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Old 06-06-2015, 08:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Towing with Compact Cars

So in the middle of a thread full of gigantic trucks, there's this guy:
Woodalls Open Roads Forum: Tow Vehicles: Post your tow vehicle pics here

Granted, he's only doing what everyone outside of the USA does all the time, but still, I find it awesome. Anyone else got examples of pulling campers and boats and whatnot with compacts or even subcompacts? Post 'em.

Also, related reading: The Great American Anti-Towing Conspiracy

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Old 06-06-2015, 09:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think the problem is the US doesn't seem to restrict trailer towing speeds. Australia and the EU have 80km/h limits on all ball hitch type trailers. You have to have a very poorly loaded trailer to have problems at these speeds, so even small cars can tow heavy loads.

Here's mine. 500kg (as pictured) 7.6l/100km in city use. 0.45Cd for the combo.

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Old 06-06-2015, 09:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtamiyaphile View Post
Australia and the EU have 80km/h limits on all ball hitch type trailers.
I'd rather get a truck and flat out
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Old 06-06-2015, 09:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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We don't really get US style pick up trucks either. For someone doing lots of highway miles it would be a pain, but for the hypermiler you have a legit reason to be traveling slowly.

Doesn't worry me personally as I drive 95% city for work and it's very rare for the limit to be 80 or more.
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Old 06-06-2015, 09:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtamiyaphile View Post
We don't really get US style pick up trucks either.
But the Nissan Patrol is not so small compared to an American full-size.

Anyway, that limit is a good excuse for hypermiling, but doesn't make any sense beyond that.
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Old 06-07-2015, 11:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtamiyaphile View Post
I think the problem is the US doesn't seem to restrict trailer towing speeds. Australia and the EU have 80km/h limits on all ball hitch type trailers. You have to have a very poorly loaded trailer to have problems at these speeds, so even small cars can tow heavy loads.

Here's mine. 500kg (as pictured) 7.6l/100km in city use. 0.45Cd for the combo.

That is a very interesting trailer. I was reading your thread on the van too, very cool

While the USA does have speed limit restrictions for trailers, which varies by state, they're pretty much identical to the posted speed limit anyway (or the good ole' vague "reasonable and prudent."
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Old 06-07-2015, 08:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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A properly loaded trailer should be safe at speed, but many trailers aren't properly loaded and this can happen even at moderate speeds:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...&v=TDsfhYzUKDI

The tongue weight on my Renault is only 75kg so there's not a lot of leeway. My suspension drops only 9mm at this tongue load. If I followed U-Haul's advice of 1" sag I'd need to have 200kg on the ball
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Old 06-07-2015, 11:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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My main concern is the strength of the transmissions- many seem to be marginal under heavier than average load. I wouldn't tow anything heavy with a Metro as it seems they have issues with second gear the way it is.
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Old 06-08-2015, 12:41 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtamiyaphile View Post
I think the problem is the US doesn't seem to restrict trailer towing speeds. Australia and the EU have 80km/h limits on all ball hitch type trailers.
Many states do have limits - California, for instance, has signs posted limiting trailers to 55 mph, which is roughly 80 km/h. Nobody pays any attention to them, and arguably a vehicle going that much slower than the average car presents a hazard.

It's also much easier to tow in someplace like Australia, which is mostly flat, than say the mountains of the western US.
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Old 06-08-2015, 05:05 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtamiyaphile View Post
I think the problem is the US doesn't seem to restrict trailer towing speeds. Australia and the EU have 80km/h limits on all ball hitch type trailers.
This was true when I learned to drive 40 years ago, but no longer.
NSW has no special speed limits for trailers any more and even WA is now 100kph.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
It's also much easier to tow in someplace like Australia, which is mostly flat, than say the mountains of the western US.
I often tow my 8'x5' trailer through the Blue Mountains (home) using my wife's automatic 2.4l Mitsubishi Nimbus (Mitsubishi Expo in the US I think).
It's not that quick climbing hills with a heavy load, but it still gets there.

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