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Author Topic: Recommend Best Car for Towing  (Read 2121 times)

paultrek

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Recommend Best Car for Towing
« on: January 15, 2013, 07:11:20 PM »
Hi All,
I'm new to the Forum.  I bought a used RV last year (Class C) and love it!
I want to tow a small car around so I don't have to break camp all the time to go somewhere.  I have a new AWD and a year old 4WD (the wife's), and from what I see I should not tow either one.

What would ya'all recommend for towing?  I am thinking about a used Honda, Saturn, etc., small coupe or hatchback, hopefully less than 5K investment.  It has to be auto trans (the wife will not drive a stick).  Is auto/front drive OK for towing?
Look forward to your replies, and thanks!

donn

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Re: Recommend Best Car for Towing
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2013, 07:13:40 PM »
Look at Suzuki sidekick or Grand Vitara for starters

gwcowgill

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  • Retired USAF, Retired Instructor Dade County
Re: Recommend Best Car for Towing
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2013, 07:36:10 PM »
I happen to tow a Jeep Liberty but you will see many opinions on here. Many love the Honda cars which can be towed 4 down with Automatic transmissions...check the year and model. The Suzuki in 4 wheel drive make excellent tow vehicles as mentioned above.
2009 Bounder 36B, 2014 Honda CR-V, various grandchildren when school is out. KG4LHS

Pierat

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Re: Recommend Best Car for Towing
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2013, 10:01:05 AM »
There are a lot of choices mentioned in other threads. We have towed a 2009 Honda CR-V (auto, 2WD) and enjoyed it. There seem to be quite a few of those around the forum.
We Have Hung Up The Keys!
Washington State

Gary RV Roamer

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Re: Recommend Best Car for Towing
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2013, 10:11:35 AM »
There are many choices for towable vehicles - see the Motorhome Magazine Dinghy Towing Guide for a list of vehicles that require no mods to tow. And many more can be towed with some modifications, typically a transmission lube pump or a drive shaft disconnect. Both of those will run upwards of $1000 (installed), though. Might be worth checking into one of those mods for your existing vehicles, though.

In general, front drive automatics will require the addition of a transmission lube pump, but there are some exceptions, e.g. the GM Lambda family (Acadia, Traverse, Enclave & Outlook).

4WD vehicles that have a neutral in the transfer case are nearly always towable. AWD mostly are not, but once again, there are exceptions.

You may find this Dinghy Towing Basics article helpful as well.

If you can find a Suzuki Grand Vitara or Chevy Tracker 4-door 4WD SUV, that would be an excellent choice at a moderate price. A Honda CRV is also a great small toad, but likely to cost more than the other two. Older Honda Accords and Civics, most Jeeps, and most Saturns are also good bets, but always verify towability before buying.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2013, 10:16:26 AM by Gary RV Roamer »
Gary
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Charles Tuit

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Re: Recommend Best Car for Towing
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2013, 09:48:35 AM »
If price is the driving factor, one of the main reasons I bought a Suzuki XL-7 (or Grand Vitara/Chevy Tracker) was it has a history of bad resale value. They can be had at bargin prices compaired to other toads. My 02 XL-7 has been driven 90,000 miles and towed over 150,000 miles. Front wheel bearings and brakes/battery were the only repairs. IMHO a excellent toad.

Charlie Tuit
02 Journey (176,000 miles) XL-7 toad

n7qvu

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  • '98 Bounder 34P Chevy
    • Overgaard, AZ weather
Re: Recommend Best Car for Towing
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2013, 11:35:27 AM »
>>has a history of bad resale value

I would also 'assume' this bad resale might keep most thieves away.  :)
Jerry Wyatt
'98 Bounder 34P, Chevy P30 7.4MPI
BU-10350, FMCA-F428025
Ham call: N7QVU - Extra/VE
US Army MP(69-71)
Home: Overgaard, AZ

DZLTEK

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Re: Recommend Best Car for Towing
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2013, 09:44:56 PM »
Information for what it's worth, I purchased a used 05 Saturn Vue front wheel drive with the 3.5 Honda V6 a few years ago and I'm using as our towed. It's just great for speedy get around around town, is easily prepared for towing (hook it up, start up the engine, run it through reverse and forward for a minute or so, shut it off, leave key in acc. position and remove the ignition fuse). Takes about three minutes to get towing and can be towed all day so long as you stay below 60MPH.
DZLTEK :)

kantra

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Re: Recommend Best Car for Towing
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2013, 05:47:18 PM »
Saturn's are the best to tow all you have to do in put it in neutral and go nothing else. The new Malibu is also equipped for this kind of towing also

