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Old 03-16-2012, 01:23 AM   #1
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Hello From Seattle, PullRite installation E350

My plan is share my experience mounting a, used, PullRite hitch, universal model, on my 2008 Ford E350 Wagon.

Not only am I newbie here, members may find it odd that I do NOT even own a TT at this time. While shopping for a used model TT, I came across a deal on a PullRite hitch. I plan to tow an Airstream larger than any trailer I have pulled in the past. It seems I've got the hitch project before the RV part now. Soon I'll be fabricating some custom mounting brackets to weld on this old hitch. .

Learning how to post images starting now. Hope this works. More pics in 2 days!
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Old 03-16-2012, 08:04 AM   #2
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Hi Lawrench. Does the TT have a built in tow package? We just installed a Tekonsha Brake control (P2 model). Also does your TT have a seven pin plug back there?
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Old 03-17-2012, 12:22 PM   #3
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Hi, Lawrench, and welcome!

May I make some suggestions for your (excellent) proposed thread (which should be in the Hitches subforum with PULLRITE in the title) which might appear to be about painstaking details? If so, there are quite a few of us around here with this approach. Forgive me that thinking a guy that owns a van as TV is "serious" (as I perceive it).

So bear with me if all this is old hat:

1] Weigh the van at present. Full fuel, driver and permanent items aboard only. That is the "adjusted empty weight" to note in the thread under the factory ship weight.

2] Weigh the van after hitch installation (otherwise as above). This 3-line set of information is useful to more than just other Ford van owners when considering a hitch of this sort.

Afterwards, with a trailer, being able to dial in the WD ideally is easy. It is dependent on these other weight values.

Plus, as tire pressure is always against load, you'll have some time to get it perfect for solo conditions; (where pressure does not rise more than 5-psi after 1.5-hrs steady state travel and is otherwise as low as possible). The other questions around TV rolling efficiency:

1] steering wander
2] brake drag
3] bearings
4] alignment
5] wheel/tire balance

are best addressed now prior to towing. Make no assumptions about condition, IMO.

There are good threads about wiring the TV for powering the 7-way harness for the trailer (and some possible upgrades) which also include a remote power distribution located at the TV rear.

One may also choose to "up" the current to TT batteries by a separate TV battery draw. ETN550 made this kind of upgrade (and there are other threads to this end) where being able to run a solar reefer, etc, is also important.

TV towing mirrors and LED exterior lighting are also to the point. Breakdown supplies (roadside), extra LED flashers (even strobes) are worth a look. Same for acquiring safety chains of the proper type, as well as a new breakaway switch, etc, as these can be (will be, IMO) in need of replacement on even a fairly new trailer.

As to brake controllers I'd still go with a MAXBRAKE if one can be sourced, but otherwise investigate a DIRECLINK (as shown in the thread by Mexray).

Tires and shock absorbers (the very best, and of the best type), as well as FF/RR anti-roll bars (with poly bushings) are also (or tend to be) good for TV's. Headlight wiring upgrades to bring a full 13V to them are highly recommended.

Tell us also -- in your other thread -- more about the van: Spec, outfit and use. I am suggesting that the thread can be about the hitch, as well as making the TV as good as can be for utilizing that hitch (vehicle specific as well as more general info).

Every thing mentioned above has at least one thread applying with the usual depth from around here.

You are starting off, unless I miss my guess, in a very good way. Folks tend to "get to" the road performance/safety items last (if at all). Easy to do now without the distraction and expense of a TT. Goldplate it, buddy, is my opinion (as third gen aero/alum trailer owner and truck driver).

Looking forward to it as a PULLRITE is on my very, very short list of replacements for a Hensley Arrow. The more pics the better!!

.
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Old 03-17-2012, 12:33 PM   #4
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A final set of thoughts for the TV and the new thread:

Assuming that the TT will be 26' and above: After WD is perfected then, for planning purposes at least 750/lbs will be present on the RR axle. For a shorter, lighter trailer, 350-500/lbs. This is in addition to the weight of the hitch.

The RR axle rating plus tires and wheels should be up to this.

And a TPMS, ideally, has internal temp/press sensors for best readings. Many of us also carry IR/laser temp guns to use as a rote check of condition (as well as dedicated torque wrenches).

On other forums are threads dedicated to fuel economy if that is also of interest. I find that a perfected TV is much of this, and that the only "real" changes worthwhile are about axle gearing and aero additions (past driver skill improvement).

To that end, then, dead-accurate records as towing mpg is mainly about aero resistance and that towing is generally a 40% drop from current highway mpg figures, but more accurately is 30% off of the annual average mpg. More accurate as it is the easily verifiable number (and it is only a matter of skill to surpass highway mpg in town driving). I cannot say how comforting it is to be able to accurately predict any and all types of miles of driving.

All miles, all gallons in a logbook commencing presently. There are smartphone apps for this, or just a bookeeping journal as I use.

Forgive me if my assumptions about someone smart enough to snag a PULLRITE and install it on a 1T short rear overhang Ford van lead to conclusions outside of your own.

.
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1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 9-cpm solo, 15-cpm towing
Sold: Silver Streak Model 3411
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:22 AM   #5
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Big Day -- Moving to Hitches sub forum

Thanks for the kind words Rednax. I appreciate the long list of does and don'ts. I AM serious; about my van, this hitch, and getting set-up properly. Today was a really ;long day for me, I drove a long way to pick up my Craigslist Pullrite Travel Trailer hitch. At this time I have enough energy to post a few images of the day. For the many towing specifics and such, I'm already on top of about 1/3 of those variables. Give me week, I'll start a new thread in Hitches sub forum. I experience 400+ miles driving today. Eastern Washington was spectacularly sunny and dry. Dry is not what we are back here in Seattle. Oh! what spectacular luck Not till I met the seller did I find out this PullRite had been made for an older Econoline! The seller talked to PullRite, with serial #,years ago about his project. He'd purchased the hitch used, but his needs changed. He sold it me today... $200. Pullrite had records of the original sale/build. I assume. What luck, I had no prior idea. 4 of 6 tabs 'already' on land perfect down centers of my E350 frame rails (38 1/2" , c to c). More good stuff for me today... on my way through Yakima I talked TTs with the most genuine RV salesman. In the past Mike and his brother sold Airsteams for many years. Now they sell Lance exclusively. He taught me much today. I entirely trust the man.
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Old 03-18-2012, 06:47 AM   #6
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Man, what a steal!! It was meant to be.

Being able to go through the TV ahead of TT purchase (by using the breadth and depth of threads on those subjects around here) means best performance and no surprises, IMO.

I thought of this thread as I was on another forum last night and recalled a very handy addition to the TV I've used (notes on same page):

Upgraded Heavy Duty Modulite Circuit Protected Vehicle Wiring Harness with 4 Pole Trailer Connector Tow Ready Wiring 119190

These make a good basis for the 7-way. One can build one's own I suppose.

I usually substitute ANCOR Marine Grade wiring and connectors in a heavier gauge where possible for long runs. USCG-approved and never a problem even many years later.

Glad your trip turned out so well.

.
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1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 9-cpm solo, 15-cpm towing
Sold: Silver Streak Model 3411
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