Do I need a tow hook?

Submitted: Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 12:16
ThreadID: 35031 Views:2571 Replies:9 FollowUps:17
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Hi all,

I'm a new member (visitor) looking for some advice.

I have a Mazda Bravo 4wd and I'm off to Fraser next week, but don't have a tow hook on the front of the ute. I was told I may not need one - that I could simply get a tow rope and put it around the two side chasis rails and then over the front rail (that is welded to the side rails) and then attach this rope (using a D-shackle?) to my snatchem strap (if I DO get stuck, that is?!).

Would this suffice?

If I do need to attach a tow-hook, where is an appropriate spot on a Bravo?

And, finally, is the tow bar on the back ok to use from that direction?

All tips appreciated!

Cheers,
Diz
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Reply By: robak (QLD) - Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 12:35

Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 12:35
Hi Dizine
For the rear a tow bar would be ok but never use the actual towball. They have been known to snap off.
Sorry, not sure where you'd recovery hooks on the bravo, but i'd recomend them.

R.
AnswerID: 179050

Reply By: Moser - Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 12:56

Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 12:56
Gday

I have a bravo, and to be honest I would cringe at the idea of using the tow bars on them, especially getting pulled out of soft sand. I have put on the front recovery hooks on both sides bolted to a 8 mill angle iron that I made to bolt to the chassy using high tensel bolts, then I use a bridal for which I hook the snatch strap to.

I dont the same on the rear, but this time bolted the recover hooks directly to each side , once again using the bridal strap.

for your own saftey and safety of others plus protection to your vehical dont use any other method or tie points on your car for recovery .

Ozzie
AnswerID: 179052

Reply By: TROOPYMAN A.D. 1998 - Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 13:14

Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 13:14
Check the tide times .
Drive on the beach only at 2 hours either side of low tide .
Use the inland track to bypass the dodgy hook point beach.
Carry a shovel.
Let your tires down to 23psi .
Go to ARB or other reputable 4wd place and get advice
regarding where to put a recovery hook .
AnswerID: 179056

Follow Up By: Kiwi Kia - Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 17:01

Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 17:01
I would recomend 16 psi !!!!!!

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FollowupID: 435364

Follow Up By: TROOPYMAN A.D. 1998 - Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 17:46

Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 17:46
I politely beg to differ . I would say 23psi for driving on sand and then 16 psi if you are bogged .
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FollowupID: 435375

Follow Up By: HJ60-2H - Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 21:02

Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 21:02
16 and you dont get bogged to start with...
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FollowupID: 435404

Follow Up By: Muddy doe (SA) - Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 21:11

Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 21:11
I use 16 to 18 on beach sand and will go as low as 8 if bogged to get moving again.
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FollowupID: 435406

Reply By: Dizne - Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 13:54

Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 13:54
Thanks for the replies!

If I attach tow point to the front, do I need to have two (one on either rail)? I have just been to Supercheap, and just got the one tow-hook.

More questions ...

When letting my tyres down to ~23psi for sand driving, how accurate are those little pen-style guages? (As that's all I've got to go by!).

Also, we are planning the barge trip at low tide - I take it there should be no probs getting on and off at low?

Cheers,
Diz
AnswerID: 179059

Follow Up By: robak (QLD) - Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 14:37

Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 14:37
One should be enough as long as it's a rated tow hook. The rating will be stamped on it. If it's not rated then don't use it.

I assume you're catching the barge from Inspik point. There is a failry large strecth of sand you have to cross at inskip to get to the barge. If you can make it there you shouldn't have any problems on fraser. Also don't drop your pressures too much, because as soon as you cross you'll be driving on the hard packed, low tide, beach for many kilometers. Take a compressor with if you can.

Because of the recent rains you shouldn't have any problems on the island. I'd be surprised if you'll need to use your recovery equipment at all.

have a great trip.

R.
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FollowupID: 435350

Follow Up By: Dizne - Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 14:54

Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 14:54
Fair dinkum ... will the rain make THAT much of a difference to the sand driving hey?! Sounds good to me ... but I hope it is blue skies while we're there! :D

Cheers robak!
Diz
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FollowupID: 435354

Follow Up By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 14:06

Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 14:06
Robak said....."One should be enough as long as it's a rated tow hook".

I would politely beg to differ (to steal a phrase from somebody else, above).....

By all means a snatch strap attached to a single hook, properly attached to a chassis rail MAY suffice to get you out of a sand bogging....BUT....if the forces are reasonably significant (eg: you don't bother shovelling-away the sand in front of the tyres etc), you could quite easily pull your chassis out of whack. I've seen it done to a HiLux.

Far better to get 2 hooks, one either side. Use a bridal (tree truk protector is possible) and share the load across both chassis rails. If doing so, pass the bridal through the hole in one end of the snatch strap, then attach each end of the tree trunk protector to one of the hooks, forming a "A". DO NOT USE A SHACKLE....PLEASE.

