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Need to upgrade to Class IV hitch but my 2010 F150 has factory tow

haknslash

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I finally found a decent video showing a F150 bumper removed that came with factory tow package. You can see how this thing is made and integrated together.

rear bumper2.jpg

rear bumper1.jpg
 

haknslash

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Ok after going out in the pouring rain I was determined to see if it is indeed possible transform my tow package F150 bumper to a non-tow package F150 bumper so that I could buy and use a Curt Class IV hitch. And the answer is yessir!!!

Check it out. After looking at the Curt Class IV hitch for an F150 without factory tow package I watched their video and noticed the differences between their bumper and the one that comes on a factory tow package F150. My truck use the lower 3rd bolt where as a non-tow package bumper just uses the middle and upper bolts. This means their bracket is a little shorter than mine which leaves the slot in the frame exposed to mount an aftermarket hitch. The other mounting location they use is up by the top of the spare tire which is fine on either truck package. It's the factory tow hitch and extra bracket material that needs to go...and it's certainly possible. Below I've marked up some screenshots from videos and pics of my truck to explain how I'm going to do this in case anyone else wants or has to do this.

F150 without tow package. He is showing in the etrailer video where you will insert their supplier fasteners once you have the hitch in place.....

f150 without tow slot location.jpg

Once you remove the rear bumper you will need to remove the metal bumper caps on each side. This will give you good access to the hitch and brackets where I will cut....

rear bumper cut location.jpg

Below are pics of my truck and factory tow package bumper. I've marked where I will continue cutting the bumper bracket so that is is shaped like a non-factory tow package F150's bumper bracket. Remove bumper like above and cut along this line on both driver and passenger side brackets. After that I should be able to install the Curt hitch. Then I will reverse the steps of dissembling the bumper caps to the bumper and then mount the newly modified bumper bracket assembly to the frame of the truck....

remove bumper material and nut driver side.jpg

remove bumper material and nut passenger side.jpg
 

Mainah

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Ok after going out in the pouring rain I was determined to see if it is indeed possible transform my tow package F150 bumper to a non-tow package F150 bumper so that I could buy and use a Curt Class IV hitch. And the answer is yessir!!!

Check it out. After looking at the Curt Class IV hitch for an F150 without factory tow package I watched their video and noticed the differences between their bumper and the one that comes on a factory tow package F150. My truck use the lower 3rd bolt where as a non-tow package bumper just uses the middle and upper bolts. This means their bracket is a little shorter than mine which leaves the slot in the frame exposed to mount an aftermarket hitch. The other mounting location they use is up by the top of the spare tire which is fine on either truck package. It's the factory tow hitch and extra bracket material that needs to go...and it's certainly possible. Below I've marked up some screenshots from videos and pics of my truck to explain how I'm going to do this in case anyone else wants or has to do this.

F150 without tow package. He is showing in the etrailer video where you will insert their supplier fasteners once you have the hitch in place.....

View attachment 88376

Once you remove the rear bumper you will need to remove the metal bumper caps on each side. This will give you good access to the hitch and brackets where I will cut....

View attachment 88377

Below are pics of my truck and factory tow package bumper. I've marked where I will continue cutting the bumper bracket so that is is shaped like a non-factory tow package F150's bumper bracket. Remove bumper like above and cut along this line on both driver and passenger side brackets. After that I should be able to install the Curt hitch. Then I will reverse the steps of dissembling the bumper caps to the bumper and then mount the newly modified bumper bracket assembly to the frame of the truck....

View attachment 88378

View attachment 88379
Now the question is does this job justify buying a new tool. Perhaps a plasma torch :winkingthumbsup"
 

haknslash

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Hahah I would love one! Wife would come home and I’d have holes in everything :D. Wait that doesn’t sound right!!!
 

