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  1. #1
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    Home made trailer hitch

    Anybody here ever make their own trailer hitch and bike rack? I have a friend with a welding shop and can get one made for the cost of matierials. I was wondering if this is safe or even legal. I do not intend to use the hitch for anything besides the bike rack. Also does anybody know if I can get plans for the rack if it is available?

  2. #2
    Speed Racer Mad Dog JR's Avatar
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    I dont see why you shouldent, if you can design it the way you want it and its cheaper than store bought than i say do it! I dont think its illegal to build one.
    just make sure its well made and nothing to flimsy.

    I thought about building one myself for my Audi 4000 Quattro but i used my moms old thule roof rack that she had on her Honda.

    but i say give it a go!
    -Full speed ahead,Hard and fast!
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  3. #3
    Dances with Rocks Dirtgrinder's Avatar
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    I made the one I use. Been using it for about 4 yrs. now. I'll take some pics if you want to see it.
    If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough...

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  4. #4
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    Pics would be very helpful. Thanks

  5. #5
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    I'll bump this back up since I'm thinking about making my own also. I want something beefy since it will have to handle being bounced around trails on the back of my jeep.

  6. #6
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    I've thought about building a hitch receiver, but looking at the arrangement of my Geo Prizm's chassis, I would end up dealing with some hard angles and it would end up being more cost in labor and material than it would be worth when I can buy a class II for about $90.

    I'm planning on welding my own rack though. I should probably draw up some specs, maybe CAD it out so I have something more tangible to go for in my mind.
    Last edited by iamlucky13; 06-20-03 at 11:22 AM.
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  7. #7
    Dances with Rocks Dirtgrinder's Avatar
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    Glad someone bumped it. I took the pics but forgot to upload them.
    If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough...

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    Dances with Rocks Dirtgrinder's Avatar
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    If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough...

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  9. #9
    Dances with Rocks Dirtgrinder's Avatar
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    If you need close-ups of anything let me know.
    If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough...

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  10. #10
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    Hey DirtGrinder that looks sweet. I just bought some of those fork mounts and I was going to convert my rooftop rack to mount like that(instead of the arm that attaches to the downtube). After seeing this, I think I may just build one like yours. Already have a hitch so it should be fairly easy and cheap to do. What kind of steel did you use for the rails(looks like they are 2 or 3 inches wide from the pic)? And what do you use to hold the rear wheel in place?? Or do you use anything at all? Some detail pics of those areas would be helpful.

  11. #11
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    Looks good Dirtgrinder. Are the fork mounts a more secure way of mounting? Reason I ask is that I do alot of rock crawling in my jeep. I am trying to come up with a very secure method of mounting the bike so that it doesn't get damaged during all the jostling it is going to encounter. I was thinking along the lines of something similar to your's but with hoops for the rear tire. Would it be best with hoops for both tires or with one hoop and a fork mount?
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  12. #12
    Senior Member RacerX's Avatar
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    fork mount would be the most stable. If you are going rock crawling, don't forget to build it up high so your departure angle is ok- that way you don't grind the rack or your bike on some steeper stuff.
    Also, with the bikes on back, you get them well coated with dirt from fireroads and stuff. If you have deep mudflaps, it helps alot.

  13. #13
    Dances with Rocks Dirtgrinder's Avatar
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    I had those rails specially bent at 2 1/4". If I made another one I'd use standard 2 1/2". The reason being some tires I've used are a little too wide for the 2 1/4". They still ride just fine but I'd go a little bigger. I just use 1" wide velcro to secure the rear tire. You can get velcro straps but they are a little long if I put my cross bike on it. So I just about a 8" long piece of velcro and overlap it.
    If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough...

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    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    Oooh, I was thinking of doing the traditional style, like Yakima makes, but I think I like that better.

    Where do I find the quick release parts for that?

    Are hitch mount racks reasonably stable (i.e. not too much rocking, especially with a 1.25 inch draw bar)?
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  15. #15
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    Originally posted by iamlucky13
    ............Where do I find the quick release parts for that?

