Hitch Lift Cargo Racks Front & Rear with Winch

stkshooter

Observer
This is a pic of my van with cargo racks front and rear. The rear cargo rack is an elec. motor lift which offers 24" of travel and allows for diff. attachments. The dog box is removable so cargo rack can be used for other things as seen in pic. You can use diff. attachments like motorcycle platform instead of cargo rack, storage box or what ever you can think of up to 500 lb.and when your finished, lower item and roll into garage till next time as shown with detached cargo rack and bike. Dog box was made to fit inside cargo rack rails. Top secret connector would be used on each item. It self aligns as you raise lift or disconnects when you lower to ground. The lift weighs 75 lb. and empty cargo rack weighs 75 lb. Cargo rack has removable wheels and lift can be broken down into 35-40 lb. ea. pc. if needed. Once installed on hitch the lift can stay attached in the raised position. One Pic shows lift in tilted position so both rear doors open.

I designed this working with fab shop because no one else offered anything like it. Have considered selling them now that the R & D is finished, maybe in 2011.

Front Cargo rack and winch are mounted using double tube hitch. Top tube aligned within bumper opening for portable Warn winch and bottom tube under bumper for cargo rack. I designed the double tube hitch for this and tested 9000lb. Winch with buried to frame van being pulled out with rear parking brake engaged just to make sure it would hold when needed.

Installed air bags front and rear along with Bilstein shocks so van sits level and handles when fully loaded. Rear cargo rack with dog box fully loaded and gear in van applies 750 lb. to rear axle based on air bag psi. Have taken several trips with this set up getting 18-19 mpg vs 10.5 pulling a 6x10 enclosed trl ( driving slower) . MPG is why I went with cargo racks vs trailer. I cant carry as much but boy is it easier to drive and at almost double the MPG. I have hit 19.2 mpg fully loaded with no interstate driving.




















Hope this helps some one when looking for options.
 
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Stumpalump

Expedition Leader
Low pressure is behind the van and it can trap CO and exhaust. No expert here but I'd do a little research and see if you may need to rig up a short exhaust extension to get the fumes exiting behind the dog.
 

dsw4x4

Adventurer
Thats a pretty cool set up I love your top secret latches. I would check into fumes for the dog though. My bronco with the top wafts fumes around the back of the truck and come in the cracks of the back door.
 

huskyfargo

Adventurer
Yep, I kinda like my dogs! There's no way I would have them in a crate behind the van like that. It seems that even a small bump in the rear end could do some crazy damage to your dog... if he survives the CO2 poisoning.
 

stkshooter

Observer
Low pressure is behind the van and it can trap CO and exhaust. No expert here but I'd do a little research and see if you may need to rig up a short exhaust extension to get the fumes exiting behind the dog.
Interesting! You assume I have not done any research based on.... ?
 

stkshooter

Observer
Thats a pretty cool set up I love your top secret latches. I would check into fumes for the dog though. My bronco with the top wafts fumes around the back of the truck and come in the cracks of the back door.
Thank you!

Yep, I had a toyota 4 runner that would suck fumes in the rear window if down when driving.

Funny the first 3 people to reply, assume I didn't think of this myself. hmmm!

O.K. let me go ahead and get this out of the way for those concerned. My family members call me Mr. UL (Underwriters Laboratories ) I started this project over 3 yr. ago because I'm going to use van as a camper and with 2 bird dogs rolling in who knows what while working them, they aren't sleeping with me inside van. So what to do... I tried pulling a trailer, if you know anything about pulling a trailer in sand you know you might as well drag an anchor. Plus mpg dropped in 1/2. I decided to test cargo rack with wire kennel sitting where my dog box is in pic. with survey ribbon tied all over it. I had somebody else drive van while I sat looking out the back windows taking notes on what the ribbons where doing under diff. conditions based on kennel location and height, etc. The ribbons show you exactly what the air is doing at diff. speeds. I then mounted a CO2 detector inside kennel and tested under every type of condition including vehicle sitting in drive way running for 1 hr. several times. I built a wind tunnel with fans blowing from front of vehicle also. Lots of testing... After collecting data I designed this alum. dog box with removable winter panels on all 4 sides and paid a guy to build it for me. While waiting for dog box to arrive I started designing the lift system knowing dog box will be much heavier than normal for safety reasons and too much for 1 person to lift 3 ft. off the ground once I load up the storage compartment with gear. I tried many diff. lift designs before I was happy.

