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A little more information may help with the replies:
* What model year 197 did you purchase?
* Does your model 197 have any WDH rating limitations noted on it's A-frame near the coupler?
* What Brand/Model/Weight Rating WDH (Weight Distribution Hitch) is the hitch place offering @ $500?
* What is the "weight carrying" & "weight distribution" modes noted on your F150's receiver?
Depending on a couple weight factors you may not require a WDH, but a friction control sway bar at a minimum is recommended. If a WDH is required, and in some cases will enhance handling even if it's not required, it's important to have the WDH sized correctly for optimum performance.
Thanks in advance.