Installing a trailer hitch to your vehicle allows you to haul a range of different trailers and carriers up to 22,000 LBS. In terms of the availability, there are many aftermarket hitches on the market that are adjustable and can be easily installed to fit a range of vehicles.
The best trailer hitch is the B&W TS20048B, which has an impressive tow weight of 14,500 LBS, a heavy duty steel construction and can be easily adjusted.
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Trailer Hitch Comparison
|B&W TS20048B Tri-Ball||Adjustable Drop Hitch||14,500 LBS|
|CURT 45900||Adjustable Drop Hitch||14,000 LBS|
|Andersen Hitches 3410||Adjustable Drop Hitch||8,000 LBS|
|Trimax TRZ12AL Razor||Adjustable Drop Hitch||10,000 LBS|
|BulletProof Hitches Heavy Duty||Adjustable Drop Hitch||22,000 LBS|
|GenY GH-524 Dual Ball||Adjustable Drop Hitch||16,000 LBS|
|MaxxHaul 70380||Adjustable Drop Hitch||12,000 LBS|
|CURT 13105||Receiver||3,500 LBS|
|Reese Towpower 37042||Receiver||5,000 LBS|
|Draw-Tite 76028||Receiver||4,500 LBS|
Each hitch has a specific trailer weight rating and it’s advised to use a hitch that is greater than the loaded trailer weight. It’s also important that you check the vehicle’s towing capacity as too much weight may cause extra stress to its mechanical components.
When purchasing a trailer hitch, you will also require a receiver, ball mount and hitch ball to complete the towing package. Features such as adjustable ball mounts, stainless steel constructions, UV and rust resistance are all very desirable and advised.
Below is a list of the best trailer hitches that can be installed to a range of vehicles and are suitable for hauling both trailers or carriers.
The Best Trailer Hitch
1. B&W TS20048B Tri-Ball Tow Hitch
The B&W TS20048B is a premium adjustable trailer hitch that’s made in the USA. B&W take great pride in the fact that even the steel is American-made and they ensure that the welds that hold the hitch together are the best they could possibly be.
It’s made from a heavy duty steel construction with superior corrosion prevention qualities and even the supplied pins and clips are rustproof.
Other features of the B&W TS20048B include:
- Gross trailer weight of 14,500 LBS (2 5/16 inch ball)
- 1,450 LBS tongue weight rating
- Three different weight rating depending on the shank used
- Provides 5 inches of drop or 4 1/2 inch of rise
- Height adjusts in 1 inch increments
- Anti-theft design and fits any 2.5 inch receiver
- Rotates under your vehicle when not in use
The B&W TS20048B is the best adjustable trailer hitch on the market that ticks all the boxes. The only drawback is that it does come with a higher price tag than the alternatives but it’s a worthwhile investment that won’t disappoint.Check it Out
2. CURT 45900 Adjustable Trailer Hitch
CURT produce a wide range of hitches but the 45900 adjustable trailer hitch is by far the most popular. It uses an intuitive channel mount design that can be flipped to provide a 6 inch drop or 5 1/4 inch rise to best suit your towing requirements.
It comes as a complete package and includes a ball hitch, which comes with a standard shank that fits any standard receivers.
Other features of the CURT 45900 Tow Hitch include:
- Gross trailer weight of up to 14,000 LBS (2 5/16 inch ball)
- Completely weather resistant
- Fits the majority of hitch receivers
- Built-in anti-rattle mechanism for smoother towing
- Adjustable pintle attachment
The CURT brand are one of the leading manufacturers in the towing industry and go the extra mile to produce the best. Small features such as the carbide powder coating and zinc plating upon the dual ball attachment ensure the hitch is built to last.
Overall, the CURT 45900 trailer hitch a great option and offers excellent bang for your buck when compared to similar designed adjustable hitches.Check it Out
3. Andersen 3410 Adjustable Tow Hitch
The 3410 Rapid Hitch model by Anderson Hitches is their new and improved trailer hitch that provides a 6 inch drop and rise. It’s constructed entirely from polished aluminum, which not only looks great but doesn’t rust, peel or chip.
