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Unread 02-04-2016, 04:26 PM   #1
Getting Wild
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Brooksville, FL
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Default Tow bar

Has any body made tow bar for towing another cart. I do see them for sale but let's face it, 'I'm cheap"!
Occasionally I end up towing somebodies cart home to repair. Flat paved roads here in the village. No more than a mile on private roads.
I think I know what will work. Just curious what someone else may have come up with.
And yes, I have used a rope, but do not always like the skill level of the driver on the other end of the rope.
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Unread 02-04-2016, 04:47 PM   #2
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Default Re: Tow bar

Yeah, I rigged up a dolly. I'm currently travelling so I don't have any photos with me, but I'll describe it.

The cart doing the towing needs a conventional trailer ball.

The dolly's tongue is about 6' long. The dolly has 2 wheels that are relatively small, and only about 12" apart. There is a vertical post about 18" tall that is right above the axle of the dolly.

The way to tow a cart is to detach the dolly from the towing cart and lift the dolly tongue so it is almost vertical. The top of the post is then guided into the large hole on the front of the spring retention plate of the cart that needs to be towed. Then you pull down on the dolly's tongue to bring the post back to vertical which causes the front wheels of the cart to be towed to lift off the ground. The wheels of the dolly end up under the front end and between the wheels of the cart to be towed. You then re-attach the dolly to the trailer ball and off you go.

There definitely was some trial and error to getting the top of the post to be the right shape to be able to pickup and release the cart to be towed. There was also some additional trial and error to get the geometry right so that the tongue of the dolly is almost balanced when the tongue is back down to the level of the ball on the towing cart.

When I get home on Sunday I'll post some pictures.

TJ

PS - Since this is in a Club Car forum I assume you want to tow a CC, but for the record the dolly also will tow EZ-Gos. (It will also pull my Yamaha Drive but only because I've modified the Yamaha. :-)
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Unread 02-04-2016, 07:39 PM   #3
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Default Re: Tow bar

Thanks, TJ,
That is a concept I had not pictured. I look forward to the picture post.
I had been thinking about towing 4 wheels down, using a tow bar pinned in the hole in the front end (as you used), and a drag link between the tow bar and the arm in the front of the passenger side steering spindle.

AS for this posting in Club Car column, I really wanted to post across the board but did not see how to do it. Yes, I will most likely be pulling several brands.
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Unread 02-04-2016, 07:41 PM   #4
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Default Re: Tow bar

We have tow bars at my course. Don't know where they got them.
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Unread 02-04-2016, 07:48 PM   #5
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Default Re: Tow bar

I have seen them advertised , I think by EZGO. But priced beyond what I feel justified for what little I do.
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Unread 02-07-2016, 12:32 PM   #6
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Default Re: Tow bar

When I got home and looked through the photos on my computer I was surprised that I didn’t have any of the dolly. The only photo I found was the attached one. Next time I’m at the beach (which may not be for many weeks) I’ll get better photos. Meanwhile a little more explanation will help.

In the attached photo the black Yamaha is pulling a utility trailer, which is pulling the dolly, which is pulling the Club Car. (Side note, the CC pictured also has a trailer ball on the back of it and about 10 minutes after this photo was taken I hooked up a Hobie Cat sailboat as the “caboose” to this train then drove about a mile to the beach. I got a lot of strange looks that day.)

Since you “are cheap” (your words not mine) you are going to like this story. The only parts I had to purchase to make both the trailer and the dolly in this photo were the small wheels for the dolly and some galvanized carriage bolts.

I started with a small tilt trailer that used to hold a Laser sailboat. I took apart the boat trailer at the hinge point. The back half of the boat trailer was used to make the utility trailer in the photo.

The tongue of the boat trailer was a 3” square steel tube. I cut the tube and lengthened it by sandwiching the pieces with two pieces of 2x6 lumber (using the purchased carriage bolts ).

