Sunday, February 22, 2009

Project #16 - Front Cargo Rack

Basically, a couple years ago I purchased the larger-sized Hitch Haul you could get at Wal-Mart. At the time, I had planned to use it in my hitch extension to haul a few smaller things that didn't weight a whole lot in some place other than the inside of the camper.

However, because of how far back it was, I wound up adding wheels to the underside of the hitch haul to keep it from scraping on the ground every time I exited via a driveway. The thing also had an enormous amount of slop in the size of its reciever tube and would wobble side to side.

So, because of alot of the annoyances of the thing, I wound up towing my little cargo trailer alot more than I used my hitch haul, which took away some of the convenience of the Camper.

I finally changed that a few months ago, when I decided to do away with the hassle of the trailer and the wobbly hitch haul and have a custom dual tube front cargo rack made.

(Click on any Image to view a larger version)

The front reciever is a custom build that I had had made a while back to facilitate the addition of a reciever on the front for my tire carrier/bike rack.

It was overbuilt in the event that I later wanted to add on a front cargo rack. So, when the time came the only thing that needed doing was to add the two additional recievers to the existing reciever assembly and bolt it back up.

The basket on the carrier is the original hitch haul rack, just the center support is gone as it now rests atop the two 2x2x1/4" tubes coming from the twin recievers.

The rack's been loaded fairly heavy without any issue, including 30 gallons of fresh water, plus generator, gas, spare 20lb propane bottle, large tote crammed with firewood, and occasionally a portable barbacue.

The angle of the picture makes it appear the driver's side headlight is blocked, but let me assure you, it wasn't.

The rack has its own running lights, in addition to turn signals (connected to the front signal lights on the truck). I've travel a couple thousand miles with this rack now, and passed many an LEO from a couple different states, without a second glance.

The unit is marked and clearly visible from the driver via the marker posts (similar to a truck with a plow on the front) which have reflective marking tape on the top of each.

The only thing I do need to change is the lenses on the side running lights, for some reason I got it my head to use Red instead of Amber.


  1. In the last photo it looks like the dog is pulling your rig! Nice job.


  2. In hindsight, it wasn't the smartest move on my part hitching him there. While the pipe was galvanized, the bum plug on the tank was plastic.

    Murphy will try and remove your arm if puts his mind to going after something or someone.

  3. Just had a front cargo rack made by a local welder to carry a small motorcycle. In my case, I already had a Western Ultramount (snowplow) on the truck and the wiring, so I bolted on some adapters from Leed Engineering for two receivers and had the welder construct the platform. Very useful and keeps the rear clear for entry or towing a boat.

  4. That front rack has been most useful since I had it made. The first version had the basket bolted down directly to the cross tubes, however, I later went back and put in some good angle iron on each side of both cross tubes and attach it to the cross tubes using 5/8" receiver pins.

  5. Matt,

    I can't see the pictures. Says the domain has expired.


    1. Should be back up now :), the server I own that's hosting the older pictures had the domain expire on me without notice because my old registrar got gobbled up by another.

  6. So what exactly do you call those front markers that are on the sticks? I have an oversized grill guard and been looking for some!

    1. Those front stakes are simply those cheap round reflector topped fiberglass driveway markers they sell at Home Depot. Cut the heads off, turn them upside down and mounted into some drilled out blocks of stainless and pinned in place.

      Wrapped the tips with reflective tape. :)

  7. Hi " Big Matt" I was wondering if You have a post dedicated to just truck Mods DRW install ect. You've inspired me to out & buy 1998 K2500 Chevy long box extended cab. I really like the front receiver hitch I wish your welder buddy lived here in Omaha,NE 'cause I'd sure ask him to make me one. (still in the process of looking for a T/C.)

    PS GREAT BLOG !! I look at it at least one a day!!!

  8. It's amazing. Thanks for sharing.