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					Dennis' VW Service
"The Vanagon Man"
Dennis Haynes                                                              Telephone 631-563-8248
                                                                                CELL 631-897-0345
                                                                    E-mail Dhaynes@optonline.net
970 Smithtown Ave.
Bohemia NY. 11716




Installation instructions for your Vanagon Class Three "Style" Trailer Hitch

Notice: This trailer hitch was designed to allow the mounting of many accessories such
as bicycle racks and luggage carriers to the rear of your Vanagon. It was not designed nor
intended to be used for towing anything in excess of the Vehicle Manufacturers
recommendations. For most Vanagons, this is 2000 pounds with a maximum tongue
weight of 150 pounds. This hitch must never be used with a "Weight Distributing" type
of coupling. Both the hitch and the vehicle can be damaged with disastrous results. In
addition, most states require that any towed load in excess of 1000 pounds be equipped
with its own braking system. Your vehicle will handle differently with a trailer in tow or
with a load mounted on the hitch. The weight capacity that the vehicle can carry must be
reduced by an amount equal to the tongue weight on the hitch. For loads that are
mounted and extended off the hitch, the weight of that load should be doubled, and then
subtracted from the vehicle capacity. The Vanagon is not designed to be used as a "Tow"
vehicle. The Engine, Transmission, and Brakes are excessively stressed when used for
this purpose. Drive accordingly.

        This hitch was also designed to be easy to install. The installation requires no
holes to be drilled on the vehicle. The only cutting that needs to be done is for the side
brackets to extend below the bumper. This can be done with a hacksaw, although I prefer
to use a jigsaw or cut-off wheel. The hitch is supplied with new hardware. The mounting
bolts that attach the unit to the frame are Grade 12.9; the bumper mounting bolts are
grade 10.9 or stainless steel. These are high strength fasteners that are plated to resist rust
and corrosion. It is highly recommended that either an Anti-Seize or Lock-tight are used
on the bolt threads to allow for future disassembly. Note that the 12mm bolts used to
mount the hitch on the van are not the same thread pitch of as the originals. They are not
interchangeable. The hitch will not need to be removed for any normal servicing of the
vehicle.


Tools Needed:

•   Open end and socket wrenches, 12, 13, 18, 19 millimeters.
•   #2 Philips screwdriver.
•   Small straight blade screwdriver.
•   Needle nose pliers, (to remove rubber impact strip).
•   Cutting tools to cut slots in bumper. Your choice.
                                Vanagon Trailer Hitch Installation


