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Trailer Hitches, Front Mount Hitches, Fifth Wheels, Goosenecks, RV Hitches, and Weight Distribution

Custom fit trailer hitches are available for virtually every vehicle. At etrailer.com we carry rear mount trailer hitches, front mount, fifth wheels, goosenecks, RV trailer hitches, and weight distribution systems from the best manufacturers such as Draw-tite, Hidden Hitch, Reese, Torklift and Curt. You will also find a complete selection of hitch accessories and related products such as bike racks, cargo carriers, hitch covers, ballmounts, and locks.


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Trailer Hitch Information Videos

How To Tow a Trailer

Today we are going to review the components needed to pull a trailer. Basically, this video is designed for somebody who just decided they have a need for a trailer, so we will cover all the components in the most basic form, so you know exactly how to update your vehicle. What we are going to do is start from the truck and work our way back to the trailer. First off, we are going to show you the hitch itself. All vehicles require a hitch to pull a trailer. What this device does is makes an attaching point on the frame of the vehicle, or body components, and transmits the forces from the trailer to this one point here. This point here is the receiver part. Consequently this hitch is called a receiver hitch because this hitch can receive a draw bar, or also called a ball mount. It is held in place by this pin which we just ed, and this clip holds it in place. There are more fancier pins, like locking pins, but that is the basic thing you need right there to get the job done. 1:12


Cleaning Weld Nuts for Trailer Hitch Installation

Okay as you can see here on the drivers side, our weld nut has a lot of corrosion built up in there. And when we try to install our 10 millimeter bolt is not wanting to start at all, in fact it almost seems like the bolt is too big for the weld nut. It is a common misconception, again when the weld nuts got a lot of build up in there.


Lowering Exhaust Example for Trailer Hitch Installation

The first step to do is to lower the exhaust and we will do that by taking off the rubber hangers on the front and back, and there is one hidden in the back.


Class III Trailer Hitch and Weight Capacities Review

Traditionally a class III receiver hitch is good for trailers up to 5000 pounds and 500 pounds tongue weight. There are a few different variances from that, well show you that here in a second. Again were going to start with the stickers and show you the differences, as you can see here the max gross trailer weight is 5000 pounds as we discussed. The tongue weight looks to be 500 pounds, again about 10percent of your trailer weight. On the other side of the class III you will see a sticker for weight distribution. That is a specification when you use a device that goes in between the truck and the trailer that takes up the tongue weight. What it does is distributes the weight between the truck and the trailer and allows you to carry a heavier weight. As far as a class III hitch is concerned, that increases the rating the hitch can handle.


Class II Trailer Hitch and Weight Capacities Review

Now well move on to a class II receiver hitch. Well cover the weights on the sticker and cover a couple of differences on the receiver tube itself. You see here it says weight carrying ballmount that means the ballmount going into the receiver and the ball, that is what that means. You see here where it says weight distribution that is a separate device that allows you to carry heavier weights, that does not really apply to class II receiver hitches. Again by itself on the hitch its rated for 3500 pounds, that is the total weight. The tongue weight is listed at 300 pounds. On the details of the Class II hitch, there is not too many details on it compared to a class one. Basically all class II hitches have this ring that goes around the end of the tube. This is so at a quick glance you are working with a class II.


Class I Trailer Hitch and Weight Capacities Review

Were going to start off with this example here which is a class I hitch. Class I means this hitch is good for trailers up to 2000 pounds. What were going to show you over here is the sticker which shows the different weights and capacities involved. Well show you what those mean. As you can see by the sticker here, were going to show you some notes on it, these stickers will apply to any class hitch that you come across. Once you figure out what this means, you are home free. Starting here at max gross trailer weight which shows 2000 pounds. So that means the total weight you can pull with your trailer, for example if your load on your trailer is 500 pounds, you have 1500 pounds of weight to put on it so it remains at a safe capacity for this hitch. Moving on to this next number which is max gross tongue weight, it shows 200 pounds there.


How To Clean Weld Nuts

A common problem that we run into with a lot of our vehicles that have existing weld nuts in the bottom of the frame is that when you go to try to put a bolt in them you have an excessive amount of road grime or rust built up in there and when you go to put your bolt inside the weld nuts you find not only does it not want to thread but it also appears that the bolt is too big for the weld nut. The first thing that typically comes to mind is that the bolts that I received are too big and 99.9 percent of the time this is not the case. What we have actually got here is an excessive amount of rust and debris built up in the weld nuts that are preventing the bolt from starting. We are going to show you how to get those thoroughly cleaned out so that we can not only get our bolt started but to get it threaded completely into the weld nut. 00:41


How to Make a Thread Tap

Today we are going to show you a cheat. In some cases you are going to have a hitch that uses threaded holes in the bottom of the frame. Those holes are going to be probably corroded up within a few years of the vehicle being on the road with dirt, grime, salt corrosion, you name it is probably in there inside the fine thread. What you want to do is clean out the threads probably with an existing hitch bolt if it is lightly corroded and you can probably work it in and out a few times and do that. 00:20


Drilling a Spare Tire Pan for a Trailer Hitch Installation

What we will do next is tighten this down just enough to snug it to hold it in place, and then we will see where to drill or holes out using the hitch as a template. We will use the hitch as a template to drill or holes, so we will just use a drill and let the hitch do the work for us, we will punch right through this thin metal with a half-inch bit.


