Automotive repair guide

Choosing a Trailer Hitch

Tow hitches trucks, trailer hitch bike racks, gooseneck trailer hitch, trailer hitch accessory

I was much nervous as I had to use my pickup truck to tow a trailer with my damaged car on it. I had not done this type of work earlier and it was natural to be nervous for a novice in the field like me. I didnít loose my courage and consulted a lot of books and other tutorials about towing available all around me. I am compiling some tips based on my knowledge. These may be very useful for you to tow a trailer loaded with a car, boat or other type of cargo. Towing a trailer is not a difficult task but you need some preparation work before trying it. You should have right equipment to do the job.

Tow Rating: You should go through the documentation of your vehicle and check its tow rating. The load on the trailer should never exceed the tow rating of your vehicle.

Trailer Hitch: Always prefer rear mount trailer hitch. You will find various hitches classified in 5 classes, Class-I to Class-V. Hitch belonging to each class is suitable for different amounts of Gross Trailer Weight. Class-I is suitable for gross trailer weight up to 2000 lbs, on the other hand Class-V hitch is suitable for up to 13000 lbs.

You should choose trailer hitch according to tow rating of your vehicle. Towing capacity on class-IV and class-V hitches may be increased by installing a weight distributing hitch. This is a system that uses adjustable bars to control the tongue weight on to the tow vehicle. It keeps tow vehicle and trailer in level by distributing the entire load on the full length of the tow vehicle.

There are other types of hitches available in the market. Gooseneck trailer hitch is for heavy duty trucks. You will have to spend about $ 500 for this hitch and installation kit. It may be fitted in the bed in about one hour by some drilling work. If you need a flat floor, quick-release handle may be used to remove the ball. You may opt for fifth-wheel trailer hitch if you have to tow heavily loaded trailer. This hitch is rated at 24,000 pounds.

While shopping for trailer hitch you should be familiar with terms like Trailer Weight and Tongue Weight. The trailer weight means the total weight of load in the trailer. The tongue weight is the weight which is forced down on the hitch ball. It is about 10% of maximum gross trailer weight and can be changed by making the adjustments of the load in trailer. If you put more weight in the front side of the trailerís axle, then the tongue weight will be more.

Tongue weight may be reduced by keeping more loads behind the axle. Also some trailers come with the adjustable axles that can be moved forward or backward for adjusting the tongue weight.
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