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Need Advice - 2" box trailer hitch
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Colorado Yeti
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:53 pm    Post subject: Need Advice - 2" box trailer hitch Reply with quote

I would like to see if anyone has any advice regarding 2" box end trailer hitches for my '85 Vanagon. I am interested in mounting one of these on my van but am finding extremely limited options out there. Also, I do not have $400 to dump on a simple trailer hitch. I would like to keep it under $200. Has anyone found any options out there that bolt to the frame rails, do not have an engine mount and don't cost an arm and a leg? FYI - I do have a Subaru 2.2 liter engine in my van. I am thinking about welding up my own custom hitch, as have all of the ability & material to do so.
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Yellow Rabbit
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Need Advice -2" box hitch trailer Reply with quote

I was also turned off by the limited choices and cost. I finally just bought a Rocky Mountain Welty hitch and I couldnít be happier.
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SSWesty
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Need Advice -2" box hitch trailer Reply with quote

I didn't find anything and built my own. Here is the thread https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=512668

The great thing about making a bumper + hitch for the back is that it is straight forward to attach it to the frame rails.

You could try a tow hook mounted option if you are towing something less than 1,000 pounds. Others may comment that the factory tow hooks are good for towing 5,000 pounds but I felt more comfortable with just 1,000 pounds back there. As far as I know nothing comes with a 2" receiver that is less than $200 so you could add one to the less expensive aftermarket hitches out there. If you made your own tow hook hitch that would save the time of fabricating a bumper.

I'll be curious if there is a better solution out there, it seems like a common problem to solve.
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erste
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Need Advice -2" box hitch trailer Reply with quote

Here are some pics of the hitch Dennis Haynes used to sell (maybe he still does??). First is from the samba image gallery, the rest are pics of the hitch that came with my van.

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Two slots need to be cut in the stock bumper so it fits over the vertical supports:
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Hope this helps!
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hdenter
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 5:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Need Advice - 2" box trailer hitch Reply with quote

Go to a wrecking yard and pull a receiver hitch from a suburban or similar wide vehicle. Chop it to width and weld it to the bumper mounts.

Hans
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Colorado Yeti
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Need Advice - 2" box trailer hitch Reply with quote

All excellent suggestions. Anyone know how to contact Dennis Haynes? Thanks everyone!
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erste
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Need Advice - 2" box trailer hitch Reply with quote

Colorado Yeti wrote:
All excellent suggestions. Anyone know how to contact Dennis Haynes? Thanks everyone!


Here's his info from an old thread (from 2001) on westfalia.org:
jonc wrote:

Dennis' VW Service

"The Vanagon Man"
Dennis Haynes Telephone 631-563-8248
E-Mail [email protected]
970 Smithtown Ave.
Bohemia NY. 11716

Highly recommended mechanic who is the maker of the best Westy tow hitches... 2000 pounds capacity 150 pounds tounge weight.


good luck!
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erste
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Need Advice -2" box hitch trailer Reply with quote

SSWesty wrote:
I didn't find anything and built my own. Here is the thread https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=512668


Amazing work and documentation btw! Really nice setup you built.
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davevickery
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 7:24 am    Post subject: Re: Need Advice - 2" box trailer hitch Reply with quote

The one on my van was home made and just bolts on to the stock bumper mounts.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I think if I was starting from scratch I would buy a universal receiver hitch (for around $120) and use the that as a starting point. Some have adjustable length tubes. Welding a bar would be pretty simple too, as well as just making completely new bumper mounts out of angle iron like SS Westy did then you can make them longer and reach that 3rd unused bolt hole.

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You could do a light duty version with just a bar that mounts on the toe hooks and buy the harbor freight receiver mount adapter. There is one on local craigslist right now. https://boulder.craigslist.org/pts/d/vanagon-tow-hitch-and-2-ball/6611829181.html
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joetiger Premium Member
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:04 am    Post subject: Re: Need Advice - 2" box trailer hitch Reply with quote

PM sent.
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bobbyblack
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:53 am    Post subject: Re: Need Advice - 2" box trailer hitch Reply with quote

That add-on box to the stock bar works for me... I don't pull a trailer much tho.

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Bike rack bounces a little in the rear view mirror when I have bikes on it... I've come up with a bit of a sling that I attach to the T ends going to the top of the hatch, to keep the bouncing from alarming me too much.

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Also, you can flip it over and put the Ball back on, like this:

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

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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:34 am    Post subject: Re: Need Advice - 2" box trailer hitch Reply with quote

If you have the skills for making a custom on, I'd go that route. One of the first pictures above shows extended bumper brackets where they go into the frame rail. The vanagon European hitch did something similar. If you look, you will see the extra hole in each frame rail. This helps to distribute the pulling load a little more.

I have some pictures of my custom hitch in the gallery. I was able to mount the bulk of the hitch where the muffler would normally sit. Very clean look. I purchased a universal 2 inch box receiver locally and the rest is from scrap steel I was able to scrounge together.
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Oilline
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Need Advice - 2" box trailer hitch Reply with quote

Here's what i did

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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Need Advice - 2" box trailer hitch Reply with quote

Oilline wrote:
Here's what i did

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




That is a pretty stout setup. No doubt you could hang the entire vehicle from that setup. Nice.
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Oilline
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Need Advice - 2" box trailer hitch Reply with quote

Yes it is a bit over engineered !
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Colorado Yeti
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Need Advice - 2" box trailer hitch Reply with quote

All great ideas. I've contacted the owner on Craigslist in Boulder and am going that route. He has a high top camper that i'm going to check out . For $75 pretty hard to beat. Thanks Dave for the link!
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Colorado Yeti
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:26 am    Post subject: Re: Need Advice - 2" box trailer hitch Reply with quote

Due to the underwhelming affordable aftermarket options for box receiver hitches for Vanagons, I decided to build my own. Here it is. Cost a total of $20. A sincere thanks to fellow Samba member Joetiger for donating some of the parts!

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connorsvw2
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Need Advice - 2" box trailer hitch Reply with quote

Iíve been running Dennis Haynesí hitch for probably close to 20 years. A stout and quality piece from before integrated bumper options were even available. The bomb for stock bumpers.
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Zeitgeist 13
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 5:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Need Advice - 2" box trailer hitch Reply with quote

I've long been hoping to upgrade my rear hitch from a bolt-on 1.25" to a weld-on 2" version, so I'm prepping to make that leap. Yesterday I bought a beefy U-Haul hitch from a Dodge Durango for $10 off of FB Marketplace. It even came with a groovy propeller and brake light attachment. I'm looking for guidance from those who have welded directly to the stock bumper mount brackets, to see whether it's advisable to leave the brackets slightly loose, or to have them fully tightened. Thoughts?

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Jamo7
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Need Advice - 2" box trailer hitch Reply with quote

For those thinking about making their own rear trailer hitch, here is mine,
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=9118584#9118584
I was inspired by many of the ideas here and am pleased with how it came out.
Take care,
James
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