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Trailer Hitch

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by TNLC owners, Nov 21, 2003.

  1. TNLC owners

    TNLC owners LawnSite Member
    Posts: 41

    I just have a couple of questions for you guys out there who I'm sure know more about this topic than I do. I currently have a 1990 Chevy S-10 4.3l v6 4x4. I use it to tow a small 4x8 trailer that I put my 36" Grevely walk-behind on as well as a trim mower. Right now, I'm just using the bumper hitch on the truck to pull the trailer which seems to work just fine. I am considering upgrading to a 6x12 or 6.5x12 trailer for next year which i would use to haul the same equipment on. Do you think I should also invest in getting a hitch installed on my truck if i get the bigger trailer? Thanks for you help!
  2. pottstim

    pottstim LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 501

    Yes, definitely get the receiver hitch for your truck. Those bumpers on the S-10's are not known for their strength. A class-3 hitch should do the job. You can pick one up for around $100 at your local Auto Zone or Advance auto. Brands you might want to consider are Reese and Drawtite. I see quite a few Valley hitches, but I don't think they are very attractive. They almost look homemade and hang down really low below the bumper. When you pick out your receiver, just make sure you get one with the proper amount of drop, so your trailer sits fairly level when it is hooked to the truck. I have a 5 1/4" drop on the receiver on my Silverado 4x4, and my 6 1/2 x 10 trailer sits nearly level. Hope this helps.
  3. Kingbman1

    Kingbman1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 176

    I would definately get a hitch, i wouldnt feel comfortable towing what you tow now without a hitch. A class two or three i would recommend.
  4. GLS

    GLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,174

    What do you mean? You can't even see them, they are hidden. Only thing you can see is the reciever tube, at least on mine. Not saying that there is anything wrong with reese or drawtite, but valley isn't any worse IMO.
  5. pottstim

    pottstim LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 501

    All the Valleys I've seen around here that are on trucks or in Advance Auto hang down below the bumper, this includes the receiver tube and the actual hitch frame. Maybe you have a different type of Valley that I haven't seen yet. I wasn't trying to imply that they weren't any good because they weren't very attractive.
  6. GLS

    GLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,174

    That's kinda funny because about 9 out of 10 of the hitches on display at Tractor Supply Co have the tube below the frame.

    Anyways, here is a valley that's on my old truck. You probably just don't realize they're valleys because they are hidden:)

    See ya later

  7. Kaskov

    Kaskov LawnSite Member
    Posts: 42

    Guys I have a question that relates to this thread. Ok I have a 95 Dakota ext cab (2WD, 6Cyl) and I'm in the process of trying to get all the correct hitch applications for my truck (class 3 hitch, ball hitch mount, wiring harness etc...) through JC Witney. I already know all the part numbers and I'm all ready to order this stuff but I think I ran into a problem because the height from the bottom of my bumper to the ground is about 15 inches, and I'm worried that the 6X10 enclosed trailer I'll be towing will have a down wards pitch on it going towards my truck.
    Now the ball mount hitch they advertise being the correct application for my make, model and year of truck is 10 3/4 inches long with a 1 1/4 inch rise and a 2 1/2 inch drop. So I planned on turning it upside down to gain the 1 1/4 inch rise but I still think I'm gonna be to low. Can I just get some other ball mount hitch w/ a bigger rise even know it's not rated for my truck? There all 2" receivers, so I wouldn't see the big deal. Or do you think I should get the actual ball that screws into the ball mount hitch with a longer stem on it? Am I crazy or will the advertised stuff they recommend be ok?
    I could really use some knowledgeable advice.
  8. moneyman

    moneyman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 136

    I have an Acme 10,000 lb /12,000 wd hitch for my chevy. Its hidden and only the recvier tube is shown. They were 3 different drop sizes i could of ordered due to 3 different types of bumpers which explains why some hang down and look less attractive IMO.
  9. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,503

    I would get the hitch even for the smaller trailer, it will be alot more secure. I used the bumper on my s-15 for years but I spent enuff on bracing and welding to buy a hitch
  10. wroughtn_harv

    wroughtn_harv LawnSite Member
    Posts: 194

    Receiver hitches are the handiest things since pockets on pants. My welding bed has the one in the back. And it has one on each corner of it too. I don't just use them for hitch inserts. They're great tool holders. In fact the work benches in at the shop have them so I can use the vices and benders on the truck at the shop and vice versa.

    There are some problems inherrent with receiver hitches. The biggest is they all look alike so someone pricing an insert at a discount store doesn't realize the half the price of the trailer supply is getting them a third of the quality product.

    When I set up a trailer the magic number is seventeen inches. That's the height of the top of the ball from the pavement. It doesn't matter if it's picking out an insert for the truck or welding up the coupler on a trailer.

    If you're buying an insert look for two things. The wall thickness off the tubing is highly critical. And the size of the ball hole. Your better insert is going to have the thickest wall thickness and the biggest ball hole. If you're towing with a three quarter ton or bigger and the trailer has a gross over five thousand pounds I recommend a solid bar insert and a one inch or bigger ball stem.

    A thin wall insert, three sixteenths is what the cheapies usually have, will wallow out the pin hole. You'll know that because your trailer will hammer the truck going down the road. You hit the brakes and it feels like a big dumb fool slammed your bumper with a sledge hammer. The same thing on taking off from a stop. It isn't like a marriage where you can make an adjustment and things will get better. It only gets worse over time.

    Another absolute no--no is to use a cheapie ball in your insert. Make sure the fit of the ball stud is appropriate for your insert. If you put in a three quarter inch ball stud into a one or one and a quarter inch insert hole you're going to get slop. Again, trailer hammering the truck. But this time the ball stud will worry loose the nut and one day you'll hit your brakes and the coupler will be making some kind of love to stuff just inside your your tailgate. But the tailgate won't be considering it lovemaking. It'll be wanting charges of assault to be filed.

    A big advantage of receiver hitches is you can carry various inserts for different trailers. There's one and seven eighths, two inch, and two and five sixteenths plus pintle sizes. And you can compensate for coupler height too. As with all advantages there's some disadvantages. It's easy to mistake a one and seven eighths ball for a two inch. It can be a deadly mistake. And it's very very easy to forget changing over to a two inch from a two and five sixteenths for a one time deal. Then hooking up the two and five sixteenths trailer and having only tongue weight to keep you towing instead of being towed.

    Trailers are a very serious issue. You do it wrong and it might be your best friend's wife and kids who are killed when your trailer comes off your truck and decides to go into oncoming traffic.

    If you're not comfortable with what you're doing put your hat in your hand and go see a professional installer. Take notes. There might be a test someday and you don't want to fail it.

    It's funny. You wouldn't go to Harbor Freight for your trimmer or mower. You want professional quality because it's your livlihood. But you'll consider that kind of source for a tool just as if not more critical to the health of your business.

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