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Old 10-25-2020, 08:24 PM   #1
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2019 27' Tommy Bahama
Foothill Ranch , California
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Ford F-250 Hitch Receiving Size Options (2.5 or 3" Best?)

Towing Newbie here, but our F-250 is due in shortly.

We're ordering an Air Safe hitch Class VI for our TB27 FB, but the truck apparently comes with both a 3" hitch receiver with a step down to a 2.5" receiver. Is it a more solid hook up to skip the insert and go for the 3" ~ or is the 2.5" a better choice? This hitch can be ordered in either size (3" is more expensive), but I don't understand the pros and cons to the shaft size.

We really think it will result in a better ride for us, and a gentler pull for the trailer. We could go with a lower class, but if we ever upsize this will still work. We're integrating it with the Blue Ox WD Sway control hitch we already have.

Would love your insight, as these aren't cheap!
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Old 10-25-2020, 09:35 PM   #2
CRH
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I would get a 3" if it is available and skip the reducer. You should have less slop.
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Old 10-26-2020, 04:03 AM   #3
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2012 19' International
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Mine has a 3” receiver. I believe you will find if you order smaller it comes with an insert. (I already have a 2” Hensley stinger so I’m using the insert).

You will love the F250.
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Old 10-26-2020, 06:15 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark of SJC View Post
Towing Newbie here, but our F-250 is due in shortly.

We're ordering an Air Safe hitch Class VI for our TB27 FB, but the truck apparently comes with both a 3" hitch receiver with a step down to a 2.5" receiver. Is it a more solid hook up to skip the insert and go for the 3" ~ or is the 2.5" a better choice? This hitch can be ordered in either size (3" is more expensive), but I don't understand the pros and cons to the shaft size.

We really think it will result in a better ride for us, and a gentler pull for the trailer. We could go with a lower class, but if we ever upsize this will still work. We're integrating it with the Blue Ox WD Sway control hitch we already have.

Would love your insight, as these aren't cheap!

I believe the 250 comes with a 2.5 and the 350 diesel and 450 come with a 3".
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Old 10-26-2020, 10:21 AM   #5
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2005 25' Classic
Austin , Texas
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I have the 3" receiver with the insert to make it work with the 2 1/2" hitch. This is a bit of a sloppy fit. I would go with the 3" to eliminate the insert.

Dennis
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Old 10-26-2020, 11:15 AM   #6
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Tifton , Georgia
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I have a 2020 F-250 Lariat with the Max Tow package. It comes with a class 5 hitch (3" receiver). To step to smaller receivers you should get a 2 1/2 sleeve. If you want to go to a 2 inch receiver, you need the dealer to give you a second, 2 inch sleeve which fits inside the 2 1/2" sleeve.

I've looked at the Air Hitch video and have to question how well this would work with the Blue Ox Sway Pro. Have you spoken with Blue Ox? I also have a Blue Ox Sway Pro and really don't see how the Air Hitch would allow the Sway Pro to work correctly since you actually need to use the Blue Ox ball head.
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Old 10-26-2020, 11:24 AM   #7
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Better double check your truck because I am pretty sure the F250 comes with 2-1/2 receiver and a 2-1/2 to 2" sleeve. F350 comes with the 3" receiver.
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Old 10-26-2020, 11:52 AM   #8
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Fredericksburg , VA
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Ford F-250 Hitch Receiving Size Options (2.5 or 3" Best?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by xyzabe View Post
I have a 2020 F-250 Lariat with the Max Tow package. It comes with a class 5 hitch (3" receiver). To step to smaller receivers you should get a 2 1/2 sleeve. If you want to go to a 2 inch receiver, you need the dealer to give you a second, 2 inch sleeve which fits inside the 2 1/2" sleeve.

I've looked at the Air Hitch video and have to question how well this would work with the Blue Ox Sway Pro. Have you spoken with Blue Ox? I also have a Blue Ox Sway Pro and really don't see how the Air Hitch would allow the Sway Pro to work correctly since you actually need to use the Blue Ox ball head.

