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Old 12-12-2016, 09:48 AM   #1
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Can a Saturn Vue tow a Bambi Sport?

Can I pull an Airstream Bambi Sport with my 2009 Saturn Vue? I have some mixed research info, and want to be clear on if this is a viable option. I hope!

Does anyone out there own this vehicle, and tow a Bambi?

It is a 3.6 L, towing Capacity: 3500 lbs (SUV avg: 3179)

Thanks for any feedback!

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Old 12-12-2016, 11:10 AM   #2
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What's the tongue weight rating on the Vue?

I wouldn't do it. I wouldn't tow anything with a front wheel drive vehicle (actually wouldn't own one, but that's another issue).

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Old 12-12-2016, 11:31 AM   #3
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Vue is a light, front wheel drive, short wheelbase car. Probably not a good idea to tow your Bambi with it. Could be trouble.

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Old 12-12-2016, 12:22 PM   #4
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Can you, yes
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Old 12-13-2016, 11:04 AM   #5
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Short answer

No, that is makes no sense and is a danger to you and others.
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Old 12-13-2016, 11:13 AM   #6
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I think it's a little like a conversation I heard at the AS dealership in Pasadena, CA a few years ago. The dealership had a shiny brand new Bambi in the showroom and a couple was admiring it. They asked a sales rep if the could tow it with their Subaru - and to his credit he honestly answered "sure you can, once". I'm frankly not sure I'd even tow a small pop up with a Saturn, a Honda Accord, or a Toyota Camry for that matter. The Saturn cars were great for transportation and value but it did not seem they were built to be tow vehicles.
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Old 12-13-2016, 11:54 AM   #7
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You might be good for towing around a parking lot on a dry and sunny day. Consider the elements, mountain passes, 80mph tractor trailers, snow, sudden stops, avoiding a deer and the list goes on. I now use a V10 twin turbo TDI, 6,000 lb VW Touareg to pull our 67 Caravel. I did tow it from the Bay Area to Aspen over a few mountain passes with our Mitz Montereo 4 x 4. I also spent 25 years racing sports cars. I have some idea of car control but after a few lurid moments with the Montereo, one quickly learns how fast everything can go pear shaped when towing. Also the stress level is much higher using a vehicle that is not suitable. My guess that the rear brakes on the VUE are drums as well.
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Old 12-13-2016, 12:02 PM   #8
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Just a couple of days ago one response in another thread caught my eye. Some wise man among us stated (correctly...although the exact language escapes me) "yes, it can pull it....but can it stop it". I think this bit of wisdom applies here as well. Safe travels. jon
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Old 12-13-2016, 12:20 PM   #9
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These questions remind me of the time when we rented pop up campers and the people would show up with a U-Haul hitch attached to a Ford Fiesta. Remember the picture of the guy riding a bike pulling an Airstream, sure he could pull it but I bet he bailed off when it came time to stop.
Your answer to the Saturn, yes by all means you can tow your Bambi. No, you cannot stop your Bambi.
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Old 12-13-2016, 02:09 PM   #10
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There is a lot of negativity on this thread. Here is a counterpoint.

Firstly, I don't know specifically about a Saturn Vue. I do see that it has a 3500 lb tow rating, and by the specs, close to 1000 lbs of payload available. Your specific vehicle may be different due to installed options, and whether it is FWD or AWD. Check your door sticker.

I currently have a small sport utility vehicle (same size as the Vue). It is rated to tow 3500 lbs. It does so very well, in my experience. I have towed various trailers, but have not used weight distribution equipment on it. You would have a further advantage of having WD equipment. I wouldn't tow much more than that rating with it.

The Vue has a short wheelbase, but also a very short rear overhang, the distance from the rear axle to the hitch. That helps a lot.

You are in Arizona. I am not clear whether you plan to tow in the mountains. If so, you will likely be slowing down from flat land speeds. You do have around 260 hp, same as my vehicle, and mine does OK through the Canadian Rockies.

By Bambi, I presume you mean the 16 foot. The longer Sport models are heavier.

With 1000 lbs of payload capacity, and 350 published tongue weight (plus a margin for trailer load impacting the tongue weight) you will have to be aware of and manage how much you carry in the Vue. If it is a full car load of people plus luggage, that will be a challenge. If it is two people and light luggage, it seems doable to me.

The correct set up of your hitch and trailer is critical. That matters as much as what you choose to tow with, IMO.

The expert on towing with smaller vehicles is Andy at CanAm in Ontario. Give him a call and ask his opinion. He can advise on the suitability of the vehicle, and on which hitch he would recommend.

I wouldn't throw out the idea of the Vue just because it isn't a large vehicle. I would consider it, recognizing the limitations in payload and in choice of which Airstream you can tow.

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Old 12-13-2016, 02:29 PM   #11
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We purchased our first 16' Airstream partly because it was within the specs for our Honda Pilot. It was rated at 3500 lbs as well. Not once did it seem scary towing up and down the Sierras. It was quite slow up the long steep grades, mostly due to the transmission, I just tried not to be in too much of a hurry.

I'm not sure of your vehicle's specifics, but I never felt like I was endangering anyone by towing a 3000 lb trailer with its own brakes. If the trailer brakes failed, I think the pilot would have stopped it better than our current F150 could stop our 25' FC.

We did upgrade both the trailer and tow vehicle, but I'm glad we dipped our toes in the water before diving in.
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Old 12-13-2016, 03:23 PM   #12
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Jeff's answer sounds very good!
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Old 12-13-2016, 04:51 PM   #13
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+1 on Can-Am RV

I don't know the answer but I bet Andy Thompson at Can-Am RV will know the answer. He can be reached via Air Forums as Andrew_T

The Can-Am web site is

I test drove a Ford Taurus, pulling a 30 ft. Airstream and it was amazing how well it handled. I realize the Taurus and Vue are likely very different vehicles but wanted you to realize there are real world people out there towing with what some would consider odd/unusual tow vehicles.
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Old 12-13-2016, 06:06 PM   #14
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Yes it can.

I have a 2009 with the same size engine and it works fine with a similar sized trailer. Never had a problem except once going over 65 mph with a couple of bicycles attached. Did fine once I slowed down to 55.

You have to balance your budget with capabilities. Just be cool and don't push it. I doubt you are the fool some imply. You would be more of a fool sinking a bunch of money into some unnecessary huge expensive vehicle that is difficult to park and not much fun to deal with when you are not towing - if you can get by with what you have.

See if you can check it out before you part with the money.

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