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Full Moon Bus Club :: Forums :: Chit Chat :: Around the Campfire
 
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Ever pull a vanagon with a towbar?
Moderators: TN Jed, Lickity Split, docric, sweetbus, Tom and Phaedra, Collie
Author Post
Kudzu
Thu Sep 08 2011, 09:48PM
Kudzu
Registered Member #22
Joined: Tue Aug 10 2010, 10:35PM
Location: Matthews NC
Posts: 388

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Anyone ever pull a vanagon with a towbar? Wonder if the front bumper reinforcement that is covered by the bumper is strong enough to attach the tow bar to without being reinforced. Several years ago, I scavanged some parts from a V-gon at pull-a-part that had been set up to be pulled with a tow bar. Large brackets to attach the tow bar to were bolted to the reinforcements underneath the front end, and trailer type wiring had been added to hook to the tail lights. Looked like it was possibly towed frequently behind an RV. Wanted to get the brackets but didn't have wrenches/sockets large enough with me, and when I went back the van was gone. Need to move a V-gon about 150 miles, and don't have access to a vehicle that will pull a car trailer, and would rather not use a tow dolly unless absolutely necessary.

1986 Westy Syncro "Bullwinkle"
1986 Wolfsburg Weekender poptop w/ 2.5 Subaru engine
1984 Vanagon - donor vehicle
1988 Tintop Weekender w/40K miles
1971 Compact Jr. fiberglass pull-behind camper
Will you look back on life and say: I wish I had, or I'm glad I did.
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busesofthecorn
Thu Sep 08 2011, 09:50PM
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Joined: Wed Aug 11 2010, 07:13PM
Location: Toronto, ON
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I have used a tow bar for a vanagon, and there's no way on God's green earth I would try it for 150 miles.

A dolly would be WAY better, trust me on that, I've done both.
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Rico Suave
Thu Sep 08 2011, 10:35PM

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Location: Emmaus, PA
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I've done it before. Towed one 200 miles on the highway. I used a harbor freight brand bar. It came with two brackets that bolt to the vehicle being towed with two 1/2" bolts per bracket. I simply removed the chrome bumper and bolted the brackets to the inner structure. I used a sawzall to cut two slots in the top side of the structure in order to get the nuts on the backside.
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GreenBus
Fri Sep 09 2011, 08:03AM

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Location: Limestone TN
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contact this guy! I met him on the road, he tows his syncro behind his RV all over the US. Very nice program he has going!
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/profile.php?mode=viewprofile&u=72905

www.HippyMotorsUSA.com
1988 Carat Wolfsburg

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GreenBus
Fri Sep 09 2011, 08:07AM

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Joined: Wed Aug 11 2010, 10:13PM
Location: Limestone TN
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try this too! http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=5466721&highlight=#5466721

www.HippyMotorsUSA.com
1988 Carat Wolfsburg

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rc
Fri Sep 09 2011, 08:27PM

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Joined: Wed Aug 11 2010, 07:49AM
Location: Westminster, Maryland
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I've towed a v-gon 150 miles on the highway, no problem. Take off the front bumper, used a grinder to cut 2 holes in the top of the frame under the front bumper, so I could hold nuts on. The frame is rock solid.

66 westy...coleman
72 tintop...connell
86 syncro
03 ev westy
one must pay the piper in heartache or in gold
but one thing you should never do is ante-up your soul
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eurovanman
Sat Sep 10 2011, 07:44AM

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do what rc says but i used a hole saw to cut the holes took like 5 min to cut the holes with a good drill
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CoffeeBus
Sat Sep 10 2011, 07:48AM

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Joined: Mon Aug 30 2010, 08:13AM
Location: Orlando Florida
Posts: 728

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Kudzu wrote ...

Anyone ever pull a vanagon with a towbar? Wonder if the front bumper reinforcement that is covered by the bumper is strong enough to attach the tow bar to without being reinforced. Several years ago, I scavanged some parts from a V-gon at pull-a-part that had been set up to be pulled with a tow bar. Large brackets to attach the tow bar to were bolted to the reinforcements underneath the front end, and trailer type wiring had been added to hook to the tail lights. Looked like it was possibly towed frequently behind an RV. Wanted to get the brackets but didn't have wrenches/sockets large enough with me, and when I went back the van was gone. Need to move a V-gon about 150 miles, and don't have access to a vehicle that will pull a car trailer, and would rather not use a tow dolly unless absolutely necessary.

I am a bit curious about your plans...you said you dont have a vehicle that can pull a car trailer, but you want to pull a vanagon? What would you be pulling the vanagon with? they are pretty heavy. I am certainly not trying to insult you, I am just curious...perhaps it was just that a vanagon+ the weight of the car trailer just exceeds the towing capacity of your vehicle? I have only towed a shorty vanagon, but that was with a custom made tow bar, and we were towing it with our 40' bus. We barely knew it was there.


