Trailer Hitch Modification?

My Ford Aerostar has a Class II Reese receiver that sits quite low. The top of the receiver box is only 10.5" off the ground. My new Aliner trailer has the top of the ball socket 24" off the ground when the trailer is level. OK, there's no way I'm going to get the trailer level while towing, but I can get it quite a bit closer than it is now.

The problem is that the Reese hitch is an oddball, orphan unit. The receiver box is 1-5/8" square, and the hitch pin is 9/16" in diameter. One option would be to cut my existing ball mount and extend it up for a 10" rise by welding on sections of heavy angle iron. This would make for a pretty heavy ball mount.

A second option might be an Alumistinger solid aluminum ball mount. . This unit is sized for a 2" receiver, but I was thinking I could mill 3/16" off each face to reduce it to 1-5/8" over a length sufficient to fit in the receiver tube. A ball end mill would radius the transition from 1-5/8 to 2" to prevent stress concentration. I would also turn an bar for a light press fit in the 5/8" hitch pin hole and then dirll it out for the

9/16" hitch pin.

In it's unmofified shape, the Alumistinger ball mount is rated for

14,000 GVWR and 1,400 tongue weight. My trailer is rated at 1840 GVW.


  1. Is the modification of the Alumistinger likely to be safe in this application?

  1. I have a small selection of anonymous metals laying about to make the sleeve for the hitch pin. What would be the best (generic) metal to use (aluminum, steel, or brass)?

Regards, Ed Bailen

Reply to
Ed Bailen
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A couple of thoughts:

Why make a sleeve when you can drill a new hole in the ball mount? Just make sure you have half an inch or so of metal between the two holes. You can choose whether to make the new hole on the inside or the outside of the old hole after you get it milled down to fit.

With a trailer of less than 2000 pounds, you should be OK milling it down to 1 5/8", even in Aluminum. However, if I was going to mill it down I would start with a solid steel hitch. You can get steel hitches with any desired offset, even 14 inches, if you look hard enough. Make a few phone calls.


Ed Bailen wrote:

Reply to
Richard Ferguson

Reply to
Grant Erwin

Don't make life difficult. Reese makeshitch bars with the offset all built least in 2" and 4" offsets - and I think a few others. I had the same hitch on my Aerostar, and I had a factory supplied offset hitch that allowed my Bonair 1690 to tow level.

Reply to

For starters, check the suspension on your trailer - the last owner may have had a 4X4 truck they towed it with (or if it's 'new new' and not 'new to you', the factory built it high for that use) so they may have put the axles on top of the springs, put on extension shackles or lift blocks, or done other things to raise the trailer to match the tow vehicle height.

If you drop the trailer back down to the normal ride height, your hitching job just got a whole lot easier.

Where do you live? A good hitch shop should be able to make a proper receiver for the application for less money than it would take you to track down all the materials and make it. They have all the nifty Ironworker machines that can punch the hitch-pin and ball holes and bend the ball tab in seconds.

I sincerely doubt it - your machining on it can create a nice stress riser right at the neck-down spot. And if it breaks, all the liability is going to fall on you - the maker is going to run like hell if there is a problem.

Steel for building a receiver. Not aluminum, because of it's fatigue fracture problems - and there is a whole lot of stress on hitches with the car and trailer hitting potholes and gutter dips at speed. And the large offset adds to the stress through leverage. And this situation calls for fresh material with a known history, not 'mystery metal' from the scrap pile

But wouldn't it be easier to just drill the pin hole in the hitch out, rather than sleeve the receiver?


Reply to
Bruce L. Bergman

Reply to
Michelle P

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