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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a class 3 hitch on my 02 astro LS with tow package.

Can I put a class 4 hitch or just weld the one I have to increase true tongue wt capacity?

Anyone do anything like this? I have air shocks to help with sag but will probably upgrade to air bags.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I'm bumping this thread since I really want to know if a class 4 hitch is doable.

Has to be someone on here who has a strong hitch. Hoping they see this and post up.
 

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05 Astro AWD
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Never seen a Class IV hitch for an Astro/Safari. Our towing capacity is only as high as 5,500 lbs.

There are different weight ratings on different Class III hitches, however. Just get the highest-rated Class III.

I took a Class I hitch off my '99 when I got it and put the Class III that was on my '93 when I bought it.

The Draw-Tite Class I I removed:
IMG_1185.JPG

IMG_1184.JPG


And the Draw-Tite Class III I installed - but not until after I wire-wheeled, rust converted and painted:
IMG_1187.JPG

IMG_1186.JPG


That is the hitch I moved to my '02 and used to tow my Jeep Liberty home on a Uhaul car trailer, which weighed in at 6,250 lbs together.
Beefier construction all the way around, more frame bolts (and longer section) and bumper bolts.

Please note the note on the label -"Do not cut, drill, weld or modify." To get the higher weight rating of the hitch, you must use weight-distributing stuff.

The one that came installed on my '05 is very similar to the Class III above, same weight capacity and same construction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So I am wanting greater tongue weight capacity to tow or carry motorcycles on a hitch carrier.
My class 3 is rated 400lbs tongue wt. I was thinking of adapting a hitch from a Tahoe like a class 4 to increase capacity.
Then was wondering if I need to beef up the frame rails with something or not. I only want to carry say 500lbs tongue wt on a hitch carrier.
The Tahoe/suburban class 4's are rated well above that.
 

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The hitch I have on my van is a class III and it's tongue weight rating is 500 lbs and towing capacity of 5000 lbs, pretty standard among class III hitches. I have seen a class III that had a tongue weight rating of 600 lbs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Haha the search is still on. Everything out there is 300 reg 500 load dist.

I want at least 500 reg.

Anyone see any like that that fits our van (02) let me know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The brakes to haul a measly 500lbs? I Carry this same bike inside the van all the time. Plus if you put 8 people in your van like we all do its WAY more than 500lbs especially with luggage at all.

Still looking for the 500lb capacity hitch. Looks like suburbans & tahoes have way narrower frame rails.
Still seems like plates bolted or welded on would get me what I want.

My other thought was to mount 2 more arms under the van to stabilize and carry weight more evenly than just the hitch receiver.
 

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smokinjoe said:
The brakes to haul a measly 500lbs?
Nevermind.. it seems some of us might have misunderstood you are not looking to "tow" a lot of weight.. but rather "support" a lot of weight.

Personally, if I had a lot of weight supported ONLY by single 2" point.. I'd probably devise some support to strap it somewhat from above .. and to keep it stable too.

I'd also assume when it is "bouncing"... the sudden temporary weight would FAR EXCEED 500lbs.

PS: Here's an idea.. why not custom weld on 2 extra receivers.. ONE ON EACH SIDE.
(they may even have bolt-on receivers too)
Each receiver would now see a fraction of the weight, plus it would be stable.
Then custom modify your bike attachment.
That would solve numerous issues.. and be cool too.

Something like this: :D

TrailerHitch-3-Receivers.jpg
 

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If you look at some of the bumper build projects you would see that many Astro owners abandon the factory / Reese or other hitch all together. Making there own 2x2x1/4 rails to mount to the frame, Then weld any cross piece you want between those rails, Look at UWHARRIE if you mount your own cross piece say a 4x4x1/4 inch square tube you can then either install a receiver for a hitch or just build a motorcycle rack. If I was better at computers I would show you the one I just built. Ill try today to drum up some photos. TURN and BURN also has some bumper build photos. Good luck as far as supporting a 500 pound bike I woulden't see a problem.
 

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smokinjoe said:
... Plus if you put 8 people in your van like we all do its WAY more than 500lbs especially with luggage at all.
...
And can you imagine them and all that weight hanging off the 2" ball.

:shrug:

Mike
 

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smokinjoe said:
The brakes to haul a measly 500lbs? I Carry this same bike inside the van all the time. Plus if you put 8 people in your van like we all do its WAY more than 500lbs especially with luggage at all.

Still looking for the 500lb capacity hitch. Looks like suburbans & tahoes have way narrower frame rails.
Still seems like plates bolted or welded on would get me what I want.

My other thought was to mount 2 more arms under the van to stabilize and carry weight more evenly than just the hitch receiver.
When you put 8 people inside the van, the weight is distributed between both axles. When you put 500 lbs behind the van connected to the receiver hitch, the weight is behind the rear axle. That weight acts as a lever making the rear of the van squat down and the front of the van to lift up leading to steering instability. A weight distributing hitch loads the van to take some of the downward force from the rear of the van and moves that downward force to the front of the van to restore the steering stability.
What you might be able to do is to install air bags on your van. When you load the 500 lbs, inflate the air bags to raise the rear of the van back to the original height and hopefully that will transfer the weight back to the front of the van to help restore steering stability.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yes I am aware of all those chassis dynamics. I have air shocks & hopefully bags soon.
I am worried that the hitch is the limiting factor then the frame.
Of course I don't want all that squat to mess up geometry. I just figure if I solve the capacity issue and keep the rear up with bags then I can carry my bike.
 

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