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Old 04-12-2021, 09:33 PM   #1
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Default Towing behind a Roadtrek

I have 2005 Roadtrek 210 Popular (Chevy Express 3500 chassis). I would like to tow a Mini Cooper convertible (manual transmission 3000 lbs.) 4 down. Any one have experience towing something like this behind a Roadtrek? Any input is appreciated.
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Old 04-13-2021, 01:25 AM   #2
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Pulled a Jeep Compass on U-Haul dolly from the Phoenix area to northern Utah in the middle of the summer. Lots of long mountain pulls, had to shut off the A/C occasionally. After the heat lessened the engine ran at normal temperature. Plan well ahead, the brakes leave a lot to be desired as the MH is heavy. With TOAD brakes, it would be much better. My 05 210 does have the tow package. No problems with handling were experienced. I don't know about 4 down handling.
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Old 04-13-2021, 04:41 PM   #3
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bjardine, welcome from a fellow Floridiot and ex Radtrek owner.

I have a brother that pulls a couple of different Chevy Trackers 4 down with his early 90's one ton Dodge Roadtrek with a 318.

He originally did not have a braking system for the toad, he discovered early on that a braking system is highly desired.

Do have a means to monitor transmission fluid temps as the Chevies, particularly the four speeds, tend to have a tough time shedding heat. Booster has done a lot of experimenting and engineering to deal with that. Search on the forum for some excellent threads dealing with this.

I had a 2000 Chevy with the 5.7 that I pulled a 2k+ trailer with and trans heat mitigation was an issue in the mountains, both going up and down on the steeper grades, i.e. 6% and higher.

Have fun.
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Old 04-13-2021, 04:49 PM   #4
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Thanks to everybody that responded. I will now look into braking systems to put on the Mini.
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Old 04-13-2021, 04:57 PM   #5
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Also look into a transmission cooler to replace the OEM one. Look into a scan gauge that you can monitor the trans temperature.
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Old 04-13-2021, 05:27 PM   #6
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I tow a 2016 Chevy Sonic LTZ automatic transmission 4 down behind my 12C190P (6L, 6 speed) Roadtrek. Fuel mileage drops from 15 mpg to 13. I use a Ready Brake braking system. Easy-peasy!
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Old 04-18-2021, 08:07 PM   #7
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Some states require brakes on a towed vehicle or trailer and some do not. In California, it's anything above 1500 lbs, but other states it starts at 3000 lbs, and in at least one -- it's 10,000 lbs.
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Old 04-19-2021, 04:52 AM   #8
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We often tow a car with our '01 200V. ('00 3500 chassis with the bigger engine.) The last few years we've towed a 2014 Honda CR-V which weighs about 3400 lbs. The van can easily tow the car at highway speeds over mountains.

Towing 4-down is a lot different from towing with a dolly or a trailer. The car's front end wants to steer straight. When you start a turn the car resists initiating the turn, then finally follows the van. The long lever arm between the Chevy's rear axle and the car amplifies the car's effect on the van. Most drivers can adjust. YMMV.

You cannot back up with the car hooked up. In reverse the car's steering is unstable. Its front wheels will quickly turn to full lock in one direction or the other and you will be scrubbing the front tires across the pavement, as well having little control over which way the car goes. So before getting into a tight situation you have to be certain you won't have to back up. Otherwise you'll waste half an hour unhooking the car, turning the vehicles around, and reattaching the car.

We use an old Brake Buddy, which simply applies the brakes fully at a preset level when a preset deceleration is detected. New proportional braking devices should have a less exciting effect on the van.

A quick internet search shows Mini/BMW does not warranty the transmission if the car is flat towed. OTOH lots of people claim to be flat towing without problems, and others report fried transmissions and of course no warranty coverage.
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