Towing question

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Patti24
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 6:28 am

Towing question

Postby Patti24 » Fri Nov 25, 2016 9:18 am

Hi! So happy I found this website!!
I have a 2003 base Vibe and I am looking for some guidance about towing.
I understand the Vibe is rated to tow 1500lbs, correct?
I have a few utility trailers I'd like to pull, but the one I use most often is approx. 8' x 8' x 3'. I tend to have heavy loads (ie. landscaping rocks or firewood). The trailer's not here right now, so I'm not sure what size of ball the receiver takes or the distance from the ground to the tongue (but I can get that information if necessary to determine what hitch to use.)

I have just began searching for trailer hitches and had NO IDEA how many different types/configurations of hitches and draw-bars are available, so now I am totally confused!

I have a 'tiny' but of mechanical inclination (I do my own oil changes etc.), and I do whatever I can, so I am looking for:

a) input/suggestions/reviews of towing equipment

b) the CHEAPEST, EASIEST, BEST style and manufacturer of hitch/draw-bar/ ball size etc. to install (no drilling etc.)
If PICTURES of the hitches and draw-bars that people are using or recommend could be included, that would be a HUGE help to me!

c) the best type/configuration of hitch to use in order to keep loads level, (considering the Vibe is so low to the ground).

d) the CHEAPEST, EASIEST, BEST kind of wiring kit to use, and where to get it (the more details you can provide, the better!! I live in Ontario, Canada) :D

e) if anyone has any used towing equipment for sale

I'm also looking for information about two other things:

1) The part I need to fix the LED radio/time display. I can barely see the numbers anymore and it makes me crazy!
a) What is the part I need?
b) Is it easy to install, and if so, can you tell me how to do it?
c) Where is the best place to get the part?

2) The exhaust system.
I am starting to smell fumes, but I haven't crawled under to inspect it yet, so I don't know if it is the muffler or what.
Before I do so, are there any problems associated with the 2003 Vibe in particular that I should be aware of? Besides looking for obvious holes, is there any part of the exhaust system that I should have a close look at? (ie. leaking catalytic converter?)

Thank you SO MUCH for any input you can offer! It's much appreciated!
Patti

BenWA
Posts: 357
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2015 5:44 pm

Re: Towing question

Postby BenWA » Fri Nov 25, 2016 2:04 pm

All the hitches for the vibe are no-drill. But the threaded holes are usually so gunked up that have to be cleaned and tapped.

How much of rise you need for your trailer will depend on the trailer itself. A small 4x8 trailer with 8" wheels won't need as much of a raise as a 5x10 with 15" wheels, for example. It just depends on what you are towing.

I bought this hitch, which comes with a draw bar, but no ball of course.
https://jet.com/product/Hidden-Hitch-60 ... 709449f9c7

For the trailer wiring, you need to get a POWERED tail light converter:
http://www.hopkinstowingsolutions.com/g ... &model=425
2003 Vibe Base A/T
Image

jayoldschool
Posts: 294
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2014 6:04 pm

Re: Towing question

Postby jayoldschool » Fri Nov 25, 2016 4:19 pm

Towing with the vibe: think bicycles. Not stone or firewood. You'll be overloaded in no time. If you need to tow a loaded 4x8 with wood, forget it with a Vibe.

gtv237
Posts: 387
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 6:21 pm

Re: Towing question

Postby gtv237 » Fri Nov 25, 2016 7:22 pm

Speaking from experience.. You can tow a lot more than the rating. When I moved to Colorado it pulled around 3000lbs in an enclosed trailer 1100 miles for 16 hours. And since then it's pulled closer to 4000lbs of concrete and wood around town.

