Will this front hitch fit? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Will this front hitch fit?


Elite Explorer
July 16, 2009
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City, State
Year, Model & Trim Level
97 XLT
As much as I want a super cool winch bumper up front. It's just not practical for a DD. But I still want a winch! So I thought I'd do a front hitch..... well the only one I can find is the Curt http://www.etrailer.com/fmr-1997_Ford_Explorer.htm
which looks like it hangs below the bumper. I don't want to hurt my approach angle, much less smack curbs with a hitch. I prefer having a truck that can hit the curb with the tires.
I did some searching on the forum, and apparently reese made a hitch that fit through the mouth on the bumper :D buttttt I can't find it anymore. I've seen pictures, so I know it exists.
I found this http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/compatibility-chart/B000E1H6G6?ie=UTF8&i=275
but I'm worried its not the right one. Looks like it'd hit the bumper.
It also doesn't list the explorer, or ranger under vehicles it'd fit. But the windstar is listed.


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Nobody knows?

looks like the 1st one and the third are direct bolt ons,,

i just did a winch bumper, and it appears this would even fit under it too,,

The first one is a direct bolt on, but it hangs below the bumper :(
So you think the 3rd one will work?

winch bumper with a receiver


Ladies love winch bumpers

no they don't...

Some do, but they are taken by very lucky guys

Fine, let's just agree that he needs a custom bumper.

Fair enough.

I was dead set on a winch bumper, but reality set in. The main point of it is for a cross country trip, (georgia to alaska and back) I don't make much money so gas mileage is important. The explorer is also my only vehicle, and with a 42 mile round trip drive to work and 90ish mile round trip drive to school, I eat up gas.

Benefits of front hitch:
.Better gas mileage compared to custom bumper
.Could be used to move the trailer.... I guess it makes it easier. I'm pretty good at backing the trailer up though
.Hitch mounted winch can be removed for DD, and moved from back to front or stowed inside the truck
.Could be easily removed if I need to sell the truck and make it look less "off roady" (granted, I have ZERO plans of selling this truck)
.I could make a small bumper that mounts to the hitch for the same protection/look
.Hitch rack could be mounted up front when the trailer is using the back hitch

Winch bumper:
. Better approach angle
.Can side? winch
.Looks mean :)
.Georgia girls like a mean looking winch bumper
.Whole bumper could be used with high lift jack

So while I would love a RLC winch bumper, it's just not practical. And remember, my truck is only 2wd. So I can't use a much more of an approach angle.