JDub

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Looks to me like your receiver isn't the issue. Is is rated for 11000 lbs with a weight distribution hitch. Weight distribution hitches mount to the same draw bar as the ball. so the receiver is more then capable of 6000 lbs. That is fords rating for the truck not the receiver. They believe for it to handle properly towing more then 6000 lbs it needs a weight distribution hitch.
 

swatski

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I know the many things make a difference once talking about getting super accurate with pressure for load. I don't know what the best answer is for all the different combos beyond more pressure for more load up to the tire sidewall rating. I run 35psi for daily 40psi for long tows in my current setup. Plan on the same with these new ones unless someone tells me differently for soft compound V rated light truck 305/45 R22 tires. I may have to do some googling on my specific tires now that you have mentioned it and I am curious.
This can be such a confusing topic. Here is a reasonably informative (and short) recent discussion of P- vs LT-metric tire pressures, from my other favorite site (feel like a cheater here, lol).
(can skip to reading just the two or three "gaijin's" posts, without missing much)
Do I really need an LT rated tire?
Personally, I have never had a car or truck where the OEM tires would NOT already exceed maximum capacities of the vehicle, but I also find disadvantages of all larger/heavier tires generally unattractive (to me).

--
 

haknslash

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Looks to me like your receiver isn't the issue. Is is rated for 11000 lbs with a weight distribution hitch. Weight distribution hitches mount to the same draw bar as the ball. so the receiver is more then capable of 6000 lbs. That is fords rating for the truck not the receiver. They believe for it to handle properly towing more then 6000 lbs it needs a weight distribution hitch.
The thing is I’ve never seen anyone at the lake using a WD hitch. Ever. It’s more expensive and more of a hassle than just upgrading the hitch to Class IV and be done with it. No having to unhook the bars to maneuver or back up down the ramp. No popping in tight radius. I asked my dealer if he has ever had afnyone use a WD hitch for pulling a boat and he said no. Not saying people don’t do it but you see them mainly used for travel trailers. When I was a kid we had them on our travel trailers and I remember getting out every time to unhook the sway bars when we would have to backup into our spot. Just don’t care for all that. I’m going to try and get by the dealer on Saturday to hook a big boat to it and see how the sag is. Dealer said my truck will be fine and that many people use 1/2 tons without issue. Once I hook a boat to it I’ll see how it looks and go from there if it looks or feels unsafe. I think it will be fine though.
 
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JetPowered

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A little food for thought. I’m not sure a WD hitch would work well or at all with surge brakes. Most campers have electric brakes. Also not sure if it would easily mount up to the long tongue of the trailer versus an a frame tongue of a camper.
 

Mainah

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The thing is I’ve never seen anyone at the lake using a WD hitch. Ever. It’s more expensive and more of a hassle than just upgrading the hitch to Class IV and be done with it. No having to unhook the bars to maneuver or back up down the ramp. No popping in tight radius. I asked my dealer if he has ever had afnyone use a WD hitch for pulling a boat and he said no. Not saying people don’t do it but you see them mainly used for travel trailers. When I was a kid we had them on our travel trailers and I remember getting out every time to unhook the sway bars when we would have to backup into our spot. Just don’t care for all that. I’m going to try and get by the dealer on Saturday to hook a big boat to it and see how the sag is. Dealer said my truck will be fine and that many people use 1/2 tons without issue. Once I hook a boat to it I’ll see how it looks and go from there if it looks or feels unsafe. I think it will be fine though.
I am assuming @JDub is pointing out that a wd hitch does not change the amount of weight on the trucks hitch ball and he is absolutely correct. WD hitches are poorly named as they are more force distribution. They distribute torque forces, deflection forces, shear forces, momentary peak forces, etc.. All of those things can cause a class iii receiver or draw bar to fail. Class IV receivers are built from stronger material and frequently have different mounting points to better resist the forces above.

I agree that a class iii rated hitch would likey handle a 6000 lb boat with a short enough 0 drop draw bar. A draw bar just an inch longer and with 2 inches of drop increases the differnt forces greatly. @haknslash is doing the right thing and playing it safe for he and his family.

@haknslash what is the dry trailer weight of your new toy?
 

2kwik4u

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This can be such a confusing topic. Here is a reasonably informative (and short) recent discussion of P- vs LT-metric tire pressures, from my other favorite site (feel like a cheater here, lol).
(can skip to reading just the two or three "gaijin's" posts, without missing much)
Do I really need an LT rated tire?
Personally, I have never had a car or truck where the OEM tires would NOT already exceed maximum capacities of the vehicle, but I also find disadvantages of all larger/heavier tires generally unattractive (to me).

--
That gaijin guy gives some good advice.

I had P's on my Yukon and it rode WAY too soft. Moved to LT's and was much better. This Sierra came with LT's and I'm considering a drop back down to P's as it rides far stiffer than I like.

