How To Install A Hitch On A Truck: Step-by-step Guide - Top Hitches

This is the common hitch part which consists of a ball platform and a shank. You will insert the shank inside the hitch receiver tube for the ball platform to be stable for the trailer ball to be mounted on.

A receiver tube

The receiver tube is a built-in part of the trailer hitch designed for the ball mount and the hitch pin to insert in.

A hitch pin

A hitch pin is a L-shaped metal part that glues the shank to the receiver tube. The hitch pin will go through one side of the receiver tube, through the shank, and end at the other side.  

A trailer ball

The ball of the trailer hitch is the most visible accessory. It acts as the connecting point for your vehicle and trailer. The trailer ball is mounted on the ball mount to stabilize the trailer while you turn corners or over bumps and hills.

How To Install A Hitch On A Truck 

Hitch installation

Installing a hitch is the first step to complete a whole towing system. Although the overall process seems to be simple, it might be a bit tricky if you don’t have the right tools.

Here is a step-by-step guide to install a hitch on a truck.

Step 1: Prepare your tools.

It is always important to find all the necessary tools before proceeding with your work to ensure there is no interruption. Although you may have different hitch types, the installation would require these basic tools:

Lubricant, C-clamp, wire tube brush, torque wrench, wheel chocks, pin and clip, and Power drill.

Step 2: Light up your work section

Light up your work section

Nothing is worse than working under your vehicle in a dark environment. Having an extra light source to shine under the vehicle will help you work easier and faster. You can also identify the position of bolts and holes for your hitch installation.

Step 3: Prepare the truck

As the underneath of the vehicle might be too low for you to work on, you can use wheel chocks to stabilize your truck on the front wheels.

Activate the emergency brake. Then place two wedges in the center of two rear tires.

Then you can jack up your truck to give bigger space for you to work on hitch installation. It is optional as some vehicles already have a high car chassis. You can also remove some obstacles in the workspace, such as spare tires.

If your truck doesn’t have pre-drilled holes already, you can drill holes into the frame of your truck. When drilling holes, don’t drill more than 1/16 inch thicker than the bolt you’re using.

Step 4: Install the hitch

Now that you are ready to work on the hitch, it’s time for the main business.

First, lift the hitch to the right position. As the trailer hitch can be up to 50lbs, you may want to have some assistance.

Then use a C-clamp to keep it in place. At this point, you can use your hands to tighten the bolts and nuts to stabilize the hitch’s position. When the hitch is attached, it’s time for you to finish it with a few torques.

Step 5: Complete the installation

In any hitch installation instruction, you will find a specification of the required torque value for that trailer hitch. Depending on the size of the bolts, the amount of torque can vary from 100-foot pounds of torque to 150-foot pounds.

Step 6: Check the quality

It is important to ensure that your installation is secured and safe to use in the future. That’s why you should give the trailer hitch a few shakes and wiggles after you finish torquing it.

Tips For Installing A Hitch On A Truck 

Installing a hitch on a truck is a simple method to help you build the towing system for hooking up trailers or carrying other heavy objects on your journey. Here are some tips to give you a smooth hitch installation.

Check the condition of the weld nuts

Corrosion happens due to exposure to external elements. It damages your weld nuts which can be a place for your hitch’s bolts to mount on. If there are small rust and buildup, you can clean the threads by adding lubricant and a wire brush.

Adding bolts by fish wiring

Some hitch installation may need to be fish wired through the vehicle frame. Drill the holes in the position you want to hang your hitch. Then pass the end of the fish wire through one hole and out the other hole. Then make a spacer onto the coiled end and thread the bolt on the coil.

Now you can pull the fish wire through the hole so that the bolt can pass through the spacer and out the hole.

Drilling into the frame

It is normal for some hitch installation to require drilling into the frame if there are no holes to hang the hitch.

First, you can use a paint pen to mark the drill location. Then drill a pilot hole and increase the size slowly by using larger drill bits to reach the correct size of the bolt.


Whether you need to carry a kayak on your truck or move your home, you can save so much money hiring services by installing a trailer hitch for your truck. After knowing how to install a hitch on a truck, we hope you can follow our step-by-step guide easily and solve your moving problems.

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Jason M. Dowell

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