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GoWesty trailer hitch
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ga3741
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:47 pm    Post subject: GoWesty trailer hitch Reply with quote

has anyone installed the go westy trailer hitch on their rig. If so what do you think of it as far as being stout enough to haul precious cargo down the road and how difficult was it to install.

On a side note what would you say the weight limit for the roof would be before the fiberglass starts creaking and cracking under the load. Is it sturdy enough for a person to get up there to secure gear to racks or no?
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Had the go westy hitch for a few years. I Tow boats, cargo trailers, campers, towbared beetles, etc... Does a fine job, one of the better units for the money and the best unit if you are comparing it to any other tow hook mounted hitch. Strongest setup is one that replaces the bumper mounts entirely (like a westfalia hitch) I think Gary Lee is about the only one that makes anything like that anymore???

Never tried walking on the roof, never would either, one skylight is enough for me Very Happy
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PDXWesty
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just installed the GoWesty receiver hitch on a friends van. It was WAY more stout than I anticipated and the mounting was very secure. I think you could put quite a bit of weight on it and not worry. It has a center strap that bolts back to the center mount. He installed a 4 bike fold down rack into it.

I've also had quite a bit of weight on the top. Check my gallery for pictures. I distribute the weight evenly with three Yakima bars and wide body mounts. I would say I've easily placed 300-400 pounds up there with no problems. The top does not bounce as others have suggested. I often climb right up there and walk around to secure things. You just have to watch where you step and keep your weight mostly at the edges. It's a lot more versitile than you might think. I'm not afraid to do it and I have had no damage to my top whatsoever. I would only put cargo on a rack though, never directly on the top. I have a picture with me up there too but I can't find it. When I do I'll post it. Good luck!


Last edited by PDXWesty on Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ga3741
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks PDX. I figured if you stayed on the edges it would be strong enough but I just thought Id check before I put my foot through the fiberglass. Ive done a lot of glass work on boats but I didn't want to have to use that skill on my van. I think Im going to give the go westy hitch a try. Im going to be towing a small racing sailboat that weights about 1500 lbs total with trailer. Hopefully this will do the trick.
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j_dirge
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PDXWesty wrote:


I've also had quite a bit of weight on the top. Check my gallery for pictures. I distribute the weight evenly with three Yakima bars and wide body mounts. I would say I've easily placed 300-400 pounds up there with no problems. The top does not bounce as others have suggested. I often climb right up there and walk around to secure things. You just have to watch where you step and keep your weight mostly at the edges. It's a lot more versitile than you might think. I'm not afraid to do it and I have had no damage to my top whatsoever. I would only put cargo on a rack though, never directly on the top. I have a picture with me up there too but I can't find it. When I do I'll post it. Good luck!

Check the paint along the van top where the weatherstripping of the pop top meets... (top open)
You might see wear within a couple hundred miles. Thats from the top moving against the sheet metal... slowly rubbing the paint away.

If you are going to go this route with two or three Yakimas mounted on top direct, I'd recommend some teflon tape or similar at points where the top shows signs of rubbing the paint away. Rust will follow.
The wear will be much worse with the aftermarket weather stripping.

I will take pictures of the wear on my van next time I have it out and popped.

(edited to add)
check the little screws that hold done the pop bar lifting struts to the van body. These will work loose over time, allowing the top to move even more.
I have also taken to using small velcro straps sinched around the strut arms to keep them closed down tight. This has helped with movement in crosswinds. (I have had the top lifted, peeled up *just* enough by a gust to actually pull out some of the canvas.. had to pull over and repack it before continuing on... I estimate the gusts were to 35 that day.. the driving really sucked through that stretch)


Have used and continue to use the older clunky style GoWesty hitch with tongue weights up to 350lbs. They have since cleaned up the design and it looks cleaner... a little less "backyard welder".
(350lbs is a hell of a lot BTW.. too much for the stock Vanagon suspension)

Use the additional stiffening bar for a bit more structure back there.

The hitch itself is VERY robust.. the overall structure however puts a
bigtime lever to the rear suspension.

I'd recommend airbags minimum if hauling with a tongue weight of more than 100lbs.
I'm thinking about coil over shocks in addition to the airbags.

There are threads on this subject that go into greater detail, with pics of various hauling being done.


