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Old March 20th, 2006, 05:58 PM   #1
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Default Tow Bars

I'm thinking of useing a tow bar on my rig this year instead of driving or trailering. Since I've never used one, I was wondering what the pros and cons were. Are most of you using a store bought tow bar or did you make your own? Where did buy yours from, what store? Thanks for any opinions on this.
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Old March 20th, 2006, 07:25 PM   #2
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i got one for my dune buggy they work great
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Old March 20th, 2006, 07:37 PM   #3
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They aren't bad because you aren't adding the weight of a trailer to your towing load. It sucks if you end up busting an axle tube or severely fawking up your suspension.
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Old March 20th, 2006, 08:28 PM   #4
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o yeah u cant back up with a tow bar
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Old March 20th, 2006, 08:35 PM   #5
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I'd go with a tow dolly....that way you could get 2 wheels off the ground if something broke.....not the weight of a trailer.....and you can back it up
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Old March 20th, 2006, 08:39 PM   #6
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my tow bar is home made and if you make one make shure it is off set to the drivers side so you can see it in your side mirror
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Old March 20th, 2006, 08:41 PM   #7
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you have a good point with the car dolly, but I'd have a hard time finding one for around $100 like a I can for a tow bar.
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Old March 20th, 2006, 08:42 PM   #8
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make one it only cost me about 50 bucks to do so
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Old March 20th, 2006, 09:12 PM   #9
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I have a Reese adjustable tow bar that I use. I special ordered it from Lowe's. It tows great down the road. It does suck that you can't back it up like a normal trailer though. Also, if your tow rig is locked up things get strange around tight corners or in the rain....even more so than normal.



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Old March 20th, 2006, 10:11 PM   #10
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Ok, if you have the vehicle being towed in neutral (trans and t-case) and have the steering locked, why can't you back up? I've never towed with a tow bar...just big ass 40 foot enclosed trailers.
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Old March 20th, 2006, 10:11 PM   #11
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Wal-Mart...something like 49 bucks...comes with everything to hook it up. Had mine for about 8 years now and it has always worked fine.
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Old March 20th, 2006, 10:17 PM   #12
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I've also got a reese like that one pictures..

meh, I've backed up my CJ3a with it, no problem. With and without the steering wheel lashed straight.


I don't like them for Jeeps, I'd prefer a dolly or a flatbed, but as mentioned, they are cheap.

Liekwise, its a cheap option for a dune buggy. But a t-trailer is also my preferred method for that.


If you flat tow, be VERY careful on any wet or especially snowy ground. Without brakes back there, its easy to jack-knife...
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Old March 21st, 2006, 06:55 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreaseMonkey
Ok, if you have the vehicle being towed in neutral (trans and t-case) and have the steering locked, why can't you back up? I've never towed with a tow bar...just big ass 40 foot enclosed trailers.

First, you tow with the steering unlocked...that way it can steer behind you as you do around corners. If it was unlocked, you would have to scrub the front tires to make it turn...which with our bigger tires, it will not turn, it will keep going straight and jackknife you. Basicly the same thing that happens when you flat tow with front and rear lockers.

Now you can back up in a straight line, but the front and rear axles are too far apart to back it up like a tandem trailer.
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Old March 21st, 2006, 07:02 AM   #14
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me and some friends use to tow are drag cars all the time. the only problems we had was the tight turns, it would slide the front tires of the car if it was in loose gravel, sometimes it would cock the front wheels and you would have to go straighten the wheels.
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Old March 21st, 2006, 08:15 AM   #15
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My flattie did that wit hthe wheels always on tight turns... I used HEAVY bungies to lash the wheel into a straight position. Scrubbed a little around turns but worked well, and I could back it straight and around turns all day long.. (Made a 90 dergee turn and backed it right into our barn)

That was towing behind a lifted XJ, sometimes in the snow.
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Old March 21st, 2006, 08:27 AM   #16
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I use a tow bar that I bought of ebay. It was like $70 shipped. When you tow bar, t-case in neutral, manual tranny in gear (not sure for auto). The NP 231 is not a true neutral t-case so it still spins (although slowly) keeping the tranny allows the tranny gears to spin keeping things lubed. Steering wheel unlocked and off you go. I've never had any troubles yet. Sometimes in high winds the jeep will waggle a bit back there so I just slow down and stay steady. I've towed as fast as 80mph but thats was by accident (didn't realize how fast I was going) but I usually tow under 75mph at about 73.

Pros:
-Cheap
-Your towing in case something breaks
-ride in style and comfort
-gearing doesn't matter so you can have screwy non highway gears in your jeep and be okay
-better than driving the vehicle
-rolling resistance is easy, less weight to tow.


Cons:
-It's not a safe for the towed vehicle as a trailer
-It wears the tires something fierce (I end up will little sandings of rubber all over the tires when I flat tow, I never see them any other time.
-If you have a front locker it doesn't work without lockouts
-if you break and axles and have to replacements you can still be screwed
-no brakes back there
-not as good as trailering
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Old March 21st, 2006, 10:29 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MuddyPaws
First, you tow with the steering unlocked...that way it can steer behind you as you do around corners. If it was unlocked, you would have to scrub the front tires to make it turn...which with our bigger tires, it will not turn, it will keep going straight and jackknife you. Basicly the same thing that happens when you flat tow with front and rear lockers.

Now you can back up in a straight line, but the front and rear axles are too far apart to back it up like a tandem trailer.
Thanks Tim!
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Old March 21st, 2006, 10:38 AM   #18
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I have flat towed two different Jeeps. The first was a 00TJ. Pulled that behind a motorhome for more than 20K miles. Works great, even in the mountains..but we had a big tow vehicle.
The second is the 87YJ I have now. Flat towed it from New Jersey where we picked it up, then to Camp Jeep last summer, etc. It tows well with little difficulty however you need to change your driving habits some ( being pulled behind a WJ). Like all trailer towing, be aware you are not going to stop on a dime. Take turns slower than normal, etc. and you will be fine.
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Old March 21st, 2006, 10:29 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar
My flattie did that wit hthe wheels always on tight turns... I used HEAVY bungies to lash the wheel into a straight position. Scrubbed a little around turns but worked well, and I could back it straight and around turns all day long.. (Made a 90 dergee turn and backed it right into our barn)

That was towing behind a lifted XJ, sometimes in the snow.
Wow...I have never had any luck backing the YJ up...except in a straight line. No way I could do a 90 for sure.
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Old March 21st, 2006, 10:40 PM   #20
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Like I said, I had the steering wheel lashed.

The CJ-3a with 53 year old drums up front kept dragging, so I had to lash the wheel because they kept turning to the right and not returning to center.

Heh, putting it into the barn, that was in 10" of powder snow, too. Was suprised how well my XJ on semi bald tires pulled that thing through the snow just fine..
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