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Old 02-21-2010, 01:55 PM   #1
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Hitch on FRONT of tv for tight squeeze?

Here's my situation:

* 23' Safari lives in the backyard/driveway when not on the road

* only 6-8 inches clearance on each side between two fence posts, buried in concrete, not easily moved

* street-to-driveway incline too steep, I must use a ramp of four 2x12 x8foot timbers to avoid dragging bottom rear and hitch

Needless to say, re-storing the trailer from a trip is hairy and stressful. Takes me a few tense minutes to get her backed in properly with my wife or a neighbor spotting me on the blind side.

My bro in law comes over today and asks "why don't use just put a hitch on the front of your truck....would make it a whole lot easier to get in back there?"

hmmmm....why don't I?

Has anyone out in forums land ever done this with good results? It wouldn't have to be massive, WD, etc, right if you're only pushing the trailer 15 feet?

I'm curious..
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Old 02-21-2010, 02:16 PM   #2
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Ah, bro-in-law, probably the most useful guy in the world, right?

Not to discount his idea, but if you have really tight clearance on both sides, you might be better off sticking with the current method. If you are driving forward, your rear view mirrors become useless and they provided you with the widest possible view down the sides. If you are facing the trailer all you see is the front of the airstream, you can't see down the sides.

So if you're going forward, you will now need spotters on both sides. And now you have gone to all the trouble of unhitching and rehitching.

Also, depending on your tongue weight, tow vehicle, driveway surface and pitch, you could lose traction on the rear axle.
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Old 02-21-2010, 02:29 PM   #3
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I would try it. Im sure the tongue weight would compress those front springs enough to bring the butt up and you might not need as many boards for clearance. If the truck is 4x4 you could always engage that for extra traction. I have a tight driveway condition too so I use my jeep. Its a hassle but it is what it is..

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Old 02-21-2010, 02:37 PM   #4
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I have a situation where my parking access is from a narrow alley, using a front trailer hitch makes getting in and out much less stressful. Having the hitch ball close to the steering wheels enables you to make sharp turns with a much narrower path. You can lean out the window and sight down the trailer curb side. Try it, pull up front to front to your trailer, and look out the window.

You are right, you don't need all the weight distribution stuff to go a short distance at a couple of mph. Also it's nice to know that you have it in case you get stuck someplace without enough room to turn around.

I installed a front receiver hitch, which I can also use for a bicycle rack when we take the bikes along.
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Old 02-21-2010, 03:00 PM   #5
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thanks...food for thought indeed...

snake: I like the receiver hitch idea doubling as bike rack.. did you d.i.y. it or have a shop do the installation? (not sure I trust the local U-Haul people to do it correctly....I'm open to recommendations..)

mark: I hadn't considered the visibility issues, thanks for that...seems like visibility will be dependent on whether I'm turning right or left (if left I could imagine the "lean out the window" may work on drivers side, if right, you're right, I'm probably blind on both sides..)

slide: truck is Tundra 2wd, not sure if there would be traction issues...I doubt it, driveway isnt radical just too steep not to drag...
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Old 02-21-2010, 03:53 PM   #6
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Interesting Thread

This might work for my situation, too. Our 34 lives in a 11'3" wide space that is entered at a 90 degree angle from a 30' wide concrete pad (photo below). A front mount hitch would surely make this stunt easier as there is literally an inch of clearance on either side as it enters the hole.

To those who have a front mounted hitch: Does it mount below the lowest part of the front of the truck (in my case a plastic air dam)? Are there any hangup issues with the lower clearance (grabbing curbs, angled drives, etc.)?
I have a 2005 F150 supercrew--non 4x4--there is 11.5 inches of clearance between the ground and the lowest point of the front of the truck.
Thanks,
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Old 02-21-2010, 04:16 PM   #7
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A front hitch will work fine but the handling characteristics are different and you'll definitely need a spotter.

Here's a thread on the topic.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...hlight=spotter

Regards,

Kevin
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Old 02-21-2010, 04:22 PM   #8
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Bill,

That is a very good looking trailer and great spot for her.
Here is an example of how tucked away the hitch can be.

