Bought a camper trailer and noticed the "male" hitch is long and sticks out of the back of the vehicle farther than necessary and thought it would be nicer to have it closer in to the back bumper. I was going to push it in and drill another hole, but just realized I can't because the spare tire is right there. Upon closer inspection I notice (maybe because of the spare?) the "female" receiver part is much shorter than the hitch on my other truck.
I'm wondering if the "optional tow package" equipped vehicles have a heavier hitch. Some have suggested it's just the 7-pin wiring and extra cooling. I wondered if it is a different (heavier) hitch, too.?
I have a 7-pin installed and have brake controller and aftermarket guages to keep an eye on temperatures. Trailer dry weight is 4820lbs but I expect loaded to be closer to 6000. Am I good or should I be looking at a better hitch? Also, what are the opinions on "shortening" up the hitch shank?
No reason you can't shorten the drawbar and drill whatever hole you want. Just sticking it in farther is not an option as you note. I'n not sure why you'd want to do this, though.
There should be no issue with the length of the drawbar I'm aware of. This is my Equalizer on my Explorer, but the same hitch is now on my Expedition. Getting it out, away from the bumper gives you a tighter turning radius without the trailer frame hitting the bumper.
If you don't have the factory HD Towing option you have 6000 pounds capacity. Maximum of 600 pounds on the hitch (weight carrying).
You can tell if you have HD tow by the factory fitted, round, 7-pole Bargman electrical connector to the right of the receiver. It's only furnished with HD tow. HD tow also gets you larger engine coolant and transmission radiators and ups maximum towing capacity to 9000 pounds.
Pretty sure the same receiver is on all the Expeditions but here's my HD Tow receiver. You'll need to crawl under the rear and look at the label on the bottom. Weights on the label are the receiver limits, not the truck limits which can be less (and will be if you lack HD tow.)
Finally you can view the original factory sticker and look for the HD Tow option. Click the link, then edit the end of the line with your VIN, not this one, which does have HD tow:
Thanks Chuck. I think I'm gonna be fine with this but it confuses me why there are so many discrepancies in the specs. According to the VIN mine has a class III hitch (which I've always understood to be 5,000lbs) but yours says 6,000 on it. Mine's missing the tag. My brochure from when I bought it says 9,000 with no mention of the HD option. The owners manual said 9,100 I believe (haven't got it in front of me at the moment.).
Anyway, I plan to hook up and try it. I have the Expedition factory hitch, equalizer trailer hitch, 7-pin (added), add-on mirrors, and the "Interceptor" guage to monitor temps. We rarely have outside temps above low 70's but I want to watch the tranny and will add another cooler if necessary. I used to be a transmission tech in the 90's and often saw what an overheated tranny looked like!
The shortening part.... It just seems to me that it would be better to have things hooked closer and the tongue weight farther ahead to minimize "leverage" on the back of the vehicle. (I'm thinking of a pick-up truck with a heavy weight placed at the back of the box vs. the front of the box.... Rides and steers much better moved forward to the front.) Maybe this isn't a factor with the weight-distributing hitch, though.?? Turning radius isn't a big concern for me.
Not trying to be controversial. I appreciate all the wisdom from you guys on here. I just feel more comfortable if I can get my head around stuff before I begin. My brother would tow it around the world and never look back as long as the ball was the right size for the coupler!
Run your VIN in the link I posted. It'll show HD tow -- or not.
I'm not seeing any conflicting specs. The specs are "when properly equipped." Check out the Ford Towing Guide for specifics (and your owners manual ). See the top left corner of page 23 in the towing guide for Expedition specifics. To get 9000 pounds you need HD Tow option, otherwise your maximum towing capacity is 6000 pounds.
The towing packages show on page 15. No mechanical differences, only engine and transmission cooling and wiring.
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