Anybody use a front hitch? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 01-16-2017, 06:08 AM   #1
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Anybody use a front hitch?

Hi everyone, My Name is Tony and I am new to the forum, but not very new to camping. I tow a small trailer with my 2006 Dodge Durango. Backing up is certainly not the easiest task for me and sometime I have to pass on some convenient parking spots just because I can't park there with a trailer properly. To make it easier to park I started to look at the front mount hitches, as this way you can maneuver your trailer easier and you can actually see the parking spot just in front of your. Looks like this device is pretty popular among the boat owners who dip their trailer on the ramp: https://www.carid.com/articles/front-hitches.html I was wondering if it's a good idea to get a front hitch mount and if it really makes life easier?
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Old 01-16-2017, 07:52 AM   #2
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Welcome Tony,
If your tow vehicle will take it I think it is a good idea. Not all vehicles however can be used and after awhile backwards becomes easy.
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Old 01-16-2017, 07:59 AM   #3
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There was a prior discussion on this buried within a related thread. Someone had a long narrow curvy driveway that they needed to back their camper up into to store it. But I can't put my fingers on it. Try the "Search" function and see what you can find.
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Old 01-16-2017, 09:24 AM   #4
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With an open flat trailer it may help but with a camper or box trailer you can't see anything but the front or the trailer. You can see more backing using your mirrors. Not always possible but it is best to back into the parking spot on the drivers side of the camper, you have a better view and your service hookups are on that side. It just takes practice.
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Old 01-16-2017, 09:29 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by War Eagle View Post
There was a prior discussion on this buried within a related thread. Someone had a long narrow curvy driveway that they needed to back their camper up into to store it. But I can't put my fingers on it. Try the "Search" function and see what you can find.
I think this is the one.

Tight Parking Spot for the 17B
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Old 01-16-2017, 10:23 AM   #6
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I solved my trailer maneuvering problem by doing just as you suggest. Last spring I went from a single axle 17' Casita to a tandem axle 19' Escape, and I knew I was going to have a heck of a time positioning it where I store the trailer. Before our trip to Chilliwack, I had a receiver mounted on the front of our non-tow vehicle and it works as well as I had hoped. Locating our trailer into a narrow slot off a congested alley was made considerably easier by "pushing" it instead of backing it.
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Old 01-16-2017, 11:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVman80 View Post
Hi everyone, My Name is Tony and I am new to the forum, but not very new to camping. I tow a small trailer with my 2006 Dodge Durango. Backing up is certainly not the easiest task for me and sometime I have to pass on some convenient parking spots just because I can't park there with a trailer properly. To make it easier to park I started to look at the front mount hitches, as this way you can maneuver your trailer easier and you can actually see the parking spot just in front of your. Looks like this device is pretty popular among the boat owners who dip their trailer on the ramp: https://www.carid.com/articles/front-hitches.html I was wondering if it's a good idea to get a front hitch mount and if it really makes life easier?
My brother hauls a lot of construction trailers that need to be placed in difficult locations & loves his front hitch. He keeps telling me I need one!
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Old 01-16-2017, 11:16 AM   #8
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I put a front hitch on our XTerra. The reason was a tricky approach in backing our 1955 Shasta into its storage. Also for a long non-straight driveway to a pole barn infrequently used. For these it worked very well. It allows much quicker turns than a traditional hitch. We recently sold Shasta so don't really need it anymore.

I've not used (knock on wood) the front hitch when out traveling. Mind you I don't parallel park our trailer, but otherwise I haven't even been tempted to chock, unhitch, turn around, hook up, and use the front receiver. It does reduce the front approach angle on the XTerra (off road use). But it could be useful for a winch mount. I am tempted to take it off.

I've not found a spot I couldn't back into that a front hitch would have helped (knock on wood). It takes longer backing, but less time that turning around and re-connecting.

I'd suggest a several month trip moving every few days. This will give you much practice backing, a leaned skill. I'm much better at backing when we get back from a trip than at the start.

Let us know what you decide and how it works. Thanks.
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Old 01-16-2017, 11:51 AM   #9
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Are you asking about parking at home or in a campground? To disconnect at a campground, turn around and reconnect, then drive around to your campsite and park it?
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Old 01-16-2017, 01:13 PM   #10
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I have never used a hitch like this. Nor have I ever seen one used at a campground, but I don't get out much.

I do see a bit of an advantage with it, but way more disadvantages, which has mostly been touched upon.

Where would you disconnect from the regular hitch in the first place? If right by the site you are taking, you could likely block off the access while you took the time to drive out, turn around, reconnect, and then maneuver into the site.

As well, pushing a big block in front of you without the aid of the mirrors along would make it a no go for me.

I have heard of lots of folks on here go from not being able to reverse a trailer well, who took some time to practice, end up doing quite well. Like anything in life, it is not hard, just has to be learned.
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