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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I see that the owner's manual says not intended or designed for towing. My questing is why? The vehicle has a tremendous amount of torque available. I don't see why it shouldn't effectively tow a 1k-2k lb trailer. America is famous for down rating vehicles for towing rating. Helps them sell bigger trucks and SUV's.
And there is the lawsuit happy status quo that screws the pooch on so much stuff in America
 

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Lots of threads with Volt owners installing hitches to carry bikes, and tow small trailers. The hitches are mostly rated for 1000lbs, but some are rated for 2000lbs. I installed one on my 2016, and towed a Waverunner, probably 1000lbs. It towed great, as the Volt is heavy, the hitch connection to the frame is solid, and the CoG is low, not to mention the torque.
 

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Depending on what you tow, how far and how fast can make a huge difference on load to the vehicle. It may not be able to cope with the energy demand or heat generated trying to pull something up a long incline. How will the battery handle trying to sustain full output for 90 seconds up a mountain? Can the generator even output enough to keep up with towing loads?

Sometimes an empty box trailer that weighs 900lbs can be more stress on a vehicle than a 5000lb boat. That box aero is a killer. GM probably didn't want that liability.

Ford does a better job with their tow specs. For many vehicles they list the weight and the maximum acceptable frontal area of the item being towed.
 

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I've pulled a fully loaded 3500 Dodge around the lot at work. Truck alone was 7,000 lbs, and easily had another 2k of gear on it. Barely felt it behind the car at parking lot speeds. Thought about going WOT but didn't want to pull too hard on the strap or on the rear axle of the Volt I was hooked to.
 

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The problem is not with the drive train, it's the unibody construction. The sheet metal panels are literally pulled apart. This thread shows how an owner had to have panels welded back in place. You might want to get a vehicle with a real frame, or one where the manufacturer designed it for towing.
 

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Check out the voltruk thread https://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?278881-Voltruk for some insight.
Or try this one: https://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread....-Hitch-install
Or this one: https://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread....s-the-question

I've only towed my trailer a couple times due to external circumstances but I'm very paranoid about weight. As the above link shows the weld failures that is exactly my concern. I figure if I'm going to do this in a Volt I need to be overly cautious to begin with as far as all the equipment is concerned and the rest "should" take care of itself. My logic was that my camper was about 600# empty and if I only put in light things (sleeping bags, the pop up canopy and the tent) and haul everything else in the car it "should" minimize the actual strain on welds and such. My trailer tires are rated above 65mph but I keep as near to that as I can. The car barely knows I'm pulling a trailer and braking is fine so far. I'm still concerned about the welds and such but wouldn't you expect a little extra beef in it just to hold together with that big battery in the belly? Hauling that heavy A-frame camper or anything much above 1000# I think is inviting trouble.
 

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Depending on what you tow, how far and how fast can make a huge difference on load to the vehicle. It may not be able to cope with the energy demand or heat generated trying to pull something up a long incline. How will the battery handle trying to sustain full output for 90 seconds up a mountain? Can the generator even output enough to keep up with towing loads?
"Mountain Mode". You've got ICE power now PLUS 100HP of from the battery that's got an extra 2 kwh saved up for JUST such an occasion.
 

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Not a good idea. Super thin sheet metal and marginal stopping power. There really should be a endorsement on a license for towing, it may help stop some of this nonsense.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Not a good idea. Super thin sheet metal and marginal stopping power. There really should be a endorsement on a license for towing, it may help stop some of this nonsense.
A properly built and installed hitch along with appropriate load is fine. Not sure why you think 4 wheel disc brakes and electric regenerative electrical braking is marginal stopping power?
 

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Depending on what you tow, how far and how fast can make a huge difference on load to the vehicle. It may not be able to cope with the energy demand or heat generated trying to pull something up a long incline. How will the battery handle trying to sustain full output for 90 seconds up a mountain? Can the generator even output enough to keep up with towing loads?

Sometimes an empty box trailer that weighs 900lbs can be more stress on a vehicle than a 5000lb boat. That box aero is a killer. GM probably didn't want that liability.

