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Little Red

Towing behind Toyota Motorhome

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I want to pull a Nissan Versa from Forida to Texas with my 6 cylinder automatic Sunrader. It is equipped with ECT. The car weighs 2400+ lbs. Different people think it's too much for it. I would love your input. Thank you.

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It's definitely gonna work the 3.0. You may be okay to make it, at least it's a mostly flat drive. Make sure your cooling system is up to par.

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Your going to need a brake system for the Versa with brakeaway brakes. Most states you are OK under 3000 lbs but Mississippi the limit is 2000. 

Linda S

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I have a tow dolly with surge brakes. Think that will do the job?

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5 hours ago, Odyssey 4x4 said:

It's definitely gonna work the 3.0. You may be okay to make it, at least it's a mostly flat drive. Make sure your cooling system is up to par.

Thank you Odyssey for you answer. I have a tow dolly with surge brakes for the Versa. I towed it a few miles from an RV dealer a while back but that was when the motorhome wasn't loaded. It seemed to do just fine. 

It's pretty intimidating though. Have thought that I should have someone to travel with me in case i run into trouble. Would you possibly know of someone? 

Thanks.

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Bottom line Toyota says no towing take it as you will. The rear frame extension is some of the worst welding I have ever  seen then add a camper that is about a 1000# overweight.

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Actually, it's the motorhome manufacturers who say "No Towing" because the appreciated poor design and strength of their own crappy frame extensions. I think Toyota had the C&Cs rated for a GCWR of 8500lb.

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Thank you for responding Derek.

Please forgive me but what are C&Cs?

Also I was reading some of the older remarks and it seems to be a common thought that the Sunrader has really good frame extensions. I do have a 1989 Sunrader.

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Thanks for the pics showing can and chassis. Now I know. So the question still remains...could i pull a Nissan Versa with a tow dolly behind my Sunrader. I'm beginning to think it might be a pretty big gamble. From Florida to Texas?

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My Sunrader rear extensions are rock solid. My son who builds cars says they look stronger than the Toyota frame and are perfectly welded. Atlanta Sunrader guy though says his are flimsy. Have no idea why the difference but you could always have someone look at them and see how good they are. That said there was a couple from Canada who towed a Smart Car while traveling all over the US in their V6 Sunrader. Thousands of miles. The Smart car weighs in at 1800lbs. Versa weighs a little more but your going much less distance. I'm sure you could make it but I am not sure of the toll it will take on your camper engine and transmission. Don't think anyone can predict that

Other options: Is there anyone who would drive your Versa and then you could buy them a flight home? That would be best case scenario.

You can also have a car shipped. Might be a good idea to at least call a few companies and get estimates. Google car shipping for numbers. 

Good luck whatever you decide. 

Linda S

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GCVW  Gross combined vehicle weight as best I can tell is 8500 lbs.  Weight the vehicle full of gas ready to go, full tanks people etc.   Subtract that weight from 8500 and that is what the Toy is rated to tow, including tow bar, dolly, whatever.   Aux brakes will be required, you will have to look that up for your home state and the states you will be traveling through.

I would not tow with a Toyota because of something called axle to length ratio.  Under most conditions it will be just fine, but have to hit the brakes or swerve or even a sudden gust of wind and the Toyota wheelbase is too short and the mass of the towed vehicle is too far behind  the rear axle.  Ever see or play crack the whip?  That is a very real possibility.  

If I wanted to tow I would not do it with a Toyota!   Sure lots of people have done it and got away with it,  I am too old to do things I am just getting away with!

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4 hours ago, linda s said:

My Sunrader rear extensions are rock solid. My son who builds cars says they look stronger than the Toyota frame and are perfectly welded. Atlanta Sunrader guy though says his are flimsy. Have no idea why the difference but you could always have someone look at them and see how good they are. That said there was a couple from Canada who towed a Smart Car while traveling all over the US in their V6 Sunrader. Thousands of miles. The Smart car weighs in at 1800lbs. Versa weighs a little more but your going much less distance. I'm sure you could make it but I am not sure of the toll it will take on your camper engine and transmission. Don't think anyone can predict that

Other options: Is there anyone who would drive your Versa and then you could buy them a flight home? That would be best case scenario.

You can also have a car shipped. Might be a good idea to at least call a few companies and get estimates. Google car shipping for numbers. 

Good luck whatever you decide. 