Lowering Exhaust Hangers

Alright we will get started by lowering the exhaust. These rubber hangers here will need lubricant sprayed on them to make it easier to get them off. Before we lower the exhaust we are actually going to put a safety strap underneath here so we can control the exhaust as we lower it. See how we can control it.


Handle Nut Demonstration

Today we are going to show you the proper operation of a handle nut. Basically, a lot of hitch installs will use this type of device here. You can manipulate this handle any way you want to, to run this nut into an area that has a tight fit. You can bend this at will, basically. Just take it like this and bend it, and then put another hook into it, and make a handle like that. And you can thread it into the frame, where you can actually run your bolt through the bottom of it. All right, and now we will go ahead actually and install this handle nut on a typical application.


Weld Nut Removal and Replacement Review

So you are in the middle of doing your hitch installation and you are in the process of taking out one of your existing factory bolts. In the process you find that the bolt is not coming out due to the fact that the weld nut inside the frame has broken. We are just going to go ahead and show you a couple of things you can do to not only get the bolt out of the way but to also go ahead and continue on to be able to put your hitch in position without the weld nut welded inside the frame. The first thing that we obviously need to do is go ahead and get the bolt out of here. There are a couple of different ways you can do this. You can take a chisel, is you have one large and strong enough to do so, and possible grind the head of the bolt off. Or you can actually take a torch and torch it off. And that is actually what we are going to do on this application here. I am going to try to get most or as much of the head of the bolt off as I can. And we will take and push the remaining section of the bolt-weld nut combination up inside the frame. 0:49


Drilling to Enlarge a Frame Hole for Hitch Install

On this hitch we have to enlarge this hole to a half-inch and there is one on the opposite side we have to do the same thing with.


Hitch Class Receiver Sizes FAQ

Today were going to go ahead and review the various classes of hitches starting from the smallest working our way up to the largest.Some good terms to know about receiver hitches. Tongue weight. Thats the amount of weight of the trailer thats pushing down on the hitch ball. Trailer weight will be a larger number and that will include the weight of your trailer plus whatever is on top of it or in it.When you get to two-inch receivers, you can use whats called Weight Distribution. Which this is a separate device that goes between the trailer hitch and the trailer. It takes tongue weight, picks it up and what it does it distributes that weight over the axles of the truck and the trailer.


FAQ Trailer Hitch Exhaust Rattle

Today on our 2010 Lincoln MKX were going to address the exhaust rattle issue. There are a couple of reasons for occasional contact between hitch and exhaust. One, the manufacturers have loose tolerances from mounting the hangers that suspend exhaust systems. Final placement of the exhaust can vary slightly from vehicle to vehicle. The flexibility of rubber isolator connecting exhaust hanger to the vehicle frame allows for more movement of the exhaust system relative to other vehicle components. An isolator can also stretch over time.




