Cars that can trailer Lasers

#21
I am also late to the game, but I wanted to add my 2 cents also.

I would be more concerned with the brakes than the transmission. Be aware of the max weight capacity of the vehicle. If you exceed that you will likely be exceeding the capabilty of your brakes. The original post mentions that he drives on lots of hills. Hills will add stress to both the transmission and the brakes. If the transmission fails you may get stranded with a large repair bill, if the brakes fail you may injure yourself or someone else.

Don't exceed the designed capacity of the vehicle.

Jimmy
 
Thread starter #22
Thanks for everyone's advice. I called up my Honda service station and asked about towing. The guy said that the Honda Civic can tow up to 1000lbs. So, does that mean I'm pretty safe, then? In regards to transmission and brakes?

I went to James Freedman's website, and I can see that his car is a Honda Civic and he tows his Laser with that. I'm starting to feel confident that I can do this...

Mary
 
#23
Jimmy,

Good point about the brakes, had forgotten that. I still don't think the weight of the laser is much to consider, even when towing, but if you're going up and down hills and will be braking for an extended period of time, towing or not, fresh brake fluid is a real, real good idea.

Alright, I'll keep it on topic from now on, I promise.
 
#24
I think a Civic towing a laser will be fine. We just got a 1.6 Accord, and that thing is strong! I wouldn't think a thing about pulling a double trailer.

Auto transmissions of any tow vehicle should have an external radiator, in front of the radiator. Cheap insurance, as they are US$ 150-200 installed. I'd guess a trailered Laser will net you about the same mileage as a roof-topped laser, and that's a pretty good indicator of how hard things are working.

Just a FYI for all, the first symptom of an overheated auto-tranny is oil spots all over your baby behind you, as A-trans have a boil-over pipe that exits low, so boiled oil flows under the car and gets all over the boat, especially if it low like a Laser.

I never believe the rated tow weight of a big car or truck like the F-150 unless I add an external cooler, the built in coolers are worthless.

Then again, Vermont doesn't look like Michigan, hills wise, so the Detroit guys may not know about hills.

Al Russell
 
#25
Really late to this one, but I used to tow my laser everywhere with a 1995 Honda Civic 1.5. It handled it with no issues for 4 years before I changed my car so you should be fine.
 
#32
...and automatics are generally not so good for towing.
why is that? considering that most large scale vehicles that tow anything bigger than dinghys or any kind of trailer are automatic transmission. this revelation will be bad news to a large number of people. on what facts do you base your opinion??
 
#33
I was more talking about the fact that in the USA cars are normally automatic rather than manual ;) doesn't matter where they're actually made!

...and automatics are generally not so good for towing.
I wouldn't want to trailer anything with a 1.5L auto car either. Anyway, the only cars over here with engines that small are scions and honda fits.
 

Merrily

Administrator
#34
I was more talking about the fact that in the USA cars are normally automatic rather than manual ;) doesn't matter where they're actually made!

...and automatics are generally not so good for towing.
Tell that to my automatic diesel Jeep Liberty, which easily tows 5000 lbs. I think it is more what the car is designed for.
 
#35
Manual vs. automatic for towing is just about even, it is just a matter of preference. This is of course unless you are towing 20,000lbs+ in which case a manual is far superior, hence why 18-wheelers are un-synchronized manual trannys.
 
#36
why is that? considering that most large scale vehicles that tow anything bigger than dinghys or any kind of trailer are automatic transmission. this revelation will be bad news to a large number of people. on what facts do you base your opinion??
Didn't say you couldn't tow with automatics - that would be silly. Just saying that you can have certain problems when towing with an auto.

Look at the max towing weights for the same car with auto vs manual. The auto's generally have a lower limit. That means the gearbox is a limiting factor on what you can tow.

Check out vtgent49's post for a description of the overheating problem...
 
#38
Most cars are designed to carry four large adults, the driver being included, & possibly a boot full of shopping, this is a large amount of weight to be carried around. Towing a laser with only you in the car probably only equals the same amount if not less. If you are really concerned you can find out your vehicles gross train weight, this is made up of the total weight the car can tow, less the vehicle weight, which then leaves the maximum amount that the vehicle is designed to tow. Now the next question you will ask is how do i find out the weight of my boat & the trailer, wedge yours & your neighbors bathroom scales under each trailer wheel, drive the trailer on to them add the weights together & there you have the trailed weight.
 
#39
I believe the boat and a Kitty Hawk weigh ~ 400 pounds. I don't think that is a problem for most cars-automatic or not! I know it is no issue for my GMC Sonoma or my Mazda Tribute. Not sure I would want to tow it behind my Miata though!
 
#40
Since you brought it up...
Am I better off trying to tow laser with my Miata with six speed manual gearbox or my wife's Mazda Tribute Hybrid with Continously Variable Transmission (same vehicle as Ford Escape Hybrid)? Do hybrid's have special towing concenrs because of electric motors or CVT?
 
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