Home made trailer hitch...
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    Home made trailer hitch...

    Anybody ever make their own hitch for car/truck???

    I'm thinking about doing one for my s10, will just be for my snowmobile trailer.

    maybe 3 inch square for frame....not sure.

    Was also kicking around taking a bigger C channel, making a "bumper" out of that, and incorporating a hitch into that then....

    Any ideas are appreciated....and yes...I am too cheap to just go and buy one!!!!!
    Miller blue star 2e
    Lincoln 175

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    358

    Re: Home made trailer hitch...

    we've made em, but mostly only for extenuating circumstances. you can pick up a ready made one too, yaknow.

  3. #3
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    Re: Home made trailer hitch...

    I know....I priced em....and they're anywhere from 130 to 200 bucks.....I'm cheap. Just seems like one could be made in less than an hour, and made to last too.
    Miller blue star 2e
    Lincoln 175

  4. #4
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    Dec 2007
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    358

    Re: Home made trailer hitch...

    I guess we all have our cheap areas.
    I usually just get some ideas together, try it out and see what happens.

    For you I would probably say to study a lot of similar type hitches if you havn't already.

  5. #5
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    Re: Home made trailer hitch...

    Yeah, been thinkin bout it......probably just gonna get a 6 inch Channel....weld to existing frame for bumper...reinforce where needed....and cut out a hole for receiver....put 3 inch square tube in....weld...reinforce....done!!!!
    Miller blue star 2e
    Lincoln 175

  6. #6
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    May 2007
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    Indiana
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    115

    Re: Home made trailer hitch...

    $200 seems like alot of money, unless you consider it to be an insurance policy against someone naming you in a lawsuit as the manufacturer whose hitch just broke away sending your sled(s) though the windshield of the people behind you on the Interstate.

    I'm not trying to talk you out of building it, but I do have a little 1st hand experience with this kind of thing... (not pleasant).
    The best things in life all come on a stick!

  7. #7
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    358

    Re: Home made trailer hitch...

    I think you should probably listen to Rabidfish. He's got a point you can't really argue with

  8. #8
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    Re: Home made trailer hitch...

    I have made many. And guys have come back to tell me about what a beating it takes without failing.
    To the people advising against it. I suggest you start looking at a lot of manufactured parts and realize that just because it has a brand name on it does not make it superior.
    A good example is trailers.
    Why would you advise against making a trailer hitch? What if he bought the hitch and built the trailer himself? The trailer would have to be made just as well or it would break. The tongue of a trailer is not where you want your less than best welds.
    It only makes sense to me that if you can build a trailer you can build a hitch to hold that trailer.
    Ok, enuff ranting.
    Just remember, Proper Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance!
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    358

    Re: Home made trailer hitch...

    only advise against someone trying to build on having never laid hands on or have done anything of the sort.

    Joker 11 you are right about the custom/homemade hitches being normally superior but I also feel that one should have some general knowledge of hitch design and/or experience in installing them before starting a project as such.

    of the many homemade hitches I have seen, some are just poorly designed scrap that I wouldn't trust my ex mother in law on.

    Building a hitch is a GOOD idea, but make sure and design it properly

  10. #10
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    May 2007
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    Re: Home made trailer hitch...


    Some stuff I've done for kicks and practice...





    I did not make the bumper on my truck, but I rebuilt it to add the reciever through the center.
    6 inch channel is good stuff, but I'ld suggest using a standard 2" i.d. tube for the reciever so that it will accept over the counter ball mounts.
    They are sold in different lengths, ready to weld, they are called combo bars.
    http://www.google.com/products?hl=en...&um=1&ie=UTF-8
    The bar on the truck is store bought, however I made the one for my Jeep from scratch!
    City of L.A. Structural; Manual & Semi-Automatic;
    "Surely there is a mine for silver, and a place where gold is refined. Iron is taken from the earth, and copper is smelted from ore."
    Job 28:1,2

    Lincoln, Miller, Victor & NKJV Bible

    Danny

  11. #11
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    Re: Home made trailer hitch...

    Quote Originally Posted by FearcityINC
    Yeah, been thinkin bout it......probably just gonna get a 6 inch Channel....weld to existing frame for bumper...reinforce where needed....and cut out a hole for receiver....put 3 inch square tube in....weld...reinforce....done!!!!
    1-S-10 is a light duty frame. Presumably you'll be towing, say less than 5,000#??

