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Old 04-27-2013, 10:04 PM   #1
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Re: Towing with your skoolie


Towing the food cart from Socorro to Roswell, you can see how long the drop is on the hitch. You need to have the ball hitch and the hitch cup as close to level as you can get it.



If you look real hard, you can see my Jeep Grand Cherokee (4WD Quadratrac) behind the bus. It looks a lot like the black Jeep in the picture except that it weights 500 lbs more (my Jeep weighs 5500 lbs). We flat tow with a "single person hookup" Stowmaster 5000 (the kind with a ball). We have the Hitchhaul set up with trailer lights on it. A wiring harness runs from the trailer wire pin connector , over the top of the Jeep and down the back window to the trailer wire pin connector on the hitch haul. We use removable hitches on all our vehicles. The bus required a long drop hitch. We store the Hitchhaul on the back of the bus while parked.

David says he can't feel the Jeep behind him, not even when it blew out a front tire (ALWAYS make sure the towed is set up to tow before leaving out after an overnight stop ).

I think that if you are going to tow anything behind you, invest in a rear camera to keep an eye on what you are towing.

Note: My Stowmaster is rated for 6000 lbs. Later models of the Stowmaster 5000 is not. I don't know the cut off date but the tow bar is labeled with the max weights.
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:24 PM   #2
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Re: Towing with your skoolie

I've towed every which way depending on the vehicle pairing. I've built a TOAD for my shorty skoolie which weighs in at 2300 # and will be flat towed. I've towed it some with my '71 Chevy suburban Skoolie (well, it is yellow) which has a 5.7l automatic and I can't tell the thing is even there. You should check the towing laws in the states you plan to operate in as the requirements for towed vehicles varies from state to state. If you chose to flAt tow make sure the vehicle you choose is happy with that as well
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Old 04-27-2013, 11:02 PM   #3
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Re: Towing with your skoolie

I have the same set up as you, t444e 545 tranny full size bus, im getting ready to tow, and not not worried about smoking the tranny, there tuff, like anything else just have to look after it, im concerned about the t444e not haveing pulling power, its a bit of a dog at the best of times, but just have to take my time.
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Old 04-28-2013, 08:58 AM   #4
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Re: Towing with your skoolie

Lorna, that is a great pic of your bus towing the food cart.

I do not tow. I have no hitch. I am going to pay someone to haul my little truck to Tennessee. It will be cheaper than to weld a hitch for the bus and attach a tow bar for the truck.
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Old 04-28-2013, 11:22 AM   #5
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Re: Towing with your skoolie

Quote:
Originally Posted by Accordion
It will be cheaper that to weld a hitch for the bus and attach a tow bar for the truck.
The hitch receiver was cheap (from Northern Tool in Asheville NC). David welded it to a scrap steel plate that was then welded to the frame plus bolted it since he didn't trust his welds. It was bolted after we drug the jeep 1700+ miles. I'm pretty sure it was an optical illusion but the receiver sure looked like it was falling off (it wasn't, we checked at every stop). But it didn't hurt us one bit to add some hefty bolts to the setup. It was a bugger to drill though!









My tow bar and brackets came from two different people on Hitchtrader.com and it took over a year to find what I needed at the price I wanted to pay. I was working with a very limited budget. I believe it cost me right around $300. It's been a long time since I bought (around 2006 thru 200. Probably posted the $$ someplace here. I also has specific needs. I needed a one person hookup (I needed to be able to hookup the Jeep while David was working) and I have a rather heavy Jeep. I think I have the last year they were made that heavy. No sweat, the 6000 lbs should cover several vehicles. Just need to buy new brackets when we replace the Jeep. If you have more time than money, sit on Hitch trader and know what you need. I had both the Blue Ox bar/brackets and the Stowmaster bar/brackets picked out for my Jeep before I started watching. I ended up with Stowmaster because that is what popped up first in my meager price range. The bar I got came from a place that removes them from lots of vehicles for some reason. My bar looked great. The brackets came from an owner who got a new towed and decided to recoup a little $$ from the sale of his brackets (and help pay for his new brackets on his new towed). I watched every day and contacted as soon as I saw the ad pop up. But it did take over a year to get both pieces. Jeep brackets are harder to get than the tow bars.
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Old 04-28-2013, 11:30 AM   #6
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Re: Towing with your skoolie

I do not have a welder. I am nervous enough just driving the bus without having to worry about towing something. I am leaving very soon.
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Old 04-28-2013, 11:55 AM   #7
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Re: Towing with your skoolie

Towing isn't a big deal as long as you remember you got something behind you. But if pushed for time, you would most likely be better off looking for someone who wants to travel to the same area you are going that would like a free ride (let them drive your vehicle). Look on Craigslist in your area. You might offer to pay their meal/hotel and in return they can drive your vehicle following behind you. Advertise widely. Make sure your insurance will cover them first. Lots of folks do this.
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:45 AM   #8
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Re: Towing with your skoolie

