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  #1  
Old 02-17-2021, 03:42 PM
f14av8r's Avatar
f14av8r f14av8r is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Tampa (Wimauma actually)
Posts: 433
Default Taildragger tug

I'm looking for a powered tug for my RV-8. I usually just push my airplane in and out of the hangar but, recently, fuel has become available on my little strip. I don't like having to start after fueling to get back to the hangar. I'd like a little battery powered tug to help me cover the 100 yards between the fuel pit and the hangar. It's sod, with a little up slope from the fuel farm to my hangar. And, I'm not as young as I once was!

I obviously want something that will either attach to the tailwheel bolts or, better still, lift the tailwheel off the ground. Most of the commercial tugs I've seen are way overpriced and overpowered for my application and most can't handle a tailwheel airplane.

Ideas?
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  #2  
Old 02-17-2021, 04:53 PM
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Sam Buchanan Sam Buchanan is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: North Alabama
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Retired lawnmower or 4-wheeler will pull your RV splendidly on the turf strip. Will also cost far less and faster than the dedicated tugs.
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  #3  
Old 02-17-2021, 05:06 PM
Tracer 10 Tracer 10 is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Oregon
Posts: 141
Default Tug for your RV8

https://www.besttugs.com/?matchtype=...iAAEgJmL_D_BwE
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  #4  
Old 02-17-2021, 05:11 PM
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DanH DanH is offline
 
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Location: 08A
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What Sam said. Fire up the welder...here's your towbar. I use this one with a golf cart or my pickup.
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  #5  
Old 02-17-2021, 07:52 PM
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Sam Buchanan Sam Buchanan is offline
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Location: North Alabama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Buchanan View Post
Retired lawnmower or 4-wheeler will pull your RV splendidly on the turf strip. Will also cost far less and faster than the dedicated tugs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanH View Post
What Sam said. Fire up the welder...here's your towbar. I use this one with a golf cart or my pickup.
.
Here is my tug and how I secure the "blue Cessna" towbar to it:
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  #6  
Old 02-18-2021, 01:12 AM
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rv8ch rv8ch is offline
 
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Location: LSGY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Buchanan View Post
Here is my tug and how I secure the "blue Cessna" towbar to it:
Sam, every time you post a picture of that tug, my heart starts palpitating - that is one cool looking machine!
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  #7  
Old 02-18-2021, 06:53 AM
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uk_figs uk_figs is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Tulsa, OK
Posts: 1,069
Default Converted wheelbarrow?

I have been thinking also about a tug for my -7 and I have a PAW electric wheelbarrow that I wonder if that would be powerful enough to work if converted, it is a 24 volt motor with a 2 speed controller and geared axel. It has fwd and reverse also. My hangar ramp is slightly sloped and it can be a pain pulling the plane in. The PAW is not very expensive (around $500) and the batteries are standard 12v in series. It easily carries around 250 lbs up the hill to my back yard and will run most of the day doing that on a single charge.
Figs
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  #8  
Old 02-18-2021, 07:35 AM
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DanH DanH is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uk_figs View Post
...I have a PAW electric wheelbarrow that I wonder if that would be powerful enough to work if converted, it is a 24 volt motor with a 2 speed controller and geared axel. It has fwd and reverse also
That's a interesting drive axle. Should be easy to adapt into a custom tug frame of some sort. Wonder if it's possible to buy just the axle assembly and the hand control?

Two aspects to the capacity question, which we can call "load" and "pull". The axle will need to support a vertical load which is the sum of the tailwheel weight plus any downforce on the steering handle. The total is easily less than 200 lbs.

The ability to accelerate a 1100 lb mass from rest pretty much describes the pull question. I suspect it's not a mechanical problem because the gearbox is surely designed for load well in excess of what the motor can deliver. You can ease the motor load simply by installing wheels with a smaller diameter.

www.electricpaw.com/buyapawpaypal.html.
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  #9  
Old 02-18-2021, 07:44 AM
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Daida Daida is offline
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Hannover, Germany
Posts: 166
Default

Exact same issue here…..

i decided not to buy/build a tug.
I fill her up right after landing. i practice my hot start technique and taxi her back to the hangar. For the last 15 yards i have a tow bar.

I figured that, exempt from draining the battery a bit, no harm is done as the engine is warm anyways.
Full tanks also minimize the chance to get water in the tanks from condensation.
Performance, even at max gross weight, is sufficient at my homebase.

Maybe this works for you too, until you have your tug.

Having a tug is still cool!!!
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  #10  
Old 02-18-2021, 07:59 AM
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rocketbob rocketbob is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: 8I3
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Old mowers do well as tugs. I put a ball on my zero-turn and that works well as a tug. Plus I still mow with it.

I also have an electric John Deere E-gator I bought dead for $300. New batteries $800, new controller $500, and welded up a hitch ball on a 12" extension bolted to the front attach point.
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