Towing with a Chevy HHR?

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Towing with a Chevy HHR?

Postby grestmit » Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:03 am

I have been building our teardrop for a while now. A lot longer getting done than expected. We are planning on using our 2007 Chevy HHR LT to pull it around. I have read what Chevy has said the max should be for towing. 1000 lbs max. Well I am sure I will be going over that by at least 5-600 lbs. Anyone on this forum ever talked about or know of anyone who have had this concern? It is not like we have another car to do the job. Any thoughts out here in Teardrop land? :NC Here is some photos of the build; https://picasaweb.google.com/1157170074 ... redirect=1
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Re: Towing with a Chevy HHR?

Postby S. Heisley » Tue Jul 21, 2015 3:46 pm

grestmit wrote:I have been building our teardrop for a while now. A lot longer getting done than expected. We are planning on using our 2007 Chevy HHR LT to pull it around. I have read what Chevy has said the max should be for towing. 1000 lbs max. Well I am sure I will be going over that by at least 5-600 lbs. Anyone on this forum ever talked about or know of anyone who have had this concern? It is not like we have another car to do the job. Any thoughts out here in Teardrop land? :NC Here is some photos of the build; https://picasaweb.google.com/1157170074 ... redirect=1


It doesn't look like it would weigh too much.

- Is it a standard 4 or 5' wide by 8'?

- Have you checked the tongue weight yet? The tongue weight should weigh roughly 10% of the over-all, properly balanced build.
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Re: Towing with a Chevy HHR?

Postby tac422 » Tue Jul 21, 2015 5:13 pm

I tow a lot with an HHR...
but the Big Pink is right about 1000 lbs.
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Re: Towing with a Chevy HHR?

Postby Woodbutcher » Tue Jul 21, 2015 7:05 pm

I camp with 2 guys that tow with HHR's. Been through the mountains, with no issues.
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Re: Towing with a Chevy HHR?

Postby grestmit » Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:42 pm

To the question as to how big it is, It is a 5x10 on a 5x8 frame. As for the tongue weight. Don't know yet. Although I know it is Not near 200 lbs. but more than 130 lbs. I an thinking that the total weight will be about 1500-1600 loaded to go camping.
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Re: Towing with a Chevy HHR?

Postby S. Heisley » Thu Jul 23, 2015 12:34 am

grestmit wrote:To the question as to how big it is, It is a 5x10 on a 5x8 frame. As for the tongue weight. Don't know yet. Although I know it is Not near 200 lbs. but more than 130 lbs. I an thinking that the total weight will be about 1500-1600 loaded to go camping.


Checking around on the Internet, it is definitely not recommended. http://www.chevyhhr.net/forums/general- ... hhr-29634/

This website has a little more information and suggestions: http://www.chevyhhr.net/forums/general- ... ion-13588/

Sorry that I can't help you further; but, if you read this topic, it promises a special tow-related section here that you might watch for:

viewtopic.php?f=26&t=63872
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Re: Towing with a Chevy HHR?

Postby Heyman71 » Sun Jul 26, 2015 10:13 pm

I have a 2011 HHR. Bought it a few months ago specifically for towing my home built tear and used it several time in hills of north Iowa and Wisconsin. Mine weighs in at 1250 with my typical load but balanced pretty well IMO. I then add on the front two big coolers loaded 100#. In the vehicle will have four arms loads of firewood, and three avg 160# ppl. Guessing that figure in adds in to tow capacity of 500 #??? So a total wt be around 1800# probably. My tongue weight is the only thing that might ever concern me and having enough TV weight to stop without having trailer brakes. My 4cyl Jeep Wrangler did not pull it nearly as well as the HHR has been and I'm very impressed.Still getting 18-21 mpg with more power and ride is much smoother also. I'm not without my concerns. I know it will eat brakes faster. I'm not concerned about the tranny(auto) as it's not up and down shifting much more than normal. I do take it easy and give myself plenty of safe driving distances and take my time getting places starting and stopping slow. Do not beat engine getting in a hurry. I feel these motors are junk because of the timing chain system they use and could skip teeth or break guides then u have a huge bombshell. Good luck, reply back if you do and let me and others know what your thoughts are also. Hope this helps.
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Re: Towing with a Chevy HHR?

Postby Gold5one » Thu Jul 30, 2015 9:48 pm

I used my HHR to pull my build to the scales- It was just under 800lbs ( 1200 now) and I thought the brakes were a little anemic. Down shifting out of OD helped the braking a lot. My build is larger than the average teardrop-- a regular sized 5x8 TD would be no problem at all for an HHR. My build is 68" wide and almost 11ft long.
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Re: Towing with a Chevy HHR?

Postby DrewsBrews » Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:34 am

Suspension plays a role in towing capacity as well. Passenger cars often have soft rear suspensions to keep ride quality up.

I added helper air springs to my TV to keep the rear end from sagging with tongue weight and gear weight in the back. It stiffens up the suspension for more sway resistance too. I don't have an HHR but the suspension is the same style torsion bar rear. Basically they are air bags that you stuff inside the coil springs and run an air line to a schrader valve and air em up with a compressor like you would a tire. It doesn't look like Air lift has a kit for the HHR but firestone does.

You keep at least 5psi in em at all times so they keep their shape.. I figure that cancels out the weight of the hitch anyway.
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Re: Towing with a Chevy HHR?

Postby Gold5one » Wed Aug 05, 2015 1:40 pm

The HHR forum doesn't offer much member advice when it comes to fixing the soft suspension. Some have used rubber spring spacers to gain about 1" in ride height. That might offset 50-100lbs of rear sag . You might need to check the front alignment, if you do this. I personally think the HHR rides 1" too low and I have a repair bill for a cracked aluminum oil pan replacement to verify that. I have had 3 tire repairs in one year, too. The car seems to be a magnet for road debris.
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Re: Towing with a Chevy HHR?

Postby DrewsBrews » Thu Aug 06, 2015 8:11 am

http://riderite.com/kit-search?kit=4141

So Firestone part # 4141

I have no idea why they would only list it for a 2011 model. I'd bet they have yet to try to install it in any other year HHR so they don't want to say it fits other years yet. I highly doubt Chevy made any changes to the rear suspension that would make this only work for one model year.

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/fip-4141

It is a simple install. Jack up the rear end, squish down the air bag and shove it in through the coils, add the shim/protectors, hook up the air lines and route them to a good place to attach the Schrader valve/s. I'd suggest keep each separate and don't T to one valve so the car doesn't body roll so much and will handle better while towing. It allows you to stiffen up the suspension for towing and relax it when not, better than adding something that is "always on" which would make the ride harsh when not towing.
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Re: Towing with a Chevy HHR?

Postby grestmit » Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:22 am

Well, Since I last posted the question on weather or not if our Chevy HHR would have a problem towing a teardrop, I finally got my answer. The teardrop is finished enough to go camping now. So I hooked it up to our HHR and it towed that baby just great. I could not tell it was back there unless I looked in the rear view mirrors. Pleasantly surprised. :D Here is a link to check out the photos. https://picasaweb.google.com/1157170074 ... redirect=1
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