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Flat Tow Woe


capngrog
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Some of us occasionally flat tow a vehicle; however, as in most worthwhile human endeavors, success depends on attention to the details.

 

For example, for a tale of tow woe, open this link:

 

https://www.msn.com/en-us/autos/enthusiasts/rv-driver-annihilates-their-new-jeep-wrangler-by-flat-towing-it-in-4-low/ar-BB1eDPkJ?li=BBnb7Kz

 

Be careful out there.

 

Cheers,

Grog

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Guess the art of disconnecting the driveshaft to flat tow has been lost. Still have a couple of tow bars but collect most cars with a tow dolly now (no license required in Florida) that has surge brakes and steering (lock when unladen). RWD cars (Fieros) I put on backwards and tie down the steering.

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 I found when pulling out a car that is stuck in the mud for a short distance, that if you place a old tire over your trailer ball and then connect your tow chain thru the tire that it makes a real smooth tow without the snapping of the chain when it gets loose and then tightens up again.

Edited by Roger Walling (see edit history)
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The day before yesterday I passed a car flat towing two other cars - one after the other - on the interstate. I said to my wife, "That can't be legal...or safe." Then, about a quarter mile ahead, there was another car towing two others in the same configuration. Probably some small used car dealer transporting vehicles back from an auction in the cheapest way possible. Braking must be fun.

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In the 60s a family friend with a Model A woody,would tow bar it back and forth to Cape Cod a few times a year for years.

They had a special tow bar made for it that bolted up to the front bumper brackets after removing the simple bumper.

On an early trip they saw an identical Model A woody start to pass them on the right .As they slowed down to have it catch up they saw their car was gone! and the supposed twin roll off the safety lane on to the grass and drift into the tree line un- damaged.

 From the constant flexing of the hard spring steel ,(then only 35 year old) bumper bracket pair cracked and broke .

From then on they would tightly safety chain both  tow bar ends to the both sides of the front axle were the radius rod(wishbone ) bolted..

Never happened again.

 

I ended up with the tow bar 15 years later.Used it alot..Till I let a dirty old high end car collector, borrowed it ..A lawyer...I never saw it again,but saw HIM 10 years later at a meet chatting it up with others ,a few of I knew..

I didn't hesitate to shame him..

Watching his face turn puce was great!

 

 

 

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Before i tell this story, this cautionary advice.

You don't need a CDL or any training to buy and drive big RV;s.  If you qualify for financing or can write a check,

Happy Motoring!

One year while leaving Hershey, we headed east on a highway with 2's in it's number.   Not far east of Hershey

we saw a 40+ foot RV pulling a jeep headed toward the highway we were on.   The back of the jeep was smoking

like a mosquito fogger.

That RV came to a stop as we passed the intersection..  Both rear tires were gone and the aluminum wheels were

1/3 gone.   Must have let the parking brake on.

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3 hours ago, JamesR said:

The day before yesterday I passed a car flat towing two other cars - one after the other - on the interstate. I said to my wife, "That can't be legal...or safe." Then, about a quarter mile ahead, there was another car towing two others in the same configuration. Probably some small used car dealer transporting vehicles back from an auction in the cheapest way possible. Braking must be fun.


I seee these and other things similar heading to Mexico.  The worst was a box truck hauling. A trailer and a car behind the trailer.  I live in Texas...

Edited by Bill Stoneberg (see edit history)
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I flat towed my 1931 Dodge coupe from the Detroit area to the upper peninsula of Michigan and then across the USA to San Diego, California. I think I only lost one part. It was the lower window trim piece. It took me YEARS to find another, but not before I made a set from wood....

1467489_10201964512253365_1450239591_n.jpg

Picture 14195.jpg

Picture 14201.jpg

Edited by keiser31 (see edit history)
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Almost flat tow, I saw this in PA as well, and on a road with a lot of well it was Rt 222.  Car with a motorcycle, motorcycle had its front wheel tied to the bumper hitch, back wheel riding on the ground. Kinda crazy looking.