Last edited by j_dirge on Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:16 pm; edited 3 times in total
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sc-surfer
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I carry a toy box full time with gear in it, often add 2 bikes and/or several surfboards. No excessive movement or wear so far...and still on the OEM poptop seal. I think a big factor is keeping dirt and grime out of the seal. I clean and wax that area with 3-4 coats of wax every spring and as needed. YMMV. As for actually walking around up there, my top will flex in the center with my 175 lb. carcass on it but seems fine at the edges.
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walkingupstream
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 7:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Go westy trailer hitch Reply with quote

Anyone using a GoWesty hitch WITHOUT using the center mounting bracket (to the engine mount)?

I have a Subie conversion, and the oilpan as well as the KEP mount won't work with the GoWesty center mount.

I want to use my swing down Swagman 3 bike hitch mount bike rack with it to haul 3 bikes (60-80lbs.).

Can the GoWesty handle it just using the twp tow hooks?

Thanks-
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gonefishen
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 8:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Go westy trailer hitch Reply with quote

i just installed that hitch with out the center bar. The hitch looks beefier then most others I've seen. I would say not a problem with 80lbs. I stood on mine.
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kamzcab86
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 8:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Go westy trailer hitch Reply with quote

walkingupstream wrote:
Anyone using a GoWesty hitch WITHOUT using the center mounting bracket (to the engine mount)?

I want to use my swing down Swagman 3 bike hitch mount bike rack with it to haul 3 bikes (60-80lbs.).

Can the GoWesty handle it just using the twp tow hooks?


It can handle it, but I don't recommend it 'cuz been-there-done-that with mine: My loaded 4-bike Thule rack swayed too much for my liking. Installed the center bracket and it's a hell of a lot more sturdy than without it.
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j_dirge
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Go westy trailer hitch Reply with quote

kamzcab86 wrote:
walkingupstream wrote:
Anyone using a GoWesty hitch WITHOUT using the center mounting bracket (to the engine mount)?

I want to use my swing down Swagman 3 bike hitch mount bike rack with it to haul 3 bikes (60-80lbs.).

Can the GoWesty handle it just using the twp tow hooks?


It can handle it, but I don't recommend it 'cuz been-there-done-that with mine: My loaded 4-bike Thule rack swayed too much for my liking. Installed the center bracket and it's a hell of a lot more sturdy than without it.

^^^ This ^^^

I used and abused a GW hitch for years.. (as noted above in a very old post) And I have loaded up 4 heavy bicycles on a rack on it.

The bolts that hold the "hitch" cross bar to the tow loops are a compromise design.. An attempt to make something that can simply "bolt on" and not require any fab or mod skills to make work.. Which is fine, but it results in a compromise end result, too.
If you study the GW hitch installed, a bit, you will see that the bolts thru the two loops are being asked to hold a tortional load... which is kinda "weird"

Will it hold up? Yes.
Very likely it will work... maybe even for years.. Mine did.

But for about $200 more than what GW sells their's for, you can buy the real deal from RMW or Burley Motorsports.. a hitch that bolts onto the frame, proper... and on THOSE two hitch recievers.. you can hang all kinds of stuff. The limit becomes the Vanagon suspension and braking capacity.

If you do choose to got his route..
At some point you'll look at the GW hitch you installed and ask yourself.. "Why did I not do it right the first time?"
I know I did.. and I pretty much gave my GW hitch away for the price of shipping it.
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walkingupstream
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Go westy trailer hitch Reply with quote

kamzcab86 wrote:
walkingupstream wrote:
Anyone using a GoWesty hitch WITHOUT using the center mounting bracket (to the engine mount)?

I want to use my swing down Swagman 3 bike hitch mount bike rack with it to haul 3 bikes (60-80lbs.).

Can the GoWesty handle it just using the twp tow hooks?


It can handle it, but I don't recommend it 'cuz been-there-done-that with mine: My loaded 4-bike Thule rack swayed too much for my liking. Installed the center bracket and it's a hell of a lot more sturdy than without it.


Have you tried using some kind of straps from the rack itself back down to the tow hooks to stabilize the rack (and triangulate the forces away from the center)?

Think it might stabilize if you put some kind of hook up top, on the popup?
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Go westy trailer hitch Reply with quote

walkingupstream wrote:
Anyone using a GoWesty hitch WITHOUT using the center mounting bracket (to the engine mount)?

I have a Subie conversion, and the oilpan as well as the KEP mount won't work with the GoWesty center mount.

I want to use my swing down Swagman 3 bike hitch mount bike rack with it to haul 3 bikes (60-80lbs.).

Can the GoWesty handle it just using the twp tow hooks?

