How to Select the Right Trailer Hitch for Your Vehicle

Autos & Trucks

  • Author Chris Freeman
  • Published April 29, 2020
  • Word count 615

For a safe, secure and comfortable driving and trailer towing, choosing the right trailer hitch is an absolute necessity.

So before you consider attaching a trailer on the back of your vehicle, you need to make sure you’re cross-checking all the vehicle information and using the right hauling equipment, which means the right trailer hitch accessories.

To understand which trailer hitch will meet your towing needs, fit your vehicle and have the best outcome.

Here are some necessary steps you can follow.

Determine your tow vehicle weight

You will be able to select the right trailer hitch for your vehicle when you have a clear concept about your vehicle’s towing capacity and total trailer hitch.

So before purchasing, collect relevant information about your trailer, and your vehicle like Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM). Along with the towing capacity, there are four fundamental areas to keep in mind while measuring your tow vehicle:

Kerb weight: Kerb weight (KW) is the weight of only the vehicle.

TBM: Tow Ball Mass is the exerted weight onto your vehicle which goes towards the vehicle’s payload.

Payload: Payload is the total weight of the occupants you want, including the tow-ball load, luggage and other accessories attached in your vehicles.

GVM: Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) is the total weight of your vehicle, along with all of its attachments.

So here’s how you calculate gross vehicle mass:

KW+ payload= GVM

Check your trailer’s GTW and TW capacities

After measuring your vehicle weight, it’s essential to check your trailer vehicle’s Gross Trailer Weight (GTW) and the Tongue Weight (TW) to select the right trailer hitch and hitch class.

GTW: Gross Trailer Weight is the weight of a fully-loaded trailer in a condition when you’ll tow it with your vehicle.

TW: Tongue Weight is the downward force at the trailer coupler created coupler that attaches to the ball mount onto the hitch.

Cross-check: Matching tow vehicle, trailer and hitch class

After finding out the TW, GTW and GVM rating from your trailer vehicle and your actual vehicle, you have to go through different types and categories of trailer hitches to find the right one. Here are 3 basic heavy-duty trailer hitch types to choose from -

5th wheel hitch: These are robust hitches that are used to haul large caravans, pick-up trucks, SUVs, car hauliers etc. These hitches can hold up to 25,000 Ibs and a pivot capability to absorb road imperfections.

Gooseneck hitch: Similar to 5th wheel hitches, gooseneck hitches are designed for pick-up trucks only with a hold-up capability of 30,000Ibs.

Weight distribution hitch: These hitches are classified as hitch attachment with a purpose of adequately distributing the TW (Tongue Weight) across the tow vehicle and the trailer and taking the weight off the tow vehicle rear.

###Find out the hitch height and coupler height

After selecting a tow receiver hitch, you need to choose the right shank sized ball mount which should match the receiver tube opening of the trailer, including weight ratings. Before you choose the right ball mount of your trailer hitch with the right rise and drop, you have to accurately find out the hitch height and coupler height.

Measure hitch height: From the ground level, measure the distance in between the top of the hitch receiver opening and the ground.

Measure the coupling height: Measure the distance between the ground and the bottom of the coupler with the trailer level.

With all that information collected above, you can measure and find the right kind of hitch your vehicle and trailer needs. For further clarity, you can also consult with the authorized trailer hitch dealers nearby and come up with an expert solution.

As an independent web strategist, I have been helping small business owners with content strategy, and keen to promote sustainable living and self-development in personal life. Find my recent works at Neutrino Burst blog and follow me on Twitter@chrisfree208

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