View original topic: I have a trailer ball/hitch, but want to push-start sometime Page: 1, 2  Next
pinetreeporsche Tue Dec 02, 2014 7:27 pm

The ball also means I can't do a bumper-contact when parallel parking in a tight space for fear of damaging the car behind. Anyone have a 'solution' to this? If so, PLEASE POST PHOTOS.
Here are my thoughts: The ball protrudes about 4 inches; I'd like to 'pad' out much of the length of the bumper with wood, after taking off the rubber strip. Like take good quality 1/2 or 5/8 inch hardwood slats, about four inches wide, and laminate them about 4 inches thick--screwed and glued together to maintain the bumper's curvature even without being in contact with the bumper itself. The inner side would have relief holes where the current bumper mount bolts are. The whole uber-bumper would be attached through new holes-- maybe six in all, through new 3/8 holes, using large diameter washers under these new mounting bolt-- these slightly recessed and using round-head bolts. If built out just farther than the ball hitch, it should allow parking without damaging the car behind, and you could again get a rolling jump-start (although some newer cars shouldn't be used to push anything). Making up the laminate sandwich would be a bit of a hassle; I'd be eager to hear a simpler solution.

dhaavers Tue Dec 02, 2014 7:32 pm

pinetreeporsche wrote: I'd be eager to hear a simpler solution...
You could spend the same money and less time just putting in a new starter...???

0to60in6min Tue Dec 02, 2014 8:02 pm

yup... fix that starter and no bump start...

or get a Burley style trailer hitch... it's mounted flush with the bumper..

dobryan Tue Dec 02, 2014 8:39 pm

0to60in6min wrote:
or get a Burley style trailer hitch... it's mounted flush with the bumper..


alaskadan Wed Dec 03, 2014 7:31 am

Whats with this parking by feel? I be a little miffed if i saw someone doing that to my rig.

danfromsyr Wed Dec 03, 2014 7:36 am

it's the taught norm for east coast drivers.. streets are tight and bumpers are to bump right?

I don't understand it either but I work on a college campus with alot of CT,MA,NJ,LI,NYC students just got their new carrs last year.. many can't see over the hoods and less know where their corners are.

alaskadan Wed Dec 03, 2014 8:19 am

I can only imagine all the car alarms :shock:

alaskadan Wed Dec 03, 2014 8:26 am

Ok in an effort to save your neighbors bumpers..... you might try going to a marine supply store and look at dock bumpers. They have ones that mount to the sides of a dock in your boat slip. A few colors available, bolts on through tabs on ends, sure ive seen them 3 to 4 inches tall\thick you could mount one either side of your hitch. Less work and would actually offer some cushion vs laminated hardwood.

Abscate Wed Dec 03, 2014 8:41 am

alaskadan wrote: I can only imagine all the car alarms :shock:

It's upstate NY. We don't have car alarms.


danfromsyr Wed Dec 03, 2014 8:59 am

hmm now where have I seen dock bumpers on a vanagon before?

Randy in Maine Wed Dec 03, 2014 9:03 am

Just about everyone that lives in metro Boston has no idea how to parallel park a car. Of course they can still get a driver's license at Sears. :lol:

Where I learned how to drive it was part of th edriver's test.

Everyone down there has these....

BlueGrasser Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:13 am

alaskadan wrote: Whats with this parking by feel? I be a little miffed if i saw someone doing that to my rig.

x2! :evil:

quickjetta2 Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:35 am

You should mount a receiver hitch on the van and keep your hitch/ with ball under the back seat of the van unless your towing. Having a permanent ball on the back of your van is the European way of doing it. I believe its not legal to have the receiver with ball in your hitch unless your actually towing, even though people do it all the time. Also you should never bump start a Vanagon, it puts too much strain on the trans case and can break the nose, this mainly applies to Syncros but Im sure it could happen on a 2wd too. Hope this helps!

djkeev Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:38 am

Parking by touch?!

Don't go blaming Jersey for that one!

That's a NYC make a parking space bigger trick!

If you don't know where the ends of your vehicle are...... Get out of the drivers seat and step away from the vehicle.........


PDXWesty Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:42 am

It's questions like that that keep the internet interesting...

pinetreeporsche Wed Dec 03, 2014 8:31 pm

Despite the critiques, two items require comment: 1) I've had 7 vans since a Splitty over 40 years ago-- that one a 40-horse I drove from Boston to Guatemala and back, in June-July yet! Once in a while it's useful to be able to get a push-- a broken wire, dead battery (northern winter), etc. And I give them to others too, as often as I've gotten them, most recently in early October. 2) And about the parking: in vans w/o a ball, or with my other cars, I often enough get into spaces less than a foot longer than my car. Can't do that without touching the bumpers fore or aft; it's a useful skill in a big city. And I haven't set off anyone's alarms, so far.
But thanks to those who had the useful suggestions-- I'll consult my Vanagon supplier(s), maybe change the hitch. -pinetree

djkeev Thu Dec 04, 2014 4:31 pm


You actually think that it's normal and OK to park by touch !!!!!


I pray that I never park where you want to park!

BTW..... It's NOT NORMAL..........

It's crude, rude and obnoxious..... And awfully "city" like!


?Waldo? Thu Dec 04, 2014 5:41 pm


I think that parking your vehicle by touch is risky business regardless of how 'skilled' you are. I think quite a few individuals that you might park next to, find it exactly as acceptable as parking their fist next to your face... by touch. At some point, if you continue such abominably crude, rude and disrespectful behavior, I have no doubt that you will eventually meet one of those people. Good luck when that happens... Instead of modifying your van, I'd recommend putting your efforts into modifying your behavior.

raoul mitgong Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:31 pm

Quote: The ball also means I can't do a bumper-contact when parallel parking in a tight space

Get some of those big foam back rollers, duct tape them onto your bumpers, and while you're at it, get a t-shirt and some bumper stickers that say "I'm a dick" on them to save us some time.

I am laughing so f'in hard at this thread... thank you, that wa s so good, so good. Pretzels every where. So good.


PDXWesty Fri Dec 05, 2014 9:31 am

My laugh came at the fact there seems to be a regular need to push start the van. So much so that a custom wood laminated bumper is in the works. As suggested, seems a backwards fix for a relitively easy problem. The hidden receiver hitch looks like the best soluition really.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group