While determining what type of truck is important for you, it’s equally vital to know your trailer’s overall weight and tongue weight. And when you know your vehicle’s towing capacity, you have all the information you need to select the right hitch for towing. Keep in mind when you shop for a hitch, it’s good to have excess capacity. If your trailer is a fifth wheel or has a gooseneck design, then you already know you need that style of hitch, and all that remains is to select a hitch with an appropriate weight rating for your trailer.
Sometimes your towing needs may increase, and you don’t want to then look for a heavier hitch. You can always tow a lighter hitch with a heavier hitch, with the exception of a weight distribution hitch. A weight distribution hitch is essentially a spring, and using a higher rated spring bar then necessarily creates a stiff ride and could cause problems. So to avoid such problems, it’s crucial for you to know the different types of hitches that are available.
Shopping for a Hitch:
- Class I: This class provides you a towing capacity of up to 2,000 pounds, with 200 to 250 pounds of tongue weight capacity.
- Class II: Up to 3,500 pounds of towing capacity along with 250 to 350 pounds of tongue weight capacity.
- Class III: In this class there are two types of hitches available, one is Round, having a towing capacity of up to 6,000 pounds and 350 to 600 pounds tongue weight capacity. The other one is Square-shaped, which again has a towing capacity of 6,000 pounds with 350 to 600 pounds of tongue weight capacity.
- Class IV: This class also has two variants, Square-shaped and other one comes with weight distribution mechanism. They both have a towing capacity of up to 10,000 pounds with 600 to 1,000 pounds of tongue weight capacity.
- Class V: Fifth wheel and Gooseneck are the two types of hitches classified in this class. They both have a towing capacity of up t0 25,000 pounds for fifth wheel or gooseneck.
When you know what hitch class you require, talk to your trailer dealer about the designs that are available. Your dealer may have some specific recommendations for your particular vehicle type. Some hitches hide under your vehicle’s bumper and are made to be unobtrusive, while some are designed to be more prominently placed or can not be hidden due to the vehicle’s under cladding. Investigate and invest in the trailer hitch that best meets all your functional and aesthetic needs, as you may have many options to select from the hitch style, quality, finish and in some cases even color.
Some hitches may require specialized installation techniques, and you should know what the installation requirements will be, before you make a purchase. There are some hitches with come with the manufacturer’s installation instructions, and with a little patience, most hitches can be installed by car and truck owners with little mechanical expertise.
Choosing a Ball Mount:
After selecting a hitch, you may also need the correct ball mount. The right ball mount has a shaft sized to match the receiver tube, and raises or lowers the hitch ball to ensure that your tow vehicle and trailer each remain levelled as you travel.
When it comes to selecting the hitch components for your vehicle, you need to follow the same procedure you use for selecting any other hitch. You have to match the weight of the fully loaded trailer to the capabilities of the hitch design, and leave yourself some margin of safety in the capability of the hitch and your tow vehicle. Like for instance, a fold-down gooseneck hitch may be convenient, but if doesn’t have enough capacity to pull your trailer safely, you should opt for a heavier-duty hitch and work around it. The same applies for a fifth-wheel. Make sure you choose a hitch design with plenty of capacity to spare. If you’re looking for advice or if you require professionals to help you choose or fix the right hitch for your vehicle, get in touch with us, today!