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Old 08-01-2017, 03:59 PM   #1
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Receiver hitch angle

I'm currently having an argument with my Ford dealership about my factory installed receiver hitch. When I insert my weight distribution hitch into the receiver, the 2" square shank of the hitch (NOT the ball assembly) slopes downward (front to back) at a disturbing angle. When I insert the same hitch in any of my other trucks, the shank is in line with the chassis of the vehicle. My dealer says this is normal but I strongly disagree. The hitch assembly appears to be securely bolted to the frame and there's no sign of any deformation. My tow vehicle is a 2017 F-150 with the factory tow package (10,700lbs). Any thoughts from fellow Airstreamers?
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Old 08-01-2017, 04:18 PM   #2
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Another view of the receiver, from underneath, might be helpful. From the side, the bumper is in the way of seeing whether there is anything wrong with the receiver.

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Old 08-01-2017, 04:56 PM   #3
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I agree that the angle the shank protrudes from the receiver is sloping downward, please take another photo of the shank with slight upward pressure on it, I'm guessing that the shank will "move" up and down thus changing the angle we are looking at.
More at issue is your head angle welded "fixed". I use the Reese weight dist. system and when changing vehicles, you must reset this angle based on static TV height and TT height. Yours is not adjustable and may not work with your new TV. Follow all instructions from the manufacturer when making this adjustment, it is CRUCIAL you do this right or your TT will sway all over the place.
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Old 08-01-2017, 05:03 PM   #4
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Most shanks fit loosely as has been stated. If you get an anti rattle device you can raise the shank to verticle.
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Old 08-01-2017, 05:07 PM   #5
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Sure looks like the receiver is sloping down to me. I would not accept the dealer's answer.
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Old 08-01-2017, 05:12 PM   #6
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A slope down is not necessarily a problem. A slope up would not be either. However, both would be odd as most folks expect the receiver to be level as you do.

The issue to be concerned about is the receiver flexing. That keeps the weight distribution from functioning correctly and will ultimately lead to receiver failure. So as a starting point verify the receiver is rigid? Establish the amount of movement that occurs when you apply weight distribution?

Look under the truck as Pro suggests and take pictures from the side, bottom, front and back. That will give you a base line for analysis.

Seems logical to ask the factory rep what the receiver orientation should be. A quick check of the dealers lot would give you a general idea of what to expect.

Good luck with the investigation. Pat
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Old 08-01-2017, 06:23 PM   #7
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Brian, I'm with you; I think the receiver slopes downward. Just my observation.
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Old 08-01-2017, 10:16 PM   #8
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Looks like a down angle to me too.

As PKI said, I would suggest finding another 2017 Ford with the same tow package on the dealer's lot and try your hitch in the receiver of that truck to see if it has the same down angle.

Then I guess the factory rep.
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Old 08-02-2017, 06:20 AM   #9
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Here's a couple shots from underneath... I think the tube was just welded sloping downward. There is a tiny bit of "slop" (rattle), but not near enough to allow it to ride level. I inserted a long piece of 2x2 steel and could lift the back of the truck off the suspension with no noticeable "flex". Not set up to measure the details.

I understand the issues with the ball angle on the welded Reese setup. My other TV (F-250) is essentially the same height, etc. as new F-150; difference is the slope of the "horizontal" shank. I only use this hitch with the antique Avion and it is set up with the anti-sway yokes. Tows great with the F-250.

All that aside, I will be visiting with my dealer on this and other issues (driveline "clunk") later this week and will try the hitch on other F-150s on the lot.
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Old 08-02-2017, 06:53 AM   #10
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What if you wanted to use a extended load basket or a bicycle rack or a ? Should those be out of level? I think not.
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Old 08-02-2017, 08:17 AM   #11
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It def. slopes down, IMO either hitch is defective or not installed properly as receiver should be level never with down slope, even if no flex as stated. I would not accept Ford dealers answer why slopes down. Drive line clunk also a reason to worry as not normal even if dealer says it is. I would take to shop that specs. in trans and rear end work and have them check out clunk, if defect and dealer doesn't want to fix ph. NHTSA advise, they will send form to describe prob. Ford IMO is doing a lot of lip serv. to NHTSA about safety recalls etc. and not fixing as my safety recall is 9 mos. old with no parts or time line and NHTSA has been informed and emailed me form about this prob. so they are listening. Lip serv. saying Ford working on prob. [now 6 yrs. old no fix] to me about mileage nowhere near what adv. and trans. prob. and severe hesitation when stepping on gas, they will not fix even tho 2012 Escape has these prob. Bottom line sqeaky wheel gets grease.
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Old 08-02-2017, 08:20 AM   #12
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Best of luck with the dealership! This doesn't look right to me either but I am no expert. I wonder if that angle doesn't present additional and unexpected loads on the receiver. Fairly sure that the receiver is made for Ford by another source so maybe get ahold of them?
At any rate request a written response to this issue and maybe they will take you serious!
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Old 08-02-2017, 08:47 AM   #13
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On my former f-150 the shank mounted straight out. Sounds like you talked to the wrong person at that dealership. You can call Ford Tech CS direct for further and hopefully correct information. Google is your friend looking up their number.

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Old 08-02-2017, 09:46 AM   #14
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Brian, since this would be warranty work, try a different FORD dealer. Sounds as though your dealer doesn't know .......... about towing or is lazy.Check that he isn't charging Ford and NOT doing work.

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