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How To Choose The Best Trailer Hitch For Your Vehicle?

Trailer hitches are the devices that allow the connection between vehicles and other accessories such as trailers, carriers, etc. They are also known as tow hitches and are very sturdy due to their nature of requirement. Hitches have to handle tons of weight, which is why they need to be strong and reliable. However, it does not mean that every hitch can handle the same or any amount of weight. There are different types of hitches with different capabilities. And since not everyone has an understanding of the types, it can be difficult to choose one for the vehicle. 

Thus, we will be covering every major aspect of a trailer hitch which will definitely help you make a better decision. We will also cover how you can choose the right one for your vehicle. So, let’s get started with the guide. 

What Options Are Available To You?

There are plenty of options when it comes to trailer hitches that are available in the market. However, they all have different features and are suitable for different vehicles. To determine the right one for your vehicle, you would need to understand the options that are available. 

Apart from the types, there are different classes of hitches as well. We will also brief you about these classes. 

Class 1 Hitch

The trailer hitches in this class are the most standard ones that are capable of handling light weights only. The use of class 1 hitches is mainly in small cargo carriers or mount bikes. They may not be suitable for heavier weights, but they can certainly be versatile for towing small-sized trailers and vehicles. 

The maximum weight capacity of this class is ≤ 2,000 lbs. You can look for the hitch dimension of 1 ¼ inch * 1 ¼ inch with ≤ 200 lbs capacity of the tongue. These hitches can even work in mid-sized vehicles with properly maintained light transmissions. 

Class 2 Hitch 

Class 2 hitches fall in the category of regular duty receiver hitches. They are also among the most commonly used trailer hitches. Some vehicles come pre-equipped with this class of hitches as well. These are available in the vehicle’s frame, which includes vehicles such as midsize cars, SUVs, minivans, and even small-sized pickup trucks. 

The weight handling capacity of this class of hitches is up to 3,500 lbs with a tongue weight of 300 lbs. This class of hitches is great for towing small vehicles, trailers, and small boats. 

Class 3 Hitch 

Class 3 falls in the category of a heavy-duty receiver hitch. With a towing capacity of up to 10,000 lbs and a tongue weight capacity of up to 1,000 lbs, class 3 hitches are hailed as the best hitches in terms of general towing. 

These hitches are also called under-car receiver hitches, as they are attached to the vehicle’s frame via a drawbar. This class of hitch is great for those who drive mid or large-sized vehicles, boats, and trailers. 

Class 4 Hitch

Class 4 hitches are the hitches that are capable of towing even heavier loads. They allow towing of travel trailers that are more than 12 feet long and can also tow boats more than 24 feet long. For any heavy vehicles or machinery, class 4 hitches are the suitable option. 

They fall in the category of a super-duty receiver hitch and can tow 10-14,000 lbs of weight with a requirement of a 2 or 2.5-inch receiver to attach completely. 

5th Wheel Hitches

Now, let’s move on to the types of hitches starting off with the 5th wheel hitch. These hitches are common in lifting heavy equipment, cargo vehicles, and machinery and come up as the most advanced trailer class. What makes them special is the coupling system, which is part of the hitch and not the trailer. 

This type is specifically built for flatbed trucks and pickup beds. Another feature of their design is the pivoting system which allows them to absorb sudden bumps. It also increases the turning radius for the vehicle, allowing smoother turns.   

Gooseneck Hitch

A gooseneck hitch is similar to a 5th-wheel hitch in the way it mounts. The use of this type of hitch is common for towing livestock, large flatbeds, and various commercial trailers. One of its features is the ability to make tight turns which differentiates it from other types of hitches. The two types of gooseneck hitches include above-bed and under-bed hitches. 

Above bed gooseneck is the type that makes switching between hitches easier. Thus, it is great for switching hitches regularly. At the same time, under-bed gooseneck hitches are more popular due to the availability of custom fit for different trucks. 

Weight Distribution Hitch

Weight Distribution (WD) hitch or comes with plenty of features. The most common use for a WD hitch is for travel trailers or RVs because of the balance it provides. It can level the trailer and also reduce its sway of a trailer. 

The functioning of a WD hitch is such that it reduces the tension due to the weight by distributing that weight across the vehicle and the trailer. Alongside weight distribution, it can also improve driving performance and reduce wear and tear by reducing stress on the vehicle. 

Pintle Hitch 

Pintle hitches are common for the towing of heavy-duty vehicles and suitable for vehicles that go through rough terrains. The hook system in this type of hitch is called the pintle and thus contributes to the name. 

Pintle hitches are common in industrial, military, and agricultural use. It is capable of various ranges of motion, which is not common in a typical towing hitch. This range of motion is what makes these hitches great for riding on rough off-road terrains. However, it also makes the towing experience more noisier. So, if you do not have too many issues with the noise, you can go for pintle hitches. 

Find The Right Hitch For Your Vehicle In 4 Steps

Now that you know about the options that are available to you, the next step would be to choose the one that would suit your vehicle and needs the best. We will get you through the 4 steps to choose the most suitable hitch. 

Step 1 

The first step involves compiling the information on your vehicle. The information includes model, time, make, etc. This information will help you decide the right hitch for your vehicle. 

Step 2

Once you know the information related to your vehicle, the next step would be to choose the hitch class. We have already talked about the types and classes of towing hitches. You can read that section again to clear any of your doubts. 

It is likely that you are presented with multiple options for your vehicle. Understanding the different classes will help you make better decisions while purchasing. Choose the class that best fits your and your vehicle’s needs. 

Step 3

Next, you need to know about the purpose for which you are purchasing the hitch. The size of the hitch becomes important when it comes to that. That is because higher-rated hitches are more suitable for towing heavier trailers, and if you are looking to tow lighter weights, then a lower-rating hitch should be the choice. Also, it is important to follow the rule of choosing the lowest-rated towing component. 

Step 4

The final step is to choose the accessories which need to be added to the trailer. That is because a hitch is only a receiver with no direct connection to the trailer. The common accessories include a trailer ball, ball mount, wiring harness, and hitch lock. Make sure that the accessories are compatible with the hitch you are going for. 

Which Trailer Hitch Would Suit Your Vehicle The Best?

In the previous section, we guided you through the steps you can follow in choosing the right hitch. Now, we will provide you with information on which hitch class or type would suit a specific type of vehicle. 

Type Of Vehicle

Suitable Hitch 


Class 1 or 2 hitches 


Class 1, 2 or 3 hitches


Class 3 or 4 are more common, however can go up to class 5 in case of full sized vans 


Class 3 hitches are considered the best


WD hitches are great for add ons with class 3, 4 and 5 being the most suitable. 


Vehicle specific hitches are usually the better option for SUVs. They can be in class 2, 3, 4, or 5 with different sizes. 


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