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Old 01-31-2010, 12:55 PM   #1
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Default What's the smallest car you've towed a Miata with?

We're bringing home a new OTM (2010 Jetta TDi SportWagen, 6MT) and I'm wondering how feasible it would be to tow the Miata behind it to my next duty station (which will either be Cali again or on to NC as planned, but that's another thread). I was thinking it ought to be good, seeing as it's a diesel and has 230+ lb/ft to play with.

At least it's not like my last OTM, which wasn't even given a tow rating (Neon SRT4), but I still pulled a 5x8 UHaul behind it from Tucson to Augusta.
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Old 01-31-2010, 02:06 PM   #2
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Lexus RX300 (220ftlbs, two tons) with a single axle trailer. It uses the same auto trans(axle) as the camry. Power usually ins't the issue as I've seen gas four banger trucks with less power pull the same. The issue is stopping. IMO you're best bet is removing the Miata's axles (half shafts) and using a tow dolly.
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Old 01-31-2010, 02:22 PM   #3
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A two-wheel up trailer? Eek. I kinda don't want to scrub on the tires any more than necessary. I was thinking 4-up trailer rental from UHaul.

I also just found out that the Golf TDi was named one of the best tow rigs for the money in Europe, where VW rates it at a 3800 lb capacity. Yet, over here VWNA tells customers that they don't recommend towing with cars and that they may do so only at their own risk. I know there are a couple other variables, like the Europeans having a different speed limit for towing, more certifications, etc., but surely there's a middle ground between 3800 lbs. and "just don't do it", right?
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Old 01-31-2010, 02:44 PM   #4
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I used a tow dolley with my '88 v6 gas chevy 1500, did great. Brakes suck but whatever. Axels were not disconnected so it put miles on the car. You can get some shitty tires to put on the back for cheap?
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Old 01-31-2010, 03:20 PM   #5
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My friend towed me home with his Neon when I exploded a coolant hose one night.
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Old 01-31-2010, 03:21 PM   #6
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That's a thought. I'd imagine I might be able to score a two-up rig for kinda cheap too, eh?
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Old 01-31-2010, 03:27 PM   #7
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No idea, I borrow a friend's. It worked great except when you put the back wheels on (exploded diff). Damn engine acts like a pendulum and swung around like crazy at anything over 40mph. That was the first time I was glad there was rush hour traffic. With the rear on the ground, it towed like a dream, only problem is you CANNOT back up, and sharp turns have the danger of putting the dolly's fender into your Miata's door/front quarter. If you do it, make sure you have it uber centered on the dolly.
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Old 01-31-2010, 10:05 PM   #8
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You can pick up some steelies with cheapo tires for nothing. It's just way easier to control a tow dolly when your tow vehicle weighs so little and has such a small wheel base and track. I've also towed an 18ft steel double axle trailer with my Miata on it using a Jeep Grand Cherokee and when it came to a stop light it was definitely a case of the tail wagging the dog. Trailer brakes would have made a huge difference.

IF you decide to go with the trailer, I've got a trailer brake controller I can loan you providing the trailer has controllable brakes.
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Old 01-31-2010, 11:13 PM   #9
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actual trailer tires aren't too expensive,maybe on some Temp. spare rims.
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Old 02-01-2010, 11:58 AM   #10
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Isuzu Trooper, 89 vintage, 4cyl 5spd. Pretty tough little sucker.
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Old 02-01-2010, 12:10 PM   #11
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I say you get an aluminum trailer and pull with the vw.
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Old 02-01-2010, 01:07 PM   #12
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The u-haul car trailers (4-up) weigh 2000 lbs empty. So add in your miata and you're towing at least 4500lbs, well over even the European tow rating.

I'd say you're better off with a tow dolley, I guess...

Smallest thing I've towed my miata with is a Honda Ridgeline.
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Old 02-01-2010, 01:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efini~FC3S View Post
The u-haul car trailers (4-up) weigh 2000 lbs empty.
Ditto the Penske double-axle hauler. It was somewhere in the 1,9xx range. I can't think of anyone that rents aluminum trailers.

OTOH, since your new OTM is FWD, you could use the single-axle car dolly. U-haul lists theirs at 750 lbs, I'd imagine Penske is similar.
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Old 02-01-2010, 01:50 PM   #14
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Wow, didn't know that about the 4-up trailers. I guess car dolly it is!

So y'all know why it means so much to me to be able to tow the Miata, there's a real possibility that instead of going from here to NC, that I may go back to CA for 6 months and from there to GA.. that's way too much driving for the Miata. To be more specific, that's way to much time for ME to be driving the Miata... CA to TX was enough.
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Old 02-02-2010, 12:05 AM   #15
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I towed a 240sx with a blown sr20 15 miles on a tow rope with my miata. Does that count?
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