There is any number of reasons why you would want to tow or haul a trailer. Whether you have a job to do or you want to go on vacation, we have found the best trailer hitch options for you. We will look at each model based on the type of hitch it is and what additional features it offers.


How Does a Trailer Hitch Work?

If you plan to tow, the trailer hitch is necessary for safety purposes. It attaches to your vehicle and connects to whatever you are towing. You can then tow your trailer, boat, RV, or another car. Even when you don't tow the hitch is helpful, because the receiver can serve to house a bike rack or cargo basket.


Types of Trailer Hitches

Rear Receiver Hitch

These are mounted on the rear of the vehicle and rated by class (Class 1-5).

Front Mount Hitch

This hitch is found on the front of a vehicle and ideal for carrying cargo.

5th Wheel Hitch

The 5th wheel hitch is located inside the truck bed and can handle more weight than one on the frame or bumper.

Gooseneck Hitch

Similar to the 5th wheel hitch, this model is mounted in the truck bed, but the design provides for more turning radius.

Pintle Hitch

The pintle hitch is used for heavy-duty towing applications and is a good option for off-road terrain.

Bumper Hitch

You install this to the bumper instead of the vehicle frame.

Weight Distribution Hitch

The unique construction of a weight-distribution hitch creates more stability to reduce trailer sway.

RV Hitch

Depending on what type of RV you have, you would either use a rear receiver, 5th wheel, weight distribution, or bumper hitch.

Multi-Fit Hitch

This format features a sliding frame to fit your vehicle perfectly.

Custom Hitch

You can have a hitch specifically designed for your vehicle and tow equipment.


Factors to Consider When Choosing a Trailer Hitch

Vehicle & Trailer Type

The first consideration is what type of vehicle you are driving and what you need to tow. You need a hitch that is compatible with both, or it simply won't work. For example, you won't try to bumper pull a fifth-wheel trailer because you won't be able to connect the two vehicles.

Towing Capacity

Check the rating of the hitch to ensure it will tow your equipment. You will need to know what your tow vehicle weighs when loaded to figure out what kind of a hitch you will require. Of course, you should also know what your vehicle is capable of towing as well.

Usage or Purpose

If you simply want to carry cargo or you plan to install a bike rack on the hitch, then you have much less to think about than the person looking to tow a massive RV. When you are picking out the hitch, make sure it is something you can grow into, just in case you feel like doing more with it later.

Hitch Class

There are five trailer hitch classes. Class 1 is meant for compact vehicles and handles up to 2,000 pounds. Class 5, on the other hand, attaches to full-size pickups and SUVs, plus it will tow up to 18,000 pounds. You can choose one of those or a class in between that fits your needs.

Hitch Receiver Sizes

Common hitch receiver sizes are 1-1/4" and 2". You will want to make sure that the receptacle part of your trailer hitch accommodates various inserts, including accessory carriers, ball mounts, and drawbars. Otherwise, your hitch won't be compatible with the other parts you want to attach and the items you wish to tow.

Capacities

This is the time to consider the gross trailer vehicle weight as well as the tongue weight. You want to pay close attention to these numbers, as they tell you what you can safely tow with your equipment. Don't exceed these figures, or you could put yourself and others in danger.

Ease of Installation

Unless you are a trailering pro, you don’t want to deal with complicated installations. Look through the reviews to find out what others thought of the trailer hitch installation. If it was simple to most people, the chances are, you will find the same. You also want to pay attention to what tools you will need to finish the install.

Adjustability

Some hitches provide easy adjustments, which make towing more comfortable than ever. You can typically find this information in the reviews and product descriptions. Remember, the more versatile a trailer hitch is, the less you have to worry about. However, you will pay more for every additional feature your hitch comes with.

Price & Warranty

It’s not difficult to find a trailer hitch on a budget, but you have to be careful that you don’t sacrifice quality in the process. You also want to read the descriptions to find out what the trailer hitch installation cost will be. For example, if one set comes with everything you need, but another doesn't contain anything, you will spend more to install the second option. Make sure you take the time to read the warranty information as well because this provides peace of mind. Even the best adjustable trailer hitch can fail from time to time.


