What should I know about towing behind the B190

Towing with the B190

What should I know about towing behind the B190

Postby Kentuckian » Sun Mar 24, 2013 5:04 pm

Hello all,

I would like to get a vehicle to pull behind our B190. My 190 is a 1993 with the 460 engine. I am looking for a light weight, robust, 4 wheel drive vehicle suitable for gravel forest service roads and some light off road use. So far the main vehicle on my search list is a '95 -'97 4x4 Geo tracker, manual shift, with manual hubs.

Is there anything special that I should be aware of related to towing behind the B190?

Any thoughts on the Tracker as a toad? Do you have other vehicle suggestions for the B190?
1993 Airstream B190 w/1991 Chevrolet Tracker tow car
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Re: What should I know about towing behind the B190

Postby skater » Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:58 am

I towed a car behind ours for years using a dolly. If you're towing 4-down, it's definitely easier to hook up and deal with. Note neither of those setups can back up, though (this was only once a major issue for me - you learn to be careful about where you go pretty quickly).

I don't know what the Tracker weighs. The GCVW of my B190 (a '91 with the 460) was 15,000 lbs, and the van weighed about 9,000 lbs, leaving about 6,000 lbs for towed vehicle and all of your stuff and you, so the lighter the towed vehicle, the better.

I would make sure to set up a braking system in the Tracker. I think that's the biggest limitation of towing with these - the brakes on the vans just aren't good enough to stop all of the weight. (Our dolly had electric brakes.)
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Re: What should I know about towing behind the B190

Postby Kentuckian » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:41 pm

Skater,
Thank you for sharing your experience.

I believe the Tracker weighs in at about 2300lbs. Thus one of the reasons for chosing it. I'll start reading up on braking systems.
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Re: What should I know about towing behind the B190

Postby craigmar » Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:01 am

We were going to try and tow a ford explorer behind our class C but due to it being an automatic ran into problems I didn't want to deal with. After a little searching I finally went back to a vehicle that most of us have owned at one time or another and purchased a V.W. that is set up as a full bodied Baja Bug meaning that I have 20" of ground clearance and with a modified engine I haven't had a problem on any trail or road encountered. It tow's equally as well behind the B190 without the need for an extra braking system on either vehicle and the only problem I have encountered is trying to see it behind the vehicle as you forget that it is there because it tow's so easily. My bug is what is considered a class 11 and because it is full bodied and has the heater boxes still on the engine, it's good to go even in the snow. another plus is 30-35 miles per gallon and with a 10 gallon tank you can go a long distance between fill up's and an extra gas can if needed can extend the range that much further. < http://WWW.the samba. com > has quite a few volkswagen's for sale and if you go to the site click on the off road vehicle subject to see the large selection of off and on road vehicles.
Last edited by craigmar on Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What should I know about towing behind the B190

Postby Kentuckian » Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:37 pm

Craigmar, Great suggestion on the Bettle. That has really turned out to be a flexible long lived platform. I'll add it to the consideration list.
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Re: What should I know about towing behind the B190

Postby bobbyv » Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:59 pm

Hey kentuckian, saw your post and thought I would put my 2 cents in. We are towing a 2001 Jeep Cherokee XJ 4x4, auto. trans., part time transfer case, and love having it with us. All I do is put the transfer case in neutral, transmission in park with the ignition key in ON, not start and away we go.

Towing the jeep 4 wheels down could not be easier. It weighs 3300# and I hardly know it's there. So far I have not needed an extra braking system, and I had a local trailer shop do the wiring so all I do is plug in and go. I too wanted something light and offroad worthy,and dependable. These little cherokee's have been around for a long time and are still going strong.

Hope this helps, I added a picture of our rig in the gallery. It's under ''Bobby's pics''. Good Luck on your search.
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Re: What should I know about towing behind the B190

Postby skater » Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:00 am

My concern with the braking stems from my accident while towing a car. Accidents suck. And an accident with this type of setup means you may have TWO vehicles damaged, not just one.
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Re: What should I know about towing behind the B190

Postby bobbyv » Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:29 am

Skater, when you had your accident, did your towed vehicle have brakes? And what caused the accident? Just curious.
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Re: What should I know about towing behind the B190

Postby skater » Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:03 pm

bobbyv wrote:Skater, when you had your accident, did your towed vehicle have brakes? And what caused the accident? Just curious.


Yes, it did.

I was in the right lane of an interstate, doing 55ish mph (I never went over ~62 mph with that rig, but I don't know exactly how fast I was going since I was watching traffic, not the speedo). I came around a bend, and there was a guy with a car trailer who had stopped after a flat tire - but he was still in the lane. I saw the trailer from a distance and knew he was stopped, but traffic appeared to be flowing past him just fine, and it wasn't until I got far enough around the bend and traffic cleared a bit that I could see he was in the lane. I didn't have anywhere to go, and I hit the back of his trailer.

I'm at least 50% at fault, I acknowledge (he denied being in the road, and it wasn't in the police report, so I took all of the blame). But the fact is that crap does happen, and you want to make sure you're as prepared as possible. Hence I recommend brakes on the towed vehicle. Besides, in a few states, it's the law. (Different sites claim different things - the Brake Buddy website, who of course is trying to sell you something, claims many more states require brakes - I suspect the difference is "towed cars" versus "towed trailers". But they all say at least a few states require brakes.)
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