What Do I Need To Tow A Trailer?

1. Trailer Hitch Receiver

Trailer hitch adapters attach to the underside of the vehicle and have a 1-1/4" x 1-1/4" or 2" x 2" receiver opening. The trailer hitch attachment points align with existing holes in the vehicle frame whenever possible.For heavy-duty applications, 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" receiver openings also are available. For an in-depth review of the different types of trailer hitches and how they are used, visit our detailed hitch information page.
Trailer Hitch Receiver

2. Ball Mount

Also called a "drawbar," this is the piece that slides into the trailer hitch opening and provides a platform for mounting the ball. Ball mounts are available in different heights, sizes and styles. Make sure you get the ball mount that will fit your hitch opening and allows your trailer to stay level during towing. If you are unsure what size trailer hitch you have, we have put together information that will help determine your hitch size. To determine which ball mount is correct for your vehicle and trailer, visit our page on choosing the correct ball mount.
Ball Mount

3. Pin and Clip

A pin and clip device is used to hold the ball mount inside the trailer hitch receiver opening.Hitch locks are also available and provide additional security by preventing theft of your ball mount or other hitch accessories.
Pin and Clip

4. Trailer Hitch Ball

Hitch balls are available in three different sizes, 1-7/8", 2" and 2-5/16". This is a measurement of the ball's diameter and should be the same as the coupler of the trailer you plan to tow.The ball sits on the ball mount and provides the attachment point for the trailer. If you plan to tow several trailers with different size couplers, you will need either a different hitch ball for each of them or an interchangeable ball system.
Trailer Hitch Ball

5. Wiring Harness

A wiring harness provides power and signals to the lights of a trailer. All vehicles that tow trailers are required by law to have a wiring harness to power the trailer's lights.For many vehicles, a T-One wiring harness that simply plugs into the vehicle's wiring system is available. For these cars and trucks no cutting or splicing is required to connect your wiring. Otherwise, you will need to hardwire the vehicle. This is done by simply using quick-splice connectors to connect the wires.For more information about how to wire for towing a trailer visit our wiring information page.
Wiring Harness
For extra help, check out our video.

Questions and Comments about this Article

Michele W.

I am looking to add a tow package to my 2013 VW Tiguan. I'll be using it for hauling an 8 ft utility trailer and sometimes a cargo carrier. Which products will be the easiest to install, as family will be helping, but also sturdy? 84574

Reply from Chris R.

Starting with the hitch, I highly recommend the Curt # C13133 . It requires some minor fascia trimming during installation but it's otherwise a simple bolt-on application to existing holes in the Tiguan's frame. Then for a wiring harness to power the trailer's lights, I recommend the Tekonsha # 118675 , which will plug in-line behind the tail lights. Finally for a ball mount the Curt # C45030 should work well with the appropriate size hitch ball (which will depend on what your trailer accepts). 67756

Brian S.

In the spare tire well there are three rubber grommet is this what I use to place the hot wire to the battery 82098

Reply from Chris R.

If those rubber grommets let you pass wiring to the underside of your vehicle then it's a perfect spot to use for the harness' hot lead! 67430

Thomas C.

Hi,I have 07 jeep patriot and I'm looking to pull a job boat ,aluminum 12' . Looking for trailer hitch attachment. It seems my muffler hangs a bit lower than normal.Anyway you can send me exact dimensions? If necessary? Thanks. 81224

Reply from Chris R.

For your Jeep Patriot the Draw-Tite # 75712 will work perfectly. It won't interfere with the muffler at all - it installs well in front of it so how low it hangs doesn't matter. 66799

Meg S.

I just purchased a 2020 nucamp [email protected] 5 wide and am a new camper owner. I have a 2019 Honda CRV and would like to know what I need as far as a tow package. Thank you so much in advance! 81185

Reply from Chris R.

You'll need to start with a hitch for which the Draw-Tite # 76128 will work perfectly. Then for wiring I recommend the Tekonsha T-One # 118741 for a simple plug-in installation. This will provide you with a 4-Way connector to power the trailer's signal lights. Based on my research, it looks like the [email protected] is equipped with electric brakes - if this is the case you'll also need to upgrade it to a 7-Way and add a brake controller. For this I recommend the Wiring Kit # ETBC7L and the Echo Brake Controller # C51180 . Lastly you'll need a ball mount and hitch ball. The etrailer set # EBMK4 is a really nice option. 66798

Jerome

I have a 2020 Lexus GX460 and I need to tow a small Uhaul trailer what do I need to get because I have no experience with this and I can't find a straight answer online anywhere? 81143

Reply from Chris R.

