General Towing FAQs

To Tow You Need 3 Things...

  1. The Tow Vehicle
  2. A Towing Package
  3. The Trailer

Determine the Hitch Type

Weight Carrying Hitches

Weight-carrying hitches are generally used for lightweight trailers up to 3,500 lbs. GTW and 300 lbs. TW.

Certain vehicles such as pickups, vans and utility vehicles with built-in extra cargo capacity can use weight-carrying hitches for higher loads.

Weight-carrying hitches support the trailer tongue weight (TW), just as though it were luggage located at the hitch ball.

There are two basic styles of Weight Carrying Hitches:

Fixed Drawbar - The ball platform is a permanent member welded to the hitch.

Removable Drawbar - The ball platform is removable. In Classes I and II, it's called a drawbar, and in Class III and IV, it's a utility ball mount.

Weight Distributing Hitches

Rather than merely supporting the trailer tongue weight (TW), weight-distributing hitches apply leverage between the towing vehicle and trailer causing the TW to be carried by all axles of the tow vehicle and trailer.

When TW is distributed in this way trailers with greater TWs can be towed, resulting in a more level ride which reduces stress on the rear of the tow vehicle and provides greater steering and brake control.

Weight-distributing hitches are selected on the basis of GTW and TW, and to some extent on the weight to be carried in the trunk of the towing vehicle.

For example, a weight-distributing hitch rated for 7,500 lbs. GTW and 750 lbs. TW should be used for a 5,500 lbs. GTW trailer with 600 lbs. TW, where the towing vehicle will also be carrying 150 lbs. in the trunk. The excess tongue weight capacity of the hitch will help to carry the extra weight in the trunk.

A weight-distributing system includes a receiver attached to the tow vehicle, a removable hitch head and spring bar assembly that fits into the receiver opening and hook-up brackets that connect the spring bars to the trailer frame.


These devices help the tow vehicle's rear suspension support trailer tongue weight as well as the weight of passengers and luggage. They are particularly useful on "soft-sprung" vehicles or those whose springs have settled. They are not substitutes for weight-distributing hitches, since they do not re-distribute load to other axles.