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Old 02-16-2018, 04:07 PM   #15
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Name: Tom
Trailer: Sprinter 'til I buy
Denver, CO
Posts: 944
I really hope you decide to tow with the GMC Envoy. I can't support end user tow ratings. Have you considered a Harley Davidson? No, I am not serious about the Harley.

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Old 02-16-2018, 05:22 PM   #16
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Miss Mercedes's Avatar
Name: Mercedes
Trailer: None, yet!
Posts: 7
Oh my, VTs are even rarer than I thought!

Originally Posted by mary and bob View Post
Supposedly the Uhaul 13 was made from modified Burro molds. Uhaul used parts unique to only them with some long out of production and impossible to get. Many people want the Uhauls for the "cute" factor, but then get frustrated with the numerous problems that are common to them.
Are there any specific issues I should be worried about? I'm still doing my research on these. And of course, even the newest CT is older than I am, so I have to have realistic expectations.

Originally Posted by Tom 72 View Post
I really hope you decide to tow with the GMC Envoy. I can't support end user tow ratings. Have you considered a Harley Davidson? No, I am not serious about the Harley.
I can respect that. There is a lot of risk in using a product for a task it was not designed for. In the case of vehicles, you bring forth even further risk by being on public roads. I mean, disasters can even happen with vehicles that are meant for the task.

And no worries, I may be a bit eccentric though I try to be realistic.

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Old 02-16-2018, 05:30 PM   #17
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Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
British Columbia
Posts: 5,571
Years ago, when the Smart Car wasn't sold in the US and only marketed in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, Wayne Edmonston ( author of car guides ) called it a dumb vehicle to buy. Mercedes only had service in those cities and limited parts availability.
I assume it's somewhat better now, but I'd look into service centres, as well as campgrounds, when planning a trip, especially towing with an overloaded vehicle.
What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
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Old 02-17-2018, 03:07 AM   #18
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Name: Peter
Trailer: G30 Elite Class C
British Columbia
Posts: 1,419
Originally Posted by DeanCHS1980 View Post
Hi Mercedes,

Welcome! Love your attitude and energy. Looks like you have outstanding research skills and I bet you end up with a wonderful U-Haul egg camper. We have friends with a CT-13 an other friends that have a CT-13 and a VT-16.

I, too, have appreciated the Smart FourTwos, but more as a potential toad rather than as a tug.

Keep us posted on your U-Haul egg hunt.

Happy Camping,

ean as a potential Toad it has to be a manual transmission, because you will blow up the automatic if it is a CVT.
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Old 02-17-2018, 07:18 AM   #19
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Posts: 7,323
Originally Posted by Miss Mercedes View Post
...The tow vehicle is perhaps an interesting question... To test theoretical compatibility with a CT13, I’ve spent the past year daily driving with a loaded AV series trailer (5x8)...
Originally Posted by Miss Mercedes View Post
...After my extensive testing over the past year towing weights higher than that of a CT13’s dry weight,...
Hmmm... I like your experimental approach.

From a purely "can-it-be-done" perspective, I'm wondering a couple of things. First, weight. Dry weights are meaningless; the loaded weight of a CT13 typically runs in the 1400-1600 pound range. What did that box trailer weigh when you did your testing?

Second, don't underestimate the effect of frontal area. Aerodynamic drag increases as the square of speed, so by the time you get to a highway speed of say 55 mph, it adds a significant additional load on the drivetrain. Add a little headwind and it gets worse fast. The 5x8 box trailer has a frontal area of 25 sq. ft., while a CT13 is about 42 sq. ft. With a small vehicle like a SmartCar, a lot more of the trailer profile is exposed to catch air. Even my Honda Pilot labors pulling our Scamp 13 up a grade against a moderate headwind.

Then there is the "should-it-be-done" angle. Beyond your own personal safety, the issue is liability. If something were to go wrong while towing way beyond the tow rating of your vehicle, you may find yourself in a tough place. Euro ratings are not going to matter in an American court. I took risks when I was 25, and nothing bad happened, but the world is a more litigious place today than it was 30 years ago.

The Envoy is boring to be sure, but it will do the job.

If you really want to take a SmartCar with you, ditch the Envoy for a decent used cargo van and trick it out as a DIY camper. There are lots of ideas online. Maybe you could find a former U-Haul unit, since you love the brand. Hook up the Smart Car as a toad and go!

Stude, the SmartCar uses a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic, not a CVT. I have no idea if it can be flat-towed. The manual version should not be a problem.
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Old 02-17-2018, 08:30 AM   #20
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Name: Scott
Trailer: Escape
Posts: 69
Originally Posted by Miss Mercedes View Post
Itís not often I join new forums, however in recent months Iíve changed the script. Iím scratching off all of my bucket list items now while I have the time, energy, and money.

Hiya!!! Iím Mercedes! Iím a 25 year old IT Analyst out of Chicago with a love for U-Haul CT13 campers and smart fortwos...I love those cars so much I ended up with three of them!

When Iím not tinkering with my cars, Iím trying to push the limits of custom computers and getting some of my invention ideas down onto paper.

I suppose thatís how I ended up here! My parents have a gargantuan 36í travel trailer and while itís fun tagging along with their rolling hotel suite, I want something to call my own.

Iím a bit of a U-Haul fangirl. I have hauled and towed my way through life with little orange trailers and giant cube trucks. So, it was only natural for me to become obsessed with the CT13 and VT16 siblings. My dream CT13 would be a tiny tech palace with a built-in high power PC and enough RGB lighting to make a nightclub blush. Okay, maybe not that much!

I hope to have a CT13 soon, hopefully before camping season starts! Iím happy to be here!

You go, girl!

Take the naysayers with the proverbial grain of salt.
There is no such thing as political correctness. Just correctness.
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Old 02-17-2018, 08:51 AM   #21
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Name: bob
Trailer: Was A-Liner now 13f Scamp
Posts: 2,739
jon I am in agreement with you some things are just not possible. the only thing you might be able to tow and I say might is one of the motorcycle popup campers and even that might be too heavy.

our 13f scamper is a load for our ford edge 2.0ecoboast. I am right at the load limit for it the edge towed our a-liner just fine but I am very careful with the scamper and do not use o/d at all.

I just cant be optimistic with this!

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Old 02-17-2018, 04:32 PM   #22
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Name: Kevin
Trailer: 28' Bigfoot Silver Cloud
Woodstock, IL
Posts: 1,164
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Regarding Bob's cautionary comments about UHauls...The major problems seem to be with the leaky windows. They are fixable, but it takes some work and patience ( and a bunch of butyl tape/ caulk). The lack of brakes on the CTs can be solved with an axle upgrade, and the VTs have surge brakes that can be repaired if non-functional. The other weak point is the connection of the body to the frame. Most owners find that 30 year-old bolts have rusted out, so they replace these. Finally , the tail light lenses have been hard to find, but new ones are now being made by a member of the UHaul group. None of this is insurmountable. You just need patience and and a willingness to work with a 30 year-old trailer that was made to last!
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Old 02-17-2018, 05:14 PM   #23
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
Posts: 4,741
Some Uhaul owners have found rusted through frame sections and rotted out floors. Good things to check before buying. Some of these 30 plus year old trailers have had all the issues repaired, others are in rough shape, and others somewhere in between. I would say ours was somewhere in between when we bought it, now is upgraded to good useable condition, but not a show piece.

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