Family Car Towing Capacity

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2013: Family Car Towing Capacity
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Coiro on Wednesday, January 09, 2013 - 10:57 pm:

I was just shooting the breeze with one of my buddies about how my 2000 Olds Intrigue is getting old enough to start thinking about a new car. And now that I have a Model T, it's time to consider what it'll take to tow it around on a basic, open trailer.

I don't anticipate ever needing the open bed of a pickup truck, so are the American car companies producing any regular family cars that have the kind of towing capacity I'll need, or am I necessarily looking at some kind of SUV?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ken Kopsky, Lytle TX on Wednesday, January 09, 2013 - 11:06 pm:

SUV. Not even the new Lincoln or Caddy have enough bulk to pull trailers. Everything else in the car lines are a joke. Plenty of power but no frame or weight needed to tow a trailer safely.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Hjortnaes, Men Falls, WI on Wednesday, January 09, 2013 - 11:20 pm:

Ford states that an Edge configured correctly can tow a trailer. I use my Explorer to pull my speedster on a 20 foot open trailer with wood rails..

Don't ask me to explain the difference and what they mean when in one column it states it can tow 2000 pounds and the other column states it can tow 6000 pounds.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Matthew David Maiers on Wednesday, January 09, 2013 - 11:28 pm:

buy a car from the 50s or 60s. practically a truck,


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Wednesday, January 09, 2013 - 11:35 pm:

You just have to find the right Cadillac.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erik Johnson on Wednesday, January 09, 2013 - 11:40 pm:

Didn't we already have this conversation?

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/324052.html?1354045035


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Terry Woods, Katy, Texas on Wednesday, January 09, 2013 - 11:44 pm:

I would vote for a rear wheel drive SUV, also, if a pickup is not an option. I have a four wheel, wooden floor open trailer that was made by a welding shop in the late sixties. It was made of used oil derrick framing, so you know its heavy. Years ago, I had it weighed on truck scales, but I have forgotten the weight. I can only remember it was substantial. The very first car that I pulled it with was a 1968 Pontiac Catalina ordered with a 375 horse 428 cubic inch engine. It pulled it with ease and at over 4000 pounds, had the weight to be a stable tow vehicle. I have since towed it with a variety of full size half and three quarter ton pickups. Only one had the power of the Pontiac (a 1975 Ford that had a 428 Cobra Jet installed), but they all could safely pull it. The smallest vehicle that I pulled it with (and I don't recommend it) was a 1975 Toyota half ton with a four banger. The next smallest vehicle was a 2003 Chevy S-10 with a 4.3 Vortec V6. It had the power, but wasn't as heavy as I would have liked, and I think prolonged pulling would have been hard on the transmission. Speaking of transmissions, I vote for a manual transmission unless it is an older vehicle with a non overdrive trans, such as a GM Hydro 400, a Chrysler Torqueflite, or a Ford C-6 Cruiseomatic. Towing in O.D. isn't recommended by manufacturers.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kirk Peterson on Wednesday, January 09, 2013 - 11:48 pm:

Edge Escape max towing capacity 3500
Flex max towing capacity 4500
Latest generation Explorer 5000
Previous Explorer max 7000 (V8)

With my 2000 lb 27 Touring, I would like a trlr as close to 1000 lbs as possible.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ken Kopsky, Lytle TX on Wednesday, January 09, 2013 - 11:53 pm:


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ted Dumas on Thursday, January 10, 2013 - 12:12 am:

I tow my 24 touring, top up, with side curtains installed, on a 16 foot flatbed tandem axle trailer at 60-65 mph with my 2000 Chevy 1500 5.3L V8 and automatic transmission. The trailer has electric brakes on both axles. I don't think I would like to pull it with anything less and I think it is very important that you have brakes on the trailer on at least one axle.. I think in the 1500 series size pickup, the automatic is a much more durable transmission than the manual unit. I get about 12 mpg pulling the Model T and about 17-19 mpg withe truck alone running 65-70mph.