Frank Hurst

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Re: Recommend Best Car for Towing
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2013, 10:08:00 PM »
I have a 2004 Malibu that I have driven 80,000 miles and towed 70,000 miles without any problems. I had a battery disconnect switch installed so now all I have to do is place the auto transmission into neutral, turn the ignition to aux., flip the disconnect switch and go.
Frank & Hilda Hurst
2003 Phaeton
2004 Malibu
Semi Retired Relief Veterinarian

geodrake

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Re: Recommend Best Car for Towing
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2013, 07:55:56 AM »
We towed a Honda Fit for a few years.  It worked well.
George Drake

odie1234

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Re: Recommend Best Car for Towing
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2013, 08:02:45 AM »
Quote
The new Malibu is also equipped for this kind of towing also

Not the new ones. The 2013 Malibu owner's manual, page 10-94 says: "Notice: If the vehicle is
towed with all four wheels on the ground, the drivetrain components could be damaged.The repairs would not be covered by the vehicle warranty.  Do not tow the vehicle with all four wheels on the ground. The vehicle was not designed to be towed with all four wheels on the ground. If the vehicle must be
towed, a dolly should be used. See “Dolly Towing”

judway

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Re: Recommend Best Car for Towing
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2013, 08:40:18 AM »
I have a 2012 Malibu and a personal letter from GM saying that it can be flat towed. It requires 5 minutes of engine running before towing. I now have about 4000 miles of towing without any failure.
Wayne
2003 Itasca Horizon 36LD
2012 Chevrolet Malibu
Retired Electrical Engineer
W4SRR

Garry G.

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Re: Recommend Best Car for Towing
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2013, 08:45:27 AM »
I have a 2012 Malibu and a personal letter from GM saying that it can be flat towed. It requires 5 minutes of engine running before towing. I now have about 4000 miles of towing without any failure.
  Does your owner's manual say the same thing as Frank Hurst's 2013?

judway

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Re: Recommend Best Car for Towing
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2013, 09:51:36 AM »
The manual as printed, says it is towable and how to set it up. There was an extra sheet saying it was not towable, but this was concluded to be a mistake. I would NOT consider trying to tow a 2013. The 2012 Equinox is supposed to be towable. Maybe not in 2013. I had a 2011 Cruze and lost the transmission in about 300 miles. GM replaced it even with the 2012 Malibu.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2013, 09:55:02 AM by judway »
Wayne
2003 Itasca Horizon 36LD
2012 Chevrolet Malibu
Retired Electrical Engineer
W4SRR

Garry G.

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Re: Recommend Best Car for Towing
« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2013, 10:24:37 AM »
The manual as printed, says it is towable and how to set it up. There was an extra sheet saying it was not towable, but this was concluded to be a mistake. I would NOT consider trying to tow a 2013. The 2012 Equinox is supposed to be towable. Maybe not in 2013. I had a 2011 Cruze and lost the transmission in about 300 miles. GM replaced it even with the 2012 Malibu.
  Did the Cruze tranny fail because you flat towed it?

Becks

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Re: Recommend Best Car for Towing
« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2013, 01:02:53 PM »
As with many others, we have had very good luck towing a CRV for many years. That said, there are many good light weight toads to choose from.
2006 Travel Supreme
Spartan 42FT Tag Axle
2014 Jeep Rubicon

judway

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Re: Recommend Best Car for Towing
« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2013, 01:33:16 PM »
>>>Did the Cruze tranny fail because you flat towed it?<<<

Yes, it failed while towing it. I was towing it on a trip when someone drove up beside the MH, hollered and pointed back. Lots of transmission fluid vapors coming up through the hood. The next town Chevrolet dealer fixed it under the warranty. After 2500 more miles down the road I got a letter from GM stating that it was no longer guaranteed.

If you want to tow a Cruze or just about any other brand, install a pump by Remco. GM will not guarantee it but Remco will for one year. The Remco pump will be about $2K installed. Many have been installed. I have friends who have used them successfully with toads that were not supposed to be towed flat.
Wayne
2003 Itasca Horizon 36LD
2012 Chevrolet Malibu
Retired Electrical Engineer
W4SRR

Gary RV Roamer

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Re: Recommend Best Car for Towing
« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2013, 04:07:55 PM »
GM (and Ford too) have a couple new 6-speed automatic transmissions that were supposed to be towable, but experience has shown they are not, so they had to back down on the towability claim on several mid-size models. Both Ford and GM have the problem because the transmissions were jointly developed by the two of them.

The original 6T70 tranny used in the GM Acadia/Outlook/Enclave/Traverse and the Ford Edge and a couple other Ford models is towable, but when they made variations of it for lighter duty applications, they must have screwed up the towing characteristics. I suspect some young engineer got the job of cost-reducing it for the smaller cars and decided that some parts weren't really necessary.  I haven't heard if they intend to fix the design or just accept the towing restriction.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2013, 04:09:41 PM by Gary RV Roamer »
Gary
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Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition
2007 GMC Acadia
Homebase: Ocala National Forest, FL