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Towing Products Buyer’s Guide

Posted in Product Reviews on October 1, 2011
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Towing is sometimes a necessary evil in our hobby. It isn’t the most glamorous thing we do, but sometimes it can be the most important. Whether you are towing your perfectly good rig to the trailhead, a damaged one home, or a portable camping trailer on an adventure, you’ll need quality tools to get the job done. We have compiled a list of 11 new products that can help you tow smarter, safer, and more effectively. Check them out here.

Tow It Rite
What it is: Tow-Rite Towbars
Why it is cool: Typical towbars that extend above the hood may be illegal in California and in many other states. Because of this, Tow-Rite Towbars patented a design that incorporates a removable coupler, which is securely stored inside the vehicle when not in use. With the coupler removed, the towbar no longer interferes with the driver’s view of the road. Tow-Rite Towbars are designed to be mounted to the factory Jeep flat bumper and many aftermarket steel bumpers using custom mounting brackets and are winch-compatible. Aftermarket bumpers with “D”-ring mounts may require modification to install a Tow-Rite Towbar. Tow-Rite Towbars are sold as a bolt-on kit, however, the mounting brackets can also be welded onto your bumper. The kit includes the towbar, mounting brackets, 2-inch ball coupler and Grade-8 mounting hardware and instructions. Optional items include an extended ball coupler for towing behind motorhomes, a coupler incorporating a round lunette ring for pintle hooks, custom head-plate engraving, and custom mounting brackets. Tow-Rite Towbars are one of the strongest towbars on the market today and are made in the U.S.
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Extreme Duty Lube
What it is: AMSOIL Severe Gear Extreme Pressure Gear Lube
Why it is cool: Severe Gear Synthetic Extreme Pressure Gear Lubes, available in 75W-90 and 75W-140 viscosities, are ideally suited for vehicles that experience towing, hauling, steep hill driving, commercial use, racing, off-road use, rapid acceleration, stop-and-go driving and high ambient temperatures. Modern vehicles are designed with more horsepower and torque than in years past, allowing them to haul and tow heavier loads. The result is higher gear loading and hotter running differentials. In addition, factors such as increased interior space and lower floorboards push axles higher into the vehicle’s body, reducing airflow and increasing heat.

The closer proximity of the axles to the exhaust system also effectively raises temps, while more aerodynamic body styles and air dams restrict airflow to the differentials. Severe Gear Synthetic EP Gear Lubes deliver unbeatable power-enhancing protection, thermal stability and fuel economy in both heavy-duty and severe service operations. AMSOIL Severe Gear has the film strength required to deliver all the protection high-stress applications need in a fuel-saving viscosity grade at a competitive price. It’s recommended for use in all passenger vehicles, light trucks, SUVs, commercial trucks, and race vehicles. More info:

Helping Hand
What it is: Firestone Ride-Rite Helper Air Springs
Why it is cool: Firestone Industrial Products Company now offers no-drill Ride-Rite air helper spring kits for the 2011 Ford Super Duty F-250/F-350. Designed to mount between the truck’s frame and the suspension, Firestone’s Ride-Rite kits use air pressure to help maximize the truck’s safe load-carrying capacity, stability, and ride quality. Featuring individual inflation valves for separate side-to-side or front-to-rear adjustment, the air helper springs also assist in leveling off-center loads. Firestone’s no-drill kits use the truck’s factory holes and include all the components necessary for an easy installation that typically takes less than one hour, including the brackets, air springs, hardware, air lines and separate valves. A pair of Ride-Rite air springs can provide up to 5,000 pounds of load leveling capacity, and the kits come with a two-year limited warranty.
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1, 2, 3, Tow!
What it is: TeleSwivel Series 210
Why it is cool: The TeleSwivel 210 hitch adapter makes connecting your truck and trailer much faster and safer. This hitch adapter fits any standard 2-inch receiver, extends up to 4 inches and swivels as much as 4 inches. It is made from top-quality, high-yield abrasion-resistant steel and coated in state-of-the-art automotive undercoating for superior corrosion resistance and long service life. The “target zone” for the TeleSwivel 210 is more than 25 times larger than a standard ball and coupler. Whether you are pulling your boat or camper for the weekend, or connecting a work trailer multiple times a day, the Series 210 will get you on the road more quickly. Connecting is simple and nearly effortless—most people can connect by themselves in a single pass. Operation is as simple as 1, 2, 3, Tow: 1. Get the truck within range. 2. Telescope and swivel the hitch into position. 3. Connect and then back up to lock into position. Then, tow!
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Cool Runnings
What it is: PPE Heavy Duty Transmission pan
Why it is cool: PPE’s Heavy Allison 1000/2000/2400 series Heavy Duty Aluminum Transmission Pan is cast from A356-T6 aluminum alloy with robust side ribs that provide additional strength. Internal 1¼-inch heat sink baffles absorb heat and channel oil, while external ¾-inch heat sink channels dissipate heat into passing air, which decreases transmission temperatures up to 40 degrees. The pan is designed with ¼-inch NPT and 1/8-inch NPT threaded gauge sensor ports. A 1-inch-diameter stainless-steel drain plug uses a powerful Neodymium magnet to attract and hold harmful ferrous metals.
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Controlled Descent
What it is: BD Diesel VVB Programmer
Why it is cool: BD’s VVB Programmer manages the Garrett turbo on the 2004½-and-later Chevy Duramax engines to allow for better deceleration control of your truck and load. By closing off the exhaust variable geometry turbine vanes while slowing down your vehicle, up to 35 psi of backpressure is created, resulting in up to 125 Retarding horsepower and helping maintain speeds on descents and curves. Simple, easy, clean installation is done via plug-in connection to an existing diagnostic port on the engine.
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Safe and Secured
What it is: Mac’s Custom Tie Downs Ultra Pack
Why it is cool: Whether you tow a custom-fabbed buggy or a trail Jeep, it is critical that your vehicle is safe and secure when you trailer it down the road. Many people risk damaging their vehicle every time they tow it by using old or poorly made tie-down equipment. Mac’s Custom Tie Downs is proud to offer a solution: the Ultra Pack. By combining the premium quality parts in a pre-engineered system, the Mac’s Ultra Pack includes everything you need to tie your car or truck down safely and securely while protecting it from damage during transport. The Ultra Pack includes four 6- or 8-foot ratchet straps (or a combination of both), four axle straps, four strap wraps, and a free duffle bag to stow the gear when not in use. Straps are available in red, blue, black or yellow. The hardware on a Mac’s axle strap is shaped to allow for tight-clearance applications. Each full-length sleeve is designed to stay in place (unlike competitive sliding products) and is made from the thickest material available. All straps in this pack have more than twice the number of stitches than most competitors’ straps. Simply wrap the axle straps, secure them over the rear axle tubes or through a front control arm and tie everything down. The Ultra Pack is rated with a 10,000-pound capacity. Overall, it’s the fastest, easiest and most secure way to transport a vehicle down the open road—and like all Mac’s products, the Ultra Pack is made in the U.S.
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Four into One
What it is: Bully Dog Triple Dog GT
Why it is cool: The Triple Dog GT is an innovative product that is actually four products combined into one sleek, new design. It functions as a downloader that adds power, a tuner that allows for multiple drivetrain settings to be adjusted, a gauge pack that monitors four gauge functions at one time while being fully customizable to every user’s preferences, and a conscientious Driving Coach. The revolutionary Driving Coach software monitors wasted vehicle energy, and then informs the driver how to change their driving habits to increase fuel economy. The GT is loaded with additional features; the Diesel unit works on Dodge, Ford and GM vehicles, while the Gas unit works on Dodge, Ford, GM, and Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs. The GT also comes packaged complete with all the necessary mounting hardware.
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Be a Champion
What it is: Champion Brands Blue Flame Diesel Oil
Why it is cool: Champion Brands’ Classic Blue Flame is a unique hybrid synthetic blend 15W-40 diesel engine oil that combines workhorse high-zinc performance additives, superior protection, advanced polymer technology, and high TBN, supported by a carrier blend of synthetic and conventional base fluids. Classic Blue Flame raises the bar of performance beyond API CJ-4, or any previous conventional API service category. Development included attention to the concentration and synergistic behavior of anti-wear and detergent additives in an effort to obtain more robust protection at high temperature and heavy load. Classic Blue Flame also utilizes TVS (Thermal Viscosity Stabilizer) polymer chemistry, borrowed from Champion Racing Oil technology, and a dynamic backbone of enhanced shear stability and viscosity control. The oil is said to deliver unmatched high-temperature film strength and lubricity protection; has the muscle to combat oil shear; maximizes and sustains cylinder compression; and is proven to increase engine horsepower and torque.
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Sway Control
What it is: Hellwig Heavy-Duty Sway Bars
Why it is cool: Hellwig Products now offers heavy-duty sway bars for the new 2011 Chevrolet and GMC HD truck. These new trucks have been beefed up and Hellwig’s sway bars have been developed to match. The front and rear sway bars are engineered with 4140 chrome-moly steel, heat treated and hot formed to provide strength and durability. Hellwig says its bars are a great improvement to the overall performance and handling of GM’s new HD trucks and measure 1½-inch in diameter for the front bars and 1¼-inch in diameter for the rear bars. Whether you are towing and hauling or using your truck for work, you’ll love the upgrade in stability. The new Hellwig sway bars are sold in separate or complete kits.
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Distribute the Weight
What it is: CURT Weight Distribution Hitches
Why it is cool: Does your trailer nose sag down when you tow? Level it out and tow safely with a CURT weight distribution hitch. CURT WD hitches offer 10,000-pound towing capacities and tongue capacities up to 1,000 pounds. With tried-and-true trunnion and round bar designs, you can’t go wrong with a CURT WD hitch.
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