Front Hitch - Dodge Grand Caravan

Discussion in 'Cargo Carriers / Bike Racks / Other Storage Option' started by BigAl, Jun 13, 2019.

  1. BigAl

    BigAl Member

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    Working on what options I have for bringing the bikes along with the PUP, and I saw a few posts here about installing a front hitch with a bike rack on the TV. However, they were all trucks, and I have a minivan. Anyone ever install a front hitch on a Dodge Grand Caravan? Searching online, I can't find any for this vehicle. Thanks.
     
  2. eoleson1

    eoleson1 Well-Known Member

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    You're not likely to find a hitch designed to fit the front of the caravan. If you have a good fab shop in town they might be able to weld one on for you.I'm not sure how you'd like it. I imagine it would be a little distracting watching the wheels spin around in the wind.
     
  3. BigAl

    BigAl Member

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    Thanks, wanted to make sure I'm not missing something. All the front hitches I can find are for trucks.

    Agreed, not sure it's the direction I'll go, just exploring my options. The tongue weight is on the high side already with the LP tank and the battery sitting there, and I'm not interested in drilling holes in the PUP roof for a rack. I like the ProRac - https://www.prorac.com/tenttrailerpro.php but not the price. I have some Yakima roof bike racks from my old Toyota that I'm going to try and attach to the factory roof rack of the Caravan, but at 5'7" that's a tall reach for me to get 2 adult bikes on the roof (my wife already asked "How are you going to reach that?"). The kids' bikes fit in the back of the Caravan, but I want to bring our adult bikes along too.

    One suggestion I found elsewhere during my google searches was to install a tow bar on the front that accepts a square 2" attachment, like this appears to do: https://www.etrailer.com/Base-Plates/Dodge/Grand+Caravan/2014/291-1.html?vehicleID=2014306792 I'd still have to get a bike rack that I could center on the front of the van, but at least the part that mounts to the van frame I could install by myself. Anyone ever see this? Looking at the price of the tow bar, maybe the ProRac isn't priced too bad...

    Any thoughts or suggestions are appreciated. Thanks.
     
  4. Sneezer

    Sneezer Well-Known Member

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    Try a hatch rack. I used to have one that strapped to the back of my van, my trunk and the back of my Aspen. Works fine with 2 bikes. They make them for 3 or 4 as well but it gets kind of tight back there.
     
  5. The_Al_Mighty

    The_Al_Mighty New Member

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  6. J Starsky

    J Starsky Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps stopping at a welding shop in your area could help? They do have frame horns on my 2007 and I could see a plate and bar welded up could be around the same price as purchasing and install of a new hitch? If you are really interested, I would start by talking to a welding shop, truck utility shop or 4x4 shop close to you.
     
  7. Bhut2180

    Bhut2180 Member

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    We have a Caravan and I'm trying to figure out the same issue, what did you go with
     
  8. BigAl

    BigAl Member

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    I went with putting the adult bikes on the roof of the minivan - the van has the factory Stow N Place roof rack, and I had some Yakima Raptor bike racks I had purchased over 10 years ago for a former vehicle. All I needed to buy then was some Yakima adapters to fit the Raptor to the factory bars - my former car had the round Yakima crossbars, but the Dodge factory crossbars are teardrops. I was running out of time before vacation to figure it out, plus I didn't feel like dropping a bunch of $$ on anything.

    It is not easy getting the bikes up or down - I would get the bike up in the air and set the tires on the roof of the van while standing on the ground, then while holding the vertical frame bar of the bike with one hand, I would use my other hand to pull myself up into the van sliding door opening. Once I was up on the door opening, I would balance myself and the bike while maneuvering the bike tires into the rack and securing the frame clamp to stand the bike in the rack. I'm happy to report I never dropped the bikes or myself, and didn't scratch the van up that I know of. Your results may vary. :grin:

    One other thing to remember - the tops of the bikes were about 10' above the ground. My wife tied a piece of paper to the steering wheel so I'd remember the extra height when going to gas stations and driveup ATMs.
     
  9. bheff

    bheff Well-Known Member

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    There is a local insurance man that has a ford E250 or 350 that has a rack in the front. I'll swing by and see if he had it made to found a different option. I learned the hard way about remembering bikes on the roof. Luckily the bar hanging down on chains at the McDonalds drive thru didnt damage the $10,000 worth of bikes on the roof.
     
  10. Bhut2180

    Bhut2180 Member

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    We went with a diy option I found on a bike forum, cost $32
     

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  11. BigAl

    BigAl Member

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    My high school shop teacher was a firm believer that there wasn't much you couldn't fix with duct tape, drywall screws, and hose clamps!

    @bheff - let us know what you find out. My kids' bikes won't fit in the back of the van forever, so I will need to find a new solution at some point. Luckily I have a few years before that's a problem.
     
  12. Rusty2192

    Rusty2192 Well-Known Member

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    I have a couple old Yakima fork mount trays for our Sienna. Every time I’m tempted to “upgrade” to a newer version that doesn’t require removing the front wheel I have to remind myself of this very scenario since I’m not a tall guy. With the fork mount I can just set the rear tire and fork into the mount and flip the lock, all from the ground. Now, fitting the front tires into their mounts is a pain and requires a small folding stool, but at least they’re nice and light.
     
  13. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Ok just got a high end mountain bike, so now i need a rack, so i can try it out. Dam cheap deals i find always end up costing us money!
     
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  14. Minimalist

    Minimalist Active Member

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    Congrats on the bike. What did you get? I use these QR carrier thingies in my truck. Or a blanket over the tailgate. That works very well but I'm always worried my bike might get a scratch.

    As to front mounted bike racks, it's already bad if you hit a pedestrian or cyclist with a boxy vehicle without anything mounted to the front.
     
  15. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    I got this at the local goodwill, a steal i think for 19 $ lol. 20190730_160646.jpg
     
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  16. Minimalist

    Minimalist Active Member

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    That is an awesome deal.
     
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  17. Bhut2180

    Bhut2180 Member

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    Sjm9911 I think that's the deal of the century, I didn't even know fox shocks came on bikes!!!
     
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