Ok, tow dollys are dangerous, What about a tow bar?

csudman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Location
Statesville
Getting a tow rig soon, I'll be towing my 82 lwb toy. I realize I should get a trailer, and I will. But that will have to wait a while. So I'm gonna need a tow bar or somthing. Are they any better?
 

SHINTON

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2005
Location
Triad area of NC
OOO OOOOH! That is MY story....answer for ME...is NO, heck no, nada, nyet, run away, run far far far far away.

After ignoring several folks on here I tried the tow bar with my ZJ pulling my YJ. It went ok for a little while, just pulling around town, down the interstate, etc. However, as SOON as a problem comes up it gets REAL ugly (for me)

There was one of those "bicycle people" going down Battleground (fairly major road in Greensboro) and he was naturally in the way, etc and so I had to get by him, THEN brake and turn into Wal-Mart without taking him out. So...this meant I was trying to take the turn faster than I should have been...and the YJ basically did NOT want to turn, it PUSHED the rear end out on the ZJ into a skid, heading QUICKLY to a jackknife! I PUNCHED the gas on the ZJ and it was able to YANK the YJ back behind me before I hit myself/jacknifed.

I drove thru the Walmart parking lot, over to dads house (VERY SLOWLY) yanked the tow bar and pitched it as far as I could and have never used it since then.....

In MY case, I bought a tow dolly, put the YJ on it and towed it about 5,000 miles all over the east coast to various events without ever having an issue. Then the YJ's front tires outgrew the dolly and I sold it to OBXFISHERMAN, and you read his story on his second trip out!

So...hundreds of thousands of people SUCCESSFULLY use towbars every year, including jeepers, etc. It "can" work, but if you find yourself in an emergency stop/curve/turn...it can get ugly very fast. (Think of a sudden need to slow down, say on the interstate, I-40 past Asheville in those curves, not a pretty place to have it break loose on ya?)

hundreds of thousands of people SUCCESSFULLY use tow dollys as well, including me...but they apparently can ALSO have issues.

hundreds of thousands of people SUCCESSFULLY use trailers as well...and people wreck them too...not enough tonque weight, lousy brake setup on the trailer, pulling with a rig not meant for it...etc...

So...not sure if I answered your question or not...you can TRY using the tow bar, certainly a "cheap" solution, but test it out very carefully...imho

Sam...3/4 TON SUV and Trailer combo guy going fwd...Hinton
 

Metto

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2005
Location
Cornelius, NC
i used to tow my 85 toy with a tow bar, mounts bolted to the frame. tow rig was a 6cyl 5spd '99 F-150. i didnt ever have problems with it and it didnt push the furd around at all.
 

upnover

Grumpy, decrepit Old Man
Moderator
Joined
Mar 20, 2005
Location
Morganton NC
Metto said:
i used to tow my 85 toy with a tow bar, mounts bolted to the frame. tow rig was a 6cyl 5spd '99 F-150. i didnt ever have problems with it and it didnt push the furd around at all.

Metto
No disrespect, but as you being an underage user, means you are, well, underage! I doubt you have the learned driving skills required to make an asertation as to the safety issue at hand. Simply put, the only tow bars I have seen remotely safe, are the ones where you see a small car or SUV behind one of those big ol RV's. Simply because of the weight factor. When you slow the first vehicle, esp in an emergency situation, the towed vehcle has momentum. Since the brakes are applied to the first, the path of least resistance is to bend at the pivot point, thus pushing the tow vehicle. The piont is it is just not safe!
 

LARRY SMITH

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Location
Morganton
tow bar

I pulled Jeeps, with tow bars, thousands of miles when stationed in different parts of the country with no problems. If the Swampers wouldn't wear so rapidly I would use one now. Tow bar weighs about 35 lb, trailer weighs 2000. The only issue these days would be the break away requirement.
 

BRUISER

silent.. but deadly
Moderator
Joined
Mar 17, 2005
Location
Raleigh
as for a tow bar I think that comes more down to the tow rig you will be using...

for example if you are using an s-10 I would say no

but if you are using a huge motorhome.. heck yes.. they do it all the time... we even have a few folks in cnc4x4 that do this everytrip with no problems at all.
 

yager

Better Faster Stronger
Joined
Mar 17, 2005
Location
N. Raleigh, NC
'heard' new requirpents will be or are, to have a brake actuator that can enguage the brakes on the tow'd vehicle should it seperate.

