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hitch , sorry did search and didn't find answer
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buckturgidson
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 1:44 pm    Post subject: hitch , sorry did search and didn't find answer Reply with quote

I want to hitch for my '83 Vanagon . It would be used for a 2 bicycle Thule hitch-mounted rack and to tow a motorcycle on a small trailer . In the interest of frugality I am considring one on ebay for $85 plus shipping . Is anyone familiar wih this ? And if I splurge for the gowesty will it do the job in stock form ?
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buildyourown
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The standard cheap hitch mounts to the tow loops. It is adequate for a small trailer, but not for the very high loads that a cantilevered bike rack exerts.
I believe the GW hitch does a better job of this.
A good weld/fab shop should be able to make a very strong one for you.
The GW bumper uses longer attachement pieces that go further into the frame and use 3 vs 2 bolts. THis wouldn't be hard to dublicate and retain the stock bumper.
For a bike rack, a 2" receiver is preferred, and you won't find that on anything bolt on.
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SockMonkey
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The $85 dollar ones just clamp on the rear tie down ring. **Edited out** The GW ones are the same as the $85 ones but with an added support the attaches to an engine mount. It would be the safer bet for towing a motor cycle and be nice if you end up towing other heavier things in the future.

Beyond that, you can either fabricate your own hitch (I have a nice one that hides behind my rear bumper (crome style) and ties into the actual bumper mounts that are bolted to the frame, making it quite strong. Or you could buy a aftermarket bumper that has the tow hitch made into the bumper itself.
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buildyourown
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SockMonkey wrote:
The $85 dollar ones just clamp on the rear tie down ring. I would think they would be fine for a bike rake and maybe light towing (small trailer and motorcycle).


Most bike racks exert way more loads that even heavy trailers. Without trying very hard, you can have 60-80# of bike/rack hanging 24-36" from the bumper. That is a lot of bending load that hitch manufactures never designed for.
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SockMonkey
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, that didnt even occur to me. After reading your reply I edited it out of mine.
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buckturgidson
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

buildyourown wrote:
SockMonkey wrote:
The $85 dollar ones just clamp on the rear tie down ring. I would think they would be fine for a bike rake and maybe light towing (small trailer and motorcycle).


Most bike racks exert way more loads that even heavy trailers. Without trying very hard, you can have 60-80# of bike/rack hanging 24-36" from the bumper. That is a lot of bending load that hitch manufactures never designed for.

I have a Hidden Hitch ( that's the brand ) on my Honda Element and it works well with 2 bikes . I can tell there is a lot of stress when driving however . Are the tow hoops really that flimsy ? It seems like if they're there for towing they'd be pretty sturdy .
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SockMonkey
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They aren't for tower per-say, they are for tying the van down on a trailer, or maybe pulling it out if it got stuck.
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j_dirge
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

buckturgidson wrote:

I have a Hidden Hitch ( that's the brand ) on my Honda Element and it works well with 2 bikes . I can tell there is a lot of stress when driving however . Are the tow hoops really that flimsy ? It seems like if they're there for towing they'd be pretty sturdy .

They are pretty stout..

I've loaded mine up (GW 2" hitch -old style, with stabilizer bar) with a big heavy 4 bike rack.. And it was surprisingly robust.
Picture of same rack two bike in the gallery.. search my user name there.

Have also loaded 350lbs of tongue weight on it for 15-20 mile tows.

The stock suspension is of more concern (IMHO) than the stoutness of the GW 2" hitch bolted to tow loops.
Niether is good for long hauls.


No doubt a proper bar bolted directly to the frame would be superioir.. but it would likely cost a fair bit more, too.

Compromise worked for me thus far.

I would definitely go with 2" receiver and avoid the 1.25"

Search "bike rack"
Lots already written on this.
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syncrodoka
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you build it, it will work- http://www.evcl.com/vw/Accessories/Frame.html
6000 Lbs towed with it. Shocked
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SeattleDownhill
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just used the stock bumper mounts, and just beefed them up by actually welding the joints rather than just the small spot welds that they had. Then used a 2" square tube and welded a reciever to the bottom of that. Looks pretty clean and I use a 4 bike T2 on there. If I'm hauling 4 DH bikes, then I use 2 straps that hook around the rear hatch hinges just to be safe. 4 hardtails or xc bikes no worries, but 4 DH bikes in the 38 to 44 pound range... moves around and flexes a bit... Though I can stand on the end of the rack and it's still fine.

