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Which tow hitch to pull a U-Haul?

Discussion in 'Towing' started by TacoTuesday1, Mar 26, 2024.

  1. Mar 26, 2024 at 11:52 PM
    #1
    TacoTuesday1

    TacoTuesday1 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone know what hitch is needed to pull a U-Haul?
    6x12

    Just pulled mine out, surprised to see it's rusted after just sitting behind the seat
    don't know if the ball can be saved, polish and grease, or needs replaced
    Not sure if this is normal wear from 1-3 trips
    Gonna spray rust remover acid enough times to let it work, rinse off, and re-evaluate condition

    unnamed.jpg rwerwerw.jpg

    so, this is what I have. 2 1/4
    the confusing part is this
    1. Stock, U-haul recommended it
    2. Steel rear bumper (non HC) with integrated hitch in a different location, U-haul still recommended the same hitch
    3. Now, HC bumper, rear lift the highest it's ever been with Icon RXT op3, and U-Haul STILL says use this same hitch

    which makes no sense to me, given the height of the bumper and truck
    U-haul guy didn't measure with a ruler or anything either

    am researching but want to ask if anyone knows

    rear bumper is WarFab Phantom HC (different truck in pic to show bumper)
    no body lift

    [​IMG]

    edit: according to Google, 18"
    or more specifically,
    "What hitch ball height is required for U-Haul trailers? The optimal ball height for towing U-Haul trailers is 18½ to 18¾ inches. This is measured from the ground to the middle of the hitch ball, prior to connecting the trailer."

    Guess that means i need to go put my hitch on, park on level ground, tape measure see where it's at
    and if it's higher, use math and subtract to determine what actual different/lower drop is needed
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2024
  2. Mar 27, 2024 at 12:03 AM
    #2
    23MGM

    23MGM Well-Known Member

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    The ball itself is fine. It's a wear part, it's what they do. You will need a drop hitch though for the added height.
     
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  3. Mar 27, 2024 at 4:59 PM
    #3
    Normshark

    Normshark Well-Known Member

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    This

    An adjustable might be your answer. All depends on your overall weight.
     
    23MGM[QUOTED] likes this.
  4. Mar 30, 2024 at 3:23 AM
    #4
    TacoTuesday1

    TacoTuesday1 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    When I had ATHFab non HC rear uhaul said I’d be fine using 2 1/4 drop hitch with 2” ball

    however hitch is higher now.
    1. From Icon RXT op3
    2. Warfab HC rear where hitch is integrated high center right below tailgate

    so while uhaul trailer supposedly wants 18”, truck seems higher.
    May have measured to the wrong point but it’s still close.
    Put my hitch in, and to the center of the ball (not top) is 28” from ground. Seems way too high.

    while I don’t want adjustable as non-adj is cheaper, it seems possibly unavoidable for multiple reasons.

    1. tongue weight might be measurable
    2. If I load the back of the truck with anything it will definitely sag down, changing the measurement based on a load that isn’t always the same each two.

    so adjustable would allow for responding to that.

    can’t borrow sandbags to load the bed as there’s no way to predict what moving weight will be.

    worst case scenario if the hitch is too high supposedly that still works but just causes light instability.

    Last time I towed with a non HC steel rear was it too high and light? Don’t know. Responded, went slow, and drove accordingly. Wasn’t on the Nurburgring.

    I’ll at least go to Uhaul and ask to see what they say. Free and doesn’t hurt.

    even if I sell my decent condition pretty common 2 1/4 and buy to replace it something like 6”, that would still probably be an improvement while being the same price.

    adjustable seems a lot more common on big expensive torquey diesel rigs that tow different trailers all the time.


    well that’s not so bad, if HFT can be trusted. That plus whatever 2” ball and installing it or wrench costs.

    vs fancy looking $200+ ones

    the 11” max drop of that link makes it like it can definitely handle this
     
  5. Mar 30, 2024 at 11:49 AM
    #5
    TacoTuesday1

    TacoTuesday1 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    actually, who knows…
    That HFT hitch while well adjustable reduces total weight to 5,000lb, from 7500lb max of the small cheap uhaul 2 1/4

    6x12 unladen weight 2000lb not sure what they are when loaded

    Gonna see what else has similar adjustment range but higher capacity to have a safe margin

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2024
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  6. Apr 1, 2024 at 11:46 PM
    #6
    TacoTuesday1

    TacoTuesday1 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    picked up the HFT adjustable hitch
    read reviews saying it's loose. Hopefully that's old and fixed.
    If not, they have anti rattle product for this; u bolt and plate.

