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   Home » Tips » Towing Hitches & Systems

Purchase a towing hitch to match the ratings of your tow vehicle and the trailer

Towing Hitches & Systems
Various types of Hitches

The trailer towing industry has developed a classification system that differentiates towing hitches according to the amount of weight they can tow. This system addresses tongue weight and total weight. Keep in mind that within each classification are numerous towing hitches made by a variety of manufacturers.

The three most common types of trailer hitches are the weight-carrying hitch, the weight-distributing (or load equalizer) hitch, and the fifth-wheel hitch, or the gooseneck. Weight-carrying hitches are designed to carry all of the trailer’s tongue weight. Weight-distributing hitches are used with a receiver hitch and special parts that distribute the tongue weight among all tow vehicle and trailer axles. Fifth-wheel hitches are designed for mounting the trailer connection point in the middle of the truck bed.

When purchasing a trailer towing hitch, use the recommendations of the manufacturer of the tow vehicle and trailers. Towing hitches are to be purchased on the basis of the type and weight of the trailer.

Make sure the towing hitch has provisions for the connection of safety chains, which are required by most states. When connected, safety chains should have some slack to permit sharp turns but should not drag on the road. In addition, they should cross under the trailer tongue to help prevent the tongue from dropping to the road in the event the trailer separates from the tow vehicle.

Let's see what are the different classes of the towing hitches:

Receiver Hitches

Receiver Hitches
Custom fit Trailer Hitch

Class I
Class II
Class III
Class IV
Gross Trailer Weight 2000lbs
Gross Trailer Weight 500lbs
Gross Trailer Weight 5000lbs
Gross Trailer Weight 12000lbs
Tongue Weight 200
Tongue Weight 300
Tongue Weight 500
Tongue Weight 1200

Weight Distributing Trailer Hitches
Weight Distributing Trailer Hitches

Controls trailer sway
Works smoothly with surge or conventional braking systems
Simple installation
Quick, easy coupling
Eliminates highway hop, providing a smoother ride for car and trailer
Levels load
Saves on fuel
Better braking
Less strain on vehicle
Greater towing capacity

GooseNeck and Fifth Wheel Hitches
GooseNeck Buy only for pick ups up to 25,000 lbs with 6, 250 lbs

Trailer Hitch Components

Ball Mount
Hitch Balls
Sway Controls
Coupler Locks

Ball Mounts
Ball Mounts

Class III Ball mounts are selected not only with gross trailer weight in mind, but also trailer height. The more level the trailer, the easier it is to pull. Information is available to aid in selecting the correct ball mount.

Compute the Difference between the Hitch Height and the Coupler Height. If the Hitch Height is greater than the Coupler Height, the difference is the drop that is required. If the Coupler Height is greater, the difference is the rise that is required. The Ball mount with the rise or drop closest to the difference should then be chosen.

Class I and Class II Bal mounts are specific for each vehicle and are recommended by the hitch manufacturer. To find to find a ball mount for a Class I or II hitch, or to find a hitch for your vehicle, use the hitch finder.

Hitch Balls
Hitch Balls Always make sure the ball's weight rating is greater than the gross trailer weight rating. As for the hole diameter, it must be less than 1/16" greater than the ball shank diameter. When tightening, always use the lock washer and make sure a portion of the ball shank extends past the bottom the nut.

Sway Controls
Sway Controls Available in two different styles, sway controls reduce the effects of wind gusts and sudden maneuvering by applying resistance to the trailer and vehicle with respect to each other. Aside for trailers with a large surface area, such as enclosed or travel trailers, sway controls are also used on trailers with a low tongue weight percentage.

Coupler Locks
Coupler Locks Buy Quick and convenient deadbolt lock for trailer coupler. Guards trailer on or off hitch. Works with most coupler styles. Covered key slot prevents theft. Bolt is 3/8" Diameter.

Through our nationwide network of dealers and manufacturers, we are into selling any and all types of trailers that you can think of. cost of delivery is $1.35 per mile one way, prepaid in advance. We have over 200 trailers in stock at all times and all trailers are available in a variety of colors.

We can also design and build custom utility trailer to suit your requirements. Call toll free 800-841-1102 or contact us today.

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