Wise to make your own receiver hitch?

Been driving the new (to me) Ford Ranger. Runs great, gets between
19-21mpg over 4 tankfuls of fuel.
Factory bumper is rated 2000lb gross trailer, so I think it would be
nice to have a receiver hitch. Bolted to the frame. Never did like
using the bumper on the old truck, but it was built heavier than the
current truck. (94 Rangers are built stouter than the ones after '98
IMHO.....this truck...they took all the stuff that didnt wear out and
made it thinner, lighter or out of plastic)
Is it wise to make up ones own receiver hitch, from a liability
standpoint?
Gunner
Reply to
Gunner Asch
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I've built my own on the last four pickups and last three cars. I'm sure mine are a bit heavier cause I look at what can be purchased and then use the same design ideas but with stronger steel sections.
I justify all my machine purchases with SWMBO by pointing out how all the stuff like this has been self fabricated and is better and cheaper.
Karl
P.S. I'm sure we'll get somebody that says its way to dangerous to make your own.
Reply to
Karl Townsend
Just an observation: a receiver hitch is more vulnerable in that there is less structural redundancy than much home made stuff, e.g., a trailer. So one weld failure is more likely to have serious consequences. If I were doing it I would look for ways to add redundancy. E.g., a buttress across a joint.
My $.02, Bob
Reply to
Bob Engelhardt
that's something! what a coincidence. i'm in the process right now of making a set of tow brackets (goes on the front of the vehicle for towing behind a RV, but that's not the intended use, planning on using them for a ladder rack "receiver"). i'm building them strong enough so that someday if necessary they could be used as tow brackets. went to an on-line manufacturer and looked at his design, "copying" them. they used what appears to be 3/8" or maybe even 1/2" plate (but the tech on the phone said 5/16") i'm using 1/4" but welding on reinforcing flanges. thing is i don't know what alloy of steel they use, i'm using some plain old plate i got from my local steel dealer. i'm hoping they overbuilt their design by using 5/16" to ward off lawsuits and that 1/4" will be sufficient.
b.w.
Reply to
William Wixon
Im waiting with bated breath for the flames and referances to a spare tire carrier....cringe....
Gunner
Reply to
Gunner Asch
Perhaps you meant references? :-)
Grant
Reply to
Grant Erwin
Why build it when U-Haul sells them so cheap? Draw-Tite with a lifetime warranty. Buy it OTC, bolt it on in
Reply to
Carl Byrns
On Sun, 12 Aug 2007 11:13:02 -0700, with neither quill nor qualm, Gunner Asch quickly quoth:
Ayup, I was just thinking about the welding liability for you.
(You're probably a whole lot better than I am by now.)
Reply to
Larry Jaques
I've made several of 'em, no mishaps. The only viable insurance against liability is liability insurance. Additional liability insurance above the minimum required is amazingly inexpensive.
I like the design where a 1/4" wall cross tube goes thru square holes plasma-cut into plates that bolt to the vehicle. Welds hold it in place, but the strength comes from the materials themselves.
Reply to
Don Foreman
It was a great story, though! Part of being a competent welder is knowing how to recognize bad welds. I'll bet your welds are considerably better now than they were then. Any welder who says he or she has never made a bad weld is either a beginner or a dang liar. Bad welds, once recognized, get fixed to become good welds.
Reply to
Don Foreman
easy. bad welds are made by me.
Good welds are made by "the kid". Therefore all welding at this place is done by "the kid"
"the kid" had an intake manifold where somebody tried to remove a broken pipe plug with an EZ-out and then broke it. I milled the plug and EZ-out in exchange for welding that SS pipe that leaked. Glad he still needs me.
Karl
Reply to
Karl Townsend
"Karl Townsend" wrote
You'll put yer eye out, kid! ;-)
I went to buy a trailer for my ATVs. I had to reject several before I found one that passed welding inspection. Most of the stuff that's for sale out there from people who should know better is crap. Lousy welds. Missing welds, etc.
I KNOW that I can put together a hitch that is the same type as what can be bought. Difference is mine is welded by ME, who can pass a welding certification test any day of the week. The weld will have 70,000 # strength. It will be a low hydrogen weld, and not FCAW that was done by some twentysomething monkey with a quota.
As to the homebuilt liability issue, how can it be established who built it? Besides, if you do it right, it will be stronger than it needs to be, and anything that will destroy it would be catastrophic in nature, and nothing that one could be held liable for.
And, if one is not confident in their own welding or talents, they should NOT be considering doing such a project. If you're an experienced or certified welder, you know you can burn it in there, and it's going to stick. You know this because you've done it thousands of times. So, unless you have that level of ability, confidence and experience, it would be better to buy. Even though a lot of what's out there for sale is crap.
Steve
Reply to
SteveB
From the liability standpoint, you do not have much money, so it is not very important as no one would be very inclined to sue you (unless they are after your piles of "stuff").
Realistically, though, hitches are not very expensive and you do not need anything unusual, since your Ranger cannot pull anything too large. So I would just spend the money and buy one.
I have no doubt that you can make a hitch that would be as good as commercial, but I doubt that you can realistically make one better in any respect (given your modest towing capacity).
i
Reply to
Ignoramus28804
For pickups, my favorite is to remove the old bumper and then make a real one with a hitch. These are quick and easy to build.
Karl
Reply to
Karl Townsend
Some of the factory units are good, but they ain't cheap. Draw-Tite makes good ones or at least used to. Never know what's made in China nowadays.
I'd use triangular gusset plates where the receiver tube makes a T with the cross tube. Rigid-hitch doesn't do that, but I would. It enables more linear inches of weld at that joint, and it distributes pull stress, tongue-weight moment and turn moment much better than a straight butt joint.
I have (very carefully) pulled an 8000 lb load (excavator on a flatbed) with mine, no problems. That's way too much for my pickup but I only had to go about 3 miles to and from the rental place.
Here in MN it's good to shoot a healthy dose of LPS-3 into the receiver when it's mounted. Stops rust for a coupla years. I forgot to do that on my camper holddowns and had a bit of difficulty getting one of them extended after 8 years of neglect.
That may not be a good idea in the desert, where sand is more of an issue than rust.
Reply to
Don Foreman
I think I would rather have something you designed and built than a factory unit.
Reply to
Tom Gardner
Reply to
cavelamb himself
After a Computer crash and the demise of civilization, it was learned Gunner Asch wrote on Sun, 12 Aug 2007 11:13:02 -0700 in rec.crafts.metalworking :
Well, aside from an injured ego (but a little humility is good for the soul), nobody was hurt, so it as all good.
tschus pyotr -- pyotr filipivich "Quemadmoeum gladuis neminem occidit, occidentis telum est. " Lucius Annaeus Seneca, circa 45 AD (A sword is never a killer, it is a tool in the killer's hands.)
Reply to
pyotr filipivich
Ive no concerns about my welding, or poor engineering. I was just concerned about having lawyers on my ass (not that one can get blood from a stone) if someone crashed into me while I was pulling a trailer.
Shrug
Gunner
Reply to
Gunner Asch

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