[ Edited Sat Sep 10 2011, 07:50AM ]

CoffeeBus (Jeffrey and Ryan)
88 Thomas CoffeeBus "Gypsy"
02 Jetta GLS 1.8T "Galen"
06 Star Motorcycles Roadliner Midnight "The Black Pearl"
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GreenBus
Sat Sep 10 2011, 07:56AM

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Location: Limestone TN
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maybe you should throw a rider in the vanagon to work the brakes!

www.HippyMotorsUSA.com
1988 Carat Wolfsburg

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Fred
Sat Sep 10 2011, 07:56PM

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Location: Virginia Beach
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Go for it! Practice risk management. A few hundred miles on level ground is no problem.

What kind of vehicle will be towing (and braking)? Something at least as a Durango or F-250 ?

If its too much for you call Kevin, the vuh-vuh-vanagon guy.

Had too many vans to count
The best Bus tech site : www.ratwell.com
https://www.facebook.com/gearhead.vonfredericksen


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Rico Suave
Sat Sep 10 2011, 08:46PM

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Fred wrote ...


What kind of vehicle will be towing (and braking)? Something at least as a Durango or F-250 ?



Not me.....





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Kudzu
Sat Sep 10 2011, 11:57PM
Kudzu
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Location: Matthews NC
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I guess I should clarify my statement about not having a vehicle that would handle a car trailer. What I should have said was that I don't have a vehicle that will pull a trailer that I can borrow from a guy that I work with. His trailer is 18' long, weighs 2000# empty, and is rated to carry a 16000# load. The tow vehicle I plan to use is my son-in-law's late model Ford Expedition with an 8 cyl. engine, which should be able to handle towing a V-gon with a tow bar, tow dolly, or a U-haul type car trailer. I already own a tow bar, and have seen plenty of vehicles being towed behind RV's on the interstates, but I have towed vehicles with my tow bar only for short distances. Since my first post, I found out that I can rent a car trailer from U-haul for about $60. a day, so I think that would be my best bet. (no worries about tires blowing out, bearings coming apart or locking up, etc while on the road)

[ Edited Sat Sep 10 2011, 11:59PM ]

1986 Westy Syncro "Bullwinkle"
1986 Wolfsburg Weekender poptop w/ 2.5 Subaru engine
1984 Vanagon - donor vehicle
1988 Tintop Weekender w/40K miles
1971 Compact Jr. fiberglass pull-behind camper
Will you look back on life and say: I wish I had, or I'm glad I did.
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Fred
Sun Sep 11 2011, 07:00AM

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Joined: Wed Aug 11 2010, 10:50AM
Location: Virginia Beach
Posts: 2916

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Good, the Expedition will handle it well.

I have flat towed bay buses with vanagons and Astrovans. there always more risk flat towing than dolly or trailer towing. You have to have a heavy vehicle in the lead.

I pulled a heavy trailer like you described with an Astrovan 4.3 6 cyl. when Sweetbus traded away the DC for a lowered 59. The only remarkable part about that was all the gas it used.

[ Edited Sun Sep 11 2011, 07:10AM ]

Had too many vans to count
The best Bus tech site : www.ratwell.com
https://www.facebook.com/gearhead.vonfredericksen


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Fred
Sun Sep 11 2011, 07:11AM

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Joined: Wed Aug 11 2010, 10:50AM
Location: Virginia Beach
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Sorry, no pics of my vanagon tow bar. Its under the back seat for emergencies only. Its a Pep Boys fold up design with brackets bolted to the front.


-



[ Edited Sun Sep 11 2011, 07:19AM ]

Had too many vans to count
The best Bus tech site : www.ratwell.com
https://www.facebook.com/gearhead.vonfredericksen


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TeamSpatula
Sun Sep 11 2011, 09:06AM

Registered Member #66
Joined: Wed Aug 11 2010, 07:15AM
Location: Western NC
Posts: 496

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I towed a vanagon WEsty with a U Haul 2 wheel dolly, 600+ miles, with a rented Ford F250...no problems at all...I've flat towed with my 81 F100, my 72 Jeep, and been towed in a Beetle by a 63 single cab...I don't know how much heavier vanagons are than busses, but I towed a bay westy over 1000 miles with a towbar behind an old dodge 100 series with no problems. I'd think the weight wouldn't be much of a problem with a V8 Expedition, as long as you can get a towbar to fit...

1600 SP engine looking for a VW!!!
1980 VW Dasher diesel wagon FOR SALE
1981 Ford F100
1986 Vanagon Weekender seeking some parts...
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meester_jamie
Sun Sep 11 2011, 11:40AM

Registered Member #562
Joined: Sat Nov 13 2010, 08:03PM
Location: S. Ont Canada
Posts: 95

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you might try a rental tow bar. they actually tow with chains, or straps,, and use the A frame to stop ..
http://www.pioneerrentalsinc.com/IMAGES/tools/towbar.jpg
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