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Light Duty Front-Mounted 2" Receiver

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rollinghome
I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van
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Re: Light Duty Front-Mounted 2" Receiver

Post by rollinghome »

Not a bad idea but it would involve drilling into the sub-frame which is something I have been trying to avoid. On top of that it's more time and paint. I've literally been waiting for paint to dry/cure for over a week (also working on another project I'll link to soon) and I'm just tired of painting in the cold and shuffling freshly painted parts into my heated cargo trailer (space heaters). The weather continues to get worse and my only workspace for non-welding related stuff is outside. Keep in mind this was originally supposed to be a quick, light-duty solution that I would eventually replace with something more robust. I'm months behind schedule on my moving plans and it's starting to bug me out. I bought the cable for my quick fix yesterday so I'm going to roll with that unless it utterly fails.

You guys are all coming up with great ideas, even if my situation doesn't prompt me to follow through with them. Don't hesitate to keep those ideas coming.

I will have a heated shop available once I get to Maine so I may further develop this design just for fun. I would really like to stick to the no-drill concept if possible. I'm thinking some sort of lip on the top part of the front vertical that hooks onto the front seam of the sub-frame. I just think it would be so cool if I can get something like this working that would take 5-10 minutes and no drilling to install.

Yes, the bike rack is a monster. I originally used it on the back of my former vehicle (Honda Element). The swing-out design worked great for getting into the back of the rig without taking the rack and bikes off but that feature is totally useless to me while using the front mount. If I come to like having the bikes up front or make plans to tow my trailer more often I'll probably sell this rack and fab something much more simple and lightweight.
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rollinghome
I am merely driving my van
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Re: Light Duty Front-Mounted 2" Receiver

Post by rollinghome »

5 minute fix complete. Feels solid and roadworthy. The cable will be eliminated in the future to make way for a better solution.

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LiftedAWDAstro
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Re: Light Duty Front-Mounted 2" Receiver

Post by LiftedAWDAstro »

That'll work for temporary.
Current rides:
2013 Toyota Tundra DC 4x4
2008 Dodge Nitro 4x4
2005 Nissan Sentra 1.8S Special Edition

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Vans owned:
1986 Safari 2.5L 4 speed manual - scrapped
1995 Astro 2WD conversion 4.11 posi, shift kit, DHC rock rails - sold to Skippy
1998 Astro 4x4 D44, D60, NP231, full hydraulic system with 9k# Milemarker winch and snow plow - sold to Lockdoc
2003 Astro AWD all stock - traded for a 3/4 ton truck
2005 AWD, 4.10's - sold to skippy

Astrophysics
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Re: Light Duty Front-Mounted 2" Receiver

Post by Astrophysics »

Your finished receiver looks nicely integrated with air dam. Good luck on your trip.
The straps to roof rack sounds good for the trip. One quick idea would be to install 1/4 inch or 5/16 eye bolts to replace OEM license plate screws. Then use heavy nylon strap thru the eye bolts that also passes around the vertical pst of bike rack. The license plate screws go into the steel bumper. Also you could loop nylon strap thru grlle and around radiator support bar.
Happy New Year.

AP
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arlon
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Re: Light Duty Front-Mounted 2" Receiver

Post by arlon »

If the trailer has a rear bumper, I think I'd have gotten a $30 bumper mount and put the bikes back there. What I did for my travel trailer..

I like that roof rack. Is that commercial or home made?
2004 AWD Astro 2" lift, overnight-able
2003 Dodge/Cummins Quad cab
2006 Nissan X-terra MT
1985 LTD LX 5.0 HO
Plus wife's and kid's cars to take care of...
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rollinghome
I am merely driving my van
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Re: Light Duty Front-Mounted 2" Receiver

Post by rollinghome »

@Astrophysics

Yeah, I was really happy with the way the piece installed and looked. Too bad it wasn't strong enough. The bike rack is so top heavy, even without bikes on it. It would have far too much leverage for the licence plate eyebolt idea. I've only had the van for a month or so and I've put less than 200 miles on it so I don't know enough about what's behind the grille to have much of an opinion on the radiator support idea. I'll have to check that out. It would really have to be perfect to ensure the grille doesn't get crunched from strap movement. In any case that would just be a temporary bandaid which I already have so...

@arlon

Funny you should mention that arlon. My first consideration was to weld a receiver onto the back (or even the front, tongue) of the trailer. After inspecting the trailer I deemed the frame too low to comfortably fit a receiver under there so I bailed on that idea. I didn't go with the tongue mount because I used that area to mount the trailer's spare tire.

