but have no interest in regularly towing beyond 10k or 12k.  And that's with a 5th wheel hitch.  I can tow "a couple tons" on my receiver mount hitch if I have to (and will be when I move), but that's from a large truck, not a small car.

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2016, 09:58:00 AM »
Ah, now we are into the reality of towing with smaller vehicles, based on the long held rules and practices of Europe and even Australia, VS myths and manufacturer's attempts to control the market here in North America. Fact is, while using a smaller vehicle, you can safely tow a hell of a lot more than most people believe.  two things prevent this, first the common perception that EVERYBODY needs a big macho pickup truck or SUV to haul anything bigger than a bag of groceries in our society, and secondly the underrated, or even "not recommended" tow ratings provided by manufacturers. The same manufacturers who really wants to convince their target audience that they NEED buy that hugely profitable truck or SUV.  Some of these manufacturers will give much larger ratings to the same vehicle sold in other countries, since that is what the market demands. A while back the Subaru Wagon came with a US tow rating of #2000LBs and the exact same vehicle, sold in Australia was rated for #3500.

Yep. IIRC (based on the 2003 model I used to own), the Hyundai Accent is one of these. In the US it's rated "not recommended," but the identical model in the UK was rated for 1000 lbs (or maybe 1000 kg; not sure which).

We once saw a Miata with a trailer attached being loaded with amodest load at Home Depot.  It was pretty freaking impressive.  (And if they could do it for the Miata, I imagine your Hyundai would be achievable...) 

After seeing that, Mr PoP did look into adding a hitch to our Miata since we were gearing up for our big kitchen remodel at the time, and if I recall correctly it was all about attaching the hitch to the right part of the frame for the Miata since it's such a small car.  In the end, we just opted to rent Home Depot trucks anytime we needed them ($20 for 75 minutes plus no gas charges for trips <10 miles) and that's proven cheaper for us than buying the hitch, trailer, etc.

My Miata has a trailer hitch. The previous owner added it so he could use a 4' utility trailer to haul his tools and extra set of wheels to the racetrack. I haven't actually towed with it, except to get the trailer home after purchase (since the previous owner insisted I take it along with the car).

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #22 on: January 13, 2016, 10:03:33 AM »
Again, towing a couple hundred pounds behind a small car isn't a problem.  A few tires and a toolbox on a tiny trailer is easily under 400 lbs.  Probably closer to 200.

The context from the OP was,
Quote
So if I wanted to get serious and haul tons of weight with my car what modifications are needed...

And that's where my objections are.  You shouldn't do that without a vehicle designed for it.

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #23 on: January 13, 2016, 07:23:59 PM »
And even a 900kg load is not "a couple tons."

I've towed with an early 2000s Subaru with a 2k lb tow rating. It was not very happy with 1400lbs, and I can't imagine towing 3500 cross country behind it.

Distances and speeds in the US exceed those in most of Europe as well.
Yep.

Short answer, if you're modifying a vehicle to tow more than it's supposed to and something happens, you're going to have a huge liability problem (not to mention the potential safety issue as well). It doesn't matter if "the Australian ones are rated to tow more" -- you're still going to have a really bad day in court if something goes sideways.

The discussion, like most on this topic here, revolves around towing modest weights, at modest speeds by responsible adults. At no point does anyone recommend vehicle modifications, or claim that you can just explain irresponsibility away, based on the fact that a vehicle towing capacity recommendations vary wildly due to the MARKETING reality of different countries. As for the day in court claim, the issue has been beaten to death on other forums, and it's pretty difficult to find any substantial body of evidence that there are great legal hazards in towing modest loads that are not in keeping with manufacturer's RECOMMENDATIONS when towing with their light duty vehicles. Larger vehicles are extensively tested to determine capacities, and there is a better chance of exposure in that arena, but until very recently there wasn't an strict adherence to specific common standards, and as much as the companies attempted to underrate their lighter passenger cars, they tended to swing to the opposite extreme, and were often guilty of being optimistic for marketing purposes.

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #24 on: January 13, 2016, 07:41:00 PM »
The discussion, like most on this topic here, revolves around towing modest weights, at modest speeds by responsible adults. At no point does anyone recommend vehicle modifications...

I refer you to the original post in this very topic.  Emphasis mine.

