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I own a 2005 Element EX AWD with manual transmission. I am about to move from NYC across the country. I have checked the prices and it would be quite a bit cheaper to tow a Uhaul trailer then to rent a truck and tow my Element. $700 vs around $1700 respectively.

I also have an old VW Bug from 1969 (around 1500lbs or a little more) that I need to get across the country as well. I know that the factory installed hitch is only rated to 1500 lbs which isn't much. The uhaul hitch says its up to 3500.

Will this put a ton of strain on the Element? I don't want to over exert my car and am not sure if this is a good idea or not.

Does anyone have any experience with this? Can it tow another small car without issues? Am I going to spend more money on maintenance due to strain put on towing a trailer 3000 miles?

Any information would be helpful. Thanks!
 

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Many members tow trailers that are 1,500 to 2,100 pounds. I don't like to stress the element that much, myself. But it does work. Be sure to have the transmission drained and flushed, Before and after the trip.

You may also wish to see how much it would cost to ship the VW. It may save you a bunch of headaches .. Just stuff it with all the heavy Items, and ship it.

Dom
 

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I know that the factory installed hitch is only rated to 1500 lbs which isn't much. The uhaul hitch says its up to 3500.
The CAR is rated for 1500 lbs. Doesn't matter how much higher the hitch hardware is rated, the lower limit from the car overrules all.
People have towed more than 1500 lbs. But for how far, over flat terrain or hills? Lots of debates about that in the forum.

Remember, if you pull a trailer with dual axles (2 tires per side) it will have trailer brakes. Standard electric brakes need a 7-pin power connector and brake controller - not easy to put in your E. Some rental trailers have an internal inertial brake system.
Biggest concerns are stopping (going down hills, panic stops, etc); transmission wear and tear from the extra load; stability - a trailer weighing as much as the E may not always be stable when stopping without trailer brakes.
Another concern is the driver. How much experience and training does the driver have in pulling a trailer? Can he do a safety check? Change a tire (tools)? Back up? Ever used wider mirrors? And has them too? Knows how to recover from a bouncing trailer? And so on...
 

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Look carefully at all these concerns raised.

Personally, I'm not keen on pulling too hard with the E. My experience with Honda's are they do exactly what they are built to do within their limits. Many here have much more experience on towing with the E here, though.

Last thought...if you're moving while the heat of summer is on, remember that's what will kill that tranny fluid's protection if and when. (Take it from someone who burned up the tranny seals on a Jeep by pulling a car across a few states midsummer once.)
 

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First - yes, I would DEFINITELY recommend the Uhaul hitch, especially if you install it yourself (cheaper). I did and (IMHO) it's a MUCH better hitch than stock.
Second - I have towed 1500 lbs (exactly, it was weighed) across the US (GA to MI to WA to AK (yes, that's Alaska through Canada) without any type of issues. There was only a time or two where I needed more power and had to shift down into 4th gear. If the bug weighs right in that range, you're probably OK, but, if you can remove any weight, I would recommend it. Don't overload the E when maxing out the two capacity, again, too much strain.

Hope these tips help in your decision, good luck, and safe journey!! :razz::):)
 

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Towing with a MANUAL tranny...

Don't worry too much about transmission issues raised by those here with automatic transmissions. I see you also have an MT! Now, the clutch is another thing to think about. What condition is yours in???
Best of fortune in your travels!
Cheers,
John :roll:
 

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Another few things to throw in the hopper:

-MT vs AT (actually I see this has already been highlighted). Be sure your clutch and brakes are in good shape. Do you have a lot of towing experience with an MT?

-Trailer weight (if any) for the VW. If you can tow it 4-down or even just get a little trailer for the front wheels, you'll probably be just fine. Do NOT try to tow it on a full car trailer.



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