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Another Test Passed (Towing)

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by Nay, Aug 21, 2006.

  1. Nay

    Nay

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    Several months ago, I installed the Slee receiver in the stock rear bumper/crossmember as a tow hitch to gain clearance over a standard hitch and an extraction point (with d-ring insert).

    http://www.sleeoffroad.com/products/products_receivers.htm

    Comments were mixed, from "if you put a bike rack mount on that it will rattle" and "that would work for a garden trailer" to "that's the solution". I have it mounted through the entire crossmember with grade eight hardware and washers between the space in the crossmember mount surfaces. I had used it for a pull extraction from the side to avoid extra damage from a lean into a tree, but never for just straight towing.

    This weekend, I pulled a 6x12 UHaul trailer (2,000 lbs empty) with about 1,000 to 1,500 lbs of cargo, so up to a gross weight of about 3,500 lbs. This included driving from 5,000 to 7,000 ft. elevation on the highway and several trips around town. It worked flawlessly, and the hitch height with a 6" drop hitch was perfect (22" ground to top of the ball).

    Given that this setup doesn't compromise clearance offroad and provides triangulation back to the frame, at least for moderate towing and extraction I consider this mod a success without the need for an expensive aftermarket bumper cap or clearance robbing tow hitch.

    Obviously it's bolted in now as I took the pics mid install - anybody wanting to see up close pics of the install through the entire crossmember let me know.

    Nay
    Triangulation Close.jpg Hitch Triangulation.jpg
     
  2. concretejungle

    concretejungle SILVER Star

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    way to defeat the naysayers!! :)
     
  3. F0RSAKEN

    F0RSAKEN

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    That looks pretty neat. Im not so sure I would use something like that, as I prefer something welded to the frame in some manner, but that looks like it works great for what you use it for!

    How did the truck do though? A lot of lugging on elevation change, or did it pull effortlessly? And how was the fuel milage (or lack there of)?

    I ask because I just got done towing a 3k pound boat with ~500 pounds of gear (on boat and in vehicle) with my '94 4Runner 3.slow. On flat ground or slight incline, I could maintain 60-70mph in 4th, but if I hit the hills (took it over a mountain pass) I was down in 3rd and floored just to maintain 35-40mph. I did average 13.5mpg during the whole crossing though, which isnt bad considering it gets ~18mpg unloaded.
     
  4. Romer

    Romer fatherofdaughterofromer Moderator

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    I used it from Denver to Moab pulling a camper. The nay sayers were commenting on that it was not certified. The design is as robust as the factory hitch if not more.
     
  5. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Moderator

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    The Nay Sayers say "Nay" because Mr Slee does not represent this device as a trailer hitch and those who use it as such do so at their own risk and any issues that arise from towing are the sole responsibility of the user. Yadda, yadda, yadda....:flipoff2:


    I imagine that if one were to inadvertently hook a trailer up to this device it would prolly work very well until one discovered that it is not represented to be a trailer hitch..;)



    I do not have a "trailer hitch" either....................
    Powell 002.jpg
     
  6. Nay

    Nay

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    UHaul didn't even blink, although they did say "Nay" several times, mostly preceded by "Mr." :D

    I love that my non-tow hitch has safety chain hookups...
     
  7. Nay

    Nay

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    I'm on 35's with 4.10 gears, and it pulled solidly up to about 65 mph. Any serious inclines and I was down around 45-50 mph. But turning overdrive off mates up well to 35's so I can keep RPM's in the power band in 3rd and it works pretty well. I imagine if I was going over one of the high passes it would be a long, long day (11,000 ft plus). Maybe Romer will get sick of his SC and donate it to a good cause :grinpimp:

    As for a lifted 80 being a tow rig, she was really a lot more solid than completely unloaded. In many ways, my rig likes the 65 mph range or so and I have to push it to drive faster, so the trailer on the highway was hardly noticeable except on the steeper grades.

    My gas mileage always sucks, I don't even measure it. But with 3.5" lift and no front swaybar she was just as solid as can be...much more impressive tow rig than I expected.

