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Old 01-11-2018, 02:42 PM   #1
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1984 27' Sovereign
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Front hitch on tv?

Does anybody out there in Airstreamland have a front hitch on their tow vehicle? I have a brand new tow vehicle and I'm seriously thinking about adding one. I want to use it for bike racks and also for a kayak rack over the front with a Yakima hitch mount rack, usually used on the back of the truck with a single roof bar. I also think it would help manuevering the trailer in tight places.
Anybody have experience with one?
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Old 01-11-2018, 02:47 PM   #2
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I am about to purchase and mount the Draw Tite front mount trailer hitch from etrailer.
Just for my bike rack.

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Old 01-11-2018, 02:53 PM   #3
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I am also following this. I have seen the front hitch hardware. I am not sure I want to block my radiator or expense my bikes to a bug slaughter. I am mainly interested in the potential for navigation in tight quarters. The tongue load rating of the hitch I saw was only 500#. I am not sure if it has enough margin to take 800# in a low speed situation (no 3g inputs from road impacts)
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Old 01-11-2018, 03:05 PM   #4
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I went with a front hitch and 8" receiver extension with a Kuat 2 bike rack. This is a rock solid setup and I can see the bikes at all times which helps ease my worried mind

Good point regarding tongue weight. I was thinking I'd use the front hitch for tight maneuvers. No clue what the rating is, I'll take a peek at the specs. Thanks for that.

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Old 01-11-2018, 03:07 PM   #5
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I had a hitch place install one, but I've not yet given it a try.

I added it to the tow to more easily maneuver the Airstream through a gate.

I'm not worried about the weight limit. It will be hitched up only briefly and in use for a few yards, and, of course, at barely moving speed.
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Old 01-11-2018, 03:08 PM   #6
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That's the same bike rack I have. Very solid and no movement to speak of.
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Old 01-11-2018, 03:30 PM   #7
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I have a Curt receiver installed on the front of our 2010 Tundra. I used it with a Thule two-bike rack until I installed the Fiamma rack on the back of our Airstreams.

Here are my comments:

1. Worked well, though the front was a little nose heavy
2. Seemed like I was always taking the rack on and off, putting it on the front or back of the Tundra.
3. the bikes definitely were more exposed to dirt, bugs, highway grim etc. on the front.
4. so my conclusion is that the preference is to travel with the bikes on the back of the trailer, but on some trips, carry the rack on the front receiver empty so that we can use it to take the bikes to a trailhead, probably using the rear receiver.
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Old 01-11-2018, 05:15 PM   #8
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I have a front hitch on my Dodge Ram 1500. I have used it for maneuvering the Airstream in tight spaces, and it works very well. However, the need for a spotter is much greater that way, because the Airstream is so close to the driver that you can't see around it. I don't think the load rating of the hitch is a big factor at the very slow speeds used in such situations.
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Old 01-11-2018, 06:38 PM   #9
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Old 01-11-2018, 07:46 PM   #10
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I use mine to carry the generator or a four place bike rack, regards, bobClick image for larger version

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Old 01-11-2018, 08:05 PM   #11
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Yep.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leif9016 View Post
Does anybody out there in Airstreamland have a front hitch on their tow vehicle? I have a brand new tow vehicle and I'm seriously thinking about adding one. I want to use it for bike racks and also for a kayak rack over the front with a Yakima hitch mount rack, usually used on the back of the truck with a single roof bar. I also think it would help manuevering the trailer in tight places.
Anybody have experience with one?
I have one. Bought it from e-trailer. Had it installed by professional although it wouldn’t be all that hard to do by self if you had access to a lift. Total cost to to buy and put on my 2017 F150 was about $280. We use for bikes, and the only time we don’t is if we travel at night because then it interferes with lights (I think). So then we put bikes in AS with lots of blankets. The biggest negative is you have to look over them, but you get used to it. I looked at all kinds of options and this was the cheapest and best.
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Old 01-11-2018, 08:17 PM   #12
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I have had one on my last 3 trucks and will have them on every truck until the worms poop me out.

