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fastcasterjo

Can I use bumper or do I need to install hitch

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Hey all.

Quick question. I have a 2000 explorer. I now pull my 16 ft jon boat w/ a 25 hp mercury with my dads truck. However, I just bought my explorer and was wondering if I can pull my boat using the bumper or if I should put some money into buying a hitch for the explorer. Thanks in advance.

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That is about the lightest boat you can tow, so you can tow it with the bumper easily.  You can tow up to the vehicle tow rating with the bumper on trucks and suv.  Their is a thick metal bar behind the bumper that helps support the weight, and that's what the truck/suv was made for.  Most people get a under bumper hitch because you can change the receiver ball out quickly.  Like I tow a 16 ft open trailer (2inch ball), 16 ft fishing boat (2inch ball), and a small lawn mower trailer (1 7/8inch ball) so having to change from a 2 inch to a 1 7/8inch is a lot easier to pull the pin and swap them.  Also others get under bumper hitch because it is styles and for the looks over having a ball on the bumper.  Also a big advantage the hith has over a bumper is you can turn tighter.  If you have it on the bumper, you can't turn to scrap or the trailer will hit the bumper, and if you have a chrome bumper then it will make a ***** in the bumper and show up very badly on the chrome.

you can get a good cheap universal hitch at Walmart for $110 made by Reese Hitches, rated for 5,000 LBs and made for mid-compact trucks and suv.

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One of the advantages of a receiver hitch is that the height of the ball can be matched with the height of the trailer frame so it is level when towing. On some boat trailers and others it is most important.

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fastcasterjo

You will be fine with bumper, but its a real good idea to get a hitch for many reasons that are listed above. Plus, the explorer bumpers are not known for being the best quality.

If you decide to get a hitch, get one from walmart or autozone and put it in yourself. Its four bolts and is made for our vehicles. The only issue you might have is that some of the 16" spare tires will rub the hitch, and a lot of companies say that their hitch wont work with the 16" spare. You can put the hitch on and make the spare fit with a little creative finagleing. Also, remember that Uhaul wont work on an explorer or rent a trailer to them so you cant go there for anything.

Also, check out www.explorerforum.com for more info on the hitch install.  

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