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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone out there know someone who fabricates custom hitches?

Weird, I know, but I don't like the idea of big ol' gnarly hitch on the back of my car. For one thing, it's overkill- a class I is rated to pull 3000 lb. I won't be pulling anything with it. Tongue weight for is rated 300 lb. I'll be carrying 100 lb at most, a lot less most of the time. Class I is too heavy (35 lbs), bulky and ugly. All I need is something strong enough to securely hold a 2-bike rack. So I'm looking for someone to make me a hitch that is weaker and sleeker, light, tight and right. Any ideas or references will be much appreciated.
 

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My gloves stink
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Is it worth $300?

jetta_mike said:
Grab your yellow pages and open it too "hitches" or "trailers" or "towing supplies". You have have to do a little research to find the right category. Here where I live anyway we have 3 shops in town at do custom hitch building. The easiest option would be to have them put a 2" receiver onto a class 1 hitch.
Found a guy on Craigslist who came by and scoped it out. He says he could do it for about $300. That's twice the cost of a class I hitch. He said it would be about half the weight, less visible and less bulky. Not sure I'm gonna pull the trigger.
 

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Have you checked for an aluminum trailer hitch? I'm not sure anyone even makes something like that. You may look into an aftermarket ATV hitch. They're much smaller and a good fabricator could rig you up something. It'll probably be more expensive than a Class I though.

Is 35 lbs for a hitch really too much? Groceries and a tank of gas both weigh more than that. I know it's extra weight, but unless you're driving a Yugo, I wouldn't think you would notice. Plus it's designed as a system, not a bunch of parts just put together. I had a hidden hitch on my Grand Prix and never had any issues. Good luck.
 

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I have an old vw fox, i've been told that hitch mounts are a bit of a problem. I started a whole custom rack mounted to the tow loops.Since its 2 mounting points that are pretty far apart stresses are pretty low,the loops are made to tow the car so they're plenty strong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I admit I'm being a weight weenie

wannabedren said:
Have you checked for an aluminum trailer hitch? I'm not sure anyone even makes something like that. You may look into an aftermarket ATV hitch. They're much smaller and a good fabricator could rig you up something. It'll probably be more expensive than a Class I though.

Is 35 lbs for a hitch really too much? Groceries and a tank of gas both weigh more than that. I know it's extra weight, but unless you're driving a Yugo, I wouldn't think you would notice. Plus it's designed as a system, not a bunch of parts just put together. I had a hidden hitch on my Grand Prix and never had any issues. Good luck.
I admit to being a little obsessive here. But here's the deal. The car is an Acura TSX- a well-balanced, sharp handling compact car. It has farings under the car to reduce drag, including one in the rear. The crossbar of the hitch would project about 2 inches below the faring for about 2/3 the width of the car, creating drag at speed. Add to that the 35 lbs tacked on to the extreme rear of the car, and well, it's just not something I want to do to this car.

And there are no real choices for this particular car, either. All the hitches for this car are the same design. No aluminum ones, either.

The whole point was to avoid having anything touch the paint. So I've come up with a simpler idea. Go with a trunk-mount rack and put patches of 3M paint protectant ("Clear Bra") film at the points where the rack contacts the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Fruit loops

herbn said:
I have an old vw fox, i've been told that hitch mounts are a bit of a problem. I started a whole custom rack mounted to the tow loops.Since its 2 mounting points that are pretty far apart stresses are pretty low,the loops are made to tow the car so they're plenty strong.
You know, I was looking at those, and so was my fabricator. On my car, they're close together and, not that beefy and are an odd shape. Plus, they wouldn't be usable for towing, not that I expect to ever be towed- but who does?
 

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First off, a class one hitch is rated for 200 lb tongue weight, and a total of 2000 lbs. However, you have to consider how for away from the hitch the bikes will be and that creates torque on the hitch. If you are going to put 2 bikes on there then its not as simple as bike weight = tongue weight.

Second, he is charging you $300 for a custom fabrication. That's a fair price. Those hitches that cost half as much were made in bulk on an assembly line. If you buy the custom job, make sure you insurance will cover you if it breaks and your bikes fall off on the interstate and cause a pile-up.

Your predicament is similar to all the noobs who want a bike that "does everything." Don't wanna jack with your sports car? That's fine, but you're not going to safely carry bikes with it. Give a little take a little ya dig?
 

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Dogbrain said:
.

Second, he is charging you $300 for a custom fabrication. That's a fair price. Those hitches that cost half as much were made in bulk on an assembly line. If you buy the custom job, make sure you insurance will cover you if it breaks and your bikes fall off on the interstate and cause a pile-up.

Your predicament is similar to all the noobs who want a bike that "does everything." Don't wanna jack with your sports car? That's fine, but you're not going to safely carry bikes with it. Give a little take a little ya dig?
OP! I deal with Fools like you almost on a daily basis.....

"Oh Im only gonna use it for blah blah blah!!! so I dont want to spand too much! Dont be a cheap @$$! $300 for a custom,one off hidden hitch for your ride is a fair price in my book!
THINK OF THE SAFETY OF YOU AND OTHERS!!! :nono:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Somebody needs a nap

ae111black said:
OP! I deal with Fools like you almost on a daily basis.....

"Oh Im only gonna use it for blah blah blah!!! so I dont want to spand too much! Dont be a cheap @$$! $300 for a custom,one off hidden hitch for your ride is a fair price in my book!
THINK OF THE SAFETY OF YOU AND OTHERS!!! :nono:
Relax, ae111. All I did was explain my situation and ask for ideas. I didn't complain about the price I was quoted for the custom hitch, nor did I say it wasn't "fair". I simply compared it to a factory hitch. Hey, if you've got so much money that price is no object, congrats, I'm happy for you. Many of us are not so fortunate.

Your concern for my safety and that of others is commendable. Presumably, you're the type who always rides courteously and in complete control. Again, congratulations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
None taken

jetta_mike said:
No offence but I bet you have never taken advantage of your spoilers on your car. The good handling comes from the sport suspension and the vehicles light weight. Go ahead and get the hitch, you'll just beat your car up with a truck rack.
No offense taken, Jetta. I agree, and if I ever do reach speed where the spoilers are effective, it'll probably be seconds before I die in a fiery crash.
 
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