Over the years I’ve seen many bumper hitches and I’ve found the best bumper towing hitches that are tested and proven to hold up for a very long time.
Most people go to Walmart or to farm store and buy and standard receiver hitch that is rated at 500# tongue weight and up to maybe 5000# towing weight. Most people have no clue about safe and legal towing and are just the weekend warriors that town boats to the lake or camper to camp ground.
This is fine, but in most cases not safe, and if the truth be known, the rating on their cheap Walmart hitch isn’t even rated high enough for what they are towing. There again, most people don’t even know, and probably aren’t even qualified to tow much. After all, there is some pretty scary people towing stuff out in the roads…and I mean scary.
Safety and Being Legal
Just think about your boat, camper or trailer would come lose going down the hiway because of some cheap underrated hitch breaks and whatever your towing wipes out someone else or some family. Some people don’t even use safety chains, and if they do they are hanging down dragging the pavement and sparks are starting wild fires. Inexperienced people don’t know what they don’t know, and if they would just take those safety chains one at a time and twist them until they get most of the slack out of them they wouldn’t drag the ground, and would actually serve they’re purpose if the trailer was to come lose.
Some Towing Tips:
- Use safety chains or cables.
- Use emergency brake cable.
- Use hitch clip or lock.
- Keep your safety chains up off the ground. They need enough slack for turning, but to much slack they aren’t going to do any good if trailer comes lose.
- Keep your emergency brake cable and 12v wire from flopping around or hanging down.
- Have some pride in what you are towing and use some type of mud flaps/rock guards to protect what your towing from rocks, road grime, and other harmful road debris. (See pictures of what I use).
- Always check your hitch for tow ratings, and if it doesn’t have tow ratings, then do yourself a favor and replace it with something that is rated and legal for what you are towing. This is one area that you should NEVER be cheap!!
- Know your tow vehicle ratings, usually located on drivers door.
- Have at least 10 ply tires for towing.
- Always check your lug nuts for proper torque and check tire air pressures. Tire pressures change in cold weather and in hot weather.
- Always check the trailer tongue for stamped hitch ball size and make sure you have the correct size hitch ball.
- Grease your hitch ball for way less wear, quieter towing and way more life out of your hitch ball.
- Don’t text and drive, especially towing. Don’t be an idiot, like most of the world is!!
The best bumper towing hitches I’ve tested and that I actually use are pictured below and have high ratings stamped right on them. Both of these are pictured while on my truck and in use.
The first hitch pictured is the Shocker airbag hitch and has its place, especially if you care about what your towing and want to make your ride much better. If you have a single beam hitch trailer, like a boat, or some other single beam trailer, then I would highly recommend this one. It is a little pricey, but after all, you get what you pay for…and it’s high rated and safe, plus it’s actually legal if you get stopped by dot and they check the hitch ratings against what your towing. Oh yes, they will do this, especially to the people they are sure are not qualified or experienced to tow what they are towing.
Do you care about what you are towing?
I tow very high end boats and other single beam trailers…(some up to $300k in value), so this airbag hitch softens the ride of the rough roads and helps protect what I’m towing, and makes my truck ride better when towing something that is over 6000#. This hitch is rated to 20,000# towing and 2000# of tongue weight, which is a lot.
Notices: See this picture above and how I’ve twisted the safety chains so they aren’t hanging down and will actually do what they are designed to do if needed. Notice how I’ve hooked up the safety brake cable (which is mandatory) in case of a trailer break away. Most boats have hitch/shock brake setup. Notice the trailer ball lock clasp I use that allows me to have light and brake cords/cables ran inside of it so those cables aren’t hanging down to get into something, or drag the ground.
Weight Distribution Hitch
Below is my second favorite hitch. I use this for travel trailer and large enclosed trailers. Most of the units I use this hitch set up for are over 30′ in length and over 8000#. These type of units are high profile and catch lots of wind, which will tend to get sway, or also known as whipping, so this weight distribution hitch takes care of that, plus if it’s real windy, I also add a sway bar and that eliminates whatever the wind throws at you.
This weight distribution hitch pictured above is for double beam hitch trailers and if you have something that has a great deal of tongue weight, then the heavy tongue weight will unload your front end of the tow vehicle and makes your vehicle harder to steer and stop. This weight distribution hitch (also called equalizer hitch), if set up properly (like pictured above) will correct all of the issues and keep your tow vehicle leveled up and the ride and tow will be incredible.
1 Ton Trucks are Designed for Serious Towing
I use a 3500 series truck (1 ton) which is for serious towing, so this truck has heavier everything for towing and very large brakes so you can stop something that is behind you and heavy. I see so many people using 1/2 ton pickups, which is fine for lighter stuff and for getting groceries, but for things over 8000-10,000# like I tow, it isn’t near enough.
Tested and Proven
I’ve tested and used many other hitches over the years, and honestly, no others hold up or compare to what I’ve shared here. The torsion hitches are ok, but most all of them have bushings that need to be replaced very often, and are extremely high priced. I like air because you can adjust the air for different applications and get the best ride possible.
Have a hitch you like? Leave it in the comments below and I will check it out.
Always do your best,