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Thread: Towing Question

  1. #1
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    Default Towing Question

    I need some advice, I have an 05 Honda Civic with a manual transmission and a 1.4L engine. My uncle is a Honda mechanic and says I can probably get away with towing 1000lb with it. The sled I have is an 06 Yamaha Attak 1000cc and I've been told it weighs about 650lb with a full tank of gas. I'm considering getting a single place trailer to tow my sled around. I'm not too worried about the engine's ability to move everything, but what I am worried about is traction. My Civic is FWD, I do have some pretty good studded tires on it, Nokian Hakkapeliitta, but they don't stop me from spinning out when it's really icy with no load. Is this something I might be able to get away with on our Alaskan roads or am I just asking for trouble? The only place I ever go out is way down Kinik Goose Bay road in Wasilla out to Flat Horn and Figure 8 Lake, but I know the roads can be pretty slick.

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    Not a good idea your load is about 1/3 of your power unit. You would have little or no control on braking. If you were going to try this in the summer it would be marginal. Need a new plan.

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    You run a tremendous risk of loss of controll under braking and deceleration towing in such conditions with a FWD vehicle. The tail will be wagging the dog in a big way. Get a more capable vehicle or have someone transport your sled for you.

    The only vehicles I have ever lost control of in winter conditions were FWD w/manual transmissions, the circumstances were simple decels, braking and catching a bit of berm with the rear wheel enough to knock the rear around to the front. In none of those instances was I driving irresponsibly, I also have 35 winters of driving experience under my belt.

    A FWD vehicle is a scourge.

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    Default Sorta...

    If you don't ever have to stop real fast like. On any type of road surface you will have no problem pulling what you describe. However, in the real world one has to contend w/ other drivers, 95% of which honestly think they are better than average drivers. And moose, who don't think at all.

    I used to pull two sleds behind a '96 Ford Ranger, 3.0L, 4WD, 5speed. It weight 4,200lbs, beleive it or not. I said "used to". It could pull it just fine, I thought, until the one time I took the whole shebang up to Eureka. I coulda walked up those long hills faster pulling the trailer in my teeth. And then the descent in to Palmer...I was afraid that in a panic situation the weight of the trailer would push the butt end of the rig where I did not, at that moment want it to go. I swore never again.

    So in answer, Yes you can pull it. But I would not wanna be around when you have to stop it, RIGHT NOW.

    Now, this is all moot, if the trailer has brakes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by partychief360 View Post
    If you don't ever have to stop real fast like. On any type of road surface you will have no problem pulling what you describe. However, in the real world one has to contend w/ other drivers, 95% of which honestly think they are better than average drivers. And moose, who don't think at all.

    I used to pull two sleds behind a '96 Ford Ranger, 3.0L, 4WD, 5speed. It weight 4,200lbs, beleive it or not. I said "used to". It could pull it just fine, I thought, until the one time I took the whole shebang up to Eureka. I coulda walked up those long hills faster pulling the trailer in my teeth. And then the descent in to Palmer...I was afraid that in a panic situation the weight of the trailer would push the butt end of the rig where I did not, at that moment want it to go. I swore never again.

    So in answer, Yes you can pull it. But I would not wanna be around when you have to stop it, RIGHT NOW.

    Now, this is all moot, if the trailer has brakes.

    Interesting, I have never seen, heard of nor repaired a front wheel drive Ford Ranger, unless of course someone removed the rear drive shaft in an emergency.

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    Quote Originally Posted by .338WM View Post
    Interesting, I have never seen, heard of nor repaired a front wheel drive Ford Ranger, unless of course someone removed the rear drive shaft in an emergency.
    Excuse me, my point that as a small, seemingly light weight vehicle the Ranger was not a great choice for pulling or stopping trailer with even only two sno-go's. I did not even consider the advantage of 4WD/RWD over FWD in this scenario. No doubt you are right...a Civic lacking the running gear in the keister would be very easily pushed about under any radical change in either direction or velocity. The Ranger was the only small rig experience I had to offer. It is, I'm pretty sure heavier than a Honda Civic. Though at 140HP when new, maybe less powerful, I've no clue as to the rated HP of the Honda. The Ranger was all it could do to get up the hills, thank God no one else was on the highway that evening, me making like a blue-haired-Winnebago...my 1972 2.4L Datsun 240 Z had more...150HP at 2,300lbs and ran like a junkie with somebody else’s TV, not a good choice for pulling or stopping a trailer...even with RWD. :-)
    Natural Selection begins with you!

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    I'll throw out another option for you since you only need to haul a single sled.
    car-photo-.jpg
    Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day,
    Teach a man to fish and he'll also learn to drink, lie, and avoid the honey do list.

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    Thanks for the help guys, I really am a towing rookie. This could have ended badly, I didn't even consider the whole thing jack-knifing when trying to stop I was more worried about getting traction moving forward. Sure glad I made a post... Is it safe to assume a 4WD '99 Chevy Suburban would be safe to tow a single sled with no brakes on the trailer?

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    Yes the Burban would drag it around like it wasn't even there. That is a much better choice!

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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    Yes the Burban would drag it around like it wasn't even there. That is a much better choice!
    What LuJon said.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ak Bird Brain View Post
    I'll throw out another option for you since you only need to haul a single sled.
    car-photo-.jpg
    That's awesome! Wonder how they got it up there. Wonder how they got it down!

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    I'd guess they backed up to a snow pile?
    Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day,
    Teach a man to fish and he'll also learn to drink, lie, and avoid the honey do list.

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    I have a 05 Honda Civic as well. It's a great little car, but I think I would rather tow the Civic behind the Yamaha then vice versa. We frequently ride the gasline trail to Figure 8 and three Saturdays ago while driving to the parking lot, we counted 33 moose along KGB and Point Mac roads. A couple of those moose required sudden braking on ice-packed roads which would probably have landed us in the ditch if towing with a small car.

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    Default Brains Bucket

    Quote Originally Posted by Ak Bird Brain View Post
    I'll throw out another option for you since you only need to haul a single sled.
    car-photo-.jpg
    Hey Kids, look closely at the left side of the rear window...Do you spy the driver sporting a hard hat? Good to know that this fellow is a "Safety Furst" kinda guy.
    Natural Selection begins with you!

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