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fortow
I'm new to both the Smart car and to these forums. We just took delivery of our 2008 Passion model (Canadian) on August 15.

It was purchased for the intention of towing behind our motorhome, in addition to being a "cute" and economical car for everyday transportation, naturally.

My question is - we need to install a tow bar and for that there needs to be a base bracket installed on the Smart car. Has anyone done this already, and if so did they do it themselves? Any insight into the brand of towbar/base plate and any pitfalls related to the installation would be most appreciated.

For those who don't alread know, the 2008 model has been redesigned to permit 4 wheel down towing. I suspect that this will make it even more popular as the size and weight make for an almost perfect "dinghy" to be towed - in my opinion at least. smile.gif
Dave777
Blue ox is one dealer, at least in the USA. http://www.blueox.us/baseplates.cfm?mfg=ME...p;submit=Search

I can't find a specific discussion of it on this forum, but the smartcarofamerica forum has multiple discussions. http://www.smartcarofamerica.com/forums/ Use their "search" function and search for "flat tow" or "blue ox."

I know one of the issues has been having the steering wheel go lock to lock during tight turns while being towed, and I think the solution has been to use bungee cords on the wheel, but I really don't follow those discussions very closely.
Wayne
Smart Car Universe has recently started selling a trailer for towing a smart, if you wanted to go a different way.

Wayne.
Mike T
That would be my advice too, as the drivetrain will age prematurely with all four down.
SmartieParts
This is the one from SCU: http://smartcaruniverse.com/trailers/motorhometrailer.php
smartzuuk
You need to trailer the car IMO if you want to tow full time behind a motorhome. I don't know what redesigning was done, but I can only presume it was done to allow normal towing in case of break down.
Dave777
QUOTE (smartzuuk @ Aug 18 2008 - 05:23 PM) *
You need to trailer the car IMO if you want to tow full time behind a motorhome. I don't know what redesigning was done, but I can only presume it was done to allow normal towing in case of break down.



Smart has approved the car for flat towing, with no restrictions. They are otherwise so incredibly prolific with all the warnings in the manual for every little thing. There is no warning for this. Flat towing is approved. No restrictions.
Mike T
That's fine if you don't mind wearing out the tires, front wheel bearings, rear wheel bearings and rear halfshaft bearings way faster than the rest of the car.

I don't see why having a little trailer for a smart would be considered a bad investment, if the smart is to be anything other than disposable. I do see lots of vehicles flat-towed and it blows my mind all the time. For such a small car, it would be $3600 well spent IMO.
bilgladstone
If you intend to tow "4-down" you will have to address the steering issue in turns. I've read several reports of smart car steering flipping rapidly full-lock-to-full-lock (left and right), which sounds to me like a recipe for disaster!

B sun.gif
fortow
Thanks for all the comments. In my investigations, including a letter from Mercedes Canada, the 2008 model was redesigned to permit 4 down towing with no restrictions. There are no reservations on that issue.
For the tow bar I'll be ordering a Blue Ox Aventa LX and baseplate which will be installed by myself. In discussing the installation with techs who have tackled the job, it is somewhat time consuming with no problems that are insurmountable. Apparently there have been issues regarding wiring the lights but that will be be a non-issue if external towing lights connected from the motorhome are used. I also intend to not install any brake control leaving that on a 'as needed/required' basis for now. The weight of the car is 10% of the weight of the tow vehicle so this may not be an issue. Experience will determine that. If anyone has an alternate viewpoint or experience with a dinghy of this weight, please comment.

Reports of occasional steering wobble are somewhat disconcerting but apparently that has not be a universal complaint. Aparently is it also not just a phenomenon with towing the Smart car. One solution appears to be the use of bungee chords to help center the steering wheel. Any comments on experiences of this nature would also be appreciated.

If procedures go as planned, I'll post my experiences.
kwaldron
I had always assumed that the towing rigs for these cars also included connection to the steering arms to keep the front wheels correctly oriented as you turn. Well I guess you learn something everyday.
Doozy
has anyone found an enclosed trailer designed (ie not big) to carry a smart behind an RV?
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