F350 Factory Tow Hitch-Should I replace??? - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums

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F350 Factory Tow Hitch-Should I replace???

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F350 Factory Tow Hitch-Should I replace???

 
  #1  
Old 01-08-2019, 02:54 PM
bsiliani
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F350 Factory Tow Hitch-Should I replace???

I have a 2001 F350SD 4x4 Auto SRW SuperCab LB equipped with the factory tow hitch. If I'm not mistaken, max loaded trailer wt is 13,300, ( GCWR 20,000 ) with the 7.3 engine. and 3.73 gears. The former numbers are for fifth wheel towing and that is why I bought the truck. The number for Conventional Towing is 10,000 max. I believe the max TW is 500lbs?? PO upgraded the bed for fifth wheel/gooseneck with all wiring (rails are present and hole in bed), brakes to larger slotted units, powder coated wheels riding on 19.5 12 ply Truck Tires, Bilstein shocks, and I'm installing HD rear leaf springs with added leaf on top and all new HD hardware. Rear is being upgraded to a factory LS. The question I have is should I upgrade to a Heavy Duty Hitch? The Curt Trailer Hitch rated Class5 shows a max gross trailer wt of 17,000 lbs and max tongue wt of 2,550. Priced real good and is a custom fit that bolts on. That seems like this hitch would handle better on the road for conventional towing needs ( with the correct wt. dist. setup ). Also, what goosneck/5th wheel setup would you recommend? As you can see, this truck is set up for heavy towing on a budget. I was lucky as I'm the 2nd owner and PO was a Ford Mechanic. I send pics of the mods when I get it back from the spring shop.
 
  #2  
Old 01-08-2019, 03:35 PM
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Welcome to FTE.

The question is rather do you NEED to upgrade? Are you going to bumper tow that heavy? if not then the stock setup is probably fine. I upgraded to a class 5 because the stock hitch was damaged and I found new class 5 on CL for $100. If you can find a shop that removes beds for flat beds you probably can get a hell of a deal. If you have the coin and it makes you feel better go for it. The class 5 will bolt up BUT you’re going to have to drill out the frame to a IIRC a 3/4” bolt. Just a use a QUALITY step bit and tape the bit off so you don’t go to deep, it’ll go through like hot knife through butter! I used Grade 8 hardware with lock washers.

‘Others may be able to comment on the factory LS but I haven’t read good things about it. I went with a Truetrac and have absolutely no complaints and it doesn’t wear out because there’s no clutches.
 
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Old 01-08-2019, 03:43 PM
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Tow and go. I pull a 10.5 k boat all day long for 15 plus years. Just make sure your tow is level.

Fifth wheel as well. Nothing has presented itself in many years.

Denny
 
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Old 01-08-2019, 05:25 PM
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I got the Curt 17,000 lb hitch to replace my old rusted Reese hitch. It bolted on easily and is much beefier than the one it replaced.
 
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Old 01-08-2019, 09:44 PM
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There is a Curt Class 5 hitch on sale for approx. $230. It's got a max tongue weight of 2,550 lbs. I know that will help when I pull heavier loads from the rear hitch. As for type of locker, I'm still looking. I like the truetrac but a new factory setup is good enough for my towing needs also. How about the newer underbed goosneck setups. I like the adapter plate for under bed goosneck that you (drop in ) to the unit and bolt on a 5th wheel to it. That way, if your not towing a fifth wheel, you can remove it and use your bed.
 
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Old 01-08-2019, 09:46 PM
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Great forum. I will be posting pics and contributing to this site as I get time. Thanks, Bob S.
 
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Old 01-09-2019, 01:33 AM
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If you plan to tow in excess of the hitch rating then upgrade if it makes you feel better, otherwise there's no point. A stronger hitch won't "handle better on the road" as you stated. I've put over 3x the rating on the stock one and there was no measurable flex. The rating is way under what it can actually handle in most situations.

I've searched a few times for hitch failures and have only found one, it was over loaded and badly rusted. It bent badly, but didn't break off.
 
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Old 01-09-2019, 05:50 PM
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Thanks for the info. on the factory hitch. Yes, I do plan to ( occasionally) tow over the rated hitch rating occasionally. But if you haven't had any problems, I'll wait on that upgrade until needed. As far as my statement regarding " handling better" on the road, what I was referring to is the newer hitch tongue load capacity being far superior than stock. With the proper weight distribution and trailer hitch combination, you can get a far greater ride and stabilization going down the road with a heavier load. I see you drive vans and suv so I'm still investigating a goosneck/ fifth wheel setup that is rated at least 20,000 lbs.
 
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Old 01-09-2019, 09:01 PM
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I would have stayed OEM on the hitch,But I needed a 4ft truss to reach under the slide in camper to reach the boat in tow,Which I chose Torklift Super hitch for the job,Quite heavy duty but over kill for a lot of applications.
 
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Old 01-10-2019, 01:47 AM
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Originally Posted by bsiliani View Post
Thanks for the info. on the factory hitch. Yes, I do plan to ( occasionally) tow over the rated hitch rating occasionally. But if you haven't had any problems, I'll wait on that upgrade until needed. As far as my statement regarding " handling better" on the road, what I was referring to is the newer hitch tongue load capacity being far superior than stock. With the proper weight distribution and trailer hitch combination, you can get a far greater ride and stabilization going down the road with a heavier load. I see you drive vans and suv so I'm still investigating a goosneck/ fifth wheel setup that is rated at least 20,000 lbs.
A weight distribution hitch can be used with the stocker, and doing so greatly increases its rating.
 
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Old 01-10-2019, 07:53 AM
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I've encountered two stock hitches that were bent. When I dropped mine to install a better one, the difference was staggering - so I am an advocate for the upgrade when towing heavy. The second hitch was bent laterally from towing heavy, so the WD hitch would not have helped here.


No Bend Zone
 
  #12  
Old 01-10-2019, 08:28 AM
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Our OEM hitches have two ratings, one without WD and one with WD.
 
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Old 01-14-2019, 07:50 AM
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Ok, thanks for the info. I have learned a few things from this discussion. First, the factory tow hitch has a lower max weight limit than the newer replacement class 5 hitches. Not by alot , but enough to make a difference when pulling heavy loads. I've also figured out that not only can a newer, heavy duty hitch pull heavier loads, but also handle far better while pulling the load. Because the tongue rated capacity is almost twice the rating form a factory stock hitch, use of a PROPERLY set up weight distribution hitch in combination to what you are trailering , will greatly affect the SAFETY and RIDE CHARACTERISTICS of that ride. There are some replacement hitches out there under $ 250 that are a bolt in replacement to factory: https://www.etrailer.com/fitguide.htm
 
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Old 01-14-2019, 09:26 AM
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My 2 cents is to upgrade to 4:10s..night n day difference when towing
 
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by timmyboy76 View Post
My 2 cents is to upgrade to 4:10s..night n day difference when towing
With a 7.3 I wouldn't do that unless you have 37" tires or larger. Tuning and a few other mods would make a bigger difference for less money.
 

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