So MMM boasts about his awesome bike trailer towing lumber and large appliances. I think this is a great idea and I see myself incorporating this in my own life some time in the future.

So if pedal power can transport hundreds of pounds of cargo why couldn't my car that has the power of 110 horses be capable of transporting thousands of pounds? My car is a 2011 hyundai accent hatchback, with good driving habits I can get 40 mpg. For $200 I can score a 4x8 trailer off of facebook classifieds and in theory turns my car into a pickup truck.

So if I wanted to get serious and haul tons of weight with my car what modifications are needed, is 110 HP capable of such a task? I know the first step is to get a heavy duty tow hitch, then maybe upgrade the brakes and what about the suspension? I'm just theorycrafting as of right now, I know with normal light use these items would not be necessary but I would like to know what the boundaries are with this.

The very topic of this thread is modifying a small car to tow thousands of pounds or "tons of weight."

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #25 on: January 14, 2016, 07:13:48 AM »
The discussion, like most on this topic here, revolves around towing modest weights, at modest speeds by responsible adults. At no point does anyone recommend vehicle modifications...

I refer you to the original post in this very topic.  Emphasis mine.

So MMM boasts about his awesome bike trailer towing lumber and large appliances. I think this is a great idea and I see myself incorporating this in my own life some time in the future.

So if pedal power can transport hundreds of pounds of cargo why couldn't my car that has the power of 110 horses be capable of transporting thousands of pounds? My car is a 2011 hyundai accent hatchback, with good driving habits I can get 40 mpg. For $200 I can score a 4x8 trailer off of facebook classifieds and in theory turns my car into a pickup truck.

So if I wanted to get serious and haul tons of weight with my car what modifications are needed, is 110 HP capable of such a task? I know the first step is to get a heavy duty tow hitch, then maybe upgrade the brakes and what about the suspension? I'm just theorycrafting as of right now, I know with normal light use these items would not be necessary but I would like to know what the boundaries are with this.

The very topic of this thread is modifying a small car to tow thousands of pounds or "tons of weight."

I find little in the way of responders providing specifics as to how to modify a light vehicle to tow in excess of it's UVW, yet much in the way of practical advice for using a light vehicle to tow lightly. I know it's quite the stretch for all your starched tighty-whitey types, but do you think that just maybe the OP wasn't strictly literal in his wording......................................perhaps adding a bit of humor in his quest to tow tons?

 Having towed a minimum of 15K miles per year, since the late 1990s, I have learned a bit on the topic. I can assure anybody that towing a load exceeding the UVW, with an unmodified small vehicle, will make it immediately quite clear that you're in over your head. I used to make a short annual run from a local farm, a few miles back to my place, with 3000 lbs of shelled corn. The rig was a old mini truck and a utility trailer with no brakes. The roads are hilly, but empty rural two lane. The trip was entertaining, but not recommended. The experience is often referred to on towing forums as "the tail wagging the dog"

To get back to the reality of the question, as covered many times here.  Can you safely and economically use most small cars, with a modest utility trailer attached, to take care of the typical chores that most North Americans are brain washer to believe they need a $40k pick-up to accomplish? HELL YES!  Will it do everything you can do with a typical pick-up that is rated to pull several tons and carry half a ton in the bed? Obviously not.  It takes a cheap DIY Hitch receiver from a place like E-trailer, a plug and play 4 pin tail light connector from the same supplier, and a small utility trailer. Load it cautiously and securely, keep enough weight forward to load the tongue, then do a quick lap around the block to see if you feel secure in how the combination handles. For most of us, after a couple of trips to gain a "feel" for the experience,  the upper limit of our comfort zone will probably end up somewhere far less than 1500lbs, and be a totally safe. If that doesn't suit your needs, you need a truck...................that's all. It doesn't take ten thousand words on a thread, or debating the exact wording of the OP, like a bunch of fucking lawyers. You're either towing a reasonable amount safely, or you're not.

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #26 on: January 14, 2016, 07:28:07 AM »
The discussion, like most on this topic here, revolves around towing modest weights, at modest speeds by responsible adults. At no point does anyone recommend vehicle modifications...

I refer you to the original post in this very topic.  Emphasis mine.

So MMM boasts about his awesome bike trailer towing lumber and large appliances. I think this is a great idea and I see myself incorporating this in my own life some time in the future.

