Although we are in the thick of winter, now is a good time to start thinking about getting your vehicle ready for the coming months. If you own, or plan to acquire, a boat, camper, storage, tool or other industry-specific trailer in the future, a reliable trailer hitch is a necessity, not a luxury.
A tow hitch is a device attached to the chassis of a vehicle which allows for the articulated attachment of a wheeled component of some type. Most commonly, a tow ball allows for the trailer tongue or coupling to slip over the mount, with further towing safety facilitated by tow pins, safety chains or other locking mechanisms. Ball mounts are generally removable to allow for a variety of other hitch mounted accessories such as bike racks and cargo carriers. Ancillary systems such as turn signals, brake lights and brake controls can be interfaced by means of modular extension plugs fitted to the aft side of the vehicle. All types of trailers, from boat trailers, campers and horse trailers to 18-wheeler rigs, must have proper lighting before being considered street-legal. The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has strict requirements for trailer lights, so be sure your lighting system is in compliance with federal laws before heading out on the road.
Trailer hitches come in two primary configurations: receiver type and fixed-drawbar type. Receiver-type hitches consist of a portion that mounts to the frame of the vehicle that has a rearward-facing opening that accepts removable ball mounts or other accessories, and fixed-drawbar hitches are typically built as one piece, having an integrated hole for the trailer ball. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) define trailer hitches by towing capacity into various classes, ranging from 2,000 pounds to 17,000 pounds, covering virtually any range of potential attachment.
Mobile Installation Services can outfit your vehicle with a hitch package designed specifically for what you need to tow. With each day getting incrementally longer, we are on the way to Spring and Summer, even though it may not feel like it at the moment. This is a perfect time to get your truck, SUV or car ready for the “fifth-wheel” days of warm vacationing and camping to come!
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