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Trailer hitch ? ?
06-21-2011, 10:51 AM
Just bought a 2003 Windstar & am looking to put a Class 2 hitch on it, I found 4 different brands here on the internet. Does anyone have a preference as to which one they prefer?
06-21-2011, 06:43 PM
I like the Curt brand because it has a good powder coated finish on it. Nothing worse than 1 yr. later and looking at all the rust on the new hitch.
If your going to tow with that windstar do get an additional trans. fluid cooler installed also.Change the ATF fluid regularly.
06-22-2011, 07:38 AM
The Windstar is a surprisingly capable tow platform. I use my '00 Windstar to tow both a utility trailer and a popup camper - and I've spent a lot of time learning about minivan towing issues.
I've not seen significant differences between the different brands of hitches available for the Windstar. Personally, I'd spend just a few more bucks for the Class III hitch - which adds an extra pair of mount points for the hitch and is worth the small price increase.
I tackled several projects related to Windstar towing. See my project pictures here:
Adding popup camper brakes (http://community.webshots.com/album/548339571fnHjzQ)
Adding Airlift spring airbags to a Ford Windstar (http://community.webshots.com/album/548741257AJALLi)
Ford Windstar tranny cooler, wiring and brake controller (http://community.webshots.com/album/549196858rbUAlb)
Please take the time to read through this discussion, in which several of us on this board discussed issues specific to Windstar towing:
07-01-2011, 11:38 PM
i cant stress enoough what phil said.
i stole all his ideas, and i have been happy with tortuga verdes towing. DEF get the airbags. makes scraping never happen and stiffens the ride in a good way.
I have a reese universal class three, i got for 120from walmart.
it was a few hours, and its holding up really well.
having a class three when i see a class 2 on a car driving, i always wonder why you would get the weenie hitch when they are about the same.
07-02-2011, 07:49 PM
I would also recommend a Class 3 hitch.
My '96 Windstar had a class 2.......I had a class 3 put on my Sienna.
You can see a lot of hitch related products on the etrailer website.
One thing that I did was to add a "anti-rattle" clip to my insert.
It completely eliminated that clu-cluck sound you get on the bumbs while driving.
There are several types of anti-rattle clips including combination lock/anti-rattle clip (I have one of those on the Sienna).
Mine is just a simple anti-rattle clip, as I already had a lock.
I also added a auxillary transmission cooler.
I put the Airlift 1000 bags on my Sienna, and it was a good move.
However, it is NOT a way to increase the load capacity of your vehicle.
It DOES keep the back end from riding lower, but you still should do your best to properly ballance out your total load.
My '96 Windstar did nicely as a tow vehicle for a light duty utility trailer......up to maybe 1500 pounds (trailer and load).
07-02-2011, 09:47 PM
Hi, first time posting on this great web site. I own a 2003 Ford Windstar LX. I have had a hitch installed on my Windstar. The hitch worked fine but the installers had a problem with the wiring. Apparently with this year Windstar you are suppose to disconnect the trailer wiring when not in use. The windstar reportedly will turn on the trailer lights after being parked for a while and drains the battery. I cannot confirm this but this is what I have been told. I removed the hitch after another vehicle struck the Windstar in the hitch and bent the frame. Best wishes all.
07-03-2011, 10:09 PM
windstars are different in that the lights swittch on the negative side.
so a trailer wiring kit is needed, or if you are slightly handy with electronics you can rig it up with 10 dollars of relays (this imo is a way better option, as i didnt have luck with the valley type of trailer wiring harness.
07-17-2011, 06:07 PM
Just put a Curt Part number 12121 Class II hitch on my 2003. Bought it from Advanced Auto Parts. Direct fit, no drilling. It even included the ball mount. Rides pretty close to the frame, so it shouldn't drag. I put a universal hitch on my 96. It hung down much lower, so it dragged a lot.
07-18-2011, 08:08 AM
I just put a Curt on mine also, got it from Advance Auto Parts. Looks good on there.
08-08-2011, 10:57 PM
I will try the Curt, I liked being able to tow a utility trailer. Any diagram with those relays eric that can help out instead of standard trailer wiring. In my case the first trailer wiring kit burned out (installed by installers) I replaced it with a call to the wiring company. They sent it without problem and I rewired it. But the Van bottomed out turning into drive ways. Even without the ball attached. It was a reese type hitch.
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