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Old 04-16-2013, 08:02 AM   #1
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Towing question

I will be picking up my 2014 Interstate soon, and the dealer is 500 miles from me. I can rent a one-way auto for about $350-$400, or I can drive my 3500 pound Chevy Malibu and tow it back home. The Malibu is fully equipped to be towed, except it will not have an operating auxiliary brake system. My research (while confusing) suggests that there are no specific state laws in NY, OH, &PA requiring a braking system, but I am wary of doing so. Also, while the interstate has a 5000 pound towing capacity, I am not sure the brakes are equal to the task.

I am inclined to err on the side of safety, and rent a car, but I would appreciate your thoughts, suggestions and comments . Am I being too conservative? Is the interstate capable of towing this car? Are there any state laws to prohibit it?... Thanks in advance
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:10 PM   #2
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Where are you going to pickup your Interstate?

Recommend you check with several rental car places. Last October when I rented a one-way car from Baltimore to Lakewood NJ it was only about $50 plus taxes from Enterprise. There is an Enterprise rental office within a short walk of Colonial Airstream.

Your total weight with tow is more that the 11,030 lbs GVWR and you are exceeding the design capability of the Sprinter brakes. Depending on which Interstate you are buying it would be just a little over or a lot over the GVWR for a EXT Lounge model.
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:16 PM   #3
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Can you get a friend to help? That's what I did when I picked up my B190.
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:24 PM   #4
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Usually a new vehicle requires a breakin before heavy towing. Jim
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:53 PM   #5
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These are all thoughtful responses, and all confirm my sense to abondon the idea of towing.... Thanks
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Old 04-24-2013, 09:01 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Billshop View Post
These are all thoughtful responses, and all confirm my sense to abondon the idea of towing.... Thanks
But if you intend to keep both the Malibu and the Interstate, it may be worthwhile to add an auxiliary brake system to the Malibu. There are several good portable systems that can be moved from car to car, but I'm partial to a permanently-installed Roadmaster Invisibrake, which is what I added to my Honda so I could tow it four-down behind my Interstate.

Best of all, your Interstate dealer can install the brake system in your Malibu in about a day, when you get there, if you call for an appointment first.

My Honda has a 3500-pound GVWR, and my Interstate tows it like it's not even there. Tongue weight is just half the 35 pound weight of the towbar, unlike pulling a trailer. Towing my Honda at 60mph, I even get the same 18 mpg that I get when I'm not towing at 70mph, so it doesn't even burn extra fuel. The trip just takes a bit longer, is all.
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:14 AM   #7
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Will the engine and drive-train in the Interstate be broken in enough to allow towing?
Train, bus, airplane?
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:25 AM   #8
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Will the engine and drive-train in the Interstate be broken in enough to allow towing?
Probably not. The Sprinter owner's manual says this about break-in periods:
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Up to 1000 miles (1500 km)

Run the vehicle in carefully. Drive at varying road and engine speeds.

Avoid heavy loads (driving at full throttle) and high engine speeds. Do not exceed of the maximum speed for each gear.

Do not change down a gear manually in order to brake.

Avoid depressing the accelerator pedal beyond the pressure point (kickdown) and only engage gear 4, 3, 2 or 1 while driving slowly.

After 1000 miles (1500 km)

Gradually bring the vehicle up to full road and engine speeds.
But I'd still trust an Airstream dealer to install a supplemental brake system in a toad before I'd trust Camping World to do it.
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Old 05-16-2013, 10:01 AM   #9
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Usually a new vehicle requires a breakin before heavy towing. Jim
A diesel engine can usually tow immediately. More caution may be in order regarding the tranny,though the coupling of engine and tranny would likely support. Of course, proper weight guidelines and etc. need be followed. I personally always prefer not to tow for the first 1000 mi anyway. That exceeds the usual manufacture guideline by a bit(erring on the side of caution). While towing immediately usually will not affect future fuel economy regarding ring setting in on break-in period of a diesel.

As far as towing lights and brakes; you may consider renting a U-haul type flat trailer. They are set up up to tow your weight of vehicle easily and usually require only a standard "boat towing" set-up. If you do tow w/your new diesel, just follow gentle use precaution for the trip and you should be fine.

Before towing make sure it will not in any way change or void your warranty though.

Personally, I would prefer the helper or rent a car choice to be cautious.
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Old 05-16-2013, 10:08 AM   #10
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Since the original post was two months ago, I have to wonder, Billshop, have you picked up your Interstate yet? If so, what did you actually end up doing?
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Old 05-16-2013, 10:08 AM   #11
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A diesel engine can usually tow immediately. More caution may be in order regarding the tranny,though the coupling of engine and tranny would likely support. Of course, proper weight guidelines and etc. need be followed. I personally always prefer not to tow for the first 1000 mi anyway. That exceeds the usual manufacture guideline by a bit(erring on the side of caution). While towing immediately usually will not affect future fuel economy regarding ring setting in on break-in period of a diesel.

As far as towing lights and brakes; you may consider renting a U-haul type flat trailer. They are set up up to tow your weight of vehicle easily and usually require only a standard "boat towing" set-up. If you do tow w/your new diesel, just follow gentle use precaution for the trip and you should be fine.

Before towing make sure it will not in any way change or void your warranty though.

Personally, I would prefer the helper or rent a car choice to be cautious.
Note: Previous was posted for benefit of readers after date of inquiry to consider. I am aware of date of original post.
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Old 05-16-2013, 10:10 AM   #12
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Note: Previous was posted for benefit of readers after date of inquiry to consider. I am aware of date of original post.
Wasn't criticizing you for the post. Apologies if it seemed that way. I'm genuinely curious if Billshop picked up his Interstate yet, and what he did with regard to towing his car home.
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Old 05-16-2013, 10:10 AM   #13
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Since the original post was two months ago, I have to wonder, Billshop, have you picked up your Interstate yet? If so, what did you actually end up doing?
I knew you'd jump right on that. I was putting the explaination in as you were. Sometimes the date of post does not indicate oversight by poster.
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Old 05-16-2013, 10:27 AM   #14
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Of course the time of my explaination was self explainatory regarding that. No offense taking as I hadn't read your reply yet anyway.
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