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 > towing a Smart Car

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Mike134

Elgin, IL

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Posted: 06/23/21 02:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ferndaleflyer wrote:

Ok folks. I have a 2014 Smart and have towed it probably 15,000mi around the eastern US. I use a dolly. It takes 5min to load it and put it out of gear and hit the road. No unhooked battery, bungy on the steering wheel, etc. Just strap it down leave the key on and transmission out of gear. Its pretty simple. By the way good luck finding someone, even a Mercedes dealer, to work on it. Seems to scare them. But it is a good car to travel with as it is so light, about 1800lbs, and small and easy to park where others can't. Make it simple. Hope this helps.


IF it's 1800 lbs no mickey mousing around to get the brakes to work just need turn signals and lights.


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Alan_Hepburn

San Jose, Ca, USA

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Posted: 06/23/21 05:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Prior to 2008 the smart 4two was the model 450, and was available only as a grey-market vehicle. It could not be towed 4-down due to the design of the transmission. In 2008 it finally became available as the model 451, with a completely redesigned transmission and the 2008 and newer cars are, indeed, towable.


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Y-Guy

Tri-Cities, WA

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Posted: 06/23/21 08:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ferndaleflyer wrote:

Looks like the moderators have taken over this thread...

Really? Taken over the thread? The thread was moved by one Mod, I took the time to share my thoughts on flat towing and referenced another, ongoing threat, and that's taking over?

Your comment is very valuable and appreciated, but that doesn't mean the thread should be closed. Do what works best for you, but let the OP have the knowledge that others may have too.

As Aunt Bethany said, "Play Ball"

JRscooby

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Posted: 06/24/21 04:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mike134 wrote:



IF it's 1800 lbs no mickey mousing around to get the brakes to work just need turn signals and lights.


I would check that. What is the loaded weight of the MH? And the GVWR of MH?
Brakes on a vehicle are designed to stop the GVWR of the vehicle plus a reserve for safety. If the GCVWR of MH and toad is over the GVWR, you are riding in that margin.

Tom_M

New Hope, MN

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Posted: 06/24/21 06:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ferndaleflyer wrote:

Ok folks. I have a 2014 Smart and have towed it probably 15,000mi around the eastern US. I use a dolly. It takes 5min to load it and put it out of gear and hit the road. No unhooked battery, bungy on the steering wheel, etc. Just strap it down leave the key on and transmission out of gear.
The Smart is a rear wheel drive car, so do you tow it backwards with the rear wheels on the dolly? If so, the only thing you would have to do is tie the steering wheel down. There's no way you could get it set up in 5 minutes. If you tow with the front wheels on the dolly I would say that you have been lucky so far.

One big advantage using a dolly is you don't need to install a base plate for the car, which is quite expensive. Otherwise it would be more work using a dolly.

When I got my car set up I went about four blocks to the nearest gas station. When I got there the doors where locked, the gas fill door was locked and it was in gear. The locks are electric and the battery was disconnected. The only thing I forgot to do was wait for the dash panel to go dark prior to disconnecting the battery. It's likely that the transmission remains in gear until the dash panel goes dark. With the transmission in gear it's likely that the alternator spun up and created power. If I had hit the road first off, the engine would have been trashed and possibly the transmission.


Tom
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JRscooby

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Posted: 06/24/21 07:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Tom_M wrote:

ferndaleflyer wrote:

Ok folks. I have a 2014 Smart and have towed it probably 15,000mi around the eastern US. I use a dolly. It takes 5min to load it and put it out of gear and hit the road. No unhooked battery, bungy on the steering wheel, etc. Just strap it down leave the key on and transmission out of gear.
The Smart is a rear wheel drive car, so do you tow it backwards with the rear wheels on the dolly? If so, the only thing you would have to do is tie the steering wheel down. There's no way you could get it set up in 5 minutes. If you tow with the front wheels on the dolly I would say that you have been lucky so far.

One big advantage using a dolly is you don't need to install a base plate for the car, which is quite expensive. Otherwise it would be more work using a dolly.

When I got my car set up I went about four blocks to the nearest gas station. When I got there the doors where locked, the gas fill door was locked and it was in gear. The locks are electric and the battery was disconnected. The only thing I forgot to do was wait for the dash panel to go dark prior to disconnecting the battery. It's likely that the transmission remains in gear until the dash panel goes dark. With the transmission in gear it's likely that the alternator spun up and created power. If I had hit the road first off, the engine would have been trashed and possibly the transmission.


Back in the early '80s I built a couple of trailers for friends that had VW based dune buggies. To load, back straddle the frame, up ramps. When rear wheels crossed trailer axle they dropped in pans. Put pins in front of and behind front tires, stick tongue in hole, pin in place, and jack it up to get coupler above ball. All 4 off the ground.
To do something like that with a little car you would need to find the percentage of weight on each axle so the trailer axle could be positioned just behind center of weight. Heavy duty hinge could let the back part fold over so not much bigger than normal dolly when not in use.

ferndaleflyer

everywhere

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Posted: 06/24/21 07:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Tom I had my first Smart in Switzerland many years ago, never towed it. When we got back to the states we bought one, a 2009, and towed all over the country as described above with the front wheels on the dolly. In 2014 we got the current Smart and it to has been towed mostly in the eastern US. Covid held us back some. I did wear out one dolly but as far as any problems with the Smart we have had none. I bought in the first place as my research at the time indicated it could be towed 4 down or on a dolly, trans in neutral, ignition on, ( has to be in park to turn switch off). I said I could load it in 5 min maybe not but no more than 10. You only have to strap down 2 wheels and its done.

fj12ryder

Platte City, MO

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Posted: 06/24/21 08:11am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just curious, why use a dolly if it can be towed four down, and it's rear wheel drive?


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Bird Freak

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Posted: 06/24/21 02:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would use a small single axle trailer. You can back up!


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ferndaleflyer

everywhere

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Posted: 06/24/21 03:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My reason for using a dolly was because it offered me the opportunity to tow our Toyota Camry as well as any other front wheel drive car or SUV. Also at the time I bought our first dolly it was about $800 new and I couldn't get a car set up 4 four down that cheap....Bird man in all these years only once have I been put in a position to have to back up. 10 min to unhook car and dolly and another 10 to hook it back up. About 10 years to get over being stupid enough to get in that position. I also have a Featherlite open trailer if I need it.

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