Couldn't imagine a handier addition to my vehicle, so many uses.

I've installed them all myself, easy enough if you don't mind getting down and dirty.

Ian
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Old 01-11-2018, 08:30 PM   #13
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...and yes, with a front hitch one can stuff a trailer into some pretty absurd spots. If you saw where my 31' is right now you'd scratch your head bald wondering how I got it there.

Ian
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Old 01-11-2018, 09:52 PM   #14
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I have a curt hitch as well on my 2500 duramax, I haul a small motorcycle, the max tongue weight on any front hitch I could find was 500# my bike plus the carrier are just under.

One thing to consider is the axle rating on the front and total weight on the TV, etc. Iím well within spec on mine but depending on the TV and individual axle load ratings you could easily push the limits depending on what you are planning to haul.

Also it does impact maneuverability and it kills approach angle going up hills. But I love being able to take the bike on trips and would do it again.
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Old 01-12-2018, 07:40 AM   #15
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Iím considering adding a Draw Tite front hitch to my 2017 Duramax, mostly to carry bikes. Should I be at all concerned about cutting airflow to the engine? What about interference with the headlights during nighttime driving? Thanks!!
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Old 01-12-2018, 07:56 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philly_air View Post
Iím considering adding a Draw Tite front hitch to my 2017 Duramax, mostly to carry bikes. Should I be at all concerned about cutting airflow to the engine? What about interference with the headlights during nighttime driving? Thanks!!


They are both things to think about, my 2015 has ways to check actual transmission temp and engine temp on the screen in the gauge cluster. Mine runs cool but I check it periodically which is a good idea with or without a front hitch. And in 95 degree heat in mountains it might be an issue, so far for me it hasnít created anywhere near a problem.

Headlights can be partially obscured as well as indicator lights, etc. I choose not to drive at night with my motorcycle on the front if I can avoid it.
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Old 01-12-2018, 08:31 AM   #17
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A front hitch with extension was a first priority when I bought my 2016 Ram 1500. I use a Swagman bike rack for two bikes. Never any issues or worries. If we are not taking the bikes I mount a platform carrier I bought from Harbor Freight and load items that take up a lot of room in the truck bed.
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Old 01-12-2018, 09:03 AM   #18
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I was going to put one on my F250 for easier trailer maneuvering. Unfortunately, I couldn't find one that had a tongue weight rating more than 500 lbs. Since my trailer tongue weight is close to 900 lbs, it was too big a stretch for that much strain on the truck and hitch.
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Old 01-12-2018, 10:04 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Too tall View Post
I went with a front hitch and 8" receiver extension with a Kuat 2 bike rack. This is a rock solid setup and I can see the bikes at all times which helps ease my worried mind

Good point regarding tongue weight. I was thinking I'd use the front hitch for tight maneuvers. No clue what the rating is, I'll take a peek at the specs. Thanks for that.

fr2 by , on Flickr
This is exactly what I have on the front of my Tundra.
Bike rack purchased at Walmart on clearance maybe 10 years ago for $80.
Curt front receiver purchased from Amazon 2-3 years ago for $100.
Install was very easy. Bolts on with the tow hooks. Just remove tow hooks, sandwich receiver between tow hooks and truck frame, bolt tow hooks back in.
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Old 01-12-2018, 10:11 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hhendrix View Post
I was going to put one on my F250 for easier trailer maneuvering. Unfortunately, I couldn't find one that had a tongue weight rating more than 500 lbs. Since my trailer tongue weight is close to 900 lbs, it was too big a stretch for that much strain on the truck and hitch.
I, too, was considering a front receiver for the purpose of maneuvering the Airstream into tight spots. My research on these receivers disclosed that the heftiest ones were rated for a 5,000# trailer and a 500# tongue weight.

I ended up speaking with someone at Curt, a front receiver manufacturer. I was told that I should be able to position the Airstream with this receiver. The only issue I might encounter is that the Airstream's 900# tongue weight might be too much for the front suspension of the truck.

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