Hi I'm Emily...advice needed! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-01-2020, 02:46 PM   #1
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Name: Emily
Trailer: Currently shopping
Washington, D.C.
Posts: 2
Hi I'm Emily...advice needed!

I've been lurking in these message boards for a little while, and finally made a login...thanks for having me!

I am very interested in purchasing an HC1 and am really hoping I can tow it with current car, a 2013 2-door Mini Cooper S. I have read varying opinions as to whether or not this is doable, and would love to draw on the expertise of this group (especially if people want to tell me to go for it )

Based on my cursory research, it may be possible if I load it carefully, get a transmission cooler and trailer brakes and, and avoid steep hills. It would just be me and my dog in the car, so lighter weight on that front.

Thanks in advance for any advice!
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Old 08-01-2020, 03:03 PM   #2
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Name: Lisa
Trailer: 1992 Scamp 13'
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Hello and welcome!

According to my internet search, I found this information,

"HOW MUCH DOES THE HC1 WEIGH? The HC1 has a dry weight of 1,100 lbs. If it's fully loaded, you can be closer to 1,500+ lbs. We recommend your vehicle has a towing capacity of at least 2,000 lbs, which is the standard for most cars."

I think your Mini Cooper has a tow capacity of 2,000.

All that said, if you were my daughter I would likely caution you a lot. The car/trailer combo you seek is adorable, and that Mini can pull it, but can it stop it? Even with trailer brakes, I would worry.

I don't want to put a damper on your plan or burst your bubble, but I would caution you with that arrangement solely based on the stopping ability of the Mini Cooper.

Others will chime in.
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Old 08-01-2020, 04:15 PM   #3
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This opinion is from the owner/engineer of ProPride hitches Concerning the stopping power of the tow vehicle. It would indicate that adequate and adjusted trailer tow brakes are the key. Without them, the mini wonít dependably stop the HC1.

ď I have a problem with comments on almost all small tow vehicle posts on Facebook. It's called a tow vehicle and not a stop vehicle. There's always at least one guy who says you need to be able to stop your trailer with your tow vehicle. While a heavier TOW vehicle definitely adds to the stability of the overall system it isn't for stopping the trailer.Ē - Sean Woodruff, ProPride
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Old 08-01-2020, 05:18 PM   #4
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I would point out that there are many people towing with what could be considered “marginal” vehicles which likely couldn’t stop the trailer if it did not have brakes. But brakes can fail, and while it may take a greater distance to stop, so the moral of the story: don’t tailgate when towing. Tow vehicle brakes can also fail, and you would be in an even more dangerous situatiion.
Anyway, welcome to the forum, Emily, and if the loaded trailer is 1,500 lbs and the Mini-Cooper’s tow rating is 2,000 lbs, you should be able to do it. Understand, acceleration may not be impressive when starting from a dead stop. And when towing, drive defensively.
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Old 08-01-2020, 05:39 PM   #5
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Name: bill
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin A View Post
This opinion is from the owner/engineer of ProPride hitches Concerning the stopping power of the tow vehicle. It would indicate that adequate and adjusted trailer tow brakes are the key. Without them, the mini won’t dependably stop the HC1.

“ I have a problem with comments on almost all small tow vehicle posts on Facebook. It's called a tow vehicle and not a stop vehicle. There's always at least one guy who says you need to be able to stop your trailer with your tow vehicle. While a heavier TOW vehicle definitely adds to the stability of the overall system it isn't for stopping the trailer.” - Sean Woodruff, ProPride
While this opinion is fine, its just that, an opinion (which I happen to not agree with). Why? Many 13 footers do not have trailer brakes. In those cases, people are counting on the brakes on their tow vehicle stopping everything.

Until a couple of years ago, the Scamp 13 did not come standard with brakes. Most of the vintage 13 footers out there do not have brakes unless the owner added them.

People with small tow vehicles tend to migrate to 13 foot trailers, many of which do not have trailer brakes.

In the case of the HC1, it is my understanding it does come with brakes. But sometimes, people plan on getting one brand or model, and end up getting something totally different. I would definitely get a trailer with brakes.

The lack of brakes on my Trillium 1300 is one reason I do not tow it with my Honda Element. My F150 tows both of my trailers.

Some minis have a tow rating of 1,400 pounds. But I am not an expert on them for sure.
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Old 08-01-2020, 06:03 PM   #6
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Caution when towing is all I was driving at. People tow small trailers with small tow vehicles because they are fine on level ground and when accelerating. Stopping with no trailer brakes and a small tow requires pre-planning and looking ahead. I know the police-grade brakes/tow package on my Expedition didnít keep my UHaul VT from pushing me quite a ways in a sudden stop situation (the VTís brakes were not working due to a stuck hydraulic surge piston, which I didnít know until afterwards). Extra towing capacity is good, as are trailer brakes.
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Old 08-01-2020, 07:06 PM   #7
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Name: Tony
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Emily, I’m sure that you’ve done this but read the manual and understand your car’s limits. Trailer weight is one. Cargo capacity is another, and tongue weight is another. You did mention the requirement for trailer brakes in the OP. You will want to meet all those limits.

I’d be concerned about cargo capacity as well as trailer weight. Let’s say you have a 1500 lb trailer. You’ll possibly have 150 lb tongue weight. Let’s also say you weigh 130lbs and your dog weighs 20 lbs. that’s 300 lbs of cargo weight and you haven’t packed a thing.