    Are hitch mount racks reasonably stable (i.e. not too much rocking, especially with a 1.25 inch draw bar)?
    I found a pair of the fork mounts on ebay for about $10.00 each. You can get them from most major bike shops too. I know Colorado Cyclist has them in their catalog.


    Yeah I was wondering the same thing since my hitch is of the 1 1/4" variety also. I guess if nothing else you could always run a nylon strap to each outer corner and secure them underneath(or anywhere) your vehicle.

    I'd be building mine to haul roadies so it may be a little tricky getting a rail made that's only an inch or so wide. :confused: Any ideas what I could use?

  16. #16
    Dances with Rocks Dirtgrinder's Avatar
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    I don't think rocking left to right would be a problem but front to back would be more of one with smaller channel iron. You shouldn't have a problem getting 1" or 1 1/2" channel iron. Doesn't have to be an exact fit. Just something to hold the tire in. You might get a heavier gauge channel iron for strength and be sure to put some flat iron across the two rails. That will help with the rocking immensely.
    If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough...

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  17. #17
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    Where did you get that bar with the red handle? How do you lock your bikes? I have a full-size van, & I rather just stick the bike inside instead of worrying about theft (or someone running into the back). If I go offroading (insides are packed), then I'm probably forced to doing something like you're doing..put it on a receiver rack.

  18. #18
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Originally posted by iamlucky13

    Are hitch mount racks reasonably stable (i.e. not too much rocking, especially with a 1.25 inch draw bar)?
    My hitch rack has a stabiliser wedge to keep it from wobbling. It gets cranked down after the rack is slipped in and secured with the linchpin. Think of how a quill stem works.
    1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte OCP Club Member
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  19. #19
    Dances with Rocks Dirtgrinder's Avatar
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    Originally posted by byen00
    Where did you get that bar with the red handle? How do you lock your bikes?
    Any farm supply store would have them. It's just a hitch pin. Probably even some hardware stores carry them.
    As for locking:
    The skewer has a hole in the handle which you put a padlock through so the skewer can't be opened. I also put a cable around the frame, wheel and through the rack sometimes. Depends on how long I have to leave it.
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  20. #20
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    I have a question for all the hitch experts. I just bought the part that attaches to the frame of the car. It was a class one hitch. Do all class one hitches come with the rectangular reciever? or can you get class ones with the 1 1/4" or 2" reciever? It seems like all the good hitch racks have 1 1/4 or 2" peices.

  21. #21
    Kev
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    I have only seen Class 1 come with that rectangular connector, so a ball can be mounted with it. Class 2 hitches come with teh 1 1/4" opening.. and Class 3 and above coem with the 2". They are rated at carrying different amounts of weight basicaly.

  22. #22
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    You can get class 1 hitch receivers with 1.25" rectangular drawbar. You also might be able to find an adapter to allow you to use a 1.25" drawbar on your rectangular receiver. If not, look up a welder in your area to make one for you. I've only seen 2 in receivers on class III and above.
    "The internet is a place where absolutely nothing happens. You need to take advantage of that." ~ Strong Bad

  23. #23
    Life's Too Short urbanking's Avatar
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    I think the reciever hitch idea is illegal in canada. NOt posative but i heard it is, I also heard that those 3 way balls (for a trailer) the ones that have 3 connected together are also illegal in canada, but no tthe U.s. Ask any place that you woulf buy a hitch and they should know. A ticket may pay for a nice rack in the long run....
    Live To Ride, Ride To Live!!

  24. #24
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    Originally posted by urbanking
    I think the reciever hitch idea is illegal in canada. NOt posative but i heard it is
    Incorrect. Receiver hitch racks are not illegal. In fact, they are by far the most popular style rack mount going. Just drop into a Canadian Tire store and you will see that there are four basic types: roof mount, trunk/glass mount, spare tire mount and receiver mount. All of them are legal.

  25. #25
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    dont see pics

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