Picking the right trailer hitch for your vehicle can be a daunting task, especially for those who are the first to make the decision. There are likely to be a lot of questions, like how do you make sure you’re picking the correct model of hitch? What is the process for installing it?

Wouldn’t you love it having the confidence and clarity in determining what type of trailer hitch is a perfect match, without the jargon of technical jargon? Make it easier for you to make the right choice when choosing a trailer hitch by following this comprehensive guide to hitch types and capacities, their uses Installation tips, and much more.

What is the reason I require a trailer hitch?

Drivers install trailer hitches on their vehicles for various reasons. Some require them for work-related reasons for example, the towing of livestock or plowing snow. Some people want hitches for personal reasons or for lifestyle reasonss you need to bring your yacht to the fishing lake.

Trailer hitches give you the capability to autonomously tow long distances and many more. There are numerous benefits when you purchase an accessory trailer hitch for your vehicle.

Helping with any future hauling Needs

Even if you’re not expecting to tow trailers loaded with bulky cargo regularly the use of a trailer hitch can be extremely beneficial. They allow for easy transporting and towing options for many different transportation scenarios. Sometimes, a standard vehicle or truck isn’t enough when it comes to transporting specific cargo. Make use of trailer hitches to effortlessly and safely transport

Bicycles
Motorcycles
ATVs
Camping gear
RVs and campers
Boats
Trailers for landscaping or utility
Trailers for Livestock
Flatbed trailers
Trailers with enclosed trailers
Cargo carriers
5th wheelers
Other vehicles for transportation
Other heavy machinery or equipment

It’s more economical to buy than renting

A vehicle that is rented equipped with a hitch that is pre-installed and the ability to tow trailers can be costly and time-consuming. Rental companies may need special trailer registrations and insurance dependent on the towing circumstances.

It’s much more economical over the long term to purchase an accessory trailer hitch that is compatible with your car or truck. If the time comes that require you to carry massive cargo or transport another vehicle, you’re equipped.

The various types of trailer Hitches

Trailer hitches today are classified in accordance with a class-ranking system. There are five categories of rear hitches, each having a greater capacity for towing as well as the size of the openings for receivers.

We’ve also added two additional popular trailer hitch models in addition to the five types, offering an extensive guideline to start choosing the best trailer hitch to match your vehicle.

1. Class 1 Hitch

The Class 1-hitches are also known as light-duty receiver hitches and they are the most fundamental design that is available. These hitches are mostly used to attach bikes or smaller cargo transporters. They are also an option to tow small enclosed utility trailers as well as vehicles.

Class 1 hitches are able to support the maximum trailer weight of less than 2,000 pounds. If you are determining the weight of a class 1 hitch, search at a 1 1/4″ 1 1/4 inches receiver, and the tongue’s weight capacity is 100 pounds and less.

Class 1 hitches can be used with virtually every towing vehicle. This includes compact and mid-sized vehicles whose coolants for the transmission are usually in great shape.

2. Class 2 Hitch

Class 2, also known as regular-duty receivers, are among the most popular trailer hitches available today. Used and new class 2 hitches are mounted on the frames of the towing vehicle, which can range from SUVs and mid-sized cars to minivans, as well as compact pickup trucks. They are equipped with regular-duty transmission coolers that are more than capable of handling 3,500 pounds of towing capacity and tongue weights that range from 300 to 300 pounds.

Class 2 hitches are ideal to tow ATVs, motorcycles small boats, trailers and other vehicles that are up to 12 feet in length.

3. Class 3 Hitch

The Class 3 type of hitches can be thought of as heavy-duty hitches. This kind of hitch for trailers is often referred to as the king of general towing, having a the capacity to tow as much as 10,000 pounds with a tongue weight capability between 750 and 1,000 pounds and the receiver size of 2 inches.

Hitches of class 3 that are heavy duty are connected through a drawbar, which is attached on the body of a vehicle towing. Because of this, certain distributors and manufacturers classify hitches in class 3 as under-car receivers, because of this arrangement. You should consider an a-class 3 hitch when you own a large or mid-sized pickup truck, SUV or van that needs to tow campers, medium-sized boats, trailers of mid-sized size, and flatbeds that carry cargo.

4. Class 4 Hitch

In the case of towing travel trailers that are longer than twelve feet or boats that are larger than 24, large machinery , and other large vehicles will require a hitch of class 4.

The Super-Duty Receiving Hitch Class 4 models have an towing capacity of 10,000-14,000 pounds, and a tongue weight of between 1,000 and 1,400 pounds. They’re perfect for tying trailers and light campers onto the back of a big-sized vehicle or pickup. They require an additional two-inch receiver or 2.5-inch receiver to be fully attached.

5. 5th-Wheel Hitting

People who frequently transport machines, heavy equipment or transport vehicles usually choose the fifth and the most modern trailer type, which is the fifth-wheel hitch.

The type of hitch used is made specifically for beds of flatbed and pickup trucks. With a capacity for towing of 12,000 and 20,000 pounds, as well as the capacity of the tongue to weigh between 1,200-1,700 pounds, 5th wheel hitches are placed just above and over a truck’s rear axle. Each unit is connected to its towing trailer using the central king pin which is, when positioned, looks like the plate on semi-tractors.

6. Gooseneck Hitch

Gooseneck trailer towing kits are similar to the trailer hitch of 5th wheel.

Similar to 5th wheels, they’re specifically designed for flatbed trucks and pickups. Like 5th wheels, goosenecks are positioned on the beds of trucks, close to the rear axle. They have a capacity of 3000 pounds. They’re an ideal hitch option for hauling industrial and commercial trailers including livestock and horse trailers.

