Whether you are pulling a pleasure boat, a horse trailer or a pop-up camper, the right hitch can make all the difference. Having the right hitch in place means increased safety for your tow vehicle and your trailer, easier pulling and less stress and strain on your truck. Choosing the right hitch is not difficult, but it is important to consider your needs carefully.
When choosing a tow hitch
for your truck, it is often a good idea to buy a bigger setup than you think you will need. If you buy a larger hitch than you expect to need, you leave yourself room for change later on. Then if you decide to buy a bigger boat, haul a larger horse trailer or go on an extended vacation with your camper, you will be all set.
Before you go shopping for a trailer hitch
, first take a good look at the trailer you plan to haul. You should be able to find the weight of the trailer when empty by looking at the manual that came with the vehicle. Do not forget to add the weight of what you will be hauling when you shop for a hitch. The average horse can weigh up to 1,000 pounds, so if you plan to haul a two horse trailer you will need to add a full ton to the needed weight capacity when you choose your hitch.
If the total weight of your trailer is less than 2,000 pounds and the tongue weight is less than 200 pounds, a class I trailer hitch should be all you need to pull that trailer safely. You can find the tongue weight as well as the trailer weight in your owner manual.
You need a class II hitch if your trailer weighs up to 3,500 and has a tongue weight of up to 300 pounds. A class II trailer hitch should be sufficient to pull a small boat, a snowmobile trailer or a camper.
You need a larger truck hitch
to handle trailer weights of up to 5,000 pounds, with a tongue weight of up to 300 pounds. It is important to check the weight of the trailer before you go shopping for a hitch, and it is just as important to consider your future needs when you choose a hitch for your vehicle. If you think you might upgrade to a larger boat down the road, buying a larger hitch for your vehicle is a smart move. A larger hitch will give you move flexibility, no matter what you plan to haul.