Smart Car of America Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
28,913 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Fake answer: it is not approved for towing with all four wheels up!

Real answer: I don't know.

Guess: probably so. Would be ideal for towing behind an RV. Get 12 mpg until you get to the RV site, then 40 mpg running around town. Average? :confused:
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,834 Posts
There was some information posted a few months ago about flat-towing a smart, the restraints being =/< 50 miles @ =/< 50 MPH. But I have a strong feeling that was 450 info with its 6-speed transmission. The 451 (different, 5-speed xmission) could be different.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,834 Posts
I posted an inquiry to the Uk (who have now have 451 smarts) about four-on-the-ground towing. The question was: "I assume that all new 451 smart owners are provided with an owner's operating manual. What does the manual say about flat-towing (four-on-the-ground), e.g. behind an RV?"

The first response (from a seemingly credible source) was: "It's almost certainly the same as the original, 30 miles max @ 30mph max - in neutral!
If you rear lift, then you can go as far as you dare!"

Dat's what I've got so far.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
I remember that several years ago, the Honda Accord was the most popular car to be towed behind a motorhome, even though the owner's manual specifically advised against it. Later Honda brought out the CRV which was not only approved for towing, but only came with an automatic transmission and 4 wheel drive. I expect this had a whole lot to do with its popularity. Also, Saturn made a point of making all their cars approved for towing. I believe this has resulted in Saturn becoming the most popular towed car brand. Smart should take a lesson from this!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,834 Posts
I have to believe that the flat-towing specification in the UK manual is aimed at repair towing only. It is a "city" car, and is not intended to be a long distance pacer, so they may not (or may not wish to) consider long, fast tows behind a RV. Once the 451s arrive here with their U.S./N.A. manuals, the specification may be different. Or, with a disclaimer regarding long, high-speed tows.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,860 Posts
I am having a very hard time understanding how the manual trany would have any limit on use in neutral.

Some how I just doubt there is any oil pump required for normal lubrication in the manual gear box final drive assy...but I freely admit I have never seen an exploded view of this type transmission

If in fact this trany is a real manual with typical splash/bath lubrication then I am certain that flat 4 down towing at any distance or speed will not have any adverse effect on the transmission


Perhaps the Brits or the manuals are confused or not clear... remember they did have a REAL automatic option over there
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,834 Posts
Something I just thought of: the smart (with its SAAB-like ignition lock back between the seats) may not have a locking steering column to keep the front wheels from wandering. Don't know how much front-end caster the smart may have.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
233 Posts
I don't recall where I saw it, but I recall seeing something about a tow bar being available shortly after introduction as optional equipment for the specific purpose of towing behind a motorhome - that's a question I'm waiting to ask a dealer...
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,834 Posts
smartManiacs (who have 451 experience now) indicated that the smart does NOT have a steering column lock, and if the smart is towed from the rear with the front wheels on the ground the steering wheel has to be secured: "If you rear lift then you should at least tie the steering to stop it wandering."

This doesn't answer the original inquiry about flat-towing with all four on the ground behind a RV, but it is some info.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,982 Posts
This doesn't answer the original inquiry about flat-towing with all four on the ground behind a RV, but it is some info.
The answer can be found on the smartusa.com website FAQ

Can I tow my smart fortwo?
smart USA plans to develop a tow-bar for the smart fortwo that can attach to the front of the vehicle to allow for flat towing. In addition, the car can be towed on a flat bed.

http://www.smartusa.com/smart-car-faq.aspx
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
487 Posts
Will a 451 fit on a Uhaul tow dolly and will it harm the car to be towed 500 miles with the rear wheels on the ground. It would seem to be OK as per the flat towing permission, but who knows for sure? Anyone here have an answer?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,834 Posts
A couple of years ago I looked into renting a U-Haul dolly and was turned down because the car did not have a steering column lock (competition Caterham Seven). U-Haul policy. The smart doesn't have a steering column lock either.
 

·
aka '24-42'
Joined
·
930 Posts
The answer can be found on the smartusa.com website FAQ

Can I tow my smart fortwo?
smart USA plans to develop a tow-bar for the smart fortwo that can attach to the front of the vehicle to allow for flat towing. In addition, the car can be towed on a flat bed.

http://www.smartusa.com/smart-car-faq.aspx
I doubt Smart will come out with a tow bar. 'Roadmaster', 'Blue Ox', etc. will take care of that. What they may offer is the tow bar mount. Roadmaster is reputed to already have a mount for the 450.

The tow bar is universal, the mount is individual.

Donald LaFavor
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
487 Posts
A couple of years ago I looked into renting a U-Haul dolly and was turned down because the car did not have a steering column lock (competition Caterham Seven). U-Haul policy. The smart doesn't have a steering column lock either.

I wasn't planning on telling them it was for a smart.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top