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Old 07-14-2012, 08:11 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by walk0080 View Post
The thing I worry about with that setup is towing such a heavy trailer, then having the car or trailer loaded... Would I be forced to tow dry and empty? Anyways, I've seen the pics about the Ontario dealership MINI Clubman with the Argosy and I suspect that it is used dry and not for any real travel use.
Not really. You're not going to fly on the hills, of course, but you'd get there.

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If a Class B were to be used, I think it would make most sense to tow 4-down. All the comments about having to find space for the trailer, etc. are very valid. Do the dollies have brakes?
Some do. Mine did.

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Seems to me that leveraging the powerful brakes on the MINI with 4-wheels down would be the best option.
Erm, the brakes on the towed vehicle really shouldn't be used for any more than stopping the towed vehicle only, and maybe a little less than that. In other words, you don't want the Mini trying to stop the camper.

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One thing I wonder is that I have never seen a MINI JCW towed 4 down before - I would have to look into how the rigging would be setup with the JCW Aero Kit.
And whether you need an axle disconnect to do it.

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Perhaps the biggest limitation would be the B van trying to pull all that extra weight. I know the Interstate has 300+ ft lb of torque (let's say up to 11,000 lbs GVW for Interstate + 2,600 lbs MINI)... that seems fairly small compared to some TVs I could look into that would have 425-500 ft lb of torque (for a 11,000 lbs GVW of the TV plus an AS 23' for example).
Nah. The B190 with the 460 had far less power (I want to say both numbers were in the 200 range - I can't find the info right now), and it did just fine over hills while towing a ~3000 lb car and a 581-lb dolly. Perhaps not quickly - I was down to 45 mph in second gear on the worst hills around me - but it still made it over them. Well, except for the time the transmission failed.

Not that I don't love the 375 HP and 570 ft lb torque of the F-250, though.
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Old 07-15-2012, 10:17 AM   #16
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Erm, the brakes on the towed vehicle really shouldn't be used for any more than stopping the towed vehicle only, and maybe a little less than that. In other words, you don't want the Mini trying to stop the camper.
That makes sense. But I bet two drums on a dolly wouldn't have the same braking ability as the four disks on the MINI... in terms of stopping the tow weight... not stopping the TV.

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And whether you need an axle disconnect to do it.
I have a manual.

Thanks Skater, appreciate the responses.
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Old 07-20-2012, 12:02 PM   #17
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Just drive over to London, ON to CAN AM RV. You're next door for Pete's sake. Read all of Andrew T's different posts and threads on AIR first, if you want, and then read his columns as available online in Hitch Hints.

Yes, there is a picture of a Mini used as TV on this board as well as commentary by Mr. Thomson.

Mini and Airstream Argosy.swf - YouTube
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It sounds like that MINI eventually had a transmission failure and possibly other issues most likely due to towing that Airstream.
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Old 07-20-2012, 01:09 PM   #18
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It sounds like that MINI eventually had a transmission failure and possibly other issues most likely due to towing that Airstream.
Yeah, that's why I went with a truck for a tow vehicle for our trailer. I've had bad luck with transmissions that were carrying normal loads, so the last thing I want to try is a load well in excess of the vehicle's tow capacity.
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Old 07-20-2012, 01:11 PM   #19
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It is much easier to hook and unhook them, that's for certain. Also, just to clarify - most cars that have a stick shift can be towed 4-down out of gear.
I did a quick search and the Blue Ox unit *might* fit my MINI (my car has the Aero Kit) but it sure is fugly having those connections permanently sticking out of the lower grill.

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Yep. With the dolly, at a campground, I was able to put the tongue down, then back the B190 over the dolly, so the dolly only added a couple extra feet to the length of the rig (the length of the tray + ramps) while actually camping, and I never had a problem with space. But I can think of a couple campgrounds where a full car trailer would be a serious problem.
Did you move the dolly around by hand into the right spot before backing the van over the dolly? Most of the dollies I have seen are about 500-600 lbs so not sure if that is an easy feat.
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Old 07-20-2012, 07:49 PM   #20
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I did a quick search and the Blue Ox unit *might* fit my MINI (my car has the Aero Kit) but it sure is fugly having those connections permanently sticking out of the lower grill.
Hehe... This was my problem with towing 4-down, too. I have a '99 Mercury Cougar that I love, I've had it 13 years now and still love driving it, and - even if the bracket was available - I didn't want it on my beloved Cougar.

