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Ball Hitch to 2" Receiver Ideas/Suggestions
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epbiggs
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:28 pm    Post subject: Ball Hitch to 2" Receiver Ideas/Suggestions Reply with quote

I'm trying to think of a cheap way to add some storage to the back of my Syncro to hold my small generator and a can of gas. I think the best solution I've found is using the Switch Back Rack system from Rocky Mountain Westy to augment my existing swing-away tire carrier. I can move my tire up and have a fold down tray below to hold the stuff, but it's kind of pricey at over $400 to get the needed parts and I just don't have the extra money right now for that solution.

I started thinking about a way to do this on the cheap... convert my existing ball hitch to a 2" receiver and add a rack mount to that receiver (see image below). The rack is only $60 and a 2" weld-on receiver (6" long) is only about $12. I have no idea what it would cost to have it welded on, but I'm guessing it wouldn't be too much. Possibly the whole setup would be around $100-ish, which is pretty darn affordable.

I know it's not the ideal setup and there would be times when I'm off road that I might have to remove it for coming out of a steep hill, for example, so it doesn't scrape the ground. It might really screw up my exit angles and be a real pain on hilly forest roads.

So what do you think? Stupid idea? Should I just save my money and do it right with the RMW rack additions? Is welding a receiver onto the old ball hitch plate even feasible? I think I know the correct answer (go the RMW route), but I thought I'd toss it out for some friendly discussion and sage advice. I'm just thinking out loud at the moment, so fire away!
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Ball Hitch to 2" Receiver Ideas/Suggestions Reply with quote

There are adapters like this but it all might get a bit wobbly.

https://www.etrailer.com/ATV-Hitch/Curt/C45006.htm...mkQAvD_BwE


Link


Iím a huge fan of the RMW swingouts but theyíre by no means inexpensive...but I havenít regretted the nearly $2K (yikes!) I spent on them...

They carry a ton of stuff yet easily swing out of the way of the hatch...

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

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Last edited by jimf909 on Sun Feb 09, 2020 4:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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epbiggs
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 4:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Ball Hitch to 2" Receiver Ideas/Suggestions Reply with quote

jimf909 wrote:
There are adapters like this but it all might get a bit wobbly.

https://www.etrailer.com/ATV-Hitch/Curt/C45006.htm...mkQAvD_BwE


Link

That's a good potential option with no welding needed. Not so sure about it not rotating with just the one bolt, or being "wobbly" like you said, but interesting none the less. Thanks!
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 4:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Ball Hitch to 2" Receiver Ideas/Suggestions Reply with quote

epbiggs wrote:

That's a good potential option with no welding needed. Not so sure about it not rotating with just the one bolt, or being "wobbly" like you said, but interesting none the less. Thanks!


Thereís a plate on the bottom thatís adjustable and is intended to keep it from pivoting on the single bolt. For $30 it may be worth a try while for experimentation purposes.

The biggest reservation Iíd have is that it looks like your hitch is angled down a bit which may tilt your basket to the ground and reduce your clearance.
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epbiggs
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 4:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Ball Hitch to 2" Receiver Ideas/Suggestions Reply with quote

jimf909 wrote:

The biggest reservation Iíd have is that it looks like your hitch is angled down a bit which may tilt your basket to the ground and reduce your clearance.

You're right. I thought it was just my cell phone camera distorting the image, but I just went out and looked and it is indeed angled down a bit. Not as bad as it looks in the image, but it is still angled. Good point, thanks!
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Ball Hitch to 2" Receiver Ideas/Suggestions Reply with quote

jimf909 wrote:

Iím a huge fan of the RMW swingouts but theyíre by no means inexpensive...but I havenít regretted the nearly $2K (yikes!) I spent on them...

They carry a ton of stuff yet easily swing out of the way of the hatch...

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

Yea, I really like my RMW swingout tire mount and I'm beginning to think I just need to wait until I can "swing" the extra bucks for the additional parts from RMW to move the spare up and have a nice folding tray below to hold my stuff. It's still cheaper than getting another swing away setup for the passenger side.

