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Nitroracer
Nitroracer SuperDork
3/23/12 7:13 p.m.

Often when you find pictures of forbidden automotive fruits from europe they have these tiny trailer hitches attached to the back. They all point right up at the sky and look about as strong as a twizzler. Why do some many euro cars have these wimpy hitches? What are they towing?

2.0L Scorpio

Fiat 500

Don49
Don49 Reader
3/23/12 7:24 p.m.

Very lightweight camping trailers (caravans) are very popular there. Any given weekend in Germany you can see many, many of them being towed to campgrounds.

davidjs
davidjs Reader
3/23/12 7:35 p.m.

From the towing threads, it's my understanding that's a 5,000 lb hitch in Europe

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker UltimaDork
3/23/12 7:38 p.m.
davidjs wrote: From the towing threads, it's my understanding that's a 5,000 lb hitch in Europe

hahaha! nice.

Ranger50
Ranger50 SuperDork
3/23/12 7:47 p.m.

I thought it was for her pleasure.

FlightService
FlightService SuperDork
3/23/12 8:42 p.m.

Actually my Mazda5 with that is rated at 3500 lbs (known as the Premacy in Europe)

The US hitch is only 2000. Those are usually true frame hitches that do a really good job of weight distribution.

And in Europe you have a max trailer speed of 50 mph (I think) and they will fry you if you speed with a trailer, and most of their trailers have electric or surge brakes.

Amazing what you can do when properly equipped and don't drive to the races at qualifying speed.

Knurled
Knurled Dork
3/23/12 8:55 p.m.

Something interesting I found out. If you flat-tow a car in most states, you have to have some sort of brake actuator installed on the towed vehicle. And if you don't have that, your insurance can void a claim if you get into an accident.

This, of course, got me thinking about converting the rear brakes on my potentially-towed vehicle to electric trailer brakes, which would be cheaper than one of the neat-o spiffy electric brake actuators that connect up to the brake pedal and provide vacuum to the brake booster.

Or, I could just not tow, which also works.

Ian F
Ian F UltraDork
3/23/12 9:23 p.m.

Many of these are made by Bosal. The hitch for the Mk IV appears similar is rated at 1500kg (about 2600 lbs) in Europe. That "twizzler" is solid steel and bolted to a frame system bolted into the uni-body structure.

HIDGolf
HIDGolf New Reader
3/23/12 11:14 p.m.

Some of them replace the rear bumper with a reinforced crossbar and hitch. They don't have attachments for trailer chains.

http://www.westfalia-automotive.de/index.php?id=6&L=1

m4ff3w
m4ff3w SuperDork
3/23/12 11:19 p.m.

I moved our entire 4 person 3 bedroom house with a 4x8 trailer behind an Alfa Milano. It was a factory optional hitch.

It took more than a few trips.

Keith
Keith MegaDork
3/23/12 11:36 p.m.

When I bought my 1987 Subaru, it came with a hitch. It was screwed into the plastic bumper with two coarse-threaded screws. I rated it at about 10 lbs capacity before I removed it.

These look positively robust by comparison.

In the UK, a LR Discovery is a work truck. They do things differently.

Zomby woof
Zomby woof UltraDork
3/24/12 6:13 a.m.
Ian F wrote: Many of these are made by Bosal. The hitch for the Mk IV appears similar is rated at 1500kg (about 2600 lbs) in Europe.

1500 kg is not 2600 lbs, in Europe or anywhere else. It's 3300 lbs.

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
3/24/12 6:19 a.m.

I am still looking for the factory hitch for my saab

CLNSC3
CLNSC3 Reader
3/24/12 7:12 a.m.

I once sold two jet skis on a double trailer to a guy who pulled them away in a 4 cyl Accord....I thought he was crazy...

joey48442
joey48442 UberDork
3/24/12 7:18 a.m.

I pulled a dead Miata on a dolley home behind my ranger... I figure the whole set up was about 2800 pounds.

That sucked with a 4 cyl ranger.

Joey

Ian F
Ian F UltraDork
3/24/12 7:39 a.m.
Zomby woof wrote:
Ian F wrote: Many of these are made by Bosal. The hitch for the Mk IV appears similar is rated at 1500kg (about 2600 lbs) in Europe.

