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Old 08-23-2012, 12:54 PM   #1
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37 feet of Gnar

I just mounted a tow bar to the front of "The 40" to see how towing it behind Gnarvan would work. I picked up the used tow bar and had custom front bumper mounting brackets made for a total expense of $85. After hooking it up I can see why Jage reccomends the the Falcon 2. What a hassle to get this thing lined up. It can only get worse on a back road at odd angles. The current setup also puts the expensive aluminum way to close the the heavy duty steel front bumper of The 40. I just got back from a short test drive of a couple laps around my condo complex and will have to rethink the towing setup.

37 feet of Gnar


$85 towbar


Just say no to hard right turns
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Old 08-23-2012, 01:30 PM   #2
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Re: 37 feet of Gnar

It may be close to your van but it sure looks good together...


Myself personally I dont like to tow anything without brakes unless its under 1,000 lbs so for me I would always use a car trailer. It saves wear and tear on the vehicle your towing. Flat towing wears the ring and pinion on the wrong side and its hard to know when something is going on with the towed vehicle. I think its much easier to load and unload a (open, enclosed trailer not so much) trailer than it is to use a tow bar plus you can back up with ease. With that said I also have been using a car (and large boat) trailers for over 25 years so its what I do. The number of times I have been four wheeling can be counted on one hand maybe even missing a finger or two unless you count the Porsche Cayenne off road driving courses I have taken maybe five or six times when I worked for them. So I have ZERO experience towing off road for which a tow bar might be better but I would still want brakes.
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Old 08-23-2012, 01:50 PM   #3
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Re: 37 feet of Gnar

OT but can you point me to more details on your rear box add-on frame. Want to do something similar for ice chest/etc.

Jim
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Old 08-24-2012, 10:27 AM   #4
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Re: 37 feet of Gnar

Quote:
Originally Posted by jima
OT but can you point me to more details on your rear box add-on frame. Want to do something similar for ice chest/etc.

Jim
Jim

The frame on the rear box is the standard bicycle rack Aluminess sells with their bumper. I added a Yakima basket case instead of the bicycle trays. I'd be very leary about putting a heavy ice chest on the basket case though. Dave at Aluminess told me the swing arms aren't designed to carry a real heavy load. I have the basket case there just to haul bundles of firewood from the camp host site to my campsite within a camp ground. It also makes a great place to hang wet rafting gear to dry when I'm parked.

If you do end up ordering something from Aluminess check the Vendor special section under the Member Classified list and you can get a $50 credit toward installation or shipping. I've used the coupon twice with Aluminess and saved $100 thanks to the Forum.

http://www.aluminess.com/index.htm
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Old 08-24-2012, 10:31 AM   #5
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Re: 37 feet of Gnar

I just sent you a PM on this topic.... nice fj40... should have looked at posts first.
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Old 08-24-2012, 09:51 PM   #6
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Re: 37 feet of Gnar

Watch tow-bar to carrier clearance. I did some steep and off-camber off-highway travel with my "Toad" and that did not cause issues. But coming out of the driveway of the brewery in Twin Falls caused the tow bar to hit my Jerry can carrier, bending both (Tow bar was made from 3/8" thick 3" channel). It was the combination of a sharp dip and tight turn that made them kiss.

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Old 11-28-2012, 01:23 PM   #7
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Re: 37 feet of Gnar

I've done a fair amount of what I call 'flat towing' using a towbar. Most recently towing my boy's Suzuki Samurai with my SMB, over 1500 miles, using a Harbor Freight 'universal tow bar' that I custom fitted to the Sammi's home-made winch bumper.

Having towed many, many VW's behind trucks and such over the last 30+ years, I had one very expensive mishap, that crushed a fender on a freshly painted 1955 Beetle I was restoring

There were several causes, my Nissan hardbody truck had a cabover camper that hung 18" past the tailgate being the biggest culprit. Before leaving the house, I knew I was not supposed to make tight turns, so I learned that the loose nut behind the wheel can not always be trusted to remember. In the end, what I should have done was to extend the towbar, which would have cured the problem. Which I did about a month later, after the damage was already done. Come to think of it, I crushed the front of my old enclosed car trailer on the corner jack of my old 11-1/2' Lance cabover, about 10 years after that. Some of us never learn

The point is, if your towbar is too short to allow clearing your 40 during tight turns, you will likely forget, pull into some gas station while all tired, road-worn and blurry-eyed, then crunch $$$. I'd get a different tow bar, or make a longer custom one.
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Old 11-28-2012, 06:44 PM   #8
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Re: 37 feet of Gnar

I'm going to have 12-18" extension made for the hitch. I had a little trouble finding the solid 2X2 square tubing but I located some. Now it's just a matter of getting all the pieces together and get them to the guy with the welding skill.

Crunchin the fresh paint on a 55 bug must have stung a little. I'm the type who will forget about the hard right turns too. So I better get the parts soon. I'd hate to crunch the expensive aluminum on the back of the van.
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Old 11-28-2012, 06:49 PM   #9
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Re: 37 feet of Gnar

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnarvan
I'd hate to crunch the expensive aluminum on the back of the van.
Been there done that...
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:24 PM   #10
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Re: 37 feet of Gnar

Looks good though Gnar! I missed this post until just now.

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