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Flat Towing a Model A


Graham Man
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By flat towing, I assume you mean towing on the ground behind your Caravan.

My one experience with that was my last. Had a fellow deliver a 1923 Dodge sedan to me, towed behind his truck, about 300 miles. The front tires were down to the last layer before you could see the air by the time he got to my place (they were almost new when he started).

I believe that a combination of things caused this, worn king pins, wrong toe in, camber, caster, and all those other good alignment type things.

My advice is to trailer, it's still cheaper than buying tires..........but then again, mine could have been a one time experience....good luck...

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Any comments on flat towing a model A sedan? I have about 350 miles to go and would like to take the Caravan instead of my 1 ton dually with the enclosed trailer. Most of the driving is 60 mph.

I would figure out another way. In my opinion, 350 miles at 60 MPH in a Model A Ford is waaaaaaaay too far and too fast. I flat towed one of my 1931 Dodge coupes from Detroit to San Diego, but we only went about 45 or 50 MPH. You wanted comments....that's mine through experience.

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My experience but not a recomendation!!!!!!!!!!

I probably have more miles towing my A than driving it. Back and forth and up and down across the country. Spent 22 years in the USCG.

Much of it behind our 69 Mach I. Never even knew it was behind me. Will probably do it again when I finish the restorations on both of them.

Two flats, one going to Florida and one heading to California both within a few blocks of each other in Mobile on I-10. Had a little rear wheel wiggle in AZ, found a Coors can along the road for a shim.

Don't attached tow bar to bumper, attach to axle. I did have a frame horn crack so that's when I attached it to the axle. Use safety chains.

Toe-in definetly needs to be correct but you'll know that real quick if it's not right.

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Marc j is right, but here is an easier way.

Weight is the problem for the Caravan, but tow dolly will work.

I now use an open aluminum trailer but towed with a dolly for several Glidden Tours.

There are drawbacks to every tow option. Check the SEARCH function on the towing Forum of this web site for all the short comings and horror stories of each option.

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Trailering and dolly towing are risky too.

I recall years ago having often seen caravans of southern used car dealers flat towing cars south that they bought in the north. Done on a routine basis.

If you do end up flat towing or using a dolly, remember that the bearings on the transmission's upper shaft rely on the cluster gear on the lower shaft to be spinning in order for the gear oil to be thrown upward. However, while in neutral with the engine off, the lower shaft doesn't turn. At pit stops and fill-ups, start her up in neutral and allow the lube to get thrown up to those bearings. If the A is a non-runner, There are other ways such as towing her in gear a short distance, or by over-filling the trans, but in so doing you risk getting oil on the clutch.

Towing with a bar attached to just the bumper is risky because only the bumper clamps are holding the bumper on and they are not strong enough to be safe. A tow bar that could clamp over the bumper brackets and the bumper would be a lot safer. Better would be a bar attached to the axle.

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Any comments on flat towing a model A sedan? I have about 350 miles to go and would like to take the Caravan instead of my 1 ton dually with the enclosed trailer. Most of the driving is 60 mph.

Why take a chance flat towing when you have the towing setup to safely get there. Besides its only 350 miles. With trailering there are no worries about the weather, stone chips, locked inside at night, etc. Get there, unload and enjoy the A.

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No brainer. Enclosed trailer. Dually. One thing I've always wondered about when flat towing.:What would happen if a wheel came off the vehicle being towed? Another concern of mine {maybe not this time of year } would be a hail storm. Why be on pins and needles when you already have the right tools?

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Agree with all of the above; I would not tow BUT if you do be sure to check trans and diff to ensure they are full and check all lugnuts which tend to loosen fairly easilly on "A's - do that a couple times during the trip if you choose to go that route. Vibration from an out of balance tire can cause them to loosen and the lug holes will elongate, ruining the rim and possibley causing more trouble.

Or use the trailer, put on the cruise control and drive worry free back on home...

Good luck with your new find.

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My family has done flat towing it several times at long distances with A's and V8's with no problems.

You can not legally be able to do it anymore most places!!!!

