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Front receiver hitch for towing Westy behind truck (removable)
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mg93108
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 9:11 am    Post subject: Front receiver hitch for towing Westy behind truck (removable) Reply with quote

To start with, I know that only manual transmission Vanagon's can be towed with all four wheels down. And I know that my truck needs to be strong enough. That's not really the question. Here's the story.....

I've been buying Westy's out here in California and doing a complete "inside and out" restoration. It's been fun and I really like keeping them alive. That said..I often buy these with blown engines, etc. meaning they need to be towed.

I'd like to find, make, buy a hitch/receiver that I can bolt onto the front and tow these vans behind my truck... but I want to be able to use existing holes etc and not have to modify each van before it is towed.
Thanks in advance for any thoughts

(This pic is from the GoWesty site in an article about towing them but from what I can tell, they don't sell these)

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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 9:18 am    Post subject: Re: Front receiver hitch for towing Westy behind truck (removable) Reply with quote

no problem, a few of us have done that, a couple of us do that and there are a couple threads in here showing how/where to use the towbar bolts.


Dave likely knows the thread/link.



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djkeev Premium Member
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 9:20 am    Post subject: Re: Front receiver hitch for towing Westy behind truck (removable) Reply with quote

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...p;start=20

Off the shelf REESE towbar........

Dave
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jberger
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 9:26 am    Post subject: Re: Front receiver hitch for towing Westy behind truck (removable) Reply with quote

I have a repurposed stock bumper with tow bar eyes and reinforcements added. I use the stock M8x1.25 bolt locations. The thing is, the later vans only have two outer threaded holes.. I've drilled the inner two locations out and welded nuts in place. I have towed westy's for a few thousand accumulative miles this way... Not that I would suggest anyone else do this.

J
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 9:31 am    Post subject: Re: Front receiver hitch for towing Westy behind truck (removable) Reply with quote

jberger wrote:
I have a repurposed stock bumper with tow bar eyes and reinforcements added. I use the stock M8x1.25 bolt locations. The thing is, the later vans only have two outer threaded holes.. I've drilled the inner two locations out and welded nuts in place. I have towed westy's for a few thousand accumulative miles this way... Not that I would suggest anyone else do this.

J


I know it has worked for you but using 8mm bolts to tow tons of weight seems a tad light weight to me.

In the FAQ are places noted to utilize much larger and stronger fasteners.
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=6236040#6236040

Dave
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http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=6315537#6315537

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https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=482968&highlight=74+super+vert
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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 9:37 am    Post subject: Re: Front receiver hitch for towing Westy behind truck (removable) Reply with quote

yeah that just downright gives me the scaries..
the job of the fasteners isn't to be good enough to pull/stop the towed on relatively easy start/stops.
it's to keep them combined during heavy evasive maneuvers when someone texts a compromised pic to their grandmother while driving next to you and you end up crossing the grass median.

ok that's a tad extreme, but not implausible.
jberger wrote:
I have a repurposed stock bumper with tow bar eyes and reinforcements added. I use the stock M8x1.25 bolt locations. The thing is, the later vans only have two outer threaded holes.. I've drilled the inner two locations out and welded nuts in place. I have towed westy's for a few thousand accumulative miles this way... Not that I would suggest anyone else do this.

J
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jberger
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 10:38 am    Post subject: Re: Front receiver hitch for towing Westy behind truck (removable) Reply with quote

danfromsyr wrote:
yeah that just downright gives me the scaries..
the job of the fasteners isn't to be good enough to pull/stop the towed on relatively easy start/stops.
it's to keep them combined during heavy evasive maneuvers when someone texts a compromised pic to their grandmother while driving next to you and you end up crossing the grass median.

ok that's a tad extreme, but not implausible.
jberger wrote:
I have a repurposed stock bumper with tow bar eyes and reinforcements added. I use the stock M8x1.25 bolt locations. The thing is, the later vans only have two outer threaded holes.. I've drilled the inner two locations out and welded nuts in place. I have towed westy's for a few thousand accumulative miles this way... Not that I would suggest anyone else do this.

J


Eh.. I'm ok with it. Notice I said " Not that I would suggest anyone else do this".

Like towing anything, there are safety chains. I've been towing heavy loads since I turned 16. Towing safely is a skill, smooth, cautious driving. Someone crashes into me while texting... we've both got worse things to worry about than the M8 bolts holding the tow bar on. You ever notice how boats are secured to their trailers? They give me the scaries.

