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Old 02-21-2010, 07:17 PM   #15
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We added a front hitch several years ago on our X, more for additional carrying power as opposed to manuevering. Either way, it was very useful. On the X, we had to forego the fog lights in order to install the front hitch, but that was not a big sacrifice.
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:31 PM   #16
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Brad,

Are there any problems with overheating on long grades? It would seem that with that large generator blocking the radiator there might be a concern.
Looks like a good solution otherwise for additional carrying capacity.

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Old 02-21-2010, 07:43 PM   #17
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We never had a problem; temperature gauge never raised, and we (in this case) had traveled thousands of miles (to/from Big Bend NP in TX). Similarly, we did the same thing to/from ATL to Death Valley - zero issues. Not saying it is right for everyone, but it worked great for us.

We did not always travel with a generator - just a picture by way of example. We also traveled with bikes on the front, which was great - and BTW did not block our visibility.
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:47 PM   #18
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A front hitch on the front of my pickup was a breeze....with the tent trailer we had a while ago. It works great now for my utility traile, I can turn the trailer on a dime. BUT for one the front hitch isn't beefy enough for our Trade Wind. I might have a receiver installed. I am concerned tho about visablity.
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:57 PM   #19
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Brad,

Sounds good. Im sure you kept an eye on it. One thing to consider. With todays vehicles you dont always get the right information regarding engine temp. Often the manufactures dampen the readings so it doesnt alarm the driver (kinda defeats the purpose of the guages).
For example pulling a hard grade and then taking an offramp. The temp on an older car would climb as the waterpump is now turning slower and less airflow is passing the radiator. This is just a normal scenero of when the guage would climb. Because this is so alarming they now stick the guage at half and let it all work itself out with auxilary cooling fans ect..

I would just keep the air conditioning off when climbing grades if I had that generator upfront and it should be ok. Thats a heavy trailer!

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Old 02-21-2010, 08:40 PM   #20
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Quote:
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A front hitch on the front of my pickup was a breeze....with the tent trailer we had a while ago. It works great now for my utility traile, I can turn the trailer on a dime. BUT for one the front hitch isn't beefy enough for our Trade Wind. I might have a receiver installed. I am concerned tho about visablity.
Neil.
BTW a while ago I noticed a receiver hitch mounted to the right side of the front of a pickup. This would allow the driver to 'see' down the right side of his trailer. Of course this would add width to the trailer truck combo but if one 'knows' his/her trailer parking place this may be an idea worth considering.
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Old 02-21-2010, 09:32 PM   #21
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I also installed a front hitch receiver on our Excursion, similar to Brad's photo above, and as he mentioned, you have to give up the fog lights (or do some mod's to move their mounting position)...

I use a ball hitch mount that keeps our AS level when hooked to the front hitch - It works great, but takes some forethought when in tight quarters due to the 'steering' wheels being close to the tongue...

Also using the front hitch to mount a 'tray' to carry extra stuff comes in handy - I've stacked our firewood on the tray when camping, an easy way to transport and store extra stuff...

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Old 02-21-2010, 10:29 PM   #22
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I have a neighbor who had a front hitch on his F250. It worked very well. What he said it was especially good for was to manuver the trailer into a tight turn. He said that was also the problem with it. When you make a turn or a correction with it, things happen fast. Meaning that the trailer will be much more responsive to your turns. In your case, I would tell you to be more careful than you are now because of the close clearances.
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Old 02-21-2010, 11:27 PM   #23
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I added a front hitch to our F250 crew cab; it has allowed me to snake trailers into all sorts of tricky spots. It is much easier to maneuver and it makes much sharper turns. It's also ideal for carrying bicycles, although there is an annoying amount of light scatter at night.

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Old 02-22-2010, 01:46 PM   #24
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I also find a front hitch to greatly aid backing (fronting?) into tight spots with a trailer on my F250.

I always have a spotter on the blind (right) side with a radio, and hold an old towing mirror with an extension in my left hand to see on the left side.
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Old 02-22-2010, 03:35 PM   #25
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What about something like this -- there are several different manufacturers

Powrhitch Trailer Mover
Nice but pricey. My bud Jim has one, it works.
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Old 02-22-2010, 03:51 PM   #26
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Every Picture....

shoulda just posted pictures in the first place

here's a shot from near where I start backing into the drive...the marks are approximately where I have to put my 2 2x12's for each wheel...if the car in the foreground is there when I need to park I have to ask my neighbor to move it for me, and then I'm still backing the truck up onto the curb on that side of the street..

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the next shot shows angle of the drive to street...not THAT extreme but I own a '69 (good axle btw) that is not known for massive bottom rear-end clearance:

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next shot is looking straight into the parking spot from neighbor's house across the street:

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challenges of the Urban Airstreamer!
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Old 02-22-2010, 04:23 PM   #27
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Quote:
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... If you know any boaters who could comment they could be a resource.
I use a front-mounted hitch to park my boat every time it returns to its perpendicular-to-the-driveway, garage bay.

A spotter is not needed because the tandem axle trailer's tire scuff the concrete while making the 90 degree turn during departure, and provide an excellent 'trail of crumbs' to follow during re-parking.

Markdoane had an excellent observation about tongue weight obviating rear wheel traction. If I were to park my Airstream with a front-mounted hitch, I would consider hooking up the weight distribution bars. Doing so would force the tongue's weight to the rear wheels.

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Old 02-22-2010, 05:55 PM   #28
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We were urban owners until we sold the house two years ago. Campgrounds say, "We have pull-throughs if you'd rather", and I tell them, "Nah, I like to stay in practice". But I didn't think I'd figure out our old driveway.

Had a few inches clearance on one side at the brick columns abutting the side of the driveway, and neighbors fence corner and lawn on the other. As soon as the back wheel was clearing my porch I had to start an ess turn to kick the trailer over twelve feet and then straight again to clear the side of the garage.

Could not do this at all well in the dark. Tried once, heard a scraping noise. Got out, it was the acorn nut on the awning arm. Tough to get away from when you're already on an obstruction. Just couldn't get the needed sight picture to back this without daylight.

Key thing was, view/vision was everything. When I could see, I could maneuver it successfully -- sometimes not in one move, but every now and then I got lucky. But always got it in. Deb watched the blind side (which changed with the ess turn).

While I like the idea of a front receiver for very sharp short turning and multi-purpose use, I don't think you can replace both the view and the control of smooth maneuvering from backing your trailer in.

Good luck,
Jim
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