It's that time of year again to get your RV or Motorhome out for some outdoor fun. For motorhome owners, it is always nice to have an extra vehicle that you can take along just in case you want to explore places your motorhome can't. Small cars like the Mini Cooper might be appealing to tow behind because of their exceptional fuel mileage and maneuverability in heavy traffic. However, consumers wonder if they can get rid of the dolly or trailer and simply flat tow a Mini Cooper? In this article, we have researched and found out if and how the Mini Cooper can be flat towed.
Consumers will be happy to know that if they own or purchase a manual transmission Mini Cooper, then it indeed can be flat towed. Mini Coopers with an automatic transmission can not be flat towed and will cause extreme damage to the transmission. Note that to flat-tow a Mini Cooper with a manual transmission, it needs to be front-wheel-drive.
Well, there you have it; you have options on flat towing a Mini Cooper. The Mini Cooper lives true to its name by being a small car that can zip in and out of small spaces. It doesn't have as much power as other compact cars but has adequate acceleration that will be just fine in most circumstances. If you are still interested in towing a Mini Cooper behind your motorhome, then read on as we discuss how to properly dinghy tow the small car.
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How Do You Tow A Mini Cooper?
You might have guessed that based on its name that the Mini Cooper isn't a large car. It is a great choice for one or two people who live in an area where heavy traffic is frequent. After it was showcased in the movie The Italian Job, it has been on consumers' radar as a small car that packs a big punch.
Motorhome owners also started to notice the car as an excellent choice to bring along on trips. First off, the Mini Cooper is light, only weighing a mere 2,500 lbs; it doesn't sacrifice a lot of fuel mileage when being towed. Second, it gets extremely impressive gas mileage coming in at 28 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway. Last, it can be parked in the smallest parking spots. If you want to park your motorhome and explore a nearby city, you won't have any worries about parking the car.
So, how do you flat tow this itty bitty car?
For manual transmission owners, flat towing is relatively simple. It is recommended to get a base plate added to the Mini Cooper. In addition to the base plate, Mini owners will also need to get a tow bar installed. Good brands to look at are Roadmaster or Blue Ox.
Once your Mini Cooper is hooked up to your motorhome, you will need to put the car in neutral and ensure the parking brake off. And just like that, you are ready to tow.
Keep in mind that Mini does not endorse flat towing the manual transmission Cooper even though it can be done. In doing so, it could possibly void your transmissions warranty. If you want a visual of how to flat-tow a MINI Cooper, check out the video below!
How To Tow A Mini Cooper With Automatic Transmission
So what about the Mini Cooper owners who have an automatic transmission? Are they out of luck?
There are still ways you can tow the automatic version of the Mini. Flat towing will destroy the front end of your vehicle and the transmission, so it is wise not to try.
If you want to tow your automatic transmission Mini, it will need to be put on a dolly trailer or a flatbed trailer. These are the only options for towing this version of the Mini Cooper.
Where Is The Towing Eye Of A Mini Cooper?
If you happen to get your Mini Cooper stuck in mud or deep snow, then rest assured that you aren't completely out of luck. Mini puts a towing tool in their Coopers that can be installed on the car's bumper giving towing capabilities in sticky situations.
Sometimes the location of the towing eye can be random. Consumers on Mini forums have reported that it is usually in the glovebox, spare time, or even under the driver or passenger seat.
Check these places when you need a quick tow. Now that you have found the towing eye, the question remains on how to use it? Read on as we do a run-through on how to install and use your towing eye.
How Do You Use A Tow Eye?
First off, it is good to be aware that using the tow eye cannot be used to tow behind your motorhome. Doing so is not safe and could potentially cause damage to the vehicle.
However, the tow eye does have its benefits. If you have a friend or nice stranger who has tow rope or tow straps, then the tow eye can be used to pull you out.
In the front and back of the Mini Cooper, there is a small square in the bumpers. Remove the small square piece on whichever bumper that you need to set up the tow eye with.
Once the square is removed, screw in the tow eye until it is tight. Then hook up your tow strap or rope to the tow eye loop. Before attempting to tow, make sure that the vehicle is neutral, and the engine is turned off.
Proceed to tow the Mini Cooper slowly to ensure there is no damage to the bumper. Quick pulls could damage the bumper or cause the tow strap to break.
For more information on find and installing your tow eye, check out this step by step video:
Can You Flat Tow A Mini Countryman? [AWD and FWD considered]
We know that the original Mini Cooper can be flat towed if it is a manual transmission, but what about the Mini bigger model?
Like its younger brother, the Mini Cooper Countryman can be flat towed. However, some stipulations that go with that statement. If the Countryman is a front-wheel-drive and a manual transmission, it can be flat towed—no fuses or wired need to be removed to flat tow the Countryman.
Now for the all-wheel-drive version of the Mini Cooper Countryman. Unfortunately, the AWD version cannot be flat towed or put on a dolly. The only way to tow the all-wheel-drive version is to put it on a trailer. This isn't ideal for motorhome owners who need a vehicle to bring along on their trips.
Is The Mini Cooper Countryman Bigger?
If you love what the Mini Cooper has to offer, but the cargo size and legroom aren't enough, then the Countryman model might be the way to go.
There are a couple of differences between the regular Mini and the Countryman. First off, the Countryman has four doors, whereas the original is a two-door coupe.
While having the back seat doors is excellent for fitting more passengers, it isn't comfortable for people on the taller side. The extra doors are convenient for taking luggage in and out, but it is for shorter passengers or children for seating.
The next main difference between the two Coopers is that the Countryman adds more cargo space and interior space. The Mini Cooper has 40.7 cu. ft. of space, and the Mini Cooper Countryman has 47.6 cu. ft. of interior space.
Is the size difference worth it? You have to ask yourself what you will be using the vehicle for the majority of the time. For travelers, the extra size is nice to have because the Countryman doesn't sacrifice much for fuel mileage and performance.
Conclusion: Is The Mini Cooper The Best For Flat Towing?
The Mini Cooper is an excellent choice for towing behind your motorhome. It is lightweight, economical, and convenient, which is everything you want if you do long-distance towing. If you aren't entirely convinced, then there are other options for vehicles that can be flat towed, such as the Ford Focus or Jeep Wrangler. When deciding which vehicle to flat-tow will ultimately depend on your needs.
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Ever flat towed your Mini Cooper or have questions about towing one? Feel free to leave us a comment below!