best trailer hitch

5 Best Tow Hitches 2018

A trailer hitch is required to tow trailers safely and at great weights ranging up to 15,000 LBS. Some vehicles come with trailer hitches as standard but the majority do not and require an aftermarket installation.

The best trailer hitch is the B&W TS20048B with an impressive tow weight of 14,500 LBS, heavy duty steel construction and adjustable functionality.

Choosing the correct hitch for your requirements is vital and its highly recommended to go for one that can handle a range of weights and is height adjustable.

Best Hitch For Towing Trailers

Trailer HitchTowing WeightOur Rating
B&W TS20048B14,500 LBS4.9
CURT 4590014,000 LBS4.8
Andersen 34058,000 LBS4.8
Trimax TRZ8AL10,000 LBS4.7
Reese Towpower 370425,000 LBS4.7

Trailer hitches will need to be connected to a receiver, which is then connected to the back of the vehicle for towing purposes. Many trailer hitches fit a range of standard size receivers and can be installed fairly easily.

Features such as adjustable ball mounts, protection against UV, rust and water as well as a stainless steel construction are all desirable. There is a range of styles and towing weight ratings available and if you tow regularly, its advised to get the highest rating and best build quality hitch possible.

Whether you tow regularly or rarely, a functional trailer hitch will add value to a vehicle or can be transferred to others. Below is a list of the best trailer hitches with particular focus on tow weight, adjustable heights and usability.

B&W TS20048B Tow & Stow Tri-Ball Hitch

The B&W trailer hitch provides up to 5 inches drop or 4 1/2 inches rise and it will fit any standard 2.5 inch receiver. This adjustable trailer hitch comes with a variety of three tow balls, with the first ball towing up to 3,500 LBS, second tows 7,500 LBS and the third being the strongest with 14,500 LBS.

Made from a heavy duty steel construction, the B&W hitch will not rust and has outstanding corrosion prevention. Unlike many other cheap version, even the pins and clips are rustproof, which makes the whole package very durable.

Overall, the B&W TS20048B is the best adjustable trailer hitch for your vehicle and the tri-ball hitch is a worthy investment. Compared to the competition, it is the best looking trailer hitch with a mix of satin black and shiny steel.

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CURT 45900 Adjustable Channel Mount


The CURT 45900 will mount 2 inch and 2 5/16 inch couplers, which will have a towing weight rating of up to 14,000 LBS. The channel mount design allows for attachment to a wide variety of trailers with multiple holes to change the height.

The 45900 is very heavy duty and not suitable for smaller vehicles. On the flip side, it is excellent for towing heavy loads and the adjustable shank and ball sizes caters for a range of different towing weights and trailers.

Overall, the CURT 45900 is the best heavy duty trailer hitch with a sturdy steel construction and black powder coating to prevent rust, UV damage and scratches. It also has the added benefit of being very reasonable priced, which has seen a surge in popularity.

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Andersen Manufacturing 3405

The Andersen Hitch provides a 6 inch drop and rise and it will fit all standard 2 inch receivers. The construction is polished aluminum, which will not rust, peel or chip easily and has the added bonus of a greaseless AlumiBall, so no need for lubrication.

The 3405 model has a towing capacity of 8,000 LBS with a 2 inch ball and 10,000 LBS with a 2-5/16 inch ball. It has a tongue weight of 1,500 LBS and the package as a whole meets V5 and SAE J684 certifications.

The Andersen Manufacturing 3405 tow hitch is highly rated and is durable for heavy usage over many years. The nylon covers come with a lifetimes warranty and the hitch is maintenance free, which is very appealing to towing drivers.

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Trimax TRZ8AL Aluminum Adjustable Hitch


Trimax are a well known reputable brand for towing equipment and the TRZ8AL is rated to tow a weight of up to 10,000 LBS and it has a tongue weight of 1,500 LBS.

The premium aluminum construction is hardened and polished to look great at the rear of your vehicle. The dual hitch ball mount easily adjust up and down in 1 inch increments to provide 8 inches of rise or drop.

Overall, the Trimax TRZ8AL is stylish and made from high quality materials. It is easy to adjust to fit your trailer and it will be the go to hitch for all your towing needs.

