Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 03-02-2020, 10:16 AM   #1
Bus Nut
 
Joe45's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: AZ
Posts: 338
Year: 2004
Engine: 7.3L Navistar T444e Diesel
Towing Car on Trailer?

Howdy!
I am converting a 2004 International CE200with a 7.3L Navistar T444e. Transmission is an Allison 2000. Overall my bus is about 34 feet long.



I also own a 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser.


Does anyone here tow a car on a trailer behind their bus? I'm considering doing this for my FJC. Maybe an enclosed trailer that can also serve as a little workshop sometimes.



I may decide to live in the bus this coming year, but don't want to get rid of my FJC as I really like to drive into remote areas and camp there: places the bus would never be able to go. Even with some of the dirt roads the bus can handle, I worry about the effect on the interior with all the violent swaying, pitching, and shaking.



I've even considered scrapping the bus project, selling it, and getting an offroad trailer and living in that. However, I really like the solid build of the bus, and it would be much better suited to longer trips and extended living. In addition, the bus would avoid all the wear and tear on the FJC pulling a trailer full time.


The FJC would have a roof top tent, mini fridge, etc. for going deep in the outback. The bus would stay at a campground or some other safe place during times that I went out in the FJC.
Joe45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2020, 10:32 AM   #2
Bus Nut
 
WIbluebird's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 795
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American
Engine: 8.3 Cummins ISC
Rated Cap: 75
Is your FJ automatic or manual? I'd suggest looking into flat towing the vehicle on all 4 wheels, everybody says it's way easier than dealing with a car trailer.

I will be dealing with this scenario as well. I have a 2009 Tacoma auto but really don't want to be dealing with a car trailer. In order to safely flat tow I need a $1500 Remco driveline disconnect kit I may just keep an eye out for a cheap beater vehicle with manual trans.
WIbluebird is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2020, 10:43 AM   #3
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 1,005
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas Built
Chassis: Minotour
Engine: Chevy Express 3500 6.6l
Yeah, I’d look at flat towing. If the vehicle can do it. I think a 4wd can. If you do it that way, it’s less weight. Probably about the same cost for the setup.
Danjo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2020, 10:52 AM   #4
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Lebanon, Indiana
Posts: 346
Coachwork: In the market
If your FJ has a Neutral position on the transfer case you can flat tow it and that shouldn't be too much for a T444. A fully enclosed trailer big enough to tote the FJ on the other hand is a whole other situation. It doubles (or more) the towed weight as well as creates more aerodynamic drag, both of which will task the bus engine. Add to this all the stuff you'll probably inevitably pack into it and the trailer alone may max out your bus's capacity. Not saying it won't work but it'll reduce life expectancy, increase fuel and maintenance costs, and ultimately frustrate you if the bus becomes the weak link in your equation through no fault of its own. So if you're dead set on towing an SUV in a van trailer I would encourage a little stronger bus engine, either now or budget for it if/when this one succumbs.
Sehnsucht is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2020, 10:54 AM   #5
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: GA
Posts: 415
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Amtran RE
Chassis: International 3000
Engine: T444e 7.3L
20200209_134352.jpg
36-foot bus, T-444e engine, AT545 transmission, halfway through a 4500-mile trip

It should work fine so long as you don't overheat the transmission. Acceleration was very slow, but braking was fine. Crosswinds were sometimes a problem as gusts hit the bus and trailer differently. With an tall enclosed trailer, there is a small risk of a fishtail in high winds. My main complaints were that I lost a lot of speed on uphill and my gas mileage was reduced (10 to 7 mpg, worse in hilly terrain). Still, I'd do it again, especially for shorter trips.

4-down has an advantage because you don't need to deal with a trailer when it's not hooked up, but you can only do it on certain vehicles.
Biscuitsjam is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2020, 10:54 AM   #6
Bus Nut
 
Joe45's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: AZ
Posts: 338
Year: 2004
Engine: 7.3L Navistar T444e Diesel
My FJC is an automatic and would need a special kit to be flat-towed. However, even if it was manual (I wish) and able to be flat-towed, I still want a trailer. I don't like the idea of my vehicle or tires getting the wear and tear from being towed and, more importantly, I don't like it exposed to so many road hazards being on the street.



Seems to me that flat-towing a car is far more hassle than a trailer. I have towed my vehicles before, on a trailer, while moving in U-haul trucks etc. and it wasn't a big deal really. The one time I towed one on a dolly I felt much more worried.
Joe45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2020, 11:41 AM   #7
Bus Nut
 
WIbluebird's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 795
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American
Engine: 8.3 Cummins ISC
Rated Cap: 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe45 View Post
My FJC is an automatic and would need a special kit to be flat-towed. However, even if it was manual (I wish) and able to be flat-towed, I still want a trailer. I don't like the idea of my vehicle or tires getting the wear and tear from being towed and, more importantly, I don't like it exposed to so many road hazards being on the street.



Seems to me that flat-towing a car is far more hassle than a trailer. I have towed my vehicles before, on a trailer, while moving in U-haul trucks etc. and it wasn't a big deal really. The one time I towed one on a dolly I felt much more worried.
Most people that flat tow mention the advantage of being able to quickly disconnect the vehicle if you have to turn around in an area that doesn't let you back up.

Its also a massive time saver when setting up camp.
WIbluebird is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2020, 12:39 PM   #8
Bus Geek
 
brokedown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Weeki Wachee, FL
Posts: 3,013
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 72
The bug thing for me is when you disconnect your toad you don't have to figure out what to do with a trailer.

With that said, you can't take for granted that a manual transmission or a 4x4 with transfer case is safe to flat tow. If the lubrication pump is on the input side and not the output side, you can end up destroying the transmission or transfer case. This is more common with newer vehicles.

