There’s a right way and a wrong way to do just about everything. Sure, you could have your sketchy second cousin weld up a ball mount onto your bumper with some scrap metal that he is totally sure will hold up towing your boat — that’s the wrong way (sorry Scooter, facts are facts).
Instead, you could buy yourself a tailor made solution that has been engineered by actual professionals that you can bolt right up in an afternoon — this is the right way to get it done.
Installing Your Trailer Hitch
Hitch mounts can be installed pretty much anywhere your vehicle is parked with just a few basic hand tools. We of course always recommend to check the hitch manufacturer’s instructions first. These should have any specific details that you need to know for your particular vehicle.
Here’s a basic rundown on how best to approach installation:
After making sure your parking brake is set and your wheels are blocked, jack up your truck or SUV to give yourself plenty of clearance to install the hitch.
Assemble the entire hitch per the manufacturer’s instructions but don’t tighten any of the bolts (if applicable).
Some vehicles have pre-drilled holes to accept hitch mounts. If not, drill holes into your vehicle’s frame by using the loosely assembled hitch as a template.
Using C-clamps, attach the hitch to the frame of your vehicle and bolt it into place, securely tightening the bolts on the hitch.
Make all electrical connections for any of the brake lights and turn signals and test them to make sure they’re working before heading out.
Finding the Right Hitch for Your Setup
With all the different options out there, it’s tough to know which would be right for you. Different hitch classes are split up by GTW (Gross Train Weight) and TW (Tongue Weight). GTW is the total weight of the trailer you’re towing and all its contents, and the TW is the total weight bearing down on the hitch itself.
Hitch mounts are classified into five separate categories numbered I to V. Each category is based on the amount of weight the hitches will support, with classes 1 and 2 designed for lighter loads, while classes 3, 4, and 5 can accommodate higher workloads.
Still not enough capacity for you? Well 5th wheel hitches and gooseneck hitches enable you to haul up to 30,000 lbs, and have an advantage in towing heavy loads with better road stability and the ability to take on a much higher tongue weight.
Every trailer hitch we offer is engineered to work with your specific year, make, and model vehicle, and most applications bolt right up with no drilling needed. Please note that no hitch can raise your factory towing capacity. A hitch may be rated for a higher rating than your vehicle’s limits, but this is by design for safety. Your vehicle manufacturer limits must still are still applicable.
What Else You Should Know Before You Tow?
Do you have a ball mount ready to go? Some hitches will come with them, others will have ball mount options on the page.
Plus, most models work in unison with a wide variety of trailer hitch covers and logo hitch covers, enabling you to add your favorite sports or auto logo onto the hitch mount when not in use, preventing excess moisture and other debris from getting into the trailer mount. Hitch mounts and similar Ford accessories take a good thing and make it better. Delivering safety and convenience, the proper trailer hitch is a must for any road trip or for those who routinely haul oversize loads. Go ahead and read our trailer hitch reviews to find out our customers’ experiences with their hitches. We also have this handy Hitch Class 101 article, so be sure to check it out.
So what do you think? Anything I missed? Have a question on your towing setup? Drop a comment below!