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the manual ... just said not designed or intended. But it does have a towing section that says pleas load over the axle.

So, even in the manual it shows that it can.

Not designed or intended does not mean DO NOT or CAN NOT.

Page 199 and 246 of the manual...

6. If your vehicle will be TOWING...
Ok, it says consider the effect of the trailer's weight. Good idea. On a 3600 lb car with the rear bumper and hitch ball so close to the rear axle, it seems to me a light trailer isn't likely to hurt the car structurally. Monitoring energy use could show how much the increased wind resistance stresses the drive components. That leaves braking capacity as an unknown variable. With both regenerative and manual brakes available and scaled for the car's GVW, it seems that staying under that GVW for the car/trailer combined weight shouldn't hurt anything.
What else?
 

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Show where in the manual it say DO NOT TOW..
The phrase "This vehicle is neither designed nor intended to tow a vehicle" is simply GM's way of saying "we're not certifying this as a towing vehicle and therefore you cannot make any claims against us if you choose to tow something and it causes any damage". They cannot make that claim with vehicles which they do certify as being capable of towing designated loads.

If the owner's manual rates your vehicle as being able to tow a 5,000 lb trailer and you tow a trailer weighing 5,000 or less and burn out the transmission, then they're liable to fix it. Not so in the Bolt.
 

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I bought my 2019 Bolt a couple weeks ago, in Dec 2019. A week later I installed the DrawTite hitch. Yesterday (24 Dec), it was 70 degrees here in Alabama, so I hitched up my small boat and pulled it around for an hour or so to see how manageable it will be. I was happy with the result. The big unknown for the data I show below is the weight of my boat & trailer. I apologize that I don't know it, but will try to get it weighed soon. The boat hull weighs about 250 lbs and the outboard motor weighs about 250 lbs. I don't know the weight of the (steel) trailer. I attach a photo of the car with boat, so you can judge the trailer load compared with whatever you may have.

Until now, I've been pulling my boat with a 6-cylinder Mercury Milan sedan (basically a Ford Fusion). The main difference I found pulling it with the Bolt is that the trailer was much louder within the Bolt cabin than in the Milan. I.e. I could hear every creak & squeak of the trailer and the ball/socket as I drove around in the Bolt. The hitch is bolted directly to the rear frame of the Bolt. But I felt the Bolt had plenty of power to pull my trailer, and I was very comfortable with the handling, and felt that I would be confident pulling the boat to our cabin about 85 interstate miles from home, at 65 MPH on the interstate and local highways. As I was accelerating up the ramp to the interstate, the Bolt showed 50 kW power consumption. Climbing a fairly steep hill on a highway not on my "test route", I saw max 75 kW consumption.

For the sake of science/sharing, I've established a "test route" from my home to the local airport about 14 miles away. The route is basically 4-5 stop & go city blocks to an interstate entrance, then onto the Interstate where I set the cruise control to 65 MPH and drive 13 miles to the airport. I loop through the airport departure lane and return home on the interstate at 65 MPH, then exit and do the 4-5 blocks back home. The route is mostly level, with light undulations on the interstate. I used the level on my iPhone to watch the road grade, varying with about +/- 3-4 degrees on the route.

I've done the trip 4 times under different conditions (night/day, clear/raining). Each time, I set my trip odometer to 0 when leaving my driveway. When I return, the odometer shows miles driven (28.1) and average miles/kWh - which I assume is averaged over the duration of my trip. I've tried to conduct each drive under similar car conditions, though I'm not sure if there might be some automatic climate control settings that change between trips. I've turned off the climate control and turned on the heated steering wheel for each trip. Here are my results:

22 Dec, 6 PM (dark outside = headlights on), raining, 52 deg F ambient temp. No trailer.
28.2 miles, 2.8 mi/kWh => 168 miles expected range

23 Dec, 8:30 PM (dark outside = headlights on), dry roads, 57 deg F ambient. No trailer.
28.1 miles, 3.6 mi/kWh => 216 miles expected range

24 Dec, 9:30 AM (sunny, no headlights), dry roads, 55 deg F ambient. Boat in tow.
28.1 miles, 2.4 mi/kWh => 144 miles expected range

24 Dec, 10:30 AM (sunny, no headlights), dry roads, 61 deg F ambient. No trailer.
28.1 miles, 4.0 mi/kWh => 240 miles expected range.

