Picture this: You and your family, along with your friends, spending the weekend off to the great outdoors. There is just nothing like smelling the aroma of cooking barbecue floating, being carried off by the fresh air, amidst your very own piece of natural paradise. Crack a few jokes, along with a few beers, and wake up again tomorrow in the same haven. Spending time and making memories with your loved ones, it just is an incomparable feeling!
However, before any of this comes to fruition, you would need three main things. First, you would need a rig that can safely carry you, with your friends and family, across long roads. The second main thing to have is a trailer in tow, where you would need to place the tools, equipment, supplies, and be the all-in-all home that would make for a hassle-free weekend. But what about the third factor? Often overlooked, the third factor is the hitch itself. But just what is a hitch, why is it an important part of your RV travel? Why do you need the best travel trailer hitch?
The hitch is more than just the connection between the rig and the trailer, and today we are going to discuss it, along with the factors to look for when buying the perfect hitch for your travel trailer.
Table of Contents
- 10 Best Travel Trailer Hitch Reviews 2020
- 1. EAZ LIFT 48069 Elite Kit
- 2. Husky Center Line TS with Spring Bars
- 3. CURT 14301 Class 4 Trailer Hitch
- 4. Pro Series 49901 Reese
- 5. Equal-i-zer Four-point Sway Control Hitch
- 6. CURT 17063 MV Weight Distribution Hitch
- 7. Ultra-Fab 35-946403 Trailer Hitch Receiver
- 8. Fastway 10K Round Bar e2 94-00-1061
- 9. APS Class 3 Tow Trailer Hitch
- 10. CURT 13703 Camper Adjustable Trailer Hitch
- What to Look for When Buying a Towing Travel Trailer
- Other Important Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
10 Best Travel Trailer Hitch Reviews 2020
1. EAZ LIFT 48069 Elite Kit
Camping and doing outdoor activities make me feel young, alive, and revitalized. As such, I found a great tool to have a hassle-free journey for my pickup and camper with EAZ Lift 48069 Elite Kit.
The EAZ LIFT 48069 makes our pickup and camper a rigid unit while traveling. It is solidly built as it allows our pickup and camper to be attached firmly. I do not have to worry about falling off, passing a tighter turn, and on how my pickup holds the camper as the sway control bar solves the problem, I just have to find the correct adjustment and voila! we are all set. It has a friction bar that helps prevent squeaking sounds when making a sharp turn. Also, this is a great product that is of high quality and is heavy-duty, so it’s worth the price. I find the sway control really helpful when the road condition is slippery or icy.
The only thing that I don’t like about this product is that bolts regularly loosen. I check them before hitting the road to ensure our safety. I always bring my wrench to re-torque the hitch bolts to ensure it is properly installed, so make sure to your wrench within reach when using this one.
2. Husky Center Line TS with Spring Bars
I went on a trip from Calabasas to Malibu to unwind and to have a breath of some sea air using my F250 and 33-foot camper. At first, I was nervous about being swayed by trucks on the road but to my awe it never happened, thanks to my 32218 Center Line TS with Spring Bars by Husky it made my journey a breeze and, of course, safe.
What I like most about this trailer hitch system is that it has spring bars that aid in weight distribution and sway control, so there is no need to spend extra bucks in getting additional hardware. I do not have to worry about keeping my F250 and camper level as I can drive smoothly without noticing that I am actually driving with a camper at the back. This product is quiet, has minimal noise problems, and is remarkably lighter than other products that are out and available in the market. It is built solidly and all of the steel components are heavy-duty and can be used in a long period of time.
My only complaint is that I had difficulty installing it but since I had a ton of patience and perseverance, I was able to figure it out by diligently reading and following the manual.
3. CURT 14301 Class 4 Trailer Hitch
One of my hobbies is fishing. I find fishing relaxing and it is my stress reliever after a tiring week at the office. All I need is my fishing rod, my RV, and a good place where I can enjoy the scenic view and I’m all set. Just like a good fishing rod to help me catch good fish, I am dependent on my fifth wheel. And a good hitch system is necessary for this, so my fishing buddy introduced me to 14301 Class 4 Trailer Hitch by CURT.