One last note. You are paying attention to these limits for your safety and the safety of those driving around you.
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Old 08-01-2020, 07:42 PM   #8
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I have towed the HC1 many thousands of miles with a Mini Cooper but I mind you It was a Countryman. Turbo . It had plenty of pulling power but the key as others have stated is stopping . All HC1s do come standard with brakes and must be incorporated by having a brake controller ,I have personally had to stomp on the brakes in LA traffic after a moment of inattentiveness and although a scary moment the car and trailer stopped efficiently but I agree you must be more driver aware when towing with a smaller vehicle. The HC1 also has the advantage of keeping the weight to as close to the dry weight as possible and the advantage to more evenly distribute the weight by moving the cubes or stacking the cubes
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Old 08-02-2020, 05:27 AM   #9
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If the tow rating of your Mini Cooper is really 2000#, then I'd say this might be possible... with working trailers brakes, light packing, and conservative driving. Please double check that rating in your owner's manual though; it seems high to me.

A lighter option with a significantly smaller towing profile you might want to consider is the Meerkat. Technically it's not an all molded trailer- only the roof is, the sides are aluminum over an aluminum frame. It would be a better fit for a small vehicle IMO. At 900# dry, you could probably keep the loaded weight to 1200# or so.

But all is speculation until we know the actual manufacturer tow rating. So far the only towing specs I can find, and possibly the source of the 2000# rating, is a U.K. website. North American ratings are often substantially lower than European ratings for the same model.
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Old 08-02-2020, 12:10 PM   #10
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Towing

Hi Emily and Welcome!

Not mentioned yet, (although stopping ability has been the key point so far in this discussion), I think stopping can also go along with speed.

California, where I have my foundation in trailer hauling, sets the speed limit for hauling a trailer at a maximum of 55 mph (a bit over 88 kmh). As you know, the faster you are going, the longer the distance it takes to stop. I got used to driving at that speed and I try to stay close to that speed, no matter what state or province I'm in.
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Old 08-02-2020, 04:57 PM   #11
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Name: Arthur
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Know For Sure ....

Emily ... Welcome!

Most people don't realize that the tow rating usually given in an owners manual is not necessarily the tow rating of your particular vehicle. It's more of an over-all rating. Depending on which Mini Cooper, it may be totally different. My first step is to always ask the manufacturer what the tow rating for my personal VIN actually is.

If there's an accident .. I assure you .. the insurance company is going to check.

.
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Old 08-05-2020, 05:28 PM   #12
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Name: Emily
Trailer: Currently shopping
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Thanks!

Thanks everyone for your sage wisdom. It sounds like towing with my mini is questionable, at best. It's actually not rated for towing in the US, but abroad is listed as a towing capacity of about 1650. I'm not ready to give up my car just yet, but luckily my parents have offered me use of their 2011 Forester, which has a 2400 tow capacity.

I still really want the HC1, but (of course) I want it NOW So may look at some other options, not that I have room to go slightly slightly heavier. Though it looks like just about everyone has a wait, and used small fiberglass trailers in good shape are going quick as you all know, so we shall see

Thanks again everyone for weighing in! And if you have a lead on a used trailer that's under 2,000 that no one has snatched up, or a place that has a relatively short lead time for new...please do let me know!
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Old 08-08-2020, 01:27 PM   #13
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Trailer: I started with a 2010 Casita Spirit Deluxe.I now have a 2015, Dynamax DX3-37RV Super-C diesel puller
Box Elder, SD (formerly of Long Island, NY)
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Emily; first, WELCOME to the party! Second, I fear you're setting yourself up for disaster. Even if you're VERY careful in loading AND, are able to stay within ALL weight limits, I doubt you'll have much of a safety margin. Throw in some "gotchas" because you know MR Murphy WILL see that you encounter his law eventually. Complex things like hills, inclement weather and A-hole drivers you'll have to share the road with (YES, I AM being sarcastic here) will all just be"waiting in the wings" to set upon you. Mini Coopers ARE cute little cars but I expect most (any?) towing with them could (would?) push them to their limit (or beyond). If I were adamant that I HAD to tow with a Mini Cooper, I think I'd be inclined to look at newer fiberglass Pop Up campers. When in tow mode, a Pop Up should have much less wind resistance and, being lower to the ground with a lower center of gravity, should simply be a safer, more "towable" trailer for a small car.

Covid has put a stop to just about ALL RV events. Otherwise, I'd strongly recommend that you attend an RV Boot Camp. RVBC is something that ALL newbies and wanna be's should attend. Over a weekend, RVBC attendees have all the systems found on a modern RV explained and demystified. Arcane (but critical) subjects like the various weight ratings are explained in a way that can be understood. Mistakes made with RVs are often expensive and, sometimes dangerous. I recently read that the Escapees RV Club was going to run their RVBC online. Why don't you contact them and play 20 questions?

You ARE wise to "start small". Continue with your Due Diligence and, you might be able to find a SAFE way to accomplish your original goal. If you have to err, err on the side of safety. Good Luck!
Regards,
John
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Old 08-09-2020, 05:26 AM   #14
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Name: Duane
Trailer: 1976 Trillium 1300
New Brunswick
Posts: 146
Hi I'm Emily... advice needed

Hi sorry to rain on your parade but I feel you are trying to pull a heavy wagon with a dog (ok a big dog). No offence in regards to your Mini Cooper but "Mini " is key here. You will discover that a pair of towing mirrors are necessary/required (donkey ears I call them ) for towing . You will have a huge following at the first hill on your travels , the towing capacity is based on roads that don't have a steep grade. Camping is great fun for lots of folks using the correct equipment to do so . You would be upset if the combination isn't right to tow with. You are right to research prior to a purchase. Select carefully ! Duane
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