I've been on one end or the other of many tow ropes.

I have always offered (usually insisted) to fill the tanks of the good samaritans who have helped me.

I have been offered everything from nothing to free dinners at nice restaurants.

I have towed very "colorful" characters. I have been towed by very "colorful" characters.

Most recently (last fall) I ran out of gas in my 311 Formula 3/4 mile from the gas dock. A man, his wife, and two daughters came by in a 14' Astroglas tri-hull bass boat with a 45horse Merc outboard. They towed me to the gas dock and refused payment. Also refused gas since they had full tanks (I guess the little boat runs a month on a 6-gallon tank of premix).