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Re: Trailering Micro

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  • William
    Mark, Yes. When I was much younger, a little dumber, and rather desperate, I removed the rear bumper from my 1981 Toyota Starlet, welded a class IV bumper
    Message 1 of 17 , May 11, 2011
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      Mark,
      Yes. When I was much younger, a little dumber, and rather desperate, I removed the rear bumper from my 1981 Toyota Starlet, welded a class IV bumper hitch on the back, and pulled about 1,000 lbs (trailer and motorcycle) for 850 interstate miles. Fresh from the factory the Starlet was rated at a whooping 58 hp (that axle-twisting power was churned out by a 1.3 liter four). My tired, old Starlet probably had considerably fewer ponies by that point. But we made the trip safely and in decent shape. And about three years later I had to replace the transmission (5 speed stick). I suspect the trip shortened the life of the gear box, but we'll never know. But this question isn't about me, it's about you.

      Can you tow 700 or 1,000 lbs with a Yaris? It depends on who's doing the towing. It also depends on what you're towing (trailer brakes?), and where (interstate in major city, or quiet backroads? Long distances or short? Hills? Traffic?). There's a thread on Yaris towing on the Yaris forum that's worth reading. I agree with some of the posters in the thread that frame twist isn't an issue while towing.

      http://www.yarisworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13056

      But like most things on the inter-web, people are polarized on the topic. I think they end up polarized b/c they consider the "who" and the "what" and the "where" and those in favor of towing envision a prudent and careful tower, and those against towing envision a drooling moron behind the wheel.

      My advice? First, mind the transmission. If it's an automatic, you need a transmission cooler or towing will quickly cook the fluid. If it's a stick, just mind the shifts. Second, you can boost the rear coil springs with hard, rubber coil spring helpers. We called them "knuckle busters" when I was a kid. Just jack-up car, jam them between two coils, and drop the car. Third, I'd consider trailer brakes. But a small boat trailer (or a Harbor Freight special)won't have them, and a small trailer isn't set-up to accept brake hubs. Be careful.

      Just my advice. You'll do what you want to.

      Bill, in Texas



      --- In bolger@yahoogroups.com, Mark Albanese <marka97203@...> wrote:
      >
      > Has anyone looked into enhancing the towing ability of a small car?
      >
      > My Yaris is said by the factory to be good for 7-800 pounds. I'm
      > pretty sure its not the engine or even tranny that sets the limit,
      > but the frame itself. Adding just a couple of hundred pounds would
      > expand my choice of cruising boats.
      >
      > Do "load levelers" work in this way? Any other thoughts?
      >
      > Thanks,
      > Mark
      >
    • Myles J. Swift
      Hey, that Micro being pulled by the Ranger is mine, and that was a 4 cylinder Ranger. After that I got a V-6 Dakota and now a basic Cherokee. It was a bit
      Message 2 of 17 , May 11, 2011
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        Hey, that Micro being pulled by the Ranger is mine, and that was a 4 cylinder Ranger.  After that I got a V-6 Dakota and now a basic Cherokee. It was a bit iffy with the little Ranger. Okay in the valley, 3rd gear up hills. From my experience I deduce that 150hp is what you need to tow a Micro with a weeks supplies up a long grade while maintaining highway speeds.

         

        The trailer is a regular power boat type with the drop frames and long bunks. I had to build up the bunks to clear the trailer fenders and mounted centerline rollers that actually hold most of the weight, the center one hits the middle of the keel area. I can launch in most cases with the truck tires at the waterline. The main problem is retrieval alone. Windage makes it hard to keep the stern aligned without help. I put a winch strap around the base of the mast, pull it in until there is some weight on the trailer, re-align it and winch it up tight.

         

        MylesJ

      • Mark Albanese
        Bill, That forum was amusing, proving once again that people will believe whatever is convenient to themselves. The different ratings for Canada (800#), Europe
        Message 3 of 17 , May 11, 2011
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          Bill,

          That forum was amusing, proving once again that people will believe whatever is convenient to themselves.

          The different ratings for Canada (800#), Europe (1200-1500#) and the U.S. (700) are baffling. The go for it crowd assumes it is the same car, but I'm not convinced of that yet.

          I've towed up to a thousand pounds already around town with the manual trans. The car slows but is just up to it. I'd thought one of these might help for longer distances. http://www.powerenterpriseusa.net/products/electric/camcon/camcon.htm It's adjustable on the fly, so you can return to normal settings any time.

          Ah, brakes! If that's the central issue, then there has to be a way to deal with that.

