Does anyone tow a 16' or 17' with a car? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-20-2007, 03:22 PM   #1
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They did it all the time years ago. I remember my uncle towing a 24' Avion with a 73 Cadillac.
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Old 06-20-2007, 04:36 PM   #2
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A 1973 Cadillac sedan had roughly the design and construction of a pickup truck. Lots of people still tow trailers with cars like this, but they call them "SUVs".

I'm serious... general frame configuration, body-on-frame construction, engines and transmissions, front and rear suspension designs and even specific suspension components were all shared between light trucks and passenger vehicles. There are still shared components between passenger cars and pickup trucks (and the SUV derivatives of pickups), but they are mostly just engines now.
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Old 06-20-2007, 05:12 PM   #3
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There is a big old honkin v8 late 60s Impala station wagon up the street that is sometimes for sale.. then he takes the sign off.

It isn't a collectors version, but I have tried to contact him.. I'd tow with it!
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Old 06-20-2007, 06:23 PM   #4
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There is a big old honkin v8 late 60s Impala station wagon up the street that is sometimes for sale.. then he takes the sign off.

It isn't a collectors version, but I have tried to contact him.. I'd tow with it!


Yes, I've seen those pull 6000lb trailers when I was a kid. Hell, only farmers had pickup trucks in the late 60;s early 70's.

My 92 Crown Vic is only rated at 2000 lbs and it's fairly big and honkin'.
I think auto companies are wisely giving low-ball weight recommendations, to avoid legal consequences. And I don't blame them.
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Old 06-20-2007, 07:23 PM   #5
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I bought an old (1990) Cadillac deVille 2-door sedan with a very muscular 8 cylinder engine and planned to use it as my tow vehicle. Then I found out there was no full frame underneath. They call it "unibody" construction. No way I was going to attach a hitch to that lightly constructed undercarriage. Beware of unibody construction.

I got an Explorer.
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Old 06-20-2007, 08:49 PM   #6
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I pulled our 17' SD with a 2001 Cadillac DeVille for a year before concluding that its suspension was not robust enough. We then traded for our 2004 Cadillac Escalade. It is an excellent tow vehicle.


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Old 06-21-2007, 12:49 PM   #7
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...They call it "unibody" construction. No way I was going to attach a hitch to that lightly constructed undercarriage. Beware of unibody construction.
A go-kart has a tubular frame... but I wouldn't tow a trailer with it. The Mercedes/Dodge Sprinter 3500 is a commercial truck with a 7500 lb towing capacity... and unibody construction.

I would not judge a vehicle by a single construction feature, without examining how that feature was implemented. When the manufacturer issues a trailer weight rating, it reflects (among other factors) the strength of the structure and provision of hitch mounting points. Perhaps the Cadillac would be unsuitable for towing, but not simply because it has unibody (a.k.a. unitized) construction.
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Old 06-21-2007, 09:45 PM   #8
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Old 06-21-2007, 10:52 PM   #9
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Yup! We tow a 16' Scamp with a 07 Subaru Outback.
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Old 06-22-2007, 02:31 AM   #10
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Yup! We tow a 16' Scamp with a 07 Subaru Outback.

Do you tow it far? What are the stats on the Outback?
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Old 06-22-2007, 08:25 AM   #11
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Unibody is a related construction technique for automobiles in which the body is integrated into a single unit with the chassis rather than having a separate body-on-frame. The welded "Unit Body" is the predominant automobile construction technology today.

So naturally, any tow capacity depends on design intent.

Regardless, before you buy a used car you want to tow your trailer I have found it pays to look carefully underneath the thing before you lay down the bucks.
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Old 06-22-2007, 04:15 PM   #12
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I'm not dead sure about this, but I suspect that the Abrams Tank has unibody construction rather than body-on-frame. Of course, I also don't know its GCWR...
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Old 06-22-2007, 05:29 PM   #13
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I'm not dead sure about this, but I suspect that the Abrams Tank has unibody construction rather than body-on-frame. Of course, I also don't know its GCWR...
Depending on version, the M1 Abrams curb weight appears to up to 69.54 tons (139,080 lb), so the GCWR must be at least that, but I couldn't find a better answer. A "lighter" 61.4 ton version could then presumably tow about 8 tons; however, the since the intent of the vehicle is not towing, care would need to be taken to distribute the hitch load to appropriate points on its unibody shell to avoid damage.

Our army's General Dynamics LAV-II Coyote is based on a unibody shell (or "hull"), and I believe that most other similar designs are as well. That one says it is okay to use it to tow another "similar vehicle" (13,400 kg loaded for combat), so they must have found a way to mount that hitch.

Good one, Pete

Myron, I do understand your point: the tug should be structurally designed for towing stress.
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Old 06-23-2007, 08:16 AM   #14
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Right. To further define "design intent" the following personal opinions may apply:

1. M1 Abrams battle tank with unibody construction: primary use meant for Rambo type persons.
2. Cadillac deVille with cabriolet roof, unibody construction: primary use Sunday driving for well-off grandmas or girly-boy insurance salesmen.

Stress requirements? It all depends.
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