towing Amphi

dougn200

New Member
Now that gas is 4 dollars a gallon the only logical thing to do is buy a motor home which i did. My question is towing amphi Larry has sent me all kinds of neat diagrams about tow bars for flat towing (thanks Larry) but what does the group think about :

Tow Dolly's

Should amphi go on front ways or back ways?

What do we do with the tires is we back it on?

thanks
Doug

Viva sabula
 

sublimate

New Member
IMHO, the best way to tow, by far, is on a trailer.

The only advantages to flat towing are that it's a little easier to load up and there's no trailer/dolly to store. But towing with a dolly does away with both of these advantages.

Both flat and dolly towing have the major disadvantages of:
1. You can't back up the RV with the car attached behind
2. It's harder on your amphicar.
 
S

SplitPersonality

Guest
Doug ( Parsons- ? )

We have towed ours all over utilizing a tow dolly and I know of others who
have also. We initially towed it home from Pennsylvania in 1997 and have towed
it to Celina 2x and a number of other places. We have always towed it
backwards to avoid unnecessary or possible problems involving the drive shafts (that
is my reasoning) I know that Larry does not like or approve of Tow Dollies
and has successfully towed his all 4 on the ground all over the country. We
also flat tow 4 on the ground with our tow car normally behind our RV when
not towing the Amphicar.

With a tow dolly, we bungee the steering wheel ( actually double bungees
just for security ) with the bungees going down around the 2 pedals. I wrap a
towel around the bottom part of the steering wheel and then run the bungees over
that, so as not to wear or damage the steering wheel. The bungee cords are
not overly tight which allows some flexibility for the steering wheel. The
only other very important detail is that the axles of the Amphicar ( when towed
backwards, this is then the rear axles ) need to be slightly ahead of the
tow dolly axle. This is easily enough accomplished ( at least with our dolly )
by having welded angle iron as stops on the ramps assuring that the Amphi
wheels must stay in place if properly strapped down, using the air pressure in
the tires, of course, as the thing which you compress against when tightening
down the straps. Then, the tow dolly tongue needs to be at a height with the
tow ball from the ground properly located. You can easily verify when you
are on level ground that the Amphi Axles are slighly ahead of the Dolly axle.
This then avoids swaying. If the ball is too high, the tongue will be higher
and the Amphi axles will NOT be ahead of the dolly axle. On two occasions, I
was not thinking when I stuck the "stinger" (ball holder) into the hitch, and
as I carry 2 different stingers, ( a straight one with the ball higher up
for a small trailer that I sometimes tow ), I put the straight one in which
has the ball about 3 inches higher than the drop stinger. The result, was that
the Amphi (and the dolly) were subject to swaying which could become
dangerous. I was really puzzled and realized I had stuck the wrong stinger in.
However, if the Amphi axle to Dolly axle relationship is as described, I have
never had any sway problem. We generally travel at 65 mph. Vic



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LSolheim

Member
Despite being a practitioner of 'flat towing', trailer towing is certainly
the best way to protect the Amphicar investment (an enclosed trailer is then
the ultimate), but at the loss of many smiles and opportunities for
interface with the public who are absolutely fascinated by our 'obsession'.
It also complicates the use of the car while en-route for swimming, errands,
or simply tourist-ing.



With that in mind, I can't think of an advantage of a tow dolly. Backward
towing is illegal is several states and puts a high load on the Amphicar's
less-than-substantial front end. Forward mounting on the dolly cancels any
benefits of wear protection for the transmission. You cannot backup in
either case and must unhook AND unload at many campgrounds, particularly
public facilities where one might plan to swim the car. A tow dolly can be
stowed partially under the tow vehicle, but we have been to many campgrounds
where there is simply no place (or no convenient place) to drop a trailer.

In addition to adding some support structure to Amphi's front end, I have
run a separate circuit for independent negative-ground tow lighting
(camouflaged within the stock rear reflectors), installed a (easily
removable) motorhome-activated <http://www.tow-v-aire.com/> 'toad' braking
system, and added 'Protect-a-Tow <http://protectatow.tripod.com/photos.htm>
', a horizontal fabric between the motorhome and car to reduce thrown road
debris . To eliminate any inclination of sway, after trying and discarding
bungee cords over the steering wheel, I installed a vintage VW steering
stabilizer between the starboard tie rod and steering stop. Totally
un-noticeable through the steering wheel when driving, it completely
eliminates front end shimmy.