    Nay
     
  8. IdahoDoug

    IdahoDoug

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    Anybody who feels this is as stout as a factory tow hitch is simply not familiar with a factory Class III tow hitch. In no way is this as solid as a factory tow hitch.

    I mean this kindly, but to say it is fine after a simple tow is like saying your home made seat belts from parachute webbing are fine because you successfully made it from one destination to another. A tow hitch is designed to withstand the worst case scenario of a collision, an improperly loaded trailer lurching madly around, inadvertant heavy contact with the pavement or curbing, etc.

    I think what you've achieved is laudable - having a tow hitch without the rear clearance robbing of a full Class III tow hitch. But I think you have to recognize that you have made some compromise in strength in order to achieve it. Stick a 6 foot long section of square tube in it and have your wife jump up and down on it while you lay under it and watch those triangular braces squirm up and down. Then do it on a friend's truck with a factory hitch and you'll see zero flex.

    Again, not criticizing the concept - a hitch with excellent ground clearance - but definitely disagreeing that it's as strong as a welded Class III hitch mount.

    DougM
     
  9. Rich

    Rich

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    It was Christo who stated that his trailer hitch is not rated for towing.
     
  10. Nay

    Nay

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    I agree- this isn't for your weekly tow application, nor hopefully have I represented it being as such. This is for clearance with the ability to reasonably tow for around town and short distance moves.

    Much of this crowd is into the maximum overbuilt setup, which is why the 80 was purchased in the first place - when you compare not to a welded hitch on an 80 but to say a bumper with integrated tow hitch that is Class III rated and held on by eight bumper bolts into unibody sheet metal plus a couple of "nutsert" strips into the unibody "frame", then you get a heck of a lot more comfortable about this setup (and I've towed 5,000 lb trailers across country with the Class III rated unibody setup before).

    Since I don't tow regularly, or even more than a couple times a year, this is a pretty excellent compromise and would be even more effective used with a Slee bumper adding rigidity and frame tie-ins. In fact I am so pleased that I've pretty much ditched my plans to cut and relocate the crossmember along with a tube bumper for offroad clearance so I can keep the tow capability :beer: .

    Nay
     
  11. Nay

    Nay

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    I have a bit more to report here for archival purposes and anybody who has followed my experience with this mod.

    Over the past couple of weeks I have been hauling mulch/compost at a total 6x12 Uhaul open trailer weight of 3,500 to 4,000 lbs. I've been hauling out of a local "slash and mulch" limb recycling yard that gets soft (mud and mulch) and has a variable surface over about 100 yards where you pull out of the loading area.

    It has required me to go into low range to pull through the soft and slightly off camber stuff. I have also been pushing the trailer (driving in reverse) over a small berm/drainage on my property to dump the mulch. In other words, heavy load in unstable terrain both forward and in reverse.

    The Slee 2" receiver in the stock bumper/crossmember mount position has worked flawlessly.

    This winter I also had to strap out a 42' furniture delivery truck out of my shared driveway with some snatch momentum (enough to pull out the truck and hop the rear end of my 80 around pretty good). My neighbor finished his basement and I had to pull out just about every truck that came in that month due to the glacier we had this winter.

    I also got my arse stuck like crazy offroad this weekend with the entire weight of the 80 on gas tank skid and crossmember and had to be winched out by a Rubicon :eek:

    I'm still not representing that this is a frame mounted Class III reciever, just passing on my experience using it as such :D.
     
  12. thestallionq8

    thestallionq8

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    Great rig and nice boat!
     
  13. re_guderian

    re_guderian SILVER Star

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    Old picture I know, but Dan is that the ferry at Lake Powell?
     
  14. hadmatter

    hadmatter

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    I dig it!
    I have long been considering moving my fact hitch above the frame, or flipping it and cutting a hole for the receiver in the fact crossmember, but after seeing this - it looks much more simple. Since I only tow a Moto trailer and never more than 1,500lbs, I think this will be excellent for my needs.
     
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