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Author Topic: Looking for an American Made Car that can be towed 4 down?  (Read 9908 times)

4ducksrus

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Looking for an American Made Car that can be towed 4 down?
« on: January 14, 2012, 10:26:50 AM »
Hey Folks,
We are in the process of getting rid of my Mini Cooper and decided that any vehicle we purchase at this time in our life should be able to be towed 4 wheels down.  So, here's where my question arises....Are there any American made cars that can be towed 4 down without messing with the transfer case?  I'm looking at the Honda CR-V, but my Union Electrician Husband...wants us to buy American if possible.  TIA  Mikie
Jim & Mikie

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Molaker

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Re: Looking for an American Made Car that can be towed 4 down?
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2012, 10:29:47 AM »
What's the matter with your Jeep?  If it is a 4wd, it should be towable 4 down.
Tom & Joyce and Ditto the "don't tell her she's a dog" Westie
U.S. Navy (Ret)
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Lowell

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Re: Looking for an American Made Car that can be towed 4 down?
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2012, 11:01:44 AM »
My CRV was assembled in Ohio.  I think that is still in the US.   ;) US and Canadian parts make up 60% of my CRV.  You have to look at a cars sticker to see where it was really assembled and where the majority of parts come from.  Just because it has a Detroit name, doesn't mean it is made in USA.
Lowell

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4ducksrus

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Re: Looking for an American Made Car that can be towed 4 down?
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2012, 11:36:37 AM »
What's the matter with your Jeep?  If it is a 4wd, it should be towable 4 down.

We aren't getting rid of the jeep, just replacing my car and figured it might as well be towable as well for future options.

As for the Made in the USA...I hadn't really thought about it that way, just looking at maybe a Ford, GMC, or Chevy....I'll have to look a little differently!  Thanks...LOL
Jim & Mikie

2011 Itasca Meridian 40U
2013 Jeep Rubicon
2003 HD Ultra Classic
WIT WI54011

Gary RV Roamer

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Re: Looking for an American Made Car that can be towed 4 down?
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2012, 11:51:40 AM »
US made cars that are 4-down towable are pretty easy to find.  GMC Acadia & Terrain, Buick Enclave & LaCrosse, Chevy Traverse & Equinox & Cobalt & Malibu & HHR, Cadillac SRX, Ford Edge & Escape & Flex & Fusion & Taurus, just to name a few.

You can view lists of them for each model year here:
http://motorhome.tl.com/dinghytowingguide/
Gary
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Lowell

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Re: Looking for an American Made Car that can be towed 4 down?
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2012, 11:57:58 AM »
Besides the US names we know, you can also find where the foreign brands are built in the US.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/06/19/automobiles/20090619-auto-plants-4.html
Lowell

2005 Cherokee28A TT
pulled by 2009 Dodge 1500 Crew Cab 4X4
KF7YET

Tempe, Arizona

Bob Maxwell

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Re: Looking for an American Made Car that can be towed 4 down?
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2012, 12:04:49 PM »
. . . and Smart cars too.
Adiós. . .

Bob †
 
. . . still ridin' for the brand.

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yolo

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Re: Looking for an American Made Car that can be towed 4 down?
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2012, 01:45:17 PM »
. . . and Smart cars too.
We towed a Smart ForTwo for a year.  Great Little car.  Emphasis on Little.  We went to a CR-V to have more room when on the road for 6 months at a time.
Bill & Wanda Bell -- SW Florida
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Redman

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Re: Looking for an American Made Car that can be towed 4 down?
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2012, 02:35:00 PM »
Hello- this is my first post after being a member for over a year. Brother Bear recommended this site after I had posted a question on another site. Have spent most my time gaining a lot of free information to get me over our newbie status of being full timers since May 2011, never having trailer or motorhome camped before.

Anyway, on this topic we started out last January hunting for the "perfect" toad and found our criteria changed as time went along and as we learned- going from one car and three pick-ups to one vehicle took a lot of getting used to.

