Smallest Car that can tow? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-06-2011, 07:52 PM   #1
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Name: Maggie
Trailer: 1978 Boler 13'
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Smallest Car that can tow?

Hey All,

I'm looking for a newer vehicle, my current is a 2000 Honda Civic, but I'm looking for something that will be good on fuel AND can tow my 13' Boler, up north never more than 5 hour drive.

I really like TDI's, but I'm thinking that won't quite do it. Google is useless for finding an official towing capacity, but I'm wondering if anyone would know if the jetta wagon would do it? The mk4s. My budget is around $5000.

Suggestions?
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Old 08-06-2011, 08:54 PM   #2
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At least one member tows with a Toyota Scion.

Norm
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Old 08-07-2011, 07:33 PM   #3
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I'm not seeing where a Scion is rated to tow anything? Appears that many small cars now have no tow rating at all (i.e. they don't recommend you tow with them). Example: My 2005 Ford Focus was rated for 1000lbs (still not enough for a boler), but the 2011 Focus is not recommended to tow with at all. Trade off for better mileage?
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Old 08-07-2011, 08:37 PM   #4
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Our Pontiac Vibe has a 1500 pound capacity (Toyoa Matrix clone). We put a hitch onnit and towed a Skamper pop-up that weighed in at about 800 fully loaded. (We could feel it on the North Carolina mountain roads in the Nantahala National Forest) Traded her for a 455 pound Viking Express Tent Camper that towed like a dream.

Normal mileage on the Vibe runs 32-35 mpg and dropped down to 22 with the pop-up and kayaks, but when we traded to the tent camper we got 27-28 mpg even with the kayaks.

When we bought 16' Li'l Scamp she came in at more than Vibe will tow so we knew we'd be shopping for a bigger tug.
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Old 08-07-2011, 09:39 PM   #5
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Volkswagen Jetta TDI at the beginning of the 2009 model year, the TDI had a tow rating of 1500 lbs and they downgradeded it to 1000 lbs mid season. if you want to tow with a Volkswagen TDI 2005 Volkwagen PAssat TDI was suggested to me. I ended up with a Volvo V50 with 1900 lb towing capacity. Toyota with V6 have 3500 lb capacity. Many tow with subaru Outback or Forester, 2000lb towing capacity if tailer has brakes.
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Old 08-07-2011, 10:10 PM   #6
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Name: Jesse
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Originally Posted by honda03842
At least one member tows with a Toyota Scion.

Norm
That's me! I trust the manufacturer's towing numbers, which is about 1,700 pounds. Toyota of N America does not recommend that I tow anything. I don't really care. I'm way past the warranty.

The current VW Golf is rated by the
Manufacturer to tow up to 3,300 pounds. Also, it was rated as he BEST tow vehicle for campers up to 3,300 pounds by Caravan magazine in the UK.

VWoA lowers the tow rating of the Golf. You decide who to listen to, and what you are comfortable with. Does VWoA do any tow testing like VWAG does? Not to my knowledge.

Do not tow anything outside of your comfort zone. Always be safe.
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Old 08-07-2011, 10:14 PM   #7
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I have owned WV TDIs, and have worked on them professionally. I have issues recommending them to unsuspecting people. If you are not into working on your own car or spending some money keeping a car on the road, a TDI might not be the car for you. They are a bit quirky and can get quite expensive to repair. Never take one to a dealership for any problem that involves opening the hood.

When working properly, they drive great, get fantastic mileage, and tow like a dream.
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Old 08-08-2011, 12:49 AM   #8
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In the '80's I towed a somewhat heavy steel snow mobile trailer with an older heavier snow mobile. This was with a 48 hp VW Rabbit diesel! It worked very well and got great fuel economy. I would get the Jetta Sport Wagon TDI with a manual transmission only and down size the tires to a smaller diameter for better pulling if you need to. Diesels have great torque and make excellent tow vehicles. If you won't be towing full time...5 hours with a manual transmission should be no big deal.

I was thinking about buying a Sportwagon but went the cheap route and restored a 5 speed manual 1992 Volvo 240 wagon. [below] I love this car--roomy, reliable, easy to work on, cheap parts, an engine that lasts 1 million miles, and thick body work that baseball size hail can't touch. I put a tow hitch on it but have not tried towing with it yet. It is rated for 3300 lbs...I feel 2000 or a bit more is more likely a better limit.
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Old 08-08-2011, 08:02 AM   #9
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TDIs cam tow quite a bit... That is true. New TDIs have a LOT more torque than your old rabbit! My Golf was pushing out about 200 pounds of torque at just 1,900 RPM. I certainly have to wind up my little Toyota engine more than that to get things moving along.
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Old 08-08-2011, 10:00 AM   #10
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I have a 2000 Jetta GLS 5 speed gas and tow my '72 13' Trilliuum with no problem. I have brakes on the trailer with a controller up front. I have towed my rig from New Brunswick to Florida and back as well as up around Lake Huron in northern Ontario. I was guided against the TDI as being a bit quirky and expensive to work on. I get about 23 mpg (US gaL) towing and I'm comfortable with that. I have been looking at the V6 Jetta's too. The highway mpg is the same as the 2.0L (27.5 mpg) and would have more power.
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Old 08-08-2011, 10:31 AM   #11
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Honda CRV Diesel

Here's the perfect tow car for our size trailers. If Honda would only bring it to North America.

Honda CR-V 2.2 i-CDTi EX - Short Take Road Test - Car and Driver
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Old 08-08-2011, 11:15 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by honda03842
Here's the perfect tow car for our size trailers. If Honda would only bring it to North America.

Honda CR-V 2.2 i-CDTi EX - Short Take Road Test - Car and Driver
Possibly a bit of overkill for a 13 footer. It is rated to tow more than three times what my Scamp weighs! Of course, if it were sold in the US, they'd probably drop the tow rating to 500 pounds.
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Old 08-08-2011, 01:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barrie Bochoff View Post
I have a 2000 Jetta GLS 5 speed gas and tow my '72 13' Trilliuum with no problem. I have brakes on the trailer with a controller up front. I have towed my rig from New Brunswick to Florida and back as well as up around Lake Huron in northern Ontario. I was guided against the TDI as being a bit quirky and expensive to work on. I get about 23 mpg (US gaL) towing and I'm comfortable with that. I have been looking at the V6 Jetta's too. The highway mpg is the same as the 2.0L (27.5 mpg) and would have more power.
Barrie
Barrie, What do you get for highway mileage when you are not towing?
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Old 08-08-2011, 01:23 PM   #14
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Barrie, What do you get for highway mileage when you are not towing?
I can't speak for Barrie, but my 2003 Golf TDI averaged 48 MPG. If I was careful, I could get as high as 54 MPG. My mileage was a little low because I used 100% biodiesel, which has a slightly lower energy content. My lowest non-towing mileage was 41 MPG, but that was with a 20cu-ft cargo box on the roof rack.
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