Another side note. The CC in the photo is the same cart that is pictured in my avatar. When I purchased that cart it had a homemade spindle lift on it. The lift wasn’t well designed and the first thing I did was put the cart back to stock height. I cut the axles off the bogus spindles and those were welded onto the steel tube so I could put the small wheels onto the back half of the dolly. The track width of the dolly is about 12 inches.

Next I had to make the vertical post onto which the cart that gets towed sits upon. I welded one of the kingpins from the abandoned CC front end onto the top of the tower that used to hold the winch on the boat trailer. See attached diagram.

Like I said in the earlier post there was a lot of trial an error required to get the geometry right. Specifically the shape of the top of the pin had to be ground down to form a point, and the point had to be long enough to get a purchase on the spring plate when lifting, but had to be short enough so that once the pin was vertical it didn’t stick up too high through the spring plate. If the pin sticks up too much then when you try to lower the cart back to the ground the top of the pin gets stuck on the top of the trailing edge of the hole in the spring plate. (This probably sounds confusing written here as text, but it is clearly obvious what I mean when you try to lower a cart with the pin being too long.) So the way I adjusted the length of the pin was as follows: I took one of the spindles from which I had cut off the axle and I cut off the steering arm as well. I then slid what little remained of the spindle onto the kingpin. I then experimented by adding fender washers one at a time until the pin was as long as it could be without hindering lowering the cart.

It sounds like your use case is much like mine. I only ever tow on paved roads and usually less than a mile or 2. At first I was a little nervous because the cart being towed seems precariously placed on top of a stack of fender washers with only a little of the little pin sticking up through the spring plate, but after a few years and dozens of miles of towing, I’m now fully confident that I can go 20 MPH around any turns or over any potholes without any problems.

The only problem I’ve ever had is when I forgot the dolly was attached to my cart and I backed up and jackknifed it. When there isn’t a cart on the dolly you can’t see it from the drivers seat. When I did that I bent the square tube where the axles are welded on. You can see in the photo that the dolly has some severe negative camber, but it still works.

TJ

PS - All the trial and error for proper fitment was to make it so I could easily tow carts by simply using the dolly as a lever. If you are willing to carry a jack with you then the geometry of the dolly isn't so critical. You simply jack up the cart to be towed, place the dolly such that the pin is below the hole in the spring plate and then lower the cart onto the pin. When you want to remove the cart just jack it up, pull the dolly out and then lower the jack.

PPS - I just noticed that at the time the attached photo was taken the CC was frequently used to launch/retrieve boats so I had a trailer ball mounted on the front of the CC. In the attached photo the trailer ball was removed and the pin of the dolly was actually inserted into the hole in the bracket that usually held the trailer ball. When towing by putting the pin into the spring plate the wheels of the dolly will be further under the cart and the front wheels of the cart being towed will be much higher off the ground. Like I said, I'll get more photos when I can.
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File Type: jpg diagram.jpg (163.0 KB, 0 views)
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Unread 02-07-2016, 07:54 PM   #7
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Default Re: Tow bar

Thanks for the pics and the commentary.

This gives me an angle that might work for me. I'll start looking to see what I have on hand that can lend to the project. {Like I said "cheap"}
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Unread 02-21-2016, 07:44 PM   #8
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Default Re: Tow bar

I made a quick trip to the beach and snapped a few photos while I was there. Being the dumbass that I am I forgot to check the size of the wheels. That's probably not real important here because I used what I had lying around and I expect you will do the same.

Lemme know if you have any questions.

TJ
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Unread 02-21-2016, 07:48 PM   #9
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Default Re: Tow bar

If Revolution Golf Cars started building them would you guys buy them? I've had a few people ask. There are factory ones available, but I think they can be made for much less.
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Unread 02-21-2016, 08:06 PM   #10
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Default Re: Tow bar

If mine ever breaks, gets lost, gets stolen, whatever, I would absolutely buy one. I get a lot of use out of it. Come to think of it, I might buy one anyway. I wouldn't mind having one that is a little less rednecky.

TJ
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