Whether you are planning on moving or simply want to tow some items across town, you will need to have a trailer hitch installed on your vehicle. However, matching your vehicle to a hitch and trailer can be complicated. You will need to make several measurements and know some specifics about your vehicle in order set up and tow correctly.
Here are some of the factors to consider when choosing the right hitch.
Different Hitch Types
Several types of hitches are available for all types of uses and towing needs. Some are designed for light uses with smaller vehicles, and others are excellent for heavy-duty or commercial towing.
Bumper hitches are installed directly on the bumper and are designed for light-duty uses. Examples of the common uses for these hitches include bike or scooter racks or light trailers. This setup is limited by the strength of the bumper.
These hitches are used in combination with other hitches to distribute the load’s weight more evenly across the vehicle and trailer’s axles. This type of hookup is great for heavy loads, and it works to help make steering easier.
Pintle hitches are simply designed and easy to hook up. They consist of a round hook bolted to a trailer and a pincer-type pintle attached to the truck, connecting the trailer to the truck. This system has a very high weight rating and is most often used in commercial industries.
Receiver hitches are one of the most common types of hitches and can be found on all types of vehicles. The receiver part is bolted to the car or truck and a ball mount and coupling is used to make up height differences between the trailer and the receiver. There are five classes of receiver hitches.
- Class 1: This hitch has a weight capacity of less than 2000 pounds and is designed for small or medium-sized passenger cars.
- Class 2: This is a heavier-duty hitch with a weight capacity of 3500 pounds. This class of hitch works well with full-sized cars as well as minivans and SUVs.
- Class 3: With a weight capacity of 8000 pounds, this hitch must be used with full-sized pickup trucks and SUVs. This class of equipment is also useful with a weight-distribution hitch.
- Class 4: This class has a weight capacity of 10000 pounds and is compatible with a weight-distribution hitch. This type of hookup is ideal for camping trailers.
- Class 5: This setup has a weight capacity of up to 20000 pounds and is frequently used with heavy-duty, full-sized pickup trucks or commercial vehicles.
Choose a hitch that is rated to haul the heaviest load you’ll ever have.
Weight Ratings and Your Vehicle
Be aware of the towing weight capacity of your vehicle and take into consideration the weight of not only your trailer and the item you plan to tow but also the weight of your hitch, mounts, and couplings. If you don’t know your trailer or tongue weight, you can have a professional weigh your equipment for you or you can use a truck scale.
Your towing capacity cannot exceed your lowest-rated component. For example, if your receiver is rated at 5000 pounds, but your ball is rated at 3500 pounds, then your towing capacity is 3500 pounds. However, just because your equipment can tow up to 3500 pounds, it doesn’t mean that your vehicle is capable of doing so. Check your car’s or truck’s owner’s manual for recommended towing capacity.
In order for your hitch to work properly and without damaging either your vehicle or your trailer, you have to do a little research. Make sure you get the right type of hitch and tow with the right type of vehicle.
Once you have everything set, then come over to Del’s Truck Rentals and get your hitch installed, or pick up a kit so that you can do it at home. We not only have receiver hitches but balls, ball mounts, and even pintle hitches that can handle all types of towing situations.