Some advise on hitch...

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by medaca, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. medaca

    medaca Previous Member

  2. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    The link is broken
  3. BPL
    Joined: Dec 2011
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    Location: Home base USA

    BPL Senior Member

    What Dodge and what are you towing?
  4. medaca

    medaca Previous Member

    I'm sorry don't know what happened to the link, it's a reese titan class 5 hitch, my dodge ram 2500 '08
    Didn't buy boat yet, next month on the hunt for one (not too heavy) just want to be prepared so when I buy I can move it immediately;)
  5. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Hitches are rated by the weight they can tolerate. The SAE doesn't recognize a "class 5" hitch, though some manufactures attempt to "market nitch" their heaviest duty hitch with a class 5 rating. A class 5 would be 10,000 - 18,000 pounds GTW, which means you need a duely full size pickup.

    Dragging this level of load usually is better suited for something other than a pickup. What are you dragging? The 2500 Dodge isn't well suited for this tow, except in flat, short distances. You'll want at least a 3500 Dodge, preferably a duely (it may only come as a duely).
  6. medaca

    medaca Previous Member

    Thanks for the heads up... this gives me some room for thought... never towed anything with this rig before so this is something for consideration.
  7. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Petros Senior Member

    I have owned the Reece brand on several vehicles. They have served me well, they are well made and very durable. They have a excellent reputation and I see them on a lot of vehicles around here. You should not have any issues with it. AT worst you might want to regularly inspect the finish for chips and rust, I had to shoot mine with black Rustolium every few years to keep it from rusting, likely due to frequent gravel and stone strikes due to where we live (4 miles of gravel roads driven daily).

    You likely do not need one rated that high, but neither will it harm anything to put a heavy duty class 5 hitch on your truck, even if you never intend to haul anything that heavy. Or you can get one rated to the size load you intend to haul and save a few $. I would never recommend towing anything even near the factory tow rating of any vehicle, it is usually dangerously close to you being marginally able to control it. If you up grade the suspension, tires and brakes you might consider it.

    On our Ford one-ton I had to replace all of the rubber in the suspension with viton or solid nylon bushings, upgraded shocks and the best highest rated tires we could find, and use those load leveler hitch with built in dampeners, just to make it safe and controllable to pull a 6000 lb travel trailer, even though the factory rated it for 10,000 lb tow capacity. I think that is a marketing number, in stock condition is was all but uncontrollable going down hill and in a cross wind, the suspension was too mushy and soft. I would not even consider towing anything with my family in the Ford before I replaced all of the suspension parts, way too dangerous. I could not even imagine towing something weighing 10,000 lbs, I wonder what idiot in the marketing department at ford thought that was a good idea.
  8. medaca

    medaca Previous Member

    Yes, you've got a good point there... never came up to me. Probably I'll tow way under capacity, but if the handling is bad than I'll have somebody look at the suspension. Thanks!
  9. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    Hitch is only part of it. 40 lbs on the hitch is rule of thumb, braking on a trailer over a ton is essential and maintenance is paramount along with balance and driving skills.

    If you get this right you can drill holes in the bumper and tow.

    I had an Oldsmobile cutlass Brougham in Uk with a hitch front and back like a tractor. Hitch ball was straight thu the bumper with a backing plate only.

    Towed a 4 wheel snipe with a one ton Black Shadow power boat with 225 Mercruiser.

  10. philSweet
    Joined: May 2008
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    Location: Beaufort, SC and H'ville, NC

    philSweet Senior Member

    Reese hitches are good units. No idea where the trouble with towing described by some of us comes from.

    I had an 89 Honda civic hatchback, 58hp, 4sp manual, that I had a custom hitch and trailer made for. No problem hauling 6000# of gravel in the trailer. I used to gravel peoples driveways if they were on my route to work.( I really got my money's worth- I sold it to dad about 18 years ago for $1 and just last week put a new plywood bed in it for his birthday. Dad turned 90 last week.)

    '88 Chevy 1500 w/305. 127hp. used to pull a backhoe around Colorado with it, along with timbers and rocks and signs etc for the USFS. 10000# was pretty normal. I did this every day.

    92 Ford f150 w 302. 160 hp. Company had a 24' flatbed trailer. Heaviest payload was a bit over 20000# of logs clearing the American Discovery Trail for the USFS. Trailer weighed about 3000#.

    None of those trailers had brakes and all were being run hard and regular in the Colorado mountains and I added over 100,000 miles on engines, brakes and trannies even buying the trucks used. I did go through a handful of clutches in seven years.

    All had good tires, D or E rated on steel rims. The Ford had a $100 air lift kit and I put a stout clutch in it. I ran the best shocks I could get my hands on.

    I did punch all the rubber out of the Honda suspension and replace it with neoprene, but the trucks were fine. The trucks also pulled my RVs around the country, often with a liter bike in the bed. Sometimes with two bikes in the bed.

    Current rig is a 37' Everest with four slides. I shift it with a beater dually I picked up for $4K complete with 20K Reese fifth wheel and a class four Reese straight hitch. My regular truck also has a class four Reese. It was good enough to tow a broken down loaded 8 yard dump truck along US1 for a couple miles with chains. He had the road blocked and I saved him about a grand in towing. A second truck helped me get him started. At least the Keys were flat.

    Weight transfer hitches should be used with caution and take a good bit of experience to set up correctly. Start out with as little transfer as you can get away with, not as much as you can manage. Just get the original weight back onto the steering axle and you should be fine. Be prepared to have to release them fairly often when maneuvering the trailer. Tighten up some on the onramp and ease them some on the offramp. I don't like sway dampers personally, I prefer to anticipate and catch the sway with the wheel. The load transfer "handles" are sized for the truck, not the load. That confuses people.

    I once got stuck in an arroyo with my Chevy and '63 Airstream because the weight transfer hitch picked the rear axle of the truck off the road and left me bridged across the arroyo. That was a bit of a pickle. I had tried to crash though the creek and really didn't like stopping and dropping mid creek. There were trees and stuff floating down after a storm.
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