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Old 05-02-2014, 11:58 AM   #15
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Yep weight is the challenge. With the well known hill climbing pace being allready slow, it's worthwhile looking for the lightest toad that will cover your needs.
I have been seeing lots of the Suzuki sidekick/ Chevy trackers being towed around the southwest. There are lots of off road areas to explore here abouts.

This is what I am considering using, been into sports cars for years and love being able to explore the mountain roads here in Az.in a fun road car.

I can't seem to get pics to load for some reason.

The car I'm thinking to use, but haven't gotten rigged up for it yet. Is a 1980 Porsche 911. Weight is around 2700lbs. So not the lightest choice, but I have one and really enjoy using it.
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Old 05-02-2014, 01:48 PM   #16
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This is exactly the thing. If I towed the car I enjoyed driving then I would have to repower rhe MH. Good luck with the Porsche, I completely understand! I've driven a Sidekick, and if I could hear myself over the din, I'd have a lot to say about it and it wouldn't be pretty.
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Old 05-02-2014, 02:03 PM   #17
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Yep weight is the challenge. With the well known hill climbing pace being allready slow, it's worthwhile looking for the lightest toad that will cover your needs.
I have been seeing lots of the Suzuki sidekick/ Chevy trackers being towed around the southwest. There are lots of off road areas to explore here abouts.

This is what I am considering using, been into sports cars for years and love being able to explore the mountain roads here in Az.in a fun road car.

I can't seem to get pics to load for some reason.

The car I'm thinking to use, but haven't gotten rigged up for it yet. Is a 1980 Porsche 911. Weight is around 2700lbs. So not the lightest choice, but I have one and really enjoy using it.

If we are talking fun cars I have a Mk I MG Midget with original side curtains. It weighs in at about 1600 lbs. Tows well 4 down gets 30+ mpg and is a ball to drive.


Also where weight is an issue I have a 1958 Citroen 2 CV which is a 4 seater and weighs in at about 1100 lbs. and gets about 60 mpg and tows well 4 down.


These are both fun cars to play in but they were designed and built long before safety was an issue and parts and repair can be a challenge.


That being said the smart has all the latest safety engineering, is still in production so parts and service are available. Something also has to be said about cruising around in comfort with the A/C on and listening to some great tunes. For the open air types choose the smart cabriolet.


There are many ways to look at things but most important is get out and go camping.
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Old 05-02-2014, 03:52 PM   #18
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LOL, My Dad bought a 2CV for the 6 months we spent back in England in the early 70's while Dad was getting over being homesick for the UK, (it didn't take him long to want to come back to Canada).

All I remember of the car was it stalling in Picadilly Circus or Trafalger Square round-a-bout. We happened to be in the inside circle and the swear words coming from Dad and other drivers about the French POS car was epic. The other funny event was a hill climb in Wales where it took three attempts with the four of us and one success with only Dad. One of the attempts was stopped by a Range Rover cresting the hill partially on our side, so Dad had to stop, then back down.

I think I already told you about my 69 Midget, it did have roll up windows as opposed to the side curtain one you have.
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Old 05-02-2014, 04:33 PM   #19
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smart car room?

Any room for our boxer in the smart car? paula
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Old 05-02-2014, 04:49 PM   #20
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Any room for our boxer in the smart car? paula

Rascal our Great Dane puppy rode in the smart until he got to be about 110 lbs.
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Old 05-02-2014, 10:26 PM   #21
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That gives me hope

Bandit weights 50 pounds....a small boxer.....thanks for the picture.....and the info. Paula
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Old 05-03-2014, 10:33 AM   #22
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That Dane is adorable! Good thing we don't have pets.

I can see this is going to be a hard choice because I really love to drive and we do carry guitars with us a lot and, what with needing at least one suitcase for the two of us, the Insight and smart do feel too small. I really hate to overload the motor home tho! All the others I've found that feel safe are 2500 lbs. hmmmmm.

If I put a transmission cooler in there and rebuild the carb, can I get away with 2500 lbs again? Geez. I did manage to tow the Mini but I was single then and that was 10 years ago.
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Old 05-03-2014, 10:42 AM   #23
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I guess I should explain: When we travel, I am often picking Joe up at the airport and he has been traveling with a suitcase, a backpack and a travel guitar. Maybe we could squeeze all that into an Insight of a smart? Hmmmm.
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Old 05-03-2014, 12:22 PM   #24
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2000 lb wt limit

I am curious as to why the 2000 lb wt limit? Is it because of the limit of the hitch or the limit of the 454. I have had people tell me that the 454 can pull anything. Thoughts? paula
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Old 05-03-2014, 12:35 PM   #25
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Great question, Paula, I'd like to know the answer to that too.
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Old 05-03-2014, 01:00 PM   #26
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P30 Service Manual

I googled the P 30 Chassis Service Manual and on page 1-3, there is a chart that shows the GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating) with includes the combined weight of the motor home, all of its contents and the total weight of what is being towed.


The 7.4 L (454) v8 gas shows either 12,500, 13,500, 14,500 or 16,000 pounds depending upon the rear axle ratios. I think my 24' motorhome weighs about 9000 pounds and my gear is probably ? 1000 pounds or more.....question is, what is my MH rear axle ratio?


Also, the hitch on my (1982)24' needs to be cut off and replaced. Doubt it could tow a bicycle. I really don't want to tow a toad and am hoping I can install side cameras and a rear camera that will make driving the MH easier. Paula
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Old 05-03-2014, 01:34 PM   #27
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On the sticker on the headliner over the cab it says maximum vehicle weight 16,500. I have been thinking of that as the GVR and that the toad is extra. Having read someone else's post saying owners manual said 2000 max, I thought I was now looking at 18,500. Maybe now I AM looking at a bicycle.
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Old 05-03-2014, 01:35 PM   #28
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Most of our coaches of that era came with a 4.56 gear ratio. I you want to crawl under the coach there is supposed to be a tag on the differential cover that indicates the ratio.


All parts of the drive train, the structure of the coach and hitch and the ability to stop the whole mess are part of the consideration. You can strengthen the weak links but you need to determine which link is weakest and is there more than one weak link to consider. Another point is the driver. Some think there is something wrong if you can't climb a 6% grade at 75 mph while others are happy at 40 mph. GM and Airstream take all the info and make what they think is the best choice for "Joe Public."


Jenniflow go look at a smart and take some suit cases with you. You will be surprised how much they can hold.
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