What Do I Need To Tow A Trailer?

Custom Fit Trailer Hitch

Trailer Towing System

Five components are needed for towing a trailer:

  1. Trailer Hitch Receiver
  2. Ball Mount
  3. Pin and Clip
  4. Trailer Hitch Ball
  5. Wiring Harness

Trailer Hitch

Trailer Hitch Receiver:

  • Attaches to the underside of the vehicle and has 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.

Ball Mount:

Ball Mounts
  • 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.

Pin and Clip:

Trailer Hitch Pin and Clip / Locking Hitch Pin
  • 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.

Trailer Hitch Ball:

Trailer Hitch Balls
  • 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.

Wiring Harness:

Trailer Hitch 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.

For extra help, check out our video.

Watch how to tow a trailer



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