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Thoughts on towbar hitch receiver recovery points

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21 Jan 2023 23:07 #247075 by Grizzlie
I'm debating whether to go with a Jimny OEM quick detachable towbar/hook or to go with a square hitch receiver. My thinking is to be able to use hitch receiver recovery points.

Yay or nay? Do the rear factory recovery points suffice? Did you rather 'upgrade' to APIO or similar recovery points? Jimny is the Gen4

I don't expect to go drowning the car in swamps, but can realistically see the need to be pulled/winched out of a snowbank (for example)
*The hitch/towbar would be used for small trailer pulling as well [in case that info is necessary]
 

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22 Jan 2023 06:45 #247077 by Lambert
The factory points are tie down points designed for primarily downward pressure. They're completely inadequate for any recovery that is more than towing a disabled vehicle to a place of safety on a sealed surface. Any type of recovery requiring the vehicle to be dislodged be it mud, snow or rocks incurres a significant risk of ripping the points off the car. This applies front and rear. Using the tow bar for gentle recovery using either a winch or a KERR is possible but using a snatch strap is again going to increase the risk of damage. Using a bridle onto dedicated after market recovery points is best but even then using a snatch strap is potentially asking quite a lot of the recovery points. All that being said I have quite successfully used my towbar as an attachment for someone with a winch to anchor to to self recover and experienced no issues whatsoever. If you are competent and gentle it's possible to do some quite impressive things that a novice or rough git would otherwise cause damage doing.

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22 Jan 2023 19:03 - 22 Jan 2023 19:18 #247095 by Grizzlie
When you mean towbar, do you mean an attachment into the bar/hitch receiver? Or looped around the bar that goes across the vehicle? Or, dare I say, the swan neck/ball itself?*

*I know, using the actual ball as a recovery point is highly NOT recommended because of the risk of it ripping off and becoming a projectile. Thought I'd put this disclaimer in here in case someone got ideas.
Last edit: 22 Jan 2023 19:18 by Grizzlie.

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22 Jan 2023 19:21 #247096 by Lambert
If I'm out at a play site I have a piece of solid that replaces ball mounting flange bolted to the bar that takes a bow shackle. On the farm where it's at my own risk I just loop around the back of the bolt flange. But that's because it's me that is the only one likely to get hurt/have to fix anything I destroy. Time and place and all that.

Temeraire (2018 quasar grey automatic)
One of the last 200ish of the gen3s, probably.
ADOS Attention Deficit Ooooh Shiny!

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22 Jan 2023 22:39 #247102 by yakuza
I have heard all the warnings on not using the tow ball for recovery. Some play sites and or events do have rules now preventing the use of the tow ball. However I have used mine alot and I think that there is a slight difference between a Chevy or a dodge twice our weight, and difference between a static and a dynamic rope or wire or chains. And certainly if you do a "full send" or a nice yank.
I would however not recommend for anyone to do any recovery without taking all and any safety considerations.
I have even used the original "tow point" alot and still it hangs on. But only for small jobs.
I am planning to make proper tow points both front and rear. On the rear it would be based on the tow bar, but on the front due to the Norwegian laws nothing can poke out unless it is approved, so I would be making a soft something from a strap bolted to the frame or something.

Me doing recovery at 4.00 minutes in:

I would not recommend to do it like this!

Norway 2005 Jimny M16A VVT, 235 BFG MT, 2" Trailmaster, ARB rear lck, 17%/87% high/low gears.

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22 Jan 2023 22:48 #247103 by DrRobin
I bought a removable swan neck tow bar a few years ago (I needed to tow) and last summer added a couple of heavy duty swivel recovery points by drilling the bar. If I was doing it again I would buy a tow bar with 2” receiver, then you can get a tow bar, a recovery shackle or even a plate to take a winch, all in 2” receiver, so much more flexible.

Others have fitted a 2” receiver at the front and can then fit a portable winch to either end, that is the best of all worlds.

Robin

2011 Blue Jimny SZ4 morphing in to a 2020 SZ5 in the next week or so.

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23 Jan 2023 08:28 #247105 by Busta
A towbar is fine for sensible recovery use. An adapter for a receiver hitch is better.

​​​​​​You don't need any more unless you intend on getting stuck on purpose and then recovered by people that have no idea what they are doing.

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23 Jan 2023 18:10 #247124 by Scimike
The consensus on the web is towbar with receiver hitch is Ok.
Using the tow ball is not recommended unless it's a very light recovery.

As it's difficult to quantify "light recovery" and you are at the purchasing stage, I would go for a towbar with receiver hitch and get a recovery fitting for it. Best of all worlds then.

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23 Jan 2023 19:33 #247127 by Roger Fairclough
You cannot judge "light duty". Recovery points need to be attached to the chassis rails with the bridle as close to the rail as possible. Forged steel hooks with spring steel retaining clips are best. For a Jimny an 18mm 3 strand nylon rope is adequate. 24mm is overkill as you will find that the Jimny is not heavy enough to stretch it and excess speed should not be God. 3 strand is ok as long as you do not kink the rope. If you do you will create a weak spot that can destroy the rope. A kinetic energy recovery rope (KERR) is 8 strand plaited and cannot be kinked. This is why people pay extra for it. 3 strand will do the same job at a third the cost, just don't kink it and don't try washing it in your washing machine. The action of the washer untwists the ends and it comes out looking like a bad hair day! Use an old sweater with the rope pushed through the arms. This will deaden the rope and stop it flailing about if something breaks. People have died when things went pear shaped. The British Army forbid the use of a KERR on anything other than an armoured vehicle. They know how dangerous it is!

Roger

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23 Jan 2023 20:28 #247130 by Lambert
I'd be interested to know how you propose to attach a rope to a forged hook bolted directly to the chassis of a Jimny without having to either remove the bumper each time or perform to some kind of permanent surgery to the bumper to allow clear access?

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23 Jan 2023 21:37 #247131 by Roger Fairclough
Your second suggestion is spot on. Remember that doing it right is preferable to doing it to look pretty. I repeat, any form of recovery needs to be thought through carefully and the first thing you check is the viability of all the physical connections on both vehicles. A few strings back I asked about a slimline bumper on a Gen.3 to be told that it was a standard bumper which had been cut down to a new, slimmer design. If you want to fit proper recovery points then do the job properly and modify anything that gets in the way.

Roger

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24 Jan 2023 13:25 #247148 by mlines
Please remember this is a friendly forum.

Anything posted in this forum is only ever an opinion.

When reading on this website, please remember the sometimes invisible words at the start of every post are "In my opinion...."

Martin

2003 M13 early KAP build.
3" Trailmaster lift with 1.5 Spacers on front
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235/85R16 Maxxis Bighorns on 16" Rims, 4:1 Rocklobster, Rear ARB locker and on-board air
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