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Old 06-27-2018, 04:44 PM   #1
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Experience with Smart Car behind Forester MB 3500 Sprinter chassis?
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Old 06-27-2018, 04:47 PM   #2
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Would you even know its back there?
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Old 06-28-2018, 07:15 PM   #3
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We have towed our 2014 Smart car over 12000 miles this past year behind our 2017 MBS Sun seeker. Absolutely no problems. My wife and I love it. I have a surge brake system installed on it but don't think it really needs it. I tow it 4 down, in neutral, key off. No battery disconnect. We love it.
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Old 06-28-2018, 08:18 PM   #4
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What brand/type of attachment system do you use? I am 60, a widow, and bought a 2016 MBS Forester last year. When I saw this thread, it made my day! I've been torn between getting a little Fiat 500 or Smart car to tow when I retire in 3 months. It doesn't have to be idiot-proof, but close to it would be nice!
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Old 06-29-2018, 02:54 PM   #5
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We also are towing a Smart car. We did not install a break system & don’t seem to need one. We did have a battery disconnect installed.I would recommend you get a tow bar that stays attached to the RV, unfortunately we have one that needs to be taken off & stored, plus it’s a bit heavy. You will love your smarty!
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Old 06-29-2018, 10:02 PM   #6
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Whatever you tow, make sure you put a brake system on it.
First of all, most states require it.
Secondly, in an emergency braking situation, even a Smart will push your rig considerably past its' normal braking range. Imagine an extra 1800 pounds of a Smart car with "dumb" brakes pushing you towards an object that you are trying to avoid. Not good.

Brakes. It's the "Smart" thing to do.
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Old 07-08-2018, 11:39 AM   #7
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FWIW, check out the Chevy Spark... 5 doors, folding back seats, 2300 lbs. And the price is right! We have pulled ours about 20000 miles in 18 months, and it answers all our needs. We use a Blue Ox plate and tow bar, with a Patriot braking system. Saved a bunch of dough by installing it ourselves. I can even get my bike in there. Takes away about 1 mpg.
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Old 07-08-2018, 05:27 PM   #8
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I’m on my first trip with a toad. We bought a dolly with elect brakes. Towing my wife’s 2012 Elantra. 2700 lbs. first tank climbing out of the LA basin I got almost 15 mpg at 55 mph. Braking or climbing it really does a great job.
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Old 07-08-2018, 07:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeproffitt View Post
Experience with Smart Car behind Forester MB 3500 Sprinter chassis?


I believe it would need to be an older one. From what I have read the new ones are no longer towable, at least 4 down. Not sure about dolly towing but for me 4 down is much easier hookup / disconnect etc.

X2 on the braking system. Even states that don’t necessarily require based in the weight may still have a requirement for breakaway braking for safety. Easier to get it setup and not have to worry.
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Old 07-09-2018, 05:25 AM   #10
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I would read Consumer Reports before purchasing a really tiny car.

Within reason a std car that can be towed 4 wheels on the ground can be within the weights an M-B can tow.

Motor home magazines usually make a yearly list of cars with the proper automatic transmission that can be flat towed .

This can be found on line , or in the owners manual .
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Old 07-09-2018, 10:23 AM   #11
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I would read Consumer Reports before purchasing a really tiny car.

Within reason a std car that can be towed 4 wheels on the ground can be within the weights an M-B can tow.

Motor home magazines usually make a yearly list of cars with the proper automatic transmission that can be flat towed .

This can be found on line , or in the owners manual .


When we shopped for a tow car in late 2016, our criteria included weight, the availability of a standard (stick) shift, cost, and reliability. We already have a standard sized “road” car, so a small car that is fuel efficient seemed like the right choice for us. Very few 4 down towable cars are under 3000 lbs, and anything with 4wd is 3500 up to 6000 lbs. Many of the towable automatic trans cars require additional steps at hook up, and require running the engine after 150 to 300 miles. Since both DW and I are “stick friendly”, going for a stick was our path. The real challenge was finding the car, as there is little demand for stick shift, especially in “standard” sizes. What we found was either basic transportation vehicles like the Chevy Spark or Sonic, or the Ford Fiesta. Or more sporty cars like the Smart, Mini, or Fiat. The Sporty units new are hard to touch for under 20k, and since we were going to have to spend a minimum of $2500 to add the towing paraphernalia (self installed), getting used did not appeal to us. Both Chevy’s and the Ford (all great choices) were under 15 k, but finding a stick shift model we could test was not easy. In the entire Chicagoland market, there were 6 Sparks, and no Sonics or Fords. We tried the Spark, we liked it, and at a year end sale it was about 12 k out the door with an extended warranty. We really like that it only weighs 2300 lbs... in my mind, the lighter the better for our 188 HP, 325 ft lbs torque motor. We have tackled some pretty steep roads, and I monitor the engine with a ScanGuage... on any moderate hill we need to drop to 4th, with the speed from 55-62. Anything steep takes us down to 45, with the steeper grades necessitating 3rd gear @ 35 to 40. One time in SW Missouri on a scenic byway we had to go to 2nd @ 25... pretty rare, but I am glad we did not have another 1000 lbs back there!