11 Best Trailer Hitches Reviewed

1. BulletProof

Our Top Pick!

Weight Capacity

22,000 lbs

Class

4

Material

Stainless steel

Certified

Yes, DOT Certified

Receiver Size

2”

Warranty

Yes, limited lifetime

With this military-grade hitch, you won’t have to worry about durability. This part is made from the highest quality stainless steel and finished with a textured black powder coat. Plus, the hitches are produced in the United States. Aside from the hitch itself, this part also features 5/8” heat-treated anti-corrosion pins and a 2-5/16” solid steel dual ball. The Class 4 2-inch shank will fit into any 2-inch receiver.

This adjustable trailer hitch has five varying heights to make connections easier than ever. You won’t need to do a lot of maneuvering and fiddling to get hitched up. With this model, you receive a maximum tongue weight of 3,000 pounds and a maximum towing capacity of 22,000 pounds, but there are alternate trailer hitch sizes if you need something different.

The reviews on this heavy-duty trailer hitch prove it is a winner. You will be hard-pressed to find a user saying something negative about the construction, durability, and usability. The price isn't outrageous either, especially considering all that it offers. To make it even better, this model features a lifetime, no-hassle warranty. If there is a defect in manufacturing, you are entirely covered. All of these things add up to make this model our choice as our top pick.

Pros

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Durable construction
  • Reasonable price
  • Highly rated
  • Wide range of size options

Cons

  • Can’t find anything wrong

2. B&W Companion RVK3500

Best 5th Wheel Trailer Hitch

Weight Capacity

20,000 lbs

Class

N/A

Material

HD welded steel

Certified

No

Receiver Size

N/A

Warranty

Yes, limited lifetime

Do you need a trailer hitch for an RV? With a fifth-wheel in tow, you need something heavy-duty, such as this option – the best 5th wheel hitch. It features a fully-articulating head that allows for seamless front and back movement as well as side-to-side pivoting. There are three vertical adjustments with this unit. You can opt for heights from 16.25" to 18.25," and there are four-inches of front to back adjustments with the three coupler positions.

Tow up to 20,000 pounds with this heavy-duty hitch, and you also get a tongue weight capacity of 5,000 pounds. Because this setup doesn’t use mounting rails, you can still use your truck for additional things other than just towing. The wide stance is specifically engineered to give you more strength and stability. Plus, the polyurethane bushings offer a quiet and rattle-free experience.

With the cam action latching handle, you receive a smooth release, which is vital when you are parked on an unlevel site. To gain all of these features, you are going to spend a little more, but the reviews suggest that the investment is worth it. You also won't need to worry about defects in manufacturing. The company provides a limited lifetime warranty so that you can tow with additional peace of mind.

Pros

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Allows for easy adjustments
  • Superior reviews
  • Strong construction

Cons

  • Higher price

3. B&W TS10048B

Best Adjustable Trailer Hitch

Weight Capacity

10,000 lbs

Class

4

Material

steel

Certified

Meets SAE J-684 standards

Receiver Size

2”

Warranty

Yes, limited lifetime

You can’t really complain about the price of this adjustable trailer hitch. It features a tri-ball that measures 1-7/8" x 2" x 2-5/16". Plus, there is a five-inch drop from the top of the shank to the bottom of the ball. You can use it with a standard two-inch receiver hitch, so you can get towing right away. Simply rotate the ball until you get to the desired size you need. With this design, you won’t need to invest in multiple ball mounts. It’s like having multiple configurations without paying for them.

This hitch tows up to 10,000 pounds and has a tongue weight rating of 1,000 pounds. All of the tow hitches are tested to surpass the endurance and strength ratings of SAE J-684, which is the standard for bumper pulled hitches. This hitch is constructed in the United States.

It also features a dual-process chrome ball plating, a black powder-coated shank that’s corrosion-resistant, as well as stainless steel pins. The durable steel construction will hold up, even under excessive stress. As with the earlier options, this hitch also comes with a limited lifetime warranty. Considering how low the price is, it’s quite exceptional how much coverage is offered with this unit.