After I made the post, it dawned on me that the cheap rack option would get in the way in other situations. I wasn't thinking about my recently purchased Bus Depot rear add-a-room tent and my shower setup. I'd have to detach that rack every time I wanted to use the tent and/or shower.

The RMW solution would just swing out of the way, which would be infinitely more convenient and makes more sense in the long run. I guess I was just looking for some instant gratification with my cheapo solution thoughts.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Ball Hitch to 2" Receiver Ideas/Suggestions Reply with quote

Yep!
EZ Peezy!

Weld it on!

https://www.amazon.com/CURT-49060-2-Inch-Trailer-Receiver/dp/B001GMZH5E


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Ball Hitch to 2" Receiver Ideas/Suggestions Reply with quote

Alternatively, since you already have a RMW swingout, perhaps a contraption can be mounted to the spare tire? Imagine a shelf or box mounted like this bike rack? I'll bet that could be done for less than $100.

From another thread..,,

Jeffrey Lee wrote:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


For those looking for another option, this Hollywood bike rack attaches to the spare tire itself. Probably want to confirm that the swing away mechanism can handle the added weight of 1-2 bikes.

I have no personal experience using this rack, but recently helped someone install one on another vehicle, and recalled this thread ...

https://www.amazon.com/Hollywood-Racks-SR1-Spare-2-Bike/dp/B000QJDFMK/ref=asc_df_B000QJDFMK

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Ball Hitch to 2" Receiver Ideas/Suggestions Reply with quote

jimf909 wrote:
Alternatively, since you already have a RMW swingout, perhaps a contraption can be mounted to the spare tire? Imagine a shelf or box mounted like this bike rack? I'll bet that could be done for less than $100.

From another thread..


Another good idea... thanks! Although I do like my Trasharoo.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:17 am    Post subject: Re: Ball Hitch to 2" Receiver Ideas/Suggestions Reply with quote

One thing to keep in mind is that your hitch is extremely low, which for example would keep me from getting into/out of my driveway with the carrier you showed. I built a box hitch from a regular tongue bar, but it's raised up closer to the center of the bumper, and still it sometime dragged bike tires on my driveway.

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I'm currently building a 2" box hitch/lower bumper setup to replace this hitch which will set the box up to the center of the cover.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:42 am    Post subject: Re: Ball Hitch to 2" Receiver Ideas/Suggestions Reply with quote

I say you can keep your swing outs. The last 3 vans in here had them. If you want to fill up someone's shop, whack your head a ton of times, and try to swing them out of the way with the rear hatch open, by all means, put them on both sides.

If nothing else, please remove them before bringing to a shop for repairs. After bouncing off the last 3, I'd never install them on my camper. Best to pack less.

To the original poster. I would cut the tube section coming down and weld the receiver to that part and then a triangle gusset between your receiver and the up tube. That should improve your departure angles slightly.

Edit: Imagine this sitting on a lift for just a simple engine task.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


You ain't walking past those, plus every time you let the lift down, you have to double check your not going to crush something on wheels that might have rolled into the way. Wide open spaces fine. All 3 vans had marks on the hatch where someone tried to move something in the wrong order.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:54 am    Post subject: Re: Ball Hitch to 2" Receiver Ideas/Suggestions Reply with quote

MarkWard wrote:
To the original poster. I would cut the tube section coming down and weld the receiver to that part and then a triangle gusset between your receiver and the up tube. That should improve your departure angles slightly.

That sounds like a good idea. If I decide to go the cheap route, that might be at the top of the list. Thanks!
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:00 am    Post subject: Re: Ball Hitch to 2" Receiver Ideas/Suggestions Reply with quote

This is what I went with to mount a conventional bike rack that requires a 2" receiver. At Harbor Freight these are only $11.99.

https://www.harborfreight.com/atv-hitch-adapter-65961.html
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:07 am    Post subject: Re: Ball Hitch to 2" Receiver Ideas/Suggestions Reply with quote

wbailey2112 wrote:
This is what I went with to mount a conventional bike rack that requires a 2" receiver. At Harbor Freight these are only $11.99.