I guess they do make them, basically bolts(attaches) to the floor/seat and has an actuator that pushs on the brake pedle when needed.. (possibly have a vacume pump for assisit) seems simple to me. Obviously if we can use 12v to activate drums with enough force a simple brake pedle hook up would be do-able...

Lets just not start talking about, the chain and pipe towing method...
 

Rockeater

New Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Location
Trinity/High Point NC
yager said:
'

Lets just not start talking about, the chain and pipe towing method...

Dang, that was gonna be my suggestion........... :p

JB
 

mbalbritton

#@$%!
Joined
Mar 22, 2005
Location
Lakeland, FL
i'm no kinda of know it all about towing.. in fact I know little about it. Only know what I've seen, and helped my buddies with when then tow.

But I have to ask, isn't it more the tow vehicle than it is the trailer/dolly/ or tow bar? as a comparison, do you ever hear of RV's having problems with their tow bar set-ups? no... It's all about wheelbase and mass of the tow rig isn't it?

I see so many vehicles with factory rating that I would NEVER want to try. Like a ZJ with a 5K lbs tow rating.. WTF!!!! My fully loaded '98 ZJ only weighted in at 5500 lbs! and the wheelbase is what? 108" or something in that range. the longer the wheelbase the more leverage and control you have on what's behind you.

Is this way off base? Just what I've picked up on.

brent
 

LARRY SMITH

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Location
Morganton
break away

The units that apply pressure to the towed vehicle brake pedal run around $950 and work just like electric brakes on a trailer.
 

csudman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Location
Statesville
LARRY SMITH said:
The units that apply pressure to the towed vehicle brake pedal run around $950 and work just like electric brakes on a trailer.

I've just never heard of any requirements.
 

Caver Dave

Just holdin' it down here in BFV
Moderator
Joined
Mar 10, 2005
Location
Hooterville (24171)
I know a few old schoolers that use them... called a "brake Buddy" (or similar)... Always thought it the best you can do flat towing, but let that knuckle break off in the woods, and... :rolleyes:
 

Aaron871

Member
Joined
May 11, 2005
Location
Charlotte, NC
mbalbritton said:
i'm no kinda of know it all about towing.. in fact I know little about it. Only know what I've seen, and helped my buddies with when then tow.

But I have to ask, isn't it more the tow vehicle than it is the trailer/dolly/ or tow bar? as a comparison, do you ever hear of RV's having problems with their tow bar set-ups? no... It's all about wheelbase and mass of the tow rig isn't it?

I see so many vehicles with factory rating that I would NEVER want to try. Like a ZJ with a 5K lbs tow rating.. WTF!!!! My fully loaded '98 ZJ only weighted in at 5500 lbs! and the wheelbase is what? 108" or something in that range. the longer the wheelbase the more leverage and control you have on what's behind you.

Is this way off base? Just what I've picked up on.

brent




I'm down with that...
You know I used to flat tow my CJ all over the place. Tellico, Monteagle, ect. With an F-150. I believe that it is safe as long as you know and understand what your doing. You can't quickly cut in front of a bike and pull a fast as hell turn when some one is in your way. You have to try to slow down and let the bike by. If you can't slow down in time then you miss your turn. You have to go slow on the HWY. When it starts to sway, slow down 10 mph and stay there. That's all. You can't just make an end all statement that it's safe and drive like it wasn't behind ya.
 

uglyjeepoffroad

Registered Loser
Joined
Mar 20, 2005
Location
Hickory, NC
It seems that nowadays (man, am I gonna sound old saying this. I swear I am only 30) that people over compensate on the tow rig to make up for underwhelming driving and towing skills/decisions.
I know, growing up, my father put about 30,000 miles on a 35' prowler camper pulled behind a '75 lincoln continental. Yes, it used a weight distributing hitch, but they are still available now. They didn't stop making them, people just don't use them as much.
We had zero problems with it. In the mountains, at the beach, we took it everywhere.
According to my Dad, the trailer weighed in at around 4200 lbs dry, and we used to stuff it full of travel stuff.
It just seems that everyone has jumped on the bandwagon of deisel 1 ton duallys to pull a 3800 pound Jeep on a 1500 pound trailer. I tow at work constantly, and right up to the towing ratings on the '04 expedition I drive (8900 lbs). With careful driving, good trailer brakes(if you have a trailer), and a decent head on the shoulders of the guy behind the wheel(<-- the biggest concern), I think you can safely tow in any # of combinations. :beer:
 

yager

Better Faster Stronger
Joined
Mar 17, 2005
Location
N. Raleigh, NC
Don't forget the 3/4 ton over compensators :D

