Wondering how you can increase the carrying capacity of your vehicle? Wondering how to connect a trailer to your car to help you carry that extra load on moving day? What you really need to ponder on is which trailer hitch to invest in.
A trailer hitch helps you hitch up a trailer to your vehicle, allowing you to easily carry that extra load wherever you please.
Comparison Chart of the Best Trailer Hitches
CURT Adjustable Trailer Mount
B&W Tow and Stow Magnum
CURT Trailer Hitch Ball Mount with 2-Inch Trailer Ball & Hitch Pin
Best for the Money
Best for RVs
Best Adjustable Trailer Hitch
Reese Towpower Towing 2" Starter Kit
Best for Towing Travel Trailers
EAZ LIFT Elite Kit
Best Anti Sway Trailer Hitch
B&W Turnoverball Gooseneck
Best Gooseneck Trailer Hitch
Best 5th Wheel Trailer Hitch
Best Trailer Hitch Toilet
What is a Trailer Hitch?
A trailer hitch is a tool that is used to connect any vehicle with a trailer to carry extra load or to increase capacity. A trailer hitch, also known as a tow hitch, is essentially a device that is attached to the chassis of a vehicle for towing around extra objects that won’t fit in your car or truck.
What Size Trailer Hitch Do I Need?
Trailer hitches have 5 classes that are listed from I to V, according to their size. These range from the lowest weight capacity to the highest, respectively. Following are the basic specifications of each class:
The receiver tube size is 1.25 inches, the gross trailer weight that it can tow is 2000 lbs., and the tongue weight capacity is 200 lbs.
The receiver tube size is 1.25 inches, the gross trailer weight that it can tow is 3500 lbs., and the tongue weight capacity is 350 lbs.
The receiver tube size is 2 inches, the gross trailer weight that it can tow is between 3500 lbs. and 6000 lbs., and the tongue weight capacity is between 350 and 600 lbs.
The receiver tube size is 2 inches, the gross trailer weight that it can tow is between 6000 lbs. to 10,000 lbs., and the tongue weight capacity is between 600 to 1000 lbs.
The receiver tube size is 2.5 inches, the gross trailer weight that it can tow is over 10,000 lbs., and the tongue weight capacity is between 1000 to 1200 lbs.
What Makes a Great Trailer Hitch?
In order to pick a trailer hitch that is best compatible with your vehicle and one that functions the best, you need to know what features to look for. Let us dive into what these features really are:
Weight Carrying Capacity
In order to ensure that your hitch will stay intact and bear the weight of the trailer being pulled behind your vehicle, it is necessary that you look at the gross trailer weight that your hitch can pull. Also, the tongue weight capacity is another thing you need to take into consideration.
Ball Mount Size
The correct ball mount size allows a good fit of the shank with the receiver tube. This is necessary as the correct ball mount size helps make up the difference created due to the receiver tube being higher than the trailer coupler.
Another thing that is necessary is the coupler size. The coupler should be properly compatible with the ball mount; otherwise, the hitch will make for a poor connection between your trailer and vehicle.
Quick Take - The Best Trailer Hitches
Before you go any further, here are our top picks:
Review of the Best Trailer Hitches
Now that you understand what a trailer hitch is and what features are essential in a high quality one, you are now ready to compare actual products available on the market. To allow you to do this easily, we have compiled a guide that will help you pick your best option. Let’s get started!
CURT Adjustable Trailer Hitch Ball Mount
We have chosen this product as our best overall hitch because of how supremely versatile it is. The CURT adjustable trailer hitch can be raised by 5.25’ inches and dropped by about 6 inches in total. The ball mount is completely adjustable and can be made to adapt any towing scenario.
The anti-rattle feature prevents noise pollution as the hitch smoothly and quietly pulls the trailer around. Meanwhile, the durability and strength of the hitch are promised by its high-quality steel body that is bound to last for years. Moreover, the 2-inch ball can pull a capacity of about 10,000 lbs., while the 2-5/16-inch ball aims for a whopping 14,000 lbs.
