Front end recovery for these heavy RV vans is seemingly a topic never discussed in all the Dodge, RV, Class B, Roadtrek, LT, etc. forums. I had for quite some time been checking into a front-end receiver hitch but found none made specifically for the Dodge B3500 van. After all the research, I found only one B3500 van (that was not a super-expensive 4x4 conversion) with a front-end receiver and that one was hand fabricated by a hard-core mechanic/boondocker. There is tons of stuff for Dodge 3500 pickups but their chassis is completely different and based on a frame rail while the B3500 van relies on unibody and a subframe.
Since I am not going off-roading with this rig and only anticipate getting moderately stuck, I have been more recently looking at add-on tow hooks, various tow bridles, axle straps and so on, connected to a very strong equalizer strap which would then be hooked on to a very strong tow strap, pulled by a hand winch, then attached to an anchor point. I am not crazy about using the control arms as recovery points for fear of damage or causing misalignment, but pro recovery truck crews use such methods to pull forward quite heavy vehicles for short distances.
I just wish Dodge had built in strong, safe front-end recovery points for these vans.
In the absence of a better recovery solution, here is what I have come up with for a straight-line front-end recovery setup for the vehicle:
- 2 heavy axle straps, one looped around each control arm (unless I can add legit tow points)
- each axle strap is connected by a D-ring to each end of a heavy-duty equalizer strap
- the equalizer strap is attached via soft shackle to the primary tow strap
- the primary tow strap ( 20+ ton break strength) is connected by a D-ring to a snatch block on the cable winch
- the other end of the 4-ton cable winch is connected through another D-ring to the tree saver strap which is finally attached to the main anchor point
Any better ideas?
Rear end recovery should not be too bad with the rear hitch shackle adapter on the already-installed heavy-duty trailer hitch. My best bet is to altogether avoid any muck I can't back out of!