Hooniverse Asks – What's the Strangest Towing Setup You've Ever Seen?


My summers are typically spent traveling around the lower 48 states by car and I have the luck of being passenger/navigator/snack distributor about 75% of the time.  The travel is mostly car related  so I’m always in an automotive state of mind, scanning the lanes of traffic for something unique/interesting/insane to pass the time.  I can assure you I’m never disappointed.
There have been some rare classics, some outrageous customs and some seriously OMGWTFBBQ disasters on four wheels.  More often than not, the first two are queens of the road, being towed on shiny dual axle trailers in all their glory, but every once in a while I see a vehicle in tow that requires the caption, “Here, hold mah beer and watch me tow this!”
Like 'Mater, only cooler.

When towing goes wrong.

Some noteworthy examples:
An old Ford pickup being towed by a Camry down the interstate using only a tow strap, a person “steering” the truck down around Asheville, NC.
A long car on a short trailer, the back wheels just hanging off the edge, strapped down with about six ratchet straps, 2 come-a-longs and possibly some duct tape in mid state Kentucky.
A ’58 VW Beetle being flat towed behind a lowered, chipped and completely blacked out 2000 VW New Turbo Beetle up my driveway in Bloomsburg, PA. Wait, what?
Hooniverse asks, what’s the most amazing/cool/terrifying towing setup you’ve ever seen?

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53 responses to “Hooniverse Asks – What's the Strangest Towing Setup You've Ever Seen?”

  1. Maymar Avatar

    VW Touareg Diesel, Boeing 747. Of course, we've all seen that.
    Also, those tow truck motorcycles are a fantastically cool setup.

  2. acarr260 Avatar

    While leaving work one day, I passed a guy riding a moped on the shoulder of the highway. He was driving the moped with his right hand and using his left hand to hold onto a push mower that he was "towing". I almost stopped to offer him a piece of rope, but decided that he was most likely strung out on meth (I'm in Indiana and it's everywhere here) and that the odds of something good coming from my stopping were small to none.

  3. engineerd Avatar

    Most Amazing: The Space Shuttle Carrier Aircraft returning to Kennedy with the space shuttle. It is numero uno in my list of cool sights.
    Most Cool: I saw a Porsche 911 towing a not-so-small camper trailer in Germany. Sports cars towing things always strikes me as odd.
    Most Terrifying: Camel toe, of course.

    1. KillerZomBee Avatar

      About 10-15 years ago my parents were camping on a ridge in southern California, and they saw the loaded shuttle carrier come flying up out of the dessert floor and right over their campsite. Said it was pretty low and huge, and the most awesome sight ever. I've been insanely jealous ever since.
      P.S. Be brave. Camels only bite if provoked.

      1. engineerd Avatar

        Yeah, the shuttle carrier is absurdly weird, amazing and cool all in one. I was working at Kennedy last summer and we walked outside to watch it come in. It flew right over our heads and circled around to line up with the strip. Very cool.
        P.S. I know, but they still terrify me.

      1. nofrillls Avatar

        I believe you have achieved 'awesomest'.

        1. Tanshanomi Avatar

          No, BIg Daddy Roth achieved it. I just do my part to evangelize it.

      2. BЯдΖǐL-ЯЄРΘЯΤЄЯ Avatar

        This exceeds Hot Wheels.

      3. CptSevere Avatar

        This is just unspeakably delicious. That's a Triumph in the back of the thing, which is way too cool, but what's the carrier's engine? Nice shot, thanks.

    2. ChuckyShamrok Avatar

      Speaking of towing with sports cars, My fathers TR3A has a hitch on it, and i always wondered what the hell you could tow with that. Guess it makes sense to have one since it's engine was derived from a tractor's. Also I work at a U-Haul, and we're known for installing hitches, and I actually have a hitch in stock at my store right now for a Fiero, and I can order up a hitch for a Ferrari. If someone came in looking for that, I would seriously slap them in the eye and not give them their car back until they apologized.

  4. jims63valvert Avatar

    I was actually a part of the strangest towing set up I have ever seen. Dad's 64 Cadillac Sedan de Ville broke down about a mile from our house. So, rather than pay a tow truck to bring it that one mile, we walked back home and got the Chevette. Yes, the Chevette. We towed the Caddy with the Chevette. I drove the Chevette, because steering the Caddy without the power steering was a B*tch.
    Ironically, the cost of the clutch, pressure plate and flywheel for the Chevette probably added up to less than what a tow bill would have been. I don't even want to think what the people who saw us were thinking. Luckily it was pretty dark out.