Works quite well. Click image for larger version

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Old 10-26-2020, 12:40 PM   #9
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I have a 2020 F250 Platinum and it has a 2.5" receiver. Double check what you get on your truck. I was not aware of any config of a F250 that comes with a 3" receiver.

And the new Fords do not come with a sleeve. Some dealers are including them, but it's not included with the truck anymore. So I didn't get a 2.5 to 2 sleeve with mine.
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Old 10-26-2020, 12:51 PM   #10
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The downside of using the adapter is doubling the slop.
The downsides of the 3" hitch are if you borrow/rent another truck it must have the 3" receiver or you need another hitch and that 3" chunk of metal is HEAVY.
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Old 10-26-2020, 01:13 PM   #11
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I will note that, as above, our 2019 F250 platinum diesel came with a 2 1/2" hitch (a part I would call the receiver, since it receives the shank, but I guess that is not the convention!). There was some confusion about what it would come with so I waited until I had it in hand. I had a 2" stinger and did not like the sleeve adaptor so I bought the 2 1/2" stinger/shank from Equalizer.
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Old 10-26-2020, 02:09 PM   #12
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2015 30' International
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My 2015 Super Duty F250 came with a 3" receiver and the 2.5" reducer sleeve. I already had a 2.5" hitch, but it was a pain to install, as the 2.5" reducer sleeve would never stay in place while trying to install my hitch, making it troublesome to line up the hitch pin holes. I ended up getting a 3" hitch (which is heavier - think about this if you have back problems) and this setup does indeed have a little less slop. I still use the 2.5" reducer sleeve when using a small "standard" hitch when I hook up my small utility trailer for taking stuff to the dump or picking up large stuff at Lowes or Home Depot, etc.
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Old 10-26-2020, 02:58 PM   #13
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Austin , Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Foster View Post
My 2015 Super Duty F250 came with a 3" receiver and the 2.5" reducer sleeve. I already had a 2.5" hitch, but it was a pain to install, as the 2.5" reducer sleeve would never stay in place while trying to install my hitch, making it troublesome to line up the hitch pin holes. I ended up getting a 3" hitch (which is heavier - think about this if you have back problems) and this setup does indeed have a little less slop. I still use the 2.5" reducer sleeve when using a small "standard" hitch when I hook up my small utility trailer for taking stuff to the dump or picking up large stuff at Lowes or Home Depot, etc.
Are you measuring the inside dimension of the hole for the receiver? The most common receivers are 2". I didn't think the F250 ever had a factory option for a 3" receiver but maybe they did in '15. When I was ordering my 2020, they all came with 2.5".

Just want to make sure the OP doesn't buy a 3" when his truck will only have a 2.5".
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Old 10-26-2020, 08:13 PM   #14
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Anna Maria , Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark of SJC View Post
Towing Newbie here, but our F-250 is due in shortly.

We're ordering an Air Safe hitch Class VI for our TB27 FB, but the truck apparently comes with both a 3" hitch receiver with a step down to a 2.5" receiver. Is it a more solid hook up to skip the insert and go for the 3" ~ or is the 2.5" a better choice? This hitch can be ordered in either size (3" is more expensive), but I don't understand the pros and cons to the shaft size.

We really think it will result in a better ride for us, and a gentler pull for the trailer. We could go with a lower class, but if we ever upsize this will still work. We're integrating it with the Blue Ox WD Sway control hitch we already have.

Would love your insight, as these aren't cheap!
Get it with the reducer and have a welding shop tack weld it in place.
3" shanks for various attachment are a pain in the neck to acquire and handle.
Should you ever need the 3" the tack weld can be simply ground off and the sleeve reused again.
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Old 10-27-2020, 12:12 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matthewk View Post
I believe the 250 comes with a 2.5 and the 350 diesel and 450 come with a 3".
Quote:
Originally Posted by tbashin View Post
Better double check your truck because I am pretty sure the F250 comes with 2-1/2 receiver and a 2-1/2 to 2" sleeve. F350 comes with the 3" receiver.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TowmaterATX View Post
I have a 2020 F250 Platinum and it has a 2.5" receiver. Double check what you get on your truck. I was not aware of any config of a F250 that comes with a 3" receiver.
My 2017 F250 diesel came with a 3" receiver and 2 1/2" and 2" reducers.