Installation Procedure:
All Vanagons with metal bumpers.
(See next page for the “Aero” Style Bumpers)
•   Remove original bumper and brackets. It is usually easiest to remove the bumper
    and brackets as an assembly. Especially if you have the rubber impact strip mounted
    across the bumper. Remove the sheet metal screws that hold the bumper end caps to
    the body. Each cap has a plug that needs to be removed to access the screw. Use a
    small screwdriver to remove the plug, and then carefully remove the screw. This
    screw is usually rusted, (so is the sheet metal). Do not remove the end caps from the
    bumper itself. Next, remove the bolts that hold the bumper brackets to the frame.
    There are two 12mm bolts on each side. Use the 19mm wrench. Then slide entire
    bumper assembly off vehicle.
•   Remove rubber impact strip if equipped. Using the pliers carefully squeeze the
    plastic mounting clips and gently push them through the bumper. Be careful not to
    damage the clips or the impact strip. If time permits, it may be a good idea to
    purchase a set of these clips from the dealer in advance. There is nothing more
    unsightly than a Vanagon with stuff falling off it. After the strip is removed, remove
    the brackets from the bumper and put them in storage with their original hardware.
•   Mount new hitch assembly on van. Depending on condition of van, this is a good
    time to put some rust preventative paint coating or wax inside the frame boxes. Slide
    side pieces into frame pockets. Coat the 12mm bolts with either Anti-Seize or Blue
    Lock-tite, (preferred), then install the bolts and washers through the frame and into
    the hitch. The wavy washers go between the bolt head and the flat washer. It will
    take some work to get all six bolts lined up and started. Use hand wrench (18 or
    19mm) to start the threads. Do not tighten until all six bolts are started. You do not
    want to strip the welded nuts. Tighten all bolts securely!
•   Cut notches in rear bumper. Hold bumper up to hitch brackets. The brackets
    should be about 3/8 inch to the outside of the bottom bumper mounting holes. Mark
    where the slots need to be cut. Give some extra room on each side. I usually cut a
    1/2 inch wide slot. The slot needs to be cut half way into the bottom corner of the
    bumper. After cutting the slot, test fit the bumper to the brackets. Trim as needed.
    There should be no interference between the back of the brackets and the inside of the
    bumper. This is important, so that the bumper will sit level. Apply some paint or rust
    proofing material to the cut edges to prevent them from rusting.
•   Mount bumper and trim. Using the new 8mm bolts, mount the bumper to the
    brackets. Use Anti-Seize here as these bumpers seem to need replacing often, (It's
    really a trim piece, not a bumper). Re-attach the end caps to the body. If the sheet
    metal screws and the body are too rusty for the screws to hold, replace with #10 stove
    bolts, nuts, and washers. More Anti-Seize, undercoating, wax, or something. Re-
    install the plugs and the rear impact strip.
•   Go show off your new hitch! You are now finished!




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                            Vanagon Trailer Hitch Installation




Installation Procedure:
All Vanagons with Aero or Plastic Bumpers.
• Remove original bumper and brackets. The bumper and brackets have to be
    removed as a complete assembly. Remove the bolts that hold the bumper brackets to
    the frame, (two 12mm bolts on each side, 19mm wrench) and the screws that hold the
    side trim pieces to the body. Then slide entire bumper assembly off vehicle.
• Remove brackets from bumper. Carefully unbolt the original brackets from the
    bumper. Often the top bolt is seized into the pressed in inserts. Avoid destroying
    these inserts. Use lots of “Rust Bust” as needed.
• Cut notches in rear bumper. Hold bumper up to the hitch assembly. The brackets
    should be about 3/8 inch to the outside of the bottom bumper mounting holes. Mark
    where the slots need to be cut. Give some extra room on each side. I usually cut a
    1/2 inch wide slot. The slot needs to be cut half way into the bottom corner of the
    bumper. After cutting the slot, test fit the bumper to the hitch brackets. Trim as
    needed. There should be no interference between the back of the brackets and the
    inside of the bumper. This is important, so that the bumper will sit level.
• Mount bumper to hitch. Using the new 8mm bolts, mount the bumper to the
    brackets. Use Anti-Seize here, especially in the top bolts that thread into those
    inserts. Since these bumpers seem to need replacing often, (It's really a trim piece, not
    a bumper), pay careful attention to proper fit. The brackets may have to slightly bent
    and washers may need to be added so that bumper fits properly on hitch. Avoid
    stressing the bumper, as undo stress will cause cracking at the bolt connections.
• Mount new hitch and Bumper assembly on van. Depending on condition of van,
    this is a good time to put some rust preventative paint coating or wax inside the frame
    boxes. Slide side pieces into frame pockets. Coat the 12mm bolts with either Anti-
    Seize or Blue Lock-tite, (preferred), then install the bolts and washers through the
    frame and into the hitch. The wavy washers go between the bolt head and the flat
    washer. It will take some work to get all six bolts lined up and started. Use hand
    wrench (18 or 19mm) to start the threads. Do not tighten until all six bolts are
    started. You do not want to strip the welded nuts. Before final tightening of the
    mounting bolts, reattach the screws for the side pieces. Make sure everything lines up
    before final tightening. If all okay, tighten all bolts securely!
• Go show off your new hitch! You are now finished!




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Vanagon Trailer Hitch Installation




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