Patti24
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 6:28 am

Re: Towing question

Postby Patti24 » Sat Nov 26, 2016 10:18 am

Thank you for your input everyone!
I didn't realize that the trailer itself weighed so much. It's all steel, and my dad said it is about 1000 lbs., so...yup....hauling rocks and wood might not be a good plan, because I definitely don't want to mess up the tranny!
Thanks for the links BenWA. I think I may need a hitch that sits a little higher because the trailer has fairly big tires on it (similar to the size of regular car tires), so the tongue sits up fairly high (at the very least, I am learning a lot about hitches and drawbars anyways! lol) Thank you for sharing your info!
GTV237: Wow! I can't believe you have towed all of that...and your transmission is still okay!?!
Did you put anything special on it (like something to cool the transmission?)
What year is your Vibe, and how many km do you have on it?
I would be way too chicken to try hauling that amount....I need my car too much! haha
My friend offered his backhoe and dump trailer to haul the wood, so I don't have to rush to put a hitch on right away, but I am going to keep looking because I would like to put one on eventually anyways,(even if I can't haul as much as I'd like!).
Thanks again for taking the time to respond!
Patti

BenWA
Posts: 357
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2015 5:44 pm

Re: Towing question

Postby BenWA » Sat Nov 26, 2016 10:22 am

You can buy different ball mounts to fit it.

This one has a 5-3/8" rise:
http://www.etrailer.com/Ball-Mounts/Cur ... Amhw8P8HAQ

Towing an excessive amount is one thing, stopping it is another. Anything over 1500lbs pulled by a Vibe most likely needs to have trailer brakes and a trailer brake controller installed in the Vibe. Also keep in mind that the heavier the load, the heavier the tongue and therefore the more strain is put on the rear suspension.

You would NOT want to tow more than 2000lbs. Why? That's all the hitches are rated for!

Get a Ranger or S10 pickup with a 4cyl engine if you want more hauling capacity. (~3500lbs towing)
2003 Vibe Base A/T
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gtv237
Posts: 387
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 6:21 pm

Re: Towing question

Postby gtv237 » Sat Nov 26, 2016 3:16 pm

Patti24 wrote:Thank you for your input everyone!
I didn't realize that the trailer itself weighed so much. It's all steel, and my dad said it is about 1000 lbs., so...yup....hauling rocks and wood might not be a good plan, because I definitely don't want to mess up the tranny!
Thanks for the links BenWA. I think I may need a hitch that sits a little higher because the trailer has fairly big tires on it (similar to the size of regular car tires), so the tongue sits up fairly high (at the very least, I am learning a lot about hitches and drawbars anyways! lol) Thank you for sharing your info!
GTV237: Wow! I can't believe you have towed all of that...and your transmission is still okay!?!
Did you put anything special on it (like something to cool the transmission?)
What year is your Vibe, and how many km do you have on it?
I would be way too chicken to try hauling that amount....I need my car too much! haha
My friend offered his backhoe and dump trailer to haul the wood, so I don't have to rush to put a hitch on right away, but I am going to keep looking because I would like to put one on eventually anyways,(even if I can't haul as much as I'd like!).
Thanks again for taking the time to respond!
Patti


Mine is a 09 model year with over 160k. No I didn't do anything special to it and yes the transmission is fine. It is a manual though. I don't know if I would trust an automatic. I have seriously loaded a trailer down so much that it felt like the car was chained to a wall.

korax234
Posts: 59
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2016 5:05 am
Location: NE Ohio

Re: Towing question

Postby korax234 » Fri Dec 16, 2016 5:41 am

gtv237 wrote:Speaking from experience.. You can tow a lot more than the rating. When I moved to Colorado it pulled around 3000lbs in an enclosed trailer 1100 miles for 16 hours. And since then it's pulled closer to 4000lbs of concrete and wood around town.


Obviously I wouldn't recommend this. But I also towed an 18' long trailer with furniture on it. The trailer was bigger then the
car it was funny. But I wouldn't do it again, and it was only maybe 30 miles all together that was picking it up then moving 2 loads
and taking it back.

If you do have a small 4x8 trailer I would say just do small loads and just give yourself extra braking distance.

korax234
Posts: 59
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2016 5:05 am
Location: NE Ohio

Re: Towing question

Postby korax234 » Sat Dec 17, 2016 7:59 pm

Here are the pics when I was towing a trailer way to big for the car lol.


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