Trailer Hitches

Tow a bigger load

Hitches connect a vehicle and the load that it pulls. A trailer hitch is a simply a metal contraption that attaches to your vehicle's chassis, beneath your rear bumper. Trailer hitches usually operate on a simple pin-and-loop arrangement. Most trailer hitches are permanently installed, but temporary hitches do exist and are available for rent. Most permanent trailer hitches either have a flat non-removable drawbar, or a receptacle ball mount for mounting a tire, ski or bike rack. A typical trailer hitch has two spring bars - one for each side of the trailer - to lift it and apply leverage to the tow vehicle. This provides stability while towing.

Advertiser Links for trailer hitches

There are basically two types of trailer hitches available:

Weight-carrying (or deadweight-style hitch) - is typically used for towing smaller, lighter trailers and cargo.

Weight-distributing (or equalizing-style hitch) - is recommended for towing larger, heavier trailers and cargo.

The different types of trailer hitches are various and the one you choose will ultimately depend on the make and model of your vehicle as well as the load you're towing. You will need to bring the following information when shopping for a trailer hitch:

  • The make and model of your vehicle.
  • The model year of your vehicle.
  • The type of vehicle - for example is it a Jeep, passenger car, truck, SUV or van.
  • In some cases the vehicles number of doors.
  • The weight and type of cargo you will be towing.

Before selecting a trailer hitch you will also require the following towing components in order to legally tow cargo:

  • A hitch ball
  • A ball mount kit
  • Towing wiring
  • The trailer's couple and hitch ball size
  • Weight of the trailer and cargo

How to Install a Trailer Hitch

Putting a trailer hitch on your vehicle is a relatively simple process. You should be able to do-it-yourself without the need of any specialty tools and without the services of a mechanic. However, drivers of tow vehicles have a responsibility to ensure that their trailer hitch is installed properly, that only professional equipment is being used, that the tow load is secure and that all trailer hitch and towing equipment is in safe and proper working order.

The following towing safety guidelines are very important to ensure the safety and protection of your vehicle, your tow load, yourself and other drivers on the road:

  • Be certain that the trailer hitch ball size is the same as the trailer coupler size and that all hitch equipment corresponds.
  • Your cargo load should never exceed the recommended weight rating stamped on the trailer hitch ball. For example if you're towing with a bumper hitch don't exceed the manufacturer's maximum towing weight for the hitch and for the trailer.
  • Never weld on, cut off or add any parts to your trailer hitch assembly as they might fall off or damage the hitch.
  • Make sure that the mounting ball of your trailer hitch assembly corresponds with the mounting hole.
  • Inspect your trailer hitch assembly regularly and replace or repair any damaged or loose parts.
  • Inspect your trailer regularly and replace or repair and damaged or loose parts.
  • Before you tow ensure that all parts - bolts, screws and wires are secure on your trailer hitch assembly and trailer.
  • Never tow more than one trailer, or cargo load, at one time.
  • Only use professionally designed trailer hitches and equipment that corresponds according to the manufacturers instructions.
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Where can I rent a temporary hitch in Minneapolis?
Posted on 5/5/2012 5:49:00 PM
Can someone tell me where to rent a trailer hitch in NYC area?
Posted on 8/21/2011 4:12:00 PM
Can someone help me please
Posted on 6/27/2011 1:25:00 AM
I need to rent a hitch for my trip
Posted on 6/27/2011 1:23:00 AM