I'm the first to admit I've got more truck than I need, and were both safer for it. Its bone stock and since it doent have to work that hard it will last a lot longer, plus I bet my striped down XL F250 PSD cost less than you Expidition... :flipoff2:
 

uglyjeepoffroad

Registered Loser
Joined
Mar 20, 2005
Location
Hickory, NC
yager said:
plus I bet my striped down XL F250 PSD cost less than you Expidition... :flipoff2:

Expedition is free. Company vehicle. No taxes, no insurance, no gas...

But I can't use it to tow my junk. :confused:
 

Rob

Administrator
Administrator
Joined
Mar 11, 2005
Location
Sanford, NC
mbalbritton said:
and here I thought the reason for getting the big boy rig was to get a tranny that was worth a shit.. ;)
In my case, I was missing having a truck, so was talking about trading the expedition in on a F250. Then the wife decided she wanted to wheel her XJ, so we upgraded to an F350 and bigger trailer. I towed my jeep for 4 years with the Expedition and it towed fine. Not great, but well enough. Bear in mind it had the factory tow package with the air bag leveling system.
 

Rich

Asshole at large
Joined
Mar 17, 2005
Location
Central PA
uglyjeepoffroad said:
It seems that nowadays that people over compensate on the tow rig to make up for underwhelming driving and towing skills/decisions.

And I'll be the second to admit that my rig is certainly more than I currently need. (However, it will be just about right for what I am planning for in the future)

There's more to towing than weight capacity... You probably didn't read my account of towing through DC, where my 4 truck length space I left was taken up by 4 cars that decided to all occupy the lane at the same time, and quickly figured out they couldn't do that! The resulting sideways skids and tire smoke meant stopping was not an option. With a nice broad shoulder to the right, a fast, HARD evasive maneuver around them kept me out of harm's way, and I continued on my way. I've towed with an Expedition several times (factory tow package as well), and it wouldn't have controlled that like a 3/4-1 ton truck.

You've got to admit - if the load gets hit by a strong crosswind, or you have to swerve, what will better control it?

The other big reason for getting a bigger truck, besides the safety margin, better load control, etc... When i tow, it's normally for 6-9 hours. It's far more relaxing to drive the bigger truck and have the load positvely under control.
 

Aaron871

Member
Joined
May 11, 2005
Location
Charlotte, NC
Rich said:
You've got to admit - if the load gets hit by a strong crosswind, or you have to swerve, what will better control it?

The other big reason for getting a bigger truck, besides the safety margin, better load control, etc... When i tow, it's normally for 6-9 hours. It's far more relaxing to drive the bigger truck and have the load positvely under control.


Amen,
If you are worried that my truck is too big for it's load, then you have nothing to worry about. :flipoff2: :D
 

uglyjeepoffroad

Registered Loser
Joined
Mar 20, 2005
Location
Hickory, NC
My ealier post was just veiled jealousy due to the fact that the vehicle I own with the largest towing capacity is my wife's Kia Sedona minivan rated at 3500lbs :p :flipoff2: :D .
I know about the margin for safety and I completely agree, but it seems the prevailing opinion in most circles is that if you tow a load of mulch on a utility trailer without a turbo deisel and 3/4 ton or larger chassis, you will end up upside down in a deep, dark ditch :rolleyes: .

My point is just that, if the vehicle is in good shape, the load is properly sized and loaded, and within the factory specs for the vehicle, occasional towing should not be a concern.
 

LARRY SMITH

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Location
Morganton
towing

Standard rule of thumb for towing is,"Buy the biggest rig you can live with, sooner or later you will need it."
 
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