The ball hitch comes with its own standard shank, which is a perfect fit to any standard hitch receiver. It works well with class three, four, and five hitches.
This product is also weather-resistant and can easily withstand dirt, debris, rain, humidity, and even sunlight. This is enabled by the long-lasting black powder carbide coating and dual ball attachment, which in turn is guarded by zinc coating.
Overall, this is a great product for a great price. It is very versatile and heavy duty. It does make some noise in some cases, and it would have been better if it could drop lower. Otherwise, it definitely is a great product that can pull a variety of trailers.
The B&W tow and stow magnum receiver hitch has tri-balls. These measure 1-7/8 inches by 2 inches by 2-5/16 inches. The hitch provides a total drop of 5 inches from the top of the shank to the bottom of the ball.
The hitch fits a standard receiver of 2 inches easily, and the balls can be easily rotated to the desired size. This prevents the need for multiple ball mounts.
In addition, the unit can tow about a total of 10,000 lbs. and the tongue weight capacity is about 1000 lbs.
Overall, it is a great product that offers versatility and durability. The only downside is that it is easy to remove, and the parts can be stolen; for this, you may need to purchase an extra lock to keep it guarded.
Best for the Money:
CURT Trailer Hitch Ball Mount with 2-Inch Trailer Ball & Hitch Pin
This tool can easily tow trailers that are roughly 7500 lbs. or less. The hitch has a tongue weight capacity of about 750 lbs. The equipment is made from welded steel and has a hollow shank. The hitch ball comes with a 2-inch ball and 2-inch shank, both of which fit easily into any standard receiver. This promises versatility and variety.
The mount offers a 2-inch drop in total, and the hitch is completely ready to use. A pre-attached tow ball enables easy ready coupling, and a hitch pin secures the mounting to the hitch receiver.
To increase durability, the ball hitch has a long-lasting black carbide powder coating, while the trailer ball has a chromium plating for corrosion resistance.
The entire tool is easy to install as the ball mount simply needs to be inserted into the shank of the 2-inch receiver. Plus, the pre-torqued trailer ball promises the easiest possible coupling.
In all, a great product with the exception that some people have reported perfect fitting whilst others claim the ball mount is smaller than stated. Other than that, people have been all praise about how easy it is to install and how well it fits and tows.
Best for RVs:
MaxxHaul 70270 Triple Ball Mount
MaxxHaul 702720 trailer hitch is a triple ball mount with a hollow shaft. The hitch ball sizes are 1-7/8 inch, 2 inch, and 2-5/16 inches. The receiver size is 2 inches while the total length is 10 inches in total.
The tri-ball mount is designed to fit any standard class 3 and class 4 hitch receivers. Each of the three balls has a stamp to indicate its size clearly. A black carbide powder coating prevents rusting and corrosion of these parts.
The entire tool is made out of heavy-duty steel, which makes it durable and long-lasting. The two-by-two inch shaft is attached to the three welded steel balls. The tool fits the SAE standards which means that the capacities of each ball are as follows: 1-7/8" - 2000 lbs.; 2" - 5000 lbs., 2-5/16" - 7500 lbs.
This product has both pros and cons. However, it is definitely a neat tri-ball design and can help you tow multiple trailers with varying weight capacities in one go or separately.
Best Adjustable Trailer Hitch:
MaxxHaul 70067 8-Position Adjustable Ball Mount
The MaxxHaul 70067 is an 8 position, adjustable ball mount. The unit can easily fit standard class 3 and class 4 hitch receivers without any problems. The tool has an adjustable drop at 5 inches, 6-½ inches, 8 inches, and 9-½ inches. It has an adjustable rise at 3-¾ inches, 5-¼ inches, 6-¾ inches, and 8-¼ inches.
It has been designed to provide the maximum possible flexibility when you adjust the towing height. The maximum gross trailer weight that this hitch can pull is a whopping 5000 pounds in total.
