Travel trailers have been around for a long time. They were even used back in the 19th century in places like Europe. Although they were then pulled by horses unlike modern travel trailers which are pulled by cars, trucks, vans, and other such vehicles.
Travel trailers have brought the comforts of modern life out with us on the road. But using them properly demands a hitch, perhaps along with a hitch cover. The best hitch for towing a travel trailer can provide a safe and secure link between your vehicle and your trailer. It can prevent swaying and make your journey much more comfortable.
Best Hitch for Towing Travel Trailer on the Road
We’ve compiled a list of some top-notch hitches that’ll get the job done. It’s recommended you first assess your particular needs and then give them a read. That way you’ll have no issue buying the best hitch for towing a travel trailer.
1. Great Day – Lawn Pro Hi-Hitch – Lawnmower Towing Hitch
The Lawn Pro Hi-Hitch is a versatile towing hitch that can easily convert your riding lawn mower into a capable towing machine. Its versatility stems from the fact that you can easily use this to complete a multitude of transportation tasks.
Not only utility trailers can be moved with it. But you can also use it as a convenient means of bringing up firewood, hauling off garbage, positioning your ski boat in the garage, and other such household jobs.
This product was engineered with durability and portability in mind. The material of choice is super-strong aircraft aluminum not only makes it sturdy but also keeps it lightweight.
The height of this product was also designed to be just right. This ensures that it’ll remain on the same level as the trailer. This will prevent any damage to the trailer or something falling off due to the unevenness while it’s being pulled.
This towing hitch mounts to all sorts of conventional riding lawn mowers without much hassle. It can be mounted with minimal drilling or modifications. It also requires very little in the way of maintenance.
- The instruction manual is not very clear
2. CURT 13105 Class 3 Trailer Hitch, 2-Inch Receiver for Select Toyota Sienna
The curt 13105 is a robust trailer hitch specifically designed to work with select models (from 2004-2020) of Toyota Sienna cars.
This trailer hitch is very rugged. It can take weight up to 3, 500 lbs. of a gross trailer and has an acceptable tongue weight of 350 lbs. It has an impressive weight distribution capacity of 5,000 lbs. Also, its weight distribution tongue weight is 500 lbs. It’s also made of high-quality carbon steel to ensure extra durability.
This trailer hitch is tremendously versatile because it has a 2 inch by 2-inch receiver. This gives you many towing options with a wide variety. Moreover, it can work with a ball mount or bike rack as well as a cargo carrier or even hook of tow and even many other standard mounts.
This product undergoes extensive testing before it hits the market. Every class 3 trailer hitch is tested in CURT’s facility of Detroit engineering. It undergoes harsh real world and on-vehicle conditions. All hitches are tested under SAE J684 standards which ensures the utmost safety.
These two are co-cured finishes. This provides excellent UV rays, rust, and chip resistance. This hitch is very easy to install due to the vehicle-specific design. It comes with all things necessary to install and no drilling is required.
- Trailer hitch too low on the 2011 Toyota Sienna
3. Reese Towpower 37042 Class III Multi-Fit Receiver Hitch with 2″ Receiver opening
The Reese Towpower 37042 is a sturdy and durable receiver hitch. Its sturdiness comes from its all welded construction. Its durability can be attributed to its Metal Shield black coating. This also gives the hitch superb corrosion resistance.
This hitch undergoes thorough testing to meet or in most cases exceed V5, VS, and SAE J684 standards. Each hitch also faces a multi-axis fatigue test which is unique to Reese. It accurately simulates 100,000 miles of real-world roads.
It supports up to 500 pounds of tongue weight. The gross towing weight is about 5000 pounds. But you might want to check the vehicle owner’s manual to get the exact towing capacity. The weight distribution capacity of this hitch is 600 lbs. per gross trailer weight of 6000 lbs.
In general, it installs in under 45 minutes. It has a 2-inch square receiver tube opening. This hitch can also be used with passenger SUVs and also light trucks. Drilling could be required for such use cases. All the required hardware is supplied by Reese.
- Installing can be quite cumbersome
- Installation manual not clear
4. Draw-Tite 75579 Max-Frame Class III Receiver Hitch
The Draw-Tite 75579 is a multifaceted receiver hitch that can be easily used with trucks, vans, and sport utility vehicles. It is built according to manufacturer specifications to ensure the best possible fit and towing performance.
This hitch has a solid all-welded and computer-aided design for a high-quality build and safety while in use. It has an E-Coat Base w/ Black Powder Coat Finish to enhance rust protection. It is also fatigue stress tested. Each and every hitch is designed to not only meet but surpass industry standards.
On the specs side of this, it comes with a 2-inch square receiver tube opening. It has a class III rating. The maximum gross trailer weight is 4000 lbs. without distribution and 5000 lbs. with distribution. The maximum tongue weight is 400 lbs. with distribution and 500 lbs. without distribution.