Have some fun finding the tow car of your dreams!
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Old 07-09-2018, 11:18 AM   #12
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In the entire Chicagoland market, there were 6 Sparks, and no Sonics or Fords. <snip>

I looked for a couple months before I found our 2015 Sonic RS hatchback 6spd stick. I had to travel about 500 miles to get it It makes a very nice toad.
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Old 07-13-2018, 07:22 AM   #13
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A tow dolly question

I recently found a great deal an 8 year old Demco Kar Kaddy SS. We have a 2006 VW TDI that weighs 3300# and the dolly weighs about 650# for a total of just under 4000#. I have not towed it yet. Am I pushing it too close?
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Old 07-13-2018, 07:35 AM   #14
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Chevy Spark fits the bill

We, too, got a Chevy Spark and it's been great for towing. Blue Ox tow bar and plate; Stay in Play braking system. Tows like a dream and it's fun to drive when we get somewhere. Surprisingly roomy inside, too!
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Old 07-14-2018, 12:11 AM   #15
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I've found 2017 Chevy Spark with Roadmaster Falcon all terrain 2 no binding tow bar, SMI stay in play brake system and 300 miles on it in Craigslist. It's a very nice small car. I'm happy.
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Old 07-14-2018, 05:38 AM   #16
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Honda Fit

We tow a 2015 Honda Fit 6 speed manual 4 down behind our 2401R. You know it's back there, but it's not bad. Towed it up Monteagle a few days ago and the slowest I got was 58 mph, throttle to the floor.

An aside - Interesting thing was coolant temps decreased as I climbed - which I assumed was due to lots of additional fuel? I know diesels run WOT and therefore very lean much of the time, but I found this contrary to what I expected. Can anybody explain this? The outside temps decreased a couple of degrees, but the coolant temps decreased about 10-15.

Back to the thread - the Fit is a great little car, quite roomy and Honda reliable so far. Used ones are a bit hard to find and they hold their value remarkably well. We ended up buying new for that reason.
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Old 07-16-2018, 04:37 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathy E View Post
What brand/type of attachment system do you use? I am 60, a widow, and bought a 2016 MBS Forester last year. When I saw this thread, it made my day! I've been torn between getting a little Fiat 500 or Smart car to tow when I retire in 3 months. It doesn't have to be idiot-proof, but close to it would be nice!


We bought a Fiat 500 Abarth to tow behind our Sprinter. It’s a 5 speed standard transmission. The Abarth is fun to drive, really peppy, and easy to hook up. At 2400 lbs we hardly know it’s there.
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Old 07-16-2018, 10:47 AM   #18
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So far we have been very happy with our tow dolly and Hyundai Elantra. The dolly has electric brakes and we hardly know it’s back there. Cali to Branson Mo and we got our worse mileage at 13.5 climbing out of the basin to Flagstaff. We got a Tow Smart unit for 1500 and really like the ease of the on and off. We can unload in about 3min. Younger weight is nothing with he car off and it fits almost all the way under to coach when we are farmed for a few days. That makes any front wheel driver a Toad.
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Old 07-17-2018, 12:52 PM   #19
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A bit off the mark here, but how do yo charge an electric car in a campground. Doesn't it require a "special" plug to chair or is there an adapter that takes it to 110 VAC?? Sounds like a good idea based on size and weight as a toad but aren't there quite a few limiting factors such as range, power, charging etc? We did not even consider sa smart car and went straight to the Jeep JK Wrangler, so I am curious.
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Old 07-17-2018, 08:02 PM   #20
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A bit off the mark here, but how do yo charge an electric car in a campground. Doesn't it require a "special" plug to chair or is there an adapter that takes it to 110 VAC?? Sounds like a good idea based on size and weight as a toad but aren't there quite a few limiting factors such as range, power, charging etc? We did not even consider sa smart car and went straight to the Jeep JK Wrangler, so I am curious.

Who is towing an electric car? If someone does, perhaps they could charge going down the road.
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