View Full Version : Bumper hitch question

10-27-2005, 01:55 PM
I just bought a brand new truck... a 2005 Dodge ram 1500 with a Hemi.
I want to pull my boat and trailer ... combined weight about 4500 lbs.
Now ... my question is.... do I buy and install a new reciever or should I just put a ball on the bumper and use it that way...
Before anyone panics.... there is a manufactured installed reciever already on the truck bolted to the frame. It sets under the bumper but has a hole in bumper where you screw the ball into. The capacity stated on the bumper is set at 5000 lbs max.

Should I get a new reciever with a higher capacity and not use the bumper set up?


10-27-2005, 02:12 PM
If the hitch is factory installed i.e. tow package, then you should get a new "stinger" and tow away. From what you describe,I gather that there is a 2" square receiver underneath the bumper.
If there is just a step style bumper with a hole for the ball, I would not recommend you pull that much boat with it.
Dos pesos

10-27-2005, 02:26 PM
Nope... no 2 inch reciever box under the bumper.
Just the hole to screw the ball into the hitch under the bumper. It's definately a hitch though... not just a beefed up bumper.
Didn't get the tow package... Whats a stinger?

I had been towing my boat with my old (2000) dodge ram v6 with a 5 speed manual... no problems with the old hitch that I got at uhaul.


10-27-2005, 02:40 PM
I just figured out what you were describing. I have seen those type bumpers out there, but have no idea about how they handle loads. I just remember trying to pull heavy boat on the bumper with my Dad's brand new Dodge years ago. I will never forget how mad he was when I got home and he saw the new shape of the bumper.
Sorry about the stinger reference. I can't remember what the unit is called that is pinned in the receiver and the ball is bolted into.

10-27-2005, 03:35 PM
For sure bolt on a reciever hitch to the Frame! Never use the hole for towing. Thats only rated for very small loads. I had the same Dodge and bolted on a full 2" hitch to the frame. You can do it yourself or usually were you buy it they will install for free.

10-27-2005, 03:38 PM
You are awfully close to the maximum capacity of a stock Class III hitch (500 lb tongue weight). If you have the money, I would suggest upgrading to a Class IV weight distributing hitch that can handle up to 1000 lb of tongue weight or a monster 2.5" Class V in case you ever get a larger boat.

10-27-2005, 04:41 PM
Will the boat ride level on the top of the bumper? this is also important, I agree with Doc, that's a lot of boat to tow on the bumper, ask the service mgr at the Dodge dealership see what he says.

10-27-2005, 08:08 PM
I have a Dodge 1500, that's a lot of boat to haul with that truck period.

10-27-2005, 09:04 PM
No slip in receiver. Hole in bumper or hole in small hitch below bumper. ??? I would have to agree with doc on the class IV hitch due to the weight of the boat. With the way most boat trailer frames are set up and not being able to accept a weight distribution hitch the larger the hitch the better. The tounge weight comes into play. You could have the tounge weight checked with your boat to make sure. Make sure the hitch you buy is a direct bolt on. NO Drilling in the newer dodge frames. They are hydro formed and drilling will void warranties. I think all hitch manufactures make them now.

As a side note I know some of you pull some large boats and even some large camping trailers. There is a nice product out there to prevent the truck or SUV from squatting and also adds some other features when loaded and pulling. They are called Super Springs. It is like a Ada leaf with out the rough ride when not loaded. A great site for towing or truck info is www.mrtruck.com I have found it to be very informative. I pull a fairly small boat but a large gooseneck horse trailer.

Just remember the vehicle may pull it....but will it stop it!

10-28-2005, 02:35 PM
Any boat over 2000 lbs should be on a tandem axle trailer with good brakes. Your vehicle shouldn't be stopping it. If your trailer is set up right there really shouldn't be much difference in stopping distance of your vehicle with or without it. An awful lot of boat dealers will undertrailer the package to make it cheaper. I got screwed that way. Was shopping boat and didn't pay much attention to the trailer. Thought the dealership would make sure it was OK. Stupid me. I had Zeimens (sp) in Woodland take my boat for a week and build a trailer around it. Hardly know it's there.

10-30-2005, 08:50 AM
I certainly agree on going with a larger bolt on hitch.

I used to tow a 4500# boat on a single axle without brakes and attached to the bumper of a chev 1/2 ton 4x4. Talk about exciting times, I had to change my shorts more than once with that set up going to Fort Bragg!!
I now tow with a Dodge turbo diesel 4x4, six speed and Jake brake, factory everything for towing, much better.
Big hitch, brakes, two axels is the way to go.
2 more pennies

10-31-2005, 05:09 AM
8)Jearl all of the points mentioned are good, but I have a 2005 Dodge ram 1500 4x4 with the 345 hp hemi and the same bumper it will tow 5k and the tongue weight of 500pnds is what it is rated.The chain holds are slots towards the back side under the main tube.I have had no problems with mine.Makes sure you have overload springs in the rear and I changed my shocks for stiffer ride. Being level is most important. 8)

10-31-2005, 06:57 AM
Get a hitch! It's worth it and it keeps the boat more level. I noticed when I was pulling with my bumper that the rear of the boat was almost dragging the ground! Buy a hitch and get a couple sizes of balls and keep them in your truck. You never know when you might need to help out your fellow sniffer ;)

11-07-2005, 11:57 PM
The car dealers have a 10% safty on their hitch systems.

If you use the hitch as is our tow will be firm & tight.

If you go to the "new" insert type, you are going to get some SLOP & MOVEMENT from the sleave and saftypin system.

You just have to beleave the trailer will stay with you, no matter how much noise the hitch makes.
I just love these "new" modern devices !! Don't you ??

11-09-2005, 07:55 AM
Good advice from the folks here.

Add one more. Motorweek did a pice on truck towing and had a product http://www.mpt.org/motorweek/goss/2434.shtml
Called a SenZBar. I love the ability to tune my towing rig a 1500 Suburb.

11-09-2005, 09:11 AM
The stopping it thing is usually not considered and is really most important. My 1st truck and boat ended up with the front end under a logging truck and the boat on top of the rear end. Fortunatly injuries were minmal. Could have been a whole lot worse. Really sounds like your close to maxing that trucks towing capacity.