The truck easily pulls the same trailer with about 4000-5000 lbs of hay. Pulling my John Deere 5105 tractor, I don't really feel safe at much over 50 mph. This would be about 6500 lbs total load.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Coiro on Thursday, January 10, 2013 - 12:39 am:

Yes, Eric. We did have this discussion a little while ago, but because I didn't word the question correctly, I got a lot of responses regarding pickup trucks and older used cars. This time, I clarified that what I'm hoping for is a new, American, family car with sufficient towing capacity to pull a trailered Model T if indeed such a sedan exists.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By kep NZ on Thursday, January 10, 2013 - 01:11 am:

Americans seem to think they need big cars for towing but if i can pull a trailer with 1100 BMC product (slowly however) and a 2litre ford cortina can pull a trailer better then any 2.4 car with big brakes should be capable if they still make anything that fits that description.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Schedler, Sacramento on Thursday, January 10, 2013 - 02:06 am:

I bought a 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Summit with the Hemi engine. There is nothing it won't do except get good gas mileage. I get up to 12 when towing the T on a flatbed, around 17 around town and up to 22 on the open road (empty). BTW, it has more HP than most current SUV's


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fred Dimock, Newfields NH, USA on Thursday, January 10, 2013 - 09:06 am:

Bob,

I think the answer lies someplace between your a really smart person and your crazy ....
and we all know where you fit on that scale. :-)

Seriously - you can tow short distances at slow speeds with a lightweight vehicle but if you plan on 60 MPH and long distances you will need something more substantial.

I used to tow a Datsun race car about 20 miles each way to Watkins Glen with a VW bug - It couldn't go fast and the rig stopped like a Model T, but we got there and back. Spare tires were stacked in the car and tools were in the back seat of the Bug.

In the old days we towed a Nascar Modified on an open trailer with a 1949 ford sedan about 50 miles each way. We could get some speed out that combination but stopping was a problem and there were some memorable incidences where hedges and fences were relocated.

We also moved an A Production Corvette in an old Beer truck for many miles around the North East that could not get away from it's old occupation --- I'll not elaborate on those trips but just say that I only remember the beginning of some of the trips!

So the real question is how far and how fast do you want to go!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By keith g barrier on Thursday, January 10, 2013 - 09:15 am:

I just drive my T on the trips I want to go on or stay at home! KB


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ricks - Surf City on Thursday, January 10, 2013 - 09:54 am:

Spending $$ every day for extra gas in a large SUV for to tow a T on a trailer you have to store, just to use a couple of times a year, makes each T outing ungodly expensive.

I have my money in the T aux tranny (real neutral) and wheel brakes, and tow it on all fours. At the destination, the tow bar comes off quickly, and the T is ready to go, and there's no trailer to park or worry about.

I've towed it only with a 4,200 lb Jaguar, but if I wanted to tow with a 2,000 lb Focus, I would invest in a Brake Buddy that would operate the T's wheel brakes.

Advantages:
No trailer storage; no deterioration the 99.9% of the time while not used.
No tongue weight.
No dead weight of a trailer to accelerate and stop.
Not top heavy.
Least wind resistance.
No swaying, as the T tracks perfectly.
Emergency evasive maneuvers handled easily.
Safer than any trailer.
I then have a T with aux tranny and wheel brakes to use all the time.

Disadvantages:
Can't back up with T attached.
T tire wear cost of maybe 10 cents a mile.
Small brackets have to be bolted to front of T's frame.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Grady L Puryear on Thursday, January 10, 2013 - 09:56 am:

Mr. Dumas, I echo your post exactly, except for the engine, I have the V-6, it also is a 2000 that I bought new. I too pull mine at 60-65, but that is more of an abundance of caution, getting way too old to go much faster, even though my rig, like yours, will pull it a lot faster. I would suggest looking for one of the older Ford Crown Victorias, ex Police car and etc. I wore out many a one of them in the oilfield, and they will tow just about anything you can hook up to. I think the best automobile rig I ever pulled a trailer or a Jeep with was a 1957 Oldsmobile, you couldn't tell there was anything back there. Back in my Rodeo days, I pulled a one horse trailer, single axle, sometimes with two grown horses in it, behind a 1937 Ford and later a 1952 Chevrolet, no brakes on the old home made trailer by the way and worthless mechanical brakes on the '37. My trailer hitches were simply clamp on types clamped to the rear bumper in the middle (remember those?), and a bolt for a tow pin, now don't tell me God doesn't take care of idiots and drunks.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mack Cole ---- Earth on Thursday, January 10, 2013 - 11:17 am:

Seriously,check each vehical carefully.
The new exploder is front wheel drive,with no dipstick for the transmission.Towing in over drive is not just a no-no but a H--- No.Ruins the transmissions in these new cars.I would look at a Yukon or Tahoe.Truck chassis and not so big you cant park it.Gas mileage,well,is your safty traveling or towing worth less than a gallon of gas?
I can speak from experiance,being pushed by a trailer thru a red light in a rain storm is not fun.