It has a convenient bolt-on installation with no welding required. The installation instructions are included and are quite clear. It also uses hardware from your existing vehicle. It also features a limited lifetime warranty.
- Some porosity in welds
- Paint quality mediocre
5. Husky 30849 Round Bar Weight Distribution Hitch with Sway Control
The Husky 30849 may be from a relatively new towing brand but its excellent feature-set and build quality more than makes up for it.
One of its most innovative features is its sway ball platform which is capable of accommodating two sway mechanisms. This feature enables this hitch to handle a hefty 1200 lbs. tongue weight and easily pull weights of 12000 lbs.
This hitch has a black polyester finish designed to shield against things like rust and corrosion. This makes the hitch practically weatherproof.
Things like the life brackets make hookups safe and also easy. And the interchangeable spring bars fit easily to the left or right sides of the hitch head. These add plenty of practical value to the hitch.
The maneuverability is great on this hitch with an 8-inch total height adjustment. The rise is about 5-5/8 inch and the drop is 2-3/8 inch. The shank length is 10 inch and the ball to pin hole is 12-3/4 inch. There is a 5/16 inch trailer ball and sway control already included with the hitch.
Assembly of this hitch doesn’t involve too much difficulty. After you manage to fully assemble this unit you’ll notice there is a larger platform adjoining the ball connector. This area is specifically for the optional sway mechanism. To use it two additional sway control balls need to be attached.
- Assembly is quite a time consuming
- Optional sway mechanism not usable out of the box
Roadmap to the Best Hitch for Towing a Travel Trailer
You can’t just go out and buy the best hitch based on specs alone. You have to check if a hitch is compatible with your vehicle and how you will attach it. This process can get convoluted unless every other detail is at your hand as follows.
There are a total of five classes of hitches based on how much weight you need to tow and what kind of vehicle you have.
It can pull about 2000 lbs. when used with a full-sized car and crossovers.
It can pull about 3500 lbs. when used with a crossover, minivan, and ¼ ton truck or SUVs.
It can pull about 3500-12000 lbs. when used with a crossover, minivan, ¼ to 1-ton truck or SUVs.
It can pull about 8000-14000 lbs. when used with a ½ ton SUV to a 1-ton truck.
It can pull about 16000-20000 lbs. when used with a ½ ton truck or SUVs, ¾ ton trucks, and a 1-ton truck.
Gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is the highest weight of your vehicle while loaded.
Gross axle weight rating (GAWR) is the highest weight that your front or back axle can support.
Tongue weight is the downward force that the tongue of your trailer can exert on the hitch that you have connected to your vehicle.
A hitch has several components each with different jobs. You must know their purpose to make a proper purchase decision.
The receiver hitch is the most common type of trailer hitch. It connects your trailer to your hitch vehicle. It can either be welded or bolted to your vehicle. Out of those, two weldings provide a stronger joint.
This hitch is a hitch ball platform of the removable kind that easily slides into the receiver of a hitch. You can fasten it tightly with a pin and clip. There are adjustable ball mounts to raise or lower the height.
The trailer ball (also known as tow ball/hitch ball) ensures that you can turn corners and go over bumps easily without losing connection to your vehicle. They usually come with ball mounts.
Hitch Pin & Clip
It is a small rod made of metal designed for holding the ball mount in the hitch receiver’s tube. It is generally of L shape.
Strength and Durability
Most hitches these days have an all weld computer-aided design like the Reese Towpower 37042. It gives the hitch sufficient strength to deal with harsh conditions. Another option is bolted hitches but they are less sturdy. Durability is maintained in the hitches by using a coating such as a black powder coat.
A good hitch undergoes many tests such as fatigue tests to meet standards such as V5, VS, and SAE J684, etc. If a hitch meets these standards you can rest assured they are of high quality.
Assembly and Installation
Most hitches come with all the necessary components required to assemble and install correctly. But the most convenient ones are the no-drilling and vehicle-specific hitches.
Q: Can a hitch be replaced with a rope?
Ans: Although technically possible, we don’t recommend it.
Q: What happens when the tongue weight is too heavy?
Ans: If the tongue weight of your hitch is too heavy you’ll face problems while steering.
Q: What benefits does a weight-distribution hitch have?
Ans: A weight distribution hitch helps to stabilize and make sure your trailer stays level. It can also prevent undue stress on your vehicle.
Q: Should I get a hitch custom made for my car?
Ans: If it is an economically viable option then you should go for a custom one. This will completely remove any extra hassle while installing and give you a perfect fit.
Buying the best hitch for towing travel trailerscan be a perplexing process. But it can be done if you find out what to look for in your specific use case.
Out of the ones we’ve reviewed the Husky 30849 is a really solid pick. It’s a unique sway ball platform and two sway mechanisms greatly improve how much weight you can pull with it. You easily pull some hefty travel trailers with this one.
Another great option would be the Reese Towpower 37042. This hitch has a robust all-weld construction and it is tested extensively to surpass all the standers. You won’t have any difficulty towing your travel trailer while using this one.