NCV3 receiver hitch rework to support factory step


Van Guru
I'm cleaning up the underside of the back of the van to make space for some tanks. I removed the spare tire and the supporting frame. I'll mount the spare on a pivoting arm supported off the hitch cross tube at some point. More on that later.

My van had a Curt hitch that fits with the factory step. The arms for the hitch go on the outside of the frame rail and the arms for the factory step support go on the inside. I designed new 3/8" thick arms that accommodates both the step support and the hitch cross tube.

I cut the arms off the Curt hitch and also cut the arms off the step support. Then, with help from my neighbor, tacked the hitch and step support onto my new arms while they were on the van. The new arms have a square hole for the hitch cross tube so nothing to fixture or clamp in place. Then I removed the assembly for the finish welds, cleaned it up, and rattled canned the whole thing to match the rest of the hitch. I'll likely be welding some supports for the tanks on the arms so not worth powder coating at this point.

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Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
Just a thought: I have a sketch of a spare tire support that adds a second tube below the hitch tube. I was going to put a fiberglass square bar inside the second tube fixed at one end and attach a pivoting bracket for the spare tire from the other end. That way the weight of the spare tire would be counterbalanced by the twisting fiberglass bar. When spare tire was down it could be a table with plywood behind tire. A hitch pin would be used for securing both the up and down positions.


Van Guru

Upscale's van had some 1 1/2" receiver tubes welded to the bottom of the hitch cross member. I'm thinking about going out the end of the cross tube so the tire can pivot like the door. I'll need to lay that all out in CAD and come up with stops to keep the tire from hitting the body.

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