So if pedal power can transport hundreds of pounds of cargo why couldn't my car that has the power of 110 horses be capable of transporting thousands of pounds? My car is a 2011 hyundai accent hatchback, with good driving habits I can get 40 mpg. For $200 I can score a 4x8 trailer off of facebook classifieds and in theory turns my car into a pickup truck.

So if I wanted to get serious and haul tons of weight with my car what modifications are needed, is 110 HP capable of such a task? I know the first step is to get a heavy duty tow hitch, then maybe upgrade the brakes and what about the suspension? I'm just theorycrafting as of right now, I know with normal light use these items would not be necessary but I would like to know what the boundaries are with this.

The very topic of this thread is modifying a small car to tow thousands of pounds or "tons of weight."

I find little in the way of responders providing specifics as to how to modify a light vehicle to tow in excess of it's UVW, yet much in the way of practical advice for using a light vehicle to tow lightly. I know it's quite the stretch for all your starched tighty-whitey types, but do you think that just maybe the OP wasn't strictly literal in his wording......................................perhaps adding a bit of humor in his quest to tow tons?

 Having towed a minimum of 15K miles per year, since the late 1990s, I have learned a bit on the topic. I can assure anybody that towing a load exceeding the UVW, with an unmodified small vehicle, will make it immediately quite clear that you're in over your head. I used to make a short annual run from a local farm, a few miles back to my place, with 3000 lbs of shelled corn. The rig was a old mini truck and a utility trailer with no brakes. The roads are hilly, but empty rural two lane. The trip was entertaining, but not recommended. The experience is often referred to on towing forums as "the tail wagging the dog"

To get back to the reality of the question, as covered many times here.  Can you safely and economically use most small cars, with a modest utility trailer attached, to take care of the typical chores that most North Americans are brain washer to believe they need a $40k pick-up to accomplish? HELL YES!  Will it do everything you can do with a typical pick-up that is rated to pull several tons and carry half a ton in the bed? Obviously not.  It takes a cheap DIY Hitch receiver from a place like E-trailer, a plug and play 4 pin tail light connector from the same supplier, and a small utility trailer. Load it cautiously and securely, keep enough weight forward to load the tongue, then do a quick lap around the block to see if you feel secure in how the combination handles. For most of us, after a couple of trips to gain a "feel" for the experience,  the upper limit of our comfort zone will probably end up somewhere far less than 1500lbs, and be a totally safe. If that doesn't suit your needs, you need a truck...................that's all. It doesn't take ten thousand words on a thread, or debating the exact wording of the OP, like a bunch of fucking lawyers. You're either towing a reasonable amount safely, or you're not.

We're not "debating the exact wording of the OP" - we're using the words as they were written (well, most of us). If we can't use words as written and have to somehow interpret what they may or may not mean...well, that really defeats the purpose of language. Based on the OP's response earlier, they did in fact mean modifying a vehicle to tow additional weight, and it's already been clearly established that towing small loads with a car is perfectly fine.

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #27 on: January 22, 2016, 06:54:17 PM »
I bought a bolt-on hitch for my '05 Vibe from ebay.  $125 and it came with a wiring kit.  Since it's basically a Toyota, it had threaded receivers in the frame, ready for the hitch.  A little work with a tap to clean the threads, and it bolted right on. I did have to run a wire to the battery, along with plugging into a break light.

I've towed a few 5x8' trailers and a boat I flipped.   Flipped for cash, that is!  Bought for $80, put $200 into, sold for around $350.  But I digress.

Be safe and sane, and PRACTICE backing the trailer up. 




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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #28 on: January 27, 2016, 03:59:07 PM »
I used to tow a 14' boat and motor + fishing gear on a little boat trailer with my (2 door, 4spd standard 1.5l 4cly) Toyota Tercel.  I wouldn't recommend towing thousands of pounds with a small car, but a 4x8 utility trailer with a reasonable load should be fine.  For the most part, my set up worked fine, but my biggest problem with towing with that car was that is wasn't designed to have much weight on the hitch.  I tried to keep the trailer as balanced as I could, but it wasn't always possible depending on what i was carrying and the rear suspension was easily overloaded which also affected the front wheels traction and handling.  I used to use the boat as a utility trailer and load it up with furniture or whatever to transport around town when needed to :)


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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #29 on: February 08, 2016, 06:22:47 AM »
That is extremely pessimistic. My Skoda Fabia which weighs about 1000kg itself is rated to tow 900kg if the trailer has its own brakes and 500kg if it does not.

