bravenrace Dork
Sept. 30, 2010 11:50 a.m.

Okay, If possible, I need real world experience here. I'm heading to Florida at Christmas and hope to find a rust free CRX somewhere between Ohio and there and tow it back home. Thing is, I don't really want to take my gas guzzling truck on a 3000 mile journey just in case I find something. So, I'm wondering if anyone has ever towed a light car like a CRX on a dolly behind a CRV? It's an '04 CRX AWD. I know it exceeds the tow rating, which is why I'm looking for any real work exerience in doing something similar. Can it be done?

914Driver SuperDork
Sept. 30, 2010 11:52 a.m.

I towed a Samurai on a dolly behind a 4 cyl Ranger. Once the flat spots came off the tires you wouldn't know it was there.

Dan

Don49
Don49 Reader
Sept. 30, 2010 11:55 a.m.

I towed a Mercury Zephyr behind a Sante Fe from NC to PA with no problems.

pilotbraden Reader
Sept. 30, 2010 12:09 p.m.

I have towed a Nissan pickup on a dolly with a Nissan pickup. No problems.

triumph5
triumph5 HalfDork
Sept. 30, 2010 12:10 p.m.

Whatever you do, between then and now, install a trans cooler. Cheaper than replacing/rebuilding a trans that was running warmer than normal for 3000 miles.

Raze Dork
Sept. 30, 2010 12:54 p.m.

I have towed our XR4 + tow dolly and Fiat + tow dolly behind my 3.0 5spd 2wd Ranger, the Fiat I didn't notice, the XR4 I noticed, but it's easily doable, the important part is to drive slower, period.

Oh wait, I didn't realize your tow rating was only 1500lbs, yeah that's gonna be tough as you'd be an easy 500-1000lbs over that with dolly and CRX. I think I'd look closer to home...

1988RedT2 Reader
Sept. 30, 2010 1:01 p.m.

I would never do it. Too many miles. If you drive like a little old lady, you might be okay. I'd sooner eat the gas cost and drive my big gas-guzzling truck. Or buy closer to home.

Cotton Dork
Sept. 30, 2010 1:13 p.m.

I towed a 60 Beetle (my avatar) on a tow dolly with a lifted 99 XJ and it handled it fine, but I was within the tow rating. I never tow overloaded for liability reasons. There is A LOT that can go wrong in 3k miles. If it were me I'd take the truck or borrow a friends vehicle that gets better mpg, but will keep you legal.

Sept. 30, 2010 1:22 p.m.

What is the difference in gas mileage? What is the difference in gas mileage when towing? A CRV gets what, 25? The truck gets 1/2 that... so in 3000 miles we are talking an extra 130 gallons of fuel if you don't find something and drive the truck the whole way. So... total possible penalty at $2.85 a gallon is roughly $370.

Now, I'll wager that a CRV pulling a CRX is getting poor mileage, on par or less than a truck doing the same job so should you find a car early in that journey you will pay substantially less of a difference, gradually increasing the closer you are to home when you hook it up.

Given that logic above the truck is a no-brainer to me since the trans cooler on the CRV will eat up 1/2 the cost to install and the cooked brake pads will eat up some of the remainder, nevermind the wear and tear part.

spritedriver28 New Reader
Sept. 30, 2010 1:26 p.m.

I tow my 59 Bugeye on a VERY light (225 pounds) trailer I built behind my 04 AWD CrV. I would reccomend the trans cooler although the fisrt time I towed it I didn't have it and it was ok. Just seems like cheap tranny insurance. I do tend to keep the speed down and try not to do any big climbs if I can help it, but the CrV does fine.

bravenrace Dork
Sept. 30, 2010 1:32 p.m.

There's more to it than gas mileage. I'll be taking my family and dog, and that works way better in a CRV than my extended cab pickup. The CRV is more reliable also (at least when I'm NOT exceeding it's tow rating).
All specs and ratings come with safety factors. You don't put a tow rating on a vehicle that's at a level that will insure catastrophic failure if it is exceeded. That's why I wanted to (and have) heard from people who have done it or something every similar. I know it's not recommended, but I'm trying to determine if I can get away with it this one time. Keep in mind that I won't be towing it 3000 miles. I'll be towing it a max of 1400 miles, and it may be much less than that, depending on where I find the car. I have no problem adding a trans and even an oil cooler.
BTW, the reason I'm doing this is to find a rust free car, something that doesn't exist close to home.

Salanis SuperDork
Sept. 30, 2010 1:33 p.m.

