I am curious if anyone here uses a clamp on bumper type trailer hitch on their old car. I want to tow a trailer with my 1930 (not ford) car and the trunk rack, fuel tank etc are all right where I would need to weld a receiver. I am probably being less than smart in considering the use of a clamp on hitch but I though I would ask.
The effectiveness of a clamp on bumper hitch really depends on how the bumper is fastened to the tow vehicle.
In most cases, there is not an adequate connection that extends from the tow vehicle frame through the bumper to support a trailer being towed that would carry a vehicle.
If you go online, there are several places where you can look at receiver hitches and get an approximate dimensions.
You might find an off the rack receiver hitch that matches closely enough to your vehicle frame rails and you can adapt it with minimum modification to suit your vehicle.
Linus: in a panic stop clamp on bumper hitches tend to bend bumpers and then cause secondary damage! there are custom shops that can make a dependable hitch for you and keep the car looking original.
Yes, I knew it was a dumb idea. I am towing a light pop up tent trailer, but its still not the right way to do it.
Bumper clamp trailer hitches are good for attaching helium balloons to your vehicle.
I remember the olden days when some people used bumper clamp trailer hitches and after they took them off you could tell that they had used them by the 4 bent places on the bumper.
Most 1930 cars has very flat bumpers made out of spring steel. Thus the hitch would tend to flex forward and backwards much more than with a proper fastening to the frame. Wouldn't feel safe.
Hitches clamped to the bumper were more common in the 40's - 50's, when bumpers still were made of thick steel - and also had more shape than in 1930, thus they resisted bending better and could be used to pull lighter trailers reasonably safe.
The highway regulations change so much you may want to check to be sure they are still legal in your state or the state you're towing through.
my 42 GPW front bumper uses an oak board inside it for strength. US military specs. bolted through the bumper and frame gussets.
If you have to use a bumper hitch and your bumper is shaped correctly, you might consider some sort of reinforcement or backing plate.
Also consider the height of your camper tongue so that your hitch position is equal to that. That may help you decide where your hitch needs to be.
"...clamp on bumper type trailer hitch..."
Oh man, that sure brings back some best forgotten memories. I had one attached to a 65 Corvair when I moved from Ohio back to Texas for the first time. Got as far as the outskirts of Little Rock, AR and had to wake up a garage owner on a Sunday morning. The rear bumper was all but off and the trailer tongue was hanging down about 4" off the road. The owner welded up the bumper, straightened the hitch and added some bracing.
I wasn't even old enough to drink at that time and I guess the guy felt sorry for my young wife and I so he didn't charge us a penny. He sent us on our way with a prayer. It worked. We made to Texas.
Many years ago I used to tow a light trailer with my 1930 Plymouth. The rear bumper was held on with two bolts threaded into the frame. I removed the bumper, used a heavy piece of angle iron in its place and mounted a ball on the angle iron. I actually was able to flat tow another 1930 Plymouth parts car back to NY from PA using a straight bar with that set up. I don't think I would do that today but it worked just fine.
Val reminds me of the time we lived in Corning NY.
We had a VW beetle and a SCCA G production Datsun race car.
In those days you could tow an unregistered vehicle so I got a trailer hitch for the VW and a tow bar for the Datsun to get it to Watkins Glen and back.
It would take a mile or so to get it up to a decent speed and about 3 miles to slow down.
There were numerous close calls that make me shudder when thinking about them.
We used these at U-Haul for 25 years or so back when cars had real bumpers on them, & no they were not for Corvairs Or Pintos.
Like you, I always dreamed of putting together a rig for my hobby vehicle, a 1954 Chevy. At auction, I found a vintage bumper hitch. Dad and I cleaned it up and 'restored' it and put it on! For local parades my '54 Chevy with bumper hitch works wonders. You just have to be smart on how you attach the hitch to the bumper, and how much you use it. When towing, I can not even tell the trailer is back there! As with all types of motor vehicle operation, you just need to be smart, safe, and plan ahead. I use this for local show and parades ONLY... if traveling long distances to an event, I would pull the trailer with a modern pickup and then hitch up close to the event.
Please excuse the OT photo demonstrating my 'rig'.
LOVE your boat. I used to own a 14' double ender similar (but not lap sided) that I towed with my '46 Ch##y. Since the '46 was our everyday car, we needed a solid hitch (my boat also had a boiler and a steam engine in it), so I went to a local welding shop that did bumpers and we built a receiver that bolted into already-present holes in the frame. The receiver was recessed so when the hitch wasn't in, you couldn't see it without looking under the car. Granted, not as convenient for putting the hitch on, but kept the car looking unchanged. Of course, this also meant longer safety chains were needed. I'll have to find a picture and scan it in someday.
BTW, that car is now in Italy!! And the boat, sadly, is somewhere back east and someone glassed over that beautiful wood, so I imagine the hull is rotting now. (I saw it on eBay for MUCH more than we sold it.
Andy - I agree with David on the beautiful lap-strake boat. What a beautiful classic! You didn't say, but I'm guessing either a Thompson or a Lyman, right? Either way, a beautifully built (and obviously restored) boat! Pretty nice Chev' too, with bumperettes, fender skirts and all!