What I like about this hitch system is that it is easy to install. It only took me 40 minutes by just following the instructions indicated on the owner’s manual that came with the package when I ordered it. The product is versatile; it allows several types of towing options. It can tow my family camper, bike rack, horse trailer, and boat. It is safe and reliable while towing as the hitch system was tested and proven to be safe to use. Also, the hardware and all the bolts are rustproof and durable which makes it last for a long period of time, even when frequently exposed to the moist environment of rivers.
My only complaint is I had to buy an extra bolt as one has gone missing, perhaps it was gone from the shipment or whatnot. They should have double-checked the product if all parts are complete prior to shipping to avoid this incident.
4. Pro Series 49901 Reese
I always have my RV whenever I go on an adventure as it is more convenient. After a long walk and when I’m exhausted, I can always lay down and rest in my RV.
I needed a replacement for my old hitch when I found Reese 49901 from Pro Series. I was looking for a hitch that has a weight distribution and a friction sway control system and these features were present on the Pro Series. It has never failed me, even up to now.
This device makes hauling so much easier! I have more control and confidence while driving. The integrated sway control works great and it likewise provides superior weight distribution which makes driving safe and smooth especially when driving on uneven roads. I do not have to worry even if I’m driving on the expressway, slippery road, and stiff road as I can rely and depend on my hitch. This is a very nice product that is available in the market.
One thing though is that there’s this metal plate that goes between the bars which bent slightly after a couple of uses, even if I’m well within the weight limit. It still works though. Attaching can be a bit difficult after that, but still workable.
5. Equal-i-zer Four-point Sway Control Hitch
Aside from RV-ing, I am also a ski snowboard enthusiast, my passion for speed and love for adrenalin rush made me choose this hobby. Whenever I am skiing or snowboarding I feel young and alive, I love to explore the mountain while skiing or snowboarding with the comfort of my RV. But bringing my travel trailer along is also necessary for me, which is why my son gave me a 4-point Sway Control Hitch by Equal-i-zer as a birthday present.
What I love about this product is that, as its name implies, it has 4 point sway control and best-performing weight distribution hitch which is perfect for slippery or icy roads. I don’t have to worry about restrictions on backing up or a tight turning radius, up and down the mountains, or being flipped when passing the expressway.
I like that it is easy to install because the owner’s manual is very straight forward. It even has illustrations in it for better understanding. Also, the Equal-i-zer hitch does not require much maintenance. Before each towing session, I check the tightness of the sway bracket assembly. I make sure that all the hardware is on the hitch and the bolts are not loose. After using the hitch, I wipe down the surfaces with a rag and apply a small amount of lubricant to reduce wear and to avoid rust.
My only complaint is that the hitch is a bit noisy, especially when backing into the campsite or driveway or doing a 90 degrees turn. To solve the squeaking sound, I bought noise reduction pads for the L brackets and lubricated the sockets on the hitch with bearing grease.
6. CURT 17063 MV Weight Distribution Hitch
I love traveling using my trailer as it gives me comfort when going out on adventures. Since I just hitch my travel trailer to one of my pick-ups, I needed a reliable hitch system to use quickly and easily.
One of the first ones I tried is the 17063 MV Round Bar by CURT. It is made with high-quality components, and you can quickly see that from the get-go. This hitch system can last a long time as the components were made sturdy and will not deteriorate that easily.
It is easy to install as all the components needed came along with the package. Also, the RV trailer hitch ball was pre-mounted and pre-tensioned. The hitch has weight distribution and sway control that makes my driving secure, smoother, and steadier especially when doing sharp turns and driving on sandy roads. I love that this hitch has an integrated lubrication system that prevents any creaking sound. Not needing to bring grease and a rag to keep the components lubricated is a welcome change.
During installation, I needed an extra hand when assembling this hitch system as it is heavy. I attempted to install it just by myself the first time, but I failed, which is why I asked a friend to help me assemble it to make a swift assembly and were able to make it. Another thing is that I received an incomplete package. Customer service asked me to ship the entire package back to replace it with a complete package. I wonder why they didn’t just ship me the missing parts, though.