  5. Goingincirclez Avatar

    I realize this is a total "pics or it didn't happen" moment, but I know what I saw, back in 2006, midafternoon going westbound I-64 'tween Frankfort and Lexington KY, as I was heading east, and that was:
    A Class A Motorhome… towing a Chevy Trailblazer…towing a small pup trailer… towing a wreck of johnboat. All it needed were about 6 bicycles on the back of the motorhome, and it woulda been straight out of Richard Scarry's Cars and Trucks and Things That Go.
    Did I say this was in KY? I can only hope it was a short transfer jaunt for 1 if not at least 2 of the rigs. I have no idea HowTF that train ever negotiated an on-ramp.

    1. smokyburnout Avatar

      I imagine the boat wasn't wrecked until they tried to negotiate an onramp.
      Working at an auto parts chain store, I did on more than on occasion observe not cheap customers, but cheap employees attempt to tow with ill-advised, jury-rigged setups, and at least once I saw the towed vehicle seperate from the towing vehicle before they had left the parking lot.

    2. SSurfer321 Avatar

      Watched my grandfather drive a Class C motorhome, towing a 21' Ski Boat, towing a PWC from Toledo, OH to Dale Hollow, TN. We were 6" below the legal limit 🙂

    3. Smells_Homeless Avatar

      "Dammit, Russel. Get out there and wax up the Truckboattruck."

  6. CptSevere Avatar

    Five or six years ago we moved a fifteen by twenty five or so foot galvanized steel shed from an abandoned mine down to the mine that we were opening as a tour. It had been used years ago as a changing room and shower for the miners, and was in great shape. It was slated to be demolished by a bulldozer and pushed over the hill. We jacked it up, backed a flatbed trailer under it, lowered it onto the trailer, and drove it away. It sits on the mine tour property, nicely restored into a little shop. It's been a rock shop, jewelry shop, and in the near future will be a nifty little beer bar.
    I wish I'd gotten pictures of the thing on the trailer. It was held down by a million ratchet straps, chains, binders, etc. while we drove it down into town, and I of course rode proudly in the doorway. We towed the thing with a Ford dually. It was gratifying to save the little building and restore it into something usable.

    1. MechE Hokie Avatar
      MechE Hokie

      My family tows buildings around like that every now and then. We pick up buildings with a skidloader/front end loader and set them on flat bed trailers and go. Long before I was born, my grandfather had my (then young) dad ride on top of buildings and lift power lines over the roof so they wouldn't tear them down. I'm sure that was quite a sight going down the road.

  7. tiberiuswise Avatar

    If The Simpsons counts I saw a really cool car-truck-truck-truck-truck.

  8. skitter Avatar

    Headscratcher: XJR pulling a utility trailer filled with grassy lawn care equipment.
    Unfortunately common: Boat towed behind fifth-wheel camper.
    Facepalm: Vehicles pulled along with nothing but a chain or strap, sometimes marked 'IN TOE' on the back window.

    1. Mike_the_Dog Avatar

      The boat behind the fifth-wheel is actually legal many (if not all) places. Here in Michigan, it's called a "recreational double" and requires a special endorsement on your license.

    2. ptschett Avatar

      The chain/strap one doesn't worry me if they're going reasonably slow and there's someone steering the towed car. I've done that one myself (both as the tow-er using my T-bird to drag my roommate's '85 Shelby Charger w/ broken shift linkage, and the tow-ee with vehicles in varying states of engine or transmission failure.)

  9. P161911 Avatar

    Pretty much anytime a see one of the giant Goldwing Trikes towing a trailer. At what point should you just give up and get a convertible. I'm usually behind these on mountain roads and the Trike is the slow one.

  10. Alan Avatar

    I once saw a very large CAT top loader on some sort of railroad dolly device that reversed the tire's rotation to provide forward motion on the tracks. It was towing a grader and some other construction equipment on 3-4 other flatbed rail cars.

  11. ptschett Avatar

    The family farm tends to generate crazy towing setups. The best one probably was 20-some years ago when the clutch went out on the '69 Dodge C700 which once was the main semi tractor, while it had a full trailer of grain hooked up to it for about 64,000 lbs combined vehicle weight. Instead of calling a tow truck my dad towed it the rest of the way to town with his '78 F-150 4×4 with someone else steering and braking the semi. He said he had to use 4-low before he could get the truck to even move.

    1. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

      i don't know what that says about me, but I think that's kinda clever.

      1. KillerZomBee Avatar

        I've got a second frame I plan on turning into a mini camping rig. Gonna call it…
        "Le Fifth Wheel".