          Thanks much.
          Mark  


          On May 11, 2011, at 6:16 AM, William wrote:

           

          Mark,
          Yes. When I was much younger, a little dumber, and rather desperate, I removed the rear bumper from my 1981 Toyota Starlet, welded a class IV bumper hitch on the back, and pulled about 1,000 lbs (trailer and motorcycle) for 850 interstate miles. Fresh from the factory the Starlet was rated at a whooping 58 hp (that axle-twisting power was churned out by a 1.3 liter four). My tired, old Starlet probably had considerably fewer ponies by that point. But we made the trip safely and in decent shape. And about three years later I had to replace the transmission (5 speed stick). I suspect the trip shortened the life of the gear box, but we'll never know. But this question isn't about me, it's about you.

          Can you tow 700 or 1,000 lbs with a Yaris? It depends on who's doing the towing. It also depends on what you're towing (trailer brakes?), and where (interstate in major city, or quiet backroads? Long distances or short? Hills? Traffic?). There's a thread on Yaris towing on the Yaris forum that's worth reading. I agree with some of the posters in the thread that frame twist isn't an issue while towing.

          http://www.yarisworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13056

          But like most things on the inter-web, people are polarized on the topic. I think they end up polarized b/c they consider the "who" and the "what" and the "where" and those in favor of towing envision a prudent and careful tower, and those against towing envision a drooling moron behind the wheel.

          My advice? First, mind the transmission. If it's an automatic, you need a transmission cooler or towing will quickly cook the fluid. If it's a stick, just mind the shifts. Second, you can boost the rear coil springs with hard, rubber coil spring helpers. We called them "knuckle busters" when I was a kid. Just jack-up car, jam them between two coils, and drop the car. Third, I'd consider trailer brakes. But a small boat trailer (or a Harbor Freight special)won't have them, and a small trailer isn't set-up to accept brake hubs. Be careful.

          Just my advice. You'll do what you want to.

          Bill, in Texas

          --- In bolger@yahoogroups.com, Mark Albanese <marka97203@...> wrote:
          >
          > Has anyone looked into enhancing the towing ability of a small car?
          >
          > My Yaris is said by the factory to be good for 7-800 pounds. I'm
          > pretty sure its not the engine or even tranny that sets the limit,
          > but the frame itself. Adding just a couple of hundred pounds would
          > expand my choice of cruising boats.
          >
          > Do "load levelers" work in this way? Any other thoughts?
          >
          > Thanks,
          > Mark
          >


        • Andrew
          Mark, The towing capacity of a car is determined by a number of factors: - engine/gearbox capacity, the total amount of power required to maintain speed and
          Message 4 of 17 , May 11, 2011
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            Mark,

            The towing capacity of a car is determined by a number of factors:
            - engine/gearbox capacity, the total amount of power required to maintain speed and the low down gearing to get started.
            - the strength of the chassis and tow bar. At least some cars have two OE tow bar packages, light duty and heavy duty. The main difference being the number of attachment points and the strength of the bar.
            - suspension capacity (this is where the level riders come in - they help distribute weight to the front suspension of the car)
            - the capacity of the car's braking system
            - the cars weight.

            Of these the last two are your limitation.

            If your tow load is too heavy for the brakes they will overheat and become ineffective. Driving style comes into this - drive slower and the brakes don't have to work so hard. Toyota would no doubt be concerned that allowing drivers to increase towing loads would increase accidents caused by brake fade and this will be one reason for limiting towing capacity.

            The weight of the car itself determines the amount of friction the tyres have on the road and hence the maximum pulling or stopping force. Wet roads, snow etc. reduce this maximum force. If the trailer is pushing the car down a hill and the car cannot provide enough stopping force a jackknife will result. Trailer brakes reduce the need for a heavy tow vehicle.

            You see a lot of regulations link towing capacity to vehicle weight only. The logic is that the vehicle weight in most vehicles will be related to braking capacity, engine capacity, gearbox capacity and chassis strength.

            Adding 200 pounds is not a lot even though the Yaris is fairly light. Adding weight to the car (tranferring gear from boat to your back seat for instance) will assist braking performance but you don't want to overload your suspension. Conservative driving when towing is always recommended.

            Andrew


            --- In bolger@yahoogroups.com, Mark Albanese <marka97203@...> wrote:
            >
            > Has anyone looked into enhancing the towing ability of a small car?
            >
            > My Yaris is said by the factory to be good for 7-800 pounds. I'm
            > pretty sure its not the engine or even tranny that sets the limit,
            > but the frame itself. Adding just a couple of hundred pounds would
            > expand my choice of cruising boats.
            >
            > Do "load levelers" work in this way? Any other thoughts?
            >
            > Thanks,
            > Mark
            >
          • Mark Albanese
            Andrew, Thanks for all the factors. You helped me realize the Yaris tow weight differences could be all or greatly in the tires or the spring rates, especially
            Message 5 of 17 , May 11, 2011
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              Andrew,

              Thanks for all the factors. You helped me realize the Yaris tow weight differences could be all or greatly in the tires or the spring rates, especially in the Euro version.   

              That deserves researching. Also, a study of levelers, stabilizers and those mean sounding knuckle busters of Bill's.