7. Ultra-Fab 35-946403 Trailer Hitch Receiver
I was looking for a product to hitch my bike rack on my travel trailer and a good thing a friend introduced me to 35-946403 Trailer Hitch Receiver by Ultra-Fab. This is actually for hitching additional stuff to a trailer, like bike racks or additional platforms since the usual bumper won’t be enough to carry such accessories.
This hitch is solidly built. It allows me to hang my bike securely just as I wanted at the back of my car. This is better than the ladder-style rack that is not just complicated to use but is also unsecured. Plus, it is a little bit hard to get the bikes stacked up with those things.
This travel trailer receiver hitch is durable and heavy-duty. I like that it has a black powder-coated finish that is going to help the hitch last a long time. I can use this to carry my bike using a bike rack. Even my small boat can be carried by this hitch, too! Also, this hitch is adjustable, which is perfect for my needs.
The only issue I had with this item is that it cannot be bolted in; you have to weld it. The good news is that it’s rock steady when welded, but the bad news is that you can’t remove it.
8. Fastway 10K Round Bar e2 94-00-1061
One of the toughest moments of my RVing life was when I first went on the interstate with my camper in tow. The ride was bumpy as could be and I thought the trucks were going to blow me and my camper away! After this, I learned that I needed a hitch that will prevent the trailer from overly swaying. The first one I bought was the Fastway 10K (RB).
The weight distribution and sway control worked great, so I did not have to worry about tumbling or losing my camper every time trucks pass me by or when I’m driving along the highway. It assures better steering and braking.
The first time I tried it, I did not notice that I was actually driving with a trailer in tow as I was able to drive smoothly. It’s like my car and the trailer became one! Also, the craftsmanship of this product is really good. I can tow anything within the weight limit (I bought the one with the 8,000 lb rating), and I was able to use it for quite a long period of time.
One downside is that some parts seem to be misaligned. The welded parts looked a bit crooked. Straight welding of parts is important so that the force is distributed evenly and that no parts wear off quicker than the others. I contacted customer service, sent a photo, and was asked to return the misaligned parts. They promptly sent back better parts, which was great.
9. APS Class 3 Tow Trailer Hitch
I am a survival instructor by profession. I love visiting hostile places, discovering its beauty, and learning how I can adapt, live, and survive in that particular place. I am always on the go and I always bring with me my reliable companion, which is none other than my camper. One of the hitches I tried using to pull my camper along is the APS Class 3 Tow Trailer Hitch by APS.
The weight distribution on this hitch plays a vital role when I’m on the road, as it allows me to tow the maximum capacity of my camper. The ride was level, too. I appreciate that there’s no sagging at the front part of the camper when I use this hitch.
I’ve been using this for a couple of years now in one of my trailers, and I’m relieved to see that the performance didn’t deteriorate, even through varying weather conditions.
However, I needed to do a bit of tweaking to the product. It didn’t fit properly as the holes in the hitch were not aligned. I made adjustments on the mounting bracket, applied a bit of pressure to bend it, then I flexed it back so that the bolt holes aligned on my camper’s frame. It worked perfectly after that.
10. CURT 13703 Camper Adjustable Trailer Hitch
I used a CURT 13703 Camper Adjustable Trailer Hitch
What I like most about this hitch is that it is rust-proof, chip-proof, and is also UV resistant. I am always on the go and I need a hitch that I can depend on, whatever weather conditions or circumstances that I may be in. Different weather conditions may accelerate the rusting of the metal and even the fading of the hitch’s color. Good thing it is resistant to these three conditions as I will get to use it for a long period of time.
This product also has dependable strength, as it can tow up to 3,500 lbs. Aside from towing my trailer, I can use it to tow my cargo carrier, bike rack, kayak trailer, and more.
However, I noticed that the bolts were too long when assembled. I had to cut some of them to fit inside the tube, else it would not be as tight as they need to be.
