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Topic: Hitch Extension - 1st timer

Posted By: charlie_peach on 03/23/09 06:56pm

Just bought our 1st TC - 2001 Lance 825. Have it on an 06 Silverado 2500HD crew cab short box. Enjoying the challenge of getting it all setup to also tow a 21' Four Winns 190 Horizon. The TC hangs over the back about 18", so I know we need a hitch extension.
Two questions:
- is a 12-14" extension going to be enough?
- the extensions I have seen say they are rated to 3500 lbs or 350lb tongue weight. The boat is 2500, so I assume with trailer it is about 3500. 15% gives a tongue weight over 350. Am I going to need something more than just the hitch extension to manage the boat?
Thanks for the help!


Posted By: maximus on 03/23/09 07:36pm

No answer. Just a very similar situation. 2' overhang from my Shadow Cruiser. I want to pull my cargo trailer or a toad or my popup but I can't get a good answer from anyone about extension length. And with these costing a few hundred dollars, I can't make a mistake.
I think that you will need more than 18".
Seems like we'll need to get one with chains that lessen lateral movement.
I'll be watching for an answer.
And BTW, the wife likes the slide in better than any of our tt's. She sleeps on the table, I sleep above (wonder if this is why she likes it?)
don
HD2500


Posted By: mattydmax on 03/23/09 07:56pm

charlie_peach wrote:

Just bought our 1st TC - 2001 Lance 825. Have it on an 06 Silverado 2500HD crew cab short box. Enjoying the challenge of getting it all setup to also tow a 21' Four Winns 190 Horizon. The TC hangs over the back about 18", so I know we need a hitch extension.
Two questions:
- is a 12-14" extension going to be enough?
- the extensions I have seen say they are rated to 3500 lbs or 350lb tongue weight. The boat is 2500, so I assume with trailer it is about 3500. 15% gives a tongue weight over 350. Am I going to need something more than just the hitch extension to manage the boat?
Thanks for the help!


There is a certain amount of leeway you have with a boat. Pull up to it without an extension and see where you end up. I have a 9' camper on an 8' bed 2500hd and I pull a boat with no extension. The pointed bow of the boat leaves enough room to manuever. This would definitely not work with a regular trailer or anyhting besides a boat!!!!


Posted By: ifishsekiu on 03/23/09 08:13pm

My camper is 9.5 and I don't need or want a extension to tow my boat. When I purchased my quad trailer I opted for an extended tongue and don't use an extension. My Seadoo trailer due to it's tongue length requires it. I would hook it up without and play in the driveway or parking lot to see if it is needed before spending the money for a extension. I use a Torklift superhitch that provides a solid solution for extensions.


Posted By: juschuman on 03/23/09 11:26pm

This thread might be helpful.

We have a superhitch and the 36" truss does stick out a bit. Yes, it does prevent us from deploying our stock Lance step, BUT with the camper on the truck, that step was always not much help anyhow with the high jump up. When the TC is still on the truck we use our scissor steps, and hang them basically on the side of the hitch extension. This requires you to basically turn left while stepping out, but makes it so we don't have to remove the hitch. Works good.

If we unload the TC, then the point is moot. We obviously remove the superhitch extension to use the truck. We secure the superhitch on the ground with a cable lock around one of our jacks in the back (and leave it under the TC).

I'll tell you though, even though at first I didn't like how much it sticks out, now we like having it stick out because it gives us a better turning radius with our motorcycle trailer and our horse trailer. Our motorcycle trailer has a storage box on the tongue, so without the extension our radius is cut dramatically.

Enroute, if we do need to get into the camper, we just use the extension as a step. In fact, I plan on fabricating a small platform about the size of a step on top of the extension that sticks out so when we are travelling, it is a little more foot area to step up into the camper on with some grip tape on it.

Hope that helps!

Oh yeah, I strongly recommend the Superhitch w/the supertruss extension. It is bombproof with our horse trailer. No side to side movement, and it is ROCK solid!


2009 Dodge 3500 DRW Shortbox Megacab - 6.7 Cummins Diesel - Stable Loads - 2000 Lance 820 - Torklift Superhitch w/Supertruss - Torklifts w/Fastguns - 1988 Circle J 2-Horse BP Straight Load


Posted By: tuna fisher on 03/24/09 05:58am

Not meaning to steal this thread but I have a question along these lines.How are extensions mesured? from the hole to end?from the end of receiver to the end of extension?[emoticon]


2001 GMC DM, 1995 Lance Lite, @005 Eclipse Toyhauler, Toy's!">


Posted By: charlie_peach on 05/12/09 08:34pm

I know it has been a while... I finally decided a path. Going with a upgraded Reese hitch and an 18" one piece extension/ball that will be made by a local blacksmith. I'll let you all know how it works out. Thanks for the feedback - really helped to figure it out. After more research, I could not agree more that the stock GMC hitch would have been a major issue!


