My '97 Regular cab has the factory bumper hitch that looks like it is welded to the frame. On the hitch itself it shows max capacity of 5000 pounds. The U-Haul guy is concerned that this factory hitch might not be strong enough. The loaded trailer I am planning to pull next week should not be more than about 4500 pounds total. Think it will be okay?
Ian, thanks for the reply. Actually, I had two towing jobs to do. One was to go across Houston and pick up my son's car which was in an accident Friday night. Because of the terrible flooding in Houston from the tropical storm, we could not get anyone to tow more than five miles. So, I decided to rent a car transport trailer. It did great. Didn't seem to be straining any when I was accelerating.
The trailer I will use next weekend to move my son to Dallas will be a large ( 6 x 12 ) enclosed trailer so it may be heavier than the transport but the contents of the trailer won't weigh anywhere near the 2900 pound car I hauled today. Should be okay.
Are you actually talking bumper hitch or are you talking frame hitch. Really sounds like the later from you description. So...If that is a class III frame hitch it jumps from 500/5000 up to 1000 tounge weight and 10000 max trailer weight with the right tow bar and the "weight distribution bars". You are close enough to need them anyway and it will ride so much better. Check into that. It doubles the capacity of that same frame hitch.
[This message has been edited by cphilip (edited 06-12-2001).]
Just got back from pulling the U-Haul to Dallas. Empty trailer was 1400 pounds. Probably no more than 4000 pounds total, loaded. My 4.2 pulled like a champ though it did not like being in cruise control when going up hills, so I kept it off most of the time. Gas mileage went down to about 12 mpg. Coming home with no trailer mileage was back up to about 18mpg.
I have done towing with mine, moving cars via a tow bar, and it seems to haul fine (3-4,000lbs cars), however, i seem to get that wonderful burnt clutch smell whenever i do it (4.2 4x4 5-speed ). I'd reccomend a proper trailer hitch, as i have grown up never to trust bumper hitches.
The bumper hitch is fine for occassional towing as Kenster has done. Don't know if the present bumpers are built the same, but I had an '87 that I towed with the bumper hitch for 10 years and I know I was over capacity several times.
The major problem with using the bumper hitch is the height of the ball. It becomes more of an issue when you have a 4x4.
You and I have experienced very similar situations. When I moved from Killeen, TX. to the Chicago area, I hauled a 6x12 dual axle trailer with the bumper hitch. I was getting reimbursed by the pound, so I wieghed everything empty and full.
Truck and trailer empty - 6000 lbs.
Loaded truck and loaded trailer - 10,700lbs.
I never got the chance to weight the trailer seperately, but if my truck weighs about 4,700lbs (4.2 SC 4x2), and I did not overload the truck payload cap. (1700lbs), that puts the loaded trailer in the area of 4,300 lbs.
The bumper showed no signs of stress, and the truck moved that weight pretty well. I had some trouble with the CC, but not too bad. I think the catbacks really helped; if it became a regular thing to tow that much, I will go with a chip. As far as ride goes...it would be much better with a real hitch. I could probably go as high as 6,000 with a hitch, but any higher, and I would need a V-8. I don't know if I could stomach the 5mpg drop though.
'98 SC XLT 4.2
4x2 3.55 ls
Gibson 3" cat back
K&N filter (who doesn't?)
Cpt. chairs, and those oh so cool auto headlights.
Factory door steps to get my pants dirty
'01 VW Jetta TDI
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