1500 kg is not 2600 lbs, in Europe or anywhere else. It's 3300 lbs.

Rechecked the math... You're right. Not sure where 2600 came from... Unless my memory is bad (quite possible) and the rating is less than 1500kg. 1200, maybe.

This debate comes up constantly... In Europe they don't have trucks like we do, so they use what they have. The speed restriction may be much of reason for Top Gear's constant campaign against caravans.

Teh E36 M3
Teh E36 M3 Dork
3/24/12 3:04 p.m.

I too, saw these all over the place. I checked them out, and they are indeed, very robust. I actually looked for one for my Subaru WRX wagon, but they were more expensive than the 2000lb class V receivers.
It's no maserati, but I've moved house 2x with it and a 4x8 HF utility trailer. Also built a two story 16x20 garage, finished a basement, landscaped two yards, and soon will remodel a kitchen. I'd like to retire it

914Driver
914Driver MegaDork
3/24/12 5:07 p.m.
Nitroracer wrote: Fiat 500

Seems happy to see me.

Duke
Duke UberDork
3/24/12 8:23 p.m.

Out of 6 cars, the only one I own with a hitch is the Miata.

stanger_missle
stanger_missle New Reader
3/24/12 10:32 p.m.

When I bought my 1984 Supra P-type, it had a class 2 hitch on it. The ball looked like it lived a hard life. I removed it becase it was horrendously rusted and looked like a turd stuck to the underside of the bumper.

I also towed an enclosed 6x12 U-Haul trailer loaded down with furniture with a 1991 4 cylinder Ranger. The guy at the rental counter thought I was nuts and told me that his computer warned the trailer weighed more than the tow vehicle. He still let me rent it but told me to be careful hahaha. Speed was not a factor that day...

Ironically my brand new Ram did not come with a reciever despite having a 4 and 7 pin trailer plug. What am I supposed to hang my Truck Nutz from?

Keith
Keith MegaDork
3/24/12 10:54 p.m.

Shoulda got a real Ram, the 3/4 ton diesel comes with a hitch

In our fleet, only the Ram and the Westfalia have hitches. The latter is for mounting bike racks. The 1966 Cadillac had one when I got it, which certainly gets the imagination going. The 1967 Land Rover has one, but it's a different type and I only use it as a good way to attach a tow rope when recovering someone.

slantvaliant
slantvaliant Dork
3/24/12 11:58 p.m.

They're just happy to see you.

novaderrik
novaderrik SuperDork
3/25/12 2:42 a.m.
stanger_missle wrote: When I bought my 1984 Supra P-type, it had a class 2 hitch on it. The ball looked like it lived a hard life. I removed it becase it was horrendously rusted and looked like a turd stuck to the underside of the bumper. I also towed an enclosed 6x12 U-Haul trailer loaded down with furniture with a 1991 4 cylinder Ranger. The guy at the rental counter thought I was nuts and told me that his computer warned the trailer weighed more than the tow vehicle. He still let me rent it but told me to be careful hahaha. Speed was not a factor that day... Ironically my brand new Ram did not come with a reciever despite having a 4 and 7 pin trailer plug. What am I supposed to hang my Truck Nutz from?

if the Ram is still built like a real truck, then the bumper is a perfect place to out a hitch.. there should be a knockout in the rubber cover that will allow you to install a ball from which to hang your nuts..

SyntheticBlinkerFluid
SyntheticBlinkerFluid SuperDork
3/25/12 6:46 a.m.
Nitroracer wrote: Often when you find pictures of forbidden automotive fruits from europe they have these tiny trailer hitches attached to the back. They all point right up at the sky and look about as strong as a twizzler. Why do some many euro cars have these wimpy hitches? What are they towing? Fiat 500

I could actually see towing a motorcycle style trailer behind the Fiat to carry extra stuff that wouldn't fit in the car.

SyntheticBlinkerFluid
SyntheticBlinkerFluid SuperDork
3/25/12 6:54 a.m.

My dad has an old Sears utility trailer too that he pulls behind his Corvair (that has a bumper mounted hitch) when they go on long trips with them.

This isn't it, but is the same model. It really doesn't weigh much and has a lot of room. It's perfect for a small car.

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