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Best 2018 Jeep JK Wrangler Trailer Hitch Options

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Best 2018 Jeep JK Wrangler Trailer Hitch Options

Speaker 1: Today we're going to be taking a look at the best hitches available for the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JK. Now we've tested all of these hitches on numerous different Jeeps that we have here around the shop, and basically each one of them is going to have strengths and weaknesses depending on what you're going to do with your Jeep.Now later in the video we're going to get into some specifics on each of the hitches, the measurements and things like that. But if you're just interested in knowing which is going to be better for what, we can handle that now and save you some time.Basically, if you're into off-roading, departure angle is usually an issue. That's how steep of an angle on the back of your Jeep you can come off and slide down a hill. If that's a concern, either the etrailer part number E98835 or the CURT part number 13432, they're going to be best. Basically, the receiver tube opening here on each of the hitches is going to be even with your bumper.

It's going to give you the most departure angle clearance possible out there. Now on the other side of that, if you stay on road more, maybe more of a mall crawler situation where you like bike racks, cargo carriers, staying on the pavement and that doesn't concern you at all, the Draw-Tite part number 76104, it's best at that. The receiver tube opening here is 4-1/2" past the edge of our bumper, and the pin hole is going to be 2" past our bumper. That maximizes the distance between that cargo carrier or that bike rack, as you fold them up, and your spare tire.Now the best of both worlds, if you are into occasionally off-roading but you spend a lot of time on the pavement as well, E98856 from etrailer here is going to do a good job of that. Recreationally, if you want to fold up a cargo carrier behind it or if you want to fold up a bike rack behind it with the stock tires, you're going to have the chance.

But if your tires are any larger than that, these probably aren't going to work out. If you're more in the fixed bike rack, fixed cargo carrier, be a good solution.Now with that being said, towing is also a factor. You'll see people hauling small trailers, boats and things like that behind their Wrangler. Basically, all of the hitches are going to work out really well for that application. Just pick whichever one you like the looks of the best.

All of them are rated for use with weight distribution as well.Now if you're interested in the weight ratings and more measurements, we'll get into that now. We're going to start with our off-road hitches, the ones that have the shortest receiver tube opening on them. We've got the one from CURT and also from etrailer here. Now basically both of these hitches are almost a carbon copy of one another. Now the biggest difference you're going to see between the two hitches is the finish.

You can see here the CURT, high gloss powder coat, whereas with the etrailer hitch, it has more of the matte or the carbide finish.Now in my opinion, the etrailer hitch blends in better and looks better. It matches the bumper's texture a little bit better than what you get out of the CURT. Especially on a Jeep, if you're going to spend time on dirt roads or gravel roads, things are going to bounce up and hit the hitch, and this is going to be a stronger, more resilient finish for you.Now for the dual purpose type hitches here which aren't quite as long as the one we classify as the recreational type, and not quite as short as the off-road type, same thing applies. CURT has that really high gloss powder coat. Etrailer's going to have that matte carbide finish.Now the dual purpose and off-road hitches all share the same weight capacity. It's going to have a 350 pound tongue weight rating. That's the maximum downward force we can put at the receiver tube opening. They offer a 3,500 pound gross trailer weight rating. That's basically the weight of your trailer and anything that you load up on it. When moving into a weight distribution setup, the tongue weight rating on all of them are going to go to 400 pounds, and that gross trailer weight rating's going to go to 4,000.Now on our Draw-Tite hitch, my favorite for strictly recreational use because it has that longer receiver tube opening, again, you're going to have that high gloss finish on it. The weight ratings are going to be slightly different than the others. This one offers a 675 pound tongue weight rating and a 4,500 pound gross trailer weight rating. That's whether you're using weight distribution or not. Now one thing to keep in mind, all of these hitches are rated at or above what the Wrangler is capable of towing, so check your owner's manual and do not exceed what your Wrangler's rated for.Now as far as installation of the hitch is concerned, they are all going to be about the same. The hardware is slightly different, where the CURT and etrailer, they're going to use a flange nut, where with the Draw-Tite it uses a washer and a nut. But it's not going to take you any more or less time to do any of the installs.Now if I we're just looking for a hitch for towing duties, I'd go with one of the shorter ones here. Might be a little harder to get that ball mount and the pin and clip in, but like I would be tucked in a little bit further, it's going to bring that ball mount closer to your vehicle. The one exception to that is if I we're going to be using a seven-pole wiring harness. The Draw-Tite you can see here, it's got a flange that's been welded on. You can very easily attach a bracket in the pre-drilled holes there for securing that seven-pole to. Now if I we're just going to be using a four-pole flat connector, I'd still go with one of the shorter receiver tubes. Generally with those connectors you just wrap it around and use the dust cover to secure it.Now here's the Draw-Tite hitch installed. You can see we've got a bike rack in it. This is what we're talking about with this being out further past the bumper. We've got the extra room we need, if you look up here at the pedal on the bike. Now with this style clipless pedal, it's going to be a little bit shorter, but imagine if you had a standard platform-style pedal on there. If we moved this much closer to the vehicle, we'd start running into interference.Now let's sum up what we've talked about. As far as recreational use goes, especially if you want to fold up a cargo carrier or fold up a bike rack, the Draw-Tite's going to be the way to go. When it comes down to appearances, I like the carbide finish that we have on the etrailer hitches. They blend into the bumper much better. For off-road applications or maximizing the off-road capability, the shorter receiver tubes are going to be right for you. And then as far as which one I would pick to go on my Jeep, I think I'd use the etrailer because of the finish and because it's that dual purpose, so we sort of get the best of both worlds out of it. That'll complete our look at the best hitches available for the Jeep Wrangler JK.

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