MaxxHaul 70067 has been designed specifically to meet all SAE standards, which makes it versatile and user-friendly. The entire body is made out of high-quality steel, and a heavy duty carbide black powder finishing gives the tool the added strength and durability it needs. It also prevents rusting and corrosion. The total shank length is 10-¾ inches.
A fair product in all, depending on what you want to use it for. It is suitable for medium weight carrying capacity trailers and helps raise the towing vehicle a little higher than usual, which may be something that attracts you.
Best for Towing Travel Trailers:
Reese Towpower Towing 2" Starter Kit
The Reese Towpower 21536 is a 2-inch starter towing kit. The gadget fits any 2x2 inch hitch box opening and has a total towing weight capacity of 6000 pounds.
The entire construction is made out of high-quality steel and has a black carbide powder coating for added durability and longevity. The drawbar is also top quality with a total 2-inch drop and 0.75-inch rise. The entire length of the shank is a total of 9 inches and it has a radius of 0.5 inches.
The hitch ball is chromium and comes with a pin and clip in the packaging. This tool makes turning clearance easier from bumper to the trailer frame and can be guided to adjust trailer heights easily.
This is a fair product for a fair price. It does not exactly offer what it promises and rusts easily. It is also noisy, and you may need to purchase an anti-rattle device. However, it does its job fairly well and has an excellent design.
Best Anti Sway Trailer Hitch:
EAZ LIFT Elite Kit
EAZ lift 45058 Elite Kit is made to enable a smooth ride while you hitch a trailer behind you. The bars in the gadget are interchangeable, which enables positive latching action and hence smooth conveyance.
The kit includes a 1000 pound weight distribution hitch and swaying control. Also, it includes a 2-5/16 inch hitch ball. The hitch ball and sway control are ready to use as they come pre-installed.
The torque is also adjusted to the specification of the adjustable ball mount. The pre-installed materials also include U-bolts and a chain package. These are located on the spring bars.
This product can pull a maximum weight of 10,000 pounds. All of the hardware necessary for mounting is included in the kit. The entire kit includes the following accessories: spring bars, chains, hookup brackets, 2-5/16" hitch ball and ball mount, bolt package for adjustable hitches, clip, and shank hitch pin.
Overall, this is a durable trail hitch that distributes weight well, making the task easier, and has an anti-sway feature. However, it comes without a user manual and is somewhat noisy.
Best Gooseneck Trailer Hitch:
B&W Trailer Hitches Turnoverball Gooseneck Hitch
The B&W Turnoverball 1314 gooseneck hitch has been claimed to be the number one selling hitch in America. This device is best suited for 2013 to 2018 RAM 3500 trucks.
The gadget acts as a hitch when required and as a level bed otherwise. The tool is a solid, one-piece receiver socket with a turnover ball. The ball measures 2-5/16 inches and has a long-lasting powder-based coating. There is only one 4 inch hole in the bed.
The hitch can easily be bolted using the existing holes and does not require additional drilling of holes or welding.
The equipment also includes a flexible latch pin handle that is connected to a loaded spring. There is also a ⅝ inch steel locking pin that is directed completely through the ball.
The unit has a very tough body and solid build. It is easy to install if you do not require additional holes. The instructions are simple and easy to grasp too, making it a good choice,
Best 5th Wheel Trailer Hitch:
B&W Companion RVK3500 is a fifth wheel hitch. The device has a fully movable head that can turn from front to back and from side to side easily. A cam action latching handle has been placed to easily release the trailer from the hitch wherever required or when unloading needs to be done.
The bushings are polyurethane, which prevents noise pollution. You can easily drive about without rattling noises emerging from towing a heavy trailer around. The device also has 3 vertical adjustments that range from 16.25 inches to 18.25 inches. Also, there is a 4-inch front to back adjustment with three coupler positions.
