When people hear the word hitch, they typically think of ball mounts. Hitches are the primary mechanisms that connect a tow vehicle and the trailer. In the case of receiver hitches, the hitch is what you insert your ball mount into. There are actually different types of hitches to pull different styles of trailers. Here is our brief breakdown:
Receiver hitches are the most commonly and widely used. They are bolted on to the frame of the tow vehicle and feature a square tube that a ball mount shank can be inserted into. Depending on your vehicle, they can vary in size and weight capacity and are categorized by classes 1-5. A front receiver hitch is also available that is bolted in to the front of a vehicle’s frame and can be used for things like a snow plow or cargo carrier. To tow using a receiver hitch, you need a ball mount. If you don’t know what type of ball mount you should buy, click here. If you are going to be towing with your receiver hitch frequently, we recommend you invest in a high quality ball mount. We use our Gen-Y Rubber torsion hitch for heavy towing!
Unlike standard receiver hitches, gooseneck hitches are mounted in the bed of your pickup, usually above your truck’s rear axle. Because of the location, the trailers weight is placed on the entire truck instead of just the back end. This allows for greater stability and greater tow capacity! We typically see goosenecks on equipment or livestock trailers.
5th Wheel Hitch
5th wheel hitches are also located in the bed of a pickup. Just like goosenecks, they are placed at or above the rear axle. They do take up more space though, as the coupling component is on the hitch instead of the trailer! We most commonly see 5th wheels used for towing campers or travel trailers.
Pintle hitches also boast impressive tow ratings. Frequently used in construction, they have weight capacities up to 60,000 lbs GTW! With a pintle hitch, the pintle is attached to the truck and connects to the lunette on the trailer. With big commercial trucks, the pintle is often connected to the frame of the vehicle. They can also be inserted into the tube of a regular receiver hitch.
Bumper hitches do exactly as the name implies, mount to your bumper. They actually have impressive tow capacity as well, but are limited by the weight capacity of your bumper.