The main lesson I've learned thus far is that pulling my boat is going to reduce my range by about 40% - which in my situation is very manageable. The surprise is the reduction from driving in rainy conditions. The good news is that I usually don't pull my boat in the rain!

27938
 

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I tow a 5x7 trailer used for hauling wood and household items as well as an inflatable boat with a 40-hp motor. Total load is less than 1,000 lbs. I have towed with the Bolt as well as a LEAF. Both worked well for me. At times, I pull the trailer with the boat at interstate speed with no issue. I moved the trailer wheels back to be sure there was sufficient tongue weight to keep the trailer from swaying.
 

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I tow a 5x7 trailer used for hauling wood and household items as well as an inflatable boat with a 40-hp motor. Total load is less than 1,000 lbs. I have towed with the Bolt as well as a LEAF. Both worked well for me. At times, I pull the trailer with the boat at interstate speed with no issue. I moved the trailer wheels back to be sure there was sufficient tongue weight to keep the trailer from swaying.
Assuming your boat is on a steel trailer, I would guess the weight of your inflatable boat & trailer are similar to my aluminum boat & trailer. I have a 25 HP 4-stroke motor on my 13-ft boat. At some point I'm hoping to take my boat to the local garbage dump to get them to weigh the boat & trailer (after which I will take the boat & trailer back home!)
 

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Assuming your boat is on a steel trailer, I would guess the weight of your inflatable boat & trailer are similar to my aluminum boat & trailer. I have a 25 HP 4-stroke motor on my 13-ft boat. At some point I'm hoping to take my boat to the local garbage dump to get them to weigh the boat & trailer (after which I will take the boat & trailer back home!)
Yes, I use an aluminum trailer which would be lighter but the difference in the boat motor likely makes up for the difference in the trailer weight.
 

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One thing to be aware of when checking mi/kWh is temperature. If the previous night was cold, even though ambient temperature is in the 50s, the temperature of the battery pack could be colder due to its mass, requiring the battery conditioner to run and consume electricity. After 15 or 20 miles it's done, but in the meantime the efficiency will register much lower.

I'm thinking of getting a motorcycle tent trailer to pull it with my Bolt. It only weighs 260 pounds though with some other items added it might hit 300. But, the small size should mean that it will be in the Bolt's slipstream. I'm hoping that it won't affect efficiency much. Its the Mini Mate Camper made by Kompact Kamp: Motorcycle Camper Trailers | Myerstown, PA| Kompact Kamp Trailers
 

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I bought my 2019 Bolt a couple weeks ago, in Dec 2019. A week later I installed the DrawTite hitch. Yesterday (24 Dec), it was 70 degrees here in Alabama, so I hitched up my small boat and pulled it around for an hour or so to see how manageable it will be. I was happy with the result. The big unknown for the data I show below is the weight of my boat & trailer. I apologize that I don't know it, but will try to get it weighed soon. The boat hull weighs about 250 lbs and the outboard motor weighs about 250 lbs. I don't know the weight of the (steel) trailer. I attach a photo of the car with boat, so you can judge the trailer load compared with whatever you may have.

Until now, I've been pulling my boat with a 6-cylinder Mercury Milan sedan (basically a Ford Fusion). The main difference I found pulling it with the Bolt is that the trailer was much louder within the Bolt cabin than in the Milan. I.e. I could hear every creak & squeak of the trailer and the ball/socket as I drove around in the Bolt. The hitch is bolted directly to the rear frame of the Bolt. But I felt the Bolt had plenty of power to pull my trailer, and I was very comfortable with the handling, and felt that I would be confident pulling the boat to our cabin about 85 interstate miles from home, at 65 MPH on the interstate and local highways. As I was accelerating up the ramp to the interstate, the Bolt showed 50 kW power consumption. Climbing a fairly steep hill on a highway not on my "test route", I saw max 75 kW consumption.

