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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all. First off, if we could dispense with all the "But it's not rated to tow, you're going to immediately crash into a flaming ball of fire and destroy the entire drivetrain if you as much as think about putting a trailer hitch on it! Think of the children!" song and dance, that'd be great.

I'm not new here.

I've read all the past threads. This topic, and the resulting opinions have been shared a million times and beat to death.

It's been proven for basically a decade now the Volt can tow just fine. One needn't look very far here to see that clear as day.

I'm very well versed in the technical aspects of the Voltec drivetrain.

Yes, I understand hitch ratings, weight distribution, tongue and gross weights, etc etc etc. My job is towing, and has been for close to 30 years.

And yes, I've read dhrivnak's thread with the sheet metal issue. It's being taken into consideration.

I'm specifically looking for more firsthand experience with people towing in the 2000# range with a Gen1.

Yes, with a proper hitch. A Torklift, not the useless Curt Class 1.5 thing.

And yes, properly equipped for trailer brakes.


Specifically looking for overall experiences with acceleration (on ramps), deceleration (with and without a braked trailer), and grades - long and sustained, and also short and high percentage.

If you'd rather not post here and potentially get lambasted by the "think of the children!" crowd or just don't want to share what you're towing in public, feel free to PM me instead. I get it, there are some who think pulling a 500 pound box trailer with a vehicle technically rated to not tow are in the "rolling death on wheels" crowd. I'll keep what you share private.

Cheers!
 

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I don't believe for a second that a Volt would dissolve into a cloud of flames from towing a small trailer. I'm also not sure you would have a whole lot of benefit from trailer brakes. The laws of physics dictate that more brakes is better than less brakes, but I have actually spent the money to install those meager little 7 inch electric trailer brakes on a 2k axle and I never could get them to do more than just barely grab enough to hold the car from rolling in "D". It certainly wasn't enough to make me feel confident about stopping like an unloaded vehicle. On the other end of the spectrum, I also have a 14k gooseneck trailer with electric over hydraulic disk brakes and that thing makes hauling a small excavator no more worrisome than an empty truck. At the end of the day, it's your car and your choice. You have the experience and understanding of what you're getting into and I'm sure you have other more capable tow vehicles available for "real" towing that you can use if it seems the Volt isn't really handling it that well. Best of luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The laws of physics dictate that more brakes is better than less brakes, but I have actually spent the money to install those meager little 7 inch electric trailer brakes on a 2k axle and I never could get them to do more than just barely grab enough to hold the car from rolling in "D".
Completely fair argument. I will say that the trailer in question has full size 12" trailer brakes however that will lockup at 5 volts at slow speed. I know because I towed this very trailer several thousand kilometers just a few weeks ago with a different tow vehicle and only needed the brake controller set at about 2 to 3 volts for most typical stopping, and I have a Tekonsha P3, so not a cheap timer based model or anything either, but an arguably near top of the line brake controller.

At 5 volts at slow speed the wheels go full lock. I know that because when I was testing it during the initial tow I locked them on asphalt while spiking the trailer brakes to test things, confirm braking, and adjust the controller. It will happily stop both itself, plus the tow vehicle if needed, on trailer brakes alone....barring fade of course, but even on some extreme grades (I'm savvy with proper decent braking techniques) the trailer never needed any steps up on the controller. With the Volts regen going full out plus it's brakes plus the trailer brakes, I'm not really worried much in that regard.

But yes, I have pulled trailers with the tiny electric brakes and they are virtually useless, I agree. I would not pull a trailer like that in this situation, especially given there is some terrain where we are heading.

Stopping isn't really my concern, accordingly. I'm most interested in acceleration performance and grades. Obviously I would be in Mountain Mode the entire trip (and I fully understand the technical aspects of how it works) but I'm curious if anyone in this scenario has ever run out of buffer and ended up in propulsion power reduced mode on any extreme grades or extreme headwinds.
 

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I love my tecumsuh brake controller, The system works really well.

@PP, sorry I have no experience towing with the Volt, only with my my 3/4 ton suburban. When I was younger, I did rent a car dolly and towed a Dodge Omni with a Toyota Supra. I made it OK, but it was a wild ride driving it 120+ miles at highway speed and dealing with Chicagoland traffic. The Supra had plenty of power, and I’m sure the Omni weighed more than your 2K trailer. Hindsight being 20/20 I was stupid and lucky.

i did load up my Volt once with seventeen 50 pound bad of dog food (store closure caused and incredible going out of business sale where I didn’t want to risk someone else picking up the food). With 850+ pounds of weight (I also picked up some grass seed and fertilizer) the volt didn’t have any trouble accelerating but I only drove it 6 miles at 30 mph.My wife almost killed me after I made the attempt because the volt was nearly new and she was certain what I did would destroy it. I’m at 130k+ miles and the volt hasn’t had any major repairs on the propulsion system.
 

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Yes, with a proper hitch. A Torklift, not the useless Curt Class 1.5 thing.
...

Specifically looking for overall experiences with acceleration (on ramps), deceleration (with and without a braked trailer), and grades - long and sustained, and also short and high percentage.
Late to the party, but I haven't been on the forum in a few years. I have a 2014 with 244900 km on it. I have the TorkLift kit, dealer installed. Paid a small fortune to have it shipped here to Ottawa Valley, Ontario. I pull a Snow Bear 4x8' utility trailer with the tongue extended, no auxiliary brakes. I wouldn't say that it pulls like it's not there, but pretty close. The main issue is reduced highway economy. Whereas my usual on the highway is about 6 l/100, pulling the trailer that goes to 7+. Acceleration with the trailer unloaded is identical to no trailer. With it loaded to capacity, you feel it, but it's still acceptable. Grades are no problem at all, but around here we don't have any really steep ones. In short, the Volt pulls this trailer better than either my Mazda 6 with a 3l V6 (205 hp) did, or my Subaru RS with a 2.5l 4 (165 hp). Better acceleration, better handling, better everything.
 

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Brian Baptista towed a medium sized enclosed trailer filled with another Volt battery and tools cross country, likely in the 2xxx lbs + territory .
He stated in mountain mode 65mph continuous was about it, he monitored transmission and coolant temps and all was well

he can be found on Facebook and Instagram

my view is that a proper distribution hitch, welded bumper and a counter brace to the tub from the bumper are needed for true HD towing

if your good with welding should be child’s play, my worry has always been with the welder damaging 12v electronics
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks all - I found Brian in another group and have had some in depth dialogue with him about things.

I came to the conclusion that the Volt was going to be fine towing the trailer I was looking at 98% of the time, but the addition of some severe grades in the one area we'd be travelling to would be problematic, mountain mode or not, as the engine wouldn't be able to keep up...and having the car dump out into Propulsion Reduced mode 3/4 of the way up a 17% grade would not be ideal, suffice to say.

I've made alternate tow vehicle arrangements.

Interesting thread still regardless, so I still welcome replies.
 
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