With a hitch, the trailer can be easily hooked to a tow vehicle, which can be a truck or an SUV. The hitch, however, can't handle the towing on its own. It would help to have some hitch accessories to make hauling some heavy equipment or cargo a lot easier and safer. All you need is the right hitch accessory to put your mind at ease whenever you're transporting thousands of pounds of cargo across thousands of miles.
Here's a quick hitch accessory guide to help you in your shopping.
Hitch tube cover
The tube cover is used to protect the hitch receiver from dirt and other harmful elements. There are more than a few covers to choose from. You'll find covers that are manufactured from lightweight plastic or forged steel that comes in different colors to match the vehicle. Specialty covers are also available for customization. Another hitch accessory you can buy along with the cover is the hitch step. The step gives you easier access to the roof rack and truck bed while also protecting the ball mount.
While tow vehicles may be equipped with a hitch receiver, the towing kit may not always include a ball mount. The towing assembly may need a ball mount that can be driven into the receiver and be used with a locking pin. With this hitch accessory, the vehicle will be ready to tow any heavy cargo. Just make sure that the ball mount matches the hitch based on its class. The hitch class (from I to V) has a designated load capacity or maximum weight, which starts from 2,000 lbs. to more than 10,000 lbs.
This hitch accessory can be zinc or chrome plated. It may also have a stainless steel finish. A rubber cover is used to protect the hitch ball when in storage. When using a hitch ball, its shank is fitted through the ball mount hole, which is available in various sizes. These are sealed using a nut and washer. The towing kit or package may use two or more hitch balls that are interchangeable. These allow you to use different trailers that come with various kinds of couplers. Changing the hitch balls is actually easy. You just have to use the quick-release positive latch feature. When getting this ball, you have to find one that has a shank diameter that matches the mount specs. This mechanism should also be suited to the coupler.
This hitch accessory is used on the trailer's tongue, with a chain on each side. The chain's end has an S-hook, which can be linked to the hitch's hole. So, if ever the coupler or hitch ball gets disconnected from the vehicle, the trailer won't just slide and roll away. It will stay attached to the vehicle because of the chain. When using a chain, some would recommend crossing them under the tongue of the trailer. This way, the tongue won't easily fall to the ground in case of an accident or untoward incident on the road. The chains should be set up in a way that there's just enough slack for easy turns. The chains you'll buy should also pass the standards set by the local administration. They should have the acceptable ratings for handling a certain trailer weight. To be sure, check the state rules or policies on this.
Pins, clips and locks
To hook up the ball mount to the hitch receiver, you'll need pins and clips. An alternative to these pins and clips are hitch locks. These locks keep the ball mount protected from theft. Locks for couplers are also available to keep the trailer safe from robbers. Pins, clips, and locks may be sold as part of a towing kit, and the kit may include a ball and a mount aside from these hitch accessories. When buying these small items, you have to be sure that they fit the hitch or ball mount used on your tow vehicle.