Thanks-


I was faced with the same decision. I had used the GW hitch to carry bikes for a few years (it worked great!) but when I swapped the wbx for a Bostig I sold the GW hitch on CL and bought RMW bumpers. There's no way I'd trust the tow loops alone for a bike rack. It may work but I'm guessing the result would range from unstable at best to downright dangerous at worst. Do you really want to risk the tow loop fatiguing and dropping your bikes into the path of a following motorcyclist who gets injured for life because you wanted to save $250? (Worse case scenario, but something I think about.)
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walkingupstream
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Go westy trailer hitch Reply with quote

jimf909 wrote:
walkingupstream wrote:
Anyone using a GoWesty hitch WITHOUT using the center mounting bracket (to the engine mount)?

I have a Subie conversion, and the oilpan as well as the KEP mount won't work with the GoWesty center mount.

I want to use my swing down Swagman 3 bike hitch mount bike rack with it to haul 3 bikes (60-80lbs.).

Can the GoWesty handle it just using the twp tow hooks?

Thanks-


I was faced with the same decision. I had used the GW hitch to carry bikes for a few years (it worked great!) but when I swapped the wbx for a Bostig I sold the GW hitch on CL and bought RMW bumpers. There's no way I'd trust the tow loops alone for a bike rack. It may work but I'm guessing the result would range from unstable at best to downright dangerous at worst. Do you really want to risk the tow loop fatiguing and dropping your bikes into the path of a following motorcyclist who gets injured for life because you wanted to save $250? (Worse case scenario, but something I think about.)


Eh- that's what's insurance is for...

No, that's a tasteless joke. You're right; it's something to think about.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:39 pm    Post subject: Re: GoWesty trailer hitch Reply with quote

Tasteless...but funny.
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kamzcab86
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:16 am    Post subject: Re: Go westy trailer hitch Reply with quote

walkingupstream wrote:
kamzcab86 wrote:
It can handle it, but I don't recommend it 'cuz been-there-done-that with mine: My loaded 4-bike Thule rack swayed too much for my liking. Installed the center bracket and it's a hell of a lot more sturdy than without it.


Have you tried using some kind of straps from the rack itself back down to the tow hooks to stabilize the rack (and triangulate the forces away from the center)?

Think it might stabilize if you put some kind of hook up top, on the popup?


Stabilizing straps aren't needed with mine because, as said, I did install the center support bracket for the hitch after about a year without it.

Running straps around the bumper and/or up to the hatch would certainly add a bit of stabilization though (I don't recall if there's enough room left at the tow hooks to run straps through).
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Zeitgeist 13
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:26 am    Post subject: Re: GoWesty trailer hitch Reply with quote

I have a self-made hitch, and just use a strap and roofrack to control sway

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I may run a support brace to the engine carrier in the future
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:49 am    Post subject: Re: Go westy trailer hitch Reply with quote

walkingupstream wrote:
Anyone using a GoWesty hitch WITHOUT using the center mounting bracket (to the engine mount)?

I have a Subie conversion, and the oilpan as well as the KEP mount won't work with the GoWesty center mount.

I want to use my swing down Swagman 3 bike hitch mount bike rack with it to haul 3 bikes (60-80lbs.).

Can the GoWesty handle it just using the twp tow hooks?

Thanks-


I have no problem towing a 350 lb boat on a 400 lb trailer... and had a bike rack on there a few times worked fine... I went to the Fiamma so I could do both...
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walkingupstream
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 7:30 pm    Post subject: Re: GoWesty trailer hitch Reply with quote

Just bought the bullet on a Burley hitch.

Thanks all.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2016 2:23 pm    Post subject: Re: GoWesty trailer hitch Reply with quote

Bump.
Considering getting the Gowesty tow hitch but wondering if a somewhat capable girl could install it herself?
Whatcha think?
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2016 3:01 pm    Post subject: Re: GoWesty trailer hitch Reply with quote

cynstaub wrote:
Bump.
Considering getting the Gowesty tow hitch but wondering if a somewhat capable girl could install it herself?
Whatcha think?

Yes you can do it yourself. The instructions and install process are very straightforward.
I'm like others that bought this, used it for years, and now ready to upgrade to a more stout version. Since doing a Subaru conversion my center bar support no longer bolts to the engine cross bar... I still use the 2" receiver for a Harbor Freight Tray for extra storage without problems. But I do anticipate loading up that tray with more load in time as my two boys get bigger and want to bring heavier bikes on camp trips.
Looking at the Burley heavy duty hitch next.
Storage Tray I use without problem ($40 when on sale):
http://www.harborfreight.com/500-lb-capacity-deluxe-cargo-carrier-66983.html
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