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Old 22 June 2004, 07:56   #1
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Front Tow Ball for all not just 4X4s

check out www.pushbars.co.uk. They sell a front tow ball device that simply screws into the front bumper towing eye it seems a bit on the expensive side but appears to be quick and easy to both fit and remove.
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Old 22 June 2004, 08:08   #2
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What are the advantages of a front tow ball - apart from maiming predestrians that is? Never have used one but seen loads of them fitted to Land Rovers.
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Old 22 June 2004, 08:27   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fred bolton
check out www.pushbars.co.uk. They sell a front tow ball device that simply screws into the front bumper towing eye it seems a bit on the expensive side but appears to be quick and easy to both fit and remove.
I would be very careful about this product, these front and rear towing/lash down eyes are not very strong at all and anything other than a straight pull will result in them failing.

You may have notice cars driving around with the tow eye still sticking out of the bumper this is because they have jammed.

Typically a tow bar has a D value of 7- 8 KN, I hate to think what this thing could achieve, maybe 0.5 -1 ? It might work ok on the flat but on a slip
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Old 22 June 2004, 09:17   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codprawn
What are the advantages of a front tow ball - apart from maiming predestrians that is? Never have used one but seen loads of them fitted to Land Rovers.
CP
Front hitches make it much easier to reverse a trailer.
You dont get a crick in your neck.
It is posible to see all of the trailer, when there is no boat on it.
You can see where the trailer is as it goes over the top of a steep slip.
It puts the vehicles steering wheels close to the trailer hitch which gives you far more control.
It takes a bit of getting used to, everything still goes the wrong way.
They are a God send when the whole rig is 37 ft long. (Rangy, 6.5m boat and long draw bar.)
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Old 22 June 2004, 11:09   #5
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Sounds just what I need for one slip I have in mind............
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Old 22 June 2004, 11:33   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codprawn
What are the advantages of a front tow ball - apart from maiming predestrians that is? Never have used one but seen loads of them fitted to Land Rovers.
I first fitted one years ago when i had a very large twin axle caravan that i parked at the end of a drive. the drive was 65' long with a fence on one side and the house on the other. there was about 100mm clear each side at best plus the drive sloped up and sideways. it would have been impossible to reverse the Caravan and a Landrover 110 up this drive so i fitted a front tow ball and pushed it up the drive and that was very easy. I have one fitted to my latest Landy, it makes moving the boat around in crowded areas very easy, in fact i cant park my trailer into my drive when its on the back of the landrover because the road is not wide enough. if its on the front the steering wheels are very close to the tow hitch so it turns in a tighter ark. this product seems like a good idea to me.
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Old 22 June 2004, 11:55   #7
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.............. this product seems like a good idea to me.
Yes, but you have a Landy which is built to do this sort of thing, fit this product to a Focus (car on website, I think) and you will have problems especially on a incline

Des
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Old 22 June 2004, 12:00   #8
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Only problem I can see with this pushbar thingy is that it will be to one side of the car, so you will have the boat width + a bit of car.
Oh yeah, and a screw in tow point, so it wont work with a car over 3 or 4 years old.

I would think the tow point would be strong enough for slow manouvering. Not many towable ribs weigh more than a car, and the tow point is designed to pull the car up and down hills.
Probably not a good idea to do 70 down the motorway with the boat in front.


Mind you, big tank of water to cool the engine and tilt it and leave it running. Mmmmmmmmmmmm............

Dear Mr Clarkson,
I have had an idea, with regard to destroying yet another caravan..
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Old 22 June 2004, 12:21   #9
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Been looking for one of those for my Old Range

Thanks for that info people. Have inquired to order a couple.
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Old 22 June 2004, 13:30   #10
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Been looking for one of those for my Old Range

Thanks for that info people. Have inquired to order a couple.
Manos
All you need for a Range is a 50mm ball tow for 3.95(http://www.towsure.co.uk/default.asp?d=40&t=109&p=0&op=) and a sharp drill. Your range will not have one of these tow eyes on it.

