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Old 05-21-2015, 05:15 PM   #1
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E350 tow hitch

I recently bought a 2009 Ford E350 shuttle bus to haul my crew (adoption) and need to install a tow hitch to haul our deck boat. The concern is that a regular hitch would be too far under the body. It has these extensions welded on for the bumper brackets, should I consider strengthening and bolting a hitch to those? Is there a hitch built for these that sticks out further? Is there an extended ball mount that you guys use? Any help is very much appreciated, thank you!


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Old 05-21-2015, 06:38 PM   #2
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Re: E350 tow hitch

Any idea what the tongue weight is on your deck boat?

Looks like there are lots of different lengths available you could add to a regular hitch under the rear, but you'd need to measure things, and most of them say #3500 gross trailer weight. I'd be more worried about tongue weight personally.

http://www.etrailer.com/dept-pg-Hitch_A ... ender.aspx
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Old 05-21-2015, 07:05 PM   #3
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Re: E350 tow hitch

No, sure don't know what the tongue weight is right now. The specs on the boat say 2600lbs dry, plus the dual axle trailer.

Ok here's a hitch extender that is rated at 10k lbs.

And another one that looks a little more beefy, if I could find a dual receiver hitch.

These might be my best/only options.
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Old 05-26-2015, 06:58 AM   #4
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Re: E350 tow hitch

I think a normal class 3/4 E-series hitch receiver, combined with an extended ball-mount, would work fine for a trailer that light. Just skip the lightweight 3500# receivers designed for RVs. The van receivers bolt up just fine, only requiring some holes to be drilled, and stacking washers a little different than you would for a van.

If you would prefer mount the receiver under the bumper instead, simple weld in some
C-channel inside the frame rails, to effectively extend them. You would only need a few inches of overlap for an extension that short, then do a proper fillet weld on both side of the c-channel.
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Old 05-26-2015, 12:05 PM   #5
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Re: E350 tow hitch

The members who have commented above are very knowlegeable, so this is just to possibly add data, not to contradict anything.

I have no idea what your frame looks like underneath, but for a while I was looking at ~24' Class C's (E-chassis), and I also tow a boat. There was a hitch put on by the RV mfgr, but it was only attached to the frame extension they had put on, which was not as beefy as the Ford frame. So it was not rated very highly (and some folks had had issues in real life). A couple of owners had had welding/hitch shops improve their installations, and I happened to see a couple of them in real life. Many ways to skin the cat, but the one I liked incorporated a steel beam that went across between the Ford factory frame members (so this was about 9' forward of the rear bumper) and then the new hitch bar came back from the center of that. Super strong looking, yet simplish, and almost all of the hitch weight went to the original Ford frame, not the thinner looking extension. There was a little more to it than that at the rear (I mean the long beam coming back was not just free floating), but that's the main idea. I don't think it was very expensive to have done. Just a welding shop that understood hitches/vehicles.

Some extensions (ones you use with a regular hitch) de-rate the towing capability (of the hitch, not the vehicle). Some I've seen cut it down by 50%, IIRC. So keep an eye out for that. Granted, your (current) boat is light, but still... nice to have a capable hitch, I think.
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