We first wanted a 4wd or awd as we wanted to be able to sight see as we traveled. Our idea of simple soon changed to a more realistic recognition of what was more suited to a pair of seniors with some disabilities.

As always being Ford or GM owners it took a lot of re-adjustment to check other brands- GM and Ford were out as they were just plain uncomfortable for someone of my height and both required me to lift my feet about 6 or 8 inches to lift them over the door sill when exiting, difficult with my back injury and neurological problems in my legs.

Next to the imports-most 4wd did not have an automatic that was full flat towable. The CR-V was an exception and filled most of our requirements, but was not a big 3 manufacturer and as a farm boy I would not risk getting in a situation where the next town down the road in West Texas, population 2000, didn't have a dealer and repair facility. Scratch the CR-V but a great car.

Because of this "service" aspect, we also decided to buy new and we eventually ended up at a Jeep dealer-had never owned ANYTHING Daimler Chrysler before except for a WW II surplus  CJ.

Eventually the dealer was able to up sell us to a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland - had everything we needed, everything we wanted and a whole lot more. Automatic, 4WD, comfortable great load capacity(instead of being towed by our Class A , it could nearly do it the other way around) and space for all we thought we had to leave behind.

Beware most sites that tell you what is towable or not-most are out of date at best or just plain wrong! Dealers can print out the towable versions of their products along with restrictions, Their service departments can (and most are willing to) make you aware of any service bulletins that affect towing and are the best source in my opinion. Also forums like this will give you a lots of heads up on caveats on towing - like questions about the Ford Escape.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Grand Cherokee- they have just added a third shift at their North Jefferson plant and are again offering a diesel option so they are doing something for employment.

The CR-V also gets a thumbs up, but is a bit smaller.



taoshum

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Re: Looking for an American Made Car that can be towed 4 down?
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2012, 02:41:05 PM »
the latest issue of the FMCA Magazine has an article on towable vehicles...
07 Itasca Meridian 34SH.  '08 Jeep Sahara.
Taos, NM.

John From Detroit

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Re: Looking for an American Made Car that can be towed 4 down?
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2012, 02:51:40 PM »
Many vehicles can be towed 4 down even if the factory says not to.

RemcoTowing USA sells modification kits that basically turn your car into a free-wheeling trailre.. NO connection between the wheels and the transmission.

Some are fairly simple.

Not all need it. And the Remco web site has a list of what can and what can not be towed both with and without mod.  The catch is they only show you one model at a time.. In the old days you could download a chart.
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Tin man

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Re: Looking for an American Made Car that can be towed 4 down?
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2012, 06:37:15 PM »
Ford Escape
Jim W
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mollibee

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Re: Looking for an American Made Car that can be towed 4 down?
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2012, 07:01:56 PM »
Our 2007 Jeep Liberty 4wd tows flat.  Dealers tend to tell you what they think you want to hear, so be sure to look at the owner's manual -- it will not only tell you if it's towable flat, but will tell you the procedure (putting it in neutral, etc). 

4ducksrus

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Re: Looking for an American Made Car that can be towed 4 down?
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2012, 07:50:06 PM »
Redman, Thank you for responding.  As far as the jeep, we were looking for something with better gas mileage too.  The CR-V boasts 30 mpg and our jeep wrangler gets best 18mpg.  What does your grand Cherokee get?

Does anyone know exactly what is different in the transmission that makes some towable with out messing with the transfer case and some not?  Just curious....LOL

Mikie
Jim & Mikie

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Tin man

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Re: Looking for an American Made Car that can be towed 4 down?
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2012, 08:03:50 PM »
Escape Hybred 34 MPG That is what I get.
Jim W
AKA TIN MAN
2007 36G Journey SE
2010 Escape Hybrid Blue Ox Air Force 1 Brake

Redman

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Re: Looking for an American Made Car that can be towed 4 down?
« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2012, 08:16:09 PM »
Mikie:
We have just over 7500 miles on our Grand Cherokee and virtually every mile has been highway-it doesn't count up tow miles so that is just the miles we have put on seeing what we have missed for the past 40 years.

