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For anyone wondering, I tow this rig on the regular, a few times a week at least. It weighs upwards of 1700lbs. Smartie handles it like a champ. Just wanted to give you guys a good chuckle and show all the naysayers out there that the smart is more than capable of towing. Enjoy! ?
 

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Nice!!! I fairly regularly tow about 1,400-ish pounds with my 451 for fun. I've been renting U-Haul's dual axle 5x10 enclosed trailer with an old oven from my shed to bring it to that 1,400 number. That's about the amount of weight of everything in my entire apartment was.

What I'm doing is some long term testing to see if my 451 can handle the weight of a project I've been considering since I moved out of my apartment over the summer.

Results so far suggest that I will want beefier tyres (done) and that heavier duty ED suspension. The clutch seems fine towing, it just takes a little fancy footwork to keep it happy when starting on a hill.



 

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Total distance so far for me is 1,000 miles. My transmission seems fine so far. The weak spot seems to be the clutch actuator, though that part has always been the weakest link on my car.

My dad owned a transport company for about 20 or so years, I learned a lot through him about hauling loads. ;) Time Will see if a smart makes a good tow car in the long run. And I guess comebackkid is our 453 guinea pig with his massive load.
 

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For anyone wondering, I tow this rig on the regular, a few times a week at least. It weighs upwards of 1700lbs. Smartie handles it like a champ. Just wanted to give you guys a good chuckle and show all the naysayers out there that the smart is more than capable of towing. Enjoy! ?

I'm real interested in how your hitch is constructed. Do you have any pictures of it. Did you use the original rear crash bar and add a hitch socket to it? The hitch problem is now one of the only reasons I haven't purchased a 453 yet. I need a way to get my bikes to the trail as I do with my 451.
 

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Nice!!! I fairly regularly tow about 1,400-ish pounds with my 451 for fun. I've been renting U-Haul's dual axle 5x10 enclosed trailer with an old oven from my shed to weigh it down a little more.

What I'm doing is some long term testing to see if my 451 can handle the weight of a project I've been considering since I moved out of my apartment over the summer.

Results so far suggest that I will want beefier tyres (done) and that heavier duty ED suspension. The clutch seems fine towing, it just takes a little fancy footwork to keep it happy when starting on a hill.

Neon, wouldn't it be easier to just rent a Uhaul truck. Then tearing up a transmission, and clutch. smart cars aren't meant to tow anything. It's written in the owners manual. I know, that hasn't stopped smart owners. My daughters moved several times. We rented a truck.
 

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For anyone wondering, I tow this rig on the regular, a few times a week at least. It weighs upwards of 1700lbs. Smartie handles it like a champ. Just wanted to give you guys a good chuckle and show all the naysayers out there that the smart is more than capable of towing. Enjoy! ?

I'm real interested in how your hitch is constructed. Do you have any pictures of it. Did you use the original rear crash bar and add a hitch socket to it? The hitch problem is now one of the only reasons I haven't purchased a 453 yet. I need a way to get my bikes to the trail as I do with my 451.
I do have pictures somewhere around here, let me see if I can find the thread.

I'll preface it by saying this hitch requires the removal of the stock muffler as it was too big to work around. I had a local shop replace it with a small glass pack and now my smart has a nice little rumble too it lol.

I didn't use the crash bar as it is far too weak to support the weight of the things I tow. However, it could be modified for something light, like a bike rack.

I started out with the hitch off my 451 made by curt mfg. I cut the middle tubular piece off the mounts and was able to reuse it on the new hitch. All I had to do was figure out how to fab up new mounts. Once I figured out how to get the bumper off, I was able to take measurements and solidify my plans. I ended up mounting the new hitch the exact same way the crash bar mounts. It was really convenient as no drilling in the frame or new hardware was necessary. The only thing I was hesitant about was cutting through the bumper. I decided to make the hitch low enough so that I wouldn't have to cut through the painted plastic part of the bumper. Instead, I only had to cut the black trim at the bottom.

hope this makes sense!
 

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I love it comebackkid! :D

Neon, wouldn't it be easier to just rent a Uhaul truck. Then tearing up a transmission, and clutch. smart cars aren't meant to tow anything. It's written in the owners manual. I know, that hasn't stopped smart owners. My daughters moved several times. We rented a truck.
I mean, I know towing is not a popular proposition on SCoA, but the Europeans seem to have no issue doing what we're too afraid to do.

Renting a U-Haul truck that's approximately the same size of a U-Haul trailer (that my car has proven itself to be very proficient at towing) is 3x the cost. I'd rather just do it the way I intended when I originally bought the hitch in 2014. Shame it took me to 2017 to actually use it!

Just because the owner's manual says it can't do something doesn't mean it's definitively true. I mean, the owner's manual for the 453 says the tank is 8.7 gallons, yet to this day I've never been able to fit more than 7 gallons even when on fumes. :shrug:

Look at what the Europeans do. The lead car in the first image is an ED to boot!





