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Home Built Trailer Hitch?
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vwwestyman
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Joined: April 24, 2004
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Location: Manhattan, Kansas, USA
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 6:37 am    Post subject: Home Built Trailer Hitch? Reply with quote

I'd like to build a trailer hitch for my Thing. It would primarily be used for either my bike rack, or hitch-haul type cargo rack. Considered an attachment for a spare tire carrier too.

I've looked at some threads on the subject, especially considerations of a bike rack torquing the rear bumper and similar concerns.

I've also looked at the Thing Shop hitch.

I'm thinking that if a hitch were built with a similar design to the Thing Shop hitch, but with a wider attachment to the rear bumper, that sandwiches with an equally long plate inside the bumper (perhaps beefy angle iron) that would strengthen the bumper, reduce twisting/torquing concerns, and possibly provide some rear-end crash protection.

So my questions.

How exactly does the Thing Shop hitch attach to the frame? I see where it appears to bolt to the transmission carrier-what bolts/attachments at the carrier does it use?

Does the rear bumper bolt directly to the body of the car, or is it bolted to plates that sandwich the body? I saw a mention of creating stronger/beefier plates so I was unsure.

Other considerations I'm not thinking of?

Thanks for your thoughts!
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Dave Cook

Stuartzickefoose wrote:
I'm gonna punch vwwestyman then shake his hand when I meet him.

notchboy wrote:
Ill just punch you in the face. Wink


1978 Champagne Edition Westy, repowered to '97 Jetta TDI
1973 Wild Westerner
My Thing
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Thing7
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:28 am    Post subject: Re: Home Built Trailer Hitch? Reply with quote

I made a custom hitch this summer with the sole purpose of only carrying my bike. I would have gotten the Thing shop hitch, but I don't think it would fit with the exhaust on my Thing.

Here's what I did. Purchase a atv hitch from Harbor Freight which you can see here. https://www.harborfreight.com/atv-hitch-adapter-65961.html

I then welded a thin metal plate onto the hitch so I could mount it on the bottom of my bumper with two bolts. Then I cut a small length of aluminum 2" pipe to mount my bike rack on. Even with the low weight of my bike and the bike rack being so close to the bumper, the bumper definitely flexes. I jammed a piece of wood inside the bumper to help alleviate a bit of this, but my ultimate remedy for this was to simply put a strap from the top of my bike to one of the top frame brackets above the engine lid and this took all the tension from the hitch and makes the bike rock solid with no unwanted strain on the bumper. I couldn't be happier with my setup, but I would only carry a bike or possibly a small cargo carrier.

I hope this write up helps you.



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vwwestyman
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 8:54 am    Post subject: Re: Home Built Trailer Hitch? Reply with quote

Thanks Thing7.

It seems that tying the rack to the body in that way is a good idea no matter how the rack is set up. I bet that makes it way more stable.

Just in case I ever did decide to pull a trailer or something (seems like it would be a very rare instance as I'd probably use a different vehicle for those tasks) I do want to build it to be strong enough to perform such tasks.
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Dave Cook

Stuartzickefoose wrote:
I'm gonna punch vwwestyman then shake his hand when I meet him.

notchboy wrote:
Ill just punch you in the face. Wink


1978 Champagne Edition Westy, repowered to '97 Jetta TDI
1973 Wild Westerner
My Thing
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vwwestyman
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Joined: April 24, 2004
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Location: Manhattan, Kansas, USA
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Home Built Trailer Hitch? Reply with quote

So how does the Thing Shop hitch mount to the frame?

I have gone back and looked at it and wondered if maybe I should just go buy one... and modify it to work to reduce the twisting motion from a rack or bike carrier. And I spend some time crawling under the car.

Specifically, how does it mount to the transmission carrier/yolk? Do you have to drill holes in it? Can you still use the little factory protection piece that protects the leading edge of the engine case? Is the yolk sandwiched between the hitch and a plate? It looks like form pics of the original hitch that is the case but hard to tell for sure.
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Dave Cook

Stuartzickefoose wrote:
I'm gonna punch vwwestyman then shake his hand when I meet him.

notchboy wrote:
Ill just punch you in the face. Wink


1978 Champagne Edition Westy, repowered to '97 Jetta TDI
1973 Wild Westerner
My Thing
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