Project Van: Installing a Front Hitch

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Update by Tom Suddard to the Ford E-250 project car
Jul 15, 2019

We’re working on turning this $2000 van into a do-it-all machine that can tow a car to the track, then serve as a mobile workshop and hotel room for the weekend.

Every tow vehicle needs a front hitch, and fortunately they're super easy to add. Odds are if there's a bolt-on rear hitch available, there's one for the front, too. So we spent $126 on Amazon for a Curt front hitch for our van, which came with instructions and installation hardware. It took us about an hour to install. 

So, why go through the trouble of installing one of these? For starters, they're great tow points, something our van previously lacked. We used our front hitch to make quick work of an old deck we'd been meaning to remove for years:

They're also great attachment points for accessories, including a little crane we put together a few years ago. We use the front hitch to pick up project cars, engines, etc. Here's us using the crane to stack two Triumph TR3s in a reader's yard so we could fit them into a one-car trailer:

By the way, you probably shouldn't try that at home. 

Oh, and about that trailer: You've probably noticed it's bigger than the grey trailer we used to tow. Our van's suspension upgrades were so successful that we bought a bigger trailer, moving from a 7.5'x16' trailer to a 8.5'x20' enclosed trailer from Best Price Trailers. It's only a few feet bigger, but it's much easier to fit our project cars into.

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View comments on the GRM forums
noddaz GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/15/19 8:47 a.m.

Go van, go!

Very nice.

oldopelguy UberDork
7/15/19 9:04 a.m.

You can go old school and use the hitch to mount the spare tire up front too. Bonus points for a cool 70s van tire cover.

wae SuperDork
7/15/19 9:08 a.m.
Tom Suddard said:


That car looks exceptionally unhappy about the current state of affairs in which it has found itself...

Donatello New Reader
7/15/19 7:11 p.m.

It's nice of GRM to help two older British cars mate. I am sure they appreciated the privacy of your new trailer also. The front trailer hitch was indeed very useful to erect the old triumph. Keep us posted with any developments. 

Vigo MegaDork
7/15/19 10:35 p.m.

A front hitch can be handy for maneuvering a trailer into an unusually tricky spot as well.  I've never actually tried searching for a front hitch, so i guess i'll go see if i can find one for an 01 ram. 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
7/16/19 8:08 a.m.

I'm waiting for the van episode, "Installation of transfer case and front diff." 

Karl La Follette
Karl La Follette UltraDork
7/17/19 4:50 p.m.

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