Written By Scott Whisler
Published Sep. 19, 2021

As long as humans have been working and playing, there has been the need to haul and tow, but two arms and two legs can only do so much. Try as you might, you can’t carry tons of rock, pallets of lumber, or that sweet yacht where you want it to go without some help. Whether you’re a working professional, weekend warrior, or recreationalist, you’ll need a powerful vehicle and a reliable tow hitch on your rig. Tow hitches allow us to haul heavy loads and large quantities of material by attaching a trailer. Vehicle schematics vary by make, model, and year causing plenty of confusion when looking for the right hitch receiver. We’ve sifted through the options and done the research, leaving the selecting and installation up to you.

Best Trailer Hitch Reviews & Recommendations

As a name well-known in the world of towing and hauling, Curt has a rich history of stellar performance and reliability. The Curt Multi-Fit Receiver is a Class 3 hitch made to fit most full-size trucks from Ford, GM, and Ram. This versatility does not come at the cost of performance, as this hitch is rated for 8,000 pounds Gross Trailer Weight (GTW) and 800 pounds Tongue Weight (TW).

Made to fit standard 2-inch mounting hardware like ball mounts, hooks, or pintle hitches, the Curt hitch offers numerous options to haul your cargo. The carbon steel construction has been given a black powder coat to fight rust, chips, and UV rays for extended life of use.

Specs
  • Class 3 rating
  • 2-inch receiver
  • Powder coated
PROS

Fits most Ford, GM, and Ram pickups

Higher GTW/TW than most

Class 3 receivers Rust, chip, and UV resistance

CONS

Does not fit vans, SUVs, or sedans

Might require drilling on some model vehicles

Hauling in the city or suburban areas isn’t as dirty or hefty of a task as rural towing can be. That’s where the Hidden Hitch comes into play. Designed to complement the lines and aerodynamics of most vehicles, this hitch is there when you need it and hidden when you don’t.

Its sleek appearance also comes from the black powder coating that acts as a protectant, fighting rust and corrosion. The receiver fits standard 2-inch attachments, giving you the versatility to tow utility trailers, jet skis, lawnmowers, and more. One downside to this option, however, is that it might need to be custom-fitted to your vehicle.

Specs
  • Class 3
  • 2-inch receiver
  • Powder coated
PROS

Concealed when not towing

A lighter weight hitch for smaller vehicles

Affordable

CONS

Lower GTW than most Class 3 hitches

May need to be custom fit

Limited to what you can tow

We trust brands that have decades of experience, and Draw-Tite has been in business since 1946. The company specializes in trailer hitches, and it’s part of the larger Horizon Global corporation that also houses brands like Reese and Bulldog.

Draw-Tite designed the Multi-fit Receiver to work with a wide variety of vehicles without any welding. The solid weld construction gives this hitch excellent durability and strength. Rated for a GTW of 5,000 pounds, it fits most trucks, vans, and SUV. Fitting standard 2-inch towing hardware there isn’t much this hitch won’t let you do. And thanks to the powder coating, it’ll withstand rust, corrosion, and anything else the road throws at it. The Draw-Tite hitch is the premium option, so it comes with a premium price.

Specs
  • Class 3
  • 2-inch receiver
  • 5,000-pound GTW
PROS

Fits most trucks, vans, and SUVs

No weld installation

Powder coat finish

CONS

May require drilling

High price point

Some users report assembly bolts could weaken over time

Buying equipment when you’re on a budget can be stressful, and when it comes to towing, it’s a matter of safety, so you need your dollar to count. Reese Towpower has a great solution in its Multi-Fit Receiver that you can install on most vehicles. That means you can save money to upgrade your rig. Reese Towpower is part of Reese, which is part of the Horizon Global group that includes Draw-Tite.

The all-weld construction of the receiver offers superb strength and it is rated at a GTW of 5,000 pounds. A black powder coating is designed to prevent and fight rust, debris, and weather. This receiver fits standard 2-inch hardware for your ball mounts, hooks, and it comes at an affordable price.

Specs
  • Class 3
  • 2-inch receiver
  • Powder coated
PROS

Fits most trucks, vans, and SUVs

No-weld installation

Hitch box cover included

CONS

Might require drilling

Some users report assembly bolts may weaken or loosen over time

Most Simple Solution

Whether you’re replacing a pintle hook or mounting straight to your truck’s frame, it’s hard to beat the simplicity of the HiTow Bolt-On Receiver. The four-bolt pattern is easy to replicate, so installation should be straightforward.

