smart flat tow

There are pros and cons for every method. Many feel that towing the smart in a flat tow manner is most effective. This is what’s called a “four down” tow. The smart can be flat towed safely and securely. You just need to concern yourself with observing posted speed limits.

Most important factor you’ll need to consider is that the weight of whatever you are towing does not exceed the maximum weight allowed by your individual RV or motor home. This is rarely an issue when towing the smart fortwo; – it is usually not a problem. However, if you need to tow a smart using a car, truck or SUV, it is critical that you make certain you are operating within the towing guidelines of the vehicle being used for towing.

If it turns out your motorhome or other vehicle is suitable for towing your smart fortwo, there are numerous questions you must be certain you can answer. Towing smart cars calls for some special considerations.

Due to their small sizes, minimal weights, and STD

transmissions, smart cars may be towed flat – which means they can be towed with all four wheels on the ground.

The smart fortwo is able to pass the flat tow test for most motorhomes, even the small Class B types. Numerous motor coach manufacturers offer tow-bar kits and bracket sets for the smart car.

Several producers have bracket kits and installation instructions, but we recommend having yours professionally installed. Most retailers have done a number of professional installations already. You’ll also have to have a tow bar.

Contact an authorized installer for information about their recommendations for tow bar equipment.

A disadvantage to flat towing your smart is the added miles this method adds to the smart’s odometer. We’ve learned when you leave the key of your smart in the “neutral” position, instead of in the on setting, you won’t accumulate miles. As of this writing, this is an unverified piece of information.

One other concern is that you can’t back-up when towing in this manner. The same issue applies to using a tow dolly.

If you are flat towing your smart fortwo over extended distances, take notice of the following recommendations:

Prior to towing, follow all these very simple directions in this order:

  • Engage the parking brake.
  • Be sure the ignition is switched on.
  • Depress the brake pedal and keep it pressed.
  • Shift the gear selector lever to the neutral position – N.
  • Release the brake pedal.
  • Turn off the ignition.
  • Leave the key in the starter switch.
  • Wait approximately 30 seconds – until the multifunction display in the instrument cluster is totally blank.
  • Release the parking brake.
  • Remove the key from the ignition switch.
  • Throughout the tow:
  • Make sure the gear selector lever remains in the neutral position “N” – with the ignition turned to the off position.

After towing:

  • Engage the parking brake.
  • Do not flat tow the vehicle with the front axle elevated. Doing this may cause severe damage to the brake system, which is not covered by the Smart Limited Warranty.
  • Failure to follow smart recommendations for flat towing can cause damage to your vehicle
  • Things you should keep in mind:
  • Leaving the key in the ignition and turned on may result in the smart locking-up. Your vehicle will lock if the wheels are turning at speeds of approximately 8 mph or more.
  • ESP being activated – Active or continuous braking action through the ESP may severely damage the brake system, which is not covered by the smart Limited Warranty.
  • Failure to move the gear selector lever to the neutral position “N” may harm the transmission.

Read about towing your smart fortwo using a trailer.