We own a Cooper S and want to tow it behind our 33' Class A diesel powered motorhome.
We have two options: Either use a tow dolly (raise front wheels off the ground) or tow it "flat" or "4 wheels down" with a tow bar (Blue Ox make the necessary hardware). Putting it on a trailer is OK for a long distance move but not for normal RV use.
Has anyone had experience they can share with us. We cannot get a straight answer out of anybody and we are new to the RV scene.
Third option so often forgotten: Why tow when you can park it inside and sleep on it? 33' sounds like a decent ammount of space and the MINI can be drasticly lightened to have even less impact on the suspension.
I have heard witness of an RV that garaged a MINI. You're not a motorhome unless you've got a motorgarage...
[font=arial]This is all very useful but not ultimately helpful. Blue Ox have a kit specifically for the Mini which allows it to be flat towed, despite BMW's recommendations, it would seem. You can even download the manual showing how to install the tow bar. So who is right, Blue Ox or BMW? Is there anything to be damaged by flat towing (tow dollys (or is it dollies!) are quite tricky to use and have to be stowed somewhere when you are on site), it would seem that there will be no transmission issues (the clutch has disconnected all parts that may be damaged due to lack of lubrication) and all that is left is the CV joints.
Blue Ox is a good product. I have installed and used their base plates and tow bars.
I have been a technician, motorhome, and auto for years.
You are mistaken about the transmission not turning when towing. Everything connected to the wheels will turn when towing. I don't understand your statement that the clutch will be disconnected. True, the clutch disconnects the engine while your foot is on it. I have seen people use a board to hold the clutch down, very shaky.
If the transmission is designed so that it is oiled from the gearing attached to the wheels, then you can tow it limited distances wheels down. I have done this for years with Nissan trucks. In their transmissions, the tailshaft drives the lowest gears in the tranny, and provides lube to the gears. If the trans is designed with the output shaft above the input shaft, there will be no lubrication to the gearing, and your transmission will burn up. Period. Only some one with a shop manual can tell you how the transmission is designed. BMW?
You will not be able to conceal the drilling or welding from mounting the tow bar base plate, and you will have no warranty coverage from the manufacturer.
There are wheel adapters that bolt to your axle shafts which provide free wheeling bearings when your wheels are bolted to them. This is the safest way to tow a front wheel drive car flat down. ( I did a google for those adapters, but they seem to not be in production any more. They were pretty high maintainance)
BMW designs the transmissions and has them manufactured. Blue Ox is a fine company, however they do not design cars, or transmissions, and do not warranty your transmission when using their products.
I prefer flat down towing, and have always done that with my various motor coaches.
"In life, you may do anything you are willing to live with the consequences".
I do understand this is not the answer you are looking for, and I have no interest in debating the subject. I have retired from working on other peoples vehicles. Best of luck, and we may meet at some park in the future. I will have my MINI on a trailer or dolly.
Thank you for help. Your experience was just what I was looking for.
My comment on the clutch was meaningless and I mislead you (brain not connected). What I was really thinking was that with the gearbox in neutral there would less turning in the gearbox and, as you say, it depends on the design whether or not the components that would be driven by the wheels would be lubricated.
However I think you answered my question. Sounds like a tow dolly or trailer is the answer.
Towing a MINI using a dolly (for me behind my RV would be a huge issue.
I'm going to explore another option and would appreciate comments from you mechanics out there who may have a thought on this. REMCO (a tow bar company) makes an external lubrication pump for the transmission activated (when towing)through a simple in-line wiring harness. This system is sold for particular front wheel drive cars but, unfortunately, not (at least yet) for the MINI. I'm thinking.............adapt. Any good thoughts out there?
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