Ah, now we are into the reality of towing with smaller vehicles, based on the long held rules and practices of Europe and even Australia, VS myths and manufacturer's attempts to control the market here in North America. Fact is, while using a smaller vehicle, you can safely tow a hell of a lot more than most people believe.  two things prevent this, first the common perception that EVERYBODY needs a big macho pickup truck or SUV to haul anything bigger than a bag of groceries in our society, and secondly the underrated, or even "not recommended" tow ratings provided by manufacturers. The same manufacturers who really wants to convince their target audience that they NEED buy that hugely profitable truck or SUV.  Some of these manufacturers will give much larger ratings to the same vehicle sold in other countries, since that is what the market demands. A while back the Subaru Wagon came with a US tow rating of #2000LBs and the exact same vehicle, sold in Australia was rated for #3500. Honda is famous giving their cars a "not recommended" tow rating, regardless of their ability to tow modest amounts.  The big three even put absurdly low tow ratings on their big real wheel drive performance cars. Even though, decades ago, they built much lesser versions of them, and rated them to tow several tons.

So, it's possible to find a VW owner in England heading out for their summer vacation, pulling 20' long, 7' wide 2500LB  travel trailer, and joining hundreds of thousands of others doing the same. While an American, using the same vehicle is leaving Home Depot, towing a modest flat bed trailer loaded with a 600LB lawn tractor and a few bags of mulch. The Brit is waving at his admiring neighbors, the American is being sneered at for being too dumb to buy a pickup truck, as the condescending  quietly tell themselves that the guy is going to kill himself being so stupid.

THIS a dozen times over. More to follow.

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #30 on: February 08, 2016, 07:39:06 AM »
That is extremely pessimistic. My Skoda Fabia which weighs about 1000kg itself is rated to tow 900kg if the trailer has its own brakes and 500kg if it does not.

Ah, now we are into the reality of towing with smaller vehicles, based on the long held rules and practices of Europe and even Australia, VS myths and manufacturer's attempts to control the market here in North America. Fact is, while using a smaller vehicle, you can safely tow a hell of a lot more than most people believe.  two things prevent this, first the common perception that EVERYBODY needs a big macho pickup truck or SUV to haul anything bigger than a bag of groceries in our society, and secondly the underrated, or even "not recommended" tow ratings provided by manufacturers. The same manufacturers who really wants to convince their target audience that they NEED buy that hugely profitable truck or SUV.  Some of these manufacturers will give much larger ratings to the same vehicle sold in other countries, since that is what the market demands. A while back the Subaru Wagon came with a US tow rating of #2000LBs and the exact same vehicle, sold in Australia was rated for #3500. Honda is famous giving their cars a "not recommended" tow rating, regardless of their ability to tow modest amounts.  The big three even put absurdly low tow ratings on their big real wheel drive performance cars. Even though, decades ago, they built much lesser versions of them, and rated them to tow several tons.

So, it's possible to find a VW owner in England heading out for their summer vacation, pulling 20' long, 7' wide 2500LB  travel trailer, and joining hundreds of thousands of others doing the same. While an American, using the same vehicle is leaving Home Depot, towing a modest flat bed trailer loaded with a 600LB lawn tractor and a few bags of mulch. The Brit is waving at his admiring neighbors, the American is being sneered at for being too dumb to buy a pickup truck, as the condescending  quietly tell themselves that the guy is going to kill himself being so stupid.

THIS a dozen times over. More to follow.

The problem is if I own a car that is not rated for towing. I buy the smallest trailer and haul a small load under 100 pounds and for whatever reason I get into a accident and my load or trailer causes damage to anything or anyone I'm liable for the damages out of pocket. If my car is hauling that trailer and the load or trailer does not cause damage but my car does I could even be liable for that damage because I'm illegally towing with a car because it's not rated for towing.

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #31 on: February 08, 2016, 09:48:18 AM »
Firstly - buy a decent hitch. I have repaired the aftermath of a hitch that bolted to the body (spare tire well). Can't imagine it was legal to even sell much less use. The problem was flex. Cracks from all the mounting holes. It would have come off someday and caused an accident.