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Yes, in general a manual trans just needs to be in neutral. Automagics that don't have a rear pump (most) need to have the driveshaft removed and the trans plugged. This is why small FWD cars are popular on a dolly behind an RV.

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3 hours ago, Paul Dobbin said:

Before i tell this story, this cautionary advice.

You don't need a CDL or any training to buy and drive big RV;s.  If you qualify for financing or can write a check,

Happy Motoring!

One year while leaving Hershey, we headed east on a highway with 2's in it's number.   Not far east of Hershey

we saw a 40+ foot RV pulling a jeep headed toward the highway we were on.   The back of the jeep was smoking

like a mosquito fogger.

That RV came to a stop as we passed the intersection..  Both rear tires were gone and the aluminum wheels were

1/3 gone.   Must have let the parking brake on.

Or if an automatic left it in park. Same difference, stupid is as stupid does. And being near VIR I've seen a lot of idiots driving RV's towing car trailers that shouldn't have been allowed to drive a kid's tricycle.

 

Had to pull onto the shoulder twice within a mile this afternoon for one of those rigs to go by. Road is a county tarmac that is just wide enough for two normal size vehicles to pass. Clearly marked at each end "no overwidth vehicles/ no combinations over 40 feet long". But it cuts off three miles vs going via the marked VIR traffic route.

 

The track owner has the nerve to wonder why I'm on the horn with the county administrator and sheriff and the state police every couple months.🙄

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8 hours ago, JamesR said:

The day before yesterday I passed a car flat towing two other cars - one after the other - on the interstate. I said to my wife, "That can't be legal...or safe." Then, about a quarter mile ahead, there was another car towing two others in the same configuration. Probably some small used car dealer transporting vehicles back from an auction in the cheapest way possible. Braking must be fun.

 

We see a lot of 3, and even 4-car tows on I-10, I-12, I-65, I-59, etc with a large van following. Typically they all have some repairable body damage. When a lead car quits, they just move it to the rear of each tow, and continue. The group, typically anywhere from 10-12 guys, non-English speaking, are driven north in the big van. The chief buys cheap auction cars in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, etc, and train them back to both South Texas and Mexico to be repaired and sold. They may also drive continually, sometimes rotating drivers - sometimes not. They generally impede traffic, driving 10, or even 20 mph below posted speeds, and often create a hazzard on the highway.

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On 3/21/2021 at 3:38 PM, Flivverking said:

In the 60s a family friend with a Model A woody,would tow bar it back and forth to Cape Cod a few times a year for years.

They had a special tow bar made for it that bolted up to the front bumper brackets after removing the simple bumper.

On an early trip they saw an identical Model A woody start to pass them on the right .As they slowed down to have it catch up they saw their car was gone! and the supposed twin roll off the safety lane on to the grass and drift into the tree line un- damaged.

 From the constant flexing of the hard spring steel ,(then only 35 year old) bumper bracket pair cracked and broke .

From then on they would tightly safety chain both  tow bar ends to the both sides of the front axle were the radius rod(wishbone ) bolted..

Never happened again.

 

I ended up with the tow bar 15 years later.Used it alot..Till I let a dirty old high end car collector, borrowed it ..A lawyer...I never saw it again,but saw HIM 10 years later at a meet chatting it up with others ,a few of I knew..

I didn't hesitate to shame him..

Watching his face turn puce was great!

I used to tow our Model A the same way - guess I didn't do it enough to break the bumper brackets.  I always made it a point to check the transmission was in neutral and the hand brake was off as the last thing before getting in the tow vehicle.

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When dollying a car just bought I always stop after 1/2 mile to a mile to check everything on the rig. One part is to put my hand on all rolling wheels and tires to see if anything feels warm/hot. Did catch a dragging brake that way once.

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