Posted By: Matthew_B on 03/24/09 07:24am

Hole to hole. They're measuring how much distance the ball is moved back.






Posted By: charlie_peach on 03/24/09 07:16pm

Thanks to all for the advice! Stopped by a trailer store today and looked at extensions. Noticed that all they had were solid steel 2" (on the end that inserts into the truck receiver). Others I have looked at have been hollow steel. Does anyone have any experience with one vs the other? I assume the solid one is more stable, but is it worth the extra weight?

I'm gonna spend some time in the drive without the extension to see how much length I actually need. That's a good idea. I'll do it with and without the TC on so I can judge the difference. Hoping I can get by with 12" so I retain as much stability as possible. I'll post more when I figure it out. I'll still take more input though....this is all new. I can see by reading other posts that good advice abounds!
Thanks again for the help!


Posted By: juschuman on 03/24/09 07:20pm

charlie_peach wrote:

Thanks to all for the advice! Stopped by a trailer store today and looked at extensions. Noticed that all they had were solid steel 2" (on the end that inserts into the truck receiver). Others I have looked at have been hollow steel. Does anyone have any experience with one vs the other? I assume the solid one is more stable, but is it worth the extra weight?


I wouldn't get an extension unless it is solid steel.


Posted By: ifishsekiu on 03/24/09 09:45pm

Here is a photo of a step setup I made for my superhitch. I welded a reciever to the top of the truss and made a removable step.This makes it a lot safer to get in the camper when pulling a trailer. [image] [image]


Posted By: Matthew_B on 03/25/09 12:59am

1/4" wall 2-1/2" tube is stronger than 2" solid bar (WRT bending, not straight pull).

If the part that goes into the truck receiver is 2" solid bar and then it changes to 2-1/2 tube it is every bit as strong as a 2" solid bar but is far lighter.


Posted By: bobndot on 03/25/09 05:30am

I have cracked two gmc factory hitches on N.Y.roads .
You have be careful on the 2500HD . GMC / chevy use different factory hitches . The problem using a hitch extention on that truck is the stress that is put on the factory hitch by maxing it out with a 2500# boat. I would only tow a lighter unit with a hitch extention . Get under your truck and look at how the hitch is made .
Taking the advice of a certified race car fabricator who owns a weld shop , we made the decision to make the trailer tongue longer and hitch up directly to the factory hitch , eliminating the extra stress caused by an extention . Since then , no problems . The longer the extention, the less weight you can tow . The only other option is to use something like a super hitch . We felt that was too much added weight for the SRW 2500HD with a maxed out GVWR.


Posted By: rkortes on 03/25/09 09:27am

Well.... I searched for some old posts on this topic but couldn't find them. I reeeeally recommend either a Reese or Torklift (Superhitch) after market hitch for this application. I bent the stock hitch on my 2005 GMC with a much lighter trailer than you will be towing. The fact of the matter is the factory GM hitches are junk!

It really sucks to be 1200 miles from home with a bent or broken hitch! Take if from me. I have used a Superhitch for about 3 years now with no more problems.

Do not put an extension (stinger) on your existing hitch with that big of a boat. If it was a 14' aluminum that would be different.


Truck - 2005 GMC 3500 SRW Duramax/Ali
Toy Hauler - 2008 Ragen FA3005
The Journey Is The Destination!



Posted By: adhenson on 06/03/09 11:41am

Great info...now for a really dumb question!!! Got the hitch extender....will a normal pin work to attach the extender to the truck hitch, or should I use something else??
Allen


Posted By: wnjj on 06/03/09 11:43am

adhenson wrote:

Great info...now for a really dumb question!!! Got the hitch extender....will a normal pin work to attach the extender to the truck hitch, or should I use something else??
Allen


A normal pin will work fine or if you are worried about your extension disappearing, a locking one.


Posted By: kblasor on 06/02/09 07:52pm

Thanks for the Camper University suggestion. I've read enough! I am ordering the tow beast even though I don't tow that much weight. Main conclusion is that the GMC factory hitch might do well with regular load, but not with an extension. I don't need the risk and worry.

Oh yea, and I also pulled the trigger on the new 2009 Lance 830. So I guess I'm one of you all now.

* This post was edited 06/02/09 07:59pm by kblasor *


N7KB
2008 GMC Sierra 2500HD Duramax
2009 Lance 830
Harley Road Glide
KTM 950 Adventure
Polaris Sportsman 800
Polaris RZR
2 retired greyhounds



Posted By: saggys on 06/02/09 05:49pm

I also have a Ford 2.5" factory hitch and have a Reese extension. I ended up filing the seam down on the Ford reciever and rounding the edges of the Reese hitch. It did not take alot on either and all seems well.


