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Old 10-13-2008, 09:34 AM   #1
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Front End Hitch

I have a very tight space to back Aunt Bee into. I have been considering installing a front end hitch on my truck. It's a Silverado 1500. I have read the posts regarding front end hitches and would appreciate more input from those of you who have had a front end hitch installed for the purpose of parking your Airstream.

I am not really interested in the Powercasters etc.....

What should I be considering so I do the right thing? Thanks for your help!
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Old 10-13-2008, 11:37 AM   #2
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What mirrors are you working with? A large set of mirrors will greatly improve your ability to back into a tight spot. If you have only a parabolic mirror on the passenger side replace it with a normal mirror and add a small parabolic for the open road.

The attachment shows an aftermarket mirror set with a parabolic from an Toyota pickup attached in the lower left corner. This combination gives good vision in all situations.

Unless your tightness will be on the drivers side when using a front hitch I would reconsider. You will loose the sight of the passenger side with a front hitch. A front hitch might be nice to have if you wanted to back the trailer several hundred feet across an open field but you will have much more control backing with a rear hitch.
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Old 10-13-2008, 11:54 AM   #3
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Unless you are parking in a tight fit shed, pushing a trailer to park is much easier than backing one. I back into a shed, but installed hiway reflectors so I can run the curb side tires over them and park perfectly every time. The same would work if you were pushing the trailer. Either paint a stripe you can see, or buy reflectors and glue them down. You only have to see one side, no matter whether you push or back. If you have a 'nose' receiver, it is a great spot for a bicycle rack!
Good luck.
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Old 10-13-2008, 01:11 PM   #4
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Thanks so much for the replies folks! If anyone has experience with a front end hitch, please let me know what I should be considering for my installation. Example: Will my tongue weight be too much for it if I just want to use it to push the trailer in? I am not sure how much tongue weight is too much for the front end vs. the rear end of my truck.....installation challenges etc...

Thanks again
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Old 10-13-2008, 04:13 PM   #5
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Steve,
I just checked the drawtite web site for a 2004 Silverado 1500 front end hitch receiver. Your max vertical wt (tongue wt) is 500 pounds.
This was for a 1500, not the 1500HD. I doubt, however, there will be much difference. Looks like it won't work for you. Double check this, please.
Scott
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Old 10-13-2008, 04:25 PM   #6
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Double check?

Hmmm...the Airstream Trailer Weights chart shows that a '66 Safari has a tongue weight of 377 which is well under the 500 lbs Scott noted...should be fine IMO. You are only moving the trailer, not really towing it at speed...

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Old 10-13-2008, 04:44 PM   #7
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I once welded one up for the front of a F-150. Bolted it to the frame rails by the bumper. I wasnít so concerned about tongue weights or longevity. I doubt the slow speeds involved put any undue strain on it. Like you I had to "tread the eye of the needle" so to speak.
Being able to see directly out the cab along the side of the rig made it a snap to position it correctly.
Never used it while camping.
I say give it a try. Unless it's overly expensive I donít think thereís a downside. You might even be able to get fancy with it. I saw one where the receiver was hidden behind the fold up front license plate.

Good luck,
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Old 10-13-2008, 06:56 PM   #8
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It is great for so many uses. One thing the instructions say it if you have had any front end damage it will not fit.
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Old 10-14-2008, 09:55 AM   #9
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From experience I recommend a long drawbar/ballmount.

Even though that will increase leverage on your front hitch, compared to a short bar, you'll need the clearance to make tight turns. (I have to remove the propane tank cover before making my turn-in.)

For me there's also a fair difference in drawbar height, front v. rear. More so if you have a change in elevation to contend with when parking that thing, like an uphill driveway meeting a flat street.

For tight spots there's no substitute for having steering wheels by the hitch!

Cheers,
-jd.
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Old 10-14-2008, 01:48 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the input everyone!! I am going to go for it. Now the neighbors will have to find someone else to laugh at when they see me push Aunt Bee in on the first try.
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Old 10-26-2008, 08:19 PM   #11
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you might want to check a site out at www.bodiak.com.i have a 2005 excursion that i did not want to remove my fog lights which a hidden hitch installation required.installed this device -bodiak-which mounts by grabbing the front tow hooks on the truck.i use it to mount a bike rack ,but i believe its good for 500 lbs of tongue weight.may work for what you need.
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Old 10-26-2008, 10:00 PM   #12
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Front hitch? I wouldn't be without one. I use mine all the time for tight or precise maneuvering. I have even done two trailers at once, one in front and one in back while launching boats at a ramp. You should have seen the looks I got. Don't think I would try that on the road.
I built my own hitch and firmly bolted it to the frame.
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Old 10-26-2008, 10:09 PM   #13
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I use my John Deer 955 30 hp tractor to move my air stream around the property... I wouldn't worry about the front end weight.. Its only for a short period and slow moves... Glad you gonna go for it.. it should make things easier....
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Old 10-27-2008, 08:24 AM   #14
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Thanks everyone!!! I have been researching the Bodiak's and should have one ordered this week
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