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How to setup your Tow / Trailer Hitch



Have you ever considered towing a trailer? The thought of it in itself is daunting for the majority of individuals. But don't be overwhelmed. With a few key points and our step by step video we will have you on the road in no time with trailer in tow.

If you don't have a trailer at the moment there are a few key points to keep in mind before purchasing a towing package for your vehicle. Be sure to check your Owners Manual to get an idea of the towing capacity your vehicle has as well as the weight of your vehicle. This will ensure that the products you do purchase for towing will be compatible and functional for your trailer.

Keep in mind that the lowest towing component will be the deciding factor for the weight capacity. For example, a Ford  F-150 is rated to tow 8,000 lbs but the hitch receiver is only equipped to handle 6,000 lbs of weight. That tells us we cannot exceed 6,000 lbs of towing weight.

Now, if you are towing a gooseneck trailer you would require a vehicle with a larger towing capacity such as the GMC Sierra 3500 that has a maximum towing capacity of 20,000 lbs.

Towing Classes:


Once you know the towing capacity of your vehicle you can now proceed to the next step. We will discuss the five different types of towing classes in order to figure out which class hitch you need to be equipped with. Class I in towing states that you can tow approximately 2000lbs. Class I towing is usually for subcompact cars to mid-size sedans towing small loads such as a flat bed trailer or single camper.

The second class has a towing range of approximately 3,500 lbs. The second class range is appropriate for mid-size cars to small pickups. This weight class is usually made up of small boats and small campers.

Class III towing has a towing capacity of 5,000 lbs. Class III is appropriate for mid-size cars and small trucks who are towing mid-size trailers and campers.

Class IV and V are for larger vehicles such as full size trucks, vans, and sport utility vehicles. Class IV: is for towing up to 7,500 lbs and Class V covers 10,000 lbs. or more. The last two classes are for towing larger items such as large boats, 5th wheels, full size campers or car haulers.

Types of Towing / Trailer Hitches:

The next item to keep in mind is the type of towing / trailer hitch you should invest in. There are three types of towing hitches: Basic receiver/ bumper pull hitch, gooseneck hitch and lastly fifth wheel hitch.

The standard bumper pull hitch is the most common type of hitch. The bumper pull hitch uses a simple receiver and draw bar that connect to hook-up the vehicle to the trailer.

The last two types of hitches are used for large and heavy-duty towing; this includes gooseneck and fifth-wheel hitches. Gooseneck hitches use trailer balls like the bumper pull uses, the difference being that the gooseneck attaches to the bed of the truck not to the bumper. Fifth wheel hitches use something similar to that of the gooseneck, but use a rail system to link the vehicle to the trailer. Gooseneck hitches can only be used on trucks since they have to be installed in the bed of the truck. A fifth wheel hitch has the same towing capabilities of a gooseneck however it can be installed on different parts of the vehicle making it a great choice for those that do not own a truck and have a large load.

One of the issues with using a gooseneck or fifth wheel hitch is that it does not give full access to the truck bed. Only a bumper pull hitch offers full access to the truck bed since the hitch is installed to the rear of the vehicle. If you do not mind losing out on space in your truck bed, a gooseneck is a great option. The gooseneck and fifth wheel hitches offer a great stability and can handle more weight than a standard bumper pull.

The cheapest option is the bumper pull and it is great for those towing those light to medium loads. For a larger price tag the gooseneck and fifth wheel have endless possibilities of towing and also allow for more flexibility. If you are towing a large trailer or boat, the gooseneck hitch is a great option since it allows a greater turning radius and thus an easier drive.

Towing Accessories:

The last items to take into consideration are not essential to towing a trailer but will make your drive a little bit easier. For example, dealerships will now offer a towing package for trucks and sport utility vehicles. This will include one of the above hitch bars installed and a brake controller. A brake controller is just that, a brake system. This additional brake is used in conjunction with your trailer. It allows for your vehicle and your tow to engage and slow down simultaneously. This added security is great for trailers since you have full control of manually activating the breaks when needed.

Earlier we mentioned that gooseneck hitches have greater stability control; one way to mimic the same stabilizing effect to a bumper pull is to add a stabilizing/ sway control bar. This bar is in the shape of a “V” and it attaches between the hitch and the trailers and allows more greater stability to avoid swaying on the road in windy conditions. The last item you can mount on your hitch and trailer is a weight distribution bar. The weight distribution bar is used for heavy loads as it allows the weight to be evenly carried throughout the vehicle and trailer. If your trailer appears to be diving forward chances are it is too heavy and will require a weight distribution bar for a safer tow.

How to Connect your receiver:

Once your vehicle is equipped with a tow package I will show you how to add the receiver to your hitch.

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First thing you have to do is to insert the ball into the draw bar. The ball connects like a bolt screw so once it is inserted it can be tighened.

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Secondly, insert the drawbar into the receiver.

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Thirdly, add the clip and use the pin to lock it into place

That's it! Now you are ready to hook-up your trailer.

Lastly, before you take off on your next adventure be sure to visually and physically inspect your vehicle to ensure it's in great condition. Most importantly, check your tires and wheels before taking off. If you have defective oem rims, give us a call and we'll assist you in replacing your factory original wheels.

We're here to help-

Silvia –

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