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Did you move the dolly around by hand into the right spot before backing the van over the dolly? Most of the dollies I have seen are about 500-600 lbs so not sure if that is an easy feat.
Yes, it was 581 lbs if memory serves. Moving it on level ground is easy. The hardest part is not lifting it too high (the ramps will scrape). I used to back it up my driveway without a major problem: image here... the dolly is behind/under the camper. Actually the biggest problem was keeping it from rolling back down the driveway after getting it up there.
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Old 07-21-2012, 08:48 AM   #21
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It sounds like that MINI eventually had a transmission failure and possibly other issues most likely due to towing that Airstream.
Quite an assumption. Do you have a reference?

doug k
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Old 07-21-2012, 01:25 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by dkottum

Quite an assumption. Do you have a reference?

doug k
My source was a couple MINI SOMC forum members and not official from the dealership. The car apparently suffered transmission and may have had some suspension problems. Choice is yours if you believe it's true but I would exercise caution trying this setup.

If you really want to find out, call MINI Durham and ask them I guess.
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Old 07-21-2012, 04:56 PM   #23
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Andy Thompson set this Mini combo up. If it had mechanical failure we would like to know the facts, not guesses based on hearsay.

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Old 07-21-2012, 10:24 PM   #24
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Andy Thompson set this Mini combo up. If it had mechanical failure we would like to know the facts, not guesses based on hearsay.

doug k
Anyways back to the original thread subject. Thank you all for the comments. Gives me something to think about. At this point I am to totally sold that an airstream would right for me.
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Old 07-23-2012, 12:11 PM   #25
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I was dissapointed to find out today that the Interstate is not available for sale in Canada nor can I import one from the States. The search continues...!
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Old 07-26-2012, 10:08 AM   #26
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Perhaps the biggest limitation would be the B van trying to pull all that extra weight. I know the Interstate has 300+ ft lb of torque (let's say up to 11,000 lbs GVW for Interstate + 2,600 lbs MINI)... that seems fairly small compared to some TVs I could look into that would have 425-500 ft lb of torque (for a 11,000 lbs GVW of the TV plus an AS 23' for example).
While the Sprinter certainly does not have the towing power of my Ford Powerstroke diesel pickup, it is more than adequate to pull my 18" aluminum flat bed trailer, 1990 BMW 3-series track car, a full set of spare tires, tools, 4 fuel jugs, etc. I have not weighed it, but I figure my trailer fully loaded for race day is about 5500lbs. My Interstate pulls that to the race track at 80mph with no problem and gets 12-13mpg doing it. I think it's a great track day tow vehicle.

If you are just going to autocross, I think pulling a small trailer with the Mini would be great. If you are going to do track days, I would advise you to start trailering the car to the track. You can certainly get by doing your first season of track events driving the car to the track, but it wont be long before you want racing brake pads, sticky dedicated track tires, etc. You will likely want to tow it when you get to that level.
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Old 07-26-2012, 10:11 AM   #27
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Oops. Sorry I did not see your last post before replying. Bummer. Well, you can always buy a basic Sprinter and build you own. Or can you even buy a Sprinter up there? What's the restriction on importing the Interstate?
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Old 07-27-2012, 05:53 PM   #28
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Oops. Sorry I did not see your last post before replying. Bummer. Well, you can always buy a basic Sprinter and build you own. Or can you even buy a Sprinter up there? What's the restriction on importing the Interstate?
Apparently airstream didn't certify it for Canada (i may be using the wrong terminology). The travel trailers are ok and several other manufacturer class b from USA are also ok.

I would have to get a Sprinter and customize or pick another manufacturer... Which of course could still be an option if I have the time and $$ and a reliable shop.
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