A trailer hitch is an accessory that is made to a vehicle to enable it to tow a trailer. The hitch can be of the receiver type or of the fixed drawbar type. The receiver hitch has a rear-facing opening to accept a removable ball mount, hitch bike rack, or other accessories for hitch mounting. Instead, the fixed drawbar hitches come as one piece.
The trailer hitch is attached to the vehicle chassis or rear bumper. The hitch then provides a link to tow a trailer or other equipment. Hitches come in a variety of heights, lengths, and other specifications. Many families have embraced the RV lifestyle. They travel together as a family and have a great vacation staying in different RV parks across the country.
There are different kinds of problems in North America. They are categorized as Class I, II, III and IV by the SAE or Society of Automotive Engineers. Although some manufacturers also market the V-Class, the SAE does not recognize it.
Class I is intended for light loads up to 2000 pounds. Class II is for light loads up to 3,500 pounds. Class III is for larger loads like caravans and boats up to 5000 pounds. Class IV is for heavier caravans or boats up to 10,000 pounds.
Receiver-type hitches come with a typical 1.25-inch square opening for Class I and II and 2-inch for higher classes. There are Class IV and V hitches that also come with 2.5-inch wide openings.
The tow ball slides over the hitch head, which comes in different sizes depending on the load you need to haul and the country where it is used. The most popular sizes are 1 and 7/8 inches, 1.97 inches (which is an ISO standard), 2 inches, and 2 and 5/16 inches.
The ball mounts on the hitch basically attaches to a ball on the trailer. The hitch head on the ball mount can be raised or lowered to match the height of the ball on the trailer. The ball mount must meet the SAE hitch class based on the load to be towed.
The trailer must be kept horizontal and then coupled with the tow vehicle. The correct towing vehicle and trailer combination must be maintained for safe towing.