Pros

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Multiple ball choices
  • Durable steel construction
  • Low price

Cons

  • Less capability

4. Husky 32218

Best Weight Distribution Trailer Hitch

Weight Capacity

12,000 lbs

Class

4

Material

steel

Certified

No

Receiver Size

2”

Warranty

Yes, limited lifetime

If you want to avoid trailer sway without the need for additional equipment, this weight distribution hitch is the ideal solution. It combines superior weight distribution as well as sway control in this simple to use the unit. You won’t need to install any other hardware, making for a quick installation. You can use the handle to hook up or remove bars, plus the universal EZ Adjust frame brackets make adjustments and installation a breeze.

Some weight distribution hitches make a lot of noise, but not this model. You will find that it is much quieter than other hitches. Plus, it’s constructed of durable materials for a long life. It features forged and hardened steel pieces that provide many years of service. The hitch-ball is also properly torqued and factory pre-installed.

Tow up to 12,000 pounds with this model. Considering the sway control, this hitch provides an excellent value for towing. As with the other leaders in the industry, this hitch comes with a limited lifetime warranty. If something should happen while you are towing because the company didn’t produce the hitch right, you will be covered. One quick look at the Husky hitch reviews indicates that this model is one of the top choices.

Pros

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Quick adjustments and installation
  • Strong construction
  • Reasonable price
  • Sway control

Cons

  • Heavy

5. GenY GH-524

Best Pintle/Ball Mount Trailer Hitch

Weight Capacity

16,000 lbs

Class

5

Material

steel

Certified

No

Receiver Size

2”

Warranty

Yes, limited lifetime

Get a high-quality, durable steel hitch without spending a fortune. This unit is sandblasted and coated with a durable silver vein powder coat for additional protection. You can tow your travel trailer, boat, and so much more because you have up to 16,000 pounds of towing capacity with this hitch. It will adapt to any bumper style trailer and includes the pintle-style couplings for more accessibility.

The one-pin adjustment complete with anti-ware pin holes makes this hit functional and versatile. Plus, it's compatible with any standard two-inch ball mount. Use it with a luggage rack, cargo rack, motorcycle carrier, and more. There are no limits to the ways you can use this GenY Class V hitch. Your package will include the pintle lock, Versa-ball mount, and receiver.

Considering how much you can tow with this simple design, it’s nice to see the price so low. It’s priced lower than some other units without as much capability. Furthermore, the company is happy to offer a limited lifetime guarantee. The only trouble that some of the reviews pointed out was the chance of having a complicated installation. For most people that are accustomed to using these hitches, there shouldn’t be a problem.

Pros

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Heavy-duty
  • Durable
  • Low price

Cons

  • Difficult installation

6. CURT 45900

Best Trailer Ball Hitch

Weight Capacity

14,000 lbs

Class

3,4, 5

Material

steel

Certified

No

Receiver Size

2”

Warranty

Yes, limited lifetime

Not only is CURT a leader in the hitch industry, but this model is priced extremely low. You might think that you have to sacrifice quality, but the CURT hitch reviews prove that’s simply not true. Adapt your trailer to nearly any situation with this versatile mode and adjustable design. With the channel-style shank, you can flip it to provide either a six-inch drop or a 5-1/4-inch rise.

When you tow with this hitch, you won't notice any unusual vibration. This model provides a smooth ride, thanks to the unique anti-rattle feature. Plus, it is made from high-strength steel. Use the two-inch ball to get a towing capacity of 10,000 pounds or the 2-5/16-inch ball to increase the capacity to 14,000 pounds.

It will fit any two-inch trailer hitch receiver and ideal for Class 3, Class 4 and Class 5 hitches. Plus, it is completely weather-resistant to protect the hitch from the elements. Even the ball attachment is protected with corrosion-resistant plating. There are multiple configurations available to choose from, depending on what your needs are. Once again, we see a limited lifetime warranty with this model. Even with the lower price, you don’t have to give up the added protection you desire.

