Wondering how to tow a car yourself?
If you need to tow your own car, this article should provide some valuable insight about the various options you have, the nitty-gritty of actually towing the car, as well as safety precautions and on-road driving guidelines for making your tow a safe and hassle-free experience.
What equipment do I need to tow my car? always ready towing
The first thing to consider is what kind of equipment you will need for towing your own car. This will depend on the vehicle which you are towing, as well as the degree of security you want to have while towing your car. Here are the various options available to those who need to tow their own car, as well as a breakdown of when these options will be suitable:
1.) Tow dollies. Tow dollies are two-wheel dollies that can hold two of your car’s wheels while the other two roll freely on the ground. The other end is hitched to whatever vehicle you will be using to tow the towed vehicle. Because two wheels will be on the ground while you’re pulling your car along, it’s CRUCIAL that these be free-rolling wheels. Otherwise you can cause some serious transmission damage to your vehicle which will be costly or impossible to repair. But for two-wheel drive vehicles, car dollies are a great option. All-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive vehicles may also be towed, but your drive shaft will need to be disconnected first, and if you’re not comfortable doing this yourself you’ll need to consult a mechanic. But there are other options that don’t require you to disconnected the drive shaft. Read on.
2.) Tow trailers. Both open and enclosed tow trailers are good options for all-wheel / 4-wheel drive vehicles. All wheels will be off the ground, so you don’t risk transmission damage while towing your car. And if you opt to use an enclosed trailer, you will have the benefit of added protection from elements as well as increased security for your vehicle. Renting trailers will be more expensive than renting a dolly though, so make sure you really need these features.
3.) Tow bars. (Not to be confused with tow hitches). A tow bar is a system designed to connect the towed vehicle with the towing vehicle (called the coach). The tow bar will connect to both vehicles in such a way as to allow swiveling so that the vehicles may turn independently and make turns on the road. In addition to being connected directly, safeguards such as connection by chains are usually needed as well. Tow bars are probably the least expensive option, but are also less sturdy and secure than the other option. If you’re traveling long distances over bumpy roads or at high speeds, you may want to go with one of the previous options.
4.) Towing accessories. Additional accessories are usually needed to tow your car safely and abide by towing regulations. It will at least be necessary to have tow lights (tail lights, brake lights, and turn lights) attached to the rear of the vehicle which is being towed. You may also want to see which other accessories are available, depending on which towing option you choose.