The gross trailer weight is 20,000 pounds, and the product comes with limited lifetime coverage.
This is quite possibly the best 5th wheel hitch ever designed! This product literally has no cons except that it is so solid and sturdy, it is difficult to lift alone. Apart from this, it is not only extremely durable; it works as promised and also comes with limited lifetime coverage.
Best Trailer Hitch Toilet:
Off-Road Commode - Trailer Hitch Toilet Seat
The trailer hitch toilet seat or commode is a full seat that measures 18 inches by 13 inches by 3 inches in size. The body of the seat is made out of steel and is padded for comfort. The 1-5/16 inch diameter tube is covered with a camo patterned cloth and is stuffed to make it puffy and comfortable.
The seat is easy to attach to any 2-inch receiver hitch and can support a weight up to 500 lbs. The seat is a perfect gift for those that love to go fishing, hunting, and camping. Also, it is important to note that the seat must not be used in a moving vehicle and that precautions must be taken when it gets wet, as it may get slippery.
This hitch toilet is a good solution for those that stay on the track but is not necessarily a good substitute. The seat is heavier and keeps falling off. It is not extremely comfortable, and the short hitch causes you to come into contact with your own vehicle.
Types of Trailer Hitches
Now that we have taken a good look at some of the best hitches available in the market, let's discuss how many types of hitches there are. In this section we have defined the different types available. This will also help you determine which variety you actually need for your vehicle.
Weight Carrying Hitches
These are used with lighter trailers that weigh up to 3500 pounds.
Weight Distribution Hitches
These hitches help distribute the weight evenly between the trailer and vehicle.
Fifth Wheel Hitches
These are unique and special types of hitches. These are installed into truck beds and are used to tow heavy-duty vehicles like RVs.
Gooseneck Trailer Hitches
These are also used to tow heavier trailers. This is enabled by a hitch ball and coupler, which lock into place securely.
Front Mount Hitch
They are used when using a winch.
These include other hitch types such as ATVs and other automobiles.
How to Install a Trailer Hitch
Once you have invested in a trailer hitch, you may start to wonder how to install it easily and simply. This guide has been made to help you with just that. First of all, let us take a look at the tools you need to gather before installation:
- Light or torch
- Socket kit
- Ratchet and ratchet extension
- Swivel Socket
- Working gloves
- Safety goggles
- Torque wrench
- Jack and stands
- Pry bar
- Measuring tape
- Torx bits and carbide drill bits
- Trimming tool
- Painting pen
- Die grinder
- Cutting lubricant
- Box wrench kit
- Power drill
Let us now look at the steps you need to follow for proper installation:
- Chock your car or vehicle’s wheels and jack up your vehicle. Although jacking is not necessary for all vehicles, it still helps you have a better look at where you are supposed to place your hitch. Also, it grants you extra working space. It is also important to ensure that your emergency brakes are activated.
- Look for a suitable place to attach or keep your torch or working lights. Aim them at the correct position so you can maximize the brightness of the area you are working on. It is also important that you assess the nuts, bolts, screws, and other parts of your vehicle during this process, so that hitch installation is made simpler later on.
- Some vehicles store a spare tire beneath the back of the vehicle. If your vehicle has one, make sure you remove it beforehand for easy installation of the hitch.
- Take a look at the user manual or instructions that came with the package. Then, remove any nuts, bolts, screws, plugs, or other parts mentioned in the manual that may hinder installation.
- Place the hitch into the correct position and make sure it’s properly aligned. Once you are sure, install the rest of the hardware that came with it. Secure the hitch tightly into place by first screwing up the nuts then, later on, using torque to tighten the nuts. Also, you may need another person to help lift the device into position.
How to Remove a Trailer Hitch
We've covered how to install a hitch, but what about removal? We are here to help! Follow the steps below to easily remove a trailer hitch from your vehicle:
- Turn on the emergency brake in your parked vehicle and jack it up from the rear.
