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Old 04-27-2012, 06:53 AM   #1
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front hitches?

It is not unheard of for fishermen to put a hitch at the front of TV to make moving their boat around in tight quarters a bit easier...Not common but not unheard of either...

Wondering if there would be any advantage to doing this for a AS, or even, given the greater weight of the trailer, if it would even be possible...
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Old 04-27-2012, 07:02 AM   #2
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Hitch on the front of your truck

A number of people have done this when they know they will frequently be faced with close maneuvering. It takes some time to unhitch and rehitch, to make use of the front hitch.
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:04 PM   #3
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As Dwight says, it's not unheard of. People with these setups usually store their trailer in a back yard or other location with little clearance.
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:08 PM   #4
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We did this on our last truck...it worked out well. One of the secondary benefits to doing this is you can get a bicycle rack that goes on the front of the truck for road trips.

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Old 04-27-2012, 04:33 PM   #5
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Actually, while close maneuvering is one benefit (the wheels you're steering with are right by the hitch), there are at least two other benefits that explain why fishermen do this more often than people pulling other trailers (at least, according to fishermen I've spoken to with this setup in south Louisiana):

1 - When launching or retrieving a boat, you can see down the ramp through the windshield instead of the mirrors, and so the vehicle driver can easily signal the boat driver for getting the boat back onto the trailer;

2 - You've got a better gear ratio in reverse for improved low-speed torque when pulling a heavy boat back up a steep ramp.

For pickup trucks, you do lose some trailer tongue weight capacity, because of the front-heavy weight distribution of an unladen truck. Other tow vehicles tend to have front-rear weight distribution closer to 50/50 and so tongue weight capacity doesn't change as much. Assuming of course you've got the same class of hitch front and rear.

For those who want to try a front-bumper trailer hitch, aren't you glad Airstream doesn't make fifth-wheels?
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Old 04-27-2012, 05:49 PM   #6
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I've installed one on our Excursion - works great!

You have to be careful and usually have a guide for the back of the trailer, as you don't have mirrors to see back there! I have used my wifi portable cam/viewer to help if my guide is not around...

I also use the hitch to mount a flat carrier to stack fire wood up front, ice chest, etc...

They R easy to install but you have to remove the bumper first...
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Old 04-27-2012, 07:16 PM   #7
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I have one on our F250 4x4 Crew Cab... this truck has a long turning radius, and the front hitch has really helped a couple of times. The load on the front suspension is probably a little much w/ the Airstream, but at less than 5 mph for a few minutes this is not a big problem. Do check for tongue weight limits on the hitch you select; it may be hard to find one that will handle a 900 lb tongue weight.

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Old 04-27-2012, 07:32 PM   #8
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We use them all the time for boats. I'll use it on the AS as needed as well. These work better if they are offset from center. I mostly see them offset to the passenger side.http://www.airforums.com/forums/atta...1&d=1335576664
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Old 04-28-2012, 04:42 AM   #9
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I have a Jeep with a front receiver hitch. I can put a trailer ANYWHERE using the front hitch. The combination of turning tires near the hitch point and "looking" forward makes it possible to get a trailer into and out of any tight spot.
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Old 04-28-2012, 05:38 AM   #10
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Greater manuverability would be big advantage here I would think...I don't use this idea because my boat is a canoe, therefore the hitch issue is sort of a non issue with me...though I admit there are weekend days every summer when the ski boats and half drunken teens in dad's boat are using me as a bonus target I devoutly wish my 16 ft Old Town came equipped with torpedo tubes, .50 cal Browning and a 16 inch gun turrett...

Wondering if anyone who has read this thread, though, and not had a front hitch has decided. "Hey that is a pretty neat idea. I think I will try it!"
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Old 05-06-2012, 05:38 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by danlehosky View Post
We use them all the time for boats. I'll use it on the AS as needed as well. These work better if they are offset from center. I mostly see them offset to the passenger side.http://www.airforums.com/forums/atta...1&d=1335576664
That is very clever.
Mine is dead center, and it's not at all helpful for maneuvering either 31' nor 28' trailers. Having adequate mirrors is really all I need.