Trailer Hitch Videos








Articles about Trailer Hitch



Trailer Hitch Questions and Answers

  • How to Determine Correct Ball Mount Rise or Drop for Towing a Trailer with a 17 Inch Coupler Height
  • Normally trailer coupler height is around 17 inches, from the ground to the bottom of the coupler, and most hitch manufacturers design their hitches to work with a ball mount that will end up very close to this measurement. I am including a link to an instruction page detailing how to measure for the correct ball mount and how to measure the ball mount. With the Curt Trailer Hitch, item # 13555, for your 2008 Honda CRV the recommended ball mount is the Draw-Tite Ball Mount, item # 2753,...
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  • Actual Towing Capacity of 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan without Tow Package
  • The towing capacity of your vehicle is based on a sliding scale, dependent on how many passengers/cargo are in the vehicle. For instance, with a driver, one passenger and their luggage, the capacity is 3600 lbs. For 3 - 5 people and their luggage, the towing capacity decreases to 3350 lbs. For 6 - 7 people and their luggage, the capacity is reduced to 3000 lbs. So, you should be able to tow the camper you're speaking of. However, if you'll be running up and down hills, close to the capacity,...
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  • Trailer Hitch Recommendation for a 2016 Honda Pilot
  • Yes, the Curt Hitch part # C13146 that you referenced has been confirmed as a fit for your 2016 Honda Pilot so it would work well for you. I attached an install video for you to check out as well. If you wanted to do some towing you might be interested in etrailer ball mount kit # 989900. It comes with 2 ball mounts; one with a 3/4 inch rise or 2 inch drop and one with a 2-3/4 inch rise or 4 inch drop. It also includes a 1-7/8 inch ball, 2 inch ball, hitch pin with clip, and a storage...
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  • Is a 1-1/4 to 2 Inch Trailer Hitch Receiver Adapter Recommended for Use with a 2 inch Cargo Carrier
  • I would discourage the use of an adapter for use of 2 inch accessories in 1-1/4 inch trailer hitch receivers. The reason is that the adapter places the carrier farther away from the rear of the vehicle and hitch, creating additional torque that 1-1/4 inch hitches, especially Class I hitches, are not designed to handle. For this reason all 1-1/4 to 2 inch hitch adapters decrease the hitch or vehicle tongue weight capacity, whichever is lowest, by 50 percent, making a class one hitch only...
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  • What is the Towing Capacity of a 4 Cylinder 2014 Chevy Equinox
  • I found an online copy of the owners manual for the 2014 Chevy Equinox from Chevy and have the towing information for you. The models with the 2.4 liter motor have a gross trailer weight capacity of 1,000 pounds if the trailer does not have brakes or 1,500 pounds if the trailer does have brakes. The gross combined weight rating, which is the most the vehicle and trailer can weigh when loaded with cargo, fuel, passengers, and any accessories is 5,787 pounds for front wheel drive models...
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  • Recommended Hitch with Best Ground Clearance for 2013 Honda Odyssey
  • As you can see by the photo I have edited for you, the Hidden Hitch, Draw-Tite and Curt hitches available for your Odyssey are all pretty similarly designed. When we installed all three hitches on a 2013 Odyssey, we found that the Curt # C13068 had about a 1/2 inch greater ground clearance (12-1/2 inches) versus 12 inches for the Hidden Hitch # 87479 and Draw-Tite # 75270 models. The receiver of the Hidden Hitch and Draw-Tite hitches are recessed a bit more under the vehicle, but none...
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  • Trailer Hitch and Bike Rack Recommendation for a 2012 Toyota Prius
  • We have just the hitch and bike rack selection that you are looking for for your 2012 Toyota Prius, however, the Hidden Hitch Trailer Hitch, # 60847, is only designed for the Honda Fit. For your vehicle, I would recommend the Hidden Hitch Trailer Hitch, # 60263. We have quite a few bike racks that you can use with this hitch on your vehicle. I have attached a link to all of the bike racks that will work for you. Two bike racks that I would recommend would be the Thule Doubletrack...
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  • Hitch Recommendations for a 2015 Subaru Forester that Go Over Heat Shield
  • Actually both the Curt hitch part # C13144 and the Hidden Hitch part # 87654 that you referenced will go over the heat shield of your 2015 Subaru Forester to install. Check out the picture I attached that shows both hitches in relation to the heat shield. For trailer wiring you would want the part # C56040. For ball mounts I recommend the etrailer Ball Mount Kit # 989900. It comes with 2 ball mounts, 2 balls, a hitch pin with clip, and a carrying bag.
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  • Compare Curt, Hidden Hitch and Draw-Tite Trailer Hitches for a 2014 Toyota Highlander
  • I would be happy to compare the trailer hitch options for your 2014 Toyota Highlander XLE. As you mentioned you have three options, Curt # C13200, Draw-Tite # 75896, and Hidden Hitch # 87660. These are all Class III trailer hitches with a towing capacity of 6,000 lbs and a tongue weight capacity of 900 lbs. The difference in non-trailer loads does not effect the 2014 Highlander. Curt will require the use of a stabilizing strap for non-trailer loads on their Class I, Class II and some...
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  • Removing Rear Bumper Fascia from a 2012 BMW X5 For Draw-Tite Trailer Hitch Installation
  • You are correct, I checked the instructions and the revision currently provided with the hitch, part # 75600, were done in 2008. I spoke with my technical contact at Draw-Tite and he said that his engineering department now has some directions photos that show additional steps that may be required for 2011 and newer BMW X5 vehicles. I will list them out for you and I have added photos that my contact sent for you to see. 1) Remove the first 3 rivets from the rear fender flare, and pop...
