There are many different types of trailer hitches you can pick from and the right one for you would depend on what you need it for. A trailer hitch can be used for many things like installing a bike rack, mount for a spare tire, or a cargo carrier but trailer hitches are mainly used for towing. To better decide what type of trailer hitch you need you must know what types of trailer hitches are available and what their features are.
Front Mount Trailer Hitches
The front mount hitch can be very useful for your vehicle because it can be used in many different ways such as parking your trailer in a very tight spot, inserting a cargo carrier, installing a spare tire mount, mounting a snow plow, and so on. The front mount trailer hitch attaches directly to the front of your vehicle and it’s quite easy to install. One thing to note about this hitch is to double-check the rating scale so you know exactly how much you can tow using it.
5th Wheel Trailer Hitches
The 5th wheel hitches are designed for heavy-duty towing. It is installed in the bed of the truck, usually over the rear axle. They are specifically made to tow heavy campers, travel trailers, car haulers, and 5th wheels. This type of hitch can only be mounted on pickup trucks and their towing capacity is up to 24,000 lbs of gross trailer weight. A great feature that these hitches have is the ability to absorb bumps on the road because of the pivoting capability.
Rear Receiver Trailer Hitches
One of the most common types of trailer hitches is the rear receiver hitch. Generally, it’s a hitch that has a square receiver tube. Because of this type of design, you have a wide variety of options for applications in the tube. Mounting of this trailer hitch is easy and as the name suggests, it goes in the rear of the vehicle. The hitch is attached directly to the frame of your tow vehicle. These types of hitches have 5 classes that can be used for light-duty towing and heavy-duty towing. The rear receiver hitches come in three primary sizes of tubes. You can pick between 2”x2”, 11/4”x11/4”, and 2 ½”x2 ½”.
Pintle Trailer Hitches
The pintle hitch is different from the rest because it uses a hook and a lunette instead of a ball mount and a coupler. The hook part is installed on the truck while the lunette is installed on the trailer. The towing capabilities of pintle hitches range from 10,000 to 60,000 lbs which is an impressive number. One thing to note is that they are louder than other hitches which is why they are often used in the construction industry.
Gooseneck Trailer Hitches
Gooseneck hitches can pull heavy-duty trailers up to 30,000 lbs like livestock trailers, large flatbeds, and car haulers. The hitch is easily installed in the bed of the truck and it’s less intrusive than the 5th wheel hitch because you can use the rear of the truck fully when you are not towing a trailer. It’s a great option if you are using your truck for other things and not just towing your trailer. One thing to keep in mind about this hitch is that it can be installed only on pickup trucks.
Bumper Trailer Hitches
The bumper hitch is mainly used for light towing. It’s easily installed on the rear bumper of the vehicle and it comes with a square receiver tube that you can later use for anything. This hitch can be installed on many vehicles including heavy-duty trucks, SUVs, and some cars. The towing capacity of the bumper hitch ranges between 2,000 and 21,000 lbs. It would be a perfect option if you have a small teardrop trailer that you want to tow with your SUV or if you want to install some bike racks and bring your bikes with you on your vacation.
Weight Distribution Trailer Hitches
The weight distribution hitches are installed on the back of the vehicle attached to the rear hitch. This hitch provides tongue weight distribution equally between the tow vehicle and the travel trailer. This type of hitch has rods that are used to leverage the connection point so that the weight is redistributed to other parts and doesn’t fall only on one point. The proper weight distribution ensures that the vehicle is stable and easier to steer on the road. These are generally used with camping RVs and you can tow heavier loads but make sure to not exceed the total amount of weight your tow vehicle can pull.
There are many choices you can choose from when it comes to trailer hitches and picking the right one for you would depend on your towing vehicle and your towing needs. If you are not planning on towing heavy-duty loads then you can go with a bumper hitch, front mount hitch, or rear mount hitch. If you plan on using your truck to tow your heavy 5th wheel or travel trailer then you would need a gooseneck hitch, 5th wheel hitch, or pintle hitch. If you are an RV owner and you want to tow something heavy like your car, you would need a weight distribution hitch so the combined gross weight doesn’t fall on one point and cause trouble when you are on the road.