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92 stro base
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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Your new hitch looks like it should work well!
On the two holes in the bumper..why not make a diamond plate "step" extension for there that covers over the hitch area..but not wide enough to interfere with using it.I plan on using a hitch extension I found for 2" to 1-1/4' and weld a piece on top for the step.My knees are bad and I'm getting awfully tired crawling into the back of the van while I'm working on the interior.Another "step" even with about the bottom of the bumper or the top of a hitch extension decreases that step up to two about 7-8".. or close to standard stair height..
Thank you and I believe it will, even if it is only "new to me":)
I like the suggestion and if in the future I find that I may need one, I'll keep it in mind. For now, my knees aren't that bad off though. I have seen hitches that have a step on them. I have seen hitches that are stacked splitters, so that you can tow with one, and put other items like a bicycle rack or step on the other. I'm favoring plate metal like diamond because if you see the back of my subi:
Car Automotive tail & brake light Vehicle registration plate Vehicle Automotive lighting

all of them little nicks in the bumper cover are from my not so exquisite aim. (The other stuff on the tailgate was there before me.) I'm looking to save my van from all of that.
I saw a magnetic mounted get up that in theory allows you to see where the ball and trailer hitch are in relation and this idea might work on my subi with its low and vertical lift tailgate, (am I the only one that misses the roll down windows or the split hatches of the old Broncos and Blazers and other station wagons? I think Subaru missed an opportunity there.) but on my barn door Astro, I don't think it would be visible and the doors like to close while backing up if I try with them open.
Of course, I have no intention of buying said product either and will make my own that will be tall enough, so that point may be moot, and I'll just find me a nice sticker (hit the drilled holes with some of that primer I used on the spare first, at least). I already have one in mind, and I may get one for each ride.
Also, I don't really like having such things as a hitch or step sticking out past the bumper. I know it "saves the vehicle from damage" if hit, but more than likely it'll save my shins in it's absence first.馃槚
Also, to the extent my knees do like to give me grief, I always keep some sort of pad in the ride. A gardening pad, old yoga mat, or one of them 2 foot square puzzle together pads work wonders. This helps keep clothes dry and clean and provides padding from hard pavement or dirt road rocks if I have to look underneath or change a tire in an emergency, and if I have to climb up in the back, it just provides extra padding. (sometimes keeps my clothes clean and dry too depending on the condition of the back of my ride馃槷)
I also like them ladders you can put on the passenger door. I'm not sure I would ever need one yet as I have running boards, a step bumper, and not sure what I may do with the top rack yet, (kayak, cargo box, or rooftop tent?) but I'm keeping them in mind.
 

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2004 Astro V6
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The real low hitches under the Astro bumper..I had to tow a log splitter that was a larger model and used the standard hitch with the ball mount welded under the 2" tube(ball on top behind the 2" tube).Unfortunately,the heavier model log splitter had a crank-down-front-wheel attached to it that dragged on the asphalt when I went into a higher driveway.I plan on taking the ball off and reversing the ball so the bar for the ball comes out the top side,with the ball mounted on top,raising the ball..and reducing the tongue weight.I haven't tried my small boat trailer or utility trailer behind this Astro for about 12 years...???...but the boat trailer doesn't have that front end added crank down wheel.I don't remember ever having that problem with those trailers.Anyway..I'll probably keep two hitches intact..one with the 2" ball mounted each direction for a proper offset/tongue weight when I need it.
I got lucky on craigslist about 2 weeks ago. A guy that wrecked his truck got a newer truck..with a new 2" hitch extension and ball also.He sold me his old (well pretty new,still has all the stickers on it..a Reese 2" drop or rise one) hitch piece and 2" ball for $10 because he didn't need it! Twisted my arm there!;)..so I now have my two..and a third one for the "step" hitch..
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
I think I will have to flip the ball on the bar I currently have. It's on the drop side, which would bring the ball even lower than the tube in the picture above, which is already below the crossmember, which is below the bumper. If I flip it, it should be at least close to the crossmember height.
I'll have to handle trailer jacks when and if I encounter them. Personally, if I were to own a trailer, I'd have a flip up jack. The motorcycle utility trailers Uhaul has don't have a jack at all. I have borrowed someone's with my Outback. His jack does not flip up, but i have never drug his jack. I don't think the Astro will sit any lower. The only boat I'm moving around for the foreseeable future is my kayak, and I usually just put that on a roof rack.
Doesn't your outboard tilt up anyway to prevent it from bumping and dragging? Does it's trailer not have any jack in the front? It's for just a smaller bass or john boat then?
 

