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Front Mount Trailer Hitch Installation - 2012 Ford F-250

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How to Install a Front Mount Trailer Hitch on a 2012 Ford F-250

Today, on this 2012 Ford F-250, we're going to install part number 65049 from Draw-Tite. This is what the hitch looks like when its installed on the vehicle. Next, we'll give you some measurements to help you out when selecting some accessories. From the top of the receiver openings down to the ground should be about 15-3/4 inches and from the center of the hitch pin hole to the edge of the bumper in this case, we measured out to the license plate, its going to be about 5-1/4 inches. Now, we'll go ahead and show you how the hitch is installed. First thing you need to do is go ahead and remove some bumper brackets there at the end of the frame.

There'll be two bolt assemblies, one on each side that we have to remove to lower our brackets. These brackets and the bolts will not be reinstalled. This will be the same on the passenger side. Next, we'll go ahead and remove the floor lid below the bumper. There will be nut and bolt assemblies, as well as plastic rivets. Once we have all those removed, we can go ahead and lower it and out of the way.

Now, at this point, we can go ahead and see where the hitch installs on the vehicle. There will be an oval slot on the side of the frame and then the hitch, we'll use one of the existing holes from one of the bumper brackets that was removed earlier. Before we install the hardware, we'll go ahead and show you how it looks on the hitch before we install it. The bolts will mount from the inside to the outside. And for the fastener closest to the bumper, it will be the bolt and the flat washer and then the lock washer and nut and on the bolt going towards the back will be the carriage bolt and the a lock nut and washer.

One thing to know about this carriage bolt is that the head of it will lock into the inside oval of the frame. Now, with an extra set of hands, we'll go ahead and push it up and align it with the holes. We'll use an alignment tool to help line up her holes and then we'll go ahead and install the hardware. We'll start with the bolts going towards the front. Then, well use the bolt leader that comes with the kit to install the carriage bolts that go towards the back of the vehicle. We'll guide our pull wire through the mounting location and then out the access hole.

We'll then thread the bolts and pull them into position. Now, with all the hardware loose, we can maneuver the hitch around to get our holes to line up. We'll repeat this on the other side. Once all the hardware is installed, we'll go ahead and tighten down the bolts and then torque them down as specified in the instructions. Our hitch is fully installed. Now, we'll go ahead and turn out attention to the spoiler that we removed earlier. We'll hold up our spoiler up to the hitch to get a general idea of where we need to cut out for it. We'll measure from the center of the fastener down to the hitch. That will give us an idea of how far to go down. Now, this can vary from vehicle to vehicle. In this case, the measurement was around 2.5 inches. We'll transfer that to the backside of our spoiler and then we'll go ahead and measure off from there 1.5 inches on each side to give a total of 3 inches. It will make a square of 3.5 inches wide x 3.5 inches long. We'll go ahead and use a rotary tool to go ahead and make our sets. That's our first cut. We'l go ahead and do a test fit to make sure everything is okay. Next, we'll go ahead and take some time out to clean up the edges. With it installed for good, then we'll reinstall all the fasteners. With that, our install is finished. There you have it for part numbers 65049 for Draw-Tite on our 2012 Ford F-250.

Jack M.


what do you hook up to the front hitcch to the rear of the towing vehicle?

Etrailer Expert

Rachael H.


Front mount hitches are not intended to be used to tow the vehicle by. This is best served by using vehicle specific base plates, a tow bar, and a complete flat towing system, with all the components. I have includeded a helpful article regarding the components needed to flat tow a vehicle.

Allen D.


i am interested in a bolt on front hitch for my 2012 f250. It looks like this bolts right on with now drilling. Is that correct? No welding and no drilling using preexisting bolt holes? Thank you Allen Dean Snyder

Patrick B.


You are correct. No drilling involved as it utilizes pre-existing holes on the frame. Depending on which trim package teh truck has, you may need to trim a plastic air dam underneath the bumper. There may also be frame-end brackets on the truck. These will need to be un-bolted and removed. Check on the product page for a link to the instructions. It has some more detail on these two items.

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