Anyone tow with a mini cooper?

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Re: Anyone tow with a mini cooper?

Postby bc555af » Thu May 14, 2015 9:55 am

Thanks for all the replies! Sorry I have been busy and haven't logged in lately. I had other things come up and haven't started the install...yet. I may have time to do it tomorrow on my day off after I replace the radiator in my K5 Blazer.
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Re: Anyone tow with a mini cooper?

Postby bc555af » Tue May 19, 2015 2:02 pm

Also, will the automatic transmission will be a problem if I can keep the total weight as light as possible, say 600 to 700 lbs fully loaded? Looking at other forums, people say transmission coolers are a must while others tow without them.
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Re: Anyone tow with a mini cooper?

Postby Blind Dog Daddy » Tue May 19, 2015 9:57 pm

PM sent. I'll be glad to answer your questions, if I can. Both of my MINIs are S models, so brakes are bigger on the front.
Power may be a problem but cruising down road may be okay. Sport mode makes my S auto pull better by holding lower gears longer and dowsfifting sooner.
I've installed many hitches on MINIs and wired some of them for towing.
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Re: Anyone tow with a mini cooper?

Postby bc555af » Mon Jun 01, 2015 8:40 am

Update: Friday night I finally installed the hitch on the mini. Took my laptop out to the garage and watched the installation youtube video from e-trailer step by step, pausing while I worked so I didn't miss anything. I took both rear tires off in order to access the screws easier. Had to loosen the spare tire a little until I got the hitch installed, then I tightened it back up. Forgot to take any pictures of the process, but I can say that installation was very easy with the video. The Mini Do More hitch that I bought came with no instructions. Ran to Walmart to grab a 1.25 inch draw bar for $20 which was not long enough. :x Gonna have to return that one. Ordered a longer draw bar from e-trailer for only a couple of bucks more plus shipping. I was not going to spand $80+ for the same draw bar from Mini Do More. the only thing is that I will have to weld 2 chain links on it for the safety chains when it comes in. This weekend, I will wire up the trailer light kit and then do several test runs with the teardrop. I figured on most of our small weekend trips we won't be taking the grill, cookware, or food items since most of the time we like to hit the mom and pop restaurants in the area we go. Basically we will be packing our clothes, the climate right AC, bedding, and a few other items we will need just to stay for a couple of nights. Look forward to being able to leave on a whim without worrying about paying $$ for hotels. :D maiden voyage with the teadrop + mini will be June 19 - 21, our anniversary. :D Hope everything goes well!
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Re: Anyone tow with a mini cooper?

Postby bobhenry » Mon Jun 01, 2015 9:39 am

bc555af wrote: the only thing is that I will have to weld 2 chain links on it ( the drawbar :frightened: ) for the safety chains when it comes in. Hope everything goes well!


Look over the receiver there should be some kind of concession made in IT to receive the safety chains.

Hooking to the drawbar is a good last resort but what happens if you should lose the receiver pin that holds the drawbar into the receiver?

OOPS ! my apologies that really is how they are made Image

Perhaps a good locking receiver pin is in order :thinking:
Growing older but not up !
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Re: Anyone tow with a mini cooper?

Postby bc555af » Mon Jun 01, 2015 12:15 pm

Haha definitely using a locking pin! 60 difference between buying one with the chain holes installed or for me to do it myself. Just got to grind off the paint, use the old stick welder to weld them on, paint the welds and I'm good to go. :D
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Re: Anyone tow with a mini cooper?

Postby Blind Dog Daddy » Mon Jun 01, 2015 5:46 pm

bc555af wrote:Haha definitely using a locking pin! 60 difference between buying one with the chain holes installed or for me to do it myself. Just got to grind off the paint, use the old stick welder to weld them on, paint the welds and I'm good to go. :D



My Clubman hitch had the safety chain ears welded to the hitch itself. I still use a locking pin though.
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Re: Anyone tow with a mini cooper?

Postby bc555af » Mon Jun 08, 2015 9:25 am

So this weekend my drawbar came in. I welded the 2 chain links to it and repainted it. While it was drying I went ahead and installed the trailer brake light module in the boot of the mini. Instructions were right on point and took about 35 minutes to do. When I hooked the teardrop up, lights worked perfectly and everything worked great. Pulled it around town and a few farm to market roads for about 20 miles testing it out. This is what I found:


-The weight of the teardrop did not make the rear of the mini sag at all. I didn't think it would anyways since I can pick up the tongue and move it around with one hand. All storage is either on top or behind the trailer axle.
-I get a 5 second light bulb warning when I start the mini with the hitch in place because it senses that I removed the middle tail light.
-I can pull it 60-70 mph no problem on flat road.
-On hills, I tried sport mode and also tried manual shifting and had no problems with either. Not once did the RPMs go any higher than normal driving.
-On flat road, I couldn't tell the teardrop was back there.
-Stopping was not a problem.


