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Old 01-06-2011, 11:03 AM   #1
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TV and HITCH CHANGE

Good morning folks.

We started out these travel adventures with our tried and true 2007 Ford Expedition with our brand new Salem 29FKDS in October.

We realized at the start that we were going to be borderline over loaded and after going to Escapee Bootcamp and getting the rig weighed it was confirmed over loaded TV.

So we got back home and decided to step up and bought a 2011 Ford F350 dually diesel long bed as a TV. I know way more truck than what I need now...but...maybe in a couple years we decide to step up to a 5th wheel, we will be ready.

Now the question.......Yesterday in getting ready to go pick up the trailer at the dealer I found out that the new hitch is 2 1/2" square tube vs. the 2" square hitch that was on the Expedition.

After a number of calls to trusted folks I bought a 2" to 2 1/2" "shim" to fill up the space.

After putting the pieces together it seems that there is an awful lot of slop in the hitch. Silly millimeters at the hitch itself...but at the ball end there is 1/2 to 3/4" movement.

Wondering if anyone else has found this to be an issue?

Would welding the shim to the hitch take out enough of the "slop"?

Or break down and pay the 60.00 to 70.00 and replace the part of the hitch that gets inserted into the reciever?

Little long winded...But trying to do whats best first...for a change...LOL

Thanks folks.
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Old 01-06-2011, 11:16 AM   #2
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Personally, I'd go ahead and replace the draw bar. I think it'd be safer in the long run.
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Old 01-06-2011, 11:17 AM   #3
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I had that "slop" problem with my 2" hitch going into my 2" receiver. The hitch was moving around so much, that it was starting to wear a grove in the shank.

I make this:

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There is a 4th side, but I left that off to take the picture.

I have seen where a hose clamp held shims in place around the shank, similar to this:

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I would not do any welding to the hitch.....that can mess up the strength of metal.

Buying a new 1 1/2" shank could remedy the problem, but that setup could be "sloppy" also.
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Old 01-06-2011, 01:15 PM   #4
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Sounds like you need a different 2 1/2'' to 2'' receiver insert. When I was looking the GMC 2500 those trucks came with an insert made by GM. Ford doesn't make one? Certainly don't weld the 'shims' into the receiver sleeve. Does it 'tighten up' when you put on the WD bars?
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Old 01-06-2011, 04:14 PM   #5
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I'd go back to the truck dealer and get a factory shim. Our GMC 2500HD came with the same setup and a factory shim. There is minimal slop. I like the fact that i can pull something bigger and wouldn't want to weld the shim in.

Good luck.


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Old 01-06-2011, 06:14 PM   #6
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Thanks for the input

I do appreciate all of the help folks. I went and talked with two more folks here in the Tulsa area and they both, with 30 years in the business, suggested that there would be no problem if we tack welded the shim at each of the 4 corners.
We had that done and I am amazed.....there was 1/2" to 3/4" slop before.....now there is less than 1/16" slop. I'm thinking it fits better than in the 2" Expedition.
I'll take a picture tomorrow and post it on here for all to see.
Thanks again all.
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Old 01-07-2011, 06:32 PM   #7
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I had a slop problem with my 2004 dodge ram too. I drilled a hole in the bottom of the hitch, welded a nut on and took out the slop with a bolt tightened down. I have just replaced my TV as well. I went with the 2011 Ford F350 SRW. I didn't realize the hitch was 2.5" until I went to hook up my trailer. I will be returning to my dealer to get the cross over insert. They said they would give me one for free. If it has too much slop I am just going to either shim it or run beads of weld down the hitch pin and then grind down to size. Welding on the pieces do not effect them in any negative way. Almost all hitches are welded together any way. I have built up sloppy hitches with weld before and it works really well.
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Old 01-07-2011, 08:58 PM   #8
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Rigger.....I think you will like the new Ford as much as I like mine. Still have not gotten to pull the trailer yet...but soon I hope.
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