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Old 12-08-2012, 05:56 PM   #29
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Next step after I get the license plate and inspection sticker is to take it to Camping World and get the towing baseplates installed.
Good news for me. No need to go to Camping World after all. My local Airstream dealer, Airstream of Mississippi (AKA Foley RV Center), carries all the parts I need, and said they could do the install. Much rather them do the work than Camping World!
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Old 12-08-2012, 06:18 PM   #30
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What baseplate does Airstream of Mississippi install? Roadmaster, Blue Ox, or ?

What toad braking system will you use along with lights (bulb or diodes) for the Fit?

Lots of money to spend getting that Fit ready!

Barry
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Old 12-09-2012, 04:59 AM   #31
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What baseplate does Airstream of Mississippi install? Roadmaster, Blue Ox, or ?

What toad braking system will you use along with lights (bulb or diodes) for the Fit?

Lots of money to spend getting that Fit ready!

Barry
Either one. Obviously they don't keep parts in stock for the hundred or so vehicles that can be towed four-down, and can order either Roadmaster or Blue Ox from their suppliers. I'm going with the Roadmaster system because it appears that the attachment points for the towbar will be higher, more-or-less in line with the bumper (though the sockets are still below the Fit's bumper). This means I won't need to use a drop hitch to keep the towbar level.

I'm also going with separate bulbs, on the advice of Airstream of Mississippi, who expressed some concern that tying into the existing lights would create a problem with the Fit's dashboard idiot lights concerning the lighting system. This seems to be supported by comments on the FitFreak forum as well. The taillight housings are plenty big enough for the extra bulbs.

It's a lot of money to get the Fit ready to be towed, all right. However, I'll thank myself for doing it the next time I have to evacuate for a hurricane and I can take both vehicles instead of driving one and leaving one behind to weather the storm. And, since I already got the okay from the insurance company, all I have to do is provide them with copies of the parts invoice, and they'll include the towing system in the insurance coverage. In the event of a total loss I'll only be out the labor cost for installation. That's one nice thing about adding the car to the RV's insurance policy; they understand toads.
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:08 PM   #32
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Thanks for the detailed answer. The only thing not covered is what supplementary braking system are you going to use for the FIT?

If you had a CRV toad, then one popular choice would be the SMI Stay-In-Play Duo. But installers say for a FIT that it is a very difficult install since the engine parts that to be tied to are extremely hard to reach on a FIT.

Also on the Honda CRV NAV units, there is a battery drain that seems to affect only the NAV units. So fuse pulling or a Toad Charge seems to be the solution for a CRV.

I would assume that your FIT with NAV might have the same problem. The FIT battery is even smaller than on the CRV. Any thoughts?

Barry
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:26 PM   #33
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Thanks for the detailed answer. The only thing not covered is what supplementary braking system are you going to use for the FIT?

If you had a CRV toad, then one popular choice would be the SMI Stay-In-Play Duo. But installers say for a FIT that it is a very difficult install since the engine parts that to be tied to are extremely hard to reach on a FIT.

Also on the Honda CRV NAV units, there is a battery drain that seems to affect only the NAV units. So fuse pulling or a Toad Charge seems to be the solution for a CRV.

I would assume that your FIT with NAV might have the same problem. The FIT battery is even smaller than on the CRV. Any thoughts?

Barry
Roadmaster Invisibrake. It includes a connection for the toad battery to be charged off the towing vehicle's alternator while underway, and requires no connections to the engine system except a tap into the vacuum line for the power brakes (it includes its own vacuum pump). I believe it also includes a check valve so that when the engine is running and pulling its own vacuum (vehicle not being towed) the Invisibrake won't interfere with normal braking. Unit mounts under the driver's seat.

You're right about the battery size on the Fit. I looks like a motorcycle battery.

I may still pull the fuse for the nav system, however, in spite of the power connection, just to be sure.
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:44 PM   #34
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It's a lot of money to get the Fit ready to be towed, all right.
Protagonist,

If you don't mind my asking, what was the bottom line on your install? I am in sticker shock after being told that with a Stay and Play brake system, Falcon- All Terrain, tow plate, plus installation would be $3,500. Your Sprinter was plug and play ready, correct?

