Nuts & Bolts: Wheeling and Towing

    Double-Duty Tow Rigs

    Verne SimonsPhotographerTrenton McGeeWriter

    Double-Duty Tow Rigs
    I received my March issue and saw the picture of the tow rig and said to myself, “Finally an article on tow rigs!” Then I found out it was just a little blurb in another article about a different truck. I’m sure you have done them before, but I would like to see more dedication to these tow rigs. Many of your readers can’t afford to have both a tow rig and a dedicated play truck. How about some more articles on how we can make these heavier trucks work for us? Thanks.
    Rich N.

    We’re sorry if you felt misled by the cover blurb. In our defense, the tow rig on the cover was used in a tire test (“Pit Bull in a China Shop”) and elsewhere in that issue was a feature on a Dodge 2500 built for remote backcountry exploration (“Ol’ Campin Truck”). The Dodge feature had a ton of cool components that could be applied to any dual-purpose wheeling/towing rig.

    We're all about building and modifying trucks to serve more than one purpose, and we've done several builds on multipurpose rigs in the past. Unfortunately, dual-purpose rigs also mean making a lot of compromises. For example, a soft flexy suspension for trail work will make towing stability suffer. Trucks that can tow also tend to be big and heavy, which makes tight trails a challenge. But lots of great products offer big benefits without any drawbacks. Driver-selectable locking differentials, for example, offer all the benefits of a locker on the trail without adding any handling quirks on the street. It all boils down to deciding exactly what you want the truck to do and then modifying it accordingly with a close eye on avoiding modifications that will have too negative an impact on the other things you want the truck to do.

    We would suggest looking at some of our past Ultimate Adventure builds because several of them used fullsize trucks as a foundation. Our Tug-Truck from 2014 could be a great tow rig, as could the Ultimate Ranch Truck from 2009. You can look up the multipart builds of both trucks on our supersite, Granted, both trucks were built primarily for off-road performance, but that's not to say backing down those builds a notch or two wouldn’t make awesome templates for dual-purpose towing/wheeling rigs.

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