For the sake of science/sharing, I've established a "test route" from my home to the local airport about 14 miles away. The route is basically 4-5 stop & go city blocks to an interstate entrance, then onto the Interstate where I set the cruise control to 65 MPH and drive 13 miles to the airport. I loop through the airport departure lane and return home on the interstate at 65 MPH, then exit and do the 4-5 blocks back home. The route is mostly level, with light undulations on the interstate. I used the level on my iPhone to watch the road grade, varying with about +/- 3-4 degrees on the route.

I've done the trip 4 times under different conditions (night/day, clear/raining). Each time, I set my trip odometer to 0 when leaving my driveway. When I return, the odometer shows miles driven (28.1) and average miles/kWh - which I assume is averaged over the duration of my trip. I've tried to conduct each drive under similar car conditions, though I'm not sure if there might be some automatic climate control settings that change between trips. I've turned off the climate control and turned on the heated steering wheel for each trip. Here are my results:

22 Dec, 6 PM (dark outside = headlights on), raining, 52 deg F ambient temp. No trailer.
28.2 miles, 2.8 mi/kWh => 168 miles expected range

23 Dec, 8:30 PM (dark outside = headlights on), dry roads, 57 deg F ambient. No trailer.
28.1 miles, 3.6 mi/kWh => 216 miles expected range

24 Dec, 9:30 AM (sunny, no headlights), dry roads, 55 deg F ambient. Boat in tow.
28.1 miles, 2.4 mi/kWh => 144 miles expected range

24 Dec, 10:30 AM (sunny, no headlights), dry roads, 61 deg F ambient. No trailer.
28.1 miles, 4.0 mi/kWh => 240 miles expected range.

The main lesson I've learned thus far is that pulling my boat is going to reduce my range by about 40% - which in my situation is very manageable. The surprise is the reduction from driving in rainy conditions. The good news is that I usually don't pull my boat in the rain!

View attachment 27938
Yep - I saw your photos and review on etrailer today and I decided it was time to get the hitch. Built out an electric ATV for the kids, but we're getting tired of riding it around the neighborhood.... Nice work.
 

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And the results are in:

29104


Over a 50 mile drive, consumption was 2.85 miles per kWh, at 55 mph of course, which is only marginally worse than when my wife is driving the car at 85 without a trailer. The view from the backup and rear view camera are actually pretty helpful, and backing it up is fine.

This **** trailer is another story - by god, what a horrible thing. I have it on Craigslist for $300 and I'm still waiting on some sucker to buy it. It looks like it was cobbled together out of bed frames and an old porch, and is about a foot taller than it needs to be, so it's a real bear to get the boat back on the trailer. I'll be building a new one in short order, since it seems like I could easily spend $2000 on a new one that wouldn't fit the boat right either. The boat sails great though, it's a Hobie Holder 14, and considering that the whole shooting match, boat, trailer, and sails set me back $300 plus life jackets and a set of lights, I can't complain. The boat weighs 275 lbs, the trailer probably 400. Handling was as good as anything I've ever towed and I was completely confident in the car.

So if anybody wants to buy a horrible, unregisterable trailer for a few hundred bucks, I can assure you that it has good bearings and tires. I'm keeping the lights and front wheel if you want to haggle.
 

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Now that it's springtime, I towed my boat to the Tennessee River last weekend. (This is the gray Bolt & aluminum boat shown a few posts earlier.) Drove 53 miles round trip at 50-65 MPH on a state highway with approx 85 deg ambient temperature, with my wife & dog in the car & A/C running, and averaged 2.7 miles/kWH. Climbed & descended a 600 ft hill/mountain along the route. So my economy is similar to what Pigwich reports above. I still haven't got around to weighing my boat + trailer. It seems that speed is a greater factor on "fuel economy" than is towing a moderate weight (750-ish pounds?)
 

