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Better to Flat Tow or trailer?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Pookster, Oct 30, 2005.

  1. Pookster

    Pookster 1/2 ton status

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    Just some thoughts running through my head-

    is it better of flat tow a trail rig, or better to trailer it?

    Trailer adds another 2000 lbs. But it adds brakes. Adds aero drag
    but tires have less rolling resistance.

    wacha think?
     
  2. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    It is better to trailer a rig if you can. Flat towing is not the optimal choice for towing but is not a horrible option either. I flat towed my K5 from Arizona to Colorado (1000 miles) I just made sure the front hubs were unlocked, the wheel bearings were greased up, and I removed the rear driveshaft. It made it just fine. It would have been nice to have some brakes though on the thing you are towing. Several times I had to do some decent braking and the weight of the K5 was lot for the brakes of the 2005 F250 to handle.

    Harley
     
  3. stallion85

    stallion85 1/2 ton status

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    I flat tow my K5, in fact I flat towed it to Moab and back this year. Like Harley said it is a mother bear trying to slow down. Eventually I will buy a trailer with brakes :D

    I think for a temporary solution flat towing is a good option. Of course you can't destroy your rig as much and flat tow it home as if you had a trailer you could drag the damaged rig onto the trailer and take her home safely.

    This was my #1 fear at BB, that I would F something up to where the vehicle would not be able to roll behind me on the way home. Just something else to consider.......
     
  4. mikey_d05

    mikey_d05 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I've only flat towed anything once and it was a CJ behind an F-350 and to be honest, braking wasn't fun.

    I put mine a trailer because #1 I can break my junk beyond repair and as long as I can load it I can get it home. #2 I'm not putting any more road miles on boggers, and #3 I have a trailer with brakes on both axles and although quirky at times I can make a panic stop without worrying. I've tested it out and the trailer is capable of locking up all four tires with the trail truck on it. I think flat towing is a decent solution, but if it's affordable a trailer is the way to go.
     
  5. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    UMmmm....trailer!..tow bars....mmmm--scary??

    My brother towed a 1967 Ford Econoline "pickup" van from Charlotte NC,to MA where he lives,after a guy he paid 400 bucks stiffed him,and never brought it,and the car lot it was at called and said "You have 5 days,or we're towing it away to an impound yard! :eek1: ..So he drove his 93 GMC 2500 with a 6.5 turbo diesel 5 speed 4x4 down there,and used a tow bar to haul it back!..all he did was drill 4 holes in the bumper(nice mint chrome one too :doah: ) to attach the brackets for the tow bar,pulled the driveshaft,and off to MA he went..

    He said it wasn't bad to pull at all--it tracked nicely,only once in a while he'd feel a tug or pull to one side when road surfaces changed..he had it up to 70 mph for quite a while,traffic was light,and all was well with the world..

    But that changed once he hit the pennsylvania border!..the road was like a war zone,all potholes and craters--the van zigged and zagged wildly a few times,and when he drove over a bridge that was under reconstruction,it was 6" lower than the road before it was--he thought the van was going to land in the bed of his truck when he looked in the rearveiw mirror! :eek1: :yikes: -

    --and traffic was a nightmare.everyone passing him and flipping him off,because he had to hold his speed down!-he said he almost stained his shorts,and crawled to the NY line at 45 mph tops!..once he got there,it was fairly smooth sailing,other than a few jerks cutting him off,and making him wish he had it on a trailer with brakes again..

    He said although a tow bar works ok,he'd never use one for a trip like that again,where you don't know what kind of condition the roads are in,or how bad traffic will be..although a trailer does add another ton of weight,he claims the fuel milage was about the same ,and the added weight helped the truck feel more planted to the road,instead of something wagging to and fro behind you..and seeing that vehicle right on your tail gets on your nerves too!..(and the thought crossed his mind "what if the van gets a flat,or the wheels lock up for some ungodly reason?? :eek: )..at least a trailer has 2 tires on each side!..

    Personally,I dont understand how a tow bar works..I'd think once you go around a corner with the steering unlocked,the tires would go anywhere they please,but they dont!..kinda weird it works at all,and to me its a bit scary to tow a driverless vehicle around...I'd feel safer if someone was in it to hit the brakes,or steer it in the right direction if it decided not to follow the towing vehicle.. :crazy:
     
  6. fordeater

    fordeater 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I flat towed an 84 k5 with a 4 inch lift and 33's from Washington state to San Antonio Texas about 2400 miles. I used another 84 k5 completely stock to tow with. Braking sucked, and i couldn't go over 64 miles per hour without getting the death wobble. I kept it about 62 the whole way and had no problems, well, no problems with the towing. Overheated twice, stupid lower radiator hose, thank goodness for spares. Anyways, flat towing worked fine. Would i tow my blazer that far again, HELL NO. It was a long drive. Most states were fine until i got to New Mexico. The only problem there was the speed limit is like 75 mph for Everybody, including 18 wheeleres, so i almost got myself ran over the whole way thru the state.
     
  7. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Put it on the trailer. Better braking is obviously a big thing and trailer tires last longer and are cheaper than expensive fast wearing off road tires.

    Plus..... having a trailer looks better....flat towing just looks goofy. :D
     
  8. afroman006

    afroman006 1/2 ton status

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    Not to mention taction on the back. With a towbar you are adding another 6k lbs. and NO weight to the back to of towing vehicle. I flat towed a 6500 pound dually home behind my moms 2500 HD and trying to get it rolling from a stop up wet inclines was entertaining. Nothing like breaking the back tires free while trying to merge onto a highway...
     

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