Towing a vehicle is something most off-roaders have done at some point or the other. Some drivers do it because they want to go off-roading or on a trail run. Others find themselves moving vehicles across the country because they are changing jobs or houses.
Whatever the reason for towing SUVs, the concern remains the same. How does one go about it without damaging precious parts and accessories that can cost a pretty penny to replace?
There are two possible ways of towing your vehicle:
- Flat towing
- Towing using a trailer
Flat towing refers to towing without putting it on any kind of trailer or dolly. You simply hook the front end of the Jeep with the vehicle you are using to tow it and be on your way.
Before flat towing, always check your owner’s manual to see how you should tow your specific year and make of vehicle. If you have any doubts about towing your vehicle, here are some tips to ensure the safety of the rig while flat towing.
- Disconnect the rear driveshaft before you begin towing your vehicle. It can play havoc with the gears on some vehicles.
- Tighten all the lug nuts. This may not seem all that important, but some people have lost tires while towing their SUVs.
- Take off the front hubs before you start towing. Use a makeshift protective cover (even a soup can will do) to cover the hubs with duct tape and protect them against the elements.
- Wire the driveshaft up underneath and wrap lots of duct tape around the U-joint.
Towing Using a Trailer
While all the above tips will help if you plan on flat towing a Jeep, there are a lot of skeptics who believe that you absolutely must use a trailer or dolly for towing. The point that these serious off-roaders make is that why would you want to flat tow your vehicle at 65+ MPH when the original machine itself was designed to do about 55 MPH!
Off-roaders promoting the use of a trailer for towing, feel that the components of the Jeep were designed for certain speeds and specific requirements. Flat towing is a definite way to kill it for some SUVs.
Flat towing a Jeep or truck can also cause steering problems. The Ross cam and lever type gear cannot tolerate the reverse flow of energy, where the road causes the cam to turn the worm shaft. The Saginaw system although better than the Ross cam and lever is still susceptible to damage.
Overall, using a trailer for towing a vehicle seems like a more prudent option.
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