What to Look for When Buying a Towing Travel Trailer
A camper tow hitch is not something that you buy regularly. If you find a sturdy one, it will last for several years! So when shopping for one, you need to make sure you get the bang for your buck. Here’s what you need to look:
The Right Make
Whenever you are looking for proper RV-specified equipment, it is often a prerequisite that you look into the materials that were used in the manufacturing of the particular product. And this is especially true when looking for the best tow hitch for your travel trailer.
Most of the time, the things that you place in your trailer are not just mere tools and random stuff. These are usually essential supplies for a camping trip, everyday hygiene materials, maintenance, and RV repair tools, among others. The bottom line is this: when dealing with important cargo, you would need to be extra careful.
The materials used in your hitch then plays an important role in your trip. First and foremost, the material influences the function. Meaning that the strength, performance, and limitations of your hitch are dependent on its material. For example, trailer hitches that are made with aluminum tend to be lighter and durable against the challenges in the weather. They are more adaptive when it comes to temperature drops, and will prove to be consistent against constant wear and tear. On the other hand, metal trailer hitches are built for heavy-duty use. They are stronger and sturdier than the aluminum counterpart and can endure constant motions along the road and without compromising the performance. However, they lean towards the heavier side of the material, which means more weight load for the rig.
Choosing the right materials for your trailer hitch can depend on a couple of other factors. First, it depends on the overall weight capacity of your rig, which asks if your rig can handle the additional weight it would give (especially on the area where it is attached on). The second factor is the load capacity of the trailer, which asks if the hitch itself would have enough strength to hold on to the travel trailer in tow. The third factor is the nature of your activities. Will you be using the travel trailer frequently, keeping it in tow now and again across long distances? Or will it be for light usage only, across short distances?
Be sure to bear in mind these three important questions when looking for the right materials in your tow hitch!
Now that you have chosen the right materials for your tow hitch, it is now time to factor in the cargo load. As discussed above, the weight of your rig and the weight of your load should be directly proportional to the capacity of your tow hitch.
When talking about the weight of your rig, the tow hitch should be able to handle how much force it generates. Since it would be the one that does much of the work, it is just right to ask if the specific tow hitch you have in mind can handle that much pressure from a rig as heavy-set and strong as yours.
Now when it comes to the cargo load, it actually refers to two things. First, it can refer to the actual weight of the travel trailer itself. Is it a light and compact travel trailer, which can carry the average amount of supplies and equipment? Or is it a heavy-set travel trailer that is both sturdy and strong, carrying provisions and equipment for quite the number of people? Second is the total weight of the travel trailer’s load. Are you carrying just everyday tools and equipment? Or are you shipping in heavy items, equipment, and even small vehicles?
The good thing about tow hitches is that most of the time, they include how much capacity can a specific product handle? Since weight capacity differs by the level, look for the right weight class for your rig and selected activities.
One of the factors that owners should definitely not forget is the installation.
Does it come with additional items, or are these items sold separately? There are bonus items sold in a kit that would help you greatly on the road, and sometimes the inclusion of such is what separates different brands and products. Additional accessories can include the drop hitch for travel trailer, which connects the hitch and the vehicle or the trailer if they are not level with each other.
Owners should also be thorough when it comes to the installation factor of the product. When RV-specified tools and equipment like the tow hitch are added to your rig, you should know its installation and disassembly like the back of your hand because there are not many shops to encounter on the road.
Other Important Factors to Consider
What is a hitch for towing travel trailer?
Every great camping trip off the grid consists of two main things: a vehicle and supplies.
In this case, what you have in an RV, which is a beast of a machine, and a travel trailer with enough space for your stuff. However, the third, often unseen element of such great activity is the trailer hitch. The trailer hitch is the actual addition that links up your rig to the travel trailer. Look at it as the middle man, bridging the gap between two sides with enough strength and durability for longer distances.