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2004 Astro V6
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Hmm..thought I posted an answer to my boat/front wheel issue before..???
I fish Puget Sound with a 13' Livingston with a couple Penn downriggers,a Bottomline 360 scanner,35hp Evinrude and 3hp kicker..a very small lightweight package that gets me to the boat launch,across Puget Sound to the best spot around ,in about 45 minutes if I stop for gas..once I hook it on the ball.The combination is small,well balanced with only a little tongue weight, and only requires moving the tongue by hand from behind the fence and onto the back of the van.I do have a long shaft motor but with a lower ball,it works fine.Having the engine down is fine,the roads are smooth between my house and the launch and no speed bumps..or I can set it up a notch or two when traveling, but that reduces the tongue weight.
I fish small..and usually by myself or take the wife along.I can crab,get shrimp,along with salmon or bottomfish..make the trips multipurpose in Puget Sound.I can use the boat in the lower rivers also for salmon runs..
I built a 10' Don Hill okume drift boat also..I use with the Haul-n' 8' utility trailer..same thing..I can fish/flyfish by myself(lakes,slow rivers) or it goes inside a standard drift boat for doubling up to make "turn-arounds" and pickups easier when drifting(two guys,two trailers,two boats)..leave one at the bottom,stack two and drive up.float down two,stack and head back up for the upper vehicle and trailer. That Haul-n balances well also.There are lots of rivers,lakes and the Sound with access less than one hour away..
I had friends with bigger boats but they were always a pain to launch,plan on going when?,get to boat launches,and other headaches.
When the salmon are running,I usually bring back one or two..per person..plus whatever else I get in pots I drop before fishing and pick-up on the way back in as the sun goes down.
I used to flyfish for salmon and steelhead wading in the local rivers also..for say 15-20 years.For the last 10-15 years or so..I've had too much to do otherwise,the regs have been screwy due to lawsxuits,extensions of the Boldt Decision(bring along a lawyer to read the "daily regs"..)..and it's been more expensive for licenses,gas,and just to much hassle to go.
I've thought about maybe flyfishing the North Fork of the Stilliguamish again for steelhead and salmon馃槑..haven't since they had the OSO slide that really jammed up the river and closed it down for awhile.The Elwah..about 6 miles from my other house on the Olympic Peninsula..should reopen for large salmon again someday,first time in several decades.. after two dams were removed..I'm waiting for wading that one..
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Yes, actually, I think you did. It was the last post on the bumper mount thread. Although, it has been a while since I actually read that posting, I think you said a few things different on this one.
The only note I have on that is one of the reasons I don't go bigger than my kayak at the moment. I always know people with big boats and like you said, all the time spent planning on and preparing to get out , vs. actually out isn't worth it to me, at least not at this time.
I'd take a 25 cabin cruiser and go down the river to the bay for the weekend and not touch land again until I got back to berth. Most people I know with something like that just go out and cruise a few mile loop up and down and back for half a day. I'd do that with a 12 foot flat, john, or bass boat.
 

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2004 Astro V6
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I thought I did post it..brain fart here..LOL! Fishing around here..or at least out in Puget Sound has become more of a rich man's sport..big boats from local yacht harbors more than anything small..16-20 foot boats are selling pretty cheap in these parts.Boston Whalers,Arimas,Sea Dorys,and that type still seem to hold values..most older boats say 1980s-90s and that with inboard/ outboard or 2 cycle outboard setups, seem to sell for $2000-5000..with galvanized trailers..The trailers alone are worth $1500+.
My trailer is just right for my 13' boat..small also..why I can move things by hand..My driveways and storage areas are gravel(I have big fir trees that would tear up asphalt with their roots)..but well balanced boat/trailers can be moved without too much work.My driveway entrances are pretty flat..why I was surprised when that crank up wheel dragged..If it flipped up,it wouldn't have...but it isn't my trailer.Hmm..maybe it was when I left the rental place..somewhere it dragged,but that wasn't very steep either...
We had rented the smaller model splitter..but the hydraulic cylinder's back and forth lever broke on that one and they only had the bigger one left when I took it back for replacement(about a cord and a half of big rounds to split yet.).I had no problem towing the small one but no front wheel either..It just balanced better and was lower,right for the low ball height.
That was the 2004 Astro..only time I've towed anything since getting that one this year..Both van hitches seem to be about the same height between the 1990 and the 2004 model's hitches.
 
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