Hitch and Drawbar Capacities - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-23-2015, 10:39 AM   #1
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Hitch and Drawbar Capacities

We just bought a used 2010 Ford Expedition that was formerly owned by the IL State Police. It had low mileage and is in very good shape. It came with the tow package installed, so it is supposed to handle towing a trailer up to 9200 lbs.

My question is about the hitch and drawbar. How do we know if the hitch installed can handle that weight up to 9200 lbs.? Is there some type of marking on the hitch with a weight capacity? Also, all of the drawbars (2") that we can find at various stores have a 5,000 lb. capacity rating. Would we need to get a heavier drawbar and from where?

We only have a UHaul VT right now, so the weight is not a problem. We are looking to possibly purchase a larger trailer, though, when we retire and I wanted to know some things ahead of time. We like the looks of the biggest Bigfoot (25'), so we will need to handle the heavier towing weights sometime. We also know that we would need to get a brake controller and a WD/sway system for the hitch.

Thanks for any advice!
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Old 11-23-2015, 11:01 AM   #2
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You need a Class-IV hitch, as is indicated in the mfg's specifications, to pull that weight which BTW, also show that not all Expeditions have that same tow limit.


Best bet is to contact Ford with your vehicles VIN and request a build sheet to find out what was installed by the factory and if anything was added after-market by the end user. Here's a link to a spec page: http://www.ford.com/services/assets/...tion&year=2010


On some vehicles there is a "Installed options" code sheet attached in the glove box. That, and a list of code meanings, may also help.


If it was bought as a "Police Special" there may be different options available that may not be listed on the civilian version.


BTW: Don't ask U-Haul for help.... They don't like Expeditions for towing their trailers.
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Old 11-23-2015, 11:09 AM   #3
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Thanks for your suggestions. By the way, what's with the UHaul bias against Expeditions? Any clue?
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Old 11-23-2015, 11:32 AM   #4
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I have a UHaul hitch on my F150 (it was a UHaul rental truck in it's previous life). The hitch itself has a sticker that indicates a 6000 lb towing limit and a 600 lb hitch weight limit. This doesn't match the truck limits, but I would not feel comfortable exceeding these. Well above what I need in any case to tow my Scamp 13. Maybe UHaul was just being conservative for it's rental trucks - I imagine I would be in their shoes.

I guess, my point is that you are correct to question whether, just because a vehicle can tow it, doesn't necessarily mean the hitch itself can handle it - unless it is factory installed.
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Old 11-23-2015, 11:56 AM   #5
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A hitch has its own weight rating, independent of the vehicle rating ( which can vary a lot, depending how it is equipped.
The critical statement is "whichever is lower".
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Old 11-23-2015, 04:24 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Kevin A View Post
Thanks for your suggestions. By the way, what's with the UHaul bias against Expeditions? Any clue?
You can Google the story, but they have a do-not-rent trailers to policy on certain year Explorers. I understand that it had/has something to do with the same issue that Explorers had with Firestone tires.
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Old 11-23-2015, 05:18 PM   #7
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You can Google the story, but they have a do-not-rent trailers to policy on certain year Explorers. I understand that it had/has something to do with the same issue that Explorers had with Firestone tires.

An Explorer is not an Expedition. The Expedition is a full size truck. It shouldn't have any problem with a U Haul trailer. I have one and with the factory class four hitch it can tow well beyond what most FGRV's weigh. Mine is rated at 9200 lbs.


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Old 11-23-2015, 06:06 PM   #8
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Ooops, my bad, it was the Explorer, not the Expeditions, that U-Haul was fussing about. Here's a link about that issue:
You don’t haul: U-Haul won’t rent a trailer for our 2012 Ford Explorer, or yours either
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Old 11-27-2015, 07:08 AM   #9
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Bob.

At the time when explorers were flipping over when a tire(s) was low on air it was more than "just a fuss".

Lingering results are tire sellers got very strict on what tires they would put on a vehicle and tire pressure sensors were mandated.