Assuming the small trailer isn't equipped with brakes, you'll just need a hitch, a 4-Way wiring harness, a ball mount, and hitch ball. For the hitch I recommend the Curt # C13043 and for the harness the Tekonsha # 119250KIT will work well with the sensitive factory wiring on your Lexus. The Curt Ball Mount # C45030 with pin/clip # C21500 should be a good fit with that trailer. Then it's just a matter of getting the right sized ball (which depends on what size the U-Haul coupler accepts. Most likely it's a 2' # 63845 . 66797

Megan K.

I have a 2015 Dodge Journey sxt 2wd the larger engine of the 2 versions. I need a whole hitch package for pulling a small uhaul trailer. Which hitch do I buy? I have no experience with this, but I am good at figuring out how to put things together. 80985

Reply from Chris R.

For your 2015 Dodge Journey SXT the etrailer # e98845 will work perfectly. It offers a simple bolt-on installation and features more than enough capacity for a small U-Haul trailer. Then for a wiring harness to power the trailer's signal lights I recommend the Tekonsha T-One # 118536 if the Journey has LED tail lights or # 118567 if it has incandescent bulbs. 66400

Arshia

Thank you for the educative article. Can I tow a trailer with a limited hybrid Rav4 2017? I am reading different answers online for this question. The manual for non hybrid Rav4 says it is not recommended. I could not find the the answer for a hybrid one. Thank you. 80956

Daniel

Hello, I have. 2019 armada and want to know what to install to tow a RV (7000lb)? Thanks 80619

Reply from Chris R.

Your Nissan Armada should already be equipped with a trailer hitch, so you should just need a wiring harness and brake controller (along with the right ball mount and hitch ball). If your Armada doesn't didn't come with a 7-Way connector at the bumper (check to be sure because many do) you'll need to start with a 4-Way harness # 119147KIT . Then to add the brake controller I recommend, the Curt Echo # C51180 , you'll need to use the Wiring Kit # ETBC7L to upgrade it to a 7-Way. I've linked an article below that details how to choose the best ball mount for your setup. 66397

Pedro G.

Hello - FORD ESCAPE V6 2011. Can you recommend a 5 components tow package that will fit? I am moving and need to know what's needed tow a UHAUL. Brochure says max towing capacity is 3,000 lbs. Thanks for your help ! 78818

Reply from Chris R.

Sure can! Starting with the hitch I recommend the Draw-Tite # 75751 . I've linked a full install video below. From there the Tekonsha Wiring Harness # 118551 will work perfectly. For a ball mount the Draw-Tite # 2923 should work well (pin and clip are included). You'll then just need to verify what size hitch ball the trailer coupler accepts - most likely a 2" like # 63845 but I recommend checking to be sure. 63834

Dayana S.

I have a 4door 2019 Jeep Wrangler and am looking to tow a jetski trailer with lights. What equipment would i need to install onto my jeep to do this? 78694

Reply from Chris R.

If you don't yet have a hitch installed you'll need to start there. For your Wrangler I recommend the etrailer # e98856 , which features a longer receiver tube to provide clearance with the Jeep's rear spare tire. From there you'll need a wiring harness to power the trailer's signal lights. I specifically recommend the Tekonsha # 118786 . Then you just need a ball mount and hitch ball for the physical connection. The Curt # C45030 should work well. 63833

Leah

We are renting a small teardrop trailer next weekend. We have a 2012 Subaru Outback. What do we need to tow this safely? It has a dry weight of 350 lbs. 78629

Reply from Chris R.

To tow a small camper with your Outback you'll just need a hitch, wiring harness (to power the trailer's lights), and a ball mount/hitch ball combo. For the hitch I recommend the Curt # 13390 and for a wiring harness the Tekonsha # 118467 will work perfectly for a simple plug-and-play installation. The Curt Ball Mount # C45030 should work well with the appropriate hitch ball (whichever size the teardrop uses) - either a 1-7/8" # C40002 or 2" # 40038 . 63621

Sidney J.

I have a 2018 subaru outback and want to tow a pop up with a 7 way plug. Do I need to get a 4 way plug and a 7 way adapter or can I just install a 7 way plug? 78292

Reply from Chris R.