    However, doesn't appear it would fit tight clearance of Warfab rear bumper

    looking into other solutions
    [​IMG]
     
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    #6
  7. Apr 2, 2024 at 12:03 AM
    #7
    PooTaco

    PooTaco Well-Known Member

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    I have towed a lot of different trailers with different weights, a few different trucks and suvs, being a inch high or low will be fine, I wouldn't add weight just to level your tongue...

    I have never towed anything with the tacoma but will be pulling a boat very soon
     
  8. Apr 2, 2024 at 11:32 AM
    #8
    TacoTuesday1

    TacoTuesday1 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I think the adjustable hitch will be great
    It’s not much more than a non adj
    And warfab website even says it’s basically needed for their phantom HC rear with how much higher it makes it

    that being said, took a look at HFT reviews on it and read all the 1/0 star ones where chief complaint a couple years ago on the product appeared to be looseness making it feel like the trailer was flailing everywhere

    and it appears they came out with their “anti rattle” thing as a bandaid. If it works it works.

    only issue is for that, that product likely wouldn’t fit as the warfab hitch is tucked in pretty well (high clearance) without hitch protruding for the HFT product to grab onto

    so I’m going to see what other anti rattle solutions exist that may be a different design that could fit. Like the one above that inserts into the hitch instead of clamping down around the outside.

    if I load the truck and it sags, the adjustable will give me the adjustability to set it to the right height.

    as of now uhaul recommends 18” with all of their trailers
    And my hitch is around 28” from the ground if not higher.

    wasn’t a concern back when I ran factory hitch bolted to the frame that hangs lower.

    can always return it if it doesn’t go well. You’d think for something as standard and universal as a 2” reciever they’d design the tolerance on an adjustable drop to fit without excessive slop.
    Will try it out to break in regear on an unloaded trailer for a day and see how it goes.
     
    PooTaco[QUOTED] likes this.
  9. Apr 2, 2024 at 12:50 PM
    #9
    LFOD

    LFOD Well-Known Member

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  10. Apr 2, 2024 at 1:14 PM
    #10
    OldSchlPunk

    OldSchlPunk A legend in my own mind!

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    I'd be willing to bet your ball wasn't 18" before the bumper swap. What you're looking for is for the trailer to be riding close to level for proper weight distribution. If the ball is high, the trailer will be nose high and transfer weight rearward, taking it foo of the tongue. Rear biased weight on a trailer will make it tend to sway much easier.
     
  11. Apr 2, 2024 at 1:56 PM
    #11
    TacoTuesday1

    TacoTuesday1 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    thanks. Will confirm hollow. That looks like a good option. And nut/bolt that’s not quite as easy to steal. Among other anti theft methods.

    I might be able to use the Harbor Freight anti rattle clamp get it to fit by flipping it upside down
    However it appears the downfall is it clamps onto the bumper hitch, which could damage the powdercoat

    as opposed to internal shim threaded bolt style may not. And more of the clamping surface (shim) is acting on the cheap replaceable HFT Adjustable Drop unit ($50) rather than the bumper.

    IMG_4334.jpg

    yeah. Probably don’t want excessive tongue weight.
    Too high and Uhaul says that’ll tilt the trailer backward making it scrape and bottom out.

    I figure if the truck is 28” and trailer is 18” then adjustable hitch is good because I can set the drop up to 11” down.

    not to mention,
    1. I plan to raise front a bit need to swap in HD bumper springs. That should lower the rear in terms of fixing take
    2. I could take out my Icon RXT option 3 and set it lower to option 2 but don’t know if I should

    even if roughly 10” drop is not dead on, that’s still better than being really high at 2”.
    Even if it’s not perfect, I can just drive more carefully

    3. any weight in the bed is going to help lower the rear of the truck too. Last time I took a road trip with just the bed having things, and not even the heaviest (no metal tools), the rear still squatted enough to have reverse rake. Thus lowering it and having less of a bridge to gap.

    no way to predict what it will sit at when things are put in, depending on what and where. So adjustable seems to have that room for different settings that my old hitch does not have.

    previous setup was factory low hitch, with uhaul starter kit 2 1/4” drop.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2024
  12. Apr 2, 2024 at 2:11 PM
    #12
    YF_Ryan

    YF_Ryan Well-Known Member

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    I have a bumper with hitch about where yours is. I use an 11 inch drop. That adjustable should get you where you want it.
     
