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Old 08-17-2014, 01:02 PM   #1
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Inexpensive tow setups for very small flat towed cars?

Pretty much says it all, I want to tow a below 3000# car. My wife just told me she really doesn't want to pull around a car but although more trouble I do. I was going to buy a new car like a ford focus or fiesta, but now I don't really want to spend a lot of $$$ if my wife refuses to tow. I tried towing a 5000# load with surge brakes so know the 2014 Sunseeker 2860DS with 7500# hitch will do the job OK. So here's what I want to do on a short trip to maximize cash outlay in case she doesn't come around. I have a small 1992 GEO metro hatchback 5 speed I want to try out just to see if she will like to tow, but I don't want to spend $1500 just to buy and install brackets and a tow bar. The geo weighs about 1700# so is a lightweight. So my questions are?

Is there a SAFE inexpensive way to tow? I see people have used Haulmaster ($69.99 on sale Harbor Freight) Tow Bars but is there a SAFE inexpensive way to be able to connect it to the Geo Metro? IE Inexpensive Generic type baseplate setup? Tow Bar - Adjustable Tow Bar w/ 5000 Lb. Capacity

Anyone Inexpensively towing an old Metro or other lightweight car 3000# or lighter? What kind of setup do you have?

Its not I can't afford to buy top notch, I just don't want to invest in an $18,000 car and $3000 to set it up and then have to craigslist it all because it wont be used.

Safety is important but I remember hauling a dune buggy all over in the 70's and 80's with an A frame tow bar with a u-bolt setup around the front axels. Many trips, never a problem.

Thanks

RON
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Old 08-20-2014, 06:24 PM   #2
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Can't believe no ones done this!
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Old 08-21-2014, 04:16 AM   #3
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No Help

Never done it and never seen it. Sorry! On a side note, I just picked up a Jeep Wrangler and am preparing to set it up to be towed. While I am not looking forward to spending more money, it is definitely the route we want to go. My wife has been following me for the past two years and it will be nice to have her join me in the coach. My first quote was $2900 installed. That includes the baseplate, Falcon All Terrain tow bar, Roadmaster Invisabrake and the wiring for brakes.
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Old 08-21-2014, 05:51 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by digger47 View Post
Never done it and never seen it. Sorry! On a side note, I just picked up a Jeep Wrangler and am preparing to set it up to be towed. While I am not looking forward to spending more money, it is definitely the route we want to go. My wife has been following me for the past two years and it will be nice to have her join me in the coach. My first quote was $2900 installed. That includes the baseplate, Falcon All Terrain tow bar, Roadmaster Invisabrake and the wiring for brakes.
I think that towing a car is a must, saying that because I do not own a MH. My question how would you get to go anywhere with out having a car? You would have to break camp all the time. I would buy it and then ask for forgiveness from the DW....
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Old 08-21-2014, 09:37 AM   #5
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I used all Blue Ox and have about 1900 in everything. I installed all myself in a weekend on a Nissan Versa. I could have saved another $90 on the break system but I needed it for a trip and couldn't wait for the price to drop again on Amazon.

As for safety, those regulations are dictated by the state(s) you will be towing through. I was going to go without a brake system as my car comes in just under the 3000# (brakes required in my state above this) mark, but I read some literature about the stopping distance being almost doubled without them and my mind was changed. The motorhome doesn't exactly stop on a dime itself.
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Old 08-21-2014, 03:57 PM   #6
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which Versa did you get and how hard was the install... details.. It looked like there was a lot of trimming involved on grill.. hate doing that on a new car, and replacement grills are super expensive on most rigs.

As far as state rules, there seems to be differences of opinions there... Many old timers say its the rules of the state you're licensed in although I know Washington state doesn't allow anything more than doubles and no trailer with a boat or car /dolly behind that. Guess it probably comes down to if the trooper was in a good or bad mood. I would feel OK with a light car behind me 4 down and if I didn't a braking system would be in place fast..
thanks
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Old 08-21-2014, 10:12 PM   #7
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I have a 2007 Versa. In my case there was very minimal trimming. The entire fascia of the car is held on with the plastic push fasteners and I think there were 8 small bolts. Mechanically it was a pretty easy job. It just takes time to remove everything and put it back together. Like I said, I used Blue Ox and went to there website and downloaded the instructions for the base plate installation before I ever ordered anything. The photos and instructions were pretty good.

As far as state laws, check this out:

http://www.brakebuddy.com/Towing-Laws
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Old 08-23-2014, 03:27 PM   #8
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Almost all of the states have restrictions that apply to towing a trailer. There are only a handful that don't allow up to 3000# and some of the states say in their requirements no restrictions on towing a car, and if there is restrictions, it will say towing a car over so many pounds or whatever the restriction is. Most of the guide don't agree with each other, and are written by towing equipment companies that sell supplemental braking equipment, and they conveniently leave that line out. I will say it doesn't make a lot of sense but many states have a separate towing requirement for cars being flat towed. I will also say from a safety standpoint it makes sense to have supplemental braking, especially for a heavy car towed flat. My post was "Inexpensive tow setups for very small flat towed cars" and I am looking at a few cars that weigh 1500# to 2000#.. If at any time I was to feel that stopping was a problem I would have some external braking for sure. The reason for the post was ... We are not sure we want to tow anything so I don't want to invest thousands of $$ only to have to craigslist The equipment if we decide not to do so. I think that can be done safely, without pushing limits.

Thanks all, I do appreciate the input!!

RON
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Old 08-23-2014, 04:12 PM   #9
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Disregarding any laws I know the manual for my particular RV (also a Sunseeker) states something to the effect that the brakes are only rated for the GVWR of the RV and are not sufficient to stop any towed weight.
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