which tow hitch ?

It is confusing for anyone considering a new travel trailer or fifth wheeler when it comes to "what can I tow, and which hitch should I buy?".  You need to first of all consult your vehicle's owners manual to determine your limits.  Having said this, you could still be left with a puzzled look on your face !


Vehicle towing capacities of vehicles are based on a number of  factors including engine, transmission cooling, tires/load range, vehicle frame type, rear end gear ratio, alternator capacity to name a few.  Many a time a potential travel went out and bought a brand new trailer without research only to find a new tow vehicle was needed to tow it.  This can be very a very costly mistake.

Always check with your vehicle manufacturer regarding the limitations of your tow vehicle.  Many standard manuals do not include towing information.

The three most common types of hitches are the weight distributing (or load equalizer), the weight-carrying hitch and the fifth-wheel hitch (or gooseneck). 

Weight-distributing hitches are used with a receiver hitch with special parts to distribute the tongue weight among all trailer axles and tow vehicle.

Weight-carrying hitches are designed to carry all of the trailer’s tongue weight.


Fifth-wheel hitches are designed for mounting the trailer connection point in the middle of the truck bed.

Safety chains are required by most States, so ensure your hitch has the facility to connect these.  Allow a little slack in the chains when connecting to permit sharp turns.  These chains should not be so long however as to let them drag on the ground.  They should be crossed underneath the trailer tongue to help preventing the tongue from hitting the ground in the event of a separation of the trailer from the tow vehicle.

Secure the connections so they don't bounce loose, and remember to connect them every time you tow !

other articles that may interest you
towing terms
backing up
weight ratings
sway prevention
trailer tires
tow vehicle
weight distribution
scale weights
trailer wiring
trailer towing
tongue weight
trailer sway
loading the trailer
general maintenance


free web page hit counter