Anderson Hitches named it the “Rapid Hitch” due to the ease of adjusting the height. It’s as simple as pulling the pin, moving the ball to the required height and placing the pin back in place. It’s the exact same steps required to change the ball size too.
Other features of the Andersen 3410 include:
- Gross trailer weight of 10,000 LBS (2 5/16 inch ball)
- 1,500 LBS tongue weight rating
- Greaseless AlumiBall that requires no lubrication
- Meets V5 and SAE J684
- Fits all standard 2 inch receivers
- Made in the USA
The 3410 Rapid Hitch is a maintenance-free trailer hitch that uses the strongest aluminum available for heavy duty towing. The polished construction also looks great and the package as a whole offers great value for money and won’t disappoint.Check it Out
4. BulletProof Hitches Heavy Duty Trailer Hitch
As the brand name suggests, BulletProof Hitches specialize in manufacturing heavy duty hitches. They offer multiple configurations of their adjustable trailer hitch that includes 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 16 inches of drop or rise.
According to the brand, it’s the highest quality military grade hitch available in the USA and it even comes with a lifetime warranty for peace of mind.
Other features of the BulletProof Hitches Adjustable Hitch include:
- Made in the USA
- 22,000 LBS towing capacity
- 3,000 LBS tongue weight
- Heat treated anti corrosion pins
- Solid steel dual balls
- Textured black powder coated finish
- 4 to 16 inch drop or rise
The BulletProof Hitches adjustable trailer hitch is the best heavy duty option on the market that will last a lifetime. The huge towing capacity along with the military grade construction will reliably haul heavy loads for thousands of miles. Although expensive, the brand offer a lifetime warranty for complete peace of mind.Check it Out
5. Trimax TRZ8AL Adjustable Trailer Hitch
As with the Anderson Hitches option above, this hitch also uses a hardened and polished aluminum construction for heavy duty usage.
Trimax offer this model in different adjustable heights that include 6, 8 and 12 inches. The 6 inch hitch is ideal for lowered vehicles whereas the 12 inch alternative is perfect for lifted trucks that need the hitch dropped further down.
Other features of the Trimax TRZ8AL include:
- Gross trailer weight of 10,000 LBS
- Tongue weight of 1,500 LBS
- Adjustable in 1 inch increments
- Rear locking ball mount
- Includes a 2 and 2 5/16 dual tow ball
- Made in the USA
The Trimax TRZ8AL is a well-made adjustable trailer hitch that can be easily adjusted to best suit your towing requirements on any vehicle. The drop hitch length of up to 12 inches is ideal for lifted vehicles and is far cheaper than many other manufacturers.Check it Out
6. GenY GH-524 Adjustable Drop Hitch
Another premium option that’s designed for heavy duty usage and has a large towing capacity is the GenY GH-524. In terms of its construction, it’s made from a fabricated steel, which has then been coated in a durable silver-vein powder coating to increase its durability.
In terms of the strength of this adjustable drop hitch, it’s able to haul up to 16,000 LBS and is compatible with any 2 inch ball mount.
Other features of the GenY GH-524 include:
- Dual ball mount
- 7.5 inch drop
- Easy 1-pin adjustment
- High quality construction
- Powder coated finish to prevent corrosion
The brand also offer several other trailer hitches to best suit your requirements or budget. However, the GH-524 is their most popular and is suitable for heavy trailer loads with a towing capacity of up to 16,000 LBS.Check it Out
7. MaxxHaul 70380 Adjustable Trailer Hitch
If you require a cheap trailer hitch that’s capable of towing relatively heavy loads, the MaxxHaul 70380 is the best option. It’s an adjustable dual ball mount setup that’s capable of towing up to 12,000 LBS using a 2-5/16 inch ball.
In terms of the adjustable functionality, it’s able to rise to 7.5 inches and drop by 6.5 inches to best suit your towing requirements.
Other features of the MaxxHaul 70380 include:
- Compatible with 2 and 2-5/16 inch ball diameters
- 12,000 LBS towing capacity
- Dual pin design
- SAE J684E compliant
- Black and chrome finish
- All steel construction
The MaxxHaul 70380 is an affordable adjustable trailer hitch that combines value for money and towing performance. It’s a versatile hitch with a dual ball mount design and is built to last with a durable all-steel construction.Check it Out
8. CURT 13105 Class 3 Trailer Hitch
The CURT brand manufacturer the largest variety of receiver hitches that are suitable the majority of towing vehicles. The 13105 model is a class 3 trailer hitch that’s capable of handling 3,500 LBS GTW and 350 LBS tongue weight.
