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Old 10-07-2013, 05:43 PM   #1
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Mini Cooper as a toad

Has anyone used a Mini Cooper as a toad? All wheel drive? Manual vs Auto Trans? Wondering as we now have a new 2014 Interstate and towing my Jeep 4 door is close to the 5000# weight restrictions.

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Old 10-08-2013, 06:44 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Bikerbill View Post
Has anyone used a Mini Cooper as a toad? All wheel drive? Manual vs Auto Trans? Wondering as we now have a new 2014 Interstate and towing my Jeep 4 door is close to the 5000# weight restrictions.
Roadmaster offers a towbar mounting kit for 2011~2012 Mini Coopers. Hardtop S, Convertible S, or Clubman S only (no JCW, Sport, or Aero). Motorhome Magazine's annual "Guide to Dinghy Towing" for 2013 doesn't list the Mini Cooper, so apparently newer models aren't considered towable.

I tow a 2013 Honda Fit behind my 2012 Interstate. But I also considered the Chevy Sonic, which would have been almost directly comparable except that it's such an ugly little bugger. I didn't really consider a Mini Cooper.

Curb weight on the Honda Fit is about 2600 pounds, gross weight is about 3500 pounds. Tows like it wasn't even there. If not for the rearview camera, I wouldn't even KNOW it was still there! The Honda is narrower than the Interstate, and the only parts visible in the Interstate's side mirrors is the Honda's side mirrors. The Honda tracks well, and very obediently follows the Airstream Interstate around every turn that the Interstate can handle.

The Honda owner's manual tells me to limit my towing speed to 65mph or less. Towing at 60mph, I get just over 17mpg, about the same as I get at 70mph when NOT towing. So towing doesn't even cost any extra fuel, just extra time.

I went with the Roadmaster Sterling AT motorhome-mounted towbar, partly for the ease of hooking up. I can do it all, solo, in just a few minutes, all but the brake check, which takes two people. I use the Roadmaster Invisibrake supplemental brake system in the Honda, permanently mounted under the driver's seat.

Blue Ox also makes a good towing setup. The main reason I went with the Roadmaster system is that the towbar base plates on the Honda would have been about 2 inches lower with the Blue Ox baseplates, requiring me to use a drop hitch. With the Roadmaster, no drop hitch is required. But that geometry may be different on a Mini Cooper, os maybe in your case Blue Ox might be better in that regard; I don't know. If your Interstate is an Extended model, definitely pay attention to baseplate mounting height on your chosen toad; you really don't want to use a drop hitch on an extended model Interstate!
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Old 10-08-2013, 12:26 PM   #3
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The extra time it takes to go 65 vs. 70 is. Not enough to matter.
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Old 10-13-2013, 05:04 AM   #4
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Just a note here...I have an Allegro Bus 43 QGP, and tow a 2013 Subaru Impreza...manual transmission only! It has a Roadmaster baseplate and adapter to a Demco tow bar. Wired also for the brake controller and interior LED tail/stop lights. This is AWD, and I have not had any issues. Subaru is what Tiffin Motorhomes uses when they deliver and have towed them for hundred's of thousands of miles. Weight is about 3,000 pounds and this is with sunroof and fancy wheels. The Subaru is a very good handling car and mine was only about $24,000 new plus mechanicals for towing.
Happy trails and Good Luck
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