Gooseneck hitches have also been made to be more space aware in comparison to other types of trailer hitches. Particularly they allow you to utilize the full potential of the bed of your truck with an attached gooseneck, that isn’t possible to do with the more intrusive fifth-wheel trailer hitch.

7. Front-Mount Hitch

Like their name implies, front-mount hitches are mounted at the rear of your car. This type of hitch can accommodate various attachments and innovative hauling solutions, such as:

Snowplowing
Scooping and dumped
Small cargo transporters
Winch Inserts

Front-mount hitches are rated with distinct class rating systems as compared to rear mounted. It is recommended to speak with an expert on matching your car’s model with the correct front mount hitch before you purchase it to ensure that you get the right style and type of unit.

How to Select an Hitch for a Trailer

The choice of a trailer hitch boils down to coordinating your needs for towing with your vehicle’s secure, and healthy towing capabilities. Every vehicle manufactured today has a specific hitch, which clarifies the selection of a hitch receiver and measurement process. However, owners of pickup trucks are able to choose a little more in their selection of the gooseneck and 5th wheel trailer hitches, in addition to other.

Get rid of the confusion about what to consider when choosing the best trailer hitch by bearing in mind these tips.

1. Do Your Research

The easiest way to begin your search for a trailer hitch is to find the category that matches your car’s make and model. The trailer hitches you choose may not match perfectly. However, a little investigation using the year, year-old, make, or even the sub-models of your vehicle could give you a solid springboard that will ensure that you have a rust-free, fully functional hitch system that is able to function throughout the decades.

Understanding the type of hitch your vehicle is able to take offers numerous advantages, including:

It will make measuring and fitting the trailer hitch a lot easier
Be sure to maintain the integrity of the assigned towing capacity
Keep your transmission healthy and in good condition. transmission
Make sure you are confident about the hitch type and size you select for your car

2. Choose the Best Look

It’s not the most important aspect of a great trailer hitch. However, trailer hitches have two different forms that you must consider before you buy such as square tubing or round tubing.

Round tubing is a good choice for an elegant, expensive-looking hitch. However round-tubed hitches tend to be less frequent than square tube bodies and are likely to cost more.

It is also possible to decide on whether you want an open or hidden hitch. Most hidden hitches are placed underneath in the beds of the car or truck and are a great option when you don’t want to alter the look of your vehicle.

3. Think about Additional Accessories

A few additional trailer accessories or towing accessories could be required based on your needs for towing. For instance accessories for cargo management are typical if your vehicle often transports bulky items. Additionally, hitch-mounting accessories are popular for sourcing or replacement of individual hitch gear required to ensure a safe trip.

4. Double-check that you have the Ball Mount and Ball Size

Ball mounts play a crucial role in making a secure connection between your vehicle and your hitch. Certain trailer hitch kits include the unit’s ball mount. Other kits do not.

When you’re looking for an appropriate ball mount, make sure you check the towing capacity and weight ratings, and ensure the trailer you’re towing doesn’t over that number. Also, you should check its shank and level connector heights to ensure that they are stable between the towing vehicle as well as the truck.

5. Practice Assembly

It’s an ideal rule of thumb to build your trailer hitch prior the vehicle installation. When you’re making a mock-up it is possible to connect your central drawbar as well as the pin , and the clip. Then, go through the model from its intended place. This will allow you to notice beforehand any deviations in the distance between the drawnbar’s and drill marks and will help you plan that the installation will be quicker when it comes time.

How to Install the trailer Hitch

After you’ve secured the right hitch to pull your trailer, you should be aware of these essential steps for installation.

1. Unloosen Up (If Not Required)

The five types of trailer hitches are designed to be compatible with the normal make and model. Any modifications made to vehicles can affect the position of the hitch, certain situations, you may need to temporarily remove or relocate certain parts of your vehicle to fit the hitch properly.

Exhaust systems, car bumpers or the brackets that hold the bumper are three typical examples of vehicles’ equipment that might require modifications for a short period of time. If in doubt, talk to an expert mechanic prior to making any adjustments.

2. Create Kit Parts

Check all the components and parts that make up your receiver prior to installing. Although this may seem obvious however, many fail to remember these easy preparation steps that will ensure the durability of your receiver and your hitch throughout the years:

Remove the bolts in your car frame. The soaking of these holes in WD-40 will usually do the trick. After about a minute clean the holes of dirt and grime using the wire brush, before starting the remainder of the installation.
Remove the bolts. Follow the same procedure as that you followed to clean the bolt holes on the bolts with care to not scratch or cause damage to the surface.
Make sure you have the right bolts. Since the manufacturers of hitch kits make kits that match specific vehicles, it is essential to have the correct bolts available. However, mix-ups can happen.

3. Build Your Tools

Get these tools to mount a hitch on your vehicle securely and safely:

Work light or shop light
Safety glasses
Work gloves
Torque wrench
Racket
Racket extension
Socket set
Swivel socket

If you’re not able the tools you need, you should consider getting your car in to a professional for installation of your hitch. Other useful tools and equipment for installing a trailer hitch are:

Carjack stands
Screwdriver
Torx bits
Box wrench set
Drilling with power and carbide bits, which are needed if you have to make new holes for bolts

4. You are at risk if you drill

The hitches will bolt easily into the holes that are already in place on the underneath of your vehicle. If holes that are suitable for the job do not exist or they are not aligned properly due to modifications to your vehicle — you will need to drill bolt holes in the frame by yourself.

Follow the drill instructions provided in the manual that comes with the kit for your hitch. Make sure to center punch any holes first. Then, follow center punching by drilling small pilot holes prior to exchanging bits and creating the larger drill hole. This will ensure that there is the least amount of damage to your bed as you can, and also can help protect the vehicle’s components or equipment that are located close to the drill area. Don’t drill a hole that is larger than the diameter of the bolts in your kit.