Tow vehicle - VW Beetle - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-12-2010, 09:49 PM   #1
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Question Tow vehicle - VW Beetle

Hi all , I'm planning on buying a project VW beetle , the older ones . I've seen them pulling bolers and trilliums but my question is , will the car be able to pull the boler without being to laboured
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Old 08-13-2010, 09:01 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Perry Mac Donald View Post
Hi all , I'm planning on buying a project VW beetle , the older ones . I've seen them pulling bolers and trilliums but my question is , will the car be able to pull the boler without being to laboured
I'm not a VW guy (though I like them well enough) but isn't one of the tricks to put a Porsche engine in them? Wouldn't that give you enough?
I don't know how it would affect the tow rating though.
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Old 08-13-2010, 02:31 PM   #3
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One couple that did use a Beetle said that they stuck to back roads and top speed was about 50mph.
I can just imagine the line of traffic that caused.
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Old 08-13-2010, 04:37 PM   #4
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Pretty sure the VW bug will be labouring pretty good....
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Old 08-16-2010, 04:33 PM   #5
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beetles are air cooled.....it's gonna be struggling to keep up with the added load.
I know the vw buses had a bigger engine etc but theyre using it to move the extra body weight not tow.
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Old 08-16-2010, 04:50 PM   #6
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beetles are air cooled.....it's gonna be struggling to keep up with the added load.
I know the vw buses had a bigger engine etc but theyre using it to move the extra body weight not tow.
Bruce
I towed a speedboat with a VW van (years ago in a land far away). Like there was nothing behind it.
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Old 08-16-2010, 06:04 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Perry Mac Donald View Post
Hi all , I'm planning on buying a project VW beetle , the older ones . I've seen them pulling bolers and trilliums but my question is , will the car be able to pull the boler without being to laboured
I had a 1979 VW Beetle Convertible; I put a trailer hitch on it from JCWhitney that bolted on around the oil pan. The owner's manual stated a 1000 Lb limit for a trailer. I towed a Motorcycle Pop-Up that weighed 600 Lbs. The gutless wonder labored under that load.
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Old 08-24-2010, 05:23 AM   #8
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I have owned older VW's (now have a 2.0L 5 speed Jetta). I can't imagine towing anything with an old bug. Before adding a hitch to the bug, take it to a good hill, loaded with extra weight on the seats, and you'll be disappointed with how quickly it struggles.
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Old 09-07-2010, 07:28 AM   #9
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In addition to lack of engine power, I'd worry about STOPPING with any fiberglass trailer behind me. Also, how strong can the hitch be when it's bolted to the sheetmetal floor "pan"?
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Old 09-07-2010, 04:41 PM   #10
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Afew years back, a frequent visitor to Bolerama (from Prince Edward County) towed her Boler up to the meet in Emily P P. with a Super Beetle. Another Prince Edward County resident has been towing his Trill 1300 with a 50's Vauxhall to the antique auto rallies throughout the east.
The original brochures I got when I bought The Road Toad shows the Trill being towed with a Pinto and a Vega (not at the same time !)
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Old 09-23-2010, 03:41 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Alistair Camelford View Post
Afew years back, a frequent visitor to Bolerama (from Prince Edward County) towed her Boler up to the meet in Emily P P. with a Super Beetle. Another Prince Edward County resident has been towing his Trill 1300 with a 50's Vauxhall to the antique auto rallies throughout the east.
The original brochures I got when I bought The Road Toad shows the Trill being towed with a Pinto and a Vega (not at the same time !)
Yes, but cars were sturdier in those days. They had frames. Plus you could get a 2.8L V6 in the Pinto.

At this website, there is an article written on a test of a Trillium:

http://www.bolerama.org/trilliumtrailers.html

Near the bottom of the page under "Trilliums in the Media".

They pulled a Trillium 360 miles with a Datsun 1600 and four adults!
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Old 09-23-2010, 09:38 AM   #12
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Our nephew has an old VW van. My husband told his sister it was the perfect vehicle for a teenager driving on Friday Harbor. He doesn't have to go very fast because he doesn't have far to drive anywhere he goes.
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Old 09-23-2010, 10:37 AM   #13
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Yes, but cars were sturdier in those days. They had frames. Plus you could get a 2.8L V6 in the Pinto.

At this website, there is an article written on a test of a Trillium:

Trillium Travel Trailers

Near the bottom of the page under "Trilliums in the Media".