Don't fit it in the middle of the bumper without some additional support from behind.
Des
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Old 22 June 2004, 13:44   #11
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pic of mine in action. Manos, get two bits of 50X50 angle about 6oo long, dril one peice for the tow ball then both at 150mm centres, bolt one under the bumper (the one with the ball) and the other inside the bumber channel with through bolts that pass through both channels and the bumper. Plenty strong enough for moving a boat around.
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Old 22 June 2004, 14:46   #12
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Cheers Guys
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Old 22 June 2004, 15:28   #13
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Front tow balls - best thing ever for moving a trailer/caravan around.

They need to be fitted slightly off-centre of the tow vehicle's fore & aft centre line on the driver's side for maximum effect.
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Old 23 June 2004, 02:50   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ribald
Front tow balls - best thing ever for moving a trailer/caravan around.

They need to be fitted slightly off-centre of the tow vehicle's fore & aft centre line on the driver's side for maximum effect.


Not doubting that they do, but why?

Trying to drive forwards in a straight line with hitch in centre of car I can see being difficult, but how does off setting it help?
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Old 23 June 2004, 04:37   #15
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2 bits of plate bolted on with the bumper mounting bolts.
50 x 50 x 3 box between them. 2 off 50 x 25 x 3 drop to a 75 x 75 x 5 angle.
Bolt the ball to that.
I plan to put 2 30 x 30 struts back to the lower steering box mounts to stiffen it fore and aft, but it is strong enough for launching as it is.
2 hours work, and it cost about 15.

Bolting the ball to the bumper will make it too high, and risk grounding the back of the boat.
This ball is exactly the same height as the rear ball, and only sticks out about 50mm beyond the bumper, which is just enough to drop on the hitch.
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Old 23 June 2004, 05:00   #16
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Another advantage being that if someone reverses into you, your car wont suffer; the ball will take the impact! Also handy for parking infront of walls!
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Old 23 June 2004, 05:01   #17
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Wouldnt be without mine, trouble is on a slip with lots of launching boats your always being asked to do other peoples. I prefer using it as you arent relying on people who have no idea whatsoever about giving clear directions or signals to you, like the ones who seem always to walk into a blind spot and stand there or stand behind the trailer...weird! Steering works quite differently as its neither front nor rear bit like and articulted digger.
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Old 23 June 2004, 05:19   #18
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Wouldnt be without mine, trouble is on a slip with lots of launching boats your always being asked to do other peoples. I prefer using it as you arent relying on people who have no idea whatsoever about giving clear directions or signals to you, like the ones who seem always to walk into a blind spot and stand there or stand behind the trailer...weird! Steering works quite differently as its neither front nor rear bit like and articulted digger.
Why can't I get my wife to undestand that if she cant see me, I cant see her. (And its no good waving like that)
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Old 23 June 2004, 05:53   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Halliday
Manos
2 bits of plate bolted on with the bumper mounting bolts.
50 x 50 x 3 box between them. 2 off 50 x 25 x 3 drop to a 75 x 75 x 5 angle.
Bolt the ball to that.
I plan to put 2 30 x 30 struts back to the lower steering box mounts to stiffen it fore and aft, but it is strong enough for launching as it is.
2 hours work, and it cost about 15.
Bolting the ball to the bumper will make it too high, and risk grounding the back of the boat.
This ball is exactly the same height as the rear ball, and only sticks out about 50mm beyond the bumper, which is just enough to drop on the hitch.
Thanks Mark.
My Range (1978) has some short of space in the middle of the front bumper where there is a pin going throught it and this is where I was thinking to do the 'operation'.
I'm in the UK right now for a few days so have no photos (having hired all the boats out for the week and the apartments thought to get back here and cool down a bit been 35-38 C in Greece).
Will be in Greece on Saturday and will try to fix this on the Range Sunday. I have ordered the ball for 3-4 pounds and hopefully will have it here before I go.
I understand your point regarding the hight of the ball and the possible problem with the trailer, but my trailers are quite high I think.
I will have to re-check it though and see whether it fits there as it is or will have to do your type of mounting.
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Old 23 June 2004, 07:03   #20
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I think the "space in the front bumper" is the hole for the starting handle....very usefull if, like me, you're prone to a bit of dementia and keep leaving the lights on.....
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