Roger Walling

Towing with an older car.

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I have a 55 Chrysler (4500lbs) and I wonder how you would figure out how much you could safely tow with a trailer.

 I can't find anything specific but I did read that you should never tow a trailer that weighs more than the towing vehicle.

 But this seems to be contrary when using a truck?

 Of course I would be using trailer brakes.

 Does anyone have a concrete rule to go by?

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Posted (edited)

  The old adage about the trailer not weighing more than the truck probably came from back in the days when the trailer did not have brakes. If you think about an 18wheeler...

the loaded trailer always weighs more that the tractor.

 

  Your ball, hitch & receiver all have a weight rating, so those are simple. The only issue with using an older vehicle would be the strength of the frame where you attach the hitch. Some extra strengthening in that area might be needed. Also the beefiness of th erear suspension should be taken into consideration. Those are things you will have to assess yourself. 

 

  These days a quality trailer with a "Tor-Flex" suspension & electric brakes on both axles are a breeze to pull.

 

God bless

Bill

https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/nationwide-single-car-transport-hauling-open-or-enclosed.614419/

Edited by Bills Auto Works (see edit history)

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7 hours ago, Roger Walling said:

I have a 55 Chrysler (4500lbs) and I wonder how you would figure out how much you could safely tow with a trailer.

 I can't find anything specific but I did read that you should never tow a trailer that weighs more than the towing vehicle.

 But this seems to be contrary when using a truck?

 Of course I would be using trailer brakes.

 Does anyone have a concrete rule to go by?

\\

Roger,

 

Could you be more specific ?

 

What exactly is the tow vehicle ?

 

What exactly is the trailer ?

 

What exactly are you towing on or in the trailer ?

 

 

Jim

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1 hour ago, Trulyvintage said:

\\

Roger,

 

Could you be more specific ?

 

What exactly is the tow vehicle ?

 

What exactly is the trailer ?

 

What exactly are you towing on or in the trailer ?

 

 

Jim

The tow vehicle is the 55 Chrysler. I would like to tow a 2000 lb. trailer (6000 lb. max total weight)with a 57 Chevy on it.

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Posted (edited)

Ok ....so back in the mid 50’s there were fewer cars on the road,

the average speed they were traveling was less.

 

If you were towing with that set every day - after awhile you would

 become comfortable and familiar with driving.

 

But today things are different.

 

Semi tractors have air brakes which allow for far better braking

capability than hydraulic or electric systems - you can’t compare

that to a passenger vehicle.

 

If you are planning on towing short distances on familiar roads

in good weather - go to a good trailer shop or welder and have 

a sturdy custom receiver hitch built & equip your vintage tow vehicle

with a fused electric brake controller - make sure you have a heavy 

duty cooling package for water & tranny fluid ( if automatic )

along with respective temperature gauges.

 

If you are planning longer trips or towing in adverse weather conditions,

consider renting or buying a suitable modern tow vehicle.

 

Over the years I have stopped numerous times to help out classic

and hot rod owners broken down by the side of the road - they were 

towing everything from small teardrop trailers to large enclosed

car hauler trailers.

 

Everything was going great - the rig looked cool - until the radiator

blew up or a head gasket blew or an automatic tranny cooked.

 

Good Luck

 

 

Jim

 

Edited by Trulyvintage (see edit history)
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Keep in mind, advice given here will find someone who is successful bending this advice. In 1972 my in-laws towed a 4,000 Pound camper with a 4,400 pound 1967 Chrysler with a 383 engine.  Most trips were less than 400 miles around Iowa.  The exception was 2,600 round trip to trip to Brownsville TX.  Towed at 50 mph and replaced the trans in TX.

 

Today, I use a Silverado 1500 to pull a 2,000 pound open trailer & 3,000 pound car.  Works ok on flat areas but had a strain going across West Virgina last year.  

 

You will need a frame hitch & an equalizer hitch on a 64 year old car with a soft suspension.  Stay out of hills & you will be slowest vehicle on the road.  

Truly vintage has very good advise

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12 hours ago, Roger Walling said:

The tow vehicle is the 55 Chrysler. I would like to tow a 2000 lb. trailer (6000 lb. max total weight)with a 57 Chevy on it.

 

You might want a chase vehicle of 3/4 ton rating. There are plenty of them out there so why not purchase one considering the expectation of breakdown expenses occurring 

I am not a fan of 1/2 ton tow vehicles. Been there and gotten over them

robert

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 Thank you to everybody that commented.

 My trips would be short <30mi..

 The Chrysler has been completely rebuilt inc the rear of the frame, new radiator etc.

 I will take your advice.

 I was hoping to get an legal opinion but it seems that that has not been addressed by the law. Only newer vehicles with stated weight restrictions attached to the vehicle by the manufacturer.

 

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