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Old 11-08-2012, 12:45 AM   #1
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Name: brian
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Smile better days ahead!

To all,
HELLO.i've been lurking around this great site and after getting my new tow vehicle,it was time to join up.over the years i've enjoyed a few different kinds of RVs and realized it was time for something small enough to be pulled by a Fiat 500.the "somethings" i've been looking at are all in that 13ft.size.the tow weight range is 400-800kg.anyone out there with a subcompact in my little fiats class is welcome to share their experience and knowledge.regards,brian.
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Old 11-08-2012, 05:13 AM   #2
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Recently on the Scamp "facebook" page there were pictures of someone towing a 13' with a Mini cooper. You might start there.
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Old 11-08-2012, 05:26 AM   #3
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Hi Brian, welcome to FiberglassRV, we're glad you're here

Good luck on the egg hunt!
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:55 AM   #4
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Even though the 2013 Fiat 500 owners manual sez:


"TRAILER TOWING

Trailer towing with this vehicle is not allowed."

The term "recrational trailer towing" is mentioned in the service maintenance area, no doubt a carryover from the euro versions.

I would think that the limit on euro models is more like 500kg, and all but an empty Hunter or Campster is well over that amount. And, as many have learned, frontal area can be a bigger drag on these very small engines than weight.

And what you are looking for is very limited in the U.S. market.
About the only thing like this that I have seen in the U.S. is the German Puilt Eriba Puck and it was designed specifically to be towed with an aircooled VW. But they are cult items for VW owners and command a high price.

There is a thread on the Fiat 500 group site about towing and here is a pic of one (in Europe) doing so. Be sure to close the pic to access the site, it goes to a towing discussion.

Google Image Result for http://www.fiat500owners.com/forum/attachments/fiat-500-general-discussion-forum/1713-dinoot-fiat-500-fiat-500-knaus-schwalbennest-fotoshowimage-16c5d264-49943-600x399.jpg
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:04 AM   #5
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Bob, your correct! the USA Fiat 500 according to their website isnt rated to tow anything.

Brian this is a pretty common situation and the reasons are many. First off the Fiat 500 sold in NA is not built in Europe they are built in Mexico?, which means the manufacture (as it is with most manufactures) is not using all the same components that they use in the cars they build in Europe. In many situations the specs on those components are very different as well, although the car looks pretty well the same on the outside, they actually have made a number of changes on the inside.

In Europe they have a very different hitch system and way of securing it to the undercarriage. NA requires a safety bumper- which prevents the European hitch from being used (unless you are willing to cut your car up a little) and it also means Fiat needed to make some design changes to the car to accommodate the NA bumper requirement - among other things they moved the fuel filler assembly and changed the rear floor pan area, moved the location of the spare tire etc). In NA we want a softer ride so from what I have read the Fiat in NA has softer spring rates and damper settings - which will have a big impact on what the car can tow. In Europe the trailers also have a different suspension system and they have set tow limits (often much slower than na) for the whole country etc and last but not least the engines in the cars in Europe with the higher tow limits are often diesel with more torgue.

As with all things in this world if you really want to do something you can do it. I own another popular car that people on internet forums often point out is rated to tow twice in Europe vs NA even though it has/had the same engine etc.... well the truth is the rear suspension is different and after having towed 5 years with it over thousands of miles I can say it is very capable of towing its NA max spec but I think people would find it an even better/more comfortable tow if they were to tow something about 500lbs under it. There is no way in **** that I would ever tow over its specs or any thing close to its European specs. Part of the fun of having a trailer is the adventure of getting to where you are going and a white knuckle ride would not be a whole lot of fun to me.
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:16 AM   #6
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Another consideration is that modifications and towing may have an impact on future warrantee claims, especially for the driveline, not to mention your insurance coverage being impacted/ cancelled for misuse of the vehicle.

And yes, while one "Can" do anything they want, doing so, especially when it can put others in danger, is still a no-no. In europe, auto standards and inspections are so strick that even the slightest modification can result in a fine and loss of registration.
Basically, everything has to be approved by the inspecting agecy before it can be done. When there is any doubt, the answer is always NO....
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:29 AM   #7
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Welcome Brian. Certainly a Fiat 500 would be the smallest and probably the lightest tow vehicle I've seen on the site and would require you to prepare carefully.

It's interesting to look at the European rating of the 1.4L Fiat 500, over 1500 lbs. Surprising to even a towing liberal like myself.

I am not one to discourage you with warranty or liability considerations, though they are powerful agents for many. I actually enjoy reading about those that think outside the traditional box. I wish you well in your consideration process.

It's unfortunate that weight is barely a consideration in the design of small trailers, the weight of these trailers per unit of volume, though never calculated by me, I would imagine is high per cubic foot. I suspect that a lighter trailer could be built that could be more easily towed by a Fiat 500.

Keep us tuned into your thought adventure.
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:54 AM   #8
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If one looks further down on the site linked to in my post above you will find pic of an even smaler "Classic" Fiat 500 pulling an equally small trailer, again in europe where the demand for "Bigger" isn't so great.

BTW: I'll almost bet that the 1500 lb rated Fiat is a diesel, as are almost all new cars in europe today
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:57 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
I actually enjoy reading about those that think outside the traditional box.
I have a hunch Norm that Brian may not enjoy reading the term "knowingly and willfully" on any legal papers he may be served as a result of any towing decisions he might make outside the traditional box, any more than you would though!
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Old 11-08-2012, 11:14 AM   #10
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The 1500+ pound rating was for a 1.4L gas version, but wouldn't we like to have the diesel.
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Old 11-08-2012, 11:15 AM   #11
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Bob suspect your correct re the engines. There is a review of the US Fiat 500 at US News Best car that reads in part "The Fiat 500’s engine has one of the lowest horsepower ratings in the class. Many reviewers say it’s powerful enough for the 500 to scoot around town, but taking the underpowered hatchback on the highway is a different story. Traveling at highway speeds, the 2012 Fiat 500 is easily overwhelmed by potholes and cross winds. The Fiat 500 Abarth, which is the performance model, is much faster, but reviewers say you may still find that it doesn’t thrive on the interstate..."

Sure doesn't sound like the manufactures in not setting a tow rating are wrong in believing it will not do well pulling anything.
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Old 11-08-2012, 11:16 AM   #12
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And equally distasteful is:

"Transaxle rebuild, $2845.17, warranty claim denied due to customer abuse."

I actually don't enjoy reading many of the "outside the box" posts I see on several sites I am on because it often encourages others to come to the conclusion that really bad ideas are OK.

On my own motorhome tech site I ban any posts that are beyond known specifications, if only because, as the site owner, I can become party to any future injuies and/or lawsuits resulting from following such suggestions.

Owners/Moderators here would do well to follow the same policy and/or post a disclaimer to that effect
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Old 11-08-2012, 11:29 AM   #13
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I am not suggesting that Brian tow with a Fiat 500, however, there's certainly nothing wrong with him considering it nor in any one telling him the negatives.

After Bob's comment on the Fiat diesel 500, (the 1.3L Multijet) I looked up the European rating. All Fiat 500's seem to have the same rating, 800 kg, the 1.2 L and 1.4 L gas versions and the 1.3 L diesel. I suspect this is related to the vehicle's weight/structure and not torque.

I do not believe in censoring a forum as long as the topics are within the charter of the forum.
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Old 11-08-2012, 11:37 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
..........I do not believe in censoring a forum as long as the topics are within the charter of the forum.
Plus it provides endless entertainment reading the "You are heading for certain death!!!! " comments.
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