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Need flat towing tips.

Discussion in 'Tow & Trailer' started by docgab, Jul 7, 2005.

  1. docgab

    docgab 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Hey all, I am about to make a looong move to Missouri here at the end of the month. Due mostly to money concerns, I am planning to flat tow the K5 behind the u-haul truck. I need some pointers though. Steering column should be unlocked? I have a friend here that said to leave it unlocked but get some rubber straps and strap it straight so that it will turn but will want to come back to straight? Comments? I was planning on dropping both driveshafts so t-case and transmission aren't a concern.

    I have no plans of going over 50-55 MPH. I am resigned to this length of this trip :-) I understand from searching that this setup might not be legal in a lot of states (over 3000 #) but it's the way I gotta do it. I have towed some crazy **** over short < 1.5 hours before so I understand the easy steering changes, give lots of breaking distance etc. Any other tips/pointers u feel I should hear? I would love to hear em.

    This part might not be quite right for this forum, but I'm sure someone here has made a similar trip. I want to avoid mountains as much as possible and my geography sucks lol. I live near Sacramento California. One route would be to take 80 east and go through Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, etc. Seems to me that that way isn't great if you are trying to avoid hills. I was wondering if going south more and more along the lines of AZ,NM, TX and OK might be better for keeping things flat? What do you all think/recommend for a route?

    I know I am a wordy son of a bitch, but this move has me a little loopy so please be patient with me. Thanks all!
     
  2. docgab

    docgab 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    anyone?
     
  3. BIG*RED

    BIG*RED 1/2 ton status

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    when my uncle moved to Arkansas. driving the largest budget truck and towing a large trailer. he took the southern route..he lived in south sac...its fairly long, straight, flat and boring..and the only concern for him, was not so much the weight. but some states he passed through had a "overall length" law..so he sneeked through those areas at night. i beleave he said he was about 4 foot to long in some areas..i doubt they would have bothered him, tho..

    as for the steering wheel, granted i never went the distance you did, but when i drove a tow truck, always had to tie the steering wheel with the seat belt..but thats when i picked it up from the rear, and front axle was on the ground.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 8, 2005
  4. TWISTEDJACK

    TWISTEDJACK 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I had to flat tow a 77 chevy truck once before. Just drop the rear D-shaft and unlock the column no need to strap the steering wheel.
     
  5. docgab

    docgab 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    cool thanks for the input you two. :waytogo:
     
  6. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    Unless you have an unconverted NP203 there is no reason to drop the front driveshaft. If you have a slip-yoke rear output, only disconnect at the axle and tie it up, or buy/make a cover to keep the oil in the x-fercase. The southern route (I-40) is VERY straight. The only major grade I remember was in AZ, but I wasn't towing anthing, and it was 10 years ago... I was going the other way, TN to CA. Hope that helps a little, good luck!
     
  7. docgab

    docgab 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Good deal. I hadn't thought about the fact that I had a converted 203 thanks for pointing that out. It's quick and easy to drop my shafts but just dropping the rear will save a little time and effort. Thanks for the heads up on the southern route as well. :-)
     
  8. fordeater

    fordeater 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I just flat towed my 84 k5 using another 84 k5 about 2450 miles from Washington to Texas. I cruised at 65 the whole way with no problems.
     
  9. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    I've also done the 2500+ miles flat tow with my 81 jimmy pulling an 82 Blazer that was all there except the motor.

    2 things to keep in mind...number one is on and off ramps the K5 you're towing will try really hard to push the back of the tow rig out, so slow down beforehand.

    You will not be able to back up like you'd be able to with a regular trailer. The front wheels on the K5 will just turn to full lock and skid. Plan on pull through parking at all times.

    I'm not a big fan of the clamp on rental tow bars...they creep me out and often move around on the bumper a fair bit. I removed the front bumper and bolted a home built bar between the frame rails with two 9/16" grade 8 bolts and 'prevailing torque' lock nuts. It towed so nice I kept forgetting it was back there...

    I mostly kept to 60 mph, but did have the whole works up to 90 in northern Oklahoma trying to get away from a twister...:crazy:

    rene
     
  10. kgblazerfive

    kgblazerfive keymaster Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    I flat towed my Blazer from AZ to UT tried it behind my Suburban and it was to heavy so towed it behind the U-haul and it was fine. I also built a tow bar and would recommend it, took off the bumper and bolted it to the frame. I used very large bolts and two nuts so the bar could move up and down. The tow bar was a triangle with tabs into the frame and the center that was the tongue. It towed fine with no problems. Pull the driveshaft out don't just unhook it from the rear tried that with my Nova and had it strapped and tied out of the way and it still fell out. Go and buy lights from U-haul the magnetic tow ones and they stick on the tail gate rather nice.
     
  11. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    I made a wiring harness that plugged into the K5's tail lights. They unplug near the rear bumper, and spade connectors plug in very nicely.

    Rene
     
  12. imiceman44

    imiceman44 1 ton status

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    I have a permanent tow bar on my K5 and I towed it everywhere I went for the last 2 years.
    Unlock the steering and DO strp it with rubber ties.
    It does make a difference. I t will make sure you don't steer too far when turning slow and hit a rut or something.
    With the Moving truck you won't feel it.
    I towed mine behind a bunch of trucks from a wagoneer to a 2wd chevy 3/4ton to a chevy crewcab. the bigger the truck the easier it is.
    DO NOT go through Nevada, they don't allow flat towing with no brakes.
    I would research the states you will be crossing first, new laws have come out this year.
     
  13. docgab

    docgab 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Great info. Thanks all, it is much appreciated! :bow:
     

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