Best Trailer Hitches for Your Vehicle
The trailer hitch, also called a tow hitch, is a strong metal device that mounts directly to your vehicle's frame. The trailer hitch is what allows you to tow a wide variety of things, such as bike racks, kayak racks, trailers, and much more.
Although you can buy a trailer hitch for as little as $100 or as much as $900, most quality trailer hitches will typically set you back anywhere from $200 to $400. Obviously, pricing varies greatly depending on your vehicle make and model, the manufacturer of the trailer hitch itself, and the trailer hitch model.
Finding the right trailer hitch for your vehicle
When buying a trailer hitch, it’s important to find one that matches your specific needs and requirements but is also compatible with your vehicle make and model. Hitches are divided into five different classes.
- Class 1 hitches can tow up to 2,000 pounds and are designed for small compact cars, full-size sedans, as well as small to medium-sized crossovers. They use a 1.25-inch receiver and can attach to the bumper or the frame itself.
- Class 2 hitches are engineered to fit sedans, crossovers, minivans, and smaller SUVs. They can generally tow up to 3,500 pounds and require a 1.25-inch receiver. These hitches can also attach either to the bumper or to the frame.
- Class 3 hitches are most common since they use a 2-inch receiver and fit most modern crossovers, minivans, SUVs, trucks, and even flatbeds. A Class 3 trailer hitch has a towing capacity between 3,500 to 12,000 pounds. They can only attach to the vehicle frame.
- Class 4 and Class 5 trailer hitches are designed for larger SUVs, 1/2-ton to 1-ton trucks, and flatbeds. The main difference is that Class 4 trailer hitches offer an 8,000 to 14,000 pounds towing capacity, while Class 5 trailer hitches can tow anywhere between 16,000 to 20,000 pounds. Class 4 hitches use a 2-inch receiver opening while Class 5 hitches have a 2.5-inch receiver.
The trailer hitch consists of several different parts:
- The hitch itself which attaches to the frame or the bumper
- The receiver tube that connects to the hitch
- The ball mount which is sometimes replaced by a towing hook
- The trailer hitch ball that the trailer coupler rests on
- Safety chains that ensure the trailer doesn’t detach from the vehicle in case of mechanical failure
- The electrical connector, usually a trailer wiring harness that supplies power to the trailer’s taillights
Even though there are a dozen tow hitch manufacturers on the market, only a handful stand out both in terms of quality and price.
Every hitch should be able to adjust to the position of the trailer relative to the vehicle and allow free articulation. It should also be strong enough to cope with the trailer’s weight placed on the hitch itself to prevent mechanical failure. Last but not least, the hitch needs to be rigid enough to deal with speed variations and prevent a possible trailer-to-car collision.
CURT trailer hitches
When it comes to trailer hitches, CURT is definitely the most popular choice among all classes of hitches. Regardless of your vehicle make and model, the chances that CURT manufacturers a trailer hitch for your vehicle are extremely high if not guaranteed.
Designed and made in the USA, CURT offers extremely high quality trailer hitches for basically every vehicle on the road today. All of their products are certified to meet IATF 16949:2016 standards. CURT is the market leader when it comes to reliability and durability. Most owners who have bought a CURT trailer hitch are extremely satisfied with their purchase, even several years down the road. Looks wise, CURT-designed units are arguably the most aesthetically pleasing hitches as well.
Apart from custom-fit trailer hitches for over 1,000 different vehicle models, both commercial and non-commercial, CURT also designs and sells flat towing products, 5th wheel hitches, gooseneck hitches, drop hitch, electrical towing components such as wiring, and a host of towing accessories such as trailer hitch ball mounts, pins and clips, reducer bushings, and so much more.
Reese trailer hitches
Much like CURT, Reese also manufactures many classes of trailer hitches to meet practically every towing need. Although not quite as popular as CURT, Reese designs and builds excellent hitches that offer incredible value for money.
One of their most popular products, The Reese Towpower multi-fit Class 3 trailer hitch is compatible with several different Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, GMC, Jeep, Mazda, Nissan, and Plymouth models. You can browse AutoZone to find the best trailer hitches for your specific vehicle and sort by year, make, model, and engine size.
Draw-Tite trailer hitches
Draw-Tite has been designing and building custom trailer hitches since its inception in 1946. Although not as popular and well known as Reese and CURT, Draw-Tite manufacturers excellent hitches at a very affordable price.
One of their most popular products, the 75579 Max-Frame Class 3 receiver, is an excellent trailer hitch that is rated up to 4,000 pounds. weight carrying and up to 5,000 pounds. weight distributing. It uses a solid all-welded construction and features a black powder coated finish for rust prevention.
If you’ve got a small compact car or a family sedan and you don’t intend on towing more than 2,000 pounds. or even 3500 pounds., a Class 1 or a Class 2 trailer hitch will perfectly suit your needs.
If you’re looking for the best travel trailer hitch or you often find yourself towing heavier and larger trailers, then Class 3, Class 4, or even Class 5 hitches will be more suitable for your situation. It’s also the Class 3 receiver hitches and higher that are compatible with a weight distribution hitch, which is something you’ll definitely need if you intend on ever towing travel trailers.
Note that since Class 3 and up trailer hitches use a 2-Inch receiver, they’re typically only available for medium-sized SUVs, full-size SUVs, pickups, and flatbeds. It’s also important to note that even though your truck hitch might be rated for a lot of weight, you should never exceed your vehicle manufacturer’s specified maximum towing capacity for your model.
You can buy your trailer hitch at AutoZone, whether you’re looking for a Class 1 or a Class 5 hitch. With hundreds of trailer hitches available from several different manufacturers, you can find the perfect trailer hitch for your vehicle.
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