Towing a trailer does not have to be complicated but if you fail to follow the rules, you are most certainly going to face some serious consequences. Towing System is made up of three main components namely – trailer, car and the item that connects the trailer to the car. Sounds simple right? To help you get a better idea here we have analysed different parts of a trailer hitch so that you can make the right decision –
Trailer hitch (also known as tow hitch) is what connects the trailer to the tow vehicle. Trailer hitch helps creating a coupling point so that the trailer can be hooked up to the tow vehicle. In simple English, a trailer hitch is nothing but a structural part that gets attached to the towing vehicle so that vehicle and the trailer can be connected together.
Now, most people tend to confuse trailer hitch with ball mounts. But they are poles apart. Ball mount is nothing but an accessory of a trailer hitch.
Trailer Ball (Hitch Ball)
Trailer ball is the part that couples the Ball mount with the trailer coupler. Basically, it is the part that keeps the trailer and the car connected. As the name suggests, Trailer ball is made up of a threaded shank and a metal ball. Now, you might be wondering what is point in adding a Trailer Ball in the first place, right? Well, without a trailer ball, you will have a hard time turns. It helps smoothing out the ride and makes towing a lot easier, especially when you are driving on an uneven road.
Ball mount is another important receiver hitch accessory consists of a trailer ball platform and a shank. The shank is the metal part that gets attached to the receiver tube whereas the trailer ball platform gets itself attached to the bottom section of the trailer ball. There is a hole in the trailer ball platform where the trailer ball gets attached. The shank of the Ball mount also comes with a hole (however, it is comparatively smaller in size) so that a hitch lock or a hitch pin can be used to lock the ball mount in place.
Trailer Coupler is the part that connects a trailer to the ball mount. Since the trailer ball will be attached to the trailer coupler, you will have to make sure that the Trailer coupler has got latches for secure hookups. Also, the trailer ball should get have a tight fit in the trailer coupler otherwise, you will have hard time while taking turns. The trailer might go out of control if the trailer ball is not properly locked in place.
Hitch Pin is a thin metal pin (rod) that keeps the trailer hitch attached to the receiving tube. This L-shaped pin usually gets placed into the side of the hitch receiver. Just like the Shank of the Ball Mount, Hitch Pin also has a hole to allow hairpin-shaped clip to get itself attached to it. It is this clip that keeps the Hitch Pin in place. Made from spring steel, this hitch clip plays a pivotal role in the entire towing process. You can also use hitch lock in place of a hitch pin if you are paranoid about the safety of your trailer. This key-operated hitch pin adds an extra layer of security and makes it difficult for buglers to steal your trailer, especially when the trailer is left unattended for long.
Trailer Wiring Harness
Have you ever wondered how the trailer lights get powered? Or how the trailer lights manage to synchronizes with the vehicle’s taillights with meticulous precision? Well, it is the Trailer Wiring Harness that does all the heavy-lifting. It is a small electrical wire that connects the electrical system of a trailer to that of the towing vehicle. It comes with a standard 4-way flat plug connector. Auxiliary power and trailer brakes can also be powered by this Trailer Wiring Harness.
Considered as a must-have towing accessory, Safety Chain will keep the trailer connected to the vehicle in case, the ball mount comes off the trailer coupler. Things can go wrong at any point of time while towing and therefore, it is absolutely necessary that you invest in a quality safety chain to keep the trailer doesn’t go flying off.
Basically, it is the vehicle that tows the trailer. It can be anything – an SUV, truck, car or a crossover. It has got one job only and that is to pull a trailer and nothing else. Before trying to tow a trailer with your car, you need to double check (triple check if you are not sure) the maximum weight capacity of the tow vehicle.
Again, no brainer. A trailer is a wheeled construction which gets pulled by a tow vehicle. Some popular forms of trailers are – boat trailers, livestock trailers, popup campers, utility trailers etc.