You could technically just install a 7-Way connector on your Outback but it'll require a lot more hardwiring/splicing than starting with a 4-Way and going from there. Because of this I highly recommend that you go that route. For the custom 4-Way harness, the Tekonsha # 118467 will work perfectly and is a plug-and-play install. From there, if your pop-up isn't equipped with electric brakes, an adapter like the Curt # C57672 is all that you need to convert it to a 7-Way. It'll plug right into the existing 4-Way and the additional wires (except for the white one that needs to be grounded) can simply be capped off. Let me know though if the camper does have brakes. 63620

David

2013 Acura MDX - I am looking to rent a pop-up camper next weekend. I have the Curtis trailer hitch already installed but no wiring or ball mounts and u don’t know anything about the pop up trailer yet to know heights. What would you suggest? 77420

Reply from Chris R.

For wiring, the Tekonsha # 118424 will work perfectly. This custom harness will plug right into a factory port behind the driver's side trim panel at the rear of your Acura MDX. It'll provide you with a 4-Way connector to power the pop-up's signal lights. A modest ball mount like the Curt # C45030 will probably be sufficient, but it wouldn't hurt to call the dealer you're renting the pop-up from. They should be able to tell you the trailer's height or help with picking out the right unit. 63048

Jonathan K.

I have a 2015 Jeep Patriot and would like the full tow setup suggestion. I would be towing 2 jet skis mainly. 76509

Reply from Chris R.

I can do that! Starting with the hitch I recommend the etrailer # e98836 , which offers a sleek hidden-crosstube appearance and will bolt right up to the frame rails of your Patriot using existing holes (no drilling). For a wiring harness the Tekonsha T-One # 118552 will work perfectly. The custom harness will plug in-line behind the tail lights to provide you with a 4-Way connector to power the trailer's signal lights. The Curt Ball Mount # C45067 should work well along with the right size ball for your trailer - either a 2" # 40038 or 1-7/8" # C40051 . 62417

Jorge V.

Que kit completo necesito para kia soul 2016 What complete kit do i need for kia soul 2016 75665

Reply from Chris R.

Starting with the trailer hitch, the Curt Class I # C11419 will work perfectly. Then for a wiring harness I recommend the Tekonsha # 118637 , which will provide you with a 4-Way to power the trailer's signal lights. Lastly for a ball mount the Curt # C45521 will work really well with either the 1-7/8" # A-80 or 2" A-82 Hitch Ball (depending on what the trailer accepts). 61810

Erik D.

I would like to tow a 12ft Fishing Kayak on a 2012 Nissan Rogue. Can you tell me all the proper towing equipment I will need. I currently have nothing attached to my Rogue and I have not purchased the trailer for the Kayak yet either not sure if that makes a difference or not. Thanks! 75401

Reply from Chris R.

Starting with the trailer hitch, the etrailer # e98846 will work perfectly. Then for wiring I recommend the Tekonsha # 118480 , which will provide you with a 4-Way connector to power the trailer's signal lights. Lastly you will need a ball mount and hitch ball - this is where the best option depends on the actual trailer you end up going with. I linked a great article below that explains how to choose the right one. 61553

Chris

Quick question! I drive a 2015 Subaru Impreza hatchback and I wanted to tow a single axle jet ski with it. What would be a proper towing setup for my vehicle? The trailer uses a 2” ball. 74145

Reply from Chris R.

Starting with the trailer hitch, the Curt Class I # C11286 will work great (as long as your Impreza hatchback has the single exhaust). Just make sure the loaded trailer weighs less than 2,000 pounds. For a wiring harness the Tekonsha # 118573 is perfect and if the jet ski trailer happens to have a 5-Way connector (instead of a 4-Way) you can add the Adapter # 20036 . Lastly for a ball mount and hitch ball the Curt # C45521 with 2" Ball # A-82 should work really nicely. 60333

Melandie

Please Help!!!!I have a 2009 Infiniti FX35 and I would like to tow a trailer what attachments do I need? 74065

Reply from Chris R.

I can definitely help you out. For your 2009 Infiniti FX35 the Curt Class III Trailer Hitch # 13554 will work perfectly. Then for wiring (to power signal lights on the trailer) I recommend the Tekonsha T-One # 118593 . Lastly you'll need a ball mount and hitch ball to actually hook up to the trailer - the Curt Ball Mount # C45030 will work really well. 60285

Jack

Does the wiring harness for the 2019 Honda Odyssey fit the 2020 Honda Odyssey touring? 73417

Reply from Chris R.

Yep, the same trailer harnesses for the 2019 Odyssey fit the 2020 Odyssey Touring model as well. I specifically recommend the Tekonsha T-One # 118781 . 59919



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