Ford does a better job with their tow specs. For many vehicles they list the weight and the maximum acceptable frontal area of the item being towed.
I live in Colorado. There are a lot of passes here where even towing at 50% of a tow rating results in the total rig (tow vehicle plus trailer) can't maintain the speed limit. This includes 18-wheelers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I live in Colorado. There are a lot of passes here where even towing at 50% of a tow rating results in the total rig (tow vehicle plus trailer) can't maintain the speed limit. This includes 18-wheelers.
This is true of any vehicle. (I used to live in Colorado Springs) It comes down to knowing how to drive with a load on. Lower gears, lower speed, use mountain mode or hold and don't overwork the engine.
I was deciding between a, diesel Cruze or Equinox or volt. The Equinox was nice, but they are also limited to towing 1500lb blue to the cooling system is not big enough to keep the engine cool with heavier load.
I have a full size Ford flatbed truck for when I need it.
284 ft lbs of torque on the Volt is even better than the diesel cruise at 241.
 

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A properly built and installed hitch along with appropriate load is fine. Not sure why you think 4 wheel disc brakes and electric regenerative electrical braking is marginal stopping power?
Seriously? You do know not all disk brakes are the same right? *The tow rating is as high as the weakest link... Do you know how to do math?
 

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The problem is not with the drive train, it's the unibody construction. The sheet metal panels are literally pulled apart. This thread shows how an owner had to have panels welded back in place. You might want to get a vehicle with a real frame, or one where the manufacturer designed it for towing.
The Volt and the Cruze share the same unibody construction, and the Cruze is rated to tow 1200kg in Europe, not rated to tow in North America. Same story with most small cars these days, the manufacturers don't allow towing in North America but they do in Europe. Probably because Europeans demand it. Not sure if there are structural modifications in the bumper area for Europe, but I doubt it.

I have used my 2017 Volt to tow around 2000 lbs around town (1000 lb Uhaul trailer and 1000 lb cargo). Pulled it like a dream. Not the correct car for pulling a heavy camper full time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The Volt and the Cruze share the same unibody construction, and the Cruze is rated to tow 1200kg in Europe, not rated to tow in North America. Same story with most small cars these days, the manufacturers don't allow towing in North America but they do in Europe. Probably because Europeans demand it. Not sure if there are structural modifications in the bumper area for Europe, but I doubt it.

I have used my 2017 Volt to tow around 2000 lbs around town (1000 lb Uhaul trailer and 1000 lb cargo). Pulled it like a dream. Not the correct car for pulling a heavy camper full time.
In the USA, it's mostly lawyers and liability and a way to push consumers to buy high profit SUV/trucks. As a welder and master mechanic I'll build my own hitch that will best any commercial one. I'd never build one for someone else though for the reason in the first sentence. I know a lot of fantastic welders, very few of them will touch other people's trailers/hitches because off liability. Those who do work on trailers report their insurance premiums are triple those who do non highway, structural, aerospace etc welding. Lawyers will eventually destroy America IMHO. They are the reason the US can't be competitive with the rest of the world. 94% of the world's lawsuits are filled in America
 

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In the USA, it's mostly lawyers and liability and a way to push consumers to buy high profit SUV/trucks. As a welder and master mechanic I'll build my own hitch that will best any commercial one. I'd never build one for someone else though for the reason in the first sentence. I know a lot of fantastic welders, very few of them will touch other people's trailers/hitches because off liability. Those who do work on trailers report their insurance premiums are triple those who do non highway, structural, aerospace etc welding. Lawyers will eventually destroy America IMHO. They are the reason the US can't be competitive with the rest of the world. 94% of the world's lawsuits are filled in America
That and 98% of the drivers here don’t have the skills, knowledge or common sense to drive a vehicle, much less tow with one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
That and 98% of the drivers here don’t have the skills, knowledge or common sense to drive a vehicle, much less tow with one.
As I would tell some.
A vehicle's weakest link is the nut that holds the steering wheel. Maybe it applies to you? Nice way to repeatedly insult members on this forum.
 

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A Tesla Model X towing a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner empty weight 259,500 lbs.
So how does this work?

Airline Airplane Air travel Airliner Aviation
 

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A Tesla Model X towing a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner empty weight 259,500 lbs.
So how does this work?

View attachment 157019
A smooth airplane lot for a few feet is ALOT different that a pothole ridden road with other vehicles, sudden movements, suspension and brakes not designed for those loads and a bunch of other reasons a volt towing and a Tesla pulling a plane a few feet.
 
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