I had a 89 crown vic highway patrol car.
Would run fine but hook something to it and it just killed it.wrong rear axle ratio.
had no problem doing 130 with more pedal left though! :>0
I got so aggrovated when I bought my 96 cadi in 09.I knew I couldnt tow a heavy trailer but I wanted to put a hitch on it for a carry platform or light 4x8 trailer for engine shows.Everybody told me NO,dont do it.
300 hp under the hood and all I can do is haul A-- or grocerys.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Terry Horlick in Penn Valley, CA on Thursday, January 10, 2013 - 12:56 pm:

Of all the vehicles I have towed with, my old V6 Astro Van did it best. You could hardly feel the load back there. It would carry 8 people, all their luggage and the car trailer with model T.

I did discover that you need to add a transmission cooler if you plan on towing up into the mountains on hot days. But if you forget this at least you can pull your rescue transportation off of the trailer!

The best thing is that you can find an old used Astro or the GM version of the same car for very little money.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dexter Doucet on Thursday, January 10, 2013 - 01:53 pm:

Glad to see mr. Grady posting! That was a good story about pulling the horse trailer with now vintage iron and just getting by with the mechanical brakes!!Now here endeth the drift


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roar Sand on Thursday, January 10, 2013 - 02:52 pm:

It makes no sense! I found one site that lists 1000# capacity for a Chrysler 300 with a Hemi V8, and 3600# for a Town and Country with a V6.
Seems like they want to force you to buy an SUV if you want to do any serious towing. A Jeep GC can tow 7400#, "properly equipped".


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Frank Harris from Long Beach & Big Bear on Thursday, January 10, 2013 - 04:07 pm:

There is a lot of politics related to selections. Captain A-- H--- wants you to purchase a car made on the monocoque fabrication methods and they will simply not pull a load due to no frame only thin sheet metal making up the item. Detroit can no longer make Station Wagons based on Sedans that will tow, with frames because it contributes to global warming. Detroit has invented S.U.V.'s based on trucks and they are exempt from Captain A-- H---'s regulations. These are exempt from CAFE standards. A 600 horse power 600 cubic inch 800 ftp torque vehicle with a bent sheet metal frame will not pull your trailer. It will pull its self but not a trailer.

A 1999 Dodge D250 Diesel four door pickup with only 62,000 miles on the clock works for me. I get over 19 miles to the gallon on the street and 17 while towing an enclosed 20 footer. A new good truck will cost me over $37,000 and closer to $50,000 with toys. If I trade in my Dodge with a hot rod Bank's kit on it they will only give me $7000 for it and will sell it to their lot boy for $10,000.

Go find a widow lady and get a good cheap truck.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Olivier CHABANNE on Thursday, January 10, 2013 - 04:56 pm:

Hello
I am surprised when I hear an SUV is not heavy enough to tow a trailer.
In France, large 4x4 or large pickup U.S. are very rare. The majority of enthusiasts Ford model T towing their trailer with a normal car or SUV.
Personally I have long towed my trailer with my T Ford with a Mercedes ML 230 without any problems. It certainly lacked a bit of power in the long coastlines but I've never had any problems.
Since 2010, I use a Grand Cherokee CRD. It is powerful enough and pulls the trailer so copy over any distance. Consumption is reasonable with 14 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers. (Without trailer consumption 9.5 liters per 100 kilometers).
I will soon sell my Jeep, and I do not know by what I would replace SUV. Maybe a Porche Cayenne or Volkswagen Touareg .......
For me, a SUV is perfect for everyday driving and towing a trailer on weekends.

Olivier (France)



Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Peter Claverie on Thursday, January 10, 2013 - 05:12 pm:

Back in 2004 I upgraded from an Explorer and bought an '04 Expedition specifically to tow my T in its trailer. The trailer is all-steel, and it' HEAVY. As I remember, it's about 6000 pounds loaded. This rig works just fine! We drive the wife's Escape most of the time, but sometimes we both need a car, so...

Since I now have 175K on the clock, I looked at a new Expedition. What a piece of crap!! Everything is light-duty, and the most important accessory on the '04 is no longer offered -- 4-wheel automatic leveling (via air bags). I've decided to make this one last the rest of my life, replacing what needs replacing,even up to the engine, and keep going!

I just hope I don't wreck it. I'd probably have to go for an F-150. I ain't towing a Model T with anything but a Ford, but my options are getting fewer and fewer.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George_Cherry Hill NJ on Thursday, January 10, 2013 - 05:36 pm:

Bob,

I may have mentioned this in your last thread, maybe not. Before they dropped Saturn Vue there was a not too expensive conversion kit that included a bolt up cross frame mod where the actual original frame was factory drilled for the aftermarket mounting. The conversion gave a class 3 rated hitch with a so-so tow capacity, but a T and the right trailer would have fallen into 'OK'. I know of a guy that hauls around an MB Jeep that way without difficulty and I imagine the load weight and tongue weight would not be vastly different.

