The first thing I need to tell you is that it’s not all bad news! We may have opened a can of worms for towing all cars long distance, because it may be something applicable to the Suzuki Jimny only.
According to the Jimny handbook, page 7-6 specifically states: “Do not tow your vehicle with the rear wheels directly on the ground (and the transmission in neutral). If you do, the transmission will be damaged fatally.”
After discussions with technical colleagues, I believe that this might have something to do with lubrication of the transmission: that the propshaft is turning in the gearbox but there is no lubrication to the bearings.
The handbook then says: “If you tow your vehicle with the front wheels on the ground, shift the transmission into Neutral and make sure the 4WD indicator on the instrument cluster comes on when you use the ‘4WD’ switch on the 2WD/4WD switches to shift into 4-wheel drive high range position, and goes off when you use the ‘2WD’ switch on the 2WD/4wd switches to shift into 2-wheel drive position with the engine running.
“If the 4WD indicator does not come on or goes off, (that is, the air-locking hubs cannot be locked or unlocked), the vehicle cannot be towed with the front wheels on the ground.”
From this we deduce that you will have to tow the Jimny backwards on your piggyback trailer − that is, back wheels secured on the trailer and front wheels on the tar − after making sure that the steering is locked, the wheels are straight and the front wheel hubs are unlocked/ disengaged.
We assume that the top deck on which the wheels of the Jimny are located swivels too, so that the trailer can turn sharply in tight corners?
What really impresses me is the resourcefulness of South Africans. There is always someone who can think up a solution. And your Kia ‘motorhome’ is such a clever concept that we have decided to give it its own proper space in next month’s edition. Well done!
– Godfrey Castle