When talking about tow hitches for your travel trailer, there are a number of areas that owners should concern themselves about. The first of these is the Gross Trailer Weight or GTW. This is the total weight of your travel trailer, both for the trailer itself and the load it carries. It leads to the amount of force that is needed for it to be pulled, as well as the hard limitation of the tow hitch when it comes to towing. And then there is the Tongue Weight, which is the downward force the hitch exerts upon the coupler part of the towing system. There is also Weight Distributing, as well as Weight Carrying Capacity.
How does it work?
The trailer hitch is the link between your rig and the travel trailer you want to have around. It is an RV equipment that is meant for heavy-duty use. It is an important structural component that is to be attached, by welding or bolting, to the exterior of your rig in order to connect to the trailer via providing a coupling point.
Basically, it is an upgrade on your rig that you can attach and take off at any given moment, or have around permanently.
What kind of hitch do I need to tow a travel trailer?
There are many different camper trailer hitch types compatible for different RV rig builds, which is a relief because it means finding the best hitch for towing RVs is quite easy. They all differ from each other in look, as well as performance.
- Receiver Hitch – This is probably the most common of the options out there. Although most rigs come equipped with this out of the factory, some are not like so. It could be attached to the truck’s frame with its square receiver. This is where the other hitch mount is inserted, or perhaps a ball mount from the trailer.
- Fifth Wheel Hitch – This is becoming the modern option for the regular RVer. It is mounted at the truck bed’s middle area and is intended for heavy-duty use. They are incredibly strong, being able to handle loads of mostly between 15,000 to about 24,000 pounds. What makes it different from other options is its ability to absorb impact from unexpected road bumps or dips. When it comes to parts, the coupling device itself is attached to the hitch, different from the usually seen where it is a part of the trailer’s hitch mount.
- Front Mounted Hitch – The front-mounted hitch is a cousin of the receiver hitch. Although not mostly utilized in longer drives, it is still quite functional when needed. It could be used in the parking of your trailer because of the unique vantage power that it presents the driver, as well as the utilization of the rig’s great pushing force.
- Bumper Mounted Hitch – The bumper-mounted hitch is another classic option for the old school RVer. Meant for light loads, this tow hitch is attached to the bumper part of the rig and not the frame. What it lacks in heavy-duty strength, it makes up in lighter weight, as well as faster installation and usage versatility.
- Gooseneck Hitch – The gooseneck hitch is mostly used for heavy-duty purposes. Like its cousin, the fifth wheel hitch, it is also attached to the truck bed’s strong middle area. The main advantage of the gooseneck hitch is that it is partnered with the gooseneck-type trailer, which is able to carry a higher loading capacity. As for its performance and other advantages, it allows for access to the truck bed when not in towing action. It also provides a tight radius for turning, which is especially helpful if you have a heavy cargo or a massive trailer.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How can I improve my trailer?
There are a number of ways to improve your trailer when it comes to RV traveling. One such advice is to get a trailer ball that has a higher capacity than your hitch receiver and trailer mount. This is so you would not be worried about the pressure you are putting on it while on the road. Another is to keep the trailer parts in great condition.
As the trailer travels with the RV, it faces the same challenges your rig does. The sudden drops and rises in temperature, the changes in the weather and atmosphere. It also accumulates the same dirt, mud, and other road elements. Maintaining it clean and functional would go a long way. Do not forget the wheels, as they carry most of the weight.
Should trailers level when towing?
Leveling must be done for a number more reasons.
For one, it is done for safety. Safety for those who are passengers to the rig, and safety for the items you have stored inside the trailer in tow. It must be done for security. One of the leading causes of trailer sway is the weight distribution occurring in the trailer. If an unfortunate series of events leads to rapid swaying, even the rig passengers might be presented with danger. Be sure to keep this in mind.
Second, it must be done for ground clearance. When you have owned a proper rig for a few years or so, you might be familiar with the importance of this. Ground clearance means the safe distance being met between your rig and the asphalt, keeping a definite amount of space of wiggle room is allowed in order to compensate for movement. This, while still avoiding damage. It is especially important for those who go off-road as part of their usual activities. You know how tricky it can be dealing with unexpected bumps and those large road dips.