Most states require the tow vehicle to have functioning brakes. This means a tow dolly or some special rigs to use a tow bar.

If the cops catch you then you will be in for a towing bill as they will not allow you continue down the highway.

You have a dually. Some states the cops have been pulling guys over with dually's and trailers as you are over the weight where you will need a CDL or at least a log book and a health thing from a Dr.

There are valid stories around from guys that had to hire guys to move their rigs after being pulled over. The two I am pretty sure are true are from the New England area and out west into Nevada I think.

Check the laws before you go. It can get pretty expensive if the cops have a bug up their butts.

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I don't want to seem like a smart azz.....But why do people own trailers and look for ways to get out of using them? You wouldn"t want to get caught flat towing in my neck of the woods. Not sure if its legal, but they will sure stop you and see if your towed vehicle has brakes...I sold a 4 door dually, 19 foot bed, drive on haul truck to a fellow in Indianapolis a few years back. NON RUNNING. He showed up in a Nissan pickup with a tow bar. I told him he was freeking nuts..... I had to pull him out of my drive to get him started. NUTS I TELL YOU... This whole outfit was over 55 feet long with only the Nissan having brakes....Needless to say he got a big ticket 3 miles from my house and the truck he just bought TOWED in......Just my 2 cents....Why own a trailer if you aren't going to use it for the very reason you bought it?

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There was a case where we drove the fire truck to a show about 70 miles away. I got the same mileage driving that fire truck, than I would've gotten had I loaded it onto the trailer and towed it with our pickup.

Even on the open trailer, you still get a thumbs up from people, and air conditioning and power steering and a nice stereo helps make the trip a lilttle nicer as well.

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I believe in Mass, flat towing is not allowed. All four wheels need to be off of the ground unless you are a wrecker on an emergecy call. It use to be allowed here in New York State. Not sure if it is any longer. My personal preferance is to take what is reliable and safe. I trailer everything. The laws have changed a lot the last 10 years. What you could do 30 and 40 years ago in the 60's and 70's, you cannot do today and rightfully so as the traffic has increased, the speeds have increased, and the trucks go faster, and haul heavier loads than they use to. Today, a tractor trailer combination can carry 80,000 LBS legally. Anything more, and you need over weight permits. Things are changing so fast that it is hard for someone like me to even keep up with the laws. In this state, if the truck castoppo wants to bad enough, they can find something on even a brand new rig to write you up for. Dandy Dave! CDL Class A.

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I believe in Mass, flat towing is not allowed. All four wheels need to be off of the ground unless you are a wrecker on an emergecy call. .....

We have flat towed, and now tow with a tow dolly, our tag vehicles behind our Class A RV in Mass. from time to time. We were just there in July of last year. Are you talking about situations like ours also or just one passenger vehicle towing another?

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Doing some checking on the web, The law applies to unregistered vehicles. The State of Mass. Law states that all 4 wheels must be off of the ground on an unregisterd car. Other wise it will be ticketed as an unregistred trailer. Looks like your safe Susan. :)

In NY you can get away with it as long as the tow vehicle is legal.

NH and CA also seem to have similar laws as Mass.

In NY, and other states where it is allowed, brings around the question of what if that un-insured wreck you are towing home for parts were to break loose and hits another car. Could get complicated with the insurance companys. I have been told that it is not required in NYS to have insurance on a trailer but it is much better if you do. My dear old Dad, the cheep old conservitive penny pinching Connecticut Yankee Farmer that he is, use to tell me that the tow vehicle insurance covers it. Some of my friends have said, once it leaves to tow vehicle, it is on its own. Dandy Dave!

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I know I`m in the wrong area, but I`m new and want to start a new topic and ask a question but do not know how to proceed

hoppy

hoppy...Welcome to the AACA Forum.

Sent you a Private Message (PM) with navigational instructions.

Peter J.

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Doing some checking on the web, The law applies to unregistered vehicles. The State of Mass. Law states that all 4 wheels must be off of the ground on an unregisterd car. Other wise it will be ticketed as an unregistred trailer. Looks like your safe Susan. :) .....

Thanks for checking that out and letting me know. :)

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