        1. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

          Might I suggest this?
          <img src=http://4.bp.blogspot.com/__9TTj0s27Vk/SqFJozAJXrI/AAAAAAAABl0/Ru3dYXznRdw/s400/Little+Guy+Smart.jpg>

          1. Alff Avatar

            That trailer is where you put your pride. It ain't gonna fit up front with you.

    2. nofrills Avatar


    3. Alff Avatar

      LeTrunk? How about Le Smartass?

  12. Mike_the_Dog Avatar

    It's gotta be this one, hands down. Seriously, what were they thinking?
    <img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4049/4436012442_5bab561dfb.jpg&quot; width="388" height="500" alt="1973-international-wagonmaster" />

    1. engineerd Avatar

      Don't hit a bump or the bed sides are going to be a crinkly mess.

  13. taborj Avatar

    My brother has a good story, although I don't recall the tow vehicle.
    He was running a stage rally, and was limping his 323 GTX through the stages, as his clutch was slipping badly. Eventually, though, the clutch gave up the ghost, and they had to stop on stage. They were running the national event, albeit near the back, so they had to wait for the rest of the nationals and all the regional entries to go past before the service crew would be allowed on stage.
    In amongst the regional guys, a competitor pulled up along side and asked if they'd like to be flat towed off the stage. Sure, why not, beats sitting here. So they hook up the tow rope, jump in, and prepare to be pulled off the stage at a sedate speed.
    Not to be. The competitor proceeded to take off as fast as possible, and towed them off the stage "at speed." I'm talking, full on drifts through the corners (as well as can be done when you're towing a 2600lb car). It was everything my brother could do to keep the little 323 on the stage.

    1. KillerZomBee Avatar

      I would so kill for one of these….

  14. Froggmann_ Avatar

    Not the worst but the most ironic. Years ago I aw running an errand which took me through a local canyon here and saw a Suburban dolly towing a Cherokee pulling over to the side of the freeway. I can only assume it started overheating. On my return trip the Suburban was on the dolly and the Cherokee was just pulling into traffic.
    Worst towing I've seen was this weekend, in the same canyon. yes strange things happen there. This time it was a boat on a trailer but just barely, it was half on half off with the left side (starboard) side where the keel (Center) should be. Sorry no photo yesterday was not a good day to die.

  15. lilwillie Avatar

    Too many to remember. I've seen cars towed in with swing set chains, bailing twine, rope, chain, flatbed made of a double wide, incorrectly brought in by tow truck companies with transmissions blown up……

    1. Ambersand Avatar

      The bailing twine will forever be my favorite setup.

  16. Tanshanomi Avatar

    That lead picture reminds me of this…
    <img src="http://www.tanshanomi.com/temp/trike22.jpg"&gt;

    1. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

      Hey a new breed! It's a Plymouth Goldwing!

    2. nofrillls Avatar

      Had that been better welded and painted, it would be bordering on epic.

      1. Tanshanomi Avatar

        Motion has been seconded, and we are thus resolved.

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  18. CptSevere Avatar

    Buddy, that's fucking nuts (pardon the pun).

  19. Arkie Avatar

    Once my dad was towing a horse trailer circa 1983 with a borrowed Ford Courier. Timing belt popped and brought it to a stop. He sent word to his brothers about 3 counties away and they showed up with a 76 Chevy full-size and a bumper-mount tow bar. Halfway through the next county, the bumper loosens off the front of the Courier. D'OH! Their solution? They put the tow bar on the Chevy and "pushed" the Courier through the mountains the rest of the way. To this day there are stories about the driver of that poor Courier! Hillbilly engineering at its finest!

  20. BobAsh Avatar

    Well, being an American car lover in Europe, with lots of sometimes non-running and big-as-shit junk means you'll see strange towing combos quite often. What about '68 Ford Galaxie being towed on the trailer behind VW Sharan (minivan about half smaller than Voyager)? Or '88 Caprice behind the same thing? Or other way round, that Caprice towing a Fiat 600 on a rope? And I think there were many others I can't remember now…
    Yeah, now I remember one – '67 Fury on the trailer behind Cherokee XJ. Quite funny.

  21. BBG luxembourgh Avatar

    Great post. I really appreciate the information. You have done a wonderful job communicating your message. Keep up the great job.

  22. Spencer Barnes Avatar

    I don’t know how Nigeria could have lost. That was so fast. I expected that they had a great chance to do well in this years world cup. I guess I will have to wait. Maybe its time to jump on the Argentina bandwagon. Looks like Demichelis has already scored. Go Argentina. To make me feel better from that devistating loss by Nigeria, I have been listening to some funny jokes.. This joke is super funny: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3j7uSbccSc

  23. Don morley Avatar
    Don morley

    Best one I've ever seen