Find someone with a vehicle powerful enough to tow yours. Vehicles with a V8 engine is best, but some 6cyl engines will work. A sedan or small car shouldn't be used to tow an SUV or large pickup.
Buy a suitable tow bar. In a pinch, a tow strap/chain can be used to tow a vehicle a short distance, but this can be dangerous, as straps can break, and links can break during towing. Tow straps are recommended for pulling a vehicle a few feet. A tow bar is needed for towing any distance.
Find a suitable place to attach your tow bar. A bumper hitch with a trailer ball will work for the tow vehicle, but hooking to the car to be towed can be tricky, since suspension components are not designed for pulling pressure. Ideally, a rounded frame member, or front bumper support can be used for your attachment, but these vary considerably between vehicles. Some towbars mount directly to the bumper in place of the standard bumper beam and then slide into the chassis legs.
Check the brakes, steering, and warning lamps to make sure they are functioning sufficiently for your tow. You are required by law to have a lighting system on your vehicle being towed that functions in sync with your tow vehicle's tail lights & turn signals.
Ensure that your tow bar setup is as level as possible, from the hitch of the tow vehicle to the base plates of the dinghy.
- Improper leverage on the can cause stress and wear on the tow bar
- When braking, stress is applied to your towing system as a result of the downward braking force placed on the fronts of both vehicles. GIVE EXTRA DISTANCE FOR BRAKING!
- The weight capacities of the tow vehicle, the trailer hitch, ballmount, ball, and safety chains must not be exceeded by the gross trailer weight (GTW). The towing system will only be as strong as the weakest piece.
- Gradually reduce speed
- Steady the steering wheel - sudden turns can cause more sway
- Apply only the trailer brakes to help reduce trailer sway
Don'ts - NOT Good Towing Practice
- Do Not slam on the brakes - jackknifing could occur
- Do Not attempt to steer out of a sway situation
- Do Not increase speed - Trailer sway increases in faster speeds
- Do Not tow a trailer that continues to sway
- Look at reloading the trailer or perhaps adding a sway control or a weight distribution system with sway control
COMING SOON: INFORMATION & TIPS ON FLAT BED TOWING & USING A CAR DOLLY