Hitch Extension and Weight Distribution System Recommendations for 2013 Ford F-150 Towing Trailer

Question:

I have a 2013 Ford F-150 ecoboost, pulling a 17foot 2013 Jay Flight Swift SLX trailer. The trailer weights are: Unloaded Vehicle Weight lbs 2,285 Dry Hitch Weight lbs 235 Gross Vehicle Weight Rating lbs 2,950 Cargo Carrying Capacity lbs 665 I want to load my motorcycle weighs 650 lbs into the bed of the truck, but the tailgate has to stay open for the back wheel to fit its a 6foot truck bed. So I need a hitch extension. I have a 2inch trailer hitch. My questions are: 1. It appears that I only need about 18inch to clear the tailgate measured from the edge of the ball closest to the truck. Do you recommend a smaller extension and, if so, which one for a 2inch hitch? This one does not seem to be the right fit for my situation. 2. Whats the least expensive weight distribution hitch I could use and be safe? 3. Is there any installation of parts necessary once I have the things I need? 4. Any other advice/recommendations are appreciated. Thanks!

Expert Reply:

Almost all hitch adapters and extenders have the side-effect of reducing your hitch's tongue weight (TW) and gross trailer weight capacities by as much as 50-percent. This is true for the 18-inch hitch extension for 2-inch hitches # HE18 from Hidden Hitch. This extender tube fits into a 2-inch hitch and provides 18-inches of extension to its 2-inch receiver opening. All other things being equal the shorter extension is the better extension. All 2-inch extenders are shown on the included link. Unfortunately, general-purpose extensions are NOT compatible with weight distribution systems.

If your truck happens to have a factory hitch rated for up to 10,500-lbs you could install TorkLift hitch # TLF1005H and use extension # TLE1521. This option is not inexpensive but is your only way to use weight distribution.

Choosing a WD system also requires you to know your actual fully-loaded trailer tongue weight, with all supplies and gear just as it will be when you head out, and to add to that figure the weight of anything in the back of the truck that sits behind the rear axle. In your case that will be some portion of the motorcycle's weight. The exact amount of weight to account for will be a little tougher to determine unless the bike is always in exactly the same spot. We do offer a TW scale, Sherline # 5780, that could be used to weigh the trailer's TW and also to weigh the net increase at the hitch (from the bike's weight). It is critical to know this total effective TW load in order to choose a system that is stiff enough to give the desired correction (moving weight to the front axle) but without causing the odd handling that can result from a WD system that is rated too high. The linked article will give you more background on WD systems.

expert reply by:
Adam R

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