Linda S

 

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Thank you Linda S for your great advice. I will take my Sunrader to have it checked. I REALLY APPRECIATE the input.

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10 hours ago, Derek up North said:

Actually, it's the motorhome manufacturers who say "No Towing" because the appreciated poor design and strength of their own crappy frame extensions. I think Toyota had the C&Cs rated for a GCWR of 8500lb.

Yeah true Toyota probably said don't put a house on the back!

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1 hour ago, jjrbus said:

GCVW  Gross combined vehicle weight as best I can tell is 8500 lbs.  Weight the vehicle full of gas ready to go, full tanks people etc.   Subtract that weight from 8500 and that is what the Toy is rated to tow, including tow bar, dolly, whatever.   Aux brakes will be required, you will have to look that up for your home state and the states you will be traveling through.

I would not tow with a Toyota because of something called axle to length ratio.  Under most conditions it will be just fine, but have to hit the brakes or swerve or even a sudden gust of wind and the Toyota wheelbase is too short and the mass of the towed vehicle is too far behind  the rear axle.  Ever see or play crack the whip?  That is a very real possibility.  

If I wanted to tow I would not do it with a Toyota!   Sure lots of people have done it and got away with it,  I am too old to do things I am just getting away with!

Thank you jjrbus for your great advice and pictures. I will take all into consideration.

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9 hours ago, Little Red said:

Thank you jjrbus for your great advice and pictures. I will take all into consideration.

 

9 hours ago, Little Red said:

Thank you jjrbus for your great advice and pictures. I will take all into consideration.

I should add I am aware of this because back before the internet my first class A had too short a wheel base and my toad was too heavy. Far too often when on the highway it was a white knuckle experience driving it.  When I learned what was happening I dumped the RV and bought a diesel pusher.

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16 minutes ago, jjrbus said:

 

I should add I am aware of this because back before the internet my first class A had too short a wheel base and my toad was too heavy. Far too often when on the highway it was a white knuckle experience driving it.  When I learned what was happening I dumped the RV and bought a diesel pusher.

12 hours ago, Maineah said:

Yeah true Toyota probably said don't put a house on the back!

 

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Dear jjrbus...you have been a great help to me. You might want to know that based on your information and a few others, I have decided not to pull my Versa to Texas. If I can't find a driver for it, I will just come back to get it.

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8 hours ago, Little Red said:

Dear jjrbus...you have been a great help to me. You might want to know that based on your information and a few others, I have decided not to pull my Versa to Texas. If I can't find a driver for it, I will just come back to get it.

Great choice to my way of thinking.

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It sounds like you're making a house move, so I'll guess that the Toyota will be loaded to the gills and well over the GVWR! That'll be more than enough to worry about without another 2500lb attached behind.

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I've used Uship a few times to ship large heavy items.  You submit a job on the site and people will bid on it.  These are often independent people who are already going from one place to another with room/weight to spare.  Other times it's professionals that are moving cars and looking to fill some room on their rig.  I've had good experiences each time I've used Uship.  Moving a car from coast to coast can be in the $600 to $1000 range so a shorter distance won't be as much.  It's worth taking a look or even signing up and posting a job to see what offers you get.  It might be a cost effective way to avoid stressing out your Toy.

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29 minutes ago, jjrbus said:

Uship is about the cheapest for sending car,  I have never used them but name always comes up.

https://www.uship.com/

Thanks for the tip. Had pretty much decided to leave the car here and come back for it.

But tonight I've been contemplating whether I might stay in Florida. It's my home and i am a warm weather person.

Thanks again for all your help.

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13 minutes ago, AtlantaCamper said:

I've used Uship a few times to ship large heavy items.  You submit a job on the site and people will bid on it.  These are often independent people who are already going from one place to another with room/weight to spare.  Other times it's professionals that are moving cars and looking to fill some room on their rig.  I've had good experiences each time I've used Uship.  Moving a car from coast to coast can be in the $600 to $1000 range so a shorter distance won't be as much.  It's worth taking a look or even signing up and posting a job to see what offers you get.  It might be a cost effective way to avoid stressing out your Toy.

Thanks much Atlanta Camper for that great advice. I'm going to remember that. Some bids I got were crazy high.

Right now I'm even questioning whether I should stay here in Florida. But at least I have gotten some great information, advice, and assistance from you folks in the discussion board.

Thanks again!

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