June 19 will be our first trip with the teardrop and mini cooper together. We will be staying 2 nights at Black Rock Park on Lake Buchanan. I was lucky to get that spot, all other state parks in the hill country are booked full this time of year! Yesterday, I went ahead and ordered the Climate Right 2500 BTU AC. Expensive? Yes! Was my fiance happy with my purchase? No! :frightened: Was it worth it? We shall see! I felt that it was my best bet over just redirecting air from a Window AC into the teardrop because this one is climate controlled and the window units would surely freeze us out of it since our teardrop is smaller than the average teardrop. This weekend, I will install the climate right and post the results.
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Re: Anyone tow with a mini cooper?

Postby bc555af » Mon Jun 15, 2015 8:07 am

I installed the Climate Right which works perfectly in this little teardrop. I could turn it into a refrigerator if I had to! Also, I welded a little bead on the thread of the hitch ball as a last resort safety precaution in case the bolt comes loose. Torqued it down and adjusted the harbor freight hitch on the trailer. I store the climate right and spare tire at the foot area behind the axle, making the tongue weight even lighter. Pulled it around again this weekend on a little joy ride on the farm roads and pulls nicely. I need to get the official weight on it though. My guess is around 600 lbs loaded after switching out some gear. Leaving Friday morning to Lake Buchanan and won't be back until Sunday. :D
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Re: Anyone tow with a mini cooper?

Postby Midget » Mon Jun 15, 2015 1:40 pm

I don't want to hijack the thread but I had an incident with our tail light wiring that if anyone in the future read this thread they may want to know. We ordered our wiring kit from E-Trailer and after installing it with what I thought was the correct set up, even after watching the online video, I hooked up the trailer and had only brake lights, left turn and right turn. No running lights. It took me awhile to figure out that the Clubman has a different wiring set up than a hardtop. I have a separate brake and tail light wire which requires a different converter. I called E-Trailer customer service and told them what I found and what I needed. A converter with an extra red wire on the vehicle side of the converter. They said they would send me the right part and wanted a picture of what I received. Hopefully they update their website.

Bob
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Re: Anyone tow with a mini cooper?

Postby Blind Dog Daddy » Mon Jun 15, 2015 5:48 pm

Bob, did you have to connect that red wire to vehicle's battery positive in some way? If so, bc555af may have installed wrong converter. The fused 12 volt red wire actually powers the bulbs on the trailer, isolating the vehicle's electronics from shorts and overloads. The other leads are merely for triggering the converter. This might explain bc555af bulb failure problem he noted in previous post.

I used the same powered converter/isolator on both my hardtop and clubman. The brake/tail lights are mechanically different between the models, but the wiring functions the same.
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Re: Anyone tow with a mini cooper?

Postby bc555af » Tue Jun 16, 2015 6:49 am

The bulb warning is not from the converter I installed, but from removing the middle tail light in order to access the hitch. I installed the hitch and did a test pull with the teardrop before I installed the trailer light converter kit and got the same bulb warning. When I replace the middle tail light, the bulb notification goes away even if I still have the trailer lights connected. Sorry I wan't clear on that. I have running lights and everything. I hope you get yours worked out.
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Re: Anyone tow with a mini cooper?

Postby bc555af » Tue Jun 16, 2015 6:51 am

Looking up the warning light symbol in the mini manual says "bulb of exterior lighting system failed."
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Re: Anyone tow with a mini cooper?

Postby Midget » Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:45 am

The converter I received has a black wire at the top of the vehicle side which takes the + battery wire. There is a brown wire that says "Stop/Tail" on that side also. This is my problem. I should have a separate wire for the stop light and the tail/running light. When looking at E Trailer's website the picture shown for the Clubman has an extra wire on the vehicle side. It's a red wire so the brown is tail light and the red is brake light. What they sent me does not match the picture.

E Trailer emailed me again requesting another picture.

Bob
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Re: Anyone tow with a mini cooper?

Postby bc555af » Mon Jun 22, 2015 8:58 am

Pulled the teardrop and the mini for 300 miles this weekend to Lake Buchanan and Inks Lake. I will post pics later in the Trips section. MINI pulled it fine when using sport mode. On the highway I cruised 65-70 mph and on the steepest hills the RPMs never got close to 4000. You can feel it back there on the hills but it never strained for more power. I kept it slow and wasn't in a hurry (teardrop time!) 8) By nightfall when we got to Black Rock Park, 2 other teardrops pulled in and both were T@Bs. ClimateRight worked perfectly slept like a baby. Can't wait to go again. :D
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