              Just got a pretty good set of Yokos as the second set of tires. By the time the boat  is done they may need replacing anyhow. 
              An aluminum trailer may also help.

              My Progressive Snapshot score for hard brake events is zero. Brag, brag, brag.
              Mark
               
              On May 11, 2011, at 4:34 PM, Andrew wrote:

               

              Mark,

              The towing capacity of a car is determined by a number of factors:
              - engine/gearbox capacity, the total amount of power required to maintain speed and the low down gearing to get started.
              - the strength of the chassis and tow bar. At least some cars have two OE tow bar packages, light duty and heavy duty. The main difference being the number of attachment points and the strength of the bar.
              - suspension capacity (this is where the level riders come in - they help distribute weight to the front suspension of the car)
              - the capacity of the car's braking system
              - the cars weight.

              Of these the last two are your limitation.

              If your tow load is too heavy for the brakes they will overheat and become ineffective. Driving style comes into this - drive slower and the brakes don't have to work so hard. Toyota would no doubt be concerned that allowing drivers to increase towing loads would increase accidents caused by brake fade and this will be one reason for limiting towing capacity.

              The weight of the car itself determines the amount of friction the tyres have on the road and hence the maximum pulling or stopping force. Wet roads, snow etc. reduce this maximum force. If the trailer is pushing the car down a hill and the car cannot provide enough stopping force a jackknife will result. Trailer brakes reduce the need for a heavy tow vehicle.

              You see a lot of regulations link towing capacity to vehicle weight only. The logic is that the vehicle weight in most vehicles will be related to braking capacity, engine capacity, gearbox capacity and chassis strength.

              Adding 200 pounds is not a lot even though the Yaris is fairly light. Adding weight to the car (tranferring gear from boat to your back seat for instance) will assist braking performance but you don't want to overload your suspension. Conservative driving when towing is always recommended.

              Andrew

              --- In bolger@yahoogroups.com, Mark Albanese <marka97203@...> wrote:
              >
              > Has anyone looked into enhancing the towing ability of a small car?
              >
              > My Yaris is said by the factory to be good for 7-800 pounds. I'm
              > pretty sure its not the engine or even tranny that sets the limit,
              > but the frame itself. Adding just a couple of hundred pounds would
              > expand my choice of cruising boats.
              >
              > Do "load levelers" work in this way? Any other thoughts?
              >
              > Thanks,
              > Mark
              >


            • Eric
              Not getting the tow vehicle wheels wet: ROGUE needs a minimum of four feed of water depth the entire length of the trailer 26 and I tow ROGUE with a two
              Message 6 of 17 , May 11, 2011
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                Not getting the tow vehicle wheels wet: ROGUE needs a minimum of four feed of water depth the entire length of the trailer 26' and I tow ROGUE with a two wheel drive truck. I avoid getting the truck's wheels wet by tying on with rope a wood tow bar to the tongue of the trailer. This extension is the length of the trailer. The other end is attached to the ball hitch with a ubolt around the narrow part of the ball. Works fine, and if there is a stop wall at the bottom of the ramp and I hit it too hard the only thing I break is some scraps of rope easily repaired.

                Because a trailer tows best when the trailer wheels are far back on the trailer, a long tongued trailer tows better than a short tongue trailer.

                I concur with what others have said about towing. Use your own best judgement based upon your needs. Replacing a transmission with a used transmission is cheaper by far than buying and maintaining a special tow vehicle, and likely cheaper than replacing the present vehicle with a better tow vehicle. You can do a cost benefit analysis.

                Eric



                --- In bolger@yahoogroups.com, "thedumbox2" <thedumbox@...> wrote:
                >
                > I'd be keen to hear Micro owners thoughts on trailering Micro. I can't imagine that it would be any more difficult than trailering a Compac 16. What are your experiences? Thanks, Dennis
                >
              • Mark Albanese
                ... Btw in the 600 - 1000# range, another 200 seems to make the difference between too small and just large enough.
                Message 7 of 17 , May 11, 2011
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                  >
                  >
                  > Adding 200 pounds is not a lot
                  >
                  Btw in the 600 - <>1000# range, another 200 seems to make the
                  difference between too small and just large enough.
                • dnjost
                  I concur, launching was not bad, but I added a launch tongue made out of double 2X4 s to get it deeper. I would recommend a drop axle if you can find one to
                  Message 8 of 17 , May 16, 2011
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                    I concur, launching was not bad, but I added a launch tongue made out of double 2X4's to get it deeper. I would recommend a drop axle if you can find one to get the boat as low to the road as possible. A pair of vertical post guides made retrieval quite easy.

                    I would go for the tabernacle if I did it again. It was a fun boat.

                    David Jost

                    --- In bolger@yahoogroups.com, "Myles J. Swift" <mswift@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > My main problem trailering Micro is getting the mast up and down. I need to
                    > change it to a tabernacle if I keep it.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > MylesJ
                    >
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