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Posted: 5/11/2003 7:12:51 PM EDT
I have an 03' Sierra 1500.  I am planning to mount a Class II hitch/reciever to the bumper.  On the step there are 3 holes that are sleeved and covered by the vinyl facia.  The one in the middle I assume is for the hitch ball mount(the way I have it now), the others I do not know?  Also under the step are two 1/2" threaded holes.  I assume these are for mounting the style reciever I am talking about since the holes in the reciever hitch are also 1/2" and line up correctly.  Am I correct?  

I do not want to install a class III frame mounted set up as the most I ever tow is about 1200lbs.  The ball on the bumper is too high and I like the ability to remover the insert to keep the lines clean.

Link Posted: 5/11/2003 7:18:39 PM EDT
I'd mount it to the frame. If in the future, you decide to pull something heavy, you will be set up for it. It also will give you a sturdy attachment point to pull from, if you are in a situation where the rear is the only place to hook on.

just me 2 cents.
Link Posted: 5/11/2003 7:36:00 PM EDT
I agree with Ringo. The frame mounted hitch is really the way to go. It is just safe insurance.
Link Posted: 5/11/2003 7:41:43 PM EDT
Put in the class III, on a hard snatch you can twist your bumper with the class II setup you describe, this ain't your daddies chevy.
Link Posted: 5/11/2003 7:45:53 PM EDT
Eventually I will go with the frame mounted hitch because I plan on buying a boat this fall but right now I have this hitch that my grandfather had laying around(he went to a frame mount too), the mounting holes seem to line right up with the threaded holes under my bumper, I bought good 8.8 bolts, and I want to use it for now.  Basically I'm towing the 4wheeler and trailer over the holiday.  I just want to make sure I have it mounted as it is intended to be mounted.
Link Posted: 5/11/2003 7:51:25 PM EDT
Go with the class III. Spend the extra money for a piece of mind. I have the factory class III package on my Z-71, and all I do is tow my ATV.
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 4:39:08 AM EDT
As for the original question, I think the three holes are there so you can store other size hitch balls.  Nowdays most anything requires a 1" ball, but in pre-ban days there were different size hitches and people would just put th one they used the most in the middle, and any others they might need next to it.  Then you could just switch positions, though I suppose you could use it in the "next-door" position (turning may be a problem).  

My Grandfather used to keep a 1" in the middle and somewhat smaller ball (7/8" I imagine, but this was like 1960's, so I didn't care much, it was just neat to a kid) in another hole.  He had to switch them once in a while.  He also had a ball up front so he coupld spot a trailer easier.

May not be what they're really for, but that's what I've seen them used for.

Other things people do with the holes is put clevis' through them for safety chains, etc.


Link Posted: 5/12/2003 5:46:12 AM EDT
Ross, Those would be 2" and 1 7/8 balls. There is one larger for horse trailers & such (2 1/4?).
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 6:24:00 AM EDT
Go with the frame hitch. Much better idea. I have one on my Tahoe. I feel much better with it, plus I didn't have holes in the fascia on the bumber. JUMHO.
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 6:35:59 AM EDT
Ross, Those would be 2" and 1 7/8 balls. There is one larger for horse trailers & such (2 1/4?).
View Quote

2-5/16.  Two holes either side of the hitch hole in the bumper can be used for other balls if you're mounting the central ball on the bumper, or for mounting bolts if you're using a step hitch which will mount the ball below the bumper.  For the weight you're talking about, a step hitch will do the job if you're CAREFUL about towing.  

A frame-mounted (class III or better) hitch is the way to go, and should run +/- $100.  It's good for 5K# if you're not using an equalizer.

Link Posted: 5/12/2003 7:21:08 AM EDT
I got a ClassIII with my 1500 Ram.  It has a removeable hitch just like a ClassII, but is much stronger.  They cost about the same price, and it is much stronger, go for it is my advice.

... and definitely mount it to the frame.  Any hitch worth anything should mount to the frame.

Just my .02
Link Posted: 5/13/2003 9:28:45 PM EDT
I checked out the frame mounted hitches and instead of buying one I was able to use a reciever I had and build one from some heavy square tubing, angle iron and plate.  It took about 1 1/2 hours to weld it together, some grade #8 bolts, primer and paint, and it goes right on!  It's a copy of the same that my uncle has on his late model Chevy that he paid $150.00, mine is pretty much the same.   I'm fortunate to have a grandfather that has a welding/fabrication shop and saves all his scrap steel.  It looks good.  All tucked up under real nice the only visible part is the reciever.  

Also found out the threaded bumper holes are the front attachment points for a 3 point frame mounted hitch.  The other 2 mounting points are on the frame straddling the leaf spring rear shackles, right and left.  Using the bumper holes alone would have fucked up the bumper real good.  Thanks for the advice all.
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