Gee…who would have thought that hitches could be such a challenge. You never saw John Wayne have a bunch of trouble hitching up a wagon and moseying off into the sunset with the beautiful girl. I’ve learned way more about hitches recently than I really wanted. Getting the right combination pulled together into a smoothly operating rig can be a bit of a challenge but I think I have all the right stuff now. Horsepower…yep, wagon, hitch…yep, beautiful girl…yep, just need the right sunset on the right day 😉
Horsepower: comes from a Ford PowerStroke Turbo Diesel motor in a F250 SuperDuty Crew Cab 4×4 Truck. We wanted a diesel so there would be no question about towing capability in and through the mountains. The other important checkbox was towing capacity. The trailer (wagon) is pretty stout and weighs in around 9K lbs so we had to eliminate a number of trucks that were in the price range we wanted to stay in. We eventually found this truck which we bought from a dairy farmer up a little east of Greeley, CO. Being a work truck it is showing a little wear and tear but it had only seen two owners, has been well maintained and we even have the receipts to prove it. The only real downside was that coming from a dairy farm there was an embedded cow manure smell to the interior included at no extra charge
The bed of the truck looked like a typical farm truck that got used to haul “whatever” and was pretty rough looking so I invested in a bed liner kit for it which made a huge difference. I also found a used toolbox to go behind the cab so we will still be equipped for repairs when the need arises (notice I said when, not if, no delusional thinking here). Most farm trucks are equipped with what they call a gooseneck hitch for hauling horse and cattle trailers and this one was no exception. But our wagon is a little more upscale than that and we need a fifth wheel hitch to tow it. So, I located a used Reese 16K slider hitch and had a shop in Denver remove the old hitch and install mine. The only thing I have left to do is install some spring helpers to give the suspension a little extra help when towing.
It also has 4-wheel drive which will come in handy given my propensity for wanting to find the “perfect camping site” unvisited by humans for the past hundred years. I suppose I’ll have to adjust my expectations a bit now that I have a 31ft wagon (containing dishes and other breakable things in it) bumping along behind me.