According to the Super Duty 2020 brochure only the long wheelbase F350 diesel and dually models come standard with the 3" receiver. All others have 2 1/2" receivers as standard.

However, if you order the High Capacity Tow package combined with the diesel engine you get a 3" receiver on the F250. My truck has this option so it's probably why I also have a 3" receiver.
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Old 10-27-2020, 05:07 AM   #16
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I have a 2020 F350 and it came standard with a 3" receiver, with a 2 1/2" insert. We were using an equalizer hitch with a 2" shank and upgraded to a Propride hitch. To avoid the slop that others had complained about, we ordered our Propride with a 3" shank. Fits tight, but it is HEAVY. I believe that Sean at Propride told me the 2 1/2" is about 8 lbs lighter. I weighed our adjustable shank and it tips the scales at 58 lbs.
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Old 10-27-2020, 07:02 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilsodf View Post
I have a 2020 F350 and it came standard with a 3" receiver, with a 2 1/2" insert. We were using an equalizer hitch with a 2" shank and upgraded to a Propride hitch. To avoid the slop that others had complained about, we ordered our Propride with a 3" shank. Fits tight, but it is HEAVY. I believe that Sean at Propride told me the 2 1/2" is about 8 lbs lighter. I weighed our adjustable shank and it tips the scales at 58 lbs.
This is what I have too. I thought the 3" shank and stinger are about 70lbs, I wasn't far off. I just leave it in.
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Old 10-27-2020, 08:43 AM   #18
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My 2017 f-250 diesel came with a 2.5" receiver and a 2" adapter. After using the adapter with my propride stinger to pull my then 27' signature, It caused the hitch pin holes to "oval" and to what a Ford dealer called "unsafe to travel". In checking all the 250 hitches on the lot to see how much slop they had with the adapter, we (the dealer and me) concluded all the hitches had too much slop using the adapter. The adapter actually has holes that are shaped like an oval presumingly to make it easier to put the pin in. This was the root cause of it causing the receiver's holes to get an oval shape.

Ford replaced my hitch, not with another Ford hitch, but a Curt hitch that they paid for and had installed on my F250. The Curt hitch also had an adapter that was unacceptable and had too much slop. I eliminated the adapter by buying the 2.5" stinger and adding a hitch clamp to take what slop was left even without the adapter.

Hitches are designed to have a bit of slop to them. They assume most owners will not keep them clean and will allow rust buildup on the receiver and whatever you have inserted into it. It then becomes hard to change whenever you need another size drop or ball. They are not as useful to those of us who pull trailers 6 months out of the year.

I put a grade 8 bolt in as the pin. I tighten it as much as I physically can. The guy I took my hitch to (after Ford thought that welding the adapter in would help) said "You cannot rely on a weld when dealing with this kind of force", and he would not weld it. He worked on heavy farm equipment and specialized and only did hitches.

So what I have now is a Curt hitch with a 2.5" receiver and ProPride 2.5" adaptive stinger and a hitch clamp. I carry a spare hitch clamp as it had to be replaced after 20,000 miles due to it just plain failing. My stinger has no movement that you can perceive at all with this setup (it still has some movement as it eventually failed). Unfortunately, if your new truck comes with a 3" receiver, this company does not make a 3" version.


https://www.amazon.com/Hitch-Clamp-A...g-goods&sr=1-1
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Old 10-27-2020, 11:10 AM   #19
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I'd load some photos of the factory installed hitch on my F250 Lariat RWD Diesel w/max tow package If I could figure it out. This is an order truck and delivered about 2 weeks ago.

Apparently depending on what engine and tow package you order determines what hitch you get.
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Old 11-01-2020, 11:04 AM   #20
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Exactly what I was thinking. If you ever have to tow a huge boat or container.. easy enough to grind away the weld.. A 2 inch is plenty strong and you can even go to forged / solid pieces.. Mentioned before, but the Spartan is still a 2 inch ball, stock weight 5200 lbs.. most 2 inch balls are rated 5000 lbs but I found a forged ball rated at 7500. Woo-hoo!
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