Dog box arrives, I install everything on van along with 2- CO2 detectors with digital readout. I wanted to know what the detected levels were if any. I started with piping my van exhaust inside dog box with shop vac hose to test detectors. I then did the ribbon test again to find the best height setting. ( since lift system is adj.) once I was happy with the results I climbed inside of dog box and had someone drive down dusty dirt roads so I could test for road dirt and fumes although CO2 detectors already confirmed there wasn't any. I tested with all panels installed to all varibles removed. No dust entered the box unless I removed the rear panel with decals. While all other panels on and that one off, dust does come in but not much. I could eliminate it by installing deflector under cargo rack because it's the 4" x 4" 1/4" thick angle iron I have consmetic bumper bolted to which is directing air from under rack up onto rear of dog box but I have sucked in much more dirt on motorcross bikes and it hasn't killed me and since CO2 was not part of that dust it wasn't as much of a hazard, but you still don't want dust flowing into box. So that rear panel therefore stays on at all times to eliminate road dirt as well as reduce heat from sun. Problem solved till I get around to adding deflector. She drove up to 65 mph darting back and forth and slamming on brakes so I could feel exactly what my dogs might experience.

Now 2 yr. and thousands of miles later, the dog box was the perfect solution. When I'm ready to go mountain biking or hunting with the dogs I just roll box out of garage and hook it up. When I get back home, disconnect and roll box back in garage with mountain bike and everything still attached to box.

I added 8" exhaust tip with deflector extension to factory pipe just to make sure if driving in crosswind the exhaust was exiting clear of the vehicle. That's a little over kill considering the other 100 vehicles surrounding me on the highway are blowing exhaust out their tail pipes into the air which is comming in my window and it hasn't killed me yet. When following older vehicles at times the exhaust is so strong I wonder if I'm going to die :) but not yet.

How many times have you rode in the back of a pick up truck bed sitting at rear of bed and exhaust fumes come inside bed area and around tail gate ? Funny how many dog boxes you see in the back of truck bed and nobody thinks anything of it but when you see something for the first time no one else has done, we look for faults ? Guess it's human nature. I'll bet you won't find a CO2 detector in most other dog boxes and how many people sit and idle truck on cold mornings while exhaust fumes rise up inside bed. (I've watched many do it ) What about dog trailers ? If the exhaust is blowing back behind vehicle onto trailer then vents would suck it in with airflow and people have been pulling multi dog trailers for 50+ yrs. Guess you just have to use a little common sense.

PS: Disclaimer: If you use a hitch carrier, do your own testing because every vehicle is diff.

Jon
 
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Riptide

Explorer
Once I was happy with the results I climbed inside of dog box and had someone drive down dusty dirt roads so I could test for road dirt and fumes although CO2 detectors already confirmed there wasn't any.

She drove up to 65 mph darting back and forth and slamming on brakes so I could feel exactly what my dogs might experience
Now THAT is puttin' your money where your mouth is!

The dogs were probably watching, thinking "Yee-haw, we're sleeping inside! He's sleeping outside!"
 

stkshooter

Observer
Yep, I kinda like my dogs! There's no way I would have them in a crate behind the van like that. It seems that even a small bump in the rear end could do some crazy damage to your dog... if he survives the CO2 poisoning.
Read my testing reply to CO2 in above post.

Here we go with the what if somebody rear ends you statement. What if...

If you research rear end collistions the insurance stats show most are low speed or minor damage.

I have driven all types of vehicles several million miles in every state / canada including every major city and several years in Europe including riding/racing dirt / sport bikes since I was a kid so my driving skills would be consider well above average. All this without a single chargeable accident and the few minor accidents during that time when others hit me were minor. There was only one low speed rear end collision which if repeated with dog box on van, the car would pass under rack. If you were to estimate my odds of having a rear end collition based on past history, I would say the odds are well in my favor.

