Posts tagged: towing

How We Roll…

By , April 22, 2010 12:50 pm

A few people have asked how we take along everything we show up with.  Here’s the quick and short version.

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That’s us getting gas for the Star.  What you’re seeing is the Dutch Star, two mountain bikes, the Jeep and the TW200.  Let’s start from the front.

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That’s the basic setup for the Jeep and bicycles.  The whole contraption starts with a Blue Ox 10″ receiver lift.  Welded on the top of that is a 1-inch receiver tube, which holds the Mopar bike rack.

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The next bit of gadgetry is the Blue Ox BX7445 Aventa LX Tow Bar.  That goes into the Blue Ox riser and then attaches to the front of the Jeep.  We generally keep that covered with a Blue Ox Cover when we’re parked and we lock the whole assembly together using a Blue Ox 4-lock kit.

The Jeep has a Rock Hard bumper with tow brackets bolted through the bumper into the front frame.  The safety cables attach to the D-Rings and the other cable is what handles all the lights.  It’s a Mopar RV tow kit for the JK Wranglers (it’s a major pain to install, have a dealer do it).

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That takes care of the Jeep and the bicycles, so let’s move on to the TW200.

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The hitch rack is a HaulMaster motorcycle hitch rack.  It’s cheap and can generally be found at Harbor Freight.  I’d rather have a MotoTote, but the TW only weighs about 300 and the HaulMaster is doing a decent job so far.  It takes a lot of straps to keep the TW from wobbling around or stressing the handlebars too much.  There are strap locations on the hitch bar, but I prefer to strap to the safety chain loops on the Jeep.  If something catastrophic does happen to the rack, at least the TeeDub is attached to the Jeep and won’t go sailing down the highway into a truck or smthng.

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The one major fix I had to engineer for the rack is the lights.  We actually got pulled over in Key Largo because the TeeDub blocks the view of the taillights on the Jeep.  I added these with some aluminum angle brackets and wired up a four pin trailer connector to plug into the Jeep.  This works fine and makes us WAY more visible to people behind us.

That’s the basic setup for our towing ensemble…  If you want to know anything more specific, feel free to ask.

Note: Product links are to Amazon and I get a small percentage kickback if you order anything using my links.

Some lessons have to be learned the hard way…

By , December 21, 2009 11:20 pm

We’re now in Sarasota, which is approximately 150 miles from Ocklawaha, which is where we started.  I’m guessing that the emergency/parking brake on my Jeep lasted about 15 miles before the shoes completely fried.EBrake

That handle over in the picture over there to right… completely useless now.  Parking the Jeep now involves a complicated procedure that I like to call “leaving it in gear”. 

I was also going to post up a full account of what’s involved in flat-towing a lifted Jeep, but I’m not up to that right now (and I can’t find the pictures I need to help explain it).

So, the short version…  be sure to double check the emergency brake on your towed vehicle before you take off.  A diesel RV won’t even notice the difference.

I have an idea of what’s involved in replacing the shoes on a Jeep emergency brake and it’s not fun.  Hopefully I won’t have to replace the drums (which are also the rear disk brake rotors) as well, but I wouldn’t bet on it. :S

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