320 miles on a tow bar? With a 1/2 ton? - Pirate4x4.Com : 4x4 and Off-Road Forum
 
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Old 08-19-2002, 08:33 AM   #1 (permalink)
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320 miles on a tow bar? With a 1/2 ton?

hey guys, I need to get my rig up to the 'con, which is 160 miles each way. I'm just a high school kid w/no money, so a trailer is gonna have to wait a couple months. but for right now I can to buy a '72 chevy 1/2 ton w/350, th400, 12 bolt posi for around 600-700 bucks from a buddy. I also have a nice towbar that I can make fit onto my 4runner and throw some tiny 225/70 tires on it. my question: is it alright to tow this far with this combo? Its also worth mentioning that I have little experience with towing, but am not too much of a dumbass. And no, driving it up there is not currently an option.

thanks,
chris
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Old 08-19-2002, 10:32 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Do it!! Just take it easy coming back down IceHouse, keep it in low gears. I wouldn't change out the tires, then you'll need a place to stash them. I flat tow mine with 37's.
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Old 08-19-2002, 11:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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You should have fun trying to stop. I'm willing to bet that the 72 has manual brakes and drums up front? You might want to look into a better braking setup or a trailer with its own brakes because you'll unfortunatley be trying to stop the whole mess on those old brakes.

There's always UHaul. $50/day and they have surge brakes.

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Old 08-19-2002, 11:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I would agree with the above post. If the truck was a few years newer then I would say go for it. I used to flat tow with a 78 chevy 3/4 ton and even it could be a pain to stop at times so your 72 1/2 ton might not be too fun. It will do it, but you will have to be on the ball at all times.
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Old 08-19-2002, 11:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Oxjockey
You should have fun trying to stop. I'm willing to bet that the 72 has manual brakes and drums up front? You might want to look into a better braking setup or a trailer with its own brakes because you'll unfortunatley be trying to stop the whole mess on those old brakes.

There's always UHaul. $50/day and they have surge brakes.

Bryan
I agree with the U-Haul but on the '72 Chevy's brakes. Chevy went to disc front brakes in '71 on the truck line. It was a big deal and they even put a decal on the tailgates to show it. Now as to what shape this trucks brakes are in you won't know until you look at them.
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Old 08-19-2002, 12:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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thx fer the tips, especially Todd, Im not sure of the year, but know for a fact that it has front discs, and I believe they are power. yeah i was on icehouse saturday, thinking oh man, this'll be fun. Yeah I might as well use the 36" swampers, they are less than 1/4 tread anyhow, new tires after I get a trailer. Also it'll be technically illegal because its OHV regist., but I'll just throw on the plates from my other '85 runner and it should be alright. it kinda sticks out though, but unless a cop checks the vin # it should be o.k. please keep it coming, especially first hand experience. here is a current pic so you get the idea
-chris
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Old 08-19-2002, 01:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I flat tow my crap anywhere I want on 38's........go for it
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Old 08-19-2002, 01:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by mrnatural
yeah i was on icehouse saturday, thinking oh man, this'll be fun.
I flat towed mine down IceHouse in June, kept it in 1st gear from the top of the hill above H50 until I got to H50. Better to stack up a little traffic until the turnouts and keep it under control, than to fly off those corners.
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Old 08-19-2002, 01:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Haven't been there, but also heard that road was washboarded.

If your flat towing, I would toss 500lbs of something in the bed of the truck to weight it down.

If the road is washboarded I would also air the tow rig down a little. But.. thats just me.
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Old 08-19-2002, 01:59 PM   #10 (permalink)
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icehouse is a pretty well-kept road, not much washboard that i noticed. sand bagging would probably be a good idea-thanks
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Old 08-19-2002, 11:16 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I towed my Jeep 500 miles each way 4 or 5 times a year for 3 years. There are a few things you need to think about when flat towing. The towed vehicle pushes you around corners and if you're not careful it can jackknife especially on wet pavement.

The angle of the towbar makes a big difference on the handling of the tow vehicle. Try to keep it so the tow bar is slightly higher on the tow vehicle. That's pretty hard to do when towing a lifted truck.

In most states it's illegal to flat tow a vehicle without a "toad brake" system. It's also a law that's very rarely enforced.

I agree with the earlier suggestion that you rent a trailer from U haul with brakes.
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Old 08-20-2002, 02:44 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I flat towed a buddy's CJ5 from Denver to Moab (~360 miles, and over the continental divide on I-70) a few times behind mom's old '89 1/2 ton Sub; and while I prefer a trailer, it wasn't too bad. Just check out the tow rig (and the towed rig as well) real well, and you should be fine. I also agree with the recomendation on the tow bar angle, and put all your junk in the bed of the truck.

