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Unread 08-29-2003, 03:00 PM   #1
Shinner
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Tow hitch: Frame mounted or bumper built-in?

Which is preferred or generally considered better (i.e. stronger)....a rear bumper with receiver or a unit that is seperate from the bumper and mounts to the frame?

I don't have plans on any heavy towing (not with the 4 banger!) but am thinking that next summer I might pick up a jet ski.

Concerned about which method would be best. I also want to replace both bumpers and was pretty much set on either the Smitty Titanium (w/receiver) or Olympic (w/receiver). I'm wondering if they will be strong enough. I prefer tube bumpers as I've not gotten into any off-roading and aren't sure if I will any time soon.

I have another application for the hitch receiver too, but it is very lightweight....thought I could custom up some sort of flagpole platform.

Thought about doing this, which is a good idea, but it's too permanent: http://7slotgrille.com/freedom/pole/

Would rather have something that's ezon/ezoff....same sort of frame but using the receiver as the mounting place.

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Unread 08-29-2003, 04:07 PM   #2
seneb
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just go with a bumper that bolts to the frame. i have a durango 4x4 bumper and have towed a dual horse trailer with all of my stuff from an apartment. i think you will be fine with a jet ski.
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Unread 08-29-2003, 04:19 PM   #3
NaeKid
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Any of the standard receiver-style hitchs that are rated for Class-3 will do you well. Do not spend money on an un-rated hitch - they might look strong, or be strong - but its better to be safe than sorry.

Those SmittyBuilt bumpers w/ receiver are un-rated if I remember correctly.
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Unread 08-29-2003, 07:01 PM   #4
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I would save my money on the Smittybilt stuff. I have had several sets of nerf tubes over the years. The poweder coat comes off in a few years. The tubes always rust from the inside out. I bought a great bolt on hitch off of ebay. It cost me a grand total of about 89 bucks. It was brand new. There always new ones list on eBay.
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Unread 08-29-2003, 07:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NaeKid
Any of the standard receiver-style hitchs that are rated for Class-3 will do you well. Do not spend money on an un-rated hitch - they might look strong, or be strong - but its better to be safe than sorry.
I think Olympic claims to be rated, will have to check their page again.

Quote:
Those SmittyBuilt bumpers w/ receiver are un-rated if I remember correctly.
Hmmm....what I found interesting about the Smitty bumpers was that Quadratec claimed one set of numbers for tow/tongue weight, while Smitty's website stated lower numbers.
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Unread 08-29-2003, 07:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seneb
just go with a bumper that bolts to the frame. i have a durango 4x4 bumper and have towed a dual horse trailer with all of my stuff from an apartment. i think you will be fine with a jet ski.
I don't even have any idea what a jet ski on a trailer weighs out at but I figured a trailer with 2 on it would probably be pushing the 4 cylinder too hard. Only place I'd be towing to is a local lake, maybe 10 miles of single lane road.
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Unread 08-29-2003, 07:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xxxflhrci
I would save my money on the Smittybilt stuff. I have had several sets of nerf tubes over the years. The poweder coat comes off in a few years. The tubes always rust from the inside out.
Hmm....that's good info as I was all set to buy the works (front, rear & sides) from their Titanium line

Quote:
I bought a great bolt on hitch off of ebay. It cost me a grand total of about 89 bucks. It was brand new. There always new ones list on eBay.
I'll check ebay out...I don't have a garage full of tools (or a garage for that matter), so I have to try and stay with as easy of an install as possible.
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Unread 08-29-2003, 10:40 PM   #8
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i've done alot of hauling over the years and i will tell you this from experience. mounting your hitch directly to the frame is the strongest and best setup you can have, period. you can go cheap and use a bumper/reciever setup bit it isnt the strongest. keep in mind anytime you tow, you are responcible for what happens to your load, if it comes off and causes an accidient, you are liable. i have seen trailers come loose from vehicles on several occasions,(not mine) anytime i install a hitch to a truck of mine, i use a heavy reciever and weld it directly to the frame. you'll never be sorry for going heavy duty.
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Unread 08-30-2003, 08:04 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gutpile
i've done alot of hauling over the years and i will tell you this from experience. mounting your hitch directly to the frame is the strongest and best setup you can have, period. you can go cheap and use a bumper/reciever setup bit it isnt the strongest. keep in mind anytime you tow, you are responcible for what happens to your load, if it comes off and causes an accidient, you are liable. i have seen trailers come loose from vehicles on several occasions,(not mine) anytime i install a hitch to a truck of mine, i use a heavy reciever and weld it directly to the frame. you'll never be sorry for going heavy duty.
I think I'm starting to lean towards the separate hitch even though I originally figured I could kill 2 birds with one stone by getting the bumper/receiver combination. Not only for the strength of it, but in the case where the bumper got destroyed in an accident (or rusted out), I wouldn't have to replace the hitch as well. I'm not a welder though, so I'd probably just go the bolt-on route unless I found someone who could do the welds for me at an affordable cost.
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Unread 08-30-2003, 09:05 AM   #10
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I believe the following will stress the importance of a strong tow-point.
Most pickup's I have seen use a bumper mounted ball, so according to this pic, either would work.
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Unread 08-30-2003, 09:15 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TellyDSP
I believe the following will stress the importance of a strong tow-point. Most pickup's I have seen use a bumper mounted ball, so according to this pic, either would work.
Dang.....Truck saved by boat!

A new question pops up.....1 1/4" receiver or 2"? Does it matter when you're pulling with a 4 cylinder? Would think the heavy duty hitch rated for 3000lbs (which has the 2" receiver) would be overkill as the Jeep isn't rated to pull that much. The 2000lb hitch has the 1 1/4" receiver.

Are drop bars, tow hooks, etc just as available for the 1 1/4 as there are for 2"? Seems like 2" is more of the standard.
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