If you have no knowledge of trailer hitches or have never worked with them before then buying a trailer hitch may be a very scary proposition. The wide assortment of trailer hitches are very disconcerting because most of them do not have names that emphasize any part of their use or their ability to manage the weights or loads you will place upon them. Hitches also have industry terms that I will try to avoid as to not confuse you any more than you need to be confused. You will get a good understanding of the basics and you should be able to use the knowledge to make educated decisions about what you need.
Does Your Hitch Carry the Load or Distribute the Load?
If you read articles about trailer hitches then you will see that some sites talk about how hitches distribute the weight in order to manage the stress. You may also find that other articles talk about the hitch "carrying" the load. They are both correct because a hitch can do either of these two activities. However, distribution is the more preferred of the two types because of the fact that the hitch can be complimented with sway controllers in an effort to control swaying which increases balance and limits accidents.
The other type of hitches, the non-distribution kind or carrying kind do not do this and they can be more dangerous. It is not necessarily a bad thing if you understand how to create equilibrium between the two sides so that you stabilize the load yourself.
Hitches Come in Front and Rear Varieties?
If you have driven on the road, then there is no doubt that you have seen the rear mounted trailer hitches. In fact, many truck manufacturers include it with their vehicles. What you do not see all the time is the front mounted trailer hitch, but they do exist. Fortunately, front and rear hitches are very similar and will not confuse you if you understand trailer hitches in a general fashion. Front hitches tend to be much more simple to attach and you may find that they are also easier to use just based on the design and how they work.
Class 1 and 2 Receivers
More terms to confuse you here, but we will try to make it easy for you. Class 1 and 2 receivers are generally used on small cars, however, that does not mean your car was built to tow anything. Make sure to check your manual before you do anything. The manual will usually tell you how much your car can tow, make sure to include your weight and any passengers, and if you can attach a hitch without damaging the vehicle. A 1 1/4 receiver is the most common type and that usually associates with a ball hitch mount. Another truth about trailer hitches is the manufacturer makes a certain kind of hitch from called, "Hidden".
Class 1 Hidden trailers are known to have an approximate load bearing capacity of around 2,000 lbs.
Class 2 Hidden Hitches tend to be stronger and have been tested to be stronger by about 1,500 lbs or 3,500 lbs.
Class 3 Receivers
You will find this style of hitch used with trucks and SUV's. Obviously, the extra strength requires a bigger size, so do no be surprised when these hitches look larger than their counterparts. 8,000 lbs. is what these types of hitches have been known to haul, which is quite a bit more than the other two classes of hitches.
Class 4 and 5 Receivers
Looking for industrial strength hitches? You are looking for these types of hitches if you need that power. Class 4 receivers increase the lbs hauling capacity by at least 2000 lbs. They can handle 10000 to 120000 lbs. Need more? How about an extra 2000 lbs over the previous model? Class 5 receivers can deliver. The hitches both have 2 inch receiver tubes, however, there are some types of the larger kinds (Class 5) that use an even bigger tube. The tube is 1.2 inch bigger.
Fifth Wheel Hitch
You will find these types of hitches on commercial rigs such as popular moving van companies. Do not let that concern you, though. The hitches are meant for work. They are very sturdy and well built to handle a lot of weight. They are very capable of moving heavy loads.The power of these hitches is evident once you know that they can haul 16000 to 30000 lbs. They stand up to bumps and corners very well. You will find them to be very sturdy and build for the commercial/industrial needs of a company. Interestingly enough, they are the only type of hitch where you find the coupling device attached to the hitch and not the trailer itself.
You find these types of hitches moving livestock, cars, toys, or commercial trailers. They are known for moving the weight forward of the vehicle's rear axle. They also tend to be very strong as they can deal with 30000 lbs.
Hopefully, that article was not too confusing and you gained a lot of knowledge by reading it. The thing to keep in mind is that you may want a certain kind of hitch, but you may not be able to use that hitch. You need to look at your manual for specific information that can help you find the trailer hitch you need and that your vehicle can handle.
Trunk Monkey Parts carries Weigh Safe Trailer Hitches. Weigh Safe trailer hitches measure the weight of your trailer so that you can enjoy your trip without having to worry about if you trailer is too heavy or does not have enough weight. Click here to find out more or to get a hitch now.