Vinnie
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Old 02-21-2010, 04:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cantrell View Post
To those who have a front mounted hitch: Does it mount below the lowest part of the front of the truck (in my case a plastic air dam)? Are there any hangup issues with the lower clearance (grabbing curbs, angled drives, etc.)?
I have a 2005 F150 supercrew--non 4x4--there is 11.5 inches of clearance between the ground and the lowest point of the front of the truck.
Thanks,
In the past I put a receiver on the front of an F-150 and it worked great stuffing the trailer up close to the garage. My old man had one on his ’62 Plymouth to stuff ours into the "perfect" spot when I was a kid.
Does yours have the front tow hooks? My Expy does and it looks like a plausible place to begin mount the receiver and bring it out from the bumper cover. The weight of that 34 will probably drop the axle down to the stops. Might have to take the cover off and cut an access hole. Easy to do for any hitch shop.
If you want to get creative I once saw a GMC van with one hidden behind the front license plate.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend a front hitch to anyone who has to thread the needle from time to time. I never found a need for a spotter with the smaller rigs I've had. Maybe just lucky.

Good luck,
Tom.
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Old 02-21-2010, 05:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fotochop View Post
thanks...food for thought indeed...

snake: I like the receiver hitch idea doubling as bike rack.. did you d.i.y. it or have a shop do the installation? (not sure I trust the local U-Haul people to do it correctly....I'm open to recommendations..)

mark: I hadn't considered the visibility issues, thanks for that...seems like visibility will be dependent on whether I'm turning right or left (if left I could imagine the "lean out the window" may work on drivers side, if right, you're right, I'm probably blind on both sides..)

slide: truck is Tundra 2wd, not sure if there would be traction issues...I doubt it, driveway isnt radical just too steep not to drag...
Rick: I installed the front hitch myself, pretty simple. Yours is a common truck, you shouldn't have a problem finding a bolt-up one from any of the manufacturers. do a Google search for 'front trailer hitch"

I haven't had too much of a problem with right turns, after you've started your turn you can see the inside side of the trailer. Of course, whatever way you are turning a trailer there is a blind side, with a front or rear hitch.
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Old 02-21-2010, 06:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fotochop View Post
Here's my situation:

* 23' Safari lives in the backyard/driveway when not on the road

* only 6-8 inches clearance on each side between two fence posts, buried in concrete, not easily moved

* street-to-driveway incline too steep, I must use a ramp of four 2x12 x8foot timbers to avoid dragging bottom rear and hitch

Needless to say, re-storing the trailer from a trip is hairy and stressful. Takes me a few tense minutes to get her backed in properly with my wife or a neighbor spotting me on the blind side.

My bro in law comes over today and asks "why don't use just put a hitch on the front of your truck....would make it a whole lot easier to get in back there?"

hmmmm....why don't I?

Has anyone out in forums land ever done this with good results? It wouldn't have to be massive, WD, etc, right if you're only pushing the trailer 15 feet?

I'm curious..
I put a hitch on the front of my truck to park my trailer in my backyard. I do need spotters when parking. However you do have much better maneauvering.
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Old 02-21-2010, 06:03 PM   #12
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Boaters use a front hitch to maneuver their boat in tight quarters. If you know any boaters who could comment they could be a resource. Living here in a beach area we see front hitches all the time - for boaters.
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Old 02-21-2010, 06:29 PM   #13
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What about something like this -- there are several different manufacturers

Powrhitch Trailer Mover
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Old 02-21-2010, 06:32 PM   #14
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Fotochop

I would consider 6-8" per side to be a huge amount of room if going straight back. Sure you have to be careful but still.

Most people with front hitches use them because they have to maneuver around a corner and steering the tongue is a necessity. They also work well with smaller trailers where the problem with a rear hitch is that you can't see the trailer and don't know what it's doing. And they provide better visibility when the trailer is at an angle and outside the field of view of the mirrors.

The hassle of rehitching has to be considered.

Not sure that they'd help much with a 'stream. I don't know what your site situation is exactly but you might be money ahead and have less hassle having your local bobcat operator come out and do some grading to get rid of the dip and pull up the fenceposts, compared to the cost of a front hitch. Someone who's good with a bobcat can get a lot done in half a day.

If you go the front hitch route, you really do have to think through what you can see. There are front hitches made for most trucks, not sure about the Tundra. I would be concerned about traction with the weight on the front wheels.
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