But, if I had visibility of one side while front hitched, that might be a different story...
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Old 05-06-2012, 11:04 PM   #12
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That is very clever.
Mine is dead center, and it's not at all helpful for maneuvering either 31' nor 28' trailers. Having adequate mirrors is really all I need.

But, if I had visibility of one side while front hitched, that might be a different story...
I find that with a 20' tow vehicle, the front hitch lets me make much tighter corners. Yes, visibility is still a problem - but it always is on tight corners.

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Old 05-06-2012, 11:55 PM   #13
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Apropos this thread, has anyone successfully put some type of tongue and ball on the back of an Airstream? This would allow those of us with rear bedroom models to back the FRONT of the trailer (and therefore the dining/living end) into a site that has a view from the back end of the pad. I realize the front tongue is part of the frame and that some serious modifications mught be required in the rear. Plus if it is not removable or at least capable of folding up, the extra length could be a serious problem, especially for backing into an upward slope. Just wondering?
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Old 05-06-2012, 11:59 PM   #14
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Ooops, not tongue and BALL - I meant tongue and hitch - but you knew that!
I also recognize the challenge of having a hitch jack in this configuration.
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Old 05-07-2012, 05:04 AM   #15
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I have had a front hitch in my Amazon basket for a couple of months trying to talk myself into buying it. I have a rather tight back yard I have to back my trailer into.
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Old 05-07-2012, 05:11 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Winetripper View Post
Apropos this thread, has anyone successfully put some type of tongue and ball on the back of an Airstream? This would allow those of us with rear bedroom models to back the FRONT of the trailer (and therefore the dining/living end) into a site that has a view from the back end of the pad. I realize the front tongue is part of the frame and that some serious modifications mught be required in the rear. Plus if it is not removable or at least capable of folding up, the extra length could be a serious problem, especially for backing into an upward slope. Just wondering?
Yeah, Airstream makes that. They're called 'Front Bedroom' models.
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:52 PM   #17
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Right, Joe, and I looked at one, not recognizing this advantage. As it had been the obvious home to some fulltimers and was rather worse for the wear, I decided against it. I bought instead a newer, very lightly used 25' International Six-Sleeper, which fits us very well. When I brought it home I found that having the door at the front was a must - my parking pad is to the right of my garage and is fairly narrow. I can park with the front end forward enough so that my AS door clears my low overhanging eave. Had I bought the FB, I wouldn't have been able to open the door in the rear. (What I really needed was an FB with a custom second door leading into the bedroom, like the one currently for sale on the Forum!)
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Old 05-12-2012, 10:24 PM   #18
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Two of my TVs have had front 2 inch receiver hitches. Usually used for packing bicycles, but excellent for putting the trailer into a tight spot, or getting it out of one. I never installed an umbilical up front, so no brakes nor lights. I like the idea of offsetting to the passenger side so the driver can make an approach being able see around the trailer. This would be fine for low speed maneuvering.
Last week I saw a motorcycle (perhaps 350 cc??) mounted up front. The carrier plugged into a 2 inch front receiver, and was stabilized by bars bolted to the tow hooks. Solid as stone.
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Old 05-13-2012, 02:04 PM   #19
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I installed a front hitch on my F250 after being assigned to a very tight space at a campground on a busy holiday. The space was really too tight for my trailer but was my only option, save leaving. After an hour of back-and-forth maneuvering and a transmission puking its overheated fluid and me puking dirty words, I got into the space. But I pledged, "never again."

Now, the front hitch allows me to utilize such tight spaces with ease. I have an old towing mirror that I hold out the window for seeing on the driver's side, and a wife/spotter for the passenger's side viewing.

I also use the hitch to hold about 75 pounds of tools in a 30-inch toolbox when I'm not using it for maneuvering the trailer. This lessens the need for much weight-distribution adjustments when hitched to the trailer.

I've found the front hitch to be a valuable addition to my rig.
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Old 08-09-2012, 10:39 PM   #20
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Glad I found this thread...I was about to post a question on this very issue. I live on a narrow, dead end street. Makes it nice for low traffic and quiet but since I bought my MegaCab Dodge it's a little tough getting my 30' "kinked" around in to my driveway. I was thinking a front hitch would be the solution and now I'm going to buy one tomorrow!
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