    TacoTuesday1[OP] likes this.
  13. Apr 4, 2024 at 6:35 AM
    #13
    Yossarian

    Yossarian Well-Known Member

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    I'm in the same predicament OP, uhaul sold me the same hitch and the center of the ball is 25" from the ground. I think I'll take it back and get the fixed 5" drop hitch, or maybe the 7" drop hitch and call it good.

    For your case though I think the adjustable is the way to go.
     
  14. Apr 4, 2024 at 6:58 AM
    #14
    scocar

    scocar hypotenoper

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    THIS. Better than anything else I've tried. No brainer.
    Also, this. You can dial it in by flipping it. You want the trailer to be level or slightly nose down if necessary. The adjustable part can have some slop in it, but you can eliminate that by compressing a large O ring or rubber furniture foot in the trimmed to the right thickness.
    https://www.etrailer.com/Hitch-Anti...0655&msclkid=1901f43cce3f12dcb2e99230ae3abf80
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2024
  15. Apr 4, 2024 at 7:06 AM
    #15
    Tiedie

    Tiedie Well-Known Member

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    So if everything was fine before you lifted. How high did you lift or increase the height of the original bumper? When I lifted 3" I already was using a 2" drop so I went back to a 6" drop which keeps my trailer tongue level using stock bumper and tow receiver. So it makes sense to use an adjustable hitch so you can go up or down depending on the trailer sitting level at the tongue.
     
  16. Apr 4, 2024 at 11:22 AM
    #16
    TacoTuesday1

    TacoTuesday1 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Yes. Thank you.

    edit: it appears I was wrong about how the HFT anti rattle mounts. The curved part goes toward the hitch. Flat part goes on bottom. So it *might* fit my warfab. I’ll have to test.
    But by design may scratch the paint clamping on it. Though the u bolt is low torque spec.

    I’ll research what the best anti rattle design is. If it’s external HFT type, or internal threaded with bolt.

    I think the bumper increases hitch height more than the rear lift.

    IMG_4424.jpg IMG_4425.jpg
     
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  17. Apr 4, 2024 at 3:55 PM
    #17
    scocar

    scocar hypotenoper

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    I already did the research for you, and so did a lot of reviewers on etrailer. It is the internal locking pin. I advise not trying any internal shims in the receiver tube, and you may find that certain types of long-drop ball mounts conflict with that external clamp design. I had a 6 inch drop gusseted on the receiver side. Could not even attach the clamp style anti rattle device.
     
  18. Apr 5, 2024 at 8:00 AM
    #18
    TacoTuesday603

    TacoTuesday603 Well-Known Member

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    I towed a 6x12 uhaul with an 8" drop hitch and it was good enough, I would have preferred a slightly lower ball height but it was fine for a rental trailer. I have a hitch height of 28" off the ground. 2" lift and super HC bumper.

    AP1GczNGJMM8UmrwSbdbNhwhtZmONLA4IMJRO_mJ_660fcde61422e5f28e1d2d1ea3a14b60fff059c6.jpg
     
  19. Apr 5, 2024 at 12:34 PM
    #19
    TacoTuesday1

    TacoTuesday1 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Got it. Am I wrong to try the harbor freight clamp style? I was reading reviews on both and it seemed clamp is more common and better

    folks were saying the internal one is generally weak, and only removed side play not up and down play. Though the one someone posted with an integrated lock looks nice, to have lock ability. Rhinogear Amazon locking pin alone without shim is the same price.


    guess that confirms it. My Phantom HC looks a lot like that and similar height. The HFT adjustable drop I picked up is like 10-11” max drop so should work.

    Truck has recent regear and need to test for a day to find out per ECGS break in. Advises do x3 15mi drives with unloaded trailer and cooldowns in between.

    the prices are nuts. Week move to another state 6x12? $2000.
    Rent 6x12 for a day in town? $30…
     
  20. Apr 5, 2024 at 12:45 PM
    #20
    YF_Ryan

    YF_Ryan Well-Known Member

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    At that price, have you thought of buying a trailer, and then selling it wherever you are moving to? I've definitely heard of people doing this before. Buy a new $3k trailer, sell it practically new for $2000 and you saved $1000 over renting.
     
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