Purchasing a travel trailer is often a family’s first glimpse into RV life. It’s designed to be taken with you on the road and provides you with a comfortable space to stay in whilst camping. Travel trailers are very portable and can then be stowed away when not in use.
In order to get your travel trailer from A to B, however, you’ll need to hook it up to your vehicle using a hitch RV. Today, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about RV towing hitches, including the various types, what you need, important safety lessons, and more!
Types of RV Towing Hitches
There are a variety of RV towing hitches available to suit different types of travel trailer and vehicle combinations. These include:
This type of hitch lets you tow the maximum capacity that your vehicle allows, but assists you by providing a smoother, more level ride. Not only is this safer when traveling, but it also improves steering and prevents unwanted side-effects such as trailer sway or sagging.
Gooseneck trailers are mostly used for agricultural or industrial use, particularly as the gooseneck hitch is designed to sit in the bed of a truck. It differs from a 5th wheel hitch in the fact that it uses a ball mount level with the bed (as opposed to one that sits above the surface).
As we mentioned, a 5th wheel hitch contains some similarities to a gooseneck hitch, but due to its set-up, can allow a truck to carry more weight than most other hitches. This is because the attachment point is in the bed of the truck, instead of on the rear bumper.
A pintle hitch comes in two variations, including a pintle hook and a pintle combination (which features both a hook and ball mount attached). This type of hitch is mostly used by vehicles who drive through rough terrain on a daily basis (i.e. industrial and farming vehicles).
Bumper hitches are popular for towing lighter RVs or travel trailers. This type of hitch comes with a standard 2-inch ball mount receiver, as well as safety chain attachments. Additionally, look for one which features a lower hitch point to provide level trailer towing.
Car Towing Hitches for RV: What You Need
There are often more components involved than simply the receiver hitches listed above. In most cases, you will also need to purchase additional equipment or parts, including:
Ball mount: This slides into the receiver of a hitch and fastens with a pin and clip.
Trailer ball: This is the connection point between your tow vehicle and trailer.
Hitch pin and clip: This is a small metal rod that holds the ball mount in the hitch’s receiver tube.
Safety chains: These restrain the trailer from separating in the case of an emergency (i.e. your hitch RV fails).
Hitch RV Safety Tips
Now that you know the various components of an RV hitch, as well as the different products, it’s time to cover some vital hitch RV safety tips.
- Always triple-check that everything is connected properly and securely before you hit the road (especially your safety chains)
- Check your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations for the maximum load you can tow and never go above this weight
- Be careful of passing vehicles such as large trucks and heavy winds, as these can increase the sway of your trailer as you’re driving. Additionally, avoid driving too fast, as fast speeds can also cause heavy sway, therefore making it more difficult to manage your vehicle.
- Always allow plenty of stopping distance, as this takes much longer when you have a trailer attached to the back of your vehicle.
- Invest in some tow mirrors to increase your side views and minimize blind spots. These can prove especially helpful when changing lanes.
There you have it – the most vital information you need to know before you buy a hitch for your RV. When it comes to RV towing hitches, always remember: safety first. Happy RVing!
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