Best Trailer Hitch
Buyer’s Guide, Comparison and Advice
Too much stuff to fit into your car? Need to pull a trailer with some larger gear? Depending on the vehicle, you should be able to get a trailer hitch put on it. Add a trailer hitch, find the right trailer, and all those dreams of pulling a little RV to the campground or your custom-made smoker to the tailgate will be yours!
Of course, choosing the right trailer hitch is a bit more complicated than that. That’s where we come in. We’ve compiled this list of the best available trailer hitches to help guide your decision-making. There’s a LOT of information included below, from the best trailer hitches available to helpful information on the different classes of trailer hitches and how to select the right one for you.
Spoiler Alert: Of all the trailer hitches we cover below, one hitch stands out: the BulletProof Adjustable 2” Heavy Duty trailer hitch
What is a trailer hitch and what does it do?
If you’re going to pull a separate trailer behind your vehicle, you’ll need a trailer hitch. The most basic version is a hitch which extends horizontally from the back of the vehicle and has a ball mounted vertically on it. Most trailers will feature a tongue which fits down over the trailer ball and then locks into place. The tongue and ball design allow the trailer to rotate and move up and down on the trailer hitch without coming loose.
Trailer hitches are simple, straightforward pieces of equipment that allow you to pull almost everything you want, within certain specifications of course. Trailer hitches don’t have many other uses; on some models, the ball can detach from the receiver, allowing the hitch to be practically invisible and preventing the hitch from protruding out from behind the car or truck.
Classes of trailer hitches
In North America, aftermarket hitches are classed by the total weight load they can handle, and the weight that can be put on the tongue and hitch. There are four recognized classes, with a fifth class which sometimes appears in sales promotions and advertisements.
Class I – up to 2,000 lbs. Light load, small trailers.
Class II – up to 3,500 lbs. Light load, small trailers.
Class III – up to 5,000 lbs. Larger loads, larger trailers for boats, cars, campers, etc.
Class IV – up to 10,000 lbs. Large loads, larger trailers for boats, cars, campers, etc.
While not an officially recognized class of trailer hitch, Class V hitches handle loads up to 16,500 lbs, including construction equipment and heavy machinery.
Not every vehicle can handle every hitch. Class I and II hitches may work on some cars, and a small truck might be able to take hitches up to class III or even IV, but wouldn’t be able to handle Class V. On the opposite side, there might not be much point in putting an aftermarket Class I hitch on a heavy-duty pickup truck.
Trailer Hitch Components
A hitch isn’t just a hitch. People use “trailer hitch” to refer to any or all of the various parts of a hitch, but properly there are at least two components to any hitch.
The receiver is what fastens securely (and usually permanently or semi-permanently) to the towing vehicle. Once installed, it is rarely removed. Receivers vary in size and weight rating, but a 2-inch receiver is fairly standard.
The ball mount inserts into the receiver. The ball at the end comes in different sizes and is the point to which the trailer is physically attached. The ball mount is what most people think of what they imagine a trailer hitch. Ball mounts also carry a weight rating and often a tongue rating, identifying how much weight that component can carry.
Ball mounts can be removed fairly easily when not in use.
Best Weight Distribution Hitches
With the background information out of the way, let’s get down to business. What are the best aftermarket trailer hitches currently available? We’ll give you our list of the top brands and models, along with the overall rating for the hitch. Be aware that you’ll always need to double-check your vehicle specifications with the capabilities of the hitch itself. Not every hitch will fit every vehicle, so do your homework to make sure the hitch you want will not only tow the right size load but will also fit on your truck in the first place!
# 1. BulletProof Adjustable 2” Heavy Duty
American-made, heavy-duty, military-grade construction. This is a legitimate hitch, handling 3,000 lbs on the tongue and a load weight of up to 22,000 lbs. It’s a class IV hitch, with two optional ball sizes and a 4-inch height adjustment. This is a serious piece of equipment for anyone looking for a hitch ball mount.
- Solid steel
- 3 different height settings
- No sway control
There are very few bad things to say about this hitch. It’s simple and uncomplicated – a ball mount, nothing more. But if that’s all you need, even for heavy weights, then this is the way to go. The hitch comes with a lifetime guarantee, but it’s well-built; in all likelihood, you’ll never even need the guarantee.
# 2. Anderson Hitches Rapid Hitch 3410
In shiny aluminum, this is a lightweight hitch with heavyweight ability. It offers a 1000-lbs tongue weight and a max of 10,000 lbs load, all on a hitch with a 6-inch adjustable ball mount. This is truly a “Rapid Hitch,” able to be adjusted and moved around as needed and still pull an impressive amount of weight.
- Highly adjustable
- Looks good
- Some possible design flaws
- Not as heavy-duty as other hitches
The Anderson Rapid Hitch scores well for versatility and flexibility. It can tow an impressive amount of weight, although it doesn’t have the towing capacity of other hitches of a similar design. The price point is correspondingly lower, which helps.
