Tow vehicle advice

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mcahn
Posts: 210
Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2009 4:36 pm

Tow vehicle advice

Post by mcahn »

Hi all,

I’ve been driving my Lotus Elise to the track for years. I’m thinking of towing it instead. Two reasons, the A/C isn’t working (the repair estimate for taking apart the front of the car and replacing the evaporator is ~$3K). Also, I’m in the market for a daily driver, and I’m thinking that could serve as my tow vehicle. Of course there are all the other reasons, such as, I don’t have to drive four hours to Summit Point in a tiny car with all my stuff jammed into it; if the Elise breaks I can tow it home; I could bring extra tires, and so on.

I’ve never towed anything. The Elise weighs about 2,000 lbs. 16’ foot open aluminum trailers seem to be about 1600 lbs. An X3 (2018 or newer) can tow 4400 lbs. That sounds like a comfortable margin, but I wonder how it would feel to tow the Elise and trailer with an X3. An X5 (2019 or newer) can tow 6603 lbs. The X5 is about 800 lbs heavier than the X3, and has a five-inch longer wheelbase. For purposes other than towing, I’d prefer the X3. But maybe the X5 would be better for towing.

Do you think either the X3 or X5 is appropriate for this purpose? My mechanic is selling a gorgeous Ford F-150 Raptor with all kinds of upgrades, including bigger brakes. That seems like huge overkill, though tempting. The price of the Raptor and a CPO 2019 X5 are similar.

Any thoughts welcome.
Matthew

dhellman
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 9:36 pm

Re: Tow vehicle advice

Post by dhellman »

Hi, I’ve towed for a number of years with a Durango. Towed fine but I hated to drive it. I then got an X5 which towed much better on the highway with a smarter transmission and more power. Do not try and make up time on off/on ramps. The shorter wheelbase is noticeable here. I have an x6 now which also tows fine. I have heard to not tow at the high end of manufacturers limits on weight. Good luck with your choice.
David

mcahn
Posts: 210
Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2009 4:36 pm

Re: Tow vehicle advice

Post by mcahn »

Thanks David, that’s helpful. What sort of car and trailer did you tow?

If you Google for “Dodge Durango”, what comes up is the Dodge web site with a picture of a Durango towing a race car on a trailer.

dhellman
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 9:36 pm

Re: Tow vehicle advice

Post by dhellman »

I have an aluminum Trailex trailer and my car is about 2500lbs, so about 3500 all together with spare tires.

NeilE30
Posts: 328
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2005 9:30 pm

Re: Tow vehicle advice

Post by NeilE30 »

Mathew,

It was advised to me when I looking for a tow vehicle to get something at least as big weight wise as what I was towing. I ended up with a Ford Super Duty crew cab. It weighed about 6,600 lbs empty. I was using a steel trailer and towing my E30, I'm guessing about 4,500-5,000 lbs with stuff in it. Sometimes I forgot I was towing, couldn't feel it, it was great. If you go the truck route at least get an extended cab so you have plenty of space to keep things dry and secure.

Neil

mcahn
Posts: 210
Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2009 4:36 pm

Re: Tow vehicle advice

Post by mcahn »

The Ford Super Duty sounds cool, probably way more capable than I need. Good point about the extended cab.

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