Best Stealth Hitch
Review and Buyer’s Guide
If you ever find yourself needing to tow something, you’re going to need a few things, including a trailer hitch. The trailer hitch is what attaches the trailer to the vehicle. It has a socket on the end of the tongue which fits onto the ball that’s on the tow bar of the vehicle that will be towing it. The term “hitch” describes the whole thing.
A hitch can be used on Trucks, SUVs, and other vehicles for towing boats, campers, trailers, and more. They are a very important piece of equipment and must be appropriate for both the towing vehicle and the trailer. When you use the wrong hitch, it can result in the load being off balance- which can ultimately have devastating consequences.
The hitch you choose must work for your vehicle as well as loads that you intend to carry with it. You must also keep in mind that just because you attach a trailer hitch to a vehicle does not mean that you can tow whatever you want. There are specified limits as to what a particular vehicle is capable of towing. You can install the tow bar under the tailgate, but make sure that you do it properly.
Why Have a Stealth Hitch on Your Vehicle?
One of the primary reasons you may want to consider adding a stealth hitch is to keep others from banging up their shins. Too often, people will be walking around a vehicle with a trailer hitch, not even paying attention. This is when they bang their shin. Often, it does leave a nice, dark bruise right where they hit.
Familiarize Yourself with Hitch Terms.
One thing you must keep in mind is that (as with anything else), there are certain terms you must be familiar with when shopping for a trailer hitch. Some of these terms are as follows:
The ball is the piece on the trailer hitch that is shaped like a ball. It allows the trailer to pivot so that it is easier to tow. This is what helps the trailer adjust to road conditions and take corners smoothly without causing the load to shift.
This is what connects the trailer to the vehicle. Simply lower it onto the ball on the back of the vehicle.
This type of hitch is much different than a ball hitch, as it is mounted to the center of the truck bed.
Gross Trailer Weight, aka GTW
This is the weight the hitch is able to bear with a fully loaded trailer
Tongue Weight, aka TW
This is how much downward force the tongue of the trailer is able to bear.
Weight Distribution, aka WD
This is how the weight is distributed on the trailer, and when weight is correctly distributed, it can increase safety. If not properly distributed, problems can arise.
This is a steel bar that holds the hitch together by sliding through the draw bar.
This describes the amount of weight that is sitting on the hitch pin.
4 Main Types of Trailer Hitches
When it comes to trailer hitches, there are 4 main types: ball, gooseneck, 5th wheel, and bumper frame. We’ll look at those below:
This is the most common type of trailer hitch, as it’s found on most trucks and SUVs. It consists of a metal ball attached to the tow bar of the vehicle. Ball hitches come in a variety of sizes- the bigger the ball, the heavier the load it can handle. However, make sure that your vehicle ball matches the size of the socket.
The gooseneck trailer hitch also has a ball, but instead of being attached to a towbar at the back of the vehicle, it’s attached to the bed of the truck. This is typically used to tow larger trailers, such as those used for livestock. These are known as gooseneck trailers.
Fifth Wheel Hitch
The fifth wheel hitch is the strongest and is used on bigger trucks. It’s permanently mounted to a steel plate on the bed of the truck.
Bumper Frame Hitch
The bumper frame hitch is a ball attached to the rear bumper of the vehicle. It doesn’t have much strength, so it’s not recommended for anything but very light-duty use. These are also considered stealth/hidden hitches because the hitch is under the bumper instead of sticking out the end.
Before you decide which hitch you want to use, make sure that you’re aware of the towing capacity of your vehicle, tongue weight of the trailer, and size of the socket. Avoid exceeding the max towing weight recommended for the hitch- or your trailer can end up breaking loose and causing an accident.
Stealth Hitch Reviews
Below, we will take a closer look at some of the best stealth hitches on the market and point out some of their advantages and disadvantages.
Curt Class III Multi-Fit Receiver
Curt is a name that is well-known in the world of hauling and towing. They have a rich history of reliability and performance.
This multi-fit receiver is a Class III hitch that is made to fit most full-size trucks. Though it is versatile, it still performs quite well, as it is rated for a gross trailer weight of 8,000 pounds and a tongue weight of 800 pounds.
It’s made to fit standard 2” mounting hardware like pintle hitches, ball mounts, and even hooks. This means that you have a variety of options for hauling your cargo. The carbon steel body has a black powder coat that is resistant to rust, chipping and UV rays. You will be using the Curt Class III multi-fit receiver for years to come.
Specs of Curt Class III Multi-Fit Receiver
- Class III
- 2” receiver
- Fits most RAM, GM, and Ford pickup trucks
- Higher GTW/TW than other hitches
- Class III receiver
- Rust, chip, and UV resistant
- Doesn’t fit sedans, SUVs, or vans
- May require drilling on some vehicles
Hidden Hitch Round Tube Class III Receiver Hitch
Hauling things in a rural area is dirty and hefty while hauling things in the city or suburban areas is not. This is where the Hidden Hitch can help. This hitch was made to complement the aerodynamics of most vehicles. This means that it’s there when you need it but hidden away when you don’t.
The black powder coat finish not only protects the hitch against rust and corrosion, but it also gives it a sleek appearance. This receiver is made to fit standard 2” attachments, which means you can haul jet skis, lawnmowers, utility trailers, and more. However, you may need to have it custom-fit to your vehicle.