So I replaced it with a proper Curt that bolted to the frame rails using existing factory holes. Easy-peasy. Hitch is rated for more than the car would be happy towing so the margin of safety is good IMHO.

I've towed with everything. 40HP aircooled VW Beetle to 1.5 ton Int'l Terrastar.

With a small car - braking is the big limitation. There can be two problems here: an inability to shed enough heat to prevent overheating of the front brakes. In a FWD car most of the braking happens in the front b/c the back seldom carries much weight. The other problem is preventing the trailer from pushing the rear end of the car sideways in an emergency braking situation.

Small FWD cars are as bad if not worse than the minitrucks of the 1980s. Just not enough weight in the back end to prevent a "jackknife" accident under hard braking and heavy loads. If you tow a light trailer and respect the load limitations then you'll be fine. There really isn't much to trailering as long as you have a clear mind and eyes open.

We Americans live in the midst of a HP/torque arms race these days. If your ride doesn't have 250-500 HP then your holding up the parade. People have no patience for "taking your time". They also fail to see the dangers of pulling out in the front of you will little notice. And drivers will park their front bumper too close to your back bumper so those of us with a clutch are in real danger of rolling back into their car when the light changes to green. Saw a bumper sticker the other day that said my car has a clutch, don't stop too close to me.

As someone mentioned in an earlier post - I think these tow vehicle numbers are written by lawyers and marketing department types who want to drive SUV and pickup truck sales. I look to the UK to see what rational people think the vehicle is able to move safely. I have driven tens of thousands of miles over the years with my CR-V (3300 lbs) loaded with my family, towing a light trailer, moving something that is bulkier than it is heavy. No problems and the car isn't on the verge of disaster.

What's the limit? Look at the owner's manual of your car. Probably 1000 lbs total. Trailer weight plus cargo. Maybe 500 lbs of cargo b/c the trailer weighs 500 lbs too. They might even tell you that your passengers' weight figures into the limit. Look for a GVWR rating. That's the limit of the whole rig - car, people inside, trailer, cargo, and whatever you have in the trunk of the car combined. You can fudge this number a little but you better compensate by driving slower and allowing more time to accelerate and more time to stop. Beware the other car whom you can not always anticipate.

You can tow any common 5x8 utility trailer with any economy car. Just be choosy about what you load on to the trailer.

What's it going to do to your car? It'll wear out your brakes a little sooner unless you slow down gradually. It'll use a little more fuel unless you take off a bit more gradually. Your automatic transmission will appreciate the new slower pace and it will last just as long if you drive at a more leisurely pace. I mean drive like there is a pingpong ball on the pedals and you don't want to crush the pingpong ball too much or if at all. Am nearing 300K miles in our CR-V with nary a problem. We're still on the original clutch despite all the towing we've done.

What are the limits? Look to the UK. They also take towing safety seriously int he forums at least. They pull small RV trailers with light tow vehicles. They put brakes on their light trailers to avoid overheating little tow vehicle braking systems. And there are videos of very light tall RV trailers and light tow vehicles having trouble on windy British byways.

You aren't going to have problems like that with an open trailer and a light car though.

What have I towed? How about an 80s Bronco 4WD with a 40HP aircooled Beetle. For 30 miles. On a tow rope. I could get it rolling but my buddy had his own brakes. How about a whole Hundai Excel being towed by that Beetle for ~600 miles? Not a happy combo but the police did not cite me when they checked me out in VA. I was young and dumb and they looked the other way (20 yrs ago).

That Beetle had great brakes (drum brakes) until they overheated after only two-three panic stops or one steep mtn road. Took a bit of driving for them to cool down and the max braking capability to return. Lousy brakes in the mtns b/c they would overheat if you drove too fast and needed to slow for sharp turns - after all it was designed as a city car, not a sports car. And all this was without a trailer. I have towed with old Beetles though. Slow speeds. Still have a European hitch. Attached to the frame in two places and the bumper. Far more substantial than what I see allowed here in the USA.

Your car certainly/definitely has disc brakes in the front, probably drums in the back. These are fine for light towing.