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Yeah, it's good to get out on the water during these awful, weird times. Congrats on doing it in style. I ended up welding in a hefty piece of 2x4" rectangle tube down the tongue area of my awful trailer and added a post to hold the mast and raise up the winch (or a pulley anyway) and gave it a sweet coat of cheap white paint. Stiffening up the trailer made a HUGE difference in the feel of the tow. Took all the bounce and lurch out. It's a rock now.
 

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Nice job towing the boats, I love to see that. I did a building materials run with the utility trailer this weekend setting a new personal best. I had about 1300lbs in the trailer, plus about 350lbs for the trailer itself, I figure I had about 1650lbs behind the car. Pretty close to the max weight for the trailer (1500lbs), and getting close to what I would ask the car to pull. I had about 100lbs on the tongue (a bit on the light side, but I wasn’t going fast), and the car handled it awesome. Felt totally stable, still had plenty of acceleration available, only pulling about 70kw on an intentionally quick acceleration from a stop light, and I could still comfortably stop using regen. The car was quite happy, no signs of stress at all.

If anyone is using this as motivation to tow with their bolt, please do, but keep mind that I’ve been towing with small cars for a few years now. Proper weight distribution on the trailer is crucial as is common sense about emergency braking distances etc.

Bring on more photos of EVs things that only diesels and SUVs are “supposed” to do!
 

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Took all the bounce and lurch out.
That is exactly what I have been experiencing with mine!!!
It drives me crazy as I feel like I will rip something out of the back of the car.

I have the Harbor Freight 4x8 trailer. Some days it is nice and stiff, but some when I have the load it lurches and pulls. Never had it before with other cars. Had it on 500e and on 2015, and then 2016 (yup, had two of them), KIA Forte5 SX, and 2009 Hyundai Elantra. All of them it seemed stiff.

I looked into the hitch and I could see some "play/bending" when jumping on the ball.
But it would not really explain empty trailer to cause that...


So, anyone got a good solution or at least found what is the reason?

Yes, I'd think the trailer is doing that and stiffening would help, but then I have experience with 4 other cars and same trailer (in a few cases I definitely put a bit too much on it - 1500-1700 lb of mulch and rocks, but hey - it took it just fine!! - that was with KIA) and they never "bounced" like that.
Also, empty trailer does it too.
Empty weight is about 300-350 lb. I think.


Now, for my experience with Bolt.
It is great to tow. Better than 500e due to stronger motor and more regen.
I had on this flat bed up to 1500-1600 lb total weight trying to get on the tongue not too much, maybe 80-120 lb. Judged by my hands pull.
Energy use.
Yes, it drained more, but nothing drastic. Speeds up to 55 mph. Most of the time 35-40 mph. And those 55 mph for loads of 300-500 lb only.
When pulling 1500 lb I did not go over 35 mph in any moment.
I must say that the only big difference was when trying to start from dead stop (that's when I felt it was heavy) and when coasting to stop. Of course going downhill was also completely different.

Overall - very good experience.
Brakes? What brakes? Cold as Michigan winter.
 

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That is exactly what I have been experiencing with mine!!!
It drives me crazy as I feel like I will rip something out of the back of the car.

I have the Harbor Freight 4x8 trailer. Some days it is nice and stiff, but some when I have the load it lurches and pulls. Never had it before with other cars. Had it on 500e and on 2015, and then 2016 (yup, had two of them), KIA Forte5 SX, and 2009 Hyundai Elantra. All of them it seemed stiff.

I looked into the hitch and I could see some "play/bending" when jumping on the ball.
But it would not really explain empty trailer to cause that...


So, anyone got a good solution or at least found what is the reason?

Yes, I'd think the trailer is doing that and stiffening would help, but then I have experience with 4 other cars and same trailer (in a few cases I definitely put a bit too much on it - 1500-1700 lb of mulch and rocks, but hey - it took it just fine!! - that was with KIA) and they never "bounced" like that.
Also, empty trailer does it too.
Empty weight is about 300-350 lb. I think.


