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Old 10-11-2010, 11:15 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I was also going to recommend the VW TDI and I believe that several come with the tow bar built in.

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Old 10-17-2010, 03:17 PM   #12 (permalink)
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There is no end to the variety of trailers out there. I would start with what vehicle you already own and then search what U-Haul sez. Check that against the vehicle manufacturers guidelines (can take some searching).

All too many cars with MORE than adequate brakes & power are under-rated, due, mainly, to the lack of testing by the manufacturer. The new SAE J2807 standard on towing does not address this shortcoming, although the test is rigorous: includes power to back up a ramp, power to take a VERY long steep grade, etc, etc. But the test precludes trailer types, etc. Chances are, in other words, that your Honda Accord can actually handle a decent trailer if:

tires/wheels are sufficient
a weight distributing hitch is installed with a custom hitch receiver
Auto trans cooler
power steering cooler

Etc etc

Not for the unskilled nor for those unwilling to pay for experiments. So see if you can find out what the vehicle is rated for overseas. But, as you do so, remember that European trailers meet a different set of safety standards. American trailers rely on a high tongue weight percentage (10-15% of trailer weight) and some European trailers are set up for 5-7% TW. It's easier for a smaller vehicle to deal with less TW.

Trailer stability (anti-yaw) is handled, when necessary, with add-on equipment. Braking is also thru surge style brakes versus American style electric brakes. Frankly, as in so many other areas, as the US declines into Third World irrelevancy, the civilized world changes standards to meet new information and studies. We get the poor cousin treatment, here, and are stuck in the 1960's on too many items.

A short wheel base vehicle such as a Wrangler can be a more than decent tow vehicle provided it is set up properly, and reasonable limits maintained. My Cherokee is capable of 5k and a fair frontal area on the trailer. In all cases, very low center of gravity, wide-stance roll center (torsion/independent axle) and electric over hydraulic disc brakes is always superior. As is the sway-eliminating PRO PRIDE hitch (and two others). Not cheap to set up, but it can all be done.

As to what is the most useful trailer my vote goes for a dump trailer. One can increase the wall height and install a cover, and otherwise cover every contingency a homeowner might need. But these trailers are usually of a fair size. The nicest one I have seen is, no surprise, European (and sold here).

THULE 3-Way trailer
Thule Three Way Tipper Trailer - Four Wheeler Magazine

BRENDERUP is a manufacturer of horse trailers in Europe and now imports here. This is a low TW, aero trailer that a fairly small SUV/truck can pull with ease.
Brenderup Real Trailers

Plus, there are all sorts of kits out there. Any car I owned I believe I could come up with a satisfactory trailer to make a cross-country trip. Might be slow across the Rockies, but I'd get there. And the tow vehicle would be find afterwards. With this goal in mind one ought to be able to find something suitable to work your metro region.

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Old 10-17-2010, 05:27 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Turns out the VW TDI is rated for towing around 1,200 pounds with a 165 pound tung weight, my room mate has Jetta 1.8T with the gas engine and I borrowed his owners manual and it had specs for the whole lineup.

I know my Civic VX can tow a far amount but 2,000 pounds with it (my goal) is a bit much! sure an aluminum trailer would help but my electric car is 1,400 pounds.
More and more people that I know want to move to a vehicle and trailer in order to down size vehicles and they often turn to me with questions as to what to buy, so any other vehicles that are good with trailers would be nice to know about.
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Old 10-18-2010, 03:47 AM   #14 (permalink)
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If 2000lbs is all you need to tow then I would say pick any mid-size or large RWD car with a limitted-slip differential, disc brakes, and a manual gear box. Then just make sure the hitch/receiver are rated high enough for the load.

P.S. WTF is a power steering cooler?
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Old 10-18-2010, 09:11 AM   #15 (permalink)
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A power steering cooler looks like a smaller version of an external {as in add-on} transmission cooler. The ones I've seen look to be a two row cooler that's about 12" long overall.
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Old 10-18-2010, 09:21 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
But, as you do so, remember that European trailers meet a different set of safety standards. American trailers rely on a high tongue weight percentage (10-15% of trailer weight) and some European trailers are set up for 5-7% TW. It's easier for a smaller vehicle to deal with less TW.
Typical tongue weight for Euro passenger cars is in the 50-75 kg (110-165 lbs) range.

On my V50, it's 50 kg (110 lbs) for a non-braked trailer up to 700 kg (1543 lbs) max gross weight or 7,1% ; and 75 kg (165 lbs) for a braked trailer up to 1300 kg (2866 lbs) or 5,8% .
GasDwarf's fuel consumption :
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Old 08-29-2013, 07:42 AM   #17 (permalink)
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My 2004 Jetta TDI is rated at 1500 lbs in USA but 3000 lbs in Europe. 45-50 MPG on the highway. I lose 5 MPG towing my light Harbor Freight trailer with a 2 foot high square box all the way around.

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