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Ford F-250 Super Duty Hitch

Four Essential Care Tips for Your Ford F-250 Super Duty Hitch

For Ford F-250 owners with a toy hauler, a camping trailer, or a standard utility trailer, the hitch is just as important as the vehicle itself. So you should have it regularly maintained, particularly because it is quite vulnerable to rust and damage due to its tough task and its location underneath the truck. Caring for your Ford F-250 Super Duty hitch is fairly quick and easy, provided you have the necessary tools on hand. Here are some tips to help you out:

  • Use the hitch to pull trailers within their weight class.

F-250 trucks are usually fitted with a Class 2 or Class 3 hitch, and hauling anything that goes beyond the specified weight for these classes will put undue stress on the hitch, leading to damage to both the hitch and your truck. So before you mount that coupling onto the hitch, make sure to check the trailer's weight classification first.

  • Do not modify the hitch.

Hitches for F-250s are designed to match the exact specifications of the vehicle, and making modifications such as drilling holes in the draw bar or welding it onto the frame will compromise its integrity. Also, manufacturers typically void the warranty of the hitch once it's been modified, so there's no really good reason for you to tamper with this device.

  • Clean up rust spots as soon as you can.

Driving in muddy or humid conditions can quickly lead to rust on your hitch. Cleaning up the corroded spots depends largely on whether you have chromed or uncoated hitches. For chrome-plated hitches, you can try scrubbing the rust off with a piece of aluminum foil dipped in cola or vinegar. Rusty uncoated hitches, on the other hand, can be cleared up by applying rust dissolver gel on the corroded areas and scrubbing them with a wire brush. However, if the hitch is severely corroded to the point that its structural integrity is compromised, it may be better to have it replaced with a new one instead.

  • Take note of any rattling noises.

Rattling noises coming from the hitch means one of its components is loose and is hitting against another metal component. Tightening the bolts should be able to fix this problem, although you can also purchase an anti-rattle lock or device to keep the drawbar and the receiver snug against each other.

  • Tips You Can Use in Installing a Ford F-250 Super Duty Hitch

    Although it is considered as an optional add-on, the hitch is certainly a must-have for Ford F-250 Super Duty owners who also have trailers. And installing one is not as difficult as the installation of other car accessories as most hitches available today are sold in kits. Such kits contain the necessary hardware and installation manual for easy do-it-yourself installation in your truck. Below are some handy tips in installing the Ford F-250 Super Duty hitch in your pickup:

    Tip #1: Loosen the exhaust system prior to installation.

    Many truck owners claim to have had an easier time mounting the trailer hitch after loosening the muffler and exhaust pipe and moving them out of the way. This is especially true if your truck's exhaust components are aftermarket replacements or upgrades as all hitches are designed using original equipment specifications. You can also remove the rear bumper to allow for easier access to the hitch's mounting points, although you should make sure to re-install and tighten these components accordingly.

    Tip #2: Use a C-clamp to hold the hitch.

    If you are having trouble holding up the hitch in its proper position, use a C-clamp to hold it while you slot in and tighten the bolts. Simply slide the clamp onto the frame and hitch bar and tighten it until the bar is immobile.

    Tip #3: Clean the bolt holes.

    Unless your pickup is brand new, the pre-drilled bolt holes for the hitch underneath the truck may have accumulated dirt and rust over the years. This buildup can prevent the bolts from mounting properly, so the holes must be cleaned up first. Spray the holes with penetrating oil and scrub off any debris and rust particles using a wire brush. For stubborn rust spots, treat the area with rust dissolver gel and scrub again.

    Tip #4: Make sure the hitch and its attachment points have a solid metal-to-metal.

    Too much undercoating or weld may cause the hitch to go out of alignment or even slip when pulled, potentially resulting in accidents on the road. Another way to prevent this is to invest in an anti-rattle device for the hitch. This device will keep the hitch snug against the frame, preventing slippage as well as rattling sounds caused by the metal part of the hitch repeatedly hitting the frame.