Make payments with PayPal - it's fast, free and secure! registry | CVN on Facebook | tech | news | email login Make payments with PayPal - it's fast, free and secure!


Welcome to CVN - Your Panther platform headquarters!


Custom Search


Topic Options
#2595909 - 09/13/12 12:12 PM The thousand-mile tow
jon_norstog Offline
Rookie

Registered: 05/16/12
Posts: 52
Loc: Portland OR
Well, I got some feedback on using my 2002 P71 as a tow vehicle. Pro and con!

So here's what happened. I took care of the small stuff, replaced some loose front end parts and got a really good alignment from Quigly's Tire in Pocatello.

The car has a receiver for a 1 1/4" drawbar but it's buried under the bumper plastic. Most of the drawbars you find in shops are too short. They'll work but the tow will tear up your plastic. I found a long drawbar finally at a U-haul in Idaho Falls, gathering dust behind their towing supplies display. This setup gives you a class 2 hitch, rated for 3500 pounds tow and 350 pounds tongue weight.

Wired in the flat-four connector, check. I rented a 5 x 8 foot trailer, 'cause it was cheap and looked big enough. Downside is no brakes on it.

The drive down to Window Rock AZ went OK. The trailer bounced a bit but I took it easy and made the trip in about 11 hours. Next day my wife and I loaded the trailer. I tried to balance out the heavy stuff in the front of the trailer by putting my tool boxes and some cement blocks against the back. That got the tongue weight down to, I guess 200 pounds.

I drove it back yesterday. I took it easy to start, the roads are a little rough in that part of the country. I took the long route around Narbona Pass in the Chuskas, with its 12 percent stretches on the east side and its roller-coaster road surface.

Things sorted themselves out prtetty quick and I realized this car can tow. It has plenty of power starting off and going up grades, with very little shifting into second. It goes down the road straight, there is no squirreliness or twitch in the steering. It rails curves long as you let the whole rig find its proper speed. On downgrades there was no feeling of the tow driving the car or tendency to jacknife. By the time I got through Salt Lake City I was keeping up with freeway traffic. If there was a weak spot in the whole package, it was the braking, which was leisurely at best.

I stopped at a CAT scale and got a weight. The trailer weighed 3120 plus about 200 on the tongue which was picked up as vehicle weight (4360 total) I got 15 plus MPG driving down empty and about the same loaded until I picked up the pace and the mileage dropped to 13 1/2. It took me 11 1/2 hours to drive the 670 miles back.

If i was going to tow a lot, I would try to stay under 4,000 pounds, and I would definitely opt for trailer brakes. There are a lot of travel trailers that fit in this class, also you could tow a pretty decent size boat.

So, that's how it all worked out.

jn

Top
Links
#2595975 - 09/13/12 02:42 PM Re: The thousand-mile tow [Re: jon_norstog]
AWE_Alex Offline

Poobah

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 5357
Loc: Gainesville, FL
Good to hear! Uneventful tow trips are always a good thing. I've never towed anything with this car, but I did haul my BIL's john boat with my 96. Barely felt it was back there, so long as it stayed under 60 (really skinny tires on that trailer, thing wandered if it got too fast).
_________________________

2000 CVPI, GoRhino! 5038, glasspacks, 2012 Dodge Charge SE 17"s SOLD!
2004 Ford Explorer XLT, stock SOLD!
2007 Dodge Nitro SLT, stockish...(photo soon)
Vehicle lighting covered by FL 316.2397(3)
Originally Posted By 124neta
Its because you haven't come to terms with the fact that you actually want to see that throbber.


Top
#2596035 - 09/13/12 05:04 PM Re: The thousand-mile tow [Re: jon_norstog]
Cougrrcj Offline
All Panther, all the time!!!
Over the Hill

Registered: 08/30/03
Posts: 4289
Loc: N.E. Ohio
You got lucky! You actually want 10-15% of the towed weight as tongue weight. Otherwise, you risk 'the tail wagging the dog'. BTDT, got scared sh!tless trying to tow my wife's old '74 Monte Carlo on a short trailer. Anything over 40mph set up some nasty oscillations! And I was towing with a '78 Barge-LTD Country Squire wagon that weighed over 5400 pounds!!!
_________________________


89 Crown Vic LX - daily driver - 393 stroker/ WR-AOD!!! New Best ET - 13.068 Best MPH - 106.58, Best 60' - 1.86

Top
#2596139 - 09/13/12 09:37 PM Re: The thousand-mile tow [Re: jon_norstog]
jon_norstog Offline
Rookie

Registered: 05/16/12
Posts: 52
Loc: Portland OR
Thanks for the feedback.