Joe
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Old 11-27-2015, 07:24 AM   #10
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I realize the issue with the Explorers was a lot more than just a fuss. The issue I was referring to was about U-Haul refusing to hitch their trailers to them.
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Old 11-27-2015, 11:18 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Kevin A View Post
We just bought a used 2010 Ford Expedition that was formerly owned by the IL State Police. It had low mileage and is in very good shape. It came with the tow package installed, so it is supposed to handle towing a trailer up to 9200 lbs.

My question is about the hitch and drawbar. How do we know if the hitch installed can handle that weight up to 9200 lbs.? Is there some type of marking on the hitch with a weight capacity? Also, all of the drawbars (2") that we can find at various stores have a 5,000 lb. capacity rating. Would we need to get a heavier drawbar and from where?
If it was a factory installed hitch it is probable rated to the trucks towing capacity. Most hitches will have a sticker on them someplace indicating what it is rated for.

Both the Class III and IV hitches have a 2" receivers but the IV is a heavier duty hitch than the III.

You may want to take it into the Ford dealer to have them look to see if it was a factory install or an after market hitch..... or take it into a local hitch shop and have then confirm what class of hitch it is for you.
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Old 11-27-2015, 12:26 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
If it was a factory installed hitch it is probable rated to the trucks towing capacity. Most hitches will have a sticker on them someplace indicating what it is rated for.

Both the Class III and IV hitches have a 2" receivers but the IV is a heavier duty hitch than the III.

You may want to take it into the Ford dealer to have them look to see if it was a factory install or an after market hitch..... or take it into a local hitch shop and have then confirm what class of hitch it is for you.
In my experience, that's (highlighted above) often not the case. As I have mentioned in the past, the factory installed, GM labeled, hitch on my TV is clearly labeled for 600/6000 lbs towing. BUT, the owners manual lists about 8 different towing specifications based on body and trim versions and, although all use the same engine, and the same hitch, they range from a low of 2000/200 lbs. to a high of 5700/600 lbs. for towing. I think that per industry agreement (?), that hitches are usually labeled for the maximum capability of the hitch, not necessarily the vehicle. Of course, if it's not listed on the options sheet, either as a separate item of a part of the towing package, you will be at the mercy of local towing shops to find out what you have/need.

Check the owners manual and the Options Code list to verify if it was factory installed, is so contact the FORD zone office and mention the word "Liability", that will get you to the right peeps to answer your questions quickly & correctly.

As the vehicle being discussed may be a Police Special production unit, the last place I might ask is at the dealership, the home of the W.A.G when it comes to towing specifications..
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Old 11-27-2015, 12:47 PM   #13
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I think that per industry agreement (?), that hitches are usually labeled for the maximum capability of the hitch, not necessarily the vehicle.
Times are changing. The two newer model vehicles I have (one being my own and another being another family members) from two different auto manufactures with factory installed hitches came with stickers on them stating the hitches max tongue and tow weight that matched the tugs tow specs to the lb. In both cases the capacity stated on the label did not match either a class III or a Class IV standard max rating. Too much for a standard Class III rating and less than a Class IV. When I inquired as to what class hitch was actually on the vehicles I was told the auto industry in NA is starting to move to the European way where the factor installed hitches are rated & labelled to match the vehicles tow capacity... no more than that. So one would need to take their chances if they decided to take the gamble that the hitch was not custom made for that vehicle and was in fact rated to tow more than what is stated on the label.

Of course the above is going to differ between the auto manufactures as I do not believe they have all gone that way at this time.... but suspect that day is coming sooner rather than later.

And yup your correct one should always check their manual as to what model and optional features their vehicle has to help determine its tow spec ratings or alternately ask the dealer to run the VIN number through their system to confirm.... just because a tug has a hitch rated to carry x so many pounds on it, it does not mean the tug is also capable of towing that.
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Old 11-27-2015, 02:15 PM   #14
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Thanks, everyone. I will definitely do some checking!
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