As this receiver hitch has a specific design for certain models, we recommend using the vehicle selector to find the exact hitch for suitable for your vehicle.
Other features of the CURT 13105 Class 3 Trailer Hitch include:
- Vehicle specific design that are tested to SAE J684 standards
- Rust, chip and UV resistant with a powder coated finish
- Provides a 2 inch opening to suit a variety of ball mounts
- Includes all mounting hardware
- Compatible with weight distribution hitches
- Made in the USA
Overall, the CURT 13105 trailer hitch is the best option for those requiring a class 3 hitch that simply bolts on. However, to avoid disappointment, you want to ensure that you have chosen the exact hitch that’s suitable for your vehicle.Check it Out
9. Reese Towpower 37042 Receiver Hitch
Reese Towpower are another popular towing brand that are well-known for their affordable and durable automotive products. The 37042 is their most popular multi-fit receiver hitch, which according to the brand can be installed in under 45 minutes to a range of vehicles.
With a 2 inch opening, it’s one of the best receiver hitch option for a range of different trailer balls, which is an additional component required with this package.
Other features of the Reese Towpower 37042 Receiver Hitch include:
- Gross trailer weight of 5,000 LBS
- Tongue weight of 500 LBS
- 2 inch opening
- Class 3 hitch
- Patented MetalShield protective coating
- All welded construction for extra strength
- Bolt on installation with no special tools required
Overall, it’s a durable receiver hitch that’s compatible with the majority of passenger cars, trucks and SUV’s and can be easily installed. The brand state that it takes just 45 minutes to install but some installation may require drilling.Check it Out
10. Draw-Tite 76028 Max-Frame Receiver Hitch
An alternative receiver hitch is the Draw-Tite 76028, which also provides a 2 inch opening for ball mounts. It’s suitable for the majority of passenger vehicles and attaches directly onto the frame without any drilling required.
Although it’s an affordable option, it exceeds the V5 and SAE J684 standards and includes a lifetime warranty for complete peace of mind.
Other features of the Draw-Tite 76028 include:
- 4,500 LBS gross trailer weight
- 675 tongue weight rating
- All-welded construction for maximum strength
- Black powder coated finish
- Round tube frame
- Limited lifetime warranty
The Draw-Tite 76028 is one of the best options for installing a receiver hitch on a tight budget. Unlike many other receiver hitches, it doesn’t require any drilling, which is very beneficial for those that are worried about causing damage to their vehicle.Check it Out
Trailer Hitch Buying Guide
Installing an aftermarket trailer hitch allows you to haul a range of different things such as a race car, boat or even a trailer hitch bike rack. Before making your mind up, you want to ensure that the hitch exceeds the weight of the trailer when fully loaded.
You will also require various components before you begin towing and these are not always included within the complete package. Components includes the hitch, ball mount, trailer ball, pin and clip and safety chains that are required by law.
To help you make an informed buying decision, we have produced the below guide regarding trailer hitches.
As mentioned above, you will require a number of components to begin your towing experience. Some vehicles will come with some of these but the majority will require them to begin hauling heavy loads.
The trailer hitch is the main component of the towing system that connects to the a trailer from your vehicle. There are several variations of the trailer hitch that include the rear receiver, bumper, pintle, front mounted, weight distribution hitch and many others.
They can be bolted onto your vehicle via a receiver opening or welded straight on, which is more stronger but cannot be removed.
In terms of the classification, trailer hitches are available in various classes (discussed below) and many are height adjustable to suit your towing requirements.
The ball mount is the component that connects into the receiver opening and holds the trailer ball. They are available in a range of different styles and configurations but the adjustable ball mount is the most desirable and versatile.
Trailer balls are available in a range of diameter sizes that include 2, 2 5/16 or 3 inch and many others. They form the main connection between the tow vehicle and the coupler of the trailer. For hauling heavy loads, you will want a larger trailer ball as they will be able to handle a greater weight capacity.
