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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys I just signed up for this site and I already got a question. I have an '02 SC 4x4 and I was about to buy a trailer hitch so I can pull my dirt bike and ATC when I noticed that the max towing capacity and tongue weight were basically the same as if I just put a ball on my bumper. Is this right? And if so, then why would anyone buy a hitch if you can get the same results with just a ball? Any thoughts would be appreciated. Below is the hitch I was looking at buying.
http://www.etrailer.com/productdetail.asp?partno=13831&vehicleid=6062&yearfrom=2002&h=e
 

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The truck may handle the weight but the bumper may not. Aiso get the wiring harness from the dealer, it will plug without cutting any wires
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So the weights posted in the Owners Manual are just what the engine can handle, not what the bumber can handle? And then I guess my next question is why do they provide a hole to put a ball in if the bumper can't handle towing any weight? I was all set to buy the hitch but then a buddy told me that I could just put a ball on and get a wiring kit and save myself some money. Anyone who has any input on this please let me know.
 

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Have you even seen a bumber get pulled off a truck? In my owners manula the max towing capacity of a step bumper and ball mount is 3,500 ib.
Also one of the purposes of the Hitch is to distrubute weight equaly.
 

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In my owners manual the max towing capacity for my truck is listed as 6300 lbs., but there is a foot note stating you need the trailer tow package to pull that weight. This package includes the 7 pin wiring harness that includes a power connection for electric trailer brakes. The rated towing capacity of the bumper is only 3500 lbs. I would think a light weight trailer with just a dort bike and ATV would be less than 3500 lbs., if not, the Class III hitch recivers are pretty reasonable and mount directly to the frame of the truck!
 

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Hitch vs. ball

Hey Big D. I do a lot of towing with my 01 4x4. Most of it is with a couple of 4-wheelers, or a huge lawnmower. If you are towing an ATC and a dirt bike, you for sure want a receiver hitch. It will bolt to your frame in less than an hour with average skills. One of my trailers is a double axel with brakes. It would definately hold what you are towing and then some. It weighs about 1000 pounds. I have towed it with my Frontier while a Jeep was parked in it. Your ATC and bike will not weigh that much. One thing about the receiver hitches, is that you can get a ball mount with the exact drop you need to level your trailer, and this is important when towing. I would never tow with a bumper ball. Too dangerous. I've made other towing mods to my frontier, as well, and will share if you are interested. Happy towing.
 

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The hitch bolts up in less than 30 min - i did it in 15 minutes...

there are two harnesses you need to get - one is for the interior the other is for the connector in the back....

If you are going to be towing a heavier load, and the trailor has electric brakes, that you will also need a brake controler - i have one, and nissan makes a plug in harness for that too which plugs in to the vehicle harness under the steering column... it's great that these trucks come with just plug and play capabilities for towing...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the info guys. I will definently get a hitch. It seems like saving a few bucks isn't worth the risk. Slewfoot or scuba91ta do you guys have a hitch you would recommend?
 

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hitch & wiring

I installed a Surepull in mine. It has held up quite nicely. For a 4 plug harness I got a Hoppy which doesn't require splicing...it is a plug-n-play deal. I spliced off the Hoppy to run wires to a 6-pin connector. The brake controller is a Tekonsha. For a receiver, I found a convert-a-ball with a shock minimizing feature. It has a hard rubber insert in it that cuts down on vibration. I also had an overload leaf put in each spring pack on the rear of the truck. This dramatically cut down on the sway when towing. If you do put a brake controller in yours, don't skimp on that item. Get a good one. Take your time on the wirning so the wires are hidden and won't get pinched or pulled from foreign objects. Happy towing!
 
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