With our 146HP CR-V I've towed many things just as heavy as the CR-V itself or slightly more (3300lbs). Again it can get it rolling but there is a serious inability to stop a load that big leading to brake fade (heat) and push (load pushing the car). In a panic stop it would be bad. These tows were ~25 mph.

What it does very well is tow my ~400 lb Brenderup 1205S trailer. Euro tincan utility trailer. Perfect for a four cylinder application. Plenty of other brands to choose from here in the USA. I had a standard American style open utility trailer before that. Worked just fine too behind the CR-V.

Common loads: tablesaw with a cast iron top, half dozen sheets of plywood, 500lbs of firewood for a BSA event, the whole troop's camping gear, 500 lbs of bagged concrete, floor tiles, whole vehicle engines and transmissions, a four wheeler, a motorcycle, 60-gal air compressor, furniture, appliances, straw, shrubs, go-cart, etc.

None of those things bothered my USA 1000 lb tow rated CR-V. In the UK the same vehicle is rated for 1500 lbs. With trailer brakes I could safely carry even more weight per the UK owner's manual. FWIW my little 2800 lbs VW Cabrio is rated for more trailer capacity than the CR-V in the USA.

I tow these kinds of loads over 2000ft Appalachian mtns all the time. Have had the same trailer filled with camping gear and bikes to the top of Clingman's Dome (6600ft). That is ~300 lbs of gear.

Buy some good ratchet straps. Twine and bungee straps aren't good enough IMHO. I typically concentrate the load in my light trailer about 1/3 of the way in front of the trailer axle unless like plywood - the weight is spread out. Lastly lift a 50 lb bag of quick mix cement. Now judge your load against that to guess the weight if that is making you wonder whether you can add more or need to remove weight. I know in my trailer I can carry ten of these bags without a sweat. I can also carry twenty of them in a pinch but my trailer moreso than the CR-V is nearing it's limits of 1200 lbs and the trailer isn't stout enough to go far or fast at max cargo weight.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2016, 10:08:32 AM by Jethrosnose »

Ecky

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #32 on: February 15, 2016, 06:30:16 AM »
I'll just leave this here:








I have close to 10,000 miles on it so far, and feel very comfortable pulling ~1000lbs, so long as I'm careful about tongue weight.

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #33 on: February 15, 2016, 08:58:31 AM »
1000 lbs is probably fine. The OP was asking about modifying a car to tow "tons," plural.

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #34 on: February 15, 2016, 09:26:45 AM »
What's 'possible' and what's 'safe' are different things -- if you're towing 2000lbs on a car that's rated for towing 1000lbs (or not rated to tow at all) and you get into an accident, you're looking at a really bad day.

http://www.glamisdunes.com/invision/index.php?showtopic=24262

Quote
Well, after almost a year has passed since my buddy lost control of his FS3000 toy hauler being pulled by his F-250 coming down Sierra pass. He had sway bars and bags. The trailer swayed somehow and took over the control of his tow rig. He ended up smashing into another vehicle and the passenger in the other was killed and the driver injured.

The highway patrol cited him for hauling the trailer with a tow vehicle that was not rated for the weights of the trailer even though he was not too loaded up. The injured sued him big time, the insurance company disowned him due to the fact that he was improperly rigged and was "using his vehicle for purposes not intended by the manufacturer" even though they insured both vehicles.

He is awaiting trial for manslaughter, lost a civil suit for 1.2 million dollars, of which he was able to get 300,000 dollars from his insurances company sold his home, toys and vacation property to pay for it.

His wife divorced him and he is probably going to do some time.

Bottom line is the man is broke, lost his wife, affected PERMANENTLY the life of another man, and killed a woman all because he didn't want to spend another few grand for the right sized tow vehicle.

Moral of this lesson: BE WARNED! You idiots out there that know you are over limits or running too small size tow rigs, PRAY you never get in an accident!

Some will argue "but I'm only going two miles to Home Depot"..well, that risk is on you. Just be aware.

^^^This
Do it right or not at all
Don't be a danger to other road users.