The third consideration is for aerodynamics. Although a number of manufacturers already produce trailers that are designed for better leveling, there are still a number of options out there that are not made like this. Aerodynamic trailers mean a lot to rig because if they are able to complement the rig’s speed and movement, that would mean less usage in gas and faster transportation. It can both save owners time and money, literally!
The last consideration we will discuss at the moment is the Wear and Tear of the trailer itself. Although most trailers are made to be durable, to endure constant movement and weather changes in temperatures, it would help to not add another factor for the wear-and-tear condition. Take the wheels of the trailer for example. If the trailer itself is not leveled, you are putting uneven pressure on different wheels, and you know just how expensive and inconvenient it can be to change tires outside the routine.
Are weight distribution hitches necessary?
There is more than just plain engine power to consider when hauling a load of items in your travel trailer. There is also the distance you are about to travel, and for how long you are going to have your travel trailer in tow. Speed should also be considered since it would test the road capacity of the rig, the trailer, and the hitch linking them in between. Lastly, you have road conditions. Is the asphalt wet or dry? What is the dust and debris situation? Is there rain, hail, snow, or gravel to worry about?
With all of these considerations, one thing remains the same: there would always be some sort of swaying involved. When the vehicle sways, so do the travel trailer. And if the tow hitch is up to your standards, it would require minimal mental space. However, the load inside the travel trailer will surely be influenced by the swaying movement. And just what would this do? First, it would displace the balance of the load’s weight, and then it will also directly affect the smoothness of your driving.
Weight distribution hitches are the ones responsible for preventing such instances by increasing trailer stability, as well as helping in smooth braking and turning.
How to a travel trailer towing hitch?
First and foremost, read the instructions. I cannot stress this enough. As standard as most installation processes can be, sometimes a handful of brands just do it differently. Whether it is about a brand-specific part requirement or an added safety measure, the point is that you need to look for the instructions for these specifics.
Then, you prepare your standard garage tools. Place them in an area you are comfortable with, preferably a flat surface where they are easier to get and place back. Work lights are also quite helpful.
Jack up your vehicle to a comfortable height. In most instances this is not necessary, however, it surely eases up the process with the wiggle room and added vantage point.
To make way for the mounting of the hitch frame, some nuts and screws might be needed off. And so remove the nuts, plugs, and bolts among the others as specified by the instructions.
Position the frame and attach the hitch to the rig. Make sure that you are able to double down on checking if the screws are tightly placed in. Voila! You have now installed a hitch for towing travel trailer!
How to care for and clean towing hitches?
Like most parts of the rig, you first have a thorough examination of the tow hitch.
One of the mostly faced challenges on the road are the elements. There are times that you would need to go through heavy rains in order to go from Point A to Point B. And then, the road would have you face the blistering heat of the country sun, along with the dust and rock particles. Just these two are enough to cause some serious damage to your rig if left unchecked. And one of the most unchecked areas of the rig is the hitch.
With the movable parts, clean cloth and some detergent would do the trick. Remove all the moveable parts of the hitch system and individually clean and rinse them. Be sure that they have dried themselves under the sun before assembling them back together.
The accumulation of all the dirt and other road elements cannot be prevented, especially in a vehicle as outgoing as the RV. In order to further prevent such from happening you could also detach the hitch system when not in use, if possible.
Finally, make sure to have some grease handy to get rid of rust build-up, as well as the irritating squeaking noise during travel.
When you are traveling with your friends and family, whether for a short outdoor trip or you are nature living off the grid for longer, you would need to have a trailer with you. And the unsung hero of this situation is the hitch for towing the travel trailer. It is the one that controls the movement between the rig and the trailer, it is also directly responsible for the trailer sway and the safety of your cargo.
If you want to keep the great standards of your RV trips, be sure to look into the factors you need to consider when buying the best travel trailer hitch. Before you go to the shop looking for one, make a list of the things you would need depending on the frequency of usage, distance to travel, terrains to face, as well as the capacity of both your rig and your trailer. This is a long term investment for you, your rig, and the memories you would build with it in the coming future!