Pros

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Anti-rattle feature
  • Easy to use
  • Low price

Cons

  • Finish not as durable

7. Rigid Hitch Class 3 R3-0518

Best Trailer Hitch For RAV4

Weight Capacity

4,500 lbs

Class

3

Material

steel

Certified

SAE and VESC regulation

Receiver Size

2”

Warranty

Yes, limited lifetime

Do you need the best trailer hitch for 2018 a RAV4? This model appears to be one of the top choices. It is made in the United States and features the standard two-inch receiver opening. The price is exceptionally low with this Class 3 hitch, but you will need to purchase the ball mount and ball separately, so be sure to factor that into the price.

This trailer hitch is rated for 4,500 pounds gross trailer weight and 450 pounds tongue weight. The company claims that the installation only takes twenty minutes, and many of the reviews seem to agree. You won't have to do any drilling, and all of the mounting hardware is included. Because it is a weight-distribution hitch, you will notice a significant decrease in trailer sway over some other options.

With the black powder coat finish, you know that the hitch will stand up, even in inclement weather. Plus, it features a limited lifetime warranty, which is a standard, but not expected on a model with this low of a price. If you need a high-quality hitch for the RAV4 and you want to stick to a budget, you can’t really go wrong with this model. The simple installation and superior ride are sure to win you over.

Pros

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Reduces sway
  • Easy to install
  • Low price

Cons

  • Doesn’t include ball and mount

8. CURT 13068

Best Trailer Hitch For Honda Odyssey

Weight Capacity

3,500 lbs

Class

3

Material

steel

Certified

SAE J684 standards

Receiver Size

2”

Warranty

Yes, limited lifetime

You can tow with the family minivan, and this CURT Honda Odyssey hitch proves it. This particular model is rated for 3,500 pounds gross trailer weight and 350 pounds tongue weight. Simply use the 2-inch x 2-inch hitch receiver, which provides you with many towing options. You can install the ball mount, bike rack, tow hook, cargo carrier, and so much more.

Even though the price is exceptionally low, you will notice that this tow hitch is constructed with a dual-coat finish that is rust-resistant. Plus, it features liquid Bonderite and a durable black powder coat for additional protection. With the two finishes cured together, you will have the UV and rust protection you want, plus you won’t have to worry about chipping.

This Class 3 hitch installs in a fraction of the time that some others will. It even comes with all of the hardware you will need. Because it comes from CURT, you just know it is built to last. To prove it, the company puts its limited lifetime warranty on it. With prices like this, you just can’t go wrong. Go ahead and take the camper on vacation with the family or plan a weekend at the lake with your boat.

Pros

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Simple to install
  • Durable construction
  • Reasonable price

Cons

  • Might require additional tap thread

9. Draw-Tite 75758

Best Trailer Hitch For Ford Escape

Weight Capacity

8,000 lbs

Class

3

Material

steel

Certified

no

Receiver Size

2”

Warranty

Yes, limited lifetime

This company isn’t wasting time getting a high-quality hitch in the hands of Ford Escape owners. This Class 3 hitch compliments your sport utility vehicle, to make family vacations better than ever before. The all-frame attachment combined with the A-Coat base and black powder coat finish ensures that this hitch continues to look good, even after many years of service. It features a solid welded construction to increase the strength.

This Max-Frame is built according to Ford specifications and rated to tow up to 8,000 pounds. The easy bolt-on installation is like nothing you've seen before. You won't need any special tools, and the entire hardware kit is included. With the woven steel cable and terminal loop, you have additional security so that you can travel without worry.

The Draw-Tite reviews prove that this model is a winner, even though it’s priced as one of the cheapest options. Even still, the company throws a limited lifetime warranty on it, so you have complete peace of mind. Just imagine the tasks you can accomplish with this hitch. Take it to the game with some buddies for tailgating and then attach your boat and head to the lake for a weekend getaway with the kids.