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #35 on: February 15, 2016, 11:49:20 AM »
So if I wanted to get serious and haul tons of weight with my car what modifications are needed, is 110 HP capable of such a task? I know the first step is to get a heavy duty tow hitch, then maybe upgrade the brakes and what about the suspension? I'm just theorycrafting as of right now, I know with normal light use these items would not be necessary but I would like to know what the boundaries are with this.
It depends on what you mean by tons. If you're looking to literally tow tons as in more than 4000lbs, I wouldn't suggest it. For most cars, I'd keep the trailer weight below half of the curb weight. Any more and there's a good chance the tail will wag the dog. This isn't as much of an issue with trucks because they're designed to tow their own weight and then some, depending on the truck, and if they go above a certain limit they should use a trailer with brakes.

On the other hand, towing up to ~1200lbs shouldn't be an issue as long as everything is lined up well (flat tow angle, trailer loaded correctly, tongue weight, etc...) and you drive 55. You shouldn't need any braking or suspension mods as long as you keep the speed down because kinetic energy (KE) is direct proportional to weight, while it's proportional to the square of speed. What this means is that your hatchback + trailer at ~55mph/~3500lbs will take the same distance to brake as your unloaded car would at ~65-70 mph.

dogboyslim

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #36 on: February 15, 2016, 12:17:27 PM »
I won't say what your car can or can't do.  I will say look at your GVWR (on the door) and make sure that you don't exceed it.  As to how to make it work and modifications:

You will need a wiring kit:
http://www.etrailer.com/Custom-Fit-Vehicle-Wiring/Hyundai/Accent/2011/119178KIT.html?vehicleid=201116812

You will need a receiver hitch:
http://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Hitch/Hyundai/Accent/2011/60872.html?vehicleid=20117751

I don't work for e-trailer, nor am I recommending these products, but I'm using them as examples of what you might need to change.

Your MFG warranty (or extended warranty) is probably toast the second you put this on the car.  Go slower with the trailer, leave 4-5 times as much space for braking, load the trailer to put about 10% or so on the hitch, make sure that the weight on the tongue + passengers/fuel isn't > GVWR of the car.  You probably can't put more than about a 1,000 lb trailer load without risking violation of the GVWR, especially if you have passengers or other load in the car.

Good luck!

DarinC

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #37 on: February 15, 2016, 12:46:02 PM »
Your MFG warranty (or extended warranty) is probably toast the second you put this on the car.
A manufacturer/dealer can try to use any excuse to invalidate a warranty, but they have the burden of proof of showing that towing actually caused whatever problem they're refusing to repair as long as a consumer calls them on their BS. If it comes to that, they might have a fair shot at claiming that transmission failure was related to towing, but if an owner found a TSB related to the problem and/or other owners who didn't tow having the same problem, that would invalidate their claim. Records and a teardown can also help, for instance if an oil analysis shows abnormally high wear indicators well before the owner starting towing, or if the owner pulls apart the transmission and shows that the failure had nothing to with towing. But the latter requires more work than it would take for the owner to just drop in another transmission.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnuson%E2%80%93Moss_Warranty_Act#Limitations

Guses

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #38 on: February 17, 2016, 02:39:33 PM »
A bike is not rated to tow anything yet MMM towed several hundred pounds with one.

Tow rating and what a vehicle can safely tow are not necessarily aligned.

If you want to tow a LOT, get a used pickup.

A vehicle that as a tow rating of 0 pounds cannot even tow a single sheet of drywall? Give me a damn break!

JLee

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #39 on: February 17, 2016, 02:51:07 PM »
A bike is not rated to tow anything yet MMM towed several hundred pounds with one.

Tow rating and what a vehicle can safely tow are not necessarily aligned.

If you want to tow a LOT, get a used pickup.

A vehicle that as a tow rating of 0 pounds cannot even tow a single sheet of drywall? Give me a damn break!

I'm not sure exactly who you're responding to here.

Guses

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #40 on: February 17, 2016, 03:29:20 PM »
Not anyone in particular. Just musing on critical thinking.

therethere

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #41 on: February 17, 2016, 03:33:59 PM »
No one said the towing ratings had to make sense. Its all about decreasing liability. In the same fashion, I would not tow with a car that was not rated for the load due to liability. It doesn't matter if the same exact car is rated differently in other countries. I personally won't do it and so when I built my camper I ensured I had an appropriate tow vehicle. Overly cautious? Maybe. But you have to weigh the risk yourself.

