I Need To Tow A Trailer, What Do I Need?
Looking to tow a trailer? Let the experts at Tophitches.com help you in choosing the parts you need to tow a trailer.
Towing a trailer need not be a stressful driving situation, even though several aspects of your normal driving experience may change. Your vehicle becomes heavier, slower, and doesn't generally stop as well. It seems like other drivers rush around you, won't let you change lanes, and worst of all, they'll pull right in front of you and hit the brakes. It's no wonder that many drivers are reluctant to tow a trailer. But with the right gear and the right adjustments, towing can become almost as convenient and easy as normal driving.
Required towing products required to tow a trailer
1. Trailer Hitch Receiver
The trailer hitch attaches to the frame of the vehicle, usually with no drilling required. The receiver has a 1 1/4", 2" , 2.5" or 3" receiver opening for the ball mount. The most common size is the 2" receiver.
All of our trailer hitches we sell, whether a Curt Manufacturing Hitch, Reese, Draw-Tite, or Pro Series includes the installation hardware and instructions.
2. Ball Mount
The ball mount, also called a draw-bar, inserts into the receiver on the trailer hitch. The hitch ball is bolted to the ball mount.
Ball Mounts are sold primarily by the "Drop" or "Rise" they provide. A drop is needed to lower the height of the trailer hitch ball to the trailer. The opposite, a rise, is needed if the height of the trailer hitch ball needs to be raised to the trailer height.
Adjustable ball mounts look great on any vehicle and are ideal for those who tow more than 1 trailer.
3. Hitch Pins & Clips
The hitch pin secures the ball mount to the trailer hitch receiver. Hitch pins are either 1/2" or 5/8" depending on the hole size in the receiver and ball mount. The hole size is determined by the trailer hitch class.
Locking hitch pins are also sold which are great for those who leave the ball mount on even when not towing.
4. Trailer Hitch Ball
A trailer hitch ball provides a point at which the trailer coupler rotates to allow the trailer to turn with the vehicle.
Trailer hitch balls are available in 1 7/8", 2", 2 5/16" and 3" diameter. They are also available in different materials depending on where the trailer will be towed and the weight of the trailer.
5. Vehicle Trailer Wiring
The vehicle trailer wiring harness takes the signal from the vehicle or brake, turn and running lights and send this signal to the trailer. Depending on what type of lights the Tow vehicle has determines what type of wiring harness is needed.
Universal wiring harness are also available as well as vehicle specific trailer wiring harnesses.
You should know what kind of trailer you plan to tow. You might find that you need to tow a camping trailer, a utility trailer, a boat, a "dinghy" car behind your RV, or a horse and livestock trailer. Your trailer may require a basic receiver hitch, or it could be a heavy-duty fifth wheel hitch or gooseneck hitch design. The trailer may or may not come equipped with its own set of brakes.
Your towing needs are also dependent on the distance and road conditions along your route. For example, if you plan to tow a small trailer with motorcycles or ATVs to remote locations on unpaved roads, your needs are quite different from the driver who plans to tow a large fifth-wheel camper on Interstate freeways. And you might even have to consider alternating between both of these scenarios, and accommodating bike racks or cargo carriers.
Your tow vehicle may be a heavy or light-duty pickup truck, an RV, an SUV or family van, or a standard passenger car. Each of these has different characteristics and capabilities, and each may require different equipment to tow safely and legally. Additionally, your vehicle may be set up from the factory for towing, or you might need to install a hitch, wiring, or other upgrades before you can tow.
When you know these basic facts, you're ready to look up what you need. Whatever your individual towing situation may be, this website provides detailed information to help you match your vehicle to the right size trailer, select and install a hitch and wiring, choose towing accessories, hook up correctly, and tow your trailer successfully.
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