What vehicles can be towed?

Submitted: Thursday, Jul 02, 2009 at 17:00
ThreadID: 70331 Views:8464 Replies:3 FollowUps:7
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I have noticed that many motor-homes tow Suzuki Vitaras and the like - with all four wheels on the ground. I know that many AWDs and 4WDs cannot be towed, because of damage to the transmission.

Could someone please provide an "Idiot's Guide" explanation as to which vehicles can and cannot be towed for long distances with all wheels on the ground? (AWD vs 4WD vs FWD vs RWD, auto vs manual, or different models)

Cheers
Maaate
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Reply By: KennyBWilson - Thursday, Jul 02, 2009 at 17:04

Thursday, Jul 02, 2009 at 17:04
Rule Number 1 : the vehicle must be under 750kgs before you can tow it behind another vehicle
AnswerID: 372780

Follow Up By: garrycol - Thursday, Jul 02, 2009 at 17:58

Thursday, Jul 02, 2009 at 17:58
Well I guess that puts out most of the vehicles you see being towed on A frames behind vehicles. Even a Vitara weighs a tad more than 750kg and these are being towed all the time.

So where does this rule come from? Never heard of it. There is a rule that trailers over 750kg require brakes but never heard of a rule that says a car over 750kg cannot be towed. I think you will find that they can as long as the towed vehicles brakes activate when the towing vehicle brakes.

But bake to the actual question - I don't think it is the 4wd system that is the limiting factor but many automatic transmissions suffer from lack of lubrication - this is because lubrication is provided by a pump driven at the engine end of the gearbox but when the car is being towed the engine is not running but the wheels still turn the inners of the box.

As far as the 4wd system is concerned the means by which transmission windup is prevented when being driven on bitumin should still apply when the car is being towed.

Garry
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Follow Up By: Neil & Pauline - Thursday, Jul 02, 2009 at 18:29

Thursday, Jul 02, 2009 at 18:29
The 750kg rule only applies if no braking. Override brakes are acceptable from 750kg to 2000kg. All A frames I looked at had over ride brakes.
In my research the Suzuki Grand Vitara was the only car designed to be flat towed. All others I looked at under 1800kgs did not recommend flat towing.

neil
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Follow Up By: KennyBWilson - Friday, Jul 03, 2009 at 21:06

Friday, Jul 03, 2009 at 21:06
es I shouls have stated they would need brakes if over 750kgs , but how does the over ride brakes on drawbar work on the car , you can't tap into the brake system or can you
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Follow Up By: Neil & Pauline - Saturday, Jul 04, 2009 at 10:03

Saturday, Jul 04, 2009 at 10:03
The "Hitch N Go" A frame we have is very high tech. A cable runs from the override hitch to the brake pedal. Works well and nothing to go wrong.

Neil
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Follow Up By: KennyBWilson - Saturday, Jul 04, 2009 at 10:25

Saturday, Jul 04, 2009 at 10:25
cool never seen that before
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FollowupID: 640250

Reply By: WYSIWYG (Bundaberg Qld) - Thursday, Jul 02, 2009 at 18:30

Thursday, Jul 02, 2009 at 18:30
Hi Maaate,
Try this, it may help but you may also find variations state to state


AnswerID: 372791

Follow Up By: WYSIWYG (Bundaberg Qld) - Thursday, Jul 02, 2009 at 18:52

Thursday, Jul 02, 2009 at 18:52
Sorry

http://www.dpi.wa.gov.au/mediafiles/lic_a_frame_towing.pdf
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FollowupID: 640054

Reply By: Member - Tony V (NSW) - Friday, Jul 03, 2009 at 10:38

Friday, Jul 03, 2009 at 10:38
Maaate,

This question will bring many answers.

Suzuki have a specific note in the manual regarding being towed.
it roughly states that the vehicle can be towed with the transfer box in Neutral and the gearbox in 2nd gear.
Why? towing with the transfer box in high and the gearbox in neutral has the potential for the gearlever to vibrate and mesh, droping it into 2nd or 4th, this will then turn the engine over with all the issues that can cause.

The manufacture's instruction/suggestion prevents this from happening. Also they suggest that the vehicle be started every 300kms for lubrication, towing a vehicle will vibrate the engine and gearbox sufficently so that there is no residule oil covering bearings, valves, gears etc.

There is no issue towing with all 4 wheels on the ground, only if you put 2 wheels on a caddy, then the suggestion is to disconnect a propshaft.

With a transfer box in neutral, Autos in neutral make no difference as the gears in the box are disconnected. (no oil issues execpt for the vibration draining any residual oil in the box to the sump).

If you need to tow a 4WD put the transfer box in neutral, on an constant 4WD. If either front or back lifted, put in Neutral and disconnect a driveshaft.

So on 4WD's flat towing;

Conventional (Part time) 4WD can be towed, (see Suzuki above)
Constant 4WD can be towed but caution and put transfer box in neutral.

Front Wheel drives and rear wheel drives (no transfer box) I would not flat tow, lift the drive wheels. (which is what towies do).

I reckon that was about 6 cents worth.

AnswerID: 372896

Follow Up By: Maaate - Friday, Jul 03, 2009 at 18:05

Friday, Jul 03, 2009 at 18:05
Thanks Tony

Very succinct and helpful.

Cheers
Maaate
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