- Use a torch or work light to point out the bolts that are holding up the hitch frame.
- Place another jack, jack stand, or large wooden block under the hitch to help support and carry its weight while you unscrew the bolts.
- Remove the wiring harness and store it back in the vehicle. Loosen the nuts and bolts with a socket wrench and all other parts holding up the frame.
- Use a rubber mallet or hammer to tap the hitch, loosen it, and detach it from the vehicle.
Aspects to Consider Before Buying
There are some important things you need to consider before you invest your money into any trailer hitch. Considering these aspects before buying one will prevent you from channeling your money into the wrong product. Let us take a look at what these things are:
Why Do I Need a Trailer?
You must answer this question before you buy anything. Why do you need a trailer hitch? What is the purpose of the trailer you intend to hitch? How much weight do I want to pull? All of this will help you narrow down your choices to pick your best option.
What Type of Trailer Best Fits my Needs?
Once you’ve decided on why you need a trailer, you need to determine what type of trailer you need to buy. Consequently, this will allow you to pick the right hitch that can pull the trailer you want to hitch.
What is the Towing Weight?
This needs to be considered to help you pick the right hitch. Not only will you be able to pick out the type of hitch you need, but you will also be able to pick one that can actually pull your trailer without any problems. Consequently, you can further decide on the ball mount size and hitch weight class.
Will My Vehicle Be Able to Exert Enough Braking Power?
This is important to consider as your vehicle should be able to exert enough braking power to stop both itself and the trailer. This, in turn, will prevent accidents.
A trailer hitch is a great tool to make up for lack of space in your own vehicle. Not only are hitches available in various classes distributed according to weight, but there are also various types that are suited for various purposes. Moreover, a connected trailer can work as storage or even extra living space on the go. Whatever you intend to hitch, a trailer hitch is a powerful tool that makes it all easier.
People Also Ask
Below are some questions that people usually ask with their relevant answers to help you clear up any confusion that you may have.
How to Measure the Trailer Hitch Drop?
To measure a trailer’s hitch drop, simply follow these steps:
- Find out your hitch height – this is the distance from level ground to the top of the receiver hitch opening.
- Find out the coupler height – measure the distance from the leveled ground to the bottom of the coupler to receive this measurement.
- Calculate the difference – calculate this with the formula, hitch height – coupler height to calculate the drop if your hitch height is greater. Do the reverse, coupler height – hitch height, to calculate the rise if your coupler height is greater. Select a ball mount accordingly.
What Does V5 Mean on a Trailer Hitch?
The V5 hitch is a class of hitches that are made according to weight. These hitches can pull a maximum weight of about 10,000 TW. The weight distribution of these hitches is about 12,000/1500 TW. These are very powerful hitches and have the capacity to pull very heavy trailers.
What is the Difference Between a Class 2 and Class 3 Trailer Hitch?
A class 2 hitch and class 3 hitch are different from each other due to the maximum gross weight, tongue weight, and receiver size. A class 2 hitch has a GTW of 3500 pounds, a TW of about 525 pounds and has a receiver measuring 1.25 inches. A class 3 hitch has a GTW of 8000 pounds, TW of 800 pounds and receiver size is 2 inches.
How Much Weight Can a Class 5 Hitch Pull?
A class 5 hitch can pull a maximum weight ranging from about 6000 to 10,000 pounds; they have a tongue capacity of about 600 to a 1000 pounds. These hitches are heavy duty and are used with large vehicles such as trucks and SUVs.
What is the Standard Size Ball for a Trailer Hitch?
The most basic and common ball size in a hitch is a 2-inch diameter ball. These can go up to 2.25 inches in heavy duty trailer hitches. The smallest ball mount size is about 1-7/8 inches.
What is the Standard Height for a Trailer Hitch?
The standard height for a trailer hitch is roughly 17 inches. This is because the coupler height is about 17 inches and so, to make the hitch compatible with the ball mount, the hitch height is kept roughly the same.