Are you planning a move or a camping trip? There’s almost no way around a trailer. But what if your car is not equipped with a trailer hitch from the factory? In the article, we explain to you what types of couplings there are and what to look out for when buying one.
With a trailer hitch (and a trailer) you can cope with moving, camping trips and most transports even with the small car. In some cars it is already installed out of the box, in others you can always retrofit such a hitch.
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CURT Class 3 Trailer Hitch
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We have tested the trailer hitches and selected the best products for you.
What trailer hitches are available?
- Rigid trailer coupling:
A rigid trailer hitch is particularly well suited for continuous use. Frequent drivers and companies often use this variant. It is the cheapest solution to retrofit a trailer coupling. The trailer coupling with the ball head is used either with bolted or welded ball bar. Rigid in this case means that the trailer device with the ball head device is firmly attached to the mounting cross member and cannot be removed.
- Detachable trailer hitch:
A detachable trailer hitch is particularly well suited for those who only want to use a trailer hitch occasionally. Unlike the rigid version, there is thus no permanent change to the car. When not in use, the trailer hitch can be removed in a few simple steps. The familiar look of the car is retained.
- Swiveling trailer coupling:
The swiveling trailer hitch is a practical, elegant, and inconspicuous retrofit option: the trailer hitch can be easily rotated under the bumper and is available for use the other way around in a matter of seconds. So it’s ideal for spontaneous users. However, this type of trailer coupling cannot be screwed under every bumper. And the system is not available for all cars. It’s best to ask the workshop directly.
Which cars can be retrofitted?
Most cars can be retrofitted, but there are restrictions – for electric, hybrid, and sports vehicles. A trailer hitch can only be used if the vehicle manufacturer has approved a towing capacity and a drawbar load for the corresponding vehicle. Therefore, the coupling ball of the trailer hitch must be at a height of 14 to 17 inches from the ground when loaded. Also important: The car brake must be strong enough to be able to brake the additional weight. This only applies to trailers with a towed mass of up to 1653 pounds. In addition, there must be sufficient engine cooling and a stable body that can withstand the loads.
Before buying: check vehicle type, drawbar load and towing capacity
If you are looking for a suitable trailer hitch, you should first consider your vehicle type. Before you buy, you should check the make and model of your vehicle.
In addition to your vehicle type, you should also know what towing capacity you are allowed to tow with your vehicle. You must remember that your car must also brake the weight of the trailer when braking – unless it has its own brake. If the permissible trailer load is exceeded, the worst-case scenario could be a traffic accident. So to protect yourself and others, be sure to check the permissible trailer load in your vehicle documents.
There is also something to consider with the trailer coupling itself: the permissible drawbar load. This is the maximum load that can be placed on the coupling. Depending on the size of the trailer, a coupling with a correspondingly high drawbar load should be selected. The permissible drawbar load can be found in the manufacturer’s specifications for the trailer coupling.
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