Scion Trailer!?!?

My wife thinks she wants to travel from Western Mass to the Gulf Coast of Texas this summer. She wants to take our wonderful '05 Scion xB and put a hitch on it to pull a pop-up camper trailer. Is she nuts or what? I love this car and want to keep it for a long time. It has 60K on it now and hasn’t given me a bit of trouble since I bought it with 5K 3 years ago. I smell death. Am I just too possessive.

You’re right, I wouldn’t do any long distance towing with a 1.5l engine.

You and your wife need to read the owner’s manual for information about towing with this vehicle. My guess is it can’t tow the load your wife is suggesting, but read the manual to be sure.

The Scion xB has a small engine, not really suitable for towing over a long distance.

That’s all well and good for the vehicle, but it does not address the reason your wife wants to escape.

Your post makes it sound like you’re more concerned about the vehicle than you are about your wife. Is the “death” you smell the Scion’s, or yours?

Either way, you might be correct.

If you love this woman, I suggest you let her do whatever she wants.

The Scion is just a car. When she’s gone you can get another car.

If she doesn’t come back it’s your fault.

" Am I just too possessive."

No; just rational.

What does the owner’s manual say about towing?

Sorry, dagosa, but this guy is not rational, he’s REALLY possessive.

He’s more concerned about their car than he is about his wife.


The 1st gen Xb’s were notoriously underpowered even without towing anything. They are also notoriously flimsy. I have heard stories from more than one credible source that the A-pillars (and the rest of the car) were so lightly constructed that some dealerships had brand new Xb’s with broken windshields on the lot. The rumor was that by simply backing the car off the hauler that the A-pillar flexed so much that the windshields cracked before they even went on a test drive.

I would not trust an XB to tow a Radio Flyer, let alone a camper.

Towing would not be a good thing to do with this car for sure. I have to say though that these cars are not flimsy, subcompact yes, but no more flimsy than any other subcompact. The windshield thing was a design flaw having to do with the vertical-ness of the windshield and normal body flex, that any vehicle experiences.

It really depends on the trailer. Some pop-up trailers are so small and light that it might be plausible if the owner’s manual says so. This thing would have to be tiny though. It couldn’t have a roof mounted air conditioner and it could have no water tanks or propane tanks. It would have to basically be a tent on wheels. So you are better off getting a good tent and a good air mattress with an electric pump.

Last summer I took my vacation on a motorcycle with a tent and an air mattress (no electric pump). It was a lot of work, but it was also a lot of fun. You don’t need an RV.

Hey mlsteven,
As a current Scion owner, I can tell you that the Owner’s Manual explicitly states NOT to tow anything with this car. If you were to tow, not only will you likely stress the transmission to the point of failure, but you also will lose a lot of traction on the front wheels (or they might come off the ground completely). Go with the manual and don’t do this! If you want to tow, rent a different vehicle for the time you need it.

Keeping the wife long term may be more important than keeping the car long term, but there’s a safety issue here. The xB is not designed to tow. Handling and braking will be compromised.

Remember, if your engine or tranny breaks from this it may ruin your day,
but if you slam on the brakes suddenly and your trailer and car jackknife it could ruin the rest of your life…and the lives of others.

Don’t do this. And of you’re bringing kids, DEFINITELY don’t do this.