CmFtns

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #42 on: February 17, 2016, 03:51:06 PM »
I tow with my car... Says Tow Rating = N/A
I didn't think about liability issues when I first thought about it and set it up but damn is it useful...

so risky?...  maybe, but I think the usefulness outweighs the risk.

Do I feel that I am acting irresponsibly or dangerously while towing a 3-400lbs load + my 350lbs trailer?

Absolutely not


P.S. For car wear related issues... I get maybe 10-20% better gas mileage than the EPA/average person and when I tow moderate loads I end up getting about 10-20% less mileage so in my eyes this means that while I am towing I am putting as much wear and tear as the average driver usually puts with their jackrabbit driving. If it only affects mileage by a few MPG it cant be putting that much wear and tear on the car/transmission
« Last Edit: February 17, 2016, 03:54:55 PM by comfyfutons »

Guses

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #43 on: February 17, 2016, 03:55:05 PM »
No one said the towing ratings had to make sense. Its all about decreasing liability. In the same fashion, I would not tow with a car that was not rated for the load due to liability. It doesn't matter if the same exact car is rated differently in other countries. I personally won't do it and so when I built my camper I ensured I had an appropriate tow vehicle. Overly cautious? Maybe. But you have to weigh the risk yourself.


This saddens me a lot. I sure am glad to live in a non litigious society.

I understand why you do what you do, I just think that it is ridiculous that one cannot use their brain and common sense anymore.

Syonyk

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #44 on: February 17, 2016, 04:41:04 PM »
P.S. For car wear related issues... I get maybe 10-20% better gas mileage than the EPA/average person and when I tow moderate loads I end up getting about 10-20% less mileage so in my eyes this means that while I am towing I am putting as much wear and tear as the average driver usually puts with their jackrabbit driving. If it only affects mileage by a few MPG it cant be putting that much wear and tear on the car/transmission

Perhaps.  Perhaps it's pushing transmission temperatures higher (if you have an automatic).  It's hard to tell without a good set of gauges, which cars don't come with (and are aftermarket on a lot of trucks).

There's a reason towing packages come with transmission coolers, though.  That's almost always the weak point when towing a heavier load.

Syonyk

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #45 on: February 17, 2016, 04:43:23 PM »
This saddens me a lot. I sure am glad to live in a non litigious society.

I understand why you do what you do, I just think that it is ridiculous that one cannot use their brain and common sense anymore.

I play within the rules of my local environment.

In the United States, that means that if I hang 3k lbs behind a car with no tow rating and something goes wrong and I injure or kill someone, I'm more likely to be sued and lose than I would be if I have a similar failure towing 10k lbs on a truck rated to tow 14k lbs.

In either case, I can be sued, but in one case, I'm clearly operating outside the manufacturer's recommendations or limits, and in the other, I'm not.

Guses

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #46 on: February 18, 2016, 07:49:19 AM »
This saddens me a lot. I sure am glad to live in a non litigious society.

I understand why you do what you do, I just think that it is ridiculous that one cannot use their brain and common sense anymore.

I play within the rules of my local environment.

In the United States, that means that if I hang 3k lbs behind a car with no tow rating and something goes wrong and I injure or kill someone, I'm more likely to be sued and lose than I would be if I have a similar failure towing 10k lbs on a truck rated to tow 14k lbs.

In either case, I can be sued, but in one case, I'm clearly operating outside the manufacturer's recommendations or limits, and in the other, I'm not.

So what happens if the ebike you engineered/built yourself kills/injures someone? How is that any different? Do you think this is less likely to happen then the catastrophic towing accident?



Syonyk

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #47 on: February 18, 2016, 08:43:12 AM »
My 55lb ebike with a 250lb rider doing 20mph carries a lot less energy and meets legal requirements in this state. I'm not worried about that.

Guses

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #48 on: February 18, 2016, 09:27:27 AM »
My 55lb ebike with a 250lb rider doing 20mph carries a lot less energy and meets legal requirements in this state. I'm not worried about that.

Potato/potatoe

JLee

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Re: Towing with a CAR
« Reply #49 on: February 18, 2016, 09:31:17 AM »
My 55lb ebike with a 250lb rider doing 20mph carries a lot less energy and meets legal requirements in this state. I'm not worried about that.

Potato/potatoe

Are you trying to equate liability for an e-bike that meets all legal requirements to liability for towing in excess of published manufacturer specifications?