    6" channel (or anything else) for the receiver crossbar, needs to distribute its load, back along the sides of the frame rails and bearing uP underneath the frame rails-
    --look at at Draw-Tite hitch. This is done to distribute the load , torquing and leverage along the frame rails. Bolting thru the frame rails is preferable to welding--since those rear rails twist and flex, which bolting allows--welding doesn't. Welding in a flexing area--means cracking of the frame.
    (I used to be a Draw-Tite dealer, along with modifying Draw-Tite hitches. It's an engineered product, for each specific vehicle's frame--not something just slapped together on a hunch and guess. One can learn from their work--I did. I also learned 'how-not' to do hitches from all manner of jerry-rigged, busted, bent, whacked-out, home brew hitches--that came into my shop hoping for a $2 tack-job.)
    Blackbird

    Fat Bastard for President-2016

  12. #12
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    middle tennessee
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    Re: Home made trailer hitch...

    Here's how I done one for a customer
    Name:  DSCN1641.JPG
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    Dewayne
    Dixieland Welding

    MM350P
    Lincoln 100
    Some torches
    Other misc. tools

  13. #13
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    Jul 2007
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    Town of Milton, NW corner of Vermont
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    Re: Home made trailer hitch...

    The closest tube you can readily get for a functioning receiver is 2 1/2 x 2 1/2 x 3/16". If you go with 1/4" wall it's too close a fit if you can even get a 2" shank to fit in it. It's also a good idea to cut a short, 1/2 to 3/4" section of 3 x 3 x 1/4 tube and weld that around the end of the receiver to reinforce it a bit.

    Here's a link to the last homegrown bumper I built. Overbuilt to a fault but it's not gonna come off or apart without taking the truck frame with it.

  14. #14
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    Re: Home made trailer hitch...

    That picture with the truck.......what does that thing pull, the space shuttle?
    I wont be doing any welding on the frame....fully aware of flexing, was thinking about 1/4 inch plate to bolted to the frame, then everything else welded up......

    Thanks for the advise guys....good points!!!!!
    Miller blue star 2e
    Lincoln 175

  15. #15
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    Re: Home made trailer hitch...

    Nice post Dave! Very well said, I especially like this little bit of prose...

    Quote Originally Posted by dave powelson
    I also learned 'how-not' to do hitches from all manner of jerry-rigged, busted, bent, whacked-out, home brew hitches--that came into my shop hoping for a $2 tack-job.)
    No space shuttle behind my truck, just a skiff. The bumper is a notch or two over the top, that's ok with me!

    City of L.A. Structural; Manual & Semi-Automatic;
    "Surely there is a mine for silver, and a place where gold is refined. Iron is taken from the earth, and copper is smelted from ore."
    Job 28:1,2

    Lincoln, Miller, Victor & NKJV Bible

    Danny

  16. #16
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    Re: Home made trailer hitch...

    I've made up quite a few hitches for customers.. Not one of them did I weld to the frame. I try to cover as much space on the frame with plate to be bolted to. Even with a shear and punch, I don't think it could be done in 1 hour. I know the reciever tube that we sold was around 20 bucks a foot.. And U-haul used to carry the tube with a pin whole already drilled out and face doubler welded on for, um, uhh, Can't remember what customers have told me in the past. But it wasn't that much.
    Common sense in an uncommon degree is what the world calls wisdom.

  17. #17
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    Re: Home made trailer hitch...

    BTW Tangeldiver....I didnt mean to sound like a jag bag.......I re read just now and it sounded a little sarcastic......

    I wasnt meaning that at all.....just looks BEEFY AS HELL!!!!!!!! A good thing!!

    Thanks everyone....I think i got a couple leads for a manufactured one on CRAIGSLIST!!!
    Miller blue star 2e
    Lincoln 175

  18. #18
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    Re: Home made trailer hitch...

