Jump to content

Trailer Hitch?


wdaly
 Share

Recommended Posts

My '91 van with the trailer hitch is just about shot. Want to get a little gas mizer-mobile to replace it. So how can I tow in the future (he said as he looked over at the 1988 coupe)?

Hear me out on this:

I know I have a full frame monte

I know the fiberglas body is rather heavy for this frame

I know that GM used less beefed-up frames as the monte went more & more unibody

I know that the Youngstown engineer told Kelly to strengthen the '87-88 frames

I know my car doesn't have heavy duty (towing) radiator, transmission cooler, etc.

Finally, I found out you can't just put a Momte Carlo hitch on since the Avanti rear frame has been cut-off a number of inches

I would only be pulling a small alum boat and enclosed cargo trailer each weighing about 1500 lb loaded. Hey, a big 305 V8 w 4bbl WHY NOT! Your thoughts Pro & Con appreciated.

Bill

Link to comment
Share on other sites

About 25 years ago I worked at an RV dealership and we would install hitches accessories so I have a bit of experience though somewhat dated.

1500 lbs. is Class 1 (2000 lbs. gross weight maximum rating). That means you can use a light duty hitch, though you can always install a heavier unit. Since you say a Monte Carlo hitch cannot be used due to the shortening of the frame, go to a certified welding shop that fabricates trailers for farm use, etc., and they can make one for the car. They will probably simply fabricate one and weld it to the frame. That will probably cost less than fabricating one, drilling and bolting it. I don't know what the maximum tow rating is for that car (the manual should tell you if you have one or a Monte Carlo manual should give that). You do need to find that out...some cars are only rated for 1000 lbs. towing...it's not just the size of the engine that makes the difference...it's the frame design and construction which is often the limiting factor.

Depending on your state, you may be required to run your trailer with electric brakes, though most states don't require brakes on a trailer less than 2000 lbs., some do. If so, you need to add a brake controller under the dash and run the electrical lines to the rear for the connector.

I realize it's only a lightweight trailer, but I would suggest having a transmission cooler added if you tow any real amount. I've seen what happens when people don't do that and burn up their transmission...and it rarely if ever happens close to home. An engine oil cooler is nice but not really necessary for light usage.

Make sure your cooling system is in top working order (always good advice regardless). Add a container of Redline Water Wetter or similar product...it's helps make the coolant transfer heat more efficiently, though maybe not enough to matter in your case with occasional light towing.

If you wanted to tow heavier weight, there are more bolt-on modifications that can be done, but in your case it doesn't sound like it would be necessary.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

About 25 years ago I worked at an RV dealership and we would install hitches accessories so I have a bit of experience though somewhat dated.

1500 lbs. is Class 1 (2000 lbs. gross weight maximum rating). That means you can use a light duty hitch, though you can always install a heavier unit. Since you say a Monte Carlo hitch cannot be used due to the shortening of the frame, go to a certified welding shop that fabricates trailers for farm use, etc., and they can make one for the car. They will probably simply fabricate one and weld it to the frame. That will probably cost less than fabricating one, drilling and bolting it. I don't know what the maximum tow rating is for that car (the manual should tell you if you have one or a Monte Carlo manual should give that). You do need to find that out...some cars are only rated for 1000 lbs. towing...it's not just the size of the engine that makes the difference...it's the frame design and construction which is often the limiting factor.

Depending on your state, you may be required to run your trailer with electric brakes, though most states don't require brakes on a trailer less than 2000 lbs., some do. If so, you need to add a brake controller under the dash and run the electrical lines to the rear for the connector.

I realize it's only a lightweight trailer, but I would suggest having a transmission cooler added if you tow any real amount. I've seen what happens when people don't do that and burn up their transmission...and it rarely if ever happens close to home. An engine oil cooler is nice but not really necessary for light usage.

Make sure your cooling system is in top working order (always good advice regardless). Add a container of Redline Water Wetter or similar product...it's helps make the coolant transfer heat more efficiently, though maybe not enough to matter in your case with occasional light towing.

If you wanted to tow heavier weight, there are more bolt-on modifications that can be done, but in your case it doesn't sound like it would be necessary.

Thanks G-Slinger!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...