A trailer hitch is a useful addition to almost any vehicle. Hitches make it easy to haul trailers, recreational vehicles and other items, and they can be permanently or temporarily mounted. When you need a new hitch on your car or truck, there are a variety of choices available. If you aren’t going to tow anything heavy, a bumper hitch is appropriate; if you’re going to tow heavy things over long distances, the selection process can be confusing. Below, you will find more information on trailer hitch weight classes, mount types and availability.
Weight distributing/carrying hitch: Also called a ‘load equalizing’ hitch, these distribute the towed vehicle or item’s weight across all four wheels. These hitches are useful on trailers with wheels positioned toward the vehicle’s center, and they prevent the trailer’s front from dipping down. Some hitches have height adjustments.
Receiver hitches: These are simple in design, having one metal piece with a slot that holds a ball mount, draw bar, or bike rack. Slots are usually 1 1/4 to 2″ deep. Draw bars are removable platforms attached to the vehicle and secured with a stout pin. Ball mounts are removable platforms that look like a doorknob, and are secured with pins or clips.
Round tube hitches: This newer style has greater aesthetic appeal, and it bolts to the car bumper’s underside. These receiver hitches can hold bike racks or specialized ball mounts. Round tube hitches are lighter in weight without sacrificing strength and durability.
Pintle hitches: This type of hitch is used for towing heavy trailers, agricultural and industrial machinery and military vehicles. These use pintle hooks on the towed vehicle, and can attach to a lunette eye or ball mount.
Gooseneck hitches: These use a ball mount to secure the vehicle being towed, and are typically attached to the bed of the tow vehicle. Gooseneck hitches are valued for their stability and ability to tow extremely heavy vehicles.
Those looking for a trailer hitch have many choices. In most cases, it’s simplest and best to buy a hitch that matches the mount on the trailer you’re towing. However, if you’re buying a hitch that will be used on more than one vehicle, you have a few more options to consider. Knowing about the various types of hitches available from Pioneer Rim and Wheel Company can help you find the one that meets your needs.