Pros

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Quick installation
  • Durable, welded design
  • Low cost

Cons

  • Might require additional tap thread

10. Draw-Tite 75659

Best Trailer Hitch For Honda Element

Weight Capacity

3,500 lbs

Class

3

Material

steel

Certified

no

Receiver Size

2”

Warranty

Yes, limited lifetime

Do you want to tow with your Honda Element? Now you can! With the Draw-Tite hitch, you have a carrying capacity up to 3,500 pounds with the two-inch square receiver. This unit comes with an all-frame attachment and solid all-welded construction complete with an A-coat base and black powder coat finish. Despite the low cost, this company didn’t sacrifice any element that could reduce its durability.

It was built to automaker's specs to ensure the perfect fit for your Honda SUV. Not only is it strong and capable, but it looks great. It's the perfect addition to your stylish vehicle. Plus, this design features a bolt-on installation. You don't need to know the first thing about trailers to get this attached. All of the hardware is included, and you don't need any special tools to start towing.

The Draw-Tite reviews suggest that this model is one of the best on the market, and we couldn’t agree more. It comes backed by the company’s limited lifetime warranty to ensure many years of service. Just imagine the fun you will have with this trailer hitch. It provides the perfect way to tailgate, enjoy a weekend away, and get some work done. You can even use it with a bike rack to take on some local trails.

Pros

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Bolt-on installation
  • Reliable performance
  • Cheap

Cons

  • Pieces might be missing in shipment

11. Reese Towpower 44581

Best Trailer Hitch For Subaru Outback

Weight Capacity

4,000 lbs

Class

3

Material

steel

Certified

CSA and SAE J684 standards

Receiver Size

2”

Warranty

Yes, limited lifetime

If you own a Subaru Outback, there’s no reason to neglect towing. Your vehicle was made for it, especially when you equip it with this Reese Towpower hitch. It features a gross towing weight of 4,000 pounds and tongue weight up to 400 pounds. It comes with a standard two-inch square receiver tube and all-welded construction for maximum longevity. The system even comes complete with a hitch box cover.

The company claims that these hitches are "Tested Tough," and the reviews tend to agree. Not only will it stand up to plenty of abuse, but it retains its good looks for many years. No one will ever know the abuse it is put through. With the InterLock hitch ball and ball mount, you also get the one wrench tightening system, so installation is a breeze. Because the company uses a three-step finish on its hitches, you know that rust isn’t going to be an issue either.

Go ahead and attach this hitch to your SUV for a family adventure. As will the other hitch options, this one also comes with a limited lifetime warranty, so you have nothing to worry about. What will be your next adventure to tackle? The sky’s the limit.

Pros

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Triple-coat protection
  • Interlock system
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Pieces might be missing in shipment

Towing Components Explained

Ball Mount

The ball mount connects to the receiver opening and holds the trailer ball. It is made of a shank plus a trailer ball platform.

Trailer Ball

The trailer ball is available in a variety of sizes and forms the main connection between the trailer coupler and tow vehicle.

Hitch Pin

To keep the ball mount in the receiver, you need a hitch pin that securely locks through the ball mount into the receiver.

Trailer Coupler

A coupler is welded or bolted to the trailer tongue and fits securely over the hitch ball. The trailer tongue shape alters what coupler you need.

Safety Chains

Most states require the use of chains when towing. This part secures the trailer to the vehicle in case the coupler or hitch fails.

Trailer Wiring Harness

You must have working trailer lights in order to tow safely. A wiring system helps you output turn signals and the brake lights.


Trailer Hitch Classes Explained 

Receiver hitches are broken into five different classes. The higher the class number is, the more it can handle, and the larger the receiver tube is.

  • Class 1 Trailer Hitch: 
    Receiver measures 1-1/4” with a GTW up to 2,000 pounds and TW up to 200 pounds.
  • Class 2 Trailer Hitch: 
    Receiver measures 1-1/4” with a GTW up to 3,500 pounds and TW up to 350 pounds.
  • Class 3 Trailer Hitch: 
    Receiver measures 2” with a GTW up to 8,000 pounds and TW up to 800 pounds.
  • Class 4 Trailer Hitch:
    Receiver measures 2” with a GTW up to 10,000 pounds and TW up to 1,000 pounds.
  • Class 5 Trailer Hitch:
    With a 2” receiver, the GTW is up to 17,000 pounds and TW up to 2,550 pounds. A receiver measuring 2-1/2” is rated for GTW up to 20,000 pounds and TW up to 2,700 pounds.

