There are plenty of things to consider when towing your car, all of which contribute to the type of towing system you choose. Here’s a breakdown of the three most common ways to tow your car around.
This type of towing involves a flatbed trailer. Flatbed towing is one of the safest ways to transport your car. If you’re moving, there are numerous services that use flatbed towing to get your car to your new home.
Flatbed trailers normally have four wheels placed together at the center of the trailer, balancing the weight of the towed car while preventing any swaying. Loading is a simple matter of driving your car onto the trailer, parking it, and securing it.
Flatbed trailers don’t require any adjustments to your car’s power train, which means you can use one regardless of your car’s layout or transmission. Aside from a hitch, you won’t need to buy any extra parts. The car also takes less wear during the trip as no part of the towed car makes contact with the road.
However, flatbeds tend to be pricey. A flatbed trailer will also be heavier than a used tow dolly, decreasing gas mileage for the coach vehicle. Low- and mid-quality flatbed trailers rely on the brakes of the coach vehicle, putting that extra bit of wear on them.
A car tow dolly is a two-wheeled trailer with slots and ramps for just the front tires of your towed vehicle. Thus, while the front tires are supported by the tow dolly, the rear wheels remain in contact with the road.
The tow dolly is perfect for cars with front wheel drive, which won’t need any modifications. Your drive shaft will be free to spin and you won’t register any miles on the odometer. However, for a rear or all-wheel drive vehicle, you’ll have to take a few extra steps of preparation, which includes removing the drive shaft.
However, an RV dolly is a lighter and more affordable alternative to a flatbed.
Flat towing is a method in which the all four of the towed car’s wheels are in contact with the ground. This requires a tow bar. Tow bars come in three main types: rigid A-frame, self-aligning coach-mounted receivers, and self-aligning towed vehicle-mounted receivers.
Tow bars are less expensive than a dolly or flatbed and are also much lighter. However, a tow bar will also cause your tires to wear out more quickly, and as with tow dollies, it’s a good idea to disconnect the drive shaft. Many people go around this by putting the towed car in neutral, which can be rough on your car and its engine.