To me, there's a big value in not having the stress of worrying about what it's doing going through mountains. How much nicer will it be to not be driving down a mountain pass wondering if your brakes are about to give out?

bravenrace Dork
Sept. 30, 2010 1:34 p.m.
spritedriver28 wrote: I tow my 59 Bugeye on a VERY light (225 pounds) trailer I built behind my 04 AWD CrV. I would reccomend the trans cooler although the fisrt time I towed it I didn't have it and it was ok. Just seems like cheap tranny insurance. I do tend to keep the speed down and try not to do any big climbs if I can help it, but the CrV does fine.

So what would you say is the total weight of the trailer and Bugeye? Do you happen to know what kind of mileage you get while towing? You have the exact vehicle I do (I love mine, BTW!) so I'm interested in any info you can provide.

Sept. 30, 2010 2:10 p.m.
bravenrace wrote: I know it's not recommended, but I'm trying to determine if I can get away with it this one time.

I've heard those words before. Not quite as obvious as, "Hey, y'all, watch this!"

A lot of places won't rent if the tow/towed vehicles aren't within their guideliines. Pulling a fast one on them won't go over well if there's a problem.

On the flat, driving easy, well-behaved traffic, you'd probably be fine. Like that ever happens.

bravenrace Dork
Sept. 30, 2010 2:18 p.m.

That's a good point about renting the dolly. As far as the "Hey, y'all, watch this", well, that's why I'm asking.

44Dwarf HalfDork
Sept. 30, 2010 4:03 p.m.

If your kids and dog will be with you don't do it. the CRV will be allready near max load don't risk it. If you were solo go for it, but you get in a wreck with the kid and your in big trouble.

mad_machine SuperDork
Sept. 30, 2010 4:07 p.m.

why not take your vacation... if you find a car, buy it.. and then come back for it with the big truck?

mtn SuperDork
Sept. 30, 2010 4:23 p.m.

What condition CRX are you looking for, and how many drivers do you have with you? I.E. could someone drive it home?

Ranger50 Reader
Sept. 30, 2010 4:34 p.m.

Be like Nike and "Just do it.". CRV is rated at what 3-4k# towing? With a dolly, a car is not all dead weight. If you are worried about GVW, put some of your crap in the CRX. Towing with a dolly is way different then dead weight on a trailer for trying to figure out what a vehicle can "tow".

Brian

mtn SuperDork
Sept. 30, 2010 4:57 p.m.
Ranger50 wrote: CRV is rated at what 3-4k# towing?

I think its rated at 1500#. Keep in mind, this was based on the Civic.

The_Pirate New Reader
Sept. 30, 2010 8:16 p.m.

I've nothing to add about ratings vs. actual weight, as every time I've towed, the load was less than the truck was rated for.

But give a quick perusal of your insurance documents and trailering laws of states you'll pass through. If something were to happen that required insurance company intervention while you're towing overloaded, the insurance company may very well wash their hands of the situation and you're in a world of legal trouble.

Also, re: trailering laws, I know that NY doesn't mess around and fines are ugly for overloaded towing. If you've ever seen the full-size vans in NY State Trooper guise, those guys are the primary enforcers. And I'd wager that most are going to know that a car behind a CR-V is overloaded.

Personally, too much risk for me.

mad_machine SuperDork
Sept. 30, 2010 8:27 p.m.

Those guys do not mess around. I got stopped for a "spot inspection" once by them (jersey plates on a box truck) and to their disappointment, I was deadheading back to Jersey with nothing more than a layer of dust in the box

junkbuggie New Reader
Sept. 30, 2010 8:52 p.m.

I don't think this sounds like a good idea.

ditchdigger HalfDork
Sept. 30, 2010 9:05 p.m.

Don't be like me and ruin two cars at once.

I remember thinking. I know it's not rated for it but I will be fine. Lots of horsepower and the big brake upgrades will really help.........They didn't.

The_Pirate New Reader
Sept. 30, 2010 9:08 p.m.
mad_machine wrote: Those guys do not mess around. I got stopped for a "spot inspection" once by them (jersey plates on a box truck) and to their disappointment, I was deadheading back to Jersey with nothing more than a layer of dust in the box

Yep, I worked for a contractor a few years back, and was driving home from a job in a Ford E-350 V10 with a 24 foot Haulmark cargo trailer. Got pulled over (same thing as you, "spot inspection"), those guys are intense. They referred to me as "driver" the whole time. "Driver, step out of the vehicle." "Driver, give me the keys to the trailer." They had portable scales which they used. The guy I worked for was a stand up guy, and everything was in order (insurance, registration, weight, brakes, etc.), so they sent me on my way, but I'm sure they would have impounded the rig and trailer and given me a ride to their office if they could have.

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