Installing a trailer hitch to your vehicle allows you to haul a range of different trailers and carriers up to 15,000 LBS. There are many aftermarket hitches that are adjustable and can be easily installed to a variety of vehicles.
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.
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.
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Trailer Hitch
- 2 B&W TS20048B Tri-Ball Tow Hitch
- 3 CURT 45900 Adjustable Trailer Hitch
- 4 Andersen 3410 Adjustable Tow Hitch
- 5 Trimax TRZ8AL Adjustable Trailer Hitch
- 6 Reese Towpower 37042 Receiver Hitch
- 7 Draw-Tite 76028 Max-Frame Receiver Hitch
- 8 CURT 13105 Class 3 Trailer Hitch
- 9 Trailer Hitch Buying Guide
- 10 Conclusion
Best Trailer Hitch
|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|
|Reese Towpower 37042||Receiver||5,000 LBS|
|Draw-Tite 76028||Receiver||4,500 LBS|
|CURT 13105||Receiver||3,500 LBS|
Each trailer hitch has a specific trailer weight rating and it’s highly recommended to use a hitch that is greater than the loaded trailer weight. It is also important that you check the tow vehicle capacity as you will not want to haul too much weight as it’ll cause extra stress to the vehicles 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, UV and rust resistance and a stainless steel construction are very desirable.
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.
B&W TS20048B Tri-Ball Tow Hitch
The B&W TS20048B is a premium adjustable trailer hitch that is 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 perfected.
Other features of the B&W TS20048B Adjustable Hitch 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
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, it is the best adjustable trailer hitch that ticks every box. The only drawback is that it does come with a high price tag but its a worthwhile investment.Check it Out
CURT 45900 Adjustable Trailer Hitch
The CURT 45900 adjustable trailer hitch is by far the most popular. It uses a channel mount design that can be flipped to provide a 6 inch drop or 5 1/4 inch rise to suit your towing requirements. As a complete package, the ball hitch comes with a standard shank, which will fit 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 leading manufacturers in the towing industry and always 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 long lasting.
Overall, the CURT 45900 trailer hitch a great option and offers excellent bang for your buck when compared to similar adjustable hitches.Check it Out
Andersen 3410 Adjustable Tow Hitch
The 3410 Rapid Hitch model by Anderson Hitches is their new and improved trailer hitch that provides 6 inches of drop and rise. It is constructed entirely from polished aluminum, which not only looks great but also doesn’t rust, peel or chip.
Other features of the Andersen 3410 Adjustable Receiver Hitch 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
Anderson Hitches have named it the “Rapid Hitch” due to the ease of adjusting the height. It is as simple as pulling the pin, moving the ball to the required height and placing the pin back in place. It is the same steps required when it comes to changing the ball size, which makes things much easier.
It is a maintenance-free trailer hitch that uses the strongest aluminum available for heavy duty towing. The polished construction also look great and the package as a whole will not disappoint.Check it Out
Trimax TRZ8AL Adjustable Trailer Hitch
Another popular brand of trailer hitches is the Trimax TRZ8AL, which is suitable for towing weights up to 10,000 LBS. As with the Anderson Hitches above, this hitch also used a hardened and polished aluminum construction for heavy duty usage.
Other features of the Trimax TRZ8AL Adjustable Hitch include:
- Gross trailer weight of 10,000 LBS
- Tongue weight of 1,500 LBS
- Provides 8 inches of rise or drop
- Adjustable in 1 inch increments
- Rear locking ball mount
- Includes a 2 and 2 5/16 dual tow ball
- Made in the USA
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.
The Trimax TRZ8AL is a well-made adjustable trailer hitch that can be easily adjusted to suit your towing requirements on any vehicle.Check it Out
Reese Towpower 37042 Receiver Hitch
Reese Towpower are a very popular towing brand and are known for affordable and durable automotive products. The 37042 is a multi-fit receiver hitch with a 2 inch opening that can be installed in under 45 minutes to a range of vehicles.
Other features of the Reese Towpower 37042 Receiver Hitch include:
- Gross trailer weight of 5,000 LBS
- Tongue weight of 500 LBS
- Class 3 hitch
- Patented MetalShield protective coating
- All welded construction for extra strength
- Bolt on installation with no special tools required
With a 2 inch opening, it is one of the best receiver hitch options for a range of different trailer balls. The trailer ball is an additional component that needs to be purchased to complete the package.
Overall, it is a durable receiver hitch that can be easily installed and is compatible with the majority of passenger cars, trucks and SUV’s.Check it Out
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 is suitable for the majority of passenger vehicles and attaches directly onto the frame without any drilling required.
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
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Exceeds V5 and SAE J684 standards
The Draw-Tite 76028 is one of the best options for installing a receiver hitch on a tight budget. Unlike many other receiver hitches, this does not require any drilling, which is very beneficial for many that are worried about causing damage to their vehicle.Check it Out
CURT 13105 Class 3 Trailer Hitch
The CURT brand manufacturer the largest variety of receiver hitches for the majority of towing vehicles. The 13105 model is a class 3 trailer hitch that is capable of handling 3,500 LBS GTW and 350 LBS tongue weight.
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
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.
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, ensure that you have chosen the exact hitch for your 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 bike rack. Before making your mind up, you will want to ensure that the hitch exceeds the weight of the trailer when fully loaded.
You will require various components before you begin towing and these are not often included within a 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 standard 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, which is more stronger but cannot be removed.
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 larger 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 is a legal requirement to use safety chains when towing with your vehicle. The purpose is to secure the trailer to the car in case the hitch or coupler were to fail. It is recommended that at least two safety chains are used.
As with safety chains, working trailer lights are 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 factor that may sway your buying decision as it may be vehicle specific.
If you are planning on hauling heavy loads such as RVs and 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 ensure 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 hitches were to fail at high speed.
It is 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 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 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.
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 is 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 do not 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.
There is a wide variety of trailer hitches available but it’s important that you choose one that is suitable for your vehicle. 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 that the vehicle is compatible with.
All of our recommendations are suited to a range of vehicles and budgets. After investing into a trailer hitch, you should look into security with a trailer hitch lock as many people may target your trailer.