We have test mounted hitch lift/cargo rack with receiver hitch on back of GMC TOPKICK C4500 FLATBED. Then using fork lift to lift up on rear of cargo rack to see just how much leveraged force the entire system could take and where the weak links were if any. The FLATBED truck was ready to come off the ground and nothing broke, just flexing a little which is expected considering the trucks weight. This was leveraged forces 10 X what the lift was designed to carry being applied. I have lifted the rear of my van a couple feet off the ground doing the same thing. So it was over built but better safe then sorry... Now consider the added steel bumpers and frame work on cargo rack along with the heavy extrusion materials dog box is made from. It's stronger than you might think at first glance.

So you think a platic or wire dog crate like most people use sitting inside of a tin van door is protection ? I cut the rear van door for my A/C unit with tin snips. Ya, that's going to stop a rear end collision from impacting anything on the other side. How many vehicles involved in major crashes have you seen ?


As for liking my dogs. I trained the one from a pup to a NAVHDA UT-1 title. Putting a UT-2 title on him in 1yr. 9 mo. and a 2nd UT-1 at 2.4 yr. If you are not familiar with testing, this is considered by many to be the 2nd hardest versatile test in the U.S. and takes a considerable amount of dedication / money. I've turned away every person who has contacted me for stud because I didn't feel they were qualified, I'm not in it for the money. My new pup is from a litter we had sired by my UT-1 dog so that one is like my kid. Hope this helps put things in perspective how I feel about my dogs.

That answers the standard C02 and what if statements.
 

dsw4x4

Adventurer
Pretty cool you went through that much trouble to check out your design. Even cooler that it all seemed to work out pretty good. I am guessing that the fancy rear bumper cover helps to keep the dust and fumes down and out the kennel.
Congrats on a very cool useful idea that worked.
 

stkshooter

Observer
Pretty cool you went through that much trouble to check out your design. Even cooler that it all seemed to work out pretty good. I am guessing that the fancy rear bumper cover helps to keep the dust and fumes down and out the kennel.
Congrats on a very cool useful idea that worked.
Thanks...

The bumper prob. adds to the problem because of the L shape working like a air funnel directing air up onto rear panel. But impact safety was a concern also. The orange tube is a steel step bumper off ford explorer for cosmetic and low speed impacts. The angle iron it is bolted to is much thicker than the bumper on back of van so again it is over kill.

I don't have ANY exhaust leaks under van and since it is routed out rear side clear of vehicle, there are not any fumes under vehicle. When I did the wind tunnel testing the ribbons showed air flowing around side of vehicle didn't draft inward till it was past dog box ( 3ft. is common if you research ) which reduced any chance of side exit exhaust getting caught in turbulance draft and blowing back toward vehicle. Now let us assume that some of the exhaust is caught by turbulance and blown back toward dog box, with the rear panel in place it would be no diff. than rolling up rear vehicle window like on my old 4 runner or station wagon. By the time any % of C02 would enter the box it is such a small % that the C02 detector doesnt read it and I couldnt detect any either while riding in box during testing.

Lift has many uses besides dog box.
 

stkshooter

Observer
I forgot to mention the rear lift where it slides into receiver accepts 1 1/2" solid adapter inside of lift tube so you can add receiver type winch or in my case move front receiver winch to rear if needed. I carry farm type jack to raise vehicle if burried so I can crawl in there to install winch. I could lift rear of van off the ground using cargo lift if I had log or something to put under it. Since this is an expedition forum that uses winches, I wanted to mention that. Thanks
 

Acheron

New member
As for liking my dogs. I trained the one from a pup to a NAVHDA UT-1 title. Putting a UT-2 title on him in 1yr. 9 mo. and a 2nd UT-1 at 2.4 yr. If you are not familiar with testing, this is considered by many to be the 2nd hardest versatile test in the U.S. and takes a considerable amount of dedication / money. I've turned away every person who has contacted me for stud because I didn't feel they were qualified, I'm not in it for the money. My new pup is from a litter we had sired by my UT-1 dog so that one is like my kid. Hope this helps put things in perspective how I feel about my dogs.
That certainly does make it quite clear how you feel about your dogs, but likely not in the way you think it does. It's clear that you view that you view them as valuable property, rather than members of the family. Those of us who actually care for our dogs, rather than simply care about their monetary value, would never place them behind the vehicle. Period.
 
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