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Old 08-20-2002, 08:23 PM   #13 (permalink)
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yeah it sounds like maybe i should put the tiny tires on it, if for nothing else than towbar angle. I am gonna see about buying the truck in a day or too, and take a good look at how I mount the towbar. as for the u-haul, its a nice idea but as i said i am dirt poor as it is, and $150 bucks a trip for trailer rental WILL kill me...but thanks for the suggestions.
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Old 08-21-2002, 09:25 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by lt1yj
I towed my Jeep 500 miles each way 4 or 5 times a year for 3 years. There are a few things you need to think about when flat towing. The towed vehicle pushes you around corners and if you're not careful it can jackknife especially on wet pavement.


Memories... getting on the freeway through a cloverleaf, pavement was wet, I was going slower than what I knew the trail rig could do by itself. I was flat towing. I heard sliding, looked in my rear view mirror and found no jeep, looked in my drivers mirror and "phfew, there it was, OH SHIT!"
Got lucky and was able to pull out of it without slowing down alot and kept going.

But, I did have to clean my drawers.
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Old 08-21-2002, 10:22 PM   #15 (permalink)
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alright, verdict=go fer towbar, bring spares (underwear)
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Old 08-22-2002, 08:11 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I thought the towed vehicle was supposed to be higher then the tower, that way under braking the towed vehicle pushes down on the tow

Not sure how the Toyota gearbox is but you may want to drop the rear shaft
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Old 08-23-2002, 07:33 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Atowbarshouldbe fine.. I towed a Ramcharger from Pasco Wa to Perryton Tx with a tow bar and just the brakes on the truck I was driving.. My towbar was angled down from the Ramcharger to the 1/2 truck I had at the time..only problem I had was one of the 25 year old rear wheel bearings decided it was tired..
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Old 08-24-2002, 06:05 PM   #18 (permalink)
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yeah im gonna go fer it-bought the truck, its a POS for sure, but im going through the rear axle tonight, so it should be O.K.
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Old 08-24-2002, 10:33 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Make sure you remove the rear drive shaft, the toy t case doesn't have a true neutral and your front shaft will spin if the rear isn't disconnected. Other then that you might want to put some mud flaps on . A friend of mine got a ticket for no flaps on his jeep trailer.
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Old 08-25-2002, 08:53 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I thought the towed vehicle was supposed to be higher then the tower, that way under braking the towed vehicle pushes down on the tow
From my days driving a tow truck. You want the attachment point on the towed vech. to be lowwer than where it's attached to the towing vech. If the towed is higher than the towing it can cause the towed to come up and over the towed under hard braking. It isn't pretty when this happens.
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Old 08-26-2002, 12:23 AM   #21 (permalink)
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A friend of mine got a ticket for no flaps on his jeep trailer.
sheeeIT I hadn't thought of that. thx
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Old 08-26-2002, 04:07 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Originally posted by 70~K5


From my days driving a tow truck. You want the attachment point on the towed vech. to be lowwer than where it's attached to the towing vech. If the towed is higher than the towing it can cause the towed to come up and over the towed under hard braking. It isn't pretty when this happens.

I have never had that happen with a towbar.. the vehicle I tow is about 10 inches higher than the tow vehicle..
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Old 08-26-2002, 12:29 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by hy_desert_4wheeler



I have never had that happen with a towbar.. the vehicle I tow is about 10 inches higher than the tow vehicle..
Ditto...never been a prob for me :shrug:
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Old 08-26-2002, 01:15 PM   #24 (permalink)
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It doesn't happen offen and with a ball hitch it would be harder to do, but have you ever locked up the brakes on your tow rig on some surface that has good traction? Under max braking if the towed trucks attachment point is higher than the attachment point on the towing truck it will try and pick up the front of the towed truck. The other difference is with a "tow truck" you've already picked the front of what you're towing off the ground.

The other thing to watch out for is maxing out the travel in the hitch/ ball area. I bent the crap out of a ball mount backing a trailer into a driveway once cause it maxwed the angle out due to the dip at the curb and the exstrem angle of the driveway.
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Old 08-27-2002, 01:10 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by 70~K5
It doesn't happen offen and with a ball hitch it would be harder to do, but have you ever locked up the brakes on your tow rig on some surface that has good traction? Under max braking if the towed trucks attachment point is higher than the attachment point on the towing truck it will try and pick up the front of the towed truck. The other difference is with a "tow truck" you've already picked the front of what you're towing off the ground.
I've always made sure that, on the level, the tow bar angles DOWN *slightly* to the towing vehicle.

The idea being if I stand on the brakes hard, I'd rather have the front of the towed vehicle go up in the air a little and push DOWN on my rear axle, than have the towed rig try to go UNDER my bumper and LIFT the rear axle off the ground.

I wanted the rear axle to contribute to the braking effort - or at least keep some lateral stability, and not try to swap ends.

I flat towed my sprung-over, full width SII about 10,000 miles behind my 4" front/SOA rear 33" shod Scout II.

I did get pushed around a few corners, I did warp my brake rotors stopping, but no major problems - and I was REALLY glad I have a 4spd in the towing Scout.

That said, I have a trailer and a 4dr 1T IH now.. man am I spoiled!
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