Now, for my experience with Bolt.
It is great to tow. Better than 500e due to stronger motor and more regen.
I had on this flat bed up to 1500-1600 lb total weight trying to get on the tongue not too much, maybe 80-120 lb. Judged by my hands pull.
Energy use.
Yes, it drained more, but nothing drastic. Speeds up to 55 mph. Most of the time 35-40 mph. And those 55 mph for loads of 300-500 lb only.
When pulling 1500 lb I did not go over 35 mph in any moment.
I must say that the only big difference was when trying to start from dead stop (that's when I felt it was heavy) and when coasting to stop. Of course going downhill was also completely different.

Overall - very good experience.
Brakes? What brakes? Cold as Michigan winter.
Do you have a drop style tow bar? The Bolt sits higher than most compact vehicles so having the trailer at an upward angle instead of level or downward angel may effect tow characteristics.

Also, it is possible that you bent your trailer / screwed up the trailer suspension when you over loaded it, and now if you put it back on any of those previous tow vehicles it would exhibit the same bad tow characteristics.

Keith
 

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If tongue weight wasn't obscene and the hitch was rated to 2000# then probably no damage to the car. The bike racks are awful for this, as they put a ton of torque in to the hitches. I suspect two things, first and foremost is the harbor freight trailer. As the old adage goes, if your life or job depends on it, don't use harbor freight. Also, past experience may be fine, nothing says welds didn't give out at some point recently, or bolts coming lose or rusting out or snapping.

A better point is the height of the ball. I put a 5 1/4 inch rise hitch in the drawtite. My tongue is at a fraction of a degree of angle when everything is at travelling weight. Check that? And your trailer too of course. Safe travels
 

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I have the harbour freight trailer too, and I’ve noticed more slop in the trailer since being on the bolt as well. However, this is the first time I’ve used one of those euro style ball hitches that brings the ball out and up probably 8”. I believe if I pulled that out and used a short straight ball hitch like I did with my focus that would probably tighten things up a bit, but then my trailer would be pointed more nose down than I’d like so I’ve just left as is. Not a huge deal, this HF trailer is pretty rickety but the fact that I can fold it up and store it in the shed is amazing.
 

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That's a interesting point about the height of the ball, which I hadn't considered. I just checked the hitch height on my previous tow vehicle (Ford Fusion) vs my Bolt, and it's actually slightly lower on the Bolt - but within an inch of each other. I too have noticed that my boat trailer feels more clunky/loud behind my Bolt than behind the Fusion. But I've been assuming (and now will continue assuming) that it has more to do with the cars' frame & cabin design than anything else.

My trailer has very low tongue weight, between 15-20 lbs. I can easily lift the tongue with one hand. I would guess the total boat & trailer weight is around 600-750 lbs. The low tongue weight seems to violate everything that's been said here about trailering, but it's always towed nicely behind the Fusion, and it pulls nicely behind the Bolt as well. My trailer is oversized for the small/short boat I'm carrying, so I guess the extra length helps the ride. But it does sound much louder when I'm in the Bolt. I hear every clunk and creak from the trailer when e.g. I slow down or hit a pothole. Noticeably more so than with the Fusion.

I'll also say that the tongue weight on my trailer varies noticeably with tongue height. If I lift the tongue chest high with the boat on it, the tongue weight goes negative; I have to hold the tongue down to keep the trailer from tipping back. This does concern me when driving up steep hills, but hasn't caused any problem in 5 years of pulling the boat.

Overall, I'm pleased to be pulling the boat with the Bolt. I felt a little more sane to be pulling it with the 6-cylinder Fusion, but so far I've experienced no concerns pulling it with the Bolt.
 

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...I too have noticed that my boat trailer feels more clunky/loud behind my Bolt than behind the Fusion. But I've been assuming (and now will continue assuming) that it has more to do with the cars' frame & cabin design than anything else.
It could also be that the Bolt is a lot quieter and so you can actually hear the trailer when you're in it.
 
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