I chickened out on towing a Rubicon and opted for a Wrangler Sport S model. It is four hundred pounds curb weight lighter than a Rubicon. I intend on removing the backseat (around 60-80#I am told), towing with near dry gas tank (around 90# saving) and possible using plastic doors (saving ~ 100). This will cut my curb weight to something like ~3450. My Interstate already has towed a 3200# Jeep Cherokee on it's inaugural run. We purchased our Intersate from a dealer near L.A. and to avoid paying sales tax in California we had to take out-of-state delivery. This entailed having a guy drive our van to Henderson, NV while towing his Cherokee. In Nevada we met a notary and signed our papers in a parking lot.

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Old 12-13-2012, 08:26 PM   #35
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If you don't mind my asking, what was the bottom line on your install?
Don't have a bottom line yet. I was supposed to take the car in and let the Airstream dealer take a look at it so they could order all the right parts. Instead, I'm in Oklahoma for my dad's funeral.

The install probably will happen next month sometime. I'll let you know then.
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:24 AM   #36
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Protagonist,

Sorry to hear about your Dad. No worries about my question.

I may check with George Sutton, the Eugene, OR (home of the Ducks) Airstream Dealer, about setting up my Wrangler. Thanks for that idea.

David
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Old 12-14-2012, 07:30 AM   #37
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Protagonist,

Sorry to hear about your Dad. No worries about my question.

I may check with George Sutton, the Eugene, OR (home of the Ducks) Airstream Dealer, about setting up my Wrangler. Thanks for that idea.

David
My Airstream dealer's parts depertment has access to the whole line of Roadmaster and Blue Ox towing equipment. Glad I found that out, because the previous plan was to get it done at Camping World's service department. Given a choice between the two, I'll take the Airstream dealer any day!
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:08 AM   #38
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+1000 on that!
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:16 AM   #39
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I've been reading about towing with the Interstate and have found that the Sprinter is a unibody as opposed to a built on frame vehicle. It looks like a unibody vehicle may not hold up as well for towing as a BOF vehicle. Does anyone have any information about this ? Thanks
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:28 AM   #40
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I've been reading about towing with the Interstate and have found that the Sprinter is a unibody as opposed to a built on frame vehicle. It looks like a unibody vehicle may not hold up as well for towing as a BOF vehicle. Does anyone have any information about this ? Thanks
You sure? Winnebago makes a small Class A (their Via model) on a Sprinter frame. Several companies make a Sprinter Class C, starting with a cab-and-chassis. Sure, it's a lightweight frame, but a frame nonetheless.

Besides, it's not like I'm going to be towing full-time. And my Honda Fit has a curb weight of only about 2600 pounds, well under the rated towing capacity.
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:23 AM   #41
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I've been reading about towing with the Interstate and have found that the Sprinter is a unibody as opposed to a built on frame vehicle. It looks like a unibody vehicle may not hold up as well for towing as a BOF vehicle. Does anyone have any information about this ? Thanks
The difference, if there is one at all, is probably something like "19.9 years" instead of "20 years". I wouldn't worry about it if you're within the weight limits that are specified.
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Old 01-13-2013, 05:29 PM   #42
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Daisey,

The Sprinter van IS unibody construction but it features an "integral frame" which is explained in this post from the Sprinter Forums:

Unibody or Body on Frame? - Sprinter-Forum

How Mercedes cleverly "mirror-image" doubles up on this integral frame to create the even more robust frame on the cab and chassis is explained as well.

It doesn't matter whether you have the van instead of the cab and chassis. Both are rated by the manufacturer at 5000 pounds for my 2006 model, I think even more for your newer one.

My rig is heavy, running 14,500 pounds of the allowable 15,200 combined rate and has performed well for over 15,000 miles.

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Incidentally, the Fiat DUCATO, a serious competitor for the Sprinter, is rumoured to be coming to America:

Ducato RV platform may follow Fiat Doblò van to the US - National RVing | Examiner.com

This is a beautiful vehicle which already commands 2/3 of the RV motor home upfit market in Europe. Note particularly the double rear wheeled model, reminiscent of the futuristic GMC motor homes of the 1970's.

Sergei

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