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  • Should I Use 2-Wheel Drive or 4-Wheel Drive While Towing in the Mountains
  • You should not tow your trailer on dry pavement with the vehicle in 4-wheel drive. For normal towing you should always use 2-wheel drive. The exceptions to this are extreme conditions such as snow covered or muddy roads that would normally require 4 wheel drive. Just remember that if you would use 4-wheel drive without the trailer then you should use it with the trailer. In the mountains, if you are descending on a 4-wheel drive trail then 4-wheel drive low would be recommended to save...
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  • Differences Between Available Class III Hitches for 2011 Toyota Sienna
  • The Hidden Hitch and Draw-Tite model hitches you referenced would be identical, since Hidden Hitch and Draw-Tite are sister companies. Both hitches are identical in looks, share the same capacity and would install in the same manner. The Curt # C13105 has a straight cross tube that bends slightly at each end, while the Hidden Hitch and Draw-Tite Hitches have a cross tube that angles rearward from the receiver opening, with no bend. I have provided side by side photos showing the # 87698/75237...
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  • Towing Capacity for a 2004 Chevy Suburban 1500 when Using a Weight Distribution System
  • I did some research on the 2004 Suburban models, and I was not able to find any specific weight distribution capacity for you. Typically, the vehicle towing capacity both with and without weight distribution will be listed in the vehicle manual, or this would also be something on which you could contact the dealer. We have an informational article, see link, that explains many of the factors to be considered when using and selecting a weight distribution system. The hitches we offer...
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  • Towing Capacity of 2012 Chevy Equinox
  • In my research, I found that the towing capacity for models with the 2.4L 4 cylinder engine is 1500 lbs, while models equipped with the 3.0L 6 cylinder engine have a 3500 lb towing capacity. I've confirmed this information with the owner's manual.
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  • What is the Towing Capacity of a 2010 Dodge Journey SXT with Trailer Hitch # 87487 Installed
  • If Dodge has rated your 2010 Journey for 3,500 pounds gross trailer weight, that is the maximum the vehicle can tow, even if a trailer hitch is rated higher. The limiting factor is the component with the lowest capacity, which is the rating you need to go by. Adding weight distribution will not increase the towing capacity of the vehicle. The towing capacity of the vehicle remains static at 3,500 pounds. To complete your towing setup you may need the following: Ball Mount Kit, part...
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  • Hitch Extension for Towing a Boat on a Truck with an In-Bed Truck Camper
  • There is a Titan hitch extender that should work for you, but would require a Titan hitch be installed on your truck to handle a tongue weight loaded that far from the hitch. It is Reese part # RP45292. You can use it as a 34 inch extension or cut it down to be a 24 inch extension. At the 24 inch length, you will have a towing capacity of 6,000 pounds with a tongue weight capacity of 600 pounds. If you need more capacity than that, you can use a weight distribution system and your capacities...
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  • Trailer Hitch for a 2013 Ford Focus ST Hatchback with Center Exhaust
  • Yes, Curt trailer hitch # C11350 will fit a 2013 Ford Focus ST hatchback with the center exhaust. I have included a picture from the instructions that shows the hitch installed. I have also linked the instructions for you to view. To add a ball mount use # C45521 and pin and clip # PC2. For a 1-7/8 inch ball use # 19256 and for a 2 inch use # 19258. For trailer wiring use # 118549. I have included links to the instructions for the wiring as well. Because the exhaust is in the middle,...
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  • Does a Weight Distribution Hitch Allow More Tongue Weight on the Ball
  • The physics of a weight distribution system can be a little confusing. But, basically the spring bars in the system push weight forward and backward so that the weight is more evenly pushed to the front and rear axles of the tow vehicle and the trailer axles. The actual tongue weight on the ball may not change significantly. Using a weight distribution system does not allow the vehicle to tow any more weight, but it does allow the hitch to carry more weight. The towing capacity of the...
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  • The Best Trailer Hitch and Wiring for a 2016 Kia Soul
  • We do have a trailer hitch that will fit your 2015 Kia Soul. You can use Hidden Hitch trailer hitch # 60347. If you plan on doing any towing you will also need wiring, # 118637. The hitch comes with a ball mount. For a 1-7/8 inch ball use # A-80 and for a 2 inch ball use # A-82. If you want to use the hitch for an accessory such as a bike rack or cargo carrier you can use Draw-Tite hitch # 24915. It does not come with a ball mount. Then you have to make sure the accessory is rated...
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  • Is the Required Curt Stabilizing Strap Included with Hitch # 11469 for a 2010 Toyota Prius
  • The Curt Stabilizing Strap, part # 18050, is not included with their hitches. It attaches to the bike rack then to the vehicle to keep the forces exerted on the bike rack and hitch when hitting bumps from damaging the hitch. On passenger cars this can be attached to the edge of the trunk lid that meets rear windshield or on SUVs, you can attach to the top edge of the hatch. The use of a strap is necessary for Curt warranty requirements. You can also use bungee cords like # 3044DAT,...
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