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Old 11-08-2012, 12:45 AM   #1
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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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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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Old 11-08-2012, 12:15 PM   #15
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Bob, you have no idea how many times your policy has been suggested here. I also suspect there are more than a few people who have only been here a fairly short time who have no idea as to how many people who where very knowledgeable & regular contributors to this site who have long stopped posting on any topic on this forum due to the lack of a policy such as yours. It pretty sad for me to sit at a campfire at a trailer meet and hear the question as to why the forum doesnt have a policy raised over and over and to hear why so many people have stopped posting due to the lack of a policy on this topic. It does seem a little strange in this day and age that the free speech rights of a very small number (less than a handful) who ever chance they get continue to encourage people to "think outside the box" in regards to what is a safe tow, are given more weight than the wishes of the majority.

I admit I have more than once thrown up my arms in disgust on this topic and considered joining the ranks of the others who have just stop posting to this forum all together. But to be honest I decided it was more pro active to make sure each every time they encourage the "thinking outside the box" that an opposing position be posted. The hope is that is someone does get seriously injured or killed as a result of having been encouraged by someone here to "think outside the box" that we may hear about it and those doing the encouraging will need to take ownership of it. But to be honest I honestly dont know if we will in fact every know if that has happened already or not as I am not so sure that those already in their graves have internet access.
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:32 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gezundheit View Post
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.
Betcha didn't know what kind of worm-can you were opening up, Brian!

Whatever you decide to tow:
Do make sure to get a better run at hills than the (Fiat?) driver in this video did!

Francesca


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Old 11-08-2012, 04:39 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by gezundheit View Post
To all,
HELLO.i've been lurking around this great site and after getting my new tow vehicle,brian.



Welcome Brian, Glad you joined us. But I will have to say, I am one that wouldn't consider your vehicle a "tow vehicle" or at least not for anything over/near it's tow cap. Can't remember if it was determined if it even had a tow cap or not....... If not I am sorry for you, because I do hope you can find something that will work for you to get out and enjoy camping. Perhaps one of those pop up trailers that motorcylces pull. They are pretty cool.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post

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




Very Well said!
I actually prefer to live "outside" the box but don't believe my choices should have impact on others who choose not to. And the subject of improper towing would have impact on others.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
I admit I have more than once thrown up my arms in disgust on this topic and considered joining the ranks of the others who have just stop posting to this forum all together. But to be honest I decided it was more pro active to make sure each every time they encourage the "thinking outside the box" that an opposing position be posted. The hope is that is someone does get seriously injured or killed as a result of having been encouraged by someone here to "think outside the box" that we may hear about it and those doing the encouraging will need to take ownership of it. But to be honest I honestly dont know if we will in fact every know if that has happened already or not as I am not so sure that those already in their graves have internet access.





Oh don't I know!

But I do believe if those of us who are the voice of proper towing keep guideing new tow'ers to the proper way of towing we will save at least some of them from having huge issues that they have no idea could occur. So for now it's worth the frustration.
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Old 11-08-2012, 05:46 PM   #18
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Smile delighted at your enthusiasm

i knew you all were a great bunch.your response to my initial questions only confirms this.i'm a retread as far as trailering goes and made my living until my retirement,owning/driving big trucks.i pulled flatbeds mainly all over the
U.S./Canada.i mention this only to mollify any members that might view me
as a screwball.well,that being said,the fun of meeting you all and the search for the perfect camper shall commence,with due consideration to everyones input.
kindest regards,brian.
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Old 11-08-2012, 05:51 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gezundheit View Post
i knew you all were a great bunch.your response to my initial questions only confirms this.i'm a retread as far as trailering goes and made my living until my retirement,owning/driving big trucks.i pulled flatbeds mainly all over the
U.S./Canada.i mention this only to mollify any members that might view me
as a screwball.well,that being said,the fun of meeting you all and the search for the perfect camper shall commence,with due consideration to everyones input.
kindest regards,brian.
Glad you're back, Brian!

Advice from one screwball to another:

Go to the " Tow Limit" link posted below my signature and punch in the relevant info- it'll give you a laws-of-physics based answer to the capacity question...if you have one!

Best of luck in your search!

Francesca
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Old 11-08-2012, 07:33 PM   #20
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Since everyone here is expressing an opinion without any facts and there doesn't appear to be any facts available, I would always check with what the owner's manual states. That is a clear and written legal document from the manufacturer. Everything else here is "Nolo contendere"
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