Monday, December 09, 2019

Adding a Front Hitch for the URRV

Sunday afternoon, I brought the URRV home from the storage yard to install the front hitch that I bought online from

The URRV is built onto a 2006 Ford E450 Superduty cutaway chassis and the correct model hitch is 65001.

image source:

Etrailer provides a nice instructional video showing one how to install this hitch.  LINK

I pretty much followed the instructions in the video, no major issues except I did managed to break the drive shaft on my 30+ years old electric drill from Black and Decker.  I supposed I did get my money's worth out of it over the last three decades or so.  I was fortunate the breakage occured right as the hole was finished.

Note to self, when the instructions say use a 1/2" metal drill, make sure to do so.  The multi-diameter drill bits I used worked but jammed easy, and those repeated jammings finally broke the drill's drive shaft.

It's quite heavy and unwieldy, this hitch, so I used a small jack to keep it suspended while I secured it with the provided bolts.

A view of the installed hitch, before I put the bumper back on.

Bumper went back on with no issues, it's secured by four nuts so no trouble except when one doesn't have a 21mm socket and has to use a wrench instead for the inner bolts.  I did have a 21mm lug nut socket but it was too long for the inner bolts to allow movement by the socket wrench.

I then installed the motorcycle rack from Harbor Freight, nice and snug fit so I don't foresee much unwanted movement at that point.  Had to use a soft blow hammer to encourage the locking pin into place so I could lock it in place.

 The motorcycle rack installed.

 Yagi on the motorcycle rack

Yep, the headlights are partially blocked.  For now, am thinking that's OK as I don't like to drive the URRV when its dark.  I may end up buying a set of snow plow lights if it becomes an issue.

Took her out for a short test ride, no issues, minimal movement seen.  After I returned from the ride, I thought I'd use some straps to further support the ends of the rack.  Instead, I remembered I'd previously bought a gadget that prevents the slight movement of the rack's tongue within the hitch receiver:

 Much better now, no more "slight" movement

A view of the rack with the loading ramp
attached in it's carrier.

I'll be taking Yagi, the Yamaha TW200 Dualsport with me as shown above on the next camping trip and pulling the Aluma trailer with one of the Ural rigs loaded onto it.  Let's see how that works out.

Update: Added a shot of the URRV with Yagi mounted to show how it blocks the headlights, especially the driver's side headlight.  No night driving if I can help it!

Update Dec 11.  Removed the muffler from Yagi, two 6mm Allen bolts and one 12mm Hex Bolt and pull off, easy peasy.  This allows about same amount of left headlight to show through, as opposed to above picture.  I'll put the muffler back on before riding Yagi of course.


RichardM said...

Looks pretty good!

redlegsrides said...

Thanks RichardM, we'll see how it works "on the road"....I don't like driving the URRV at night so the headlights being partially blocked shouldn't be an issue. I wonder how easy it is to remove the muffler to permit the left headlight to shine through better.

RichardM said...

I think it may be more of a problem with legality rather than functionality. I don’t know...

redlegsrides said...

We shall see....removing the muffler could be a pain.

Only one way to see how much light is blocked of course....might try that tomorrow evening. I'm pretty sure though, that in daytime, a LEO won't stop me for not being able to see my headlights clearly....

SonjaM said...

This looks like a very cool installation. (and would never get approved by the German authorities for road safety). I like it, Dom.

ScooterScum said...


I see a HUUUUGGGGEEEE light bar in your future similar to what the BAJA 1000 trucks use


You can never have too much light when out in the boon docks. :-)

redlegsrides said...

thanks for the comment ScooterScum, but the idea of driving around the boondocks in the dark with the URRV, not sure that would be a good idea.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks SonjaM, as to the German DOT probably not approving....oh well.

redlegsrides said...

added two pics showing both separation of Yagi from front of URRV and how the lights are blocked by Yagi.

CCjon said...

I sincerely hope that solution proves to work for you. Auto parts places have small LED lights you could mount to the rack front itself for night lighting. In an emergency you do need to have lights for night driving even though you don't plan to.

Are you securing the bike to the truck also or just to the carry rack?

Where did you find that device for securing the hitch? I could use one. It always bothers me when a hitch wiggles or bounces up and down when driving.

redlegsrides said...

thanks CCjon

note the last pic, about 1/4 of each headlight shines through in the event I have to drive at night....just have to remove the Tdub's muffler for the trip. Easy.

All straps are secured to the hitch, using mounting points created by J-Bolts I installed or existing mount points.

As to the anti-rattle device, amazon: It looks like I mounted the thing backwards....whoops....will correct that this weekend.

CCjon said...

Thanks for the link. I ordered one tonight.

Oz said...

Now that is a great set up. You are ready for action.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks Oz, I hope you and I are proven right on this setup.