# 3. Weigh Safe LTB6-2
The Weigh Safe 180 Hitch is clearly aimed at consumers needing to pull a moderately heavy amount of weight without sacrificing some flexibility and versatility with the hitch itself. The Weigh Safe 180 allows two different ball sizes to be mounted in a top/bottom configuration; to switch ball sizes, the owner simply uses the quick exchange system on the hitch to swap the receiver. In addition, the hitch features 6 inches of height difference on the ball mount. The Weigh Safe 180 can tow up to 12,500 lbs, with 1500 lbs on the tongue.
- 6-inch height adjustment
- Two balls mounted simultaneously
- Lightweight aluminum construction
- Slightly higher price point than similar hitches
The Weigh Safe 180 is one of the better drop hitches – hitches will allow a trailer to be mounted safely to a higher-sitting towing vehicle. Among drop hitches, the Weigh Safe features an innovative design, moderately high towing capacity, and simplicity of use.
# 4. B&W Tow and Stow Magnum Receiver Hitch
The B&W Tow and Stow is another drop hitch – in this case, with a 5-inch drop. It features an unusual 3-sided ball mount, with 1 ⅞ inch, 2 inch, and 2 5/16 inch balls. The ball mount assembly rotates without being removed from the shank, making towing different sizes of trailers an easy adjustment. American-made, the hitch is rated to tow up to 10,000 lbs.
- Multiple shank sizes
- 3-ball mount eliminates need for multiple balls
- High-quality construction
- Some issues with theft protection
The B&W Tow and Stow is a drop-hitch with a twist. More accurately, it’s the 3-ball mount that rotates, providing three ball sizes on the same hitch. Added to the 5-inch drop, this is an extremely versatile hitch with a moderate two rating (up to 10,000 lbs) and good reviews for durability. The price point is slightly higher than for comparable models, but much of that is due to the versatility in the ball mount.
# 5. CURT 13146 Class 3 Trailer Hitch
This Class 3 hitch, rated up to 6,000 lbs, provides a quality option for slightly lower tow weights. The hitch is intended more an as aftermarket addition for SUVs and smaller trucks than as a heavy-duty towing option.
- Custom installation for a number of vehicles including Honda Pilot and Acura MDX
- Ideal for lighter loads, including small boats and bike racks
- Mounts under the vehicle, with all but the ball mount safely out-of-sight
- Ball not included
The CURT 13146 comes in all different classes, from Class I to Class V. This Class III hitch offers an unobtrusive option that can still tow up to 6,000 lbs and fits a 2-inch ball. Sturdy but easy to install, this hitch rates highly for ease of use and wide compatibility with different vehicles.
# 6. Connor 1623750 Tri Ball
First off, this is NOT a receiver – simply the ball mount. But what a ball mount it is! The Connor Tri Ball isn’t one ball, but three: 1-⅞ inch, 2 inch, and 2-5/16 inch. The mounts are rated for 2,000, 6,000, and 10,000 lbs respectively. In short, the Tri Ball is a versatile ball mount that eliminates needing to keep track of multiple ball mounts for different trailer setups.
- Fits a standard 2-inch receiver
- Class III or IV
- Rust-resistant finish
- Ball mount only
- Irregular design reduces ground clearance in some cases
The Connor Tri-Ball is extremely simple; there’s no weight distribution or adjustable height. But what it does, it does well – offer multiple different ball sizes to accommodate different trailer setups without extra equipment.
# 7. Equal-i-zer Sway Control Hitch
You can find more information about sway control hitches here, but the Equal-i-zer 4-point sway control hitch is one of the best of the lot. Sway control hitches aren’t necessarily designed to haul more weight – but they are designed to provide increased stability. The Equal-i-zer uses an innovative system of bars and attachment points to improve steering and control for unstable loads.
- 10,000 lbs load, 1,000 lbs tongue weight
- US-made, highest quality steel
- Heavy – over 100 lbs.
- 2-inch ball not included
The Equal-i-zer holds a sterling reputation among sway control hitches, offering improved sway control without compromising steering or turn radius. If you need more control than a simple ball mount provides, the Equal-i-zer might be just the hitch for you.
# 8. Maxxhaul 70380 Adjustable Dual Ball Mount
The Maxxhaul 70380 comes as advertised: it is HIGHLY adjustable. It offers a 7 ½ inch maximum rise and a 6 ½ inch drop. On top of that, it’s a twin-ball mount, providing a max 12,000 load for the 2 5/16 ball, and 8,000 for the 2-inch. A dual-pin system keeps the ball firmly in place where you mount it.
- Over 6 inches adjustable rise or drop, more than other competitors
- Fantastic price point
- Fits a two-inch receiver
- Chrome plating wears off
If you’re looking for a hitch that can haul a significant load, but don’t want to break the bank, this is a fantastic option. The two ball sizes and over six inches of height adjustment mean that this is a simple but effective hitch design.