J
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mg93108
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 11:20 am    Post subject: Re: Front receiver hitch for towing Westy behind truck (removable) Reply with quote

As much as I truly and genuinely appreciate the responses.....I think you guys are missing the question

I'm not asking if it "can" be done. And I'm not looking for a "permanent" setup. And not looking for the "A-frame" part (which is easily available).

What I'm looking for is a part that would bolt onto the van that could be "easily" removed and reinstalled again and again on multiple vans. Something that could be easily carried with me without having to carry a whole bumper assembly.

Please don't get me wrong, I do appreciate the responses.
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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 11:28 am    Post subject: Re: Front receiver hitch for towing Westy behind truck (removable) Reply with quote

I DO carry my A-frame reese hitch with me in the base of my closet on EVERY trip, every day on my van.
it DOES bolt on/off w/o any additional holes, though you do need to remove the oe bumber skin, those (4) 8mm bolts that jberger risks life and limb with.
(*I've also tow'ed heavy loads since my teens, hauling equipment and firewood for family $$)
in Dave's link.
the Reese collapsible tow bar only requires the 2 long large grade 10 bolts that pass thru the vanagon deformation panel (true bumper) at the frame..


if you don't like the 2 grade 10 bolts there is a commercially available towbar mount available for the vanagon. requires a little more bolting unbolting but is portable tween vans.
https://www.etrailer.com/Base-Plates/Roadmaster/1208-1.html
but I don't like them compared to the 2 large grade 10's THRU the front frame head. and I don't like $300 for them either.

I have the kind that has the bolt together long arms.. so it fits in the closet.
the headpiece fits inside the spare tire under the van..
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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 11:30 am    Post subject: Re: Front receiver hitch for towing Westy behind truck (removable) Reply with quote

from this thread
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=6158943

Racerrojo wrote:
I have made this from a Harbor Freight tow bar, it works great, have towed several vans in town and across state lines, that been said you choose to do this is at your own risk.
Removing the front bumper is fast, 2 13mm bolts and 2 Phillips screws (most of the time this are missing or rusted). the hole hook up takes less than 20 minutes.
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drill a hole in the center of the mounting bracket
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and from the rear use one of the plates that come with it and 9.5'' grade 8 19mm bolts, this will fit between the radiator supports and frame work on the van (driver side pictured)
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no drilling on the van at all, the pull very nicely (back it up is a challenge)
and can save you lots off $$$ on towing, it can collapse and be taken on trips
this works great on manual vans, on AT read the owners manual on towing your van.
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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 12:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Front receiver hitch for towing Westy behind truck (removable) Reply with quote

better pics of the pre-made brackets in this thread
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=428075

insyncro wrote:
I purchased this many years ago from a Vanagon owner who towed his Syncro behind a Class A motorhome.
This unit is very well built and I use it for the same purpose.

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Hope this helps anyone looking to tow a vanagon.

dylan
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 1:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Front receiver hitch for towing Westy behind truck (removable) Reply with quote

Wow that musta been back when Insyncro used to help Samba members!!

I've often thought that every vanagon that's older than 27 years should carry a towbar any time you go farther from home than your AAA membership. It could have a decal on it that says "BEYOND AAA"

Are there couplings that attach safely to all trailer balls 1 7/8", 2" & 2 5/16" ? Any port in a storm! And perhaps include optional pintle hook ring.
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 1:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Front receiver hitch for towing Westy behind truck (removable) Reply with quote

carry your own 2in square tube plus ball.
it'll also fit in the center of the spare tire with the towbar head piece. Wink
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bobbyblack
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 1:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Front receiver hitch for towing Westy behind truck (removable) Reply with quote

This setup rides along with my Westy, but has been used on multiple other retrieval missions, works really well. The only thing I needed to "do" was to built the backing plates for the through bolts to hang by the radiator. I can get this rig bolted to the front of any Vanagon in less than 15 minutes. I usually keep the pin brackets on -- through the bumper -- when I go on extended trips. I think I got the 9 1/2 inch grade 8 bolts from Fastenal. Its in the thread Dan from Syracuse mentioned. He's a great inspiration to us all!!

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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 1:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Front receiver hitch for towing Westy behind truck (removable) Reply with quote

The link I posted, all you do is remove the front bumper and slip on the tow bar.
Nothing permanent at all.

Dave
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Ghia
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=392473

Vanagon
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=6315537#6315537

Beetle
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=482968&highlight=74+super+vert
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