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Complete Towing Setup for a 2005 Ford F-450 Cab and Chassis

Question:

Hello, Am thinking about buying a 2005 F-450 Chassis Cab for my business. The truck I looked at today DOES NOT have a hitch or any trailer wiring installed currently. Without having the VIN number how do I know what set up I need and can you tell me? I need to know if the truck has the factory plug in the dash to plug your adapter in for the proportional brake controllers you sell and if there are wires leading to the back that the plug corresponds to. I am quite handy but dont want to hack into a perfectly good wire harness if I do not have to. My local Ford dealer and parts supplier have NO clue how to help and the used car dealer selling the truck does not either. I would need a class 5 hitch with 7 way round plug and brake controller. I am in Canada but I can maybe get you the VIN number if you think it would help. I have enclosed a picture from the dealers website and you can see the rear frame rail on the truck and lack of hitch / harness.

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Expert Reply:

The first thing I would do would be to check the end of the frame on the truck and see if there is actually space to install a trailer hitch. If the truck is similar to the one in the picture you provided, then I do not see a way to mount a hitch with the components underneath the dump bed. If space is available, you could use one of the heavy duty hitch options from Draw-Tite like part # 41947, which is a class V hitch rated up to 16000lbs towing capacity. I am including a link to the installation instructions. This hitch is often used with a forged ball mount like the one included in ball mount kit # EBMK2416, which has a 3 inch rise or a 4 inch drop. This kit includes and pin and clip as well as both 2 inch and 2-5/16 inch hitch balls. See the included link for information on measuring for the correct ball mount height.

You will need to hard wire to install a 7-Way plug and a brake controller in the truck. No plug in wiring is available for a 2005 Ford F-450 cab and chassis. First, you would install the 4-Way wiring, part # 18252, and then use an # ETBC7 kit to install a 7-Way and a brake controller. I would recommend the Prodigy P3 # 90195, which has 5 presets you can set up for different trailers. I am including information on hardwiring for a brake controller for you.

If you do want to go with the Draw-Tite Activator brake controller # 5504 that you referenced, you would want to get the # 7894 pigtail as well to make hardwiring easier. While the Activator will work for you, I think the features on the P3 would be better for a situation where you will not be towing the same trailer every time. You would have to readjust the settings on the Activator brake controller each time the trailer changes, which would probably get to be a pain in the neck for you.

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