Finding a trailer hitch can be a daunting task if you don't have slightest clue as to where to find one. Lucky for you, we're going to provide some excellent information regarding trailer hitches so you can sound like a seasoned towing professional before shopping for a trailer hitch. With this being said, here's a look at finding the right trailer hitch for you.
Trailer Hitch Use
Trailer hitches are generally used on trucks and SUVs for towing objects such as campers and boats. This very important piece of equipment needs to be suited for the type of load that one plans on towing. If a hitch is incorrectly used for towing something it can't, it can create a dangerous load balance and end with devastating results. For example, a car can pull small trailers... but it's ill-advised to tow anything larger. Knowing what (or how much) your vehicle can tow is important so you can have safe travels when hauling equipment or goods.
Trailer Hitch Terms
Once you understand how much your vehicle can tow, understanding the hitch lingo is the next step towards selecting the right trailer hitch. Here's a look at some trailer hitch terms you should become familiar with:
- Ball - The ball shaped piece used for pivoting. It allows your trailer to adjust to turns and road conditions without difficulty.
- Ball Mount - What connects the trailer and the vehicle. This is the piece that is lowered on top of the ball.
- Gooseneck Hitch - A type of hitch that is mounted onto the middle of a truck bed.
- GTW (Gross Trailer Weight) - How much weight the trailer hitch can bear.
- TW (Tongue Weight) - Downward force the tongue can bear.
- WD (Weight Distribution) - How the weight is distributed for towing. The right amount of WD ensures a safer travel.
- Hitch Pin - The steel bar that keeps the unit together.
- Pin Weight - The amount of weight that sits on the pin.
Types of Hitches
Here's a look at some of the more common hitches available:
- A Ball Hitch - Common for pick-up trucks and SUVs. Balls sizes vary for towing loads.
- A Gooseneck Hitch - Attached to a truck bed (as opposed to a tow bar located in the back).
- A Fifth Wheel Trailer Hitch - The strongest hitch available and is often found on larger trucks.
- A Bumper Frame Hitch - A ball attached to the back of a car. This hitch isn't recommended for large loads due it its little strength.
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