Trailer Hitch Installation

If you don’t know how to install a trailer hitch, it isn’t tricky to learn. To complete the installation of your trailer hitch, follow these steps.

  1. 1
    Read the instructions.
  2. 2
    Gather the tools you will need (found in the instructions).
  3. 3
    Chock the wheels and jack up your vehicle. Make sure you have plenty of light.
  4. 4
    Remove any bolts or plugs, as per the instructions. This isn’t needed with every installation.
  5. 5
    Position your hitch and attach the hardware.
  6. 6
    Make sure all of the bolts are correctly tightened.

If you aren’t sure how to install the hitch, you might do better to hire a professional instead. Simply search Google for - "trailer hitch installation near me."

If you want to attempt to do-it-yourself, this video might prove to be helpful.


Hooking Up a Trailer

It always helps to have a friend handy when you are ready to hook up. This friend can safely guide you to the trailer and make the process much smoother. Make sure you line up the vehicle and raise the coupler. Then, back up to the coupler and lower it down onto the ball. Ensure that it is latched and connect your safety chains in a crisscross pattern. Retract the jack and plug in the wiring. You are ready to go after you check the lights.

Watch this video for more guidance.


Trailer Towing Safety Tips

You must place trailer towing safety at the top of your priority list. Here are a few tips to consider.

  • Make sure you purchase the appropriate equipment.
  • Allow plenty of room to stop.
  • Be aware of trailer sway and learn how to correct it.
  • If you won’t be able to get out of a spot, don’t pull in.
  • Don’t overload your equipment.

Trailer Hitch Accessories

There are plenty of trailer hitch accessories that make the journey safer, easier, and more fun. You can use a trailer hitch grill if you enjoy doing tailgating. It's also possible to equip your rig with trailer hitch lights, a trailer hitch basket or trailer hitch flag pole. If you want to add carrying capacity, consider the trailer hitch luggage rack and trailer hitch bike rack as well. For increased safety, you can find a variety of trailer hitch backup camera models. Furthermore, shop the selection of trailer hitch covers to provide more protection. Most importantly, everyone needs a trailer hitch hammock for those downtimes.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

How do I calculate towing capacity?

Your vehicle's towing capacity is the maximum amount of weight you should pull. It is determined by the GVWR, GTW, GAWR, and several other factors. You want to refer to your owner's manual to find out how much you can tow and what equipment is necessary.

How do I increase towing capacity?

There are several ways to increase the towing capacity of your vehicle. You can upgrade the exhaust system, install a new programmer, enhance the suspension, and purchase a heavy-duty hitch.

How do I use a trailer brake controller?

You simply plug in the wiring harness, allow the brake controller to calibrate and set the configuration how you want it. Make sure you adjust the brake controller sensitivity and test it to ensure accuracy.

What is a drop hitch?

The drop hitch receiver makes it simple to connect your trailer without worrying about causing an imbalance to the vehicle. Learning how to measure the rise and drop is essential to purchasing the right trailering equipment.

What is the standard size trailer hitch ball?

Most people use a two-inch diameter ball size, but heavy-duty applications might require a 2-1/4” instead.

What is a tow receiver?

The receiver hitch is the part that bolts into the underside of your vehicle. It comes with a tube to attach the ball mount. This is the most common type of trailer hitch, which is why the terms become interchangeable.

How do you store a trailer hitch?

When the trailer hitch isn’t in use, it should be stored in a garage, away from the elements. We recommend getting a cover to keep the dirt and debris off of the finish.


Conclusion

Get ready to start towing. Whether you want to go have some fun or you have a job to complete, you can find the best trailer hitch receiver for your needs. Personally, we prefer the BulletProof Hitches. They are available in a variety of sizes and are meant to stand the test of time.

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