They pulled a Trillium 360 miles with a Datsun 1600 and four adults!
There was only a two HP difference between the rated HP of the Pinto V6 and the I4. This, coupled with an "automatic only" option and an incompatible power curve for the V6 produced a car in which the I4 could easily outrun and out tow the V6.


Also, the Pinto,along with virtually every other small car of the 70's was a unibody... no frame.
It must also be noted that many fullsized and midsized vans and all front drive minivans are also unibody, as are the vast majority of small to midsized SUV's.
I once owned a Ford Ranger with the 2.3L [pinto] engine, with which I regularly and safely towed an open car trailer.

It is not that I take issue with your legitimate concerns about towing with the particular car in question, it is just that I take issue with your broader characterizations.
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Old 09-23-2010, 02:41 PM   #14
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Interesting second photo. First of all, the Pinto two-door "woody" wagon made me smile nostalgically. But it also shows how the older Scamps riding a bit lower than newer ones does not *have* to mean the axle is shot. I have the idea that the older ones with the leading arms were set up to ride lower, and I would guess that the Scamp in the second photo is new and has a good axle (when the photo was taken).

Anyway, fun to see.
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Old 09-23-2010, 02:52 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Raya L. View Post
Interesting second photo. First of all, the Pinto two-door "woody" wagon made me smile nostalgically. But it also shows how the older Scamps riding a bit lower than newer ones does not *have* to mean the axle is shot. I have the idea that the older ones with the leading arms were set up to ride lower, and I would guess that the Scamp in the second photo is new and has a good axle (when the photo was taken).

Anyway, fun to see.
You are precisely correct about the axles, I grow tired of discussing the effacacy of merely shaking your fist at an axle to determine it's need for replacement. The early leading arm axles were apparently ordered with a different arm angle than the newer ones. I have been trying to sort this out and I now know that leading arms were used at least through 1992 and likely 1995 or even later, with an apparent use of at least two different arm angles. This all refers to 13 Scamps only.
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Old 09-23-2010, 03:55 PM   #16
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Thanks for the additional info, Floyd. I'm trying to remember who was looking for historical Scamp axle info. Edited to add: Found it, here http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f55/scamp-13-axle-95-arm-angle-up-or-down-43652.html#post224358


I notice fairly often that someone will post an older Scamp/Boler for sale that sits a bit low, and someone will reply saying "axle is shot; look how low it is riding." Now of course it may very well be shot, but it seems like you can't tell *just* from the height/lowness.

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Old 09-23-2010, 04:51 PM   #17
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Doesn't anyone remember what happened to Pintos when they got rear ended?
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Old 09-23-2010, 05:06 PM   #18
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Doesn't anyone remember what happened to Pintos when they got rear ended?
That's why you put a Scamp behind you... it's a "crumple zone"!

Bu the way, there are vehicles today that are just as dangerous... (cough) Jeep (cough). They just qualify them as a "truck" so they don't have to meet the same safety and fuel efficiency as a car. Did you know all Subarus are technically trucks? That's because they don't have any high MPG vehicles to offset their CAFE numbers.
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Old 09-26-2010, 07:43 PM   #19
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How much does the older style Bugs weigh, considering that these trailers are in excess of 1000lbs (most exceeding 1400 lbs), seems that you could have a control issue in certain conditions with a lightweight car?
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:06 PM   #20
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Hi all , I'm planning on buying a project VW beetle , the older ones . I've seen them pulling bolers and trilliums but my question is , will the car be able to pull the boler without being to laboured
Perry Hi my name is Joe and I have been a member here for about 2 years. I have a VW restoration shop here in sunny Florida. I have a 13 boler and I pulled it with a 78 bus with a 2.0 liter motor. I am telling you from 40 years of VW experiebce that you can pull the Queen Mary with a bug but at some point in time you gotta stop! Alot of people dont realize that until it too late. A beetile will not I repeat will not pull a boler. I think that the pulling weight of a boler is about 1260 pounds or so and that is only 400 pounds less than the beetle is. If you want to go with a bus then you would have a better time with it being that the later busses 74-79 had front disc brakes and either and 1800 cc motor (74 to 76) and then a 2000 liter or 2.0 motor from 77 to 79 and even up to 81 air cooled that is. feel free to call me at 352-280-0283...Joebugs
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