The trailer ball can be easily adjusted to suit various couplers, with most ball mounts accepting various ball diameter sizes.
Hitch Pin and Clip
In order to keep the ball mount within the receiver, you will require hitch pin. They are usually an “L” shape that securely locks into the receiver and threads through the ball mount and is clipped into place.
In many states in the US, it’s a legal requirement to use safety chains when towing with your vehicle. The purpose of the chains is to secure the trailer to the car in case the hitch or coupler were to fail. It’s recommended that at least two safety chains are used for peace of mind.
As with safety chains, working trailer lights are also required by law. The lights must be able to output brake and turn signals, which is made possible by a wiring system. Most lighting system will have a wiring harness that plugs into the towing vehicle.
The Complete Package
Some manufacturers will provide everything in one package but it really does depend upon whether your vehicle has an OEM receiver or hitch. To help you visualize each component, we have produced the graphic below.
The class of the trailer hitch you choose is primarily dependent upon the vehicle used for towing. For example, most passenger cars or SUV’s will only be suitable for smaller trailer loads and are suited for class 1 or 2 hitches. Larger SUV’s and trucks on the other hand will be able to haul much heavier loads, which makes them suitable for class 3 to 5 hitches.
Differences between the five different classes include the following:
- Class I – 2,000 LBS GTW and 200 LBS tongue weight.
- Class II – 3,500 LBS GTW and 350 LBS tongue weight.
- Class III – 6,000 LBS GTW and 600 LBS tongue weights.
- Class IV – 10,000 LBS GTW and 1,000 LBS tongue weights.
- Class V – 12,000 LBS GTW and 1,200 LBS tongue weights.
Along with the different weight ratings, each class has different receiver openings and attachments to the vehicle. This will be a major factor that may sway your buying decision as it may be vehicle specific.
If you are planning on hauling heavy loads such as RVs or other heavy loads, we highly recommend that you look at a 5th wheel hitch. This type of hitch is suitable for trucks and is installed to the truck bed, which evenly distributes weight and ensures maximum stability.
Gross Trailer Weight
The gross trailer weight (GTW) is the total weight of the trailer and the load that is carrying. You should never exceed the GTW of your trailer hitch as this could result in catastrophic damage if the hitch were to fail at high speed.
It’s important to note that even though the hitch is able to handle the trailer and it’s cargo, the vehicle may not be able too. Therefore it’s crucial that you also check the towing capacity of your vehicle to avoid any stress upon the engine or transmission.
The tongue weight describes the downward force that the tongue of the trailer 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.
Adjustable Trailer Hitches
Many of the best trailer hitch recommendations within this article have an adjustable height. This is a requirement as the distance between the ground and the coupler of the trailer may differ. Depending upon the type of vehicle you drive, you may require a much greater drop. For example, lifted trucks will need a further drop than a standard passenger car.
Some manufacturers produce adjustable hitches that can drop or rise up to 12 inches. It’s advised that you take some measurements beforehand and ensure that the adjustments in height are compatible with the tow vehicle and trailer.
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 or removing the tow ball.
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. If you notice any weak points, its highly advisable to replace the trailer hitch to avoid any potential accidents.
Installing a Tow Hitch
Depending upon the type of vehicle, the installation of a trailer hitch may differ. Some people may even install hitches at the front, rear or even a gooseneck hitch in the truck bed. The first part of the installation process will involve the receiver, which for this guide connects to the rear of the vehicle.
- Use a floor jack to provide additional clearance.
- Assemble hitch to manufacturer specification without tightening any bolts.
- 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.
- Use C-Clamps to attach the trailer hitch to the chassis and securely bolt it in place.
- 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 don’t plan on fitting it yourself, there are many professionals that will do this at a low cost. CURT have their very own installation guide for those requiring a detailed step by step tutorial.
Trailer hitches are split into five different classes that define their gross trailer weight, tongue weight, receiver opening size and the attachment to the vehicle. It’s important that you choose a hitch that’s suitable for your vehicle to avoid disappointment. Many people will simply look at the GTW rating and base their buying decision upon which has the best rating. It’s advised that you check the towing capacity that your vehicle can handle and purchase the best trailer hitch available for your vehicle.