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Towing 5000# - use bumper?

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Old 03-29-2002, 09:37 AM
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kook
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Question Towing 5000# - use bumper?

1990 F150 4x4. Bumper is rated for 8000# load and 800# tongue. Trying to keep costs down, I was thinking of using the bumper for the current time for short hauling of my boat (total weight, including trailer, is approx. 5000#). What's your guys thoughts on using the bumper? It seems a bit high (24" to the top of the ball) - I thought the optimum height for the (top of the) tow ball was supposed to be around 18" or so. The truck is 100% stock, including tire size.

Just trying to keep costs down. This is a recently purchased 2nd vehicle - an unplanned expense. Anywhere I can save a couple hundred bucks would help.

_______________________________________

If I end-up spending for a hitch:

If I end up buying a hitch, what brand do you guys recommend? I used Hidden Hitch on my Toyota P/U and was pleased with the ease of installation and quality of the hitch (a class 3).

Are hitches for this truck a simple bolt-on, or do you have to do any frame drilling? All the holes in the back of the frame are being used to hold the bumper.

If I'd like to (eventually) be able to tow 7000#+ should I get a class 4 hitch? What's the difference (besides the obvious towing rating) between a class 3 and a class 4 hitch?

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Old 03-29-2002, 09:50 AM
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Kook,

I would go for the underhung reciever type hitch from Reese or someone like that. Without the ability to adjust the ball height by using a drop, raise or whatever reciever, you will not be able to level your trailer. I assume you have more that a single axle trailer. If you in fact have a single axle trailer, bumper would be ok. It is very important to have a properly level trailer on multi axle rigs.

I actually bought my first weight distributing hitch from a junk yard for $25. I put it on a 88 f150 2wd and had to drill holes in the frame. If I was in your shoes I would call around and find a place that installs and does everything when buying a new hitch. It may not cost as much as you think.

BT
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Old 03-29-2002, 10:08 AM
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I would go for a fully installed frame mounted hitch. They are not that expensive, or hard to install, and most will bolt right up. If all else fails, I have seen a piece that bolts to the bottom of your step bumper, and allows you to put in a 2" receiver. I am not sure where to find it though, sorry.

Good Luck.
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Old 03-29-2002, 10:31 AM
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You will have to drill all six holes in the frame to mount the hitch. Ford didn't put any holes in the frame of their F series from 80-96. I hate it when a customer wants a hitch for one of these.

Don't buy the receiver that bolts on to the bottom of your bumper. It will reduce the towing capacity of your bumper by 75%. I see people buy these all the time to save money and be cheap. It's not worth it. You would have a towing capacity of about 2000lbs if you put one on.

Buck
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Old 03-29-2002, 10:41 AM
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I agree with the others. Get a frame mounted hitch. Not only does it let you adjust the height of the ball but it gives you a few inches of set-back too. That sometimes helps manuevering.
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Old 03-29-2002, 11:15 AM
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I agree with all said- a mild rake in the trailer with leafs and equalizers is tolerable but no more than a couple inches over the length of the trailer- otherwise you are not allowing the equalizers to do their job and one axle and its tire do all the work going over goofy surfaces- asking for blowouts and bent axles. With torsion axles a level trailer is more critical because their are no equalizers.

You really should spring for the Reese Titan or a similar hitch designed for 10K+ and 1000+ tongue weight given your future plans- otherwise you'll be significantly exceeding the design or spending considerably more $ for a weight ditribution system. It won't cost much extra now. Buck would be a great shop for the install but lucky for him he lives too far away. Those Hot chips raining all over you are no picnic!
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Old 03-29-2002, 11:18 AM
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Bucks right , There's no holes now for that truck . And those add on (Below the bumper hitches) cause alot of problems due to their leverage on the bumper . Years ago ,I went to an installer seminar put on by Draw tite (Which is also Reese and MAsco ), THey did a demo on pulling with the bumper . They used a hydraulic ram to pull against bumper simulating pulling effert. The bumper was rated 5000lbs and 500 lbs tongue weight . (Can't remember what truck it was ) The bumper ripped off the truck with only about 2000 lbs of pull !

Get a frame mount hitch . It is cheaper in the end ! Reese and Draw tite are topps, but cheaper ones would work for you and could be found in many magazines . Get the heavy duty one the first time . Any quesions ,e-mail me . Good luck ,JOE
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Old 03-29-2002, 11:24 AM
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ANd yes , The trailer must be level . A VERY slight angle will work .MAybe 2" high will be OK . If not ,axle problems ,tire failure, and maybe even dragging the out drive on the ground in the right situation. Also think about the angle the boat will sit at on the launch ramp ! If the trailer is too high it will be almost impossible to load it . It will unload easy though !
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Old 03-29-2002, 11:39 AM
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I guess those 2" bolt on receivers are crap. Go with the frame hitch.
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Old 03-29-2002, 06:16 PM
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hey kook i was just pricing recievers about a week ago and u- haul was the cheapest. they also install for 25$ its not worth drilling the frame yourself for that! i haulled a heavy equipment trailer with a bumper ball one time and twited the whole bumper down from the wieght of the trailer bouncing on rough roads, dont trust the bumper. they are only there to bump things thats why they arent called towwers
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