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FollowupID: 435468

Reply By: Old4runner - Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 14:32

Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 14:32
My Advice for what its worth is go and get a Hella tyre guage from eith ARB or Opposite Lock. I hate those pen type gaueges, mainly as they are difficult ot read ( thats for me as I need two pairs of glasses ) the Hella gauge appear to be very accurate and comes in a very rugged case and is simple to use. If you are going to recover from that back of the car, REMOVE the towball and insert the D shackle into the hole where the towball is normally bolted on. Using a snatch strap arounf the tow ball could end up in a fatility, or a broken windscreen. Never ever use the towball to recover a standed vehicle. Its preferable to take the tow ball off and keep it in the vehicle until such time as you nedd to use it. Once finished remove the tow ball. Hipe that solves your dilemma
AnswerID: 179060

Follow Up By: RosscoH - Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 16:54

Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 16:54
HI
You Fella's that break towballs must be using very low quality stuff, Over the years I've done some pretty terrible things to towballs and never had a problem.
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FollowupID: 435363

Follow Up By: MartyB - Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 17:19

Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 17:19
Yeah RosscoH,
If you had a towball that you could break with a snatch strap. Imagine what would happen if you connected a trailer to it. I can't see how a snatch strap could ever break a quality towball. Maybe people who suggest this should have a look at the thickness of the pin holding the tongue in & compare it to the thickness of the towball.
from Marty.
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Follow Up By: Des Lexic - Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 18:24

Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 18:24
I only have one thing to say about snatching from your towball. NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER do it. You have obviously put lots of stress on it previously and sofar you have got away with it. Murphy's law is just around the corner waiting to get you.
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Reply By: Kiwi Kia - Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 17:03

Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 17:03
Buy a lottery ticket. You can't trust them.
AnswerID: 179077

Reply By: Dizne - Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 17:20

Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 17:20
OK, another question for you all ...

I have read conflicting opinions relating to the gearing to drive with on Fraser. I read in a guide-book to mainly stay in H4 while on the sand, but then quite a few websites recommend L4 - particularly going on/off the narges and in the soft stuff. Now, the guide-book I read said that L4 in the soft stuff would just bog-down.

Your thoughts and experiences please?

Cheers,
Diz
AnswerID: 179079

Follow Up By: TROOPYMAN A.D. 1998 - Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 17:51

Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 17:51
Is it an auto or manual gearbox.
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FollowupID: 435376

Follow Up By: Dizne - Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 18:26

Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 18:26
Manual - 5 speed, aging (re: gutless), petrol (and gas) 2.6L engine.
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FollowupID: 435380

Follow Up By: Dizne - Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 18:27

Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 18:27
Oh, and my oldies are taking their Rav4 - auto (don't think it has Low or High, just 2 or 4 wheel drive?).
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FollowupID: 435381

Follow Up By: TROOPYMAN A.D. 1998 - Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 20:20

Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 20:20
" target="EOF" class="lbg">Site Link
www.bom.gov.au/oceanography/tides/
www.gympieweather.com/
earth.google.com/
google earth = high resolution , most of fraser . 10meg download (adsl or broadband users only) . You will get an idea of how big fraser is .
Are you going from rainbow beach . If yes then i will just say that i have seen large 4wds bogged on the way to the barge in soft dry sand . Other times after rain and its packed down a bit its been like a tar road . other times its been like a quagmire .
Have you had sand driving experience or much or any 4wding before . If not we are on this forum to try to help out .
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FollowupID: 435395

Reply By: Dizne - Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 20:41

Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 20:41
Thanks TroopyMan.

I do have some experience in 4wd'ng ... been up the Kimberley (Gibb River Road to Kalumburu) and up some huge dunes in the nor'west of WA! It's really surprised me where my Bravo will go - considering it's quite old and stock and only has a set of cheese-cutters for tyres!

I am just trying to prepare myself for this coming trip to Fraser, because it's been quite a while since I've been off-road. Last time was a couple of Christmases ago when we went up the beach on Bribie - coming off the beach was quite a mission, as it was fairly chewed up from the Christmas traffic (lots of others where also having trouble, so that made us feel better).

Back then I didn't realise how low you could let the pressure in your tyres down to, so I don't think I let much out. Also can't remember what gear I was in when I finaly did get up off the beach - L4/H4?

I'm also concerned about where to attach a snatchem strap to the front of my ute. I don't know why I haven't worried about this before, with all the trips I've done, but it does concern me - I'd hate to pull the front of the ute off!

Just want to be prepared and get it right I suppose - cheers for all the advice and help!
Diz
AnswerID: 179114

Follow Up By: TROOPYMAN A.D. 1998 - Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 20:54

Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 20:54
I would think there is a lot more chance of getting the rav4 bogged . Do you have a hayman reece type towbar . If so you could buy something like this .
Hitch reciever recovery point .
www.bbmotorsports.com.au/category124_1.htm
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FollowupID: 435401

Follow Up By: Dizne - Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 21:07

Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 21:07
Yeah, I've got an ARB towbar that would fit into I think, but I am more worried about a piont to attach to when towing/snatching from the front?
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FollowupID: 435405

Follow Up By: TROOPYMAN A.D. 1998 - Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 21:27

Sunday, Jun 18, 2006 at 21:27
I have no idea where you can fit a tow hook on the front . I have nowhere on the front of the troopy to put one either .
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FollowupID: 435409

Reply By: Member - Vincent A M (NSW) - Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 12:38

Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 12:38
if you get stuck & someone has to help you using there gear or yours winch,strapps etc they will be less likely to do so if they think it may cause damage
to them or there gear
i was winching a (stranger) of a beach with the tide coming in (Could not snach due to water & angle) & it only had the Transport tie down point on the front & it let go the cable came smashing thru my spotlights to be told sorry mate My cost damage $450.00 I allways check now & if they can,t be boffered to fit basic gear should I ????
AnswerID: 179196

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