Specs of Hidden Hitch Round Tube Class III Receiver
- Class III
- 2” receiver
- Black powder-coated
- Virtually invisible when not in use
- Lightweight hitch for smaller vehicles
- Limits what you can tow
- May need custom fitting
- Lower GTW than most Class III hitches
Draw-Tite Class III Multi-Fit Receiver
Brands that have been around for a few decades are much easier to trust than those that have only been around a short time. Draw-Tite is one of those. They have been around since 1946 and specialize in trailer hitches. Plus, they’re part of the Horizon Global Corporation that is home to brands such as Bulldog and Reese.
The Multi-Fit receiver from Draw-Tite is designed to work with a variety of vehicles without having to weld it to the bumper. The solid construction makes the hitch durable and strong.
This receiver is rated for a gross trailer weight of 5,000 pounds and fits most SUVs, trucks, and vans. It fits standard 2” towing hardware, so there’s not much you can’t do with it.
The black powder-coat finish makes it resistant to rust and corrosion, as well as anything else that might happen on the road. Of course, this is a premium receiver, so it’s got a premium price.
Specs of Draw-Tite Class III Multi-Fit Receiver
- Rated for GTW of 5,000 pounds
- 2” receiver
- Class III
- No welding required
- Fits most SUVs, pickup trucks, and vans
- Easy, no-weld installation
- Premium price
- May have to drill holes to install
- Some report the assembly bolts weaken over time
Reese Towpower Class III Receiver
When you’re on a budget, it can be quite stressful to try to purchase equipment. Also, regarding towing, it’s necessary to have good equipment because it’s a matter of safety, so you need decent equipment for a decent price.
The Reese Towpower Class III multi-fit receiver is the ideal solution. It works on most vehicles and it’s budget-friendly, so you can save money to spend elsewhere. As we mentioned previously, Reese is part of the Horizon Global Group, which is also home to Draw-Tite and Bulldog.
The all-weld construction of this receiver promises strength, as it’s rated at a GTW of 5,000 pounds. The black powder coat finish protects the hitch against debris, rust, and weather. The receiver is made to fit 2” hardware and is budget-friendly.
Specs of Reese Towpower Class III Receiver
- Class III
- Black powder coat
- 2” receiver
- No welding required
- Fits most Suv’s, vans, and trucks
- Hitch box cover included
- Drilling may be necessary
- Some users report weakened/loosened assembly bolts
Hi-Tow Bolt-On Receiver
The Hi-Tow Bolt-On Receiver is one of the simplest hitches on this list, whether you are replacing your pintle hook or you’re mounting straight to the frame of your vehicle. The 4-bolt pattern is easy to follow, so it should be fairly simple to install.
This hitch is made of allowed steel and offers a 20,000 GTW. The strength of this hitch is due to the bolts that are used for installation. This is why you should use 8 of the ½” bolts.
The black powder coat finish makes it resistant to rusting, chipping, and corrosion. The biggest drawback is that it may not be compatible with some vehicles.
Specs of Hi-Tow Bolt-On Receiver
- Max GTW of 20,000 pounds
- 2” receiver
- Bolts on to the vehicle with 4-hole pintle hook pattern
- Can be used in a variety of applications
- It May need to be drilled
- May not fit some vehicles
- Bolts/screws sold separately
Classes of Trailer Hitches
While most of the hitches on this list are Class III, there are other five other classes of trailer hitches out on the market. We’ll explain those below:
Typically, Class I hitches are designed for passenger cars/small crossovers. They come equipped with a 1.25” by 1.25” receiver tube opening or sometimes a fixed tongue to directly mount the trailer.
Most Class I hitches can tow up to 2,000 pounds- but it’s important to keep in mind that hitches are rated at the same capacity, and you should never exceed the max weight tht you can tow.
A Class II trailer hitch is typically found on sedans, crossovers, or minivans- but may also be seen on some pickup trucks and small SUVs.
They feature a 1.25” by 1.25” receiver tube and can be used to tow up to 3,500 pounds GTW.
The Class III hitches are the most common- as evidenced by our reviews here- and are seen on SUVs and full-size pickup trucks if you have a towing package on your truck, it’s most likely a Class III hitch.
The Class III hitches from CURT come with a 2” by 2” receiver tube opening and can typically carry up to 8,000 pounds GTW. You can also use some of the Class III hitches in conjunction with a weight-distribution hitch.
Class III hitches are multifaceted and can tow a variety of load sizes and trailer types.
The Class IV trailer hitches are most often mounted on SUVs and full-size pickup trucks and feature a 2” by 2” tube with a typical weight-bearing capacity of 10,000 pounds GTW.
Most of the time, you can use a weight-distribution hitch and tow loads up to 12,000 pounds.
Finally, the Class V trailer hitches can haul a lot more than the other types of hitches and can tow loads as heavy as 20,000 pounds GTW. Typically, you’ll find these on full-size pickup trucks and commercial trucks.
There are 2 types of Class V hitches. CURT offers 2 types of these hitches. The Xtra Duty has a 2” receiver and is rated at 17,000 pounds. The Commercial Duty hitches have a 2.5” receiver and can carry up to 20,000 pounds.
Hopefully, you have learned a lot in this article, and now believe that perhaps a stealth hitch is right for you. Just be sure that you take the time to research and find the one that best suits your personal needs.