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October 18, 2017

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Towing a Mini Mate Camper with your Car

August 8, 2019

The Mini Mate Camper was designed to be a lightweight, compact, and affordable option for camping enthusiasts.  In fact, the Mini Mate is so small and light that it can even be towed by motorcycles...which also means that ANY small car is plenty capable of towing our camper as well. We have many customers enjoying the Mini Mate behind their vehicles, as you can see in this photo gallery:

 

Many small 4 cylinder vehicles are unable to tow a conventional camper trailer, but with the Mini Mate weighing less than 300 lbs, it becomes the perfect option for compact travelers.  If you can find a hitch made for your vehicle (which you almost certainly can), then you can tow a Mini Mate Camper with your car! Let's take a look at what components you will need in order to tow a trailer with your car.

 

Requirements for towing with your vehicle

In order to tow a trailer, you will need a hitch with receiver and ball, trailer wiring, and installation onto your vehicle.

 

Hitch

Almost all vehicles have a hitched designed specifically for them.  If you are inclined to install the hitch and wiring yourself, a great resource for these parts can be found at www.etrailer.com. Even the lowest vehicle hitch class (class 1) is rated for 2000 lbs, so any hitch will be capable of handling the Mini Mate Camper load. Generally the low weight hitches come with a 1-1/4" receiver tube. Either 1-1/4" or 2" receiver is acceptable, but be sure to get the matching size ball receiver. The ball receiver has a ball mount and slides into the hitch receiver tube. This receiver can be removed when not in use so that the ball isn't sticking out from the vehicle. The final piece is the actual ball, which needs to be 1-7/8" in order to tow the Mini Mate Camper. Here is a look at the 3 components mentioned:

 

Hitch with 1-1/4" Receiver Tube:

 Ball Receiver with 1-7/8" ball mounted:

 

The ball mount receivers come in different heights. The one pictured above is a 2" drop receiver. You will want the top of your ball to be 12"-13" from the ground in order to have the Mini Mate sitting at a level position. 

 

Wiring

Standard trailer wiring kits for vehicles will have a specific plug in to your taillights, a converter, and a flat 4 plug to hook up to the trailer for lights. This allows the trailer lights to mimic your vehicle lighting for proper indication of turns and braking. When towing a trailer with your vehicle, always have your headlights on. Running lights for your trailer typically feed off of your headlights, so if your headlights are not on, your running lights and license plate lights will not be illuminated. 

 

Typical Vehicle Trailer Wiring:

Installation

The final step is to have all these components installed. Your local auto repair shop should be able to install the hitch and wiring onto your vehicle. We have also had customers go to their local Uhaul, where they have been able to order and install all the parts for you. 

 

Summary of Parts Needed:

  • Hitch for your year/make/model vehicle (1-1/4" class 1 receiver hitch recommended)

  • Receiver ball mount with 1-7/8" ball (matching 1-1/4" receiver, ball height 12"-13" from ground)

  • Wiring harness for your year/make/model (flat plug)

  • All components installed

 

Towing with your car

Any time you are towing a vehicle, it is important to be attentive and cautious. Fortunately, the Mini Mate is so light (especially compared to a car), it will have minimal effect on your braking and accelerating distances. This also means that it will have very little effect on your gas mileage! It is also important to maintain an appropriate tongue weight when towing a trailer.  We recommend a tongue weight no less than 10% of your overall weight.  For example: If your trailer plus loaded luggage weighs 400 lbs, then you should have a minimum of 40 lbs tongue weight. Having a negative tongue weight (less than 10% overall weight) can result in trailer sway and loss of control. The Mini Mate has been towed cross country at highway speeds for over 30 years, so you can be confident that it will travel safely and comfortably behind your car.

 

You are now ready to enjoy the comfort and convenience of the Mini Mate Camper on your next touring adventure. You can price out a Mini Mate Camper below, or if you have questions feel free to get in touch with us at kompactkamp@gmail.com or (717) 933-8070. To learn more about our trailers, please visit www.kktrailers.com.  Happy travels!

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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