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Old 09-04-2016, 01:00 PM   #1
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Best Gear for Towing with MBS 2401

Hello all!

We recently purchased our Forester 2401WS and are planning a trip to Nova Scotia (Cabot Trail, Baddeck, etc.), Acadia NP, Fundy NP from our home in North Carolina. We are planning to flat tow our 2001 Miata with manual 6-speed transmission that weighs ~2,400 lbs. and has a GVWR of ~2,950 lbs. The rated towing capacity for the Forester 2401WS is 4,200 lbs. The specification for tongue weight is ~350 lbs., but since we will be flat towing I am hoping it won't be an issue.

I was wondering if anyone with towing experience could help by recommending the best gear, speed, etc. that would keep us safe and minimize wear and tear on the RV and car.

Thank you everyone. We have really been enjoying all of your posts and responses.
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Old 09-04-2016, 07:31 PM   #2
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I towed a 2006 Miata about 35k miles also a 6 speed. Used Roadmaster baseplate and towbar the equipment fit fine and worked well, although I would look at Blue Ox if I were doing it now. You will most likely need a 6" drop for your receiver before the towbar is mounted to keep the towbar level. Since you have to have the key in the on position, even with everything turned off, the battery will be dead in 6 or 7 hours of towing. You can start the car and let it run while driving for an hour during the day to prevent this.
Now for the bad news, your car is so low it is going to get beat with rocks thrown up from the road. I tried several solution's none really worked well the front bumper is just too close to the ground. Best of luck, because a Miata is a perfect toad for two people.
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Old 09-04-2016, 08:34 PM   #3
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Thank you. We did order the Blue Ox system. It was also suggested that we order a Tow Shield car cover to protect the front end and windshield and a battery charger to keep the battery charged. I hope it helps. What transmission gear do you usually use for towing? I was told that the steering wheel won't lock with the key in the ignition and not turned on. Is this not so? Thanks for the help. Greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-05-2016, 11:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caesar101 View Post
I towed a 2006 Miata about 35k miles also a 6 speed. Used Roadmaster baseplate and towbar the equipment fit fine and worked well, although I would look at Blue Ox if I were doing it now. You will most likely need a 6" drop for your receiver before the towbar is mounted to keep the towbar level. Since you have to have the key in the on position, even with everything turned off, the battery will be dead in 6 or 7 hours of towing. You can start the car and let it run while driving for an hour during the day to prevent this.
Now for the bad news, your car is so low it is going to get beat with rocks thrown up from the road. I tried several solution's none really worked well the front bumper is just too close to the ground. Best of luck, because a Miata is a perfect toad for two people.
Can you post a pict with the MH and the vehicle?
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Old 09-06-2016, 04:26 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolinaBlue View Post
Thank you. We did order the Blue Ox system. It was also suggested that we order a Tow Shield car cover to protect the front end and windshield and a battery charger to keep the battery charged. I hope it helps. What transmission gear do you usually use for towing? I was told that the steering wheel won't lock with the key in the ignition and not turned on. Is this not so? Thanks for the help. Greatly appreciated.
You motorhome will select its own gear based on load, speed etc., you don't need to worry about that. The only thing I would watch is to keep you speed down when going up mountains so as not to rev the engine too high. You probably won't have much trouble keeping the speed down when towing though.
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Old 09-06-2016, 06:57 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by BALLZITCH View Post
Can you post a pict with the MH and the vehicle?
The Forester and Miata are at the dealer. I will post a picture once they return home.
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Old 09-06-2016, 04:41 PM   #7
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towing auto

We have a 2016 Forest River MBS 2401w towing 4 down on a 2014 Honda CRV.
Both vehicles are automatics, per the Honda manual I need to tow 4 down at a rate of no more than 65 MPH. I start the Honda and let it run while getting the Blue Ox hooked up along with the Brake Buddy. Then I place the shifter into 'N' and turn the engine off so the steering still works on the Honda. I then test the Brake Buddy and brake and turn signal lights. We normally stop every 2 - 3 hours and start the Honda to charge the battery while we stretch. We have had no problems so far. We have towed the car from Indiana to Arizona and back and also from to Yellowstone and back.
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Old 09-06-2016, 05:44 PM   #8
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I have towed our Honda CR-V 10,000 miles so far. The only times I shift out of Drive is when I am going down a mountain so I don't have to use the brakes as much.
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Old 09-06-2016, 06:00 PM   #9
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No towing help but enjoy your trip. Cabot Trail is truly one of the most beautiful places in the world!
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Old 09-06-2016, 06:44 PM   #10
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Thank you all. Your experiences provide peace of mind and excitement about our Cabot Trail destination. We have been thinking that the Miata, with the top down, would be great for exploring the trail. I just wasn't sure if I should keep the 2401 transmission in "D" or "4" gear. Sounds like keeping it in "D" is fine except when engine braking is needed downhill.

I am having a battery charger and "Plug n Play Duo" brake controller also installed. Overkill I'm sure but hope it provides an extra safety margin and less wear and tear.
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