Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

What to tow with

I have a 7x12 cargo trailer with brakes to tow. It’s converted to an RV so there’ll be no loading it up with heavy tools or equipment or such.
I have to drive from Delaware to Ohio and back every 6-8 weeks so I need good MPG. I’d even consider a diesel.
Due to some vision issues I tend to do better with smaller vehicles.
Im very partial to small convertibles. I’m currently driving a Mini Cooper Convertible
Please recommend a vehicle that may suit my needs.

“Converted to an RV” can mean anything from “I put a popup tent on the floor” to “It has marble floors, dual slideouts, and a porcelain steeping tub.” You need to give us the weight of this trailer before we can recommend something.

BTW, you’d be astonished how much clothes and food/drinks will add to the weight of an RV. It’s a good idea to make a very conservative estimate that if you pack fairly lightly, you’ll add 500-1,000 pounds to the base weight of the trailer.

You will buy 2nd tow rig and use it for towing only? Or it will be your only car? Daily driver?

wow. pulling a cargo trailer, with a small car, with a driver with vision issues. I m scared for you. …and of you

You need to get the trailer weighed, then add a couple of hundred pounds for gear. A smaller car with a diesel sounds like a VW to me. See if a VW TDI Jetta or Jetta wagon can tow the load. Until you know the weight of the trailer you can’t do any car shopping.

@wesw, is that what you consider an attempt to be helpful?

@sustainablatarian, If the trailer has brakes, it obviously has a gross vehicle weight rating that is more than 1,000 pounds. I highly recommend you purchase a tow vehicle that has at least 3,400 pounds of towing capacity. I recommend a midsize pickup truck like the Toyota Tacoma. You’ll want one with a V6 engine.

Aftermarket towing mirrors can go a long way toward expanding your field of vision.

I have vision issues (one sighted eye) and do a lot of towing. I have found that having the correct vehicle is still more important then driving one too small . A small car pulling a big trailer. even if capable, will limit your side vision which is most important. A large vehicle with extended mirrors and a back up camera are assets. You need at least 20/30 vision in one eye to legally drive in most states. That means, If you are going to tow, you need a good tow vehicle and a passenger who can help with your vision field, especially lanes to the right, and help backing up. I would not tow alone without a competent adult by your side and the right vehicle and experience. I have towed alone many times but am experienced and drove very, very carefully on routes I was fully familiar with !

If you don’t have a lot of towing experience and fell comfy doing it, you may put too much pressure on your limited sight. Then, I would agree with @wesw and I would advise against it.

come on whitey are you gonna keep thisup? yes I do. I think considering towing a cargo trailer with a small car to be an indication of inexperience, if not poor judgement. if you add vision problems to the mix it becomes really dangerous, imho. if my comment causes the fellow to reconsider, its possible his life, and mine, since I live in Delaware too, could be saved.

my great- uncle has one eye as well, he is 80 something , never had a problem driving and is in the eastern shore baseball hall of fame. bb gun accident when he was a boy

For the sake of this discussion, let us assume the OP is a licensed driver, passing the vision portion of the exam. I don’t think he came here to face your ridicule or your armchair diagnosis that is based on a single sentence in his original post. You don’t even know what the vision issue is, yet you have deemed him unsafe to pull a trailer based on VERY limited information. If that isn’t troll behavior, I don’t know what is.

…and if you think my asking whether that was helpful was abusive, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet, Troll.

When I lost the sight in one eye, I thought driving would be affected a lot. It is in some critical areas, but you can adjust quite easily…but my golf game is affected more for clubs in the scoring range with distance control. Ballroom dancing actually is the hardest if your partner doesn’t CYA on one side. Your great uncle must have been a great talent. great to hear about him. You would be surprised how many people are running around with one sighted eye. I was and it’s more common then most think. It’s just worrisome for me when I always carry a spare for everything else. :-()

I think both you and @wesw make some good points and maybe the humor was a little off putting but I live with the jokes for years when people come up on my right side, tap me on the shoulder then hide. Seriously, it’s a combi of factors and your suggestions are spot on (love the truck ); but so isn’t wesw when OP may be inexperienced at towing to begin with. I can’t say I’m against it by any means, but just buying the right stuff is not enough. I would use my mirrors a heck of a lot more with vision problems of any kind and if that one skill, along with good distance judgement is not tack, he has a lot of making up to do. Putting a little justifyable fear into the discussion may make one consider everything.

yeah, I m dowm to one lung now. and it collapsed twice before the they took the other a few years ago. not having a spare is quite worrisome

I have a trailer the same size as this. I would not tow it with anything less than a haft ton full size pickup. A good cross wind will move that trailer around real good. I tow mine with a GMC 1500 pickup. The trailer with 1000 pounds in it, the truck pulls it fine but you know its there. I would not tow it with any car or small truck.

yeah, I was referring more to pulling the thing with a “small convertible” as being dangerous than theOPs vision problems,

Trucks are so variable today. A suggestion of a Tacoma extended cab (which is half ton) with 4wd and a v6 is well comparable to a standard cab/bed GMC 1500. If the truck is midsize and powerful enough and quite capable, weight of the tow vehicle does become an primary issue. I found a loaded dump truck was much more stable hauling a flatbed trailer and a tractor in it. Obviously, loading the truck instead of the trailer when traveling and making sure the combined gross weight of both is acceptable is something an experienced tower considers.

A 7x12 trailer is NOT a small trailer. That size trailer by Uhaul weighs 1900lbs EMPTY.

That’s a minimum of vehicle with a Class II towing rating. I know of no small vehicle that has a Class II rating. Many small SUV’s aren’t even Class II.

Get your mindset off a small vehicle. Think mid-size SUV or Pickup.

As for good gas mileage - FORGET ABOUT IT. Towing != Good MPG.

My vision issues are limited depth perception. Thanks for the recomendation of the extended mirrors.
I misspoke when I said the trailer hasa brakes. It has NO brakes. It nothing more then a 7x12 box on wheels.
I will not, and would never consider, towing with my MiniCooper. That info was included for background understanding.
Please recommend a vehicle with great MPG that may suit my needs.

There is no vehicle with great MPG that suits your needs. At minimum, you might be able to get away with a minivan, but even that is doubtful since it will have front wheel drive and would probably require a weight distribution trailer hitch. I suppose you might be able to find a used police cruiser that can handle the job, but fuel efficient vehicles are not made to tow something this large, regardless of what the trailer actually weighs.

The other issue is that small fuel efficient vehicles don’t have the brakes to stop a trailer. You need something that is built to tow and stop with a trailer attached that has no brakes of its own, and nothing fits that description better than a pickup truck.

Your trailer may not be this large, but you don’t want this kind of thing to happen to you.

This is like looking for an athlete that is both musclebound and fast. You can find athletes that are big and strong, and you can find athletes that are fast, but you’ll never find one that is both musclebound and fast enough to out-sprint the fastest runners. The features you seek are mutually exclusive.

I just saw a commercial for ford trucks? Ecoboost motors? Owner said he was pulling a 4 TON trailer and couldn’t even feel it back there? Ha ha. I think “actor” was one of those all hat, no cow types.