    No worries! This thing came with the truck when I got it and it is bolted through long plates running forward along the frame channels. It had this 1/2" thick angle section on the back face for mounting a rigid hitch ball, no reciever. So I cut the horizontal section off where the ball was mounted and cut a square opening for the tube. I braced across the front end of the tube to the bumper mounting plates for rigidity. The bumper was the best part on the whole truck! I added some trailer chain rings and recovery rings and an electric connector, done! You'll do fine with yours, post pics for us!


    Edit:- My bumper/hitch is one assembly. That assembly is bolted to the truck frame. -: for clarification.
    Last edited by tanglediver; 12-27-2007 at 10:58 PM.
    City of L.A. Structural; Manual & Semi-Automatic;
    "Surely there is a mine for silver, and a place where gold is refined. Iron is taken from the earth, and copper is smelted from ore."
    Job 28:1,2

    Lincoln, Miller, Victor & NKJV Bible

    Danny

  19. #19
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    In A Nice Comfy Chair
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    Re: Home made trailer hitch...

    Trailer hitches must be BOLTED to the frame..
    They can't be welded to the frame in any way shape or form!!!

    Check with your D.O.T.

    ...zap!


    I am not completely insane..
    Some parts are missing

    Professional Driver on a closed course....
    Do not attempt.

  20. #20
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    Re: Home made trailer hitch...

    Hitch, Coupling Device or Connection, or Tow Dolly
    29003. (a) Every hitch or coupling device used as a means of attaching the towed and towing vehicles shall be properly and securely mounted and be structurally adequate for the weight drawn. The mounting of the hitch or coupling device on the towing and towed vehicle shall include sufficient reinforcement or bracing of the frame to provide sufficient strength and rigidity to prevent undue distortion of the frame.

    (b) The drawbar, tongue, or other connection between the towing and towed vehicles shall be securely attached and structurally adequate for the weight drawn.

    (c) The raised end of any motor vehicle being transported by another motor vehicle using a tow dolly shall be secured to the tow dolly by two separate chains, cables, or equivalent devices adequate to prevent shifting or separation of the towed vehicle and the tow dolly.

    Amended Ch. 708, Stats. 1983. Effective January 1, 1984.





    http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d13/vc29003.htm

    http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/vc/vc_index_t.htm
    Last edited by tanglediver; 12-27-2007 at 11:19 PM.
    City of L.A. Structural; Manual & Semi-Automatic;
    "Surely there is a mine for silver, and a place where gold is refined. Iron is taken from the earth, and copper is smelted from ore."
    Job 28:1,2

    Lincoln, Miller, Victor & NKJV Bible

    Danny

  21. #21
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    Re: Home made trailer hitch...

    The guy that I built that bumper for told me he had a friend that was wanting one like it but he wanted to test it and see if it was strong enough They tied a chain around the ball mount on the bumper I made and the other end was around the ball on the other guy's truck (I never said they were smart) The guy doing the "testing" took off and snapped the 2" ball off his truck. Nothing happened to the bumper.
    Dewayne
    Dixieland Welding

    MM350P
    Lincoln 100
    Some torches
    Other misc. tools

  22. #22
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    Re: Home made trailer hitch...

    Very interesting!
    John
    - fabricator extraordinaire, car nut!
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    http://www.weldfabzone.com


  23. #23
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    Re: Home made trailer hitch...

    They tied a chain around the ball mount on the bumper I made and the other end was around the ball on the other guy's truck (I never said they were smart) The guy doing the "testing" took off and snapped the 2" ball off his truck. Nothing happened to the bumper.
    The ole tennessee tuffness test. All bumpers designed for towing shall be a minimum of 'hell for stout'.

  24. #24
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    Re: Home made trailer hitch...

    40 smackers on Craigslist......done.....getting it tomorrow.......wish I could have a wicked c channel bumper though!!!!!!! although 4.3 litres of wicked v6 probably wouldnt be thanking me too much down the road.......even though its only got 70,400 miles on it....not bad for 15 years old though!!!
    Miller blue star 2e
    Lincoln 175

  25. #25
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    Re: Home made trailer hitch...

    D'OH!!

    Here's a Hershey's for your trouble Homer.
    City of L.A. Structural; Manual & Semi-Automatic;
    "Surely there is a mine for silver, and a place where gold is refined. Iron is taken from the earth, and copper is smelted from ore."
    Job 28:1,2

    Lincoln, Miller, Victor & NKJV Bible

    Danny

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