These cars (save for the 453) technically aren't meant to be driven across the country either, but they do it without complaint too. Heck, if I recall correctly early manuals didn't say you could even tow 4 down behind a RV, but that's perfectly possible too. :)

Apple says I can't replace my battery, repair, or modify my phone, yet all those things are possible and more. It takes all of 5 minutes to replace an iPhone battery that's allegedly "non-removable".

I like living outside the perfectly drawn lines of a book. :D

I can't rent a truck for what I'm doing since I'm doing long term towing testing on the car. If the results are what I want them to be, I can move forward with a project I've been salivating about for years, but can actually do now that I have a house. The project will weigh *much* less than my testing rig, but I want to make sure the car can actually handle it.
 
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I'll do a search as the link for some reason it doesn't work for me. Only takes me to the menu page.

The problem with a bike rack is the weight is all downward. The torque on the hitch is quite high went you figure the weight of the hitch rack, the length of the hole assembly and the weight of two bikes (even carbon framed ones like ours).
 

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If it is stupid and it works, then it is still stupid and you were lucky. (Howard Taylor).
That rule is a lot of exaggeration here but it may apply to some circumstances. I broke the suspension on my Ford Windstar hauling green sawmill cut Amish Lumber here in the Northern Adirondack Mountains.
I learned several lessons with the Ford, but mainly I learned, never buy another Ford again, ever. Not just because of the suspension fail which was my fault.

I built a little 4 X 4 ft Harbor Freight Trailer and tow it with their Smart Car Hitch. The trailer is a dream and have used it to haul camping gear. Sheets of 4 X 8 plywood stack on top of the box. It works great for most home projects.

One time I loaded it up with a 2 ft stack of solid cinderblock capstones. It towed that load without a problem on the straight and level but going back up the mountain, I had to do it in a lower gear. Speed Limit was 45MPH.

I would be afraid to do that every day with the Smart because I know that I would be exceeding what she was designed to do. Once in a while, no problem. The mountain changes everything. On level ground, you can adjust braking conditions and accelerations so not to stress the car. Not so going up or down mountains.

The owners manual is written for normal driving conditions. Once you load the car past the recommendations, you have changed the driving conditions and you have to change your driving habits. To complex for most people to understand. Remember, half of all people are below average intelligence, and the manuals are written with that in mind.

The Smart has been my only transportation up until recently. I could not afford repairs If I broke something major. I have yet to find instructions on replacing the clutch. My plan has always been to drive within limits and rent a U-haul the next time I have to haul large loads of heavy lumber.

I recently purchased a used Suburu Outback with a towing capacity of 2,000 pounds. Cost per mile seems to be close to the Smart since it does not burn premium. If I lived down on the flat lands, I would probably burn regular but she struggles on these hills at the 45 MPH speed limit and I want to give her every advantage.
 

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Harbor Freight 4 X 4 Trailer

Attached is the trailer I built for my Smart Car.
The trailer is from Harbor Freight.
I would never used OSB again. I started to rebuild it using Georgia Pacific Plytainium Plywood and the Latex paint caused the first ply to buckle and peel off. Maybe a bad sheet but am now using Imported Plywood from Chile that I once used to deck a 36 ft sailboat. I boiled a piece in water to make sure the plys held together.

What you cannot see in the picture it that it has a lid framed with 2 X 3s to keep the inside dry.
Basically framed with 2 X 2s and now using 1/2 inch ply. make sure the sides overlap the base edge or water will seep into the trailer.
Keep it vented or the lid cracked open or it will get moldy inside.
The original OSB has soaked up lots of water and weighs a ton. The OSB lid is almost too heavy to lift open.

Bicycles
I use a hitch bike rack from Wal-Mart that hooks under the wheels instead of the frame which is great for mountain bikes. I put a tie down strap around the hitch and around the tailgate to stabilize the load and prevent fatigue on the hitch mount.
 

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For anyone wondering, I tow this rig on the regular, a few times a week at least. It weighs upwards of 1700lbs. Smartie handles it like a champ. Just wanted to give you guys a good chuckle and show all the naysayers out there that the smart is more than capable of towing. Enjoy! ?
How did it hold up???
 

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You lucky people being able to tow small trailers and micro caravans. Here in the UK we are not allowed by law to tow on public roads with a UK registered Smart Fortwo. It seems we would make our car insurance void by doing so and might get hauled in by the Police. Mind you I have seen European Fortwos with foreign plates towing here on holiday, as they do have legal insurance to tow. Its a crazy World when we in the UK are about the only ones not allowed to tow with a Smart Fortwo!

PS..It seems it is legal to get insurance here in the UK to tow with a Smart Forfour (four seater), according to some Forfour owners who do tow here. Mind you i would still rather own a Fortwo, as they look far better :D
 
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