Quote:
Originally Posted by lornaschinske
Towing isn't a big deal as long as you remember you got something behind you. But if pushed for time, you would most likely be better off looking for someone who wants to travel to the same area you are going that would like a free ride (let them drive your vehicle). Look on Craigslist in your area. You might offer to pay their meal/hotel and in return they can drive your vehicle following behind you. Advertise widely. Make sure your insurance will cover them first. Lots of folks do this.
Thanks

I never considered that option.
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:15 AM   #9
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Re: Towing with your skoolie

I wouldn't tow more than the food cart with that hitch, but that's me.
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:45 AM   #10
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Re: Towing with your skoolie

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motobus
I wouldn't tow more than the food cart with that hitch, but that's me.
Little boy, I have seen your bus. If I were you, I wouldn't be making disparaging remarks. The hitch is solid. We think we have an optical illusion going with the bus... either that or too many miles in excessive heat and not enough water consumption caused me to see things. Naw, couldn't have been that. I didn't see the illusion when we traveled with the bus back in December.

And I still say they got land crabs out here in NM. We saw them crossing the 2 lane highway in the morning while it was still coolish... I ran over a few... they kind crunched.
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:03 PM   #11
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Re: Towing with your skoolie

I may not be a traveling gypsy, but I have done some welding. The bottom of your hitch tube needs to be affixed to the plate at either end, or better yet boxed in. Look at any commercial hitch rated to tow a vehicle, none will leave three sides of the hitch tube unsupported. I can post pics of the hitch on my bus if you need.
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:39 PM   #12
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Re: Towing with your skoolie

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motobus
I may not be a traveling gypsy, but I have done some welding. The bottom of your hitch tube needs to be affixed to the plate at either end, or better yet boxed in. Look at any commercial hitch rated to tow a vehicle, none will leave three sides of the hitch tube unsupported. I can post pics of the hitch on my bus if you need.
No I don't need pics. This hitch is built like many other hitches are built in the area we came out of. They were built by Pro welders. The receiver on my Drawtight hitch on the Jeep isn't supported on "three sides" either. Those plates are just to hook the safety chains into. My pro diesel mechanic/certified welder cousin checked out our tow hitch as well.

As you can see, there is more than one way to make a hitch.











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Old 04-29-2013, 08:12 PM   #13
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Re: Towing with your skoolie

Quote:
Originally Posted by Part-time
Quote:
Originally Posted by gbstewart
... im concerned about the t444e not haveing pulling power, its a bit of a dog at the best of times, but just have to take my time.
gbstewart
I drove for Reimer, Day&Ross, VA and a few other companies that like to use underpowered trucks and govern them under 90km/h
I'm pretty used to being a rolling road block by now
What are you planing to tow?
I will tow a small open trailer with either my motorcycle, and DW bike, or my trail 90 and the Honda jazz, I have a 5x10 trailer. The long term plan is to pull a small car 4 down, and yup Ill most likely be a rolling road block
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Old 04-30-2013, 02:24 AM   #14
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Re: Towing with your skoolie

Are you trying to prove my point? Only one of the hitches you posted leaves 3 sides unsupported, it bolts under a bumper and I bet it isn't rated to tow your Jeep.





Quote:
Originally Posted by lornaschinske
Quote:
Originally Posted by Motobus
I may not be a traveling gypsy, but I have done some welding. The bottom of your hitch tube needs to be affixed to the plate at either end, or better yet boxed in. Look at any commercial hitch rated to tow a vehicle, none will leave three sides of the hitch tube unsupported. I can post pics of the hitch on my bus if you need.
No I don't need pics. This hitch is built like many other hitches are built in the area we came out of. They were built by Pro welders. The receiver on my Drawtight hitch on the Jeep isn't supported on "three sides" either. Those plates are just to hook the safety chains into. My pro diesel mechanic/certified welder cousin checked out our tow hitch as well.

As you can see, there is more than one way to make a hitch.











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Old 04-30-2013, 09:55 AM   #15
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Re: Towing with your skoolie

I THINK it has a lot to do with the weight classification of the receiver hitch on how well they are built.

additional info may be found . http://www.hitchesonline.com/hitch_selection.htm

Hitches

The Hitch is the mechanism that is typically mounted to the rear of a vehicle under the bumper. There are five classes of Hitches for towing trailers. Each class is designed for a specific trailer weight range. When selecting the appropriate hitch make sure the weight rating of the hitch is greater than the loaded weight of the trailer that will be towed. The tow vehicle capacity for weight carrying and hitch attachment will vary and will sometimes dictate the class of hitch that can be used.