Keep in mind "P" tires are supposed to be derated by 10% (I need to verify that number) when being spec'd for "heavy duty use" on fullsize pickups. There are plenty out there that will still exceed your axle rating though, even at the 10% derate.
 

the MfM

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The thing is I’ve never seen anyone at the lake using a WD hitch. Ever. It’s more expensive and more of a hassle than just upgrading the hitch to Class IV and be done with it. No having to unhook the bars to maneuver or back up down the ramp. No popping in tight radius. I asked my dealer if he has ever had afnyone use a WD hitch for pulling a boat and he said no. Not saying people don’t do it but you see them mainly used for travel trailers. When I was a kid we had them on our travel trailers and I remember getting out every time to unhook the sway bars when we would have to backup into our spot. Just don’t care for all that. I’m going to try and get by the dealer on Saturday to hook a big boat to it and see how the sag is. Dealer said my truck will be fine and that many people use 1/2 tons without issue. Once I hook a boat to it I’ll see how it looks and go from there if it looks or feels unsafe. I think it will be fine though.
In the last 10-15 years wd/sway bar hitches haven’t gotten considerably better. At least the higher end models. Hills and tight turns/backing up can all be done without unhooking anything.

And they haven’t gotten easier to hook up.
 

suke

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That gaijin guy gives some good advice.

I had P's on my Yukon and it rode WAY too soft. Moved to LT's and was much better. This Sierra came with LT's and I'm considering a drop back down to P's as it rides far stiffer than I like.

Keep in mind "P" tires are supposed to be derated by 10% (I need to verify that number) when being spec'd for "heavy duty use" on fullsize pickups. There are plenty out there that will still exceed your axle rating though, even at the 10% derate.
P's will definitely be lighter and "smoother" in some senses. When I got my new tires they were still rated at 3k a piece, so that's 12k lbs!!!!!! That's way more than I should ever attempt to load/haul/tow with my wrangler. LOL!
 

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One pin too hook up, quiet and no problem backing up with it. And it has anti sway.

 

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In the last 10-15 years wd/sway bar hitches haven’t gotten considerably better. At least the higher end models. Hills and tight turns/backing up can all be done without unhooking anything.

And they haven’t gotten easier to hook up.
You would probably want to to unhook your bars before unloading the boat from the trailer. All of that lever weight has to go somewhere and it would either bend something in the tongue or assembly on the trailer or lift your rear end way up, which would probably be unwanted on that ramp!
 

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It just occurred to me, what you are really trying to control is tongue weight. In a travel trailer, there is little you can do to adjust that short from moving one or two things around in the coach. On a boat trailer, move the boat back until you hit your ideal tongue weight or about 10% of the load. Adjust the bow stop to that point. Do we know what the tongue weight is supposed to be?
 

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It just occurred to me, what you are really trying to control is tongue weight. In a travel trailer, there is little you can do to adjust that short from moving one or two things around in the coach. On a boat trailer, move the boat back until you hit your ideal tongue weight or about 10% of the load. Adjust the bow stop to that point. Do we know what the tongue weight is supposed to be?
I was under the impression that the WD hitch is needed on smaller trucks to avoid overloading the rear axle weight rating.
 

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You would probably want to to unhook your bars before unloading the boat from the trailer. All of that lever weight has to go somewhere and it would either bend something in the tongue or assembly on the trailer or lift your rear end way up, which would probably be unwanted on that ramp!
Can’t say I’ve put a lot of thought into it. But i can’t see that happening... Especially with the Anderson that uses chains.


When You remove weight by floating the boat how is that different then putting the jack down?
 

jcyamaharider

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I was under the impression that the WD hitch is needed on smaller trucks to avoid overloading the rear axle weight rating.
You are distributing the weight across the entire truck and trailer and not just on the bumper area.

If you have time, this is a good watch:

 

2kwik4u

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That Andserson system looks excellent. If money was no object I would use that and then convert the surge actuator to an electric over hydraulic actuator with an in cab controller. Better braking, sway control, and load leveling. Probably $1k into that setup easy though, but it's handily the best solution.

$70k on a boat, $30k in a truck.......what's another $1k on the hitch setup :D.......Yes I know that's not how it works, I have credit not cash as well :D
 
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