Made from alloy steel, this simple hitch boasts a 20,000 GTW capability. The strength of this hitch rests heavily on the bolts used for installation, which is why it is recommended to use grade eight 1/2-inch bolts. It is weather, rust, chip, and corrosion resistant due to its black powder coating. The biggest downside, however, is that it might not be compatible with some vehicles.

Specs
  • Model HT314
  • 2-inch receiver
  • 20,000 pounds max GTW
PROS

Bolts on using four-hole pintle hook pattern

Budget pricing

Can be used in many spots

CONS

Might not fit most vehicles

Might require drilling

Bolts and screws not included

How We Selected The Products

Our product selections, rankings, and awards for this story are based on research. Although we haven’t conducted real-world testing on all of these products yet, we’ve looked at consumer testimonials and data, tutorials, and general discussions on social media and in forums. We also consider price and specification in the context of the segment. And, of course, we rely on our institutional knowledge of the automotive landscape to weed out weak products.

We carefully selected each trailer hitch based on performance criteria, price point, and their respective brand’s history of reliability. Trailer hitches are almost all custom-made to fit specific makes, models, and years and come in various classes. To give you the best comparison we only selected Class 3 hitches. We also selected hitches that were capable of fitting more than one specific type of vehicle. We avoided selecting products that were part of a bundle as there isn’t a standard bundle available from all manufacturers. The price point was carefully selected to be affordable, ruling out extravagantly priced options. 

Buying Guide/What to Look For 

To get the job done right and safely you’ll need to find the right hitch. Here are the important factors to consider.

Vehicle

The biggest factor is your rig. Each vehicle is only capable of towing a certain amount, and not all vehicles are designed to add a hitch. To find the right hitch, if one fits your vehicle, you’ll need to know your vehicle’s capabilities and limitations.

Tow Weight

No two jobs are ever the same, and you’ll need to be able to tow whatever the job calls for. Knowing the potential demand of your towing needs will help you select the proper hitch. 

Hitch Class

Trailer hitches are broken down into six classes with different capabilities and uses. Classes 1 and 2 are meant for cars, crossovers, and minivans with a low GTW capability and 1 1/4-inch receiver. Class 3 fits vans, SUVs, and trucks with a moderate GTW limit and a 2-inch receiver. Classes 4 and 5-heavy duty are for trucks and SUVs with a high GTW limit and 2-inch receiver. Class 5-commercial duty is for work trucks with the highest GTW limit and 2 1/2-inch receiver. 

Hitch Height

When towing you’ll want to ensure that there is enough room between the hitch and the ground. If there isn’t enough space, at least one foot, you could have issues going over bumps and through dips potentially damaging your equipment. However, if your receiver is too high, then your trailer won’t sit level and it will be unsafe to tow. Using risers or drops could help you solve this issue. 

Mounting Hardware

Not all mounts can do the same job or handle the same weight. You’ll want to identify what mounts you’ll need and their capabilities to ensure a safe tow. 

Protective Finish

Most hitches come with a protective finish to fight weather, rust, corrosion, and road debris. It’s important to find a hitch with a strong finish to avoid weakened hitch abilities due to corrosion. 

FAQs

Q: What is a trailer hitch?

A trailer hitch is a piece of equipment that mounts to the frame of a vehicle to allow towing. 

Q: What does Class 3 mean? 

There are several classes of hitches that indicate the capability of the hitch. Class 3 indicates that the hitch is meant for trucks, vans, and SUVs with a maximum GTW capability of 8,000-pounds.

Q: Is there a difference between GTW and Tongue Weight (TW)? 

Yes. GTW is the weight of the trailer and its cargo combined. However, TW is the amount of weight being directly loaded on the tongue of the hitch. 

Q: Does adding a hitch mean I can tow anything? 

No. Each vehicle has a maximum GTW it is capable of towing safely. 

Q: Is a trailer hitch the same as a gooseneck or fifth wheel? 

Not quite. Although goosenecks and fifth wheels are types of hitches, they are different styles meant for heavy-duty work. Goosenecks and fifth wheels position their connection points inside a truck bed. 

Q: Are all hitch receivers the same height from the ground? 

There is no standard height. The receiver will sit differently on each vehicle, which is why there are risers and drop mounts to help you get your trailers level.

About the Author

Scott Whisler is a family man and Marine Corps veteran. He writes gear reviews for Task & Purpose and is known for starring in the documentary series The War Within (2018). Outside of writing, he’s an avid reader and outdoor adventurer.

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