Class I
Class I hitches are weight carrying (WC) hitches rated up to 2000 lbs. gross trailer weight (GTW) with a maximum trailer tongue weight (TW) of 200 lbs. The use of a drawbar and hitch ball of the same rating or higher is required. Some hitches in this class may attach to the vehicle bumper or trunk pan. Most other Class I hitches attach to the vehicle frame. Always consult your owner's manual for vehicle rating.

Class II
Class II hitches are weight carrying (WC) hitches rated up to 3500 lbs. gross trailer weight (GTW) with a maximum trailer tongue weight (TW) of 300 lbs. The use of a drawbar and hitch ball of the same rating or higher is required. Class II hitches normally attach to the vehicle frame and or bumper. Always consult your owner's manual for vehicle rating.

Class III
Class III hitches are weight carrying (WC) and also are weight distributing (WD) hitches depending on the vehicle and hitch specifications. Not all Class III hitches are rated to be both. The hitch specifications will alert you to a hitch that is not weight distributing. Class III hitches used as weight carrying is rated up to 6000 lbs. gross trailer weight (GTW) with a maximum trailer tongue weight (TW) of 600 lbs. Hitches that are used for weight distributing are rated up to 10,000 lbs. gross trailer weight (GTW) with a maximum trailer tongue weight (TW) of 1000 lbs. The use of a ball mount and hitch ball of the same rating or higher is required. To use the weight distribution side of the hitch a weight distribution system is required. Class III hitches attach to the vehicle frame only. Always consult your owner's manual for vehicle rating.

Class IV
Class IV hitches is very similar to Class III hitches except for the weight ratings. Class IV hitches are weight carrying (WC) and weight distributing (WD) hitches depending on the vehicle and hitch specifications. Not all Class IV hitches are rated to be both. The hitch specifications will alert you to a hitch that is not weight distributing. Class IV hitches used as weight carrying is rated up to 10,000 lbs. gross trailer weight (GTW) with a maximum trailer tongue weight (TW) of 1000 lbs. Hitches that are used for weight distributing are rated up to 14,000 lbs. gross trailer weight (GTW) with a maximum trailer tongue weight (TW) of 1400 lbs. The use of a ball mount and hitch ball of the same rating or higher is required for weight carrying. To use the weight distribution side of the hitch a weight distribution system is required. Class IV hitches attach to the vehicle frame only. Always consult your owner's manual for vehicle rating.

Class V
Class V hitches is very similar to Class III & IV hitches except for the weight ratings and that the hitch uses a 2-1/2" receiver. Class V hitches are weight carrying (WC) and weight distributing (WD) hitches. Class V hitches used as weight carrying is rated up to 12,000 lbs. gross trailer weight (GTW) with a maximum trailer tongue weight (TW) of 1200 lbs. Hitches that are used for weight distributing are rated up to 17,000 lbs. gross trailer weight (GTW) with a maximum trailer tongue weight (TW) of 1700 lbs. The use of a ball mount and hitch ball of the same rating or higher is required. To use the weight distribution side of the hitch a weight distribution system is required. Class V hitches attach to the vehicle frame only. Always consult your owner's manual for vehicle rating.






Class 4 Ultra Frame | Class 3 and 4 Hitches | Class 2 Hitches | Class 1 Hitches |
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Old 04-30-2013, 04:35 PM   #16
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Re: Towing with your skoolie

It took me all of 5 minutes to cut these brackets out. Their addition would take such a hitch from being highly questionable to very strong, assuming the plate they would weld to was competently affixed to the vehicle. I don't understand the "pro welders" that wouldn't take a little extra time and effort. The brackets are upside down as to how they would fit on the hitch.

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Old 04-30-2013, 06:47 PM   #17
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Re: Towing with your skoolie

I tow my jeep with the bus all the time. The main reason I bought a bus, rather then a motorhome.

In tow,


I got a reciever hitch off of a chevy van and narrowed it. I sleeved the inside after cutting it, then rewelded all back together. Also put a bolt on reciever tube on just because I had it laying around.





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Old 04-30-2013, 09:45 PM   #18
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Re: Towing with your skoolie

Nice work. Awesome bus. Do you ever wish for the pickup/long gooseneck with camper and jeep setup instead, or having used it for a while would you do it all over again?
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:37 PM   #19
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Re: Towing with your skoolie

Thanks. I just put the hitch together with what I had, or stuff people gave me. So it didn't cost me a dime other then alittle time.

Thanks for the nice comments.

I really debated long and hard about what direction I should go before I bought the bus. The bus suits my needs for now. As a family we have really enjoyed it. I like the fact of so much space while traveling, unlike riding in a pickup for hours on end. I really don't think there is a perfect solution. The bus is cheap and I like that. I'm thinking in another 5-6 yrs or so, I would like to maybe step up to a big rig. Maybe finish off a drop deck trailer into rv'ing/toy hauler. But for now we have fun in the bus.
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