Hi TCers, Im thinking of changing out my stock pick-up hitch on my 2008 Chev 3500 DRW. I use a 48" Reese extention to reach my boats trailer. I ajusted the position of the boat on the trailer to get close to the 400# tounge weight and feel I'm not causeing a dangerous road hazard, but I don't like the side to side play I get with this set-up. I also don't like towing my smaller boat with this set-up that has about a 50# tounge weight and a very bouncy, other cars pointing fingers at me ride. I would consider welding a short section of angle iron to the extention and run stablizeing chains with turnbuckles like the Super truss has. Or just cut bait, shell out the $1,200 plus for the Super Hitch and Super Truss combo. Thanks for you advice ( there spring salmon in the river 4 miles away so Im not going on a camping trip for a few weeks and wife wants this off my list of todos ) HAVE FUN AND BE SAFE Grant from Portland Oregon
2008 Chev LTZ DRW Chev Duramax/Allison
2010 Artic Fox 1150
2005 Northwest Jet Boat
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Im thinking of changing out my stock pick-up hitch. I use a 48" Reese extention to reach my boats trailer.
MINE CRACKED AND FAILED--same hitch.
You're hauling almost triple tongue weight than I was, I had a 20' boat, roughly 150lb tongue weight. I could pick up the tongue myself, and that's what I guessed it at.
I'm not trying to bash on you, but DO NOT run an extension on a factory hitch. They were never designed for the torque factors involved with that kind of extension---think about slamming on the brakes, and the kind of pushing and twisting factors that go on.
Take it from someone who turned absolutely white when I saw the cracking on my Reese hitch. It could have literally failed at any time, sent my boat flying, and killed whomever was unlucky enough to be near me.
Superhitch is DOT Rated for Class V @ 4 foot extension. I also haul a built to snot Jeep JK wheeler on a flatbed, and still have the same boat.
Again, MINE CRACKED AND FAILED. DON'T DO IT! PLEASE take this advice from someone who actually had it happen.
Anyone else who is saying "oh sure, give it try, it'll be fine", please also have them show you their Engineering Masters degree, or DOT certificate saying it's RATED and LEGAL to do it.
Those of you who know me here know I don't get worked up about any topic, but as you can tell, I'm VERY insistent on this....
fishorgolf.... First of all, I would definitely add some chains to your extension to provide lateral support/restraint. These are definitely necessary if you have 400 lbs hitch weight on a 48-inch extension.
Secondly, this post like others about extensions will generate lots of interest. I will jump in first and suggest that you check the rating on your GMC hitch. The issue is the torque (or leverage) that an extension applies to the hitch receiver which can be significant. The rule of thumb I personally use is that the maximum hitch weights for a 48-inch extension are... Class III = ~120 lbs, Class IV = ~175 lbs, Class IV/V = ~225 lbs and Class V = ~280 lbs. Based on this, I think upgrading to a superhitch/supertruss is probably not a bad idea.
On edit.... Boatycall is offering some great advice. Maybe a little more direct than I did, but he hit it right on the head!!
* This post was
edited 05/21/12 12:53pm by bjbear *
I was doing the same thing as you are until I smartened up (thanks to Boatycall) and replaced the GM factory hitch with a Reese Titan Class V hitch ( about $300 if I recall). Installation was easy. Everything is included that you need. I was using the 41" Resse hitch extension, so its now a matched combination. Even at 48" the extension is rated at 400 lbs, and at 41" setting its rated for 500 lbs. toungue weight. The Titan hitch is very well built and much better than the factory hitch. I use stabilizing chains on my extension, and the Reese hitch has holes at both corners for easy use to attach the chain hooks into.
I vote the full SuperHitch Setup. Its what I run with an 20' enclosed trailer or a utility trailer (ATV/UTVs). I've got plenty of peace of mind with my setup. Its rated for a full 6000 pound trailer with no weight distribution at 48'' or 12k# trailer with distribution. And when I am not hauling the camper the hitch is rated I think 17K which gives me lots of peace of mind hauling my 14K rated dump trailer fully loaded. It will be money well spent.
2011 Dodge Ram 3500 4*4 Black dually Laramie 4.10 gears
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1977 K5 Blazer 1 ton modified
2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid (her car)
Seems to be the more "proper" way to go about this would be an extended tongue on the trailers, assuming you have room under the overhang of the camper to still get hitched up. Or is that what the situation here is - that the overhangs hang way too low to even get a trailer in there?
1965 Ford F250 Camper Special 352/4spd - tow vehicle
1974 Juno Real-Lite - truck camper, currently undergoing rebuild
Chime in here...you need a class 5 that's it, whatever brand. I'm in shock that they would make an extension for a stock hitch that long. I run a Titan class 5 and have 2 stingers...a 41 and a 48. For just the reasons of having different trailers with different tongue lengths and weights. You can't put a price on safety if you injure or kill someone. You have to use the correct rated safety chains also with all of the right rated connections. Some go wrong here, so read what it says on the parts...good luck!
Buddy of mine has the same setup. He tows his horse trailer with a big mule and horse in it no issues. I have 34" to tow hitch in my class 5 Reese Titan Class V hitch. Have pulled a trailer with 600 lb tounge weight no issues. Towed our 20ft boat for years no issues. Now tow the 19ft Lund without issues. Sounds to me you need to move your weight around and get the bouncing to stop.
Or you can add chains to the sides of the one you have. Thus stiffing it up and taking some movement out of it. But hard to believe that a 2 1/2" x 1/4" then a 2" 1/4" think tubing is moving that much. Unless your load is not on the trailer right. Does it bounce any at all when hooked up to the truck its self? Sounds like the road may be bad rough and slowing down may help out a lot also..
Again mine is 34" same stinger and buddy of mine made his and its 48" no issues.
Good luck and hope you find the cause, as when you do I bet it the way the boat is loaded on the trailer. Not the stinger hitch its self.
Plus the Reese Titan Class V hitch 2 1/2" hitch will take out most of your issues also.
1987 Ford F800 7.8 with a RT6610 trans 4.56 rear.
2004 Duramax/allison Trans C/C 4x4
2012 Landmark Key Largo
2008 Lund 1825 Pro Guide Tiller, With a Evinrude 90 HP E-Tec
I used to run the Reese extension and just started to feel unsafe about it. I had chains running from the sides to support it as well. I watched craigslist for a few months and was able to pick up a superhitch, supertruss, and weight distro hitch for 500.00. I then sold the extension I had and the weight distro hitch for a total of 300.00. Total cost for the superhitch and supertruss. In the end it cost me 200.00 plus gas to get the hitch. If your not in a rush that would be the way to go and continue what you are using.
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The Torklift Super Hitch Magnum looks preferable whenever an extension is used. To go one further, look at the possibility of extending the bottom 2" member out into the spare tire area connected to a custom fabricated bracket. Two points of attachment are always better than one.
What is often overlooked is the play left in hitches. Hitch play combined with flexing tire sidewalls can create a real "snaking" trailer. Slip-in male into female hitches using a locking hitchpin usually leaves unacceptable play unless corrected. If you can move the end of your extension in any way or make it "squeak", your work is not done. Definitely triangular chains a la Super Hitch. 1/2" or larger welded nuts and pressure bolts are also prefered.