Mileage has not been easy to calculate when on the road but now that we are settled into Texas Hill Country we have kept track of the last three tankfuls and we are only getting about 23 mpg with the 3.6 liter motor-not a powerhouse but more than adequate even in these hills.

The CR-V is a nice car, wouldn't have complained too much if I had been "forced" to settle on it. Chrysler dealers are a lot more common than Honda dealers and that was the deciding factor.

Good luck.

pdq

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Re: Looking for an American Made Car that can be towed 4 down?
« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2012, 09:59:39 PM »
Hi Mikie:

after lots of research - our purchase:
a pontiac G5
(we bought a brand new 2009, in the first part of 2010 - as that made the purchase price very good)

it has been great!

good luck
pdq
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DITTO

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Re: Looking for an American Made Car that can be towed 4 down?
« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2012, 10:19:56 PM »
We just bought a Lincoln mkz hybrid sister to ford fusion. View the owners manual on line..simple to tow, consistently 36-38 mpg...but note hybrids with electric brakes need special type of aux brakes for towing.
2013  Winnebago Tour QD

4ducksrus

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Re: Looking for an American Made Car that can be towed 4 down?
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2012, 09:15:49 AM »
We just bought a Lincoln mkz hybrid sister to ford fusion. View the owners manual on line..simple to tow, consistently 36-38 mpg...but note hybrids with electric brakes need special type of aux brakes for towing.

We currently have the Air Force One braking system installed for our jeep wrangler and are planning on having this same system put into whatever car we purchase.  Our thoughts are that when we go somewhere (we are not planning on ever totally being full time) we can take whichever car fits the need. 
Jim & Mikie

2011 Itasca Meridian 40U
2013 Jeep Rubicon
2003 HD Ultra Classic
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Marsha/CA

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Re: Looking for an American Made Car that can be towed 4 down?
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2012, 10:43:03 AM »
If we were to buy a new tow car, I'd be looking at the Chevy Traverse.

Marsha~
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Lou Schneider

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Re: Looking for an American Made Car that can be towed 4 down?
« Reply #20 on: January 15, 2012, 11:45:51 AM »
Quote
Does anyone know exactly what is different in the transmission that makes some towable with out messing with the transfer case and some not?  Just curious....LOL

It has to do with lubricating the transmission gears.  Automatic transmissions are lubricated via a pump on the engine shaft.  If the engine isn't turning, the gears and bearings don't get any oil.

Remco used to sell an electric driven pump to get around this problem but I think it's discontinued - probably because it's installation was too complicated.

Putting the transfer case in neutral disconnects the transmission from the driveline, so the transmission doesn't turn as the car is towed down the road.  But this doesn't work if your transfer case is pushbutton activated instead of having a lever that can be placed in neutral.

Manual transmissions are lubricated by the gears splashing oil around as they turn.  But not all manual transmissions are towable without a disconnect - if they use the the gears on the engine shaft instead of the output shaft to sling the oil around there won't be any lubrication unless the engine is running.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2012, 11:49:57 AM by Lou Schneider »

Ned

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Re: Looking for an American Made Car that can be towed 4 down?
« Reply #21 on: January 15, 2012, 12:03:46 PM »
Quote
But this doesn't work if your transfer case is pushbutton activated instead of having a lever that can be placed in neutral.

Not universally true.  Our GMC 2007 Canyon has a pushbutton transfer case and can be put into neutral for towing.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
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ArdraF

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Re: Looking for an American Made Car that can be towed 4 down?
« Reply #22 on: January 15, 2012, 06:09:32 PM »
Which just goes to show there are no easy answers to the question!  But, Lou, you put your answer into something easily understood for which I thank you.  ::)

ArdraF
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NY_Dutch

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Re: Looking for an American Made Car that can be towed 4 down?
« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2012, 07:41:00 PM »
It has to do with lubricating the transmission gears.  Automatic transmissions are lubricated via a pump on the engine shaft.  If the engine isn't turning, the gears and bearings don't get any oil.

