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Old 05-09-2013, 09:48 AM   #71 (permalink)
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I have a 4 x 7 trailer I bought for $75 from CL that I tow with my 2000 Jetta TDI. The trailer is homemade on top of a car axle, so the trailer has the same size tires as the car! I've loaded that thing completely full with fire wood, didn't bottom out the springs, the Jetta still towed it easily, and still got 30+ mpg (let's see a truck do that!). I'll probably help a couple friends move this summer instead of them renting a uhaul as well.

In conclusion, as was probably stated else where, get the mpg of a car and the cargo space of a truck. I don't see a downside here.

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Old 05-09-2013, 09:56 AM   #72 (permalink)
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Interesting points...and brings me to wonder if I want a trailer now. My HF has standard brakes (i.e. non-powered), and is marginal on just braking itself, much less a trailer.
I wondered about it pulling one to begin with, the motor is tired with 200,000 miles on it...but the brake problem is gonna snuff that idea now anyway. Trailer brakes are an option, but your adding quite a bit of weight with drum brakes to the trailer... Round and round we go...lol.
Now I am still gonna go with a rack for the back...you can get them in aluminum and pick them up with one hand, but still big enough for trash cans or coolers and such.
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Old 05-09-2013, 10:03 AM   #73 (permalink)
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picked up my trailer off of craigslist a few years back for ~$200. steel frame, folds in half and stands up on it's end in my garage (redtrailers.com). i've towed it with my now deceased 1996 nissan altima and now with my 2006 corolla. use it for runs to the dump, picking up mulch, moving furniture, transporting motorcycles, appliances, lumber, you name it.

cheaper than a pickup in every possible way. no gas. no insurance. almost zero maintenance. 1-time registration vs. annual registration fees. bed is actually bigger than most of the 4-banger pickups. doesn't take up a parking spot. the car i tow it with gets better mileage, even with the trailer than most pickups and still holds 4 people and has a trunk.

the *only* downsides... i suck at backing up the driveway with it and it can be a pain to park at home depot on a saturday.
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Old 05-09-2013, 10:04 AM   #74 (permalink)
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Oh man, i Haven't had the chance to read this thread yet, but I've tried to convince so many people of this so many times. Unfortunately I haven't been very successful, I usually end up with "you just don't understand" "There is just no way I can operate without a full size truck" etc etc. I've only tried this with people that I know haul way way less than I do.
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Old 05-09-2013, 10:14 AM   #75 (permalink)
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Also, You can rent a trailer when you need it...
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Old 05-09-2013, 10:55 AM   #76 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dremd View Post
Oh man, i Haven't had the chance to read this thread yet, but I've tried to convince so many people of this so many times. Unfortunately I haven't been very successful, I usually end up with "you just don't understand" "There is just no way I can operate without a full size truck" etc etc. I've only tried this with people that I know haul way way less than I do.
A coworker of mine just financed a $35000 pickup because he needs it for his house. It's a 4 door pickup with a microbed. My Cherokee has more cargo area than it.
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:02 AM   #77 (permalink)
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Exactly why I have 7 trailers. Each set up for a specific duty that the others can't or will be impracticle to do.
They go from a 30 ft flatbed capable of hauling 26' lengths of steel and tubing down to the lowly 4' x 7' pickup bed trailer the wife uses when she goes garge sale shopping on Saturday mornings in her 4 Runner. Never know when one is going to come in handy.

I do have a 3/4 ton Dodge Diesel to pull the big trailers when I've got to pull something heavy. But my daily driver is my TD Isuzu I Mark and it's set up so it can tow my motorcycle trailer with ease.

The only thing I have done is add electric brakes to all of my trailers to add to the safety of having them behind one of my vehicles. Nothing like having a trailer push your car forward in a panic stop situation when a few dollars investment would have put brakes on the trailer to avoid a costly accident.

I have towed doubles and gotten a lot of looks from people, but since the Dodge can pull like a house on fire, and all the trailer have working electric brakes I can stop and go both trailer with no problem. And yes, where I live pulling doubles is legal if the first trailer has brakes on it. All of mine have brakes and those that have rear hitches are wired for brakes at the rear hitch too!

Never understood why people will buy a $64,000 4x4 pickup to drive solo to work in.
I'd rather commute in my Diesel I Mark at 45 mpg. And leave the heavy work for the business to the Dodge when I need it.
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:44 AM   #78 (permalink)
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THANK YOU!!!!
I have been telling my brother this for so long, but this is Texas so I guess he feels like he needs a big truck to fit in or something... He just bought a Chevy 2500HD Diesel about a month ago. It gets about 18mpg on a good day. He did get a good deal on it though and it came with a hard top bed cover, but the truck bed is ALWAYS nearly empty, maybe some tools in there but not much else. I tried to convince him to get a trailer since he hardly ever needs to tow around anything and he would get twice the gas mileage in a smaller vehicle. His arguements were "you can't go offroading with a trailer", "but I want to be able to tow my dirt bikes" (as if you can't tow dirt bikes on a flat bed... easier), "a car can't tow a trailer", and the BEST "but I would need the truck bed every day" (he hasn't needed it once).

Some day he will start listening to me... hopefully
If he's worried about taking something "off-road" (I assume he just means unpaved ground) you can point him to any small SUV with that concept in mind. Any Ford Escape or Rav4 from the previous generations (not the 2013 models, blegh) would easily handle his likely definition of "off-road" plus they both have respectable tow ratings, even for the 4-cyl models.

Now if he means actual off-roading, then he should be looking at vehicles specifically designed with real off-road capabilities. A 3/4 ton pickup is definitely not such a vehicle.

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P.S. Can;t find a rated towing capacity for the Del Sol some say it can pull over 700-1000lbs... I do know that I can pull my brothers truck with some tow straps and it weights 6,500lbs (don't worry, it wasnt far AT ALL), though that is a bit different than a trailer.
My personal view on attempting to tow with vehicles not engineered for towing is to use a light duty trailer and to not load any more weight into it than you would be willing to carry on the roof of the vehicle. That's for highway speeds. If you're staying at lower speeds you can tow more but still not a lot more. You especially want to be careful with steeper inclines that you don't burn your engine or your brakes.
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Old 05-09-2013, 12:21 PM   #79 (permalink)
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One thing I'll note...

US tow ratings are based on a manufacturer's estimate of what's safe and won't cause too much damage to the vehicle (which is why some cars have much lower tow ratings for automatics (see Ford's fragile automatics), and others have much lower tow ratings for manuals (to avoid roasting the clutch)). (Load distributing hitches can help on the safety front, FWIW.)

European tow ratings are based on whether the vehicle can go up a 6% or 12% grade without rolling back. Not anything to do with handling, or how quickly it can climb that grade - which is why Top Gear complains about caravanners, driving Golf or Polo-class cars towing 2000+ pound trailers up hills, at 30 mph.

Also, my understanding is that most European countries require a special driver's license to tow.
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Old 05-09-2013, 12:45 PM   #80 (permalink)
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I have a 2000 VW Golf TDI that gets 56mpg. I bought a 5'x8' enclosed trailer for $1300 added two new tires and rims for $180, paid $169 for tax, $40 to register it and get a plate, and libility insurance is free at State Farm but I opted for $50 a year for fire and theft. My mileage drops down to 30mpg when I am pulling the trailer. I use the trailer to deliver furniture where I work after hours for which my boss pays for the gas, time (goes on my pay stub), and each time pays a bit toward the trailer until it get paid off.

I think it was a good way to go. Do remember you will take a major hit on fuel mileage.

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