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Reese Towpower 37042


Reese Towpower are a very popular towing brand and are known for cheap yet durable automotive products. It is a class 3 hitch with a towing weight of 5,000 LBS and a tongue weight of 500 LBS, which is surplus for towing light vehicles and boats.

Using a patented MetalShield protective coating, it has impressive anti-corrosion protection and it is an all welded construction for extra strength.

It is a multi-fit hitch that requires no welding and is a bolt on installation without any special tools. It is the best trailer hitch for the money and is one of the easiest hitches to install.

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Trailer Hitch Buying Guide

A trailer can carry caravans, boats, vehicles and so much more. It is virtually impossible to safely tow any heavy object without a trailer hitch. Depending upon the weight of the object, you will need a hitch that is rated to tow the trailer with the weight.

Installing a trailer hitch requires proper installation and mounting correctly. Failure to do this can cause significant damage to the rear of your vehicle that can cost thousands to repair and it also acts as a safety hazard. If you are new to trailer hitches, below is a few factors to consider.

Rust Prevention

Stainless steel or powder coated trailer hitches are essential to prevent rusting of the trailer hitch. However, you will want to look out for the components of the hitch that are removed for adjusting the height and more.

These areas are prone to rusting and when they snap or bend, it can be very difficult to find a replacement. Always ensure that the weld points are sturdy before towing any heavy objects and if you see any weak points, its highly advisable to buy one of the recommended trailer hitches above.

tow hitch

Towing Weight Ratings and Classes

Towing classes categorize hitches into various classes that target certain towing weights. For those that pull heavy objects, do not risk running a lightweight trailer hitch as you will cause a lot of damage. The classes for towing weights include:

  • Class I – 2,000 LBS towing weight and 200 LBS tongue weight – fit most vehicles.
  • Class II – 3,500 LBS towing weight and 350 LBS tongue weight – fit mid-size vehicles, trucks, SUVs.
  • Class III – 5,000 LBS towing weight and 500 LBS tongue weight – fit mid-size vehicles, trucks, SUVs.
  • Class IIII – 12,000 LBS towing weight and 200 LBS tongue weight – fit full size trucks, vans and SUVs.

If you are planning on towing heavy loads such as RVs and other trailer loads, we highly recommend that you look at a 5th wheel hitch, which can manage heavy trailers of weights up to 25,000 LBS.

Adjustable Trailer Hitches

Trailer comes in a range of sizes and of course heights. The distance from the ground to the trailer coupler is often a different height from the ground to your hitch ball.

An adjustable trailer hitch prevents the headache because you can set the height of the tow ball to the height of your trailer. Many rise and drop to up to 8 inches, which provides ample leeway for a range of trailer hitches.

tow hitch with ball

Installing a Tow Hitch

The hitch connects to a receiver, which is connected to the rear of the vehicle. The majority of hitches can be installed anywhere on your vehicle, with some people in the boating category installing them to the front of the vehicle.

Installing a trailer hitch requires basic tools such as high quality socket sets and a powerful impact wrench. Of course the installation may vary from hitch to hitch but below is a brief guide to installing a trailer hitch.

  1. Use a trolley jack to provide additional clearance
  2. Assemble hitch to manufacturer specification without tightening any bolts
  3. Drill holes into the vehicles chassis (if not already pre-drilled) by using the assembly as a template. Holes should not be more than 1/16 inch wide otherwise the bolts will not hold
  4. Use C-Clamps to attach the trailer hitch to the chassis and securely bolt it in place
  5. Test all electrical components at the rear (brake light, indicators) to ensure they are working

Trailer hitches will always come with documented instructions for a perfect fit. If you do not plan on fitting it yourself, there are many professionals that will do this at a low cost.

Tongue Weight

The tongue weight describes the downward force that the tongue of the trailers puts on to the hitch of the vehicle. The majority of manufacturers will aim the tongue weight to be around 9 to 16 percent of the gross trailer weight but it all comes down the safety of towing.

Conclusion

All of the recommended trailer hitches mentioned in this article are perfect for towing heavy loads safely. Not only are they all made from high quality materials but they are also reasonable priced compared to what the dealership would charge. For those that are looking to upgrade, you could install an anti sway weight distribution hitch, which prevents the dreaded trailer sway.

After investing into a trailer hitch, you should look into securing your trailer with a coupler lock for your trailer to prevent people stealing your trailer.

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