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Towing Small Utility Trailer, Hitch Setup?

Hi, I have a 99 Explorer xlt with the tow package. The package does not include a 2" receiver receptacle. It does include a whole in the rear bumper for a tow ball, posi rear and tail light plug.

I want to tow a small utility trailer from Harbor Freight. However, the bumper sits about 5-6" taller then the trailers receptacle. Trailer:

http://www.harborfreight.com/1195-lb-capacity-48-inch-x-96-inch-heavy-duty-foldable-utility-trailer-with-12-inch-wheels-90154.html

I need to keep the costs down but of course, be safe. Rather then spend $200 on a bolt on receiver assy. I found this. The tow capacity is 4000 lbs gvw. It says for atv use? Why cant this be bolted onto the bumper then use a 2" ball receiver? I already own a 2" receiver that drops ~4" and would like to use it to keep costs down.

http://www.harborfreight.com/atv-hitch-adapter-65961.html?utm_term=65961&utm_medium=cse&utm_source=nextag&hft_adv=10013
 
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BradR

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How do you plan to mount the ATV receiver?

I really don't see what you're trying to do here...

And I'm not sure if it would be safe.
How fast and how far will you be going?
 
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kumaxlt

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The atv receiver would bolt directly onto the bumper. Their is a whole already on the bumper for a ball and the bumper says the tow capacity is 3500 lbs and tongue weight is 350 lbs. The bumper ball setup will not work because it sits too high for this small trailer. I need to use a receiver to drop the ball down.

Will use for local 50-100 mile trips. To and from the dumps. Haul a motorcycle from time to time. No cross country stuff.
 
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Ranger379

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looks like it mounts to the hole in the bumper for the bumper ball....it mounts using ONE bolt...it will pivot on that bolt no matter how tight u get it. when u hit the brakes the trailer will be able to push it..

please dont try to use that...thats an accident waiting to happen. trailer hitches are like 200 new. i got one from junk yard in great condition for 150. they can be had on craigslist for 100. if your only towing that little trailer you could get away using the smaller 1-1/4 inch reciever witch would cheaper.

you shouldnt have a problem just using a bumper ball. i had the same trailer a while ago to haul my snowblower and atv. before i got a hitch i used the bumper ball. tounge sit higher than level but its not a huge problem
 
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Ranger379

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5-6 inches wont matter for something that light.

for 10 bucks, and being harbor freight, its probably pretty thin metal. its made for an atv, not a truck. keeping in mind an atv, that would be using a hitch, would be moving a trailer for yard work , moving a log splitter, farm stuff. not doing 55mph. just think of what could happen if it doesnt hold up, breaks or something like that. not being negative just trying to warn you, hate to see an accident happen or anything.


i would seriously consider just getting a hitch heres a very good deal on ebay:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/fact...ories&fits=Model:Explorer&hash=item19c0b58b2c

and

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/99-F...r_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item3a5f623b3d
 
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Ranger379

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i would either get a hitch, or just use the ball. try using www.car-part.com and search for Trailer Hitch in the part box. it will show you local junk yards that have hitches. i did a search for CA and found some for a cheap as 30 bucks....up to 75bucks. anything from a 95-01 explorer will work, get a cheap used one and clean it up and paint it.

if money is tight just use the ball and save up for a used hitch
 
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Ranger379

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Perfect! Thank you!

no problem, glad i could help! those little trailers come with different sized rim/tires go for the bigger wheels/tires and it will better help with how low that tounge is, and help the angle it sits at if you do you the bumper ball, just a suggestion
 
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kumaxlt

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The one I am interested in has 12" wheels. The others have 8 and 10".

Money is tight and the explorer has high mileage so putting $150 into it just for very occasional light duty towing does not make sense.

Will try the ball first. Then decide, depending on the angle of the trailer.
 
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