Well, they don't make the Vue anymore, but I'd almost venture a guess that somewhere it has 'survived' or already has a Chevy or a Buick 'brother'. May be worth checking out since you don't want a full sized SUV as such and don't want a trusty old F-150 or 250 just hanging around :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Frank Harris from Long Beach & Big Bear on Thursday, January 10, 2013 - 07:28 pm:

George, The Saturn's were German Opals and they quit making them to sent here to the States.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Eric Hylen- Central Minnesota on Friday, January 11, 2013 - 12:03 am:

Judging by the car towing capacities that I was able to look up, I think you're gonna need a crossover or SUV. if you use a light single axle trailer, you should easily come in under 3,500 lbs with your T on it. The Ford Flex and GM Lamba class (Traverse, Acadia, Outlook, Enclave) crossovers can easily handle this. If you choose to go with a tandem axle open trailer, you'll need a full size pickup or SUV, regardless of the towing capacity. My wife drives a 2010 Saturn Outlook and I wouldn't hesitate to pull a T on a light, open trailer wi it. Strangely, that little thing has more front legroom than my Suburban.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Terry Woods, Katy, Texas on Friday, January 11, 2013 - 12:35 am:

Frank, Can you provide the source that can be verified as to Saturns being nothing more than German Opels and that they were made in Germany and imported to the states. The internet, as well as my memory, tells me that they were manufactured here in the states at a brand new factory in Spring Hill, Tennessee (brand new when the brand was introduced by GM). GM built the new factory there specifically for that car. They investigated numerous other locations for the new plant in other states. The Katy, Texas area where I live, just west of Houston, was one of the sites competing for GM's plant. GM was looking for the best location, taxes, and labor force. We had it all, but apparently, the Spring Hill, Tenn. location had lower taxes and cheaper labor and got the nod from GM. The internet also says some (or some components) were produced at the Wilmington plant. P.S. I have seen a lot of Saturns and have never seen the Opel name anywhere on the engine or the car.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mack Cole ---- Earth on Friday, January 11, 2013 - 12:42 am:

1 of the members of our club tows or towed his T's with a 300 Chrysler and it seemed to work.

Frank you addressed a issue I just made the first move on Christmas day.
As you all probably remember I have what is now a kinda rough looking 77 Impala chevy wagon.It has a huge heavy frame and a 10,000 pound hitch.When I serviced the rear axle I was told the gasket fit a 3/4 ton truck.
I had the transmission rebuilt and had a shift kit installed a few years ago.Just had a broke spring but since it was on the bench,may as well go the full monty.
Any how it's little 135 hp 305 is wearing down now.only 325,000 + miles on it.Dont know why it is getting weak.:>)
Since the Dmv dont have weight limits on it,it no longer has to go thru inspection,there is a 350 engine that I picked up from my cousin that will be rebuilt to produce about 275 hp or a little more.Then I can tow and ride in comfort!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ken Kopsky, Lytle TX on Friday, January 11, 2013 - 01:22 am:

I pulled my 420C dozer on a 20' HD trailer with a flail mower and truck bed full of welding tanks, extra gasoline and about three wheel barrow loads of hoses and gages from an auction. It was about a 100 mile trip but it took me nearly four hours. I used my old 81 Chevy C10 with a 302, 2bbl.

I had no problem starting and driving. It was the stopping that made it a white-knuckle drive. Just a tad too much on the brake would lock all four wheels and the trailer would push the truck like the truck was in neutral. And that was with surge brakes on the trailer. I didn't dare go over 30mph. Even so, it took a block to slow it down. I'm just glad it was all country roads.

All I'm saying is that it pays to have some weight in front of the trailer not just horsepower.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Nevin Gough on Friday, January 11, 2013 - 01:49 am:

This did me for years and cost a few hundred bucks. I used it with both my heavy twin axle transporter, and the lighter single axle. Fulltime 4WD, the body was easily strong enough....the weak point for a car is it's cooling system. I have to travel over some big hills, and cars just don't have a cooling system designed for this.

I have a Jeep Cherokee now.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By kep NZ on Friday, January 11, 2013 - 03:13 am:

That last picture shows a holden commodore. They are made of pressed steel but get used as tow cars regularly, Come in V6 or V8 and the 3.8 V6 basically lasts forever, Built for the outback desert. They sell them as a pontiac in the states right? Buy one if you can get one for the right price it should be good enough.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Terry Woods, Katy, Texas on Friday, January 11, 2013 - 11:51 pm:

Before GM ditched the Pontiac brand, some Pontiac's were rebadged Holdens. The last Pontiac GTO muscle car was one of them.


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