CARLI SUSPENSION 17-23 FORD F250/350 4X4 FORD TROPHY HITCH
It all started with the purchase of our 2017 F250 Super Duty… Our previous 2011 had no issue with a full size (I’m talking OUR full-size – 37×13.5″) tire fitting in the factory location. This was new territory for us as the RAM platform with which we’re so familiar wouldn’t even allow a 35 in the factory location without contacting the axle center-section to the tire sidewall on full compression of the rear suspension. The 2011-16 Fords spoiled us. Once we got through the R&D on our 2.5″ Lift Ford Systems for the 17+ “Alumiduty” platform, we went to throw in a full size spare to match our 37×13.5″ Toyo R/T and, much to our surprise, it took a floor jack to wedge it into the factory location. This wasn’t even an aggressive mud terrain, what gives, Ford??
It may not have been easy to get in and required deflation to remove (and carrying a compressor to inflate) but it was doable. Fast forward to the 4.5″ System Development and the monstrous Super Duty Wheel Wells exhibited by our customers posting pictures of their 40″ meats on our production 4.5″ systems and we knew something had to be done. These customers claimed only “minor trimming” to fit the 40’s so we stepped up to 38″ x 13.5″ M/T knowing full well that, unlike most, we’d be cycling the FULL length of travel and doing it often so it was best to err on the side of caution when stuffing bigger tires. They were a success – very minimal trimming tucked the 38″ without issue but the spare was ratchet strapped in the bed as there was no way to fit it under the bed. Not sure you’d want to crank it into the factory hitch even if it would fit – we saw video evidence of two of our customers running whoop sections dropping their oversized spare tires from the bottom of the bed thanks to a broken factory winch cable. The factory winch cable is far from party-rated!
Sage Carli is an avid camper and hunter; most trips, these activities are in extremely remote locations and the pickup bed becomes both his hotel room and supply house. We experimented with several options, back bumper with a swing out? Naw, who the hell wants to lift a 38″ mounted spare if they don’t have to; also, how do you build it strong enough to withstand movement when abusing it as hard as we do? For fun, he started looking to the factory hitch and found that there was sufficient room between the frame rails to mount the tire but the factory hitch would have to go. This allowed him to solve several issues – the factory safety chain mechanism is a nightmare. Sage kept the factory design but eased installation of the chain to the hitch. the construction of the hitch is massively strong, boxed 1/4″ cold-rolled steel where it matters and powder-coated for corrosion resistance. It maintains the factory spare tire winch to raise and lower the tire but includes a custom 3-Way Ratchet strap and 3 Heavy Duty D Rings to secure the tire in place once the winch gets it into position and unload the weight from the factory cable.