Boats, horse trailers, camper vans – whatever you are towing, it is crucial to have the right tools to do it with. A trailer hitch mounts to the rear of your vehicle and allows you to tow whatever you need safely and easily. Not all trailer hitches are the same, though. There are different types, with different capacities and made for different vehicles.
If you are in the market for a trailer hitch for your vehicle, and don’t know where to start, we are here to help. We have compiled a list of six of the top trailer hitches available on the market right now. While these are all great products, they are a diverse selection of trailer hitches, each with their own benefits and drawbacks. To learn more about what kind of trailer hitch would be best for you, check out the buyer’s guide at the bottom of this article.
If you are looking for more details on each of these six products, read on.
At a Glance:
- Andersen Greaseless AlumiBall Rapid Hitch: a high-capacity ball hitch with a greaseless aluminum design.
- (Our Top Recommended) CURT 13201 Class 3 Trailer Hitch: Class 3 receiver hitch, versatile and durable, designed specifically per vehicle make and model.
- Reese Towpower 51156 Class III Custom-Fit Hitch: an affordable and versatile Class 3 receiver hitch for lighter towing.
- B&W TS20049B Tow & Stow Receiver Hitch Tri-Ball: powerful and versatile tri-ball Class 5 hitch, high-capacity and adjustable.
- Reese Towpower 21542 Class III Towing Starter Kit: a Class 3 ball hitch with pin and mount included, great for family use.
- GenY 623 2 1/2″ Shank Class: a high-capacity, industrial grade Class 5 hitch with a dual-ball mount. Ideal for professional vehicles.
The Best Trailer Hitch on the market 2019
#1 Andersen Greaseless AlumiBall Rapid Hitch
The first trailer hitch on our list is a high-capacity, adjustable ball hitch from Andersen, one of the most trusted names in heavy-duty automotive accessories. This hitch is perfect for someone with regular, heavy towing jobs.
- 2 – 5/16 inch aluminum ball hitch
- Towing capacity: 8000 pounds
- Adjustable – 4 inch drop / rise
- No lubrication of tow ball or trailer receiver required
- Durable aluminum build – weather, scratch and chip resistant
- Easy height adjustment with locking pin
- Fits standard 2 inch recievers
The Andersen Greaseless AlumiBall is built to be easy to use and adjust, durable and strong for all towing tasks. It is relatively lightweight, compared to some other hitches on the market, but capable of towing up to 8,000 pounds.
The greaseless design of the AlumiBall hitch means that you will not need to grease the tow ball or the trailer receiver, as is sometimes necessary with other hitches, to prevent sticking and damage. The aluminum tow ball is built for long-lasting durability, even with constant use, under any weather conditions. It is also easy to adjust. All you need to do is pull out the locking pin, move the hitch to the required height, and replace the pin.
If there is a downside to the AlumiBall hitch, it is that it can be tough to install – it comes disassembled, and assembly can be a little complicated. Once it is assembled and installed on your vehicle, though, you are ensured long-lasting high performance and quality.
We highly recommend this versatile hitch for busy families or professionals, who need to tackle various towing jobs regularly.
#2 CURT 13201 Class 3 Trailer Hitch (Our Top Recommended)
When you are shopping for trailer hitches, it is impossible not to come across a Curt model. Curt makes well over a thousand hitch models, fitting different vehicles and user needs – they are made in the US and always high quality. This particular Class 3 hitch is just one example of their many vehicle-tailored products.
- 2” receiver hitch
- Towing capacity: 4000 pounds
- Versatile uses: can attach a ball mount, rack or tow hook
- Designed for safety and reliability
- Coated for corrosion resistance
- Chip, scratch and stain resistant
- Easy to install – custom fit per vehicle make and model
This Curt Class 3 trailer hitch is tailored to a specific vehicle make and model for ideal installation and easy towing. This is a receiver hitch, not a ball hitch – meaning that a ball or towing hook can attach to it. It can also help with installation of a bike rack or hitch cargo carrier, or essentially anything else you might need to mount on your vehicle.
The capacity of this hitch is 4000 pounds, a bit less than other, heavier-duty models, but still strong enough to tow a large trailer, like a camper or RV. It also has 400 pounds tongue weight capacity, and it is compatible with a weight distribution hitch for smoother, more level towing capacity. The fact that it is tailored to a specific vehicle makes installation a breeze, and reduces the risk of any accidents on the road due to a poor fit.
The black powder finish on the body of this trailer hitch makes it rust-proof, weather-resistant and resistant to chips. It comes with a lifetime Curt warranty, so you are guaranteed to get all the use you need out of it.
The one notable downside to this Class 3 hitch is that it is vehicle-specific, so it is a little more of a hassle to get the exact right one than it would be with a universal hitch. If you are not sure if you can fight the right fit for your specific vehicle, you may want to get in touch with Curt customer service. That said, if you can find the right one for you, this is a great, versatile Class 3 hitch that will last a lifetime.
#3 Reese Towpower 51156 Class III Custom-Fit Hitch
The next Class 3 trailer hitch on our list is produced by Reese Towpower. This is a slightly lighter Class 3 receiver with a lower towing capacity, but it is affