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Discussion Starter #1
Just thought I'd document some thoughts about our new Blue Ox towing system. We had it installed in Santa Clara, Ca at Eyers Hitch - they've been our preferred hitch shop for almost 40 years now, and did a great job.

Last weekend we got the opportunity to try it out. Hooking up is a breeze - I moved smartie into position behind our 37 foot Bounder and shifted into neutral, then turned the key off. Out front I released the latches on the Aventa LX arms and grabbed the brackets on the front of the car, pulling it easily into reach of the arms. After placing the pins in the holes I pushed the car back to lock the arms in place. Then connected the safety cables and lights and had my wife verify that all lights were working. Then we hit the road for a short 40 mile drive to the campground.

If you think that smarties on the road are attention-getting, imagine a smartie pushing a 37 foot motorhome! Everybody who passed us had to slow down a bit and check us out. Pulling into the campground was fun - we actually had people follow behind us all the way to our site so they could ask questions.

Unhooking the smartie was as easy as hooking up - simply disconnect the lights, unhook the safety cables, pull the pins on the arms and fold the arms up against the back of the motorhome. Then stand around and answer questions before getting back in to the motorhome to back it into the site.

On Saturday we drove smartie into San Juan Bautista to wander around town - we parked on the main street, between two motorcycles (it was a great day for riding, although a bit hot) and wandered around. Then we decided to stop and get some ice cream - we sat in front of the ice cream shop and watched people for a while - smartie was across the street and about 100 feet down the street. We saw one family stop, walk completely around the car, and then snap photos of the car! Another family put their nose-prints all over the glass - then came over to the ice cream shop - the kids wanted ice cream! As they approached I mentioned that I usually charge $1.00 if people leave their nose prints on the car - they asked about 100 questions about the car while the kids ate their ice cream.

There were several other note-worthy cars parked along the street - including a 1937 Chevy Coupe with a beautiful candy-apple red paint job, and a cool-looking Zimmer - guess who's car had the largest crowd around it at any given time? :)

Anyway, back to the tow bar - it's easy to hook up and unhook, and the motorhome hardly even knows the car is back there. It tracks perfectly behind the RV and looks great!
 

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Just leave in neutral with the key off?

Alan,

We are having the Blue Ox baseplate and a towbar installed next Monday, and will be towing our Smart back from the dealer behind our new 2009 Holiday Rambler Scepter motorhome. I understand from your post that you tow the car in neutral with the key off? Does any mileage register on the odometer during the tow? For a car that is touted as flat-towable, we are having a little challenge finding out exactly the manufacturer's recommended procedure and don't want to damage our great little car!

Thank you for your expertise.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Alan,

We are having the Blue Ox baseplate and a towbar installed next Monday, and will be towing our Smart back from the dealer behind our new 2009 Holiday Rambler Scepter motorhome. I understand from your post that you tow the car in neutral with the key off? Does any mileage register on the odometer during the tow? For a car that is touted as flat-towable, we are having a little challenge finding out exactly the manufacturer's recommended procedure and don't want to damage our great little car!

Thank you for your expertise.
Once I get the car in position behind the Bounder I put the gear shift in N and turn the key off - it'll only go to the middle position, you can't remove the key with the shifter in N. Then I get out and position the tow bar arms and pull the car towards me to line up the arms with the anchors. Once everything is connected I push the car backwards to lock the tow bar arms and we're ready to go. So far I haven't seen any mileage added while we're towing so I can safely say that I'm pretty sure the odometer doesn't count up unless the car is moving under its own power. :D

My wife keeps her second key in her purse - we've heard rumors of the car locking itself so we don't want to be locked out - and we don't know what the parameters are that cause the "self-lock" if it even exists, but why take chances.
 

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Just Got Back with my Blue Ox installed

We towed the little guy from Unidilla, Georgia back to Lake Wylie and it is a PERFECT little "Toad"!! By the way, I drove the car from Charlotte to the dealer in GA for the installation on I-85 and I-75 at speeds up to 70MPH and it is just a great little road car, too!! Of course, I had lots of looks, waving, horns, and a few passengers with cameras - that is part of the SMART experience. Thanks for your suggestion about the spare set of keys. The doors did not auto-lock, but it was still nice to have the ability to remote lock it at night in the campgrounds or at WalMarts when it was in neutral with the key inside!! Seemed like anyone able to disconnect the car from the towbar would have easy access to our little SMART unless we kept the door locked.
The steering wheel remains unlocked and the front wheels turn to follow the motorhome wherever it goes - just a great car for "four-down!
 

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Those of you that have had the Blue Ox towplate installed on your smart cars:
How much was the installation and how much was the actual tow plate.
(I already have a motorhome-mounted tow bar with moveable arms.)

Thanks,
Hamp
 

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Smart Car Tow Bar

Those of you that have had the Blue Ox towplate installed on your smart cars:
How much was the installation and how much was the actual tow plate.
(I already have a motorhome-mounted tow bar with moveable arms.)

Thanks,
Hamp

did you find out how much the tow bar is and where to get it??

Adam Q
 

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towing 4 wheels down vs. trailering

what trailer options are available other than babtan and smart trailer usa?? i am trying to decide which way is best as well as what's best for the smart car over time regarding wear and tear, etc.

thanks,

craig
 

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Can the manufacturers tow points be used on the Smart Car rather than install a plate. There is a system in UK that looks very simple that does this. See... Smart-Tow.com
 

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I've seen people use them with no ill effects, they'll be engineer types who will chime in with their infinite wisdom regardless of whether they own a smart.

That being said, I know an engineer who designed and built one for use on his 451 and has used it for many miles now. For the most part, options here in the US are Blue Ox or Roadmaster.
 

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do you know of a bracket that screws into the existing tow holes on the Smart Car that can be connected to a Blue Ox A-Frame? I own the A-Frame but need the proper connections. Thanks.
 

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Do any of you know of anyone using a Roadmaster Tow Bar?
The Blue-Ox is a lot better base-plate and is nice and clean. With the pull tabs out you can not even see it. If you have a Roadmaster tow bar you can get the correct ends to fit the Blue-Ox from Roadmaster or Blue-Ox and it will work great.
CB
 

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I use the Roadmaster Falcon 2 to tow my smart. Here is the view of the car:


-remove the crossbar
-remove the security leashes
-quarter turn on each bracket to completely remove the brackets from the car
under the "t" in Portland is the receptacle for the tail light pigtail

After removing the brackets the casual observer would not even know that the car is set up for towing.

I've towed my smart behind my RV over 1,000 miles since March of this year with no issues. Nowadays I even leave the security cables on the car. I loop each cable twice over the crossbar and clip it to the carabiner on the far side.
 

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ManchVegas: Who did you have install your tow plate and what was the cost?
I had it installed at CampingWorld in Wilsonville, OR. They have one of the last Performance experts - Dan Edgecombe - in the company. If your RV needs upgrades for engine, suspension, exhaust, stabilzer, etc - he's the man. Two thumbs up.

Total (installed) cost for me was just under $2,000 USD last March. Note: my smart was a bit of a learning curve for CW Wilsonville. The service tech at CW Wilsonville that does the tow bar installs on smart cars does quality work and now has the process down pat. They have tweaked the process thanks to me. Just reference with them the short, fat, long-haired guy with the 30 foot Majestic. They'll know who you're referring to.

There are 3 components (not counting supplemental brakes and a breakaway): 1) the tow bar, 2) the mounting brackets (that go on the car), and 3) the security cables/tail light kit

I will use CW links. Also Roadmaster in Vancouver, WA performs towbar installs. I believe they won't charge Oregon residents WA sales tax. You'll need to inquire. Other shops perform installs. You'll need to research this yourself.

Falcon 2 (hitch-based) tow bar:
Falcon 2 Tow Bar - Product - Camping World
(If I had had the money I would have bought the All-Terrain Falcon 2. The ability to drop the car on uneven surfaces/angles is REALLY nice. I can do it with my Falcon 2 - but it's a PITA)

mounting brackets for car (EZ2). If I recall correctly this needs to be pre-ordered and CW requested a deposit:
Roadmaster Inc - Roadmaster Tow Bar Mounting Bracket - Tow Brackets - Camping World

Roadmaster Tow Bar Accessory Kit
Roadmaster Tow Bar Accessory Kits - Product - Camping World
CW's "Roadmaster Tow Bar Accessory Kit" picture is a bit deceiving. They got it from Roadmaster. Refer to Roadmaster's below link. Scroll to the bottom. The "bracket to mount the power cord socket" is not shown in the picture but it is shown in the picture for the All-Terrain kit.
Roadmaster Inc. - Tow Bars, Braking Systems & RV Accessories

1) make sure to drive both the car and the tow vehicle to the shop. I did the car first, then the RV later. Bad mistake.

2) The "bracket to mount the power cord socket" is for the back of the tow vehicle (if needed)
BUT - you also need 1 for behind the smart car's grill. This is one of the tweaks I spoke of. CW originally tie-wrapped the socket to the plastic grill. After plugging and unplugging the tail light cable 10 or so times, the tie-wraps broke. I had CW in Wilsonville cannibalize a combo kit for its mounting bracket and install it behind the grill and screw the socket to it. This is how it needs to be done on a smart car. The grill needs the reinforcement that the mounting bracket provides. Here is a link to a picture of it installed. I then ordered a replacement bracket from Roadmaster and then gave it and the invoice to CW Wilsonville so that they could order additional brackets for smart car installs.

If the shop does not have spare mounting brackets on hand, have them order one when they order the EZ2 brackets for the car.

3) When the shop runs the wiring between the smart car's tail lights (to the socket at the front) don't let them run it through the engine bay. CW in Wilsonville did that - the exhaust system seriously cooked the wires, then CW in Tacoma ran new wiring under the weather stripping, but they cross-wired the diodes. Then CW in Wilsonville corrected Tacoma's cross-wiring (see #4). This is another one of the tweaks I spoke of.
Running the wires in the channel under the weather strip works fine.

4) With the car connected to the tow vehicle's tail lights with the power cord, have the shop test the car's turn signals and brakes with the tow vehicle's headlights turned on and with them turned off. If CW in Tacoma had done this they would have caught their mistake.

Finally....

Install a manual battery disconnect (details in my garage). I don't care if you never use it. I have a 2009, and the towing section in the 2009 owners manual says to use a battery disconnect while towing. Allow me to quote my owners manual:
Preparing the vehicle: Contact an authorized smart center for information on recommended tow bar equipment and installing a matching on/off switch on the battery terminal.
- Before towing: Make sure the ignition is switched on.
- Engage the parking brake.
Just don't install Roadmaster's automatic battery disconnect or anybody else's automatic battery disconnect. Automatic battery disconnect systems may trigger the car's computer to wake up in mid-tow and lock the brakes - or worse. Talk to your smart service manager (or Bryce at Kuni Auto Center) about seized engines and transmissions from folks who towed without a manual battery disconnect. You have been warned.
 

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If there is irritation about thread hijacking, I could have PM'd my reply to dichrodave but I decided that the 4 items at the bottom of my post were important enough for everyone to see - regardless of what brand of tow bar they might want to install.

For those of you towing without a battery disconnect, I hope your smart never has a towing-related problem. I'm on the battery disconnect bandwagon. I won't risk a repair that costs more than my smart car.
 

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Blue Ox Aventa LX with SMART Towing Padeyes?

Can the manufacturers tow points be used on the Smart Car rather than install a plate. There is a system in UK that looks very simple that does this. See... Smart-Tow.com
I, too, have the Aventa LX towbar and am researching if I can use the stock padeye tow points on my 2008 Passion on the front rather than blemish the front bumper, grille, etc. with a baseplate. Any experiences from anyone? Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I, too, have the Aventa LX towbar and am researching if I can use the stock padeye tow points on my 2008 Passion on the front rather than blemish the front bumper, grille, etc. with a baseplate. Any experiences from anyone? Thanks!
When we got our smart the tow points were not strong enough to support towing - the threads were the weak point. I don't know if anything has changed since the 2008 model year but I would invest in the security of the Blue Ox base plate - it's almost invisible when disconnected and gives you the peace of mind knowing that you're pulling from the frame and not some questionable threaded connection.
 

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I thank everyone for their responses. Please see this website. Smart-Tow, Towing Solutions for Motorhomes
They make an A Frame and adapters that screw into the front tow points on the Smart. People are towing them this way all over Europe.
When I saw the "clamps or adapters" the screw into the car I trying to find out if they could be adapted to my Blue Ox A Frame. I own the frame and safety cables etc. and did not want to buy a whole new setup. I also had a bad experience with a tow plate poorly installed on the VW Beetle I was towing and wanted to avoid doing it to the Smart.
Last, I contacted the company on the website but they will not sell the two screw in clamps separately.

Sure looks simple on their website. Especially the video where they show the wife hooking it up and pulling the car by hand over to the rig.
 
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