The roof rack is a commercial unit and it's bomber. I checked but it doesn't have a manufacturers label anywhere on it. I was really stoked about the rack when I bought it. It has a full width roller on the back to aid in loading. It bolts through the roof at several points. The one improvement I have planned for the rack is some sort of "deck". I haven't decided on what material I want to use yet, but I'm thinking aluminum. I also have dreams of a solar panel up there.
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rollinghome
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Re: Light Duty Front-Mounted 2" Receiver

Post by rollinghome »

Well, all of that work was for nothing. After two days of loading my van and trailer I finally got to the bikes/rack. Once on the rack I realized they were a bit higher than I would have preferred but it looked like it would still work so I proceeded to load and secure bikes. Once everything was loaded and tied down I set off to say goodbye to a few neighbors before embarking on my long journey across the country. Once I turned the lights on and pulled out into the road I had a sinking feeling in my gut and started having major doubts about my setup. Within 5 blocks of driving I was certain this was not going to meet the safety standard for such a trip. My standards for safety are not incredibly high so this was a serious problem. With the lights off (not something I recommend for night driving) it wasn't very bad but with the lights on I was getting blinded by the light reflecting back at me from the bike frames. Luckily one of my neighbors gave me a universal bike rack I was able to mount on the spare tire vertically mounted to my trailer tongue. Not pretty but it works. The majority of my driving is at night so daytime only driving was not considered.

The bike rack issue stalled my departure till morning then I finally hit the road for what may turn out to be the second worst road trip of my entire life. I'm going to create another thread for that story but I'll be sure to post a link to it here...
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H2OJoe
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Re: Light Duty Front-Mounted 2" Receiver

Post by H2OJoe »

Have a safe trip and let us know your progress. :guitar:
2001 Astro LT AWD "Redneck Edition", 4" Custom Lift, 30x9.5R15LT on stock wheels, Hightop conversion, custom interior, custom roof racks, external solar shower, front recovery points
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rollinghome
I am merely driving my van
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Re: Light Duty Front-Mounted 2" Receiver

Post by rollinghome »

Here's the new thread describing my nightmare...

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=8992
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Vanjoe
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Re: Light Duty Front-Mounted 2" Receiver

Post by Vanjoe »

This is exactly what I came here to search for!!! Only I want to put my dirtbike on the front while I tow my camper. Putting a hitch on the camper and cantilevering my bike off it would put too much weight on the rear of the camper imo. Afraid it would be similar to towing with no sway control.
The design of this front receiver lacks only a way to bolt up the front of it to the subframe. Again, my opinion.
I am not opposed to drilling holes in frame even as I drive salt covered roads. If a mounting plate were added to this great design, on the front of the subframe, would it be good to go and capable of some weight????
And the issue of headlights is not lost on me. I'm gonna have to do some measuring.
1998 Astro. Sterling Hi-top Conversion. 1st Second gen owned.
Former ....
90 Astro shorty conversion,$500 short term driver
91 ext Astro bad body,bad motor $325, became a 350/4bl cruiser with all under hood acces working.TOTALED..my fault
88 Astro shorty conversion 177k-270k,threw rod. $2500
85 Astro mint body ...totaled 9 days later...not my fault. Paid $1k, insurance gave me $2k
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Re: Light Duty Front-Mounted 2" Receiver

Post by mdmead »

Vanjoe wrote:This is exactly what I came here to search for!!! Only I want to put my dirtbike on the front while I tow my camper. Putting a hitch on the camper and cantilevering my bike off it would put too much weight on the rear of the camper imo. Afraid it would be similar to towing with no sway control.
The design of this front receiver lacks only a way to bolt up the front of it to the subframe. Again, my opinion.
I am not opposed to drilling holes in frame even as I drive salt covered roads. If a mounting plate were added to this great design, on the front of the subframe, would it be good to go and capable of some weight????
And the issue of headlights is not lost on me. I'm gonna have to do some measuring.

Check this page. Go down to find Herbie's post. I think this is the best solution to a front mounted receiver.

viewtopic.php?f=21&t=106&hilit=front+receiver
Matt
Selah, WA
-96 GMC Safari AWD Hi-Top Conversion -->Stalled 5.3L swap & 5" lift
-74 Ford Bronco -->Far from perfect but mine!
-99 V-10 Ford Super Duty Super Cab 4x4 -->Stock with 285 Cooper ATs
-00 Ford Focus Wagon -->The Red Turd
-95 Ford 24' Class C Motorhome -->My big block sleeper
-07 Can-Am Outlander XT -->My yellow 4x4 quad for work & play
-04 Ski Doo REV Summit -->Still several chassis behind!


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Topic author
rollinghome
I am merely driving my van
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Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2012 3:08 am

Re: Light Duty Front-Mounted 2" Receiver

Post by rollinghome »

My design could probably be reinforced to suit your needs but it would take some significant reworking.

I would agree with "mdmead", which is why I linked to that thread at the beginning of mine. :)

Either way I think you will be significantly challenged to make the dirtbike-on-the-front thing work out for night use, during the day it will be fine.

Best of luck, let us know how it goes and post pics please.
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