Downside: certainly there is transmission wear, although after 70K+ miles I
don't notice any louder whine or other symptoms (remember to put her into
neutral !). Interestingly, the one transmission problem we have had was a
bearing/top hat failure on the water transmission side while swimming the
Crooked River in Oregon. Also there are a few a few rock chips in the paint
that most likely would not be there if she was on (or in) a trailer.

My biggest concern has been other drivers who slow to look and take
pictures, inevitably swerving a bit toward the object at which they are
looking (Amphi). On the positive side, even though driving a "evil"
motorhome, when wanting to change lanes people actually make room and allow
me to move over when they see Amphi.

The many, many smiles; thumb's up from fellow motorists; and conversations in parking lots and
gas stations: PRICELESS!



--Larry Solheim









From: sublimate [mailto:]
Sent: Sunday, May 18, 2008 5:51 AM
To: lrsnpark@gmail.com
Subject: RE: [General Amphicar Discussion-t-20011] Re: towing Amphi



IMHO, the best way to tow, by far, is on a trailer.

The only advantages to flat towing are that it's a little easier to load up
and there's no trailer/dolly to store. But towing with a dolly does away
with both of these advantages.

Both flat and dolly towing have the major disadvantages of:
1. You can't back up the RV with the car attached behind
2. It's harder on your amphicar.
 
I would get a camper that opens in the back and you drive the Amphi in. After you remove it,*I believe the camper is reconfigured into a room where the car was stored.
Larry*


----- Original Message ----
From: dougn200 <>
To: larrydepasquale@yahoo.com
Sent: Sunday, May 18, 2008 2:15:06 AM
Subject: [General Amphicar Discussion-t-20011] towing Amphi


Now that gas is 4 dollars a gallon the only logical thing to do is buy a motor home which i did. My question is towing amphi Larry has sent me all kinds of neat diagrams about tow bars for flat towing (thanks Larry) but what does the group think about :

Tow Dolly's

Should amphi go on front ways or back ways?

What do we do with the tires is we back it on?

thanks
Doug

Viva sabula
 

dougn200

New Member
Thanks for the input

Vic

When you say put the axles in front of the dolly are you saying to put oveer the amphi axle towards the motor home or away from the trailer wheels in the back away from the motor home.

Larry S have you had much trouble or noticed much trouble in campgrounds with trailers such as room etc. the problem I have is the length I have a 24 foot enclosed trailer but that makes my rig over 70+ feet so I am looking for the shortest way to do this .

Larry Di

Where were you saturday I was already to give rides and no one was there:D
 
S

SplitPersonality

Guest
Doug

The axle of the Amphicar needs to be towards the motor home or the twoing
vehicle - only by an inch or so farther forward of the Dolly axle.. We have
towed the Amphicar with an SUV ( Mercury Mountaineer = Explorer ) and with our
Chrysler sedan many miles such as home from Pennsylvania and to Lakeland for
the Lake Mirror classic 3 times which is about 100 miles each way, and
otherwise with the motor home. With the motor home and its significantly greater
mass, swaying is probably not much of a worry as it would be difficult to get the
motor home to sway in concert with the Amphicar and dolly. However, behind
an SUV or passenger car, if it sways, both vehicles ( i.e. - the tow vehicle
and the dolly-Amphi combination) are both involved in any swaying.

The other obvious advantage of the tow dolly is the ease of storing it vs a
longer trailer. In our case, we have a tow dolly which of a design I have
seldom seen other than ours whereby the ramps fold upwards when not in use. To
store it, you lift the tongue up and the whole dolly sits on its ramps
occupying only a about a 4 by 8 foot space. That brings up one other item which
is the tow dolly width. If you want a tow Dolly which can tow just about
anything, then the standard ones sold are usually 8-1/2 feet wide. However, ours
is only 8 feet wide, so that we are not tending to run up over curbs etc.
when towing it empty. Just the same, we have hauled full sized vehicles such as
a 48 Nash Ambassador and our 48 Woodie wagon many miles with it and both of
them are wide and weight 3500-4000 pounds. The one significant thing which you
can do with a normal trailer and which cannot be done with the dolly when it
has a car on it is to back up more than 6 or 8 feet or so. I have
frequently backed it up straight as much as 10 feet. In fact, last year, we pulled
into nearly empty rest stop and parked so as not to block anyone and allowed
room for us to pull out forward. A smart alec young fellow came while we were
inside and parked in the normal slot at right angles close to our motor home
front end intentionally to block us in, presumably because we were taking up
half a dozen regular parking slots - all this when the whole lot was
essentially empty. He was around his car when we came out. I looked at the situation,
then just backed straight up about 8 feet and pulled out around him. I have
no doubt he was both surprised and disappointed !

The last item reminds me of something humorous that happened about 15 years
ago. I was driving our Motor Home with nothing in tow and had just exited the
Insterstate on the off ramp and half way up, I found a family in a station
wagon which was towing a small trailer which had stalled half way up the ramp.
He has eased it back off the road, but was almost jack knifed and in a bit of
a pickle. I stopped ahead of him, then backed up to 20 feet or so from him
and grabbed a rope I had on board. I went back spoke to him a moment and he
was a very nice man with his family with him and then put the rope around his
bumper and got in the RV to pull him up. As luck would have it, either the
bumper cut the rope or the rope was too light, or whatever the situation was,
the rope snapped. I then went and got a chain, as I generally am well
prepared. At this time, a smart alecky young cop showed up and as I was about to
attach the chain. He told me he had already called a tow truck and if I put on
that chain, he'd arrest me ! Both I and the other driver, who was probably
in his 50s tried to reason with him, but I had to forget the chain. The cop,
of course, was looking forward to the payback he'd get from the tow truck
people. Then I had an idea. I also carried an extra battery and cables, so I
went and grabbed that and came back, while the cop watched. Apparently he
couldn't think of any thing he could do with this new development. I hooked up the
jumper cables, the station wagon started right up, I detached and end of
story. The fellow and I never saw each other again and one dumb kid cop was
unhappy for certain. Vic



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favorites at AOL Food.
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R

Ron Green

Guest
Quote: "the problem I have is the length I have a 24 foot enclosed trailer but that makes my rig over 70+ feet".

I too have a 24' enclosed trailer and all is over 48' long. With the price of amphi's and parts going up along with crime I feel more comfortable locking amphi up when traveling. Less wear and tear and stone chips. Most antique auto policies in the fine print require your vehicle not be left out overnight, but be in a enclosed locked structure of some sort.

Don't depend on your agent verbally saying it is ok to leave amphi unattended and all will be covered. When it comes down to the insurance company having to do a big pay out the agents boss will go by what is in the policy. Read it carefully.
 

sublimate

New Member
My amphi fits in my 14' enclosed trailer. It's tight, but it tows easily.
The roof is less than 7' so it also fits nicely in my garage. But that's a tight fit as well.
 

Propcar50

Member
Doug,
I used to have a tow dolly and I experienced the horror of having my Amphi occilate wildly behind me. If you try a dolly, check that your alignment is spot on, and there is no play in your rear axles. Personally, I would not recommend it.

Randy
Blue '67
Gaithersburg, MD

-------------- Original message --------------
From: dougn200 <>

Now that gas is 4 dollars a gallon the only logical thing to do is buy a motor home which i did. My question is towing amphi Larry has sent me all kinds of neat diagrams about tow bars for flat towing (thanks Larry) but what does the group think about :

Tow Dolly's

Should amphi go on front ways or back ways?

What do we do with the tires is we back it on?

thanks
Doug

Viva sabula
 
Doug, Mike tried to get a hold of you, it looked like a storm, so I canceled the Amphi rides for the Delorean Club. They were disappointed that we didn't give them a ride in the lake, but maybe next year.*
Larry*


----- Original Message ----
From: dougn200 <>
To: larrydepasquale@yahoo.com
Sent: Sunday, May 18, 2008 11:54:58 PM
Subject: RE: [General Amphicar Discussion-t-20011] Re: towing Amphi


Thanks for the input

Vic

When you say put the axles in front of the dolly are you saying to put oveer the amphi axle towards the motor home or away from the trailer wheels in the back away from the motor home.

Larry S have you had much trouble or noticed much trouble in campgrounds with trailers such as room etc. the problem I have is the length I have a 24 foot enclosed trailer but that makes my rig over 70+ feet so I am looking for the shortest way to do this .

Larry Di

Where were you saturday I was already to give rides and no one was there
 

Canadian four amphs

Amphicar Expert
As Ron Green say check your Insurance!..
Mine say when traveling threw Georgia. never leave Amphi unatended. they have had many collector cars stolden from there. outa sight is the best policy.
but yes you miss the lookers... and why else do we have such a car.. I even had a tape on a remote that said. attention please.. this car is backing up. I would pust it to say only..( attention please )then stop it.. but it got wet and died..
I would never flat tow or dolly tow a Amphicar.. they are too valuable for that anymore.. I have both a open and a closed 4 wheel trailer and use as per weather and trip distance .
GORD.
 
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