1999 F350 4WD CC SRW V-10, 4.30 Tow Package, HD Camper Package.
2004 Northstar 850SC with 3 jack Stable Lift.
2006 Triton Frontier 17 with 60hp Merc 4 stroke tiller.


Posted By: charlie_peach on 06/02/09 04:09pm

The hitch I went with is a class IV that handles 10,000 lbs. It has a 2" receiver. Based on my boat weight and the 18" ext (less than 24) I calculated this was enough and I liked the 2" normal size so I don't have to go with a reducer for other uses. I also did not feel I needed any extra weight distribution or stabilization that a tow beast added.


Posted By: Tizi on 06/02/09 04:37pm

I have a 10-2 camper and don't use and extension due to the length of the tongue on the boat trailer, plety long enough.


2008 Dodge Ram 2500 QC 4x4 - HEMI
2007 Northern Lite 10.2 RR
Tizi's Transformer by Whazoo



Posted By: wsdepa on 06/02/09 11:07am

kblasor wrote:

I am on the verge of ordering an extension for my stock '08GMC 2500HD. Just saw the comment about the Reese extension not fitting other hitches. If the truck is 2 1/2" and the extension is 2 1/2", what is not to fit? I will only be towing a small trailer with one or two quads (or an RZR) so I don't think I need to spend the money on a tow beast. bobndot's factory GMC comments noted. It's interesting though how a factory hitch rated 7500 lbs becomes practically worthless with a 24" extension applied.

As usual guys, this forum is a wealth of info. I learned many things while a resident of toy haulers, now repeating history in truck campers.

Check out the threads on towing and hitches under the TC University sticky above. There are lots of photos of hitches and extensions by forum members. As stated above, you can use the Reese extension in a non Reese 2 1/2 hitch, but you have to grind it to fit. There is a thread somewhere on the forum that shows how to do this, but I can not seem to find it.


2006 F-350 S/C 6.0 DRW 4x4 3.73, 2005 Lance Max 981, most options. Camped 49 states and all Canadian Provences(cept Labrador). 100,000 miles and 500 plus nights of TCing.
http://truckntravels.blogspot.com/



Posted By: wsdepa on 06/02/09 07:14am

Did you get a standard 2 in. hitch or go with the Reese 2 1/2 in. "Tow Beast" hitch? Is the extension a solid 2x2 bar? The only hitches that I am aware of that are rated for extensions are the big Reese and the Tork Lift Super Hitch. Unfortuantely, their extensions will not fit other hitches - like my Ford 2 1/2 in. factory hitch. I am sure that they do this on purpose for liability reasons.


Posted By: kblasor on 06/02/09 08:38am

I am on the verge of ordering an extension for my stock '08GMC 2500HD. Just saw the comment about the Reese extension not fitting other hitches. If the truck is 2 1/2" and the extension is 2 1/2", what is not to fit? I will only be towing a small trailer with one or two quads (or an RZR) so I don't think I need to spend the money on a tow beast. bobndot's factory GMC comments noted. It's interesting though how a factory hitch rated 7500 lbs becomes practically worthless with a 24" extension applied.

As usual guys, this forum is a wealth of info. I learned many things while a resident of toy haulers, now repeating history in truck campers.


Posted By: gm412 on 06/02/09 10:58am

I have a ford 2.5 inch hitch. I had to grind a little off the extension to get it to fit the Class V Ford Hitch. It would not fit stock.


Posted By: hasenpfeffer on 06/01/09 09:24pm

charlie_peach wrote:

(1st time putting pictures out here - hope it works!)


Fixed pic links.

[image]

[image]

[image]


2002 Ford F-250 SuperDuty 4x4 SuperCab 7.3L PSD
2007 Outfitter Apex 8
1981 Jeep CJ7 Toad


Posted By: 77charger on 06/01/09 10:09pm

Looks like it is working out for you i have a similar camper and truck(ex cab vs crew cab),My boat is probably a lil lighter but i only made my extension about 15 inches.The ball is right at the level with the door i wanted to keep it as short as possible.Tongue weight is probably about 150-200 max.Only drawback is that i cant open the door all the way.Next i am going to extend the tongue on the trailer imo i always thought it was short esp when the boat is on it i cant even leave the tail gate down if the camper is off and towx the boat without the jack hitting it.

So another 6 inches on the trailer will be good and i want a removeable tongue anyways for storage.


Posted By: charlie_peach on 06/01/09 07:58pm

[image]

Here's a picture of our TC and boat with the new hitch and one-piece extension. Below should be 2 closer pictures of the hitch extension. (1st time putting pictures out here - hope it works!)

We traveled about 1000 miles to South East Indiana (Monroe Reservoir) over Memorial Day w/e and all worked great. The boat towed very well. Even had a strong cross wind on the way back north.
Thanks again to all for the help in getting the hitch stuff figured out!

[image]
[image]


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