https://www.harborfreight.com/atv-hitch-adapter-65961.html

An adapter like this (pretty much the same as the Curt unit above) looks like the easiest solution, with no welding required. Thanks!
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:16 am    Post subject: Re: Ball Hitch to 2" Receiver Ideas/Suggestions Reply with quote

You need to pay attention to what you are putting in the receiver. Some things are pretty long so you might end up having to shorten them, drill new pin holes or both. That bolt on unit looks pretty stubby. The longer the receiver box, the more supported your accessory part will be. These are not precision fitting parts and there is a lot of up and down movement and side to side movement.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:57 am    Post subject: Re: Ball Hitch to 2" Receiver Ideas/Suggestions Reply with quote

put a front receiver on it..

here's some good pics in the plow thread.

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=731388
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Ball Hitch to 2" Receiver Ideas/Suggestions Reply with quote

I think I've decided to wait until I can buy the needed parts from RMW and do it right. It's the perfect solution to my needs and will all swing away when I want to put up my Add-a-Room tent in the back, and won't be in the way in general. Also no departure angle issues on those hilly Forest Service roads. It'll cost about 4 times as much as a cheapo solution, but I've gotten in trouble before when I try to go for the instant gratification. The whole point is to not have to keep my generator (Wen 56202i) and gas can (FuelPax 3.5 gal.) inside the van, or have to heft it up to the roof rack (BajaRack MegaMule) which I have pretty much all of that space reserved for other stuff.

I plan on moving into the van full-time in the next year or two and am trying to get everything sorted out before I make the plunge. The measurements of the RMW tray will hold the generator and up to 2 Fuelpax perfectly, so I think it's the wise choice, along with a cable and lock. However, I reserve the right to change my mind Smile. I appreciate everyone's input and would welcome any additional suggestions/comments!

Switchback Rack Parts Needed:
- SWITCHBACK RACK UPPER SPINE - $179
- SWITCHBACK RACK TIRE MOUNT PLATE - $29.95
- driver side tray adapter $74.95
- tray $124
$407.90 Total + tax Crying or Very sad

Below is a very poorly Photoshopped image of how it would look (with the tray folded up).

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

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Ball Hitch to 2" Receiver Ideas/Suggestions Reply with quote

I like your "do it right" idea. This worked fine for my 5 bike receiver:

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Ball Hitch to 2" Receiver Ideas/Suggestions Reply with quote

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From thread: Built a 2" receiver trailer hitch

The bars drag on the ground, but they kinda extend the skid bar structure.
I NEVER have any trouble with the receiver dragging where it is.

This hitch was made to hold a motorcycle, to put the weight into the skidbar structure.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 7:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Ball Hitch to 2" Receiver Ideas/Suggestions Reply with quote

MarkWard wrote:


If nothing else, please remove them before bringing to a shop for repairs. After bouncing off the last 3, I'd never install them on my camper. Best to pack less.

Edit: Imagine this sitting on a lift for just a simple engine task.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


You ain't walking past those, plus every time you let the lift down, you have to double check your not going to crush something on wheels that might have rolled into the way. Wide open spaces fine. All 3 vans had marks on the hatch where someone tried to move something in the wrong order.
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You're welcome to not install swing outs or pack less but I love the swing outs and the gear they allow me to easily carry. VW made vans for each of us to allow us to customize (or not) them as we prefer.

My Vanagon shop typically has 12 or so Vanagons in their lot and 1/4 to 1/3 of them have swingouts and other accessories. They've never mentioned that they're a problem but I will ask them next time because I want to keep a great relationship with them. If anything, the high-top is a bigger pain for them.

Regardless, if swing-outs are a problem, it's an easy problem to solve:
- Decline the business
- Learn to deal with them
- Charge shop rate to R&R the racks (or ask the customer to remove them). Four bolts and they're off, I figure R&R is 60 minutes of shop time at $125/hour. I'd gladly pay my shop or remove them if that's what they asked. That's part of the deal in taking customized antiques to a shop.

Thanks for working on Vanagons and your very helpful contributions here. I always appreciate your perspective.
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