Towing strength of factory bumper hitch - F150online Forums

Towing strength of factory bumper hitch

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Old 06-10-2001, 03:17 PM
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Post Towing strength of factory bumper hitch

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?
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Old 06-10-2001, 07:26 PM
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4500 is less than 5000, so you should be OK but you might want to roll across a scale just to be sure. I suspect U-haul wants to sell you a hitch.


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5.4l, 4x4, 4.10 LS
WMS Tube, Bassani Cat Back Exhaust, Superchip Flipchip, PIAA Superwhites
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Old 06-10-2001, 08:06 PM
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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.
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Old 06-12-2001, 04:12 PM
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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).]
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Old 06-18-2001, 02:11 AM
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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.
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Old 06-29-2001, 01:13 AM
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I certainly feel better abotu the tow I am about to do after reading this
If you didn'y have any trouble with the 4.2L, I doubt the 5.4L will evenbreak a sweat
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Old 07-20-2001, 11:11 AM
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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.

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Old 07-21-2001, 11:56 PM
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bumpers and burning clutches

Tubasman said:
I'd reccomend a proper trailer hitch, as i have grown up never to trust bumper hitches.
But will that cure your burning clutch?
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Old 07-22-2001, 06:02 PM
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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.
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Old 07-23-2001, 01:48 AM
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Arrow definitions for the ignorant (me)


Am I correct in thinking that when you say frame hitch, you're talking about a class III (or IV)?

Then what's a 'bumper hitch'? Do you mean, just a ball on the bumper?

please excuse my possibly lame clarifications.

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Old 07-24-2001, 07:37 PM
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Hey 00 Chester... Flea here.

Yes, you are correct. When someone talks about a "bumper hitch," they do mean their bumpers with a ball on it, and, yes, a frame hitch is usually a class 3 or 4

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Old 08-01-2001, 06:30 AM
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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 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.
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