I did check tongue weight kinda when I unloaded today. I was unable to pick the hitch up off the ball .. partly 'cause it was hung up, partly 'cause of the weight. FWIW the CAT scale gave a vehicle wieght of 4360 the car being just about out of gas. And Ford specs a gross vehicle weight of 4134.

Anyway, the tow rode just fine. the worst tow I evwer did was 200 miles towing a taurus on a dolly, probably 4000 pounds plus behind a 2400 pound volvo 122S.

When I was a kid, there were these people used to mob up in caravans with their Airstreams. Tghe tow vehicle of choice was a Sedan de Ville. 250-300 hp, 4,000 pounds, rear wheel drive. They were towing 31-foot Airstreams all over the place.

I guess I was 19, riding my motorcycle down to California from idaho ... it was around Duck Valley on the nevada-OR border where I came on a Caddy sedan and a 30+-foot Airstream turned over in the ditch. A few people were standing around. They said the people in the car were all dead. I got on my bike and rode on.

I was thinking of them when I was towing that U-haul. You gotta stay alert. I could see it ... you doze, wake up with a start, overcorrect and next thing happens is your tow is driving you into a rollover. Much as this tow was well-behaved, I could feel how close the line was between in-control and out-of-control.

jn

Top
#2596174 - 09/13/12 10:32 PM Re: The thousand-mile tow [Re: jon_norstog]
martz0r Offline
Over the Hill

Registered: 04/29/08
Posts: 4295
Loc: Punta Gorda, FL
Yeah these are great tow vehicles indeed. Used to tow a 7x14 single axle enclosed trailer, and it definitely let you know it's limits as far as speed otherwise that thing would be loosey goosey back there. As far as the weight though it never had a problem even fully loaded.
_________________________

'07 Durango HEMI Limited 4x4
Previously: '90 Grand Marquis LS |'97 LTC|'03 LX-Sport|'06 P71|'03 P71|
Panther Seat Cover Removal - Overhead console display fix

Top
#2596513 - 09/14/12 04:42 PM Re: The thousand-mile tow [Re: jon_norstog]
Cougrrcj Offline
All Panther, all the time!!!
Over the Hill

Registered: 08/30/03
Posts: 4289
Loc: N.E. Ohio
Originally Posted By: jon_norstog
FWIW the CAT scale gave a vehicle wieght of 4360 the car being just about out of gas. And Ford specs a gross vehicle weight of 4134.

jn


Can't be since the EMPTY weight of a Vic is right around 4000 lbs. Check your door tag again. My '89 is 3940 empty (weighed on racetrack scale) and 5346 GVW, and my '96 AeroVic has a GVW of 5427.

Top
#2597092 - 09/15/12 11:14 PM Re: The thousand-mile tow [Re: jon_norstog]
jon_norstog Offline
Rookie

Registered: 05/16/12
Posts: 52
Loc: Portland OR
I didn't think about the door tag. I do think that the scale included my weight (220). Your number sounds better to me.

3940 + 220 = 3160, leaving a tongue weight of 200 pounds. That works for me. The low fuel light came on just as I pulled into the scales.

jn


Edited by jon_norstog (09/15/12 11:16 PM)

Top

Moderator:  Chaplian, jmlock, Ryan, The_Punisher 
Who's Online
6 registered (VoodooChild, 1990LTD, jtroyst, RF_Overlord, 2 invisible), 103 Guests and 289 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Shout Box

Top Posters (30 Days)
bluejay_32 161
a_d_a_m 106
Old_Guy_Stu 101
DudeAbides 55
Moby_Vic 54
CrystalPistol 49
TheCableGuy 46
RF_Overlord 43
Ponyguy 39
Rainbowpizza 37
Member Spotlight
Member Since: 07/24/08
Posts: 5405





Copyright 2000-2015 by Crownvic.net and Steve Spaulding. All Rights Reserved.
The photographs, graphics and data contained in this Web site are the properties of the contributors, or Crownvic.net and may not be used without expressed written consent.
Crownvic.net is not affiliated with the Ford motor company.

Happily consuming the fuel saved by Prius owners!