I do want to redo it at some point and make custom bumper mounts that extend all the way in and use 3 bolts just like the Go Westy rear bumper. As well as use something like a 2x3 tube rather than a 2" square tube to eliminate the flex and the need for the 2 safety straps. But it's something to do a few years down the road. I see no pressing urge to get it done now.
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:18 pm    Post subject: Re: hitch , sorry did search and didn't find answer Reply with quote

buckturgidson wrote:
I want to hitch for my '83 Vanagon . It would be used for a 2 bicycle Thule hitch-mounted rack and to tow a motorcycle on a small trailer . In the interest of frugality I am considring one on ebay for $85 plus shipping . Is anyone familiar wih this ? And if I splurge for the gowesty will it do the job in stock form ?


I have no experience with either hitch. The ones I see on ebay for vanagons don't seem to have an actual picture of the hitch, but a file photo of a generic hitch. I would be hesitant to purchase one without seeing an actual picture. If you ordered it and were not happy, the freight would be brutal to send it back for a refund. I ended up fabricating my own. If you do a search here on samba, for trailer and hitch in the Vanagon forum, it should reveal some of the member's clever solutions. The toe eyes are pretty stout, but I don't like the way it attaches only to the toe eyes.
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82WestyMan
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SeattleDownhill wrote:
I just used the stock bumper mounts, and just beefed them up by actually welding the joints rather than just the small spot welds that they had. Then used a 2" square tube and welded a reciever to the bottom of that.


You wouldn't have any pictures of that, would you?
I've been toying with the idea of something like that setup for a couple of years for my '82.
I have a couple of spare bumper mounts and the inside of my flimsy sheet metal bumper 'cover' i hollow.
Was thinking of having a stout beam welded between the mounts, weld the receiver below and cover it with the sheet metal bumper.
Not only would it a nice clean look, it would give me some real protection back there
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IrideWheelies
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a Thule T2 that holds 4 bikes too. It's pretty heavy when it's all loaded up. I have a GoWesty bumper with built in hitch now, and it works great, but I used to have this installed:

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


A Dennis Haynes hitch. I bought it about 5 years ago. It replaces the bumper brackets. To install you remove the bumper and brackets, install the hitch then bolt the bumper to the hitch.

This thing is super strong and ......

I would really like to sell it to you and get it out of my garage!

Too bad you're in Nevada and I'm in Washington. I really don't want to ship it.
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connorsvw2
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have that same Dennis Haynes hitch, and it is awesome. I use a Thule 998XT swing-away hitch with 4 MTB bikes on it without a wimper from the hitch. The rack needed some "modifications" to raise up high enough to not drag its tail in a steep approach grade, and to support the swing arm when opened up with all 4 bikes on it. I think this would be a non-issue on a syncro.
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VanMan2009
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sooo... will that work with a regular Go Westy rear bumper? If so, I might be willing to take it off your hands. (I'm in Seattle)

IrideWheelies wrote:
I have a Thule T2 that holds 4 bikes too. It's pretty heavy when it's all loaded up. I have a GoWesty bumper with built in hitch now, and it works great, but I used to have this installed:

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


A Dennis Haynes hitch. I bought it about 5 years ago. It replaces the bumper brackets. To install you remove the bumper and brackets, install the hitch then bolt the bumper to the hitch.

This thing is super strong and ......

I would really like to sell it to you and get it out of my garage!

Too bad you're in Nevada and I'm in Washington. I really don't want to ship it.
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SeattleDownhill
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
You wouldn't have any pictures of that, would you?
I've been toying with the idea of something like that setup for a couple of years for my '82.
I have a couple of spare bumper mounts and the inside of my flimsy sheet metal bumper 'cover' i hollow.
Was thinking of having a stout beam welded between the mounts, weld the receiver below and cover it with the sheet metal bumper.
Not only would it a nice clean look, it would give me some real protection back there


I'll get some photos up in the next day or two. It works out pretty well and looks quite clean.
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IrideWheelies
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would really like to sell it to you and get it out of my garage!

Too bad you're in Nevada and I'm in Washington. I really don't want to ship it.[/quote][/quote]


[quote="VanMan2009"]sooo... will that work with a regular Go Westy rear bumper? If so, I might be willing to take it off your hands. (I'm in Seattle)

VanMan - I think it will fit. It emulates the stock bumper brackets so a stock bumper will bolt right up. The GW steel bumper is made to fit on the stock brackets, right?

Someone on the Samba may have some actual experience with this bit, if so, chime in please.

I was going to put it on CL for $200, I think that's fair for a hitch this strong.

PM me if you're interested and want to arrange for a test fitting
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SeattleDownhill
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finally got some photos... I spent most of yesterday fixing some small rust spots around the rear fender area, figured if I was repainting that area I might as well continue it around the bottom... I think it turned out well. I got some photos of my hitch as well. It could be done cleaner but it works well. Enjoy

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


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


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


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