Remco used to sell an electric driven pump to get around this problem but I think it's discontinued - probably because it's installation was too complicated.
Remco is still very much in business and still selling transmission lube pumps, Lou. The installation on most vehicles is not terribly complex, and in most cases just involves installing one or two port adapters and a drain plug adapter, followed by routing hoses from each adapter back to the pump via a pressure switch block. Running the control wiring up to the dash of the motorhome is sometimes the hardest part of the job.
Dutch
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judway

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Re: Looking for an American Made Car that can be towed 4 down?
« Reply #24 on: January 15, 2012, 08:43:24 PM »
Just remember that warranties are no longer in effect for the transmission from the car manufacturer, if you tow it. Remco will give you 10,000 miles or 1 year from the date of installation if you have less than 4,000 miles on your vehicle. Cost is about $1000 for the hardware and 6 hours of labor. You still have the cost of transmission fluid, other incidentals and the tax.

I towed my new 2011 Chevy Cruze about 350 miles when it self destructed. GM and I are still working on getting a resolution for the problem. Final settlement is expected before the end of the month ;D.

Look at www.remcotowing.com to see what pumps are available. Drew at Remco seems like a great person.

Wayne
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Lou Schneider

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Re: Looking for an American Made Car that can be towed 4 down?
« Reply #25 on: January 15, 2012, 10:17:37 PM »
Thank you Wayne and Dutch - it's good to know Remco is still selling lube pumps.

I hadn't kept up with what's available because I haven't need to - my 1993 Nissan Sentra tows just fine 4 down as-is.  And the Bronco II I took to Moab last year was the same way.

4ducksrus

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Re: Looking for an American Made Car that can be towed 4 down?
« Reply #26 on: January 16, 2012, 09:50:13 AM »
Just remember that warranties are no longer in effect for the transmission from the car manufacturer, if you tow it. Remco will give you 10,000 miles or 1 year from the date of installation if you have less than 4,000 miles on your vehicle. Cost is about $1000 for the hardware and 6 hours of labor. You still have the cost of transmission fluid, other incidentals and the tax.

I towed my new 2011 Chevy Cruze about 350 miles when it self destructed. GM and I are still working on getting a resolution for the problem. Final settlement is expected before the end of the month ;D.

Look at www.remcotowing.com to see what pumps are available. Drew at Remco seems like a great person.

Wayne

If it says that it is towable 4 wheels down than how can it cancel out the warranty?  I've been reading all of the manuals from the cars we're considering and right now we're looking at CR-V and EDGE and both say in their manuals that they can be towed 4 down.  I can't imagine that if the tranny went out that they would not cover it.  Sounds like a lawsuit to me....JMO
Jim & Mikie

2011 Itasca Meridian 40U
2013 Jeep Rubicon
2003 HD Ultra Classic
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Ned

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Re: Looking for an American Made Car that can be towed 4 down?
« Reply #27 on: January 16, 2012, 09:59:35 AM »
If it says that it is towable 4 wheels down than how can it cancel out the warranty?  I've been reading all of the manuals from the cars we're considering and right now we're looking at CR-V and EDGE and both say in their manuals that they can be towed 4 down.  I can't imagine that if the tranny went out that they would not cover it.  Sounds like a lawsuit to me....JMO

The warranty would be voided if the vehicle is towed using a lube pump for the transmission.  If it's towable 4 down as is, then there is no problem.  It's only when the vehicle is modified, and the modification causes a failure that the manufacturer could void the warranty.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

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judway

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Re: Looking for an American Made Car that can be towed 4 down?
« Reply #28 on: January 16, 2012, 10:43:19 AM »
Sorry! I left out an important sentence at the beginning of my post. My post was meant to only apply to cars which were NOT towable all four wheels down. Ned's post clarified it. Thanks Ned!
Wayne
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2012 Chevrolet Malibu
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geodrake

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Re: Looking for an American Made Car that can be towed 4 down?
« Reply #29 on: January 16, 2012, 02:49:01 PM »
I have a 2008 Honda Fit that is all set up for towing.  PM me if interested.
George Drake