General Towing FAQs

Common Terms for Towing

Coupler - The part of the trailer tongue that secures to the tow vehicle hitch ball.

Gross Towing Weight (GTW) - The weight of the trailer plus all the cargo in it. This is measured by putting a fully loaded trailer on a scale.

Hitch Application - In the industry, hitches are commonly called "hitch applications". This would refer to the specific hitch that would fit your specific vehicle.

Hitch Ball - The part that the trailer coupler attaches to. It is usually attached to a ball mount, which is inserted into the receiver end of a hitch.

Hitch Shank Hole - The diameter of the opening in the ball mount for the hitch ball shank to go through. The hitch ball shank diameter and the ball mounts shank hole diameter should match.

Hitch Tube Cover - The receiver end cap that fits over the 1-1/4" or 2" receiver end of a hitch. Designed to protect the end from the elements and to give the hitch a finished look. There are many designer or logo covers available to enhance the look of your vehicle.

Pin & Clip - The pin & clip are very important as they secure the receiver and the hitch or hitch accessory. The pin rests in the shank hole of the receiver and the clip fits over the head of the pin.

Receiver - The receptacle part of a trailer hitch which can take inserts such as ball mounts, bike racks and other accessories.

Safety Chains - Chains which are attached to the trailer tongue and has hooks on their free ends. They keep the trailer connected to the towing vehicle in the event the coupler or the hitch ball should come free.

Tongue - This refers to the part of the trailer that extends forward from the trailer box and includes the coupler.

Tongue Weight (TW) - The downward force exerted on the ball by the trailer coupler.