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Old 11-06-2019, 04:10 PM   #1
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Receiver Slop or Play

I have a 2014 Ford F-250 with an E-Z Lift WD system. I have Rocktamers. When the AS is not hooked up, there is a lot of movement of the hitch in the receiver. I recently removed the hitch and noticed a distinct oval in the reducer (2.5 to 2 inch). There two holes in the shank. The one I’m not using is much tighter with the pin than the one I do use. There is no oval in the shank or in the receiver on the truck. Is the slop something I can just tighten up with a bracket and not worry about safety or do I need to get the reducer replaced. The pin, a dog bone type one that locks, is slightly bent.
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Old 11-06-2019, 04:53 PM   #2
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Our 3/4 ton Suburban has a 2-1/2" receiver and the previous owner installed a sleeve, similar to what you've shown, and had it welded in place. If this were my tow vehicle I would certainly replace the sleeve and I would consider welding it in place.

Seems like you should also replace the shank on your hitch. The hole you use is certainly showing signs of wear. Same with your dogbone pin - anything that looks bent does not sound good.

Our hitch setup has nearly 100,000 miles and doesn't show any signs of wear. We're using the same receiver, same shank and same pin for all those miles. I don't know what's different about your setup but something seems amiss.

On edit: We remove our shank/hitch when we're not towing. The 100,000 miles I mentioned is towing miles. With the shank/hitch removed when not towing nothing is back there to rattle around. I find it objectionable to negotiate around a hitch that remains installed in the receiver. Consider finding another attachment method for the RockTamers so you're not inclined to leave the shank/hitch installed when not towing the trailer.
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Old 11-06-2019, 06:09 PM   #3
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The oval hole appears to be wallowed out. Unless repaired/ replaced it will probably get worse and may lead to hitch failure. Also check there are no cracks where the hitch is welded to the TV frame.
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Old 11-06-2019, 07:38 PM   #4
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Been using one of these for year with no issues. Easy to install and no movement or wear on the receiver or shank.
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Old 11-06-2019, 08:59 PM   #5
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I have seen this in a couple of Ford receiver setups.

It appears the tubing of the receiver is thinner than others without this problem. This reduces the “loaded surface” area, in fact increasing the load per square inch. Under a direct steady load this may be ok receiver passes the load test! OK if you have a full size hitch.

Now, factor in a “reducer” and smaller hitch shank and you have this issue.

There are many other technical reasons but this is the short answer.

So “how do I fix it?”

1- Get a hitch that fits the receiver... keep it lubricated and check hitch pin often.

2- replace the receiver, especially ensure the new one has less slack. Keep up with maintenance.

Again more solutions but these are what helped others.
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Old 11-07-2019, 05:12 AM   #6
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I'm no expert, but have come to the opinion that Ford factory hitches ain't the best.

FYI, I have one.
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:45 AM   #7
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My new Ford (Expedition, not F-150) has the same issue.

The hitch is not snug, and it makes noise when towing.

I've only towed with it a few miles — maybe 40 — and the end of the shank is already showing wear — paint's been rubbed off.

So ... I made a insert to take up some of the space.

Hitch fits better. Will it work under load?

I'll find out before long, as I'll be taking it on a camping trip soon.
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Old 11-07-2019, 08:44 AM   #8
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Talking Hitch Repair

I just fixed my hitch problem yesterday on my 2012 F150. Went to an old established welding shop for the repair. They reinforced the sides of the receiver where the hitch pins holes are with predrilled steel plates. They also welded and ground to fit around the front and rear openings of the receiver. I now have a snug fit between hitch and receiver and no excessive movement. I think Ford's receiver has inferior thin metal as it's always been a sloppy fit from when the truck was new. I'm also now using one of those u-bolt devices (aka - anti rattle device) for insurance.

Hope this helps others fix their hitch issues.

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Old 11-07-2019, 12:42 PM   #9
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Temporary fix, copper pennies, drive them in until everything is snug and tight.
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Old 11-07-2019, 03:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mhphhoward View Post
Temporary fix, copper pennies, drive them in until everything is snug and tight.
I like that idea ... simple enough!
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Old 11-07-2019, 04:02 PM   #11
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Ford Factory Receivers

Our 2013 E150 XLT van with the factory tow package came with a Class III/IV receiver. We use an Equalizer WD hitch and the shank fit into the receiver was sloppy. I made a real nice shim out of stainless steel that made the fit much better. This was when we had a 2017 23D.

When we switched to a 2019 FC 25 RBT we purchased a Draw Tite Ultra Frame Class V receiver from Etrailer.com. Took about 1 hour to switch receivers. Two worlds. Much beefier receiver and a way better shank fit. I realize that this does not increase the tow capacity of the van but I can tell a definite improvement when towing. No flex. Very solid feel.

We also fitted shims of very thin stainless steel to the sockets on the Equalizer hitch where the WD bars insert into the hitch head. Major difference in sway control. I am very careful about hitch maintenance and the proper torque of bolts for the sway bars. Makes for a real nice secure feeling towing experience.

Bottom line is that you may want to consider replacing your factory receiver with a better quality one with upgraded capacity. Keep in mind to not exceed the tow ratings of your vehicle even though the receiver is rated higher.
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