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Are you towing with the proper equipment?

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Old 04-22-2004, 09:05 AM
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This has been a popular subject in the past here on OSO. Do a search and you will find several threads on this. A lot of people are towing with what they THINK are class 5 hitches.

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Old 04-22-2004, 09:24 AM
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Give the insurance company one little loophole after an accident and you can kiss your coverage goodbye.

I may be wrong, but there aren't any weight-distributing hitches that will work with straight surge brakes. Maybe they are compatible with electric-over-hydraulics.

In the case of my Excursion, the hitch is an integral part of the sub-frame as built by Ford. They are installed with special fasteners in several areas (some have called them rivets; that is false). No hitch manufacturer makes an after-market for the 'X' because of the sub-frame issue for liabiltity reasons. I checked with my insurance agent, and he said I could have a Class V installed by a custom shop, but I just gave the insurance adjuster the one little loophole he's looking for if an accident were to occur. He recommended against it, and said to buy a bigger truck if I needed to. (my X is fine for our 28 AT)

Drive safely, and at a safe speed and distance. A few extra minutes on the road isn't going to ruin your boating weekend, and it might save you a lot of grief! (and fuel)
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Old 04-22-2004, 09:35 AM
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I also have an X and there is nothing out there for an aftermarket. There is no way to use bars with a surge brake, they will limit the movement. The bars do move but it is not what they are meant to do. I installed air bags and a sway bar on the X, this has helped a ton. I feel the X hitch is fine, people tow 41ft TT with these. There is nothing like 8800lbs of truck that keep you in control of a 10,000lb trailer. I just towed 6 hours, thru Chicago and all and the X made a joke of that trailer. Also the "V" on the hitch is not a 5, it is some other designation.
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Old 04-22-2004, 09:48 AM
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The V-5 designation on hitches is a standard they use to grade the STEEL used in the hitch,,, it has nothing to do with towing capacity...

It's actually pretty dumb that they chose V-5,, it get people confused thinking they have a class V hitch, when they only have a class III
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Old 04-22-2004, 09:53 AM
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I just bought a new ball mount and weight distribution system yesterday. My '04 Avalanche 2500/8.1/4.10 factory hitch platform is rated for 12,000 lbs /1200 lbs if a weight distribution hitch is used, so that's what I bought. My Cig and trailer weigh around 11,000 dry, so I'll be right at the rated limit, but I only have to tow it about 8 miles from the warehouse to the ramp.

BTW, Weight Distribution Hitches can be used with trailer surge brakes, but the Anti-Sway bars cannot because the limit the movement.
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Old 04-22-2004, 09:55 AM
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I think that if people actually took their boat and trailer to a weigh scale they would find it to be much heavier then what they think it is.

The thing I'm trying to find out is do you use sway bars?

What the brochure (whether its paper or online) is telling me is for anything over 5000 lbs on a 1500/2500 series you need weight distributing bars even though the truck is rated to pull more.

Now I realize that with the right engine/transmission package the max trailer weight for a 2500HD/3500 is 12000 lbs but it still says you need to use a weight distributing hitch after 7500 lbs.

Right now I have a 3500 and I have a Reese Titan class V hitch. I do not use sway bars and have never had a problem towing the 10,000lb+ weight.

What bothers me is that If I go out and buy this new truck that is supposable loaded and ready to tow I am going to have to upgrade everything because I'm over 7500lbs.

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Old 04-22-2004, 10:01 AM
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Monty,
So you can add to the existing hitch that all ready came with the vehicle?
Does the sway bars bolt/hook up to the existing hitch.

How do they hook to the trailer?

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Old 04-22-2004, 10:13 AM
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CGarrett,

I didn't have to change the factory hitch receiver, since it is rated up to 12k, as long as a weight distribution system was used. The weight distribution system mount to a special hitch bar that is installed in the hitch reciever hole like you would do with a normal ball mount. The ball mounts on top of the hitch bar/ball mount, and the weight distribution spring bars attach to the sides of the ball mount. Brackets are clamped on each leg of the trailer "A" frame, and chains hang down from the brackets to the spring bars.

Sway bars are different than weight distribution spring bars. The sway bar are designed to prevent side to side motion, while the weight distribution bars are designed to distribute the load more evenly over all the tow and trailer wheels. The sway bars are a more rigid connection between the trailer and the hitch, so that's why they can't be used with surge brakes, but since the weight distribution bars are connected to the trailer with chains, they allow enough movement to activate the surge brakes.
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Last edited by Monty; 04-22-2004 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 04-22-2004, 10:52 AM
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1. By adding a class 5 hitch, does that raise the towing capacity of your boat?

No, but a four blade prop might help

Anyone towing anywhere near the weight limit with a 1/2 ton vehicle is asking for problems. 1/2 trucks are little more than the modern day El Camino. The ride and drive very nice...like cars, because thats essentially what they are. The brakes, suspension and driveline just arent up to the task. If your going to tow, buy a 3/4 ton or higher.....my $.02.
 
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Old 04-22-2004, 10:57 AM
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A lot of the newer factory stuff is weight carrying rated at 1200/12000 ish, My 03 Dodge 3500 and friends 2500 HD chevy are.

Actually, boats tow soooooooo much nicer than other rigs because their axles are so far back and they are very aerodynamic (relatively speaking) My 20' race car trailer is about 7500 lbs loaded with spares/car etc., very similar to my boat on trailer but it is much more fussy to tow with, sensitive to hitch weight, more wind drag and more cross winds etc. I just ordered an Equalizer hitch (the brand) which looks like it'll be sweet for the race trailer. soon to have some good apples and apples testing.
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