I found Remco's online tool very handy: Store : Remco
__________________
Keep up with us and our build!
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter
brokedown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2020, 12:47 PM   #9
Bus Nut
 
WIbluebird's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 795
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American
Engine: 8.3 Cummins ISC
Rated Cap: 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
The bug thing for me is when you disconnect your toad you don't have to figure out what to do with a trailer.

With that said, you can't take for granted that a manual transmission or a 4x4 with transfer case is safe to flat tow. If the lubrication pump is on the input side and not the output side, you can end up destroying the transmission or transfer case. This is more common with newer vehicles.

I found Remco's online tool very handy: Store : Remco
$2000 for a Tacoma lube pump!!!
WIbluebird is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2020, 12:54 PM   #10
Bus Geek
 
brokedown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Weeki Wachee, FL
Posts: 3,013
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 72
If it's 2 wheel drive you can unbolt the driveshaft and throw it in the bed of the truck. Still easier than a trailer!
__________________
Keep up with us and our build!
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter
brokedown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2020, 05:21 PM   #11
Bus Geek
 
o1marc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 9,030
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
With a long bus and a long overhang past the rear wheels doesn't sharp grade transitions make the trailer drag or lift the front off the ground? There was a device posted here months ago that is a lever type mechanism that counteracts that process. I've been unable to find that thing anywhere since, even call all the hitch companies. Anyone remember it and can post info?
A tow bar for flat towing would be easier on this issue than a fixed tongue trailer.
__________________
I Thank God That He Gifted Me with Common Sense
o1marc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2020, 06:31 PM   #12
Bus Crazy
 
2kool4skool's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Spring Valley AZ
Posts: 1,332
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Bluebird
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 2 elderly children, 1 cat
5.9, 545 trans, 3:54 diff. This is at 1000ft, we tow up to 7200 often.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg BB at Pleasant.JPG (121.6 KB, 21 views)
__________________
Don, Mary and Spooky the cat.
2kool4skool is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2020, 05:25 PM   #13
trx
Skoolie
 
trx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Elk River, MN
Posts: 113
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Chevy C-60
Engine: 8.2L Turbo Detroit Diesel
Rated Cap: 77
Send a message via ICQ to trx
I've towed Jeep on a car trailer along with having my International Scout II in the back of the bus. I'm running a DD 8.2L turbo with an AT545.
trx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2020, 05:55 PM   #14
Bus Nut
 
banman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Ohio
Posts: 878
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner FS-65
Engine: 7.2L Cat 3126 turbo diesel
Rated Cap: 71 passenger 30,000 gvwr
Quote:
Originally Posted by trx View Post
I've towed Jeep on a car trailer along with having my International Scout II in the back of the bus. I'm running a DD 8.2L turbo with an AT545.
I would like to see a picture of that. You must have a heavy duty ramp...?

I'm thinking my Scout would flat tow pretty well behind my bus...
(one of the many other projects besides my bus...)

IMG_1201.jpg
__________________
David

The Murder Bus
banman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2020, 08:13 PM   #15
Bus Crazy
 
Ronnie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,371
Year: 1971
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: International Loadstar 1700
Engine: 345 international V-8
You have a transmission that should be good for towing, the engine a bit small but should be ok. See what the HP is, it can be turned up to I believe 210hp. Check out Johnny Mullets "thunder bus" build

I do not like flat towing and for a vehicle I want to keep nice an enclosed trailer is the way to go. You may want an air ride hitch, look up "shocker hitch". The long overhang on a bus can be hard on a trailer.

Flat towing because of the way the hitch is does not transmit the vertical motion to the toad. Of course the toad gets everything thrown at it.
Ronnie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2020, 08:19 PM   #16
Bus Crazy
 
Ronnie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,371
Year: 1971
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: International Loadstar 1700
Engine: 345 international V-8
Here is a picture of the hitch
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20190918_111947.jpg (218.0 KB, 21 views)
Ronnie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2020, 10:04 PM   #17
trx
Skoolie
 
trx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Elk River, MN
Posts: 113
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Chevy C-60
Engine: 8.2L Turbo Detroit Diesel
Rated Cap: 77
Send a message via ICQ to trx
Quote:
Originally Posted by banman View Post
I would like to see a picture of that. You must have a heavy duty ramp...?

I'm thinking my Scout would flat tow pretty well behind my bus...
(one of the many other projects besides my bus...)

Attachment 42195
Tight fit so I can't gain much weight or I won't be able to fit between the Scout and the outside wall. The ramp is made out of 2x3 square tubing.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_20190523_203026.jpg (330.2 KB, 24 views)
trx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2020, 10:49 PM   #18
Bus Nut
 
banman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Ohio
Posts: 878
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner FS-65
Engine: 7.2L Cat 3126 turbo diesel
Rated Cap: 71 passenger 30,000 gvwr
Quote:
Originally Posted by trx View Post
Tight fit so I can't gain much weight or I won't be able to fit between the Scout and the outside wall. The ramp is made out of 2x3 square tubing.
That is tight -- thanx!
__________________
David

The Murder Bus
banman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2020, 04:27 AM   #19
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Golden Valley AZ
Posts: 497
Year: 1993
Chassis: ThomasBuilt 30'
Engine: need someone to tell me
Rated Cap: me + 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2kool4skool View Post
5.9, 545 trans, 3:54 diff. This is at 1000ft, we tow up to 7200 often.



Aluminum trailer? what does it weigh?
kidharris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2020, 05:55 AM   #20
New Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 2
Flat towing is the worst idea, if you can trailer it and have a shop/garage I would do it, there is less wear and tear in your FJ and with it in a trailer it is more secure JHMO
shocktower is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:03 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×