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I've been looking for a cheap boat and trailer. Due to cost I don't want to buy a frame mounted hitch if I don't have to. Manufacturer guidlines state the bumper can handle 350 lbs of tongue weight and 3500 lbs of tow weight if I put a ball hitch to the bumper. Would a smaller boat/trailer setup exceed these?
 

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you have a real common truck go to the few salvage yards there in denver or just call them and see if they have any of your year of truck and get a frame mounted hitch it would be the best way to go
 
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I pulled a 17' Starcraft with a merc 115 around on the bumper of the 1994 Explorer. I bet it weighes about 2300 lbs.

I think you will be fine as long as you aren't pulling more than the 3500 lbs. Stopping is a different story though. :eek:
 
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i agree with the frame mounted hitch!  i had years ago a toyota pickup and the only type of hitch it would take was a ball on the bumper.  i was okay for the small 14' jon boat w/ 9.9 mercury i had, but that was it.  the main limitation is the tongue weight and tow behind or pulling weight, as you realize.  also need to be concerned about where the safety chains hook - a must, and the trailer lights.  a frame hitch is something that most times has chain hooks and some clean system for the light connection.
getting a used hitch for you specific model explorer should not be hard.  be even if you have to buy it new, it should not be more than $300 including wiring for lights.  check wal-mart, they carry reese stuff.  u-haul, hidden hitch and look in the phone book where you live under trailers or hitches and call around.  most times places have stuff they will deal on.
be sure to get a 2" ball and if your boat trailer does not have it, swap out the tongue coupler to a 2". 
good luck
 

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wow only 300 $
thats why i sent him to the salvage yard so he can recycle
parts most might be 50 $ and if you do it smart take the wires
with it when you take it off
and just look for the right size of ball while your are there
 
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