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Dog Lead Tow-Rope

tow a car, using the same mechanism as a retractable dog lead
  (+6, -1)
(+6, -1)
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Modern retractable dog leads have a system that allows the dog to travel away from its owner, but to be reeled in at any time, as the slack is taken up again using the ratchet. (Dog owners will understand)

It is this system which has now been transposed to the humble tow-rope, which enables one vehicle to drag another along the road.

Those who have been the unfortunate recipients of being in the towed car (the towee?) will know of the terror that can result from a rope that is either too long (corners become a nightmare) or too short (stopping and starting bring damaging jerks, and the constant threat of rear-ending the car in front)

The Dog Lead Tow-Rope allows the slack rope to be taken up or released, as seen to be appropriate by the driver of the towee car. A simple on/off switch on a remote, controls the ratchet, and slack rope is stored in a protected roll, in exactly the same way as the equivalent retractable dog-lead.

xenzag, Oct 16 2010

[link]






       Useful if your car is a dog, and breaks down regularly.
infidel, Oct 16 2010
  

       Never heard that towing a car was illegal? What law would that be then - thou shalt not tow?
xenzag, Oct 16 2010
  

       It might be illegal, but it happens all the time around here.   

       I don't see how this ratchet idea will keep you from rear-ending the tower in the event of a sudden stop.
Boomershine, Oct 17 2010
  

       [21Q] Ok, suppose [xenzag] is towing on private property (there are miles of this out here in Montana). No legal issue, but I'd still be worried about a rear-end collision.
Boomershine, Oct 17 2010
  

       Yep. Totally illegal here without a tow-bar. (+)   

       Well I live in the UK and it's totally legal here. I know that in the colonies things are very different.   

       //I don't see how this ratchet idea will keep you from rear-ending the tower in the event of a sudden stop// It does that because you will have let a lot of slack out when going at a decent speed, making for a longer gap between you and the car in front.   

       At low speeds you can creep forward and the ratchet will take up the slack, so that it's not lying on the road, waiting for you to drive over it. As you pick up speed again, you can gradually release more rope.
xenzag, Oct 17 2010
  

       It will be legal everywhere, on International Dangerous Day.
infidel, Oct 17 2010
  

       //It does that because you will have let a lot of slack out when going at a decent speed//   

       Ok, [xenzag], thanks. So, the tow-rope itself doesn't solve the rear-ending problem. That still requires alertness and action on the towee's part. I'm fine with that, just wanted to be clear.   

       I don't think this tow rope is as good as a rigid bar, but it helps. Have a bun. [+]
Boomershine, Oct 17 2010
  

       I have towed my share of cars (in my mis-spent youth) and the trick is getting the rear car driver to apply just enough braking (when slowing down or stopping) to avoid a collision with the front car. In fact, to work really smoothly the rear car guy should do ALL the braking. In a perfect world. I was never in a perfect world. All of the cars we towed in this fashion did make it where they were going without damage, but this is nerve wracking exercise. Cops didn't really care as long as both cars were licensed and you weren't a nuisance on a public roadway.   

       And, I agree that the chain and/or rope dragging the ground is another thing you absolutely have to worry about, and your invention handles that nicely.   

       But, the braking problem remains a big issue, and the reason most people opt for tow bars or car trailers. As you say, //stopping and starting bring damaging jerks, and the constant threat of rear-ending the car in front// --- How do you handle the braking?   

       ***EDIT: OK, I see your plan is to make the tow rope WAY long, giving the rear car guy a chance to respond in braking. I withdraw my question! Bun [+]
Grogster, Oct 17 2010
  

       [+] poor man's winch.
FlyingToaster, Oct 17 2010
  

       //poor man's winch.//   

       Without that complicated mechanical power advantage. Still got my bun.
Boomershine, Oct 17 2010
  
      
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