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Old 12-05-2010, 04:30 PM   #1
MONSTERMUDDER
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Default Flat Towing

Since it's too cold to enjoy working on anything outside, here's some pics of what i've done to flat tow a couple of my trucks.

Here is the tow bar I built a couple of years ago. It was one of my first welding projects. Read previous sentence. I built it to tow stock height vehicles and it worked fine for that but then I started lending it out to my buddies and it was abused to say the least. Pics just taken and after it had been repaired multiple times.



and my tow bar brackets






What it's towed -

88 Full size 4x4 bronco all stock towed beautifully

80 K5 Blazer lifted on 39's (welds cracked and stuff bent but held together - reason for all the repairs and it's eventual replacement)

IH Scout

87 GMC Jimmy Towed beautifully

Then I replaced it with a $50 Harbor Freight Tow Bar and have used it on the Dodge and it's worked well.

Dodge



I built my own tow bar brackets for the tow bar even though the ones that came with would have worked fine however I built the brackets when I was planning to build my own tow bar.



I welded on 2 nuts to each one to hold the safety chains from binding.



Then yesterday I built this for my 66 2wd. Lookin on ebay about a 2 months ago I found this old U haul clamp on tow hitch that had been sitting in a shed for the past 20+ years bought it for $10 (cost $37 to ship it though).



So yesterday I clamped it to my truck



Then clamped the tow bar mount(s) that came with the Harbor Freight Tow Bar and drilled the holes and bolted it up with about $20 worth of grade 5 hardware from Lowes.



Then Installed the tow bar



Then took some pics earlier today.




Tied it to the hood with some rope and because it binds with the tow bar mount at a 90 degree angle it won't slam back and hit the hood of the truck.



Here's a few more pics of how it clamps to the bumper.













I haven't had a chance to try it out yet on the 66 but it should work for only about $30 (excluding shipping) I have a tow bar that should work on most all vehicles with a real steel bumper. I have safety chains and magnetic lights (not pictured). Comments, suggestions, pics of your flat towing job post em up.
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Old 12-05-2010, 04:53 PM   #2
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You don't need a whole lot of strength for flat towing. I have 4 tow bars including the $50 Harbor Fright one and 3 eBay $100 bars. The Harbor Fright is not as well made as the others but should do the job.
I've flat towed my CJ all over the eastern seaboard behind my venture van and my XJ. Not too bad as long as the front end is fairly decent shape with fairly decent alignment. You have to remember not to try and turn too sharp and get rolling first before trying to turn. The van's hitch is really low, about 10 inches lower than the CJ's front bumper so I had to modify one tow bar by cutting and welding the bars at an angle so the coupler was level with the receiver.
Good idea using that old u-haul bumper hitch. I should have kept the old one I had laying around rather than giving it away.
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Old 12-12-2010, 01:20 PM   #3
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Very interesting! Personally, I don't know anything about flat-towing, but know I'm not a fan - I'm a trailer man. But, this was pretty eye-opening, man! Thanks very much for putting it up.
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Old 01-23-2011, 02:57 PM   #4
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I towed the C10 with that clamp on set up a couple of weeks ago and it worked well for the 1 mile I towed it. Today I went out and rescued my Dodge I left it in the field the yesterday because the winch cable wouldn't return due to some electrical issue and the battery went dead over night cause I left the winch controller plugged in and it drained it overnight. It tow's decent except for the 1/8th mile stretch of road I have to travel on to get it back to my shop. It dosen't like the hard right turn and then the other hard right turn about a 1/8th mile away even though I'm completly in the other lane all the way over to the ditch, oh well it's a huge 4x4 and it tows like one.

Ignore the date on the pics I had to change the batteries and I didn't reset the date.









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Old 01-23-2011, 06:53 PM   #5
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Found out why it towed like sh*t, left the hubs locked Doh!
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Old 01-23-2011, 06:56 PM   #6
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OOPS!!! I'm with Chris.. I know nothing about flat towing... but I'm sure thats not good! lol
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Old 01-30-2011, 07:05 PM   #7
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Got a new hitch for towing my Dodge. The one i've been using has too much play because with flat towing it dosen't have any tounge weight on the hitch causing quite a bit of play -



So I hope that this 6" drop 5" rise hitch should take eleminate the play and should make it tow better.

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Old 02-13-2011, 10:06 PM   #8
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Played around with my flat towing set up today.

Between installing the 9/16" Grade 8 Bolts and the new raised hitch, now there's hardly any play in the towing set up.



I also installed some safety chains to the tow bar and some new hooks to hook on to the safety chain clips on the truck.
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Old 03-28-2011, 04:31 PM   #9
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Quick question-

When you flat tow an un-registered / un-insured vehicle the insurance from the vehicle towing said vehicle transfers over right?

Thanks
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:19 PM   #10
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I'm not sure how it works when towing another car.. but I know when you tow a trailer, the insurance from the tow rig insures the trailer.. might wanna check with the local donut connoisseurs and/or insurance man
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Old 03-29-2011, 06:25 PM   #11
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Yea I knew it worked that way with a trailer just wasn't sure about flat towing a vehicle, I would think it would be the same but, I can't find anything on the VDOT site to confirm.
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Old 03-29-2011, 06:45 PM   #12
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You need to check with your insurance company. I was told by mine that the vehicle you're towing is the same as a trailer.
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Old 03-29-2011, 06:51 PM   #13
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Alright man i'll do that.
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Old 06-12-2011, 12:15 PM   #14
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Thinking of purchasing a braking system sometime in the next few months.

I really like the brake buddy systems and what not however they're over $1000 new and used can fetch over $500 that's way more than I wanna spend seeing as I flat tow something maybe a few times a year. I probably wouldn't use it for the really short trips I tow (ie less than 5 miles) however I would like to use it on the longer tows. Well I came across this readybrake system ( http://www.readybrake.com/brake-systems.html ) -



It's about $350, comes with a lifetime warranty and it's simple no electronics / air compressors / etc that the brake buddy you have to deal with. Installation video on their site is very straight forward and looks fairly easy to install. I'm strongly considering it, I'm sure I can buy just the cables from em and what not if I decide to install it in a second vehicle. Here's how it works -



Strongly considering buying it because it's basic, easy to install, and the peace of mind of having brakes on a vehicle that's about the same size as the towing vehicle. What do you guys think?
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Old 06-12-2011, 12:35 PM   #15
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MY 2 cents, take it for what its worth:

looks pretty scetchy to me.. I know its more expensive, but in the long run, I think a trailer is the way I'd go... take the $350 or more it'll cost ya for that and put it towards a trailer with brakes on it. I don't like the uhaul trailer type brakes where they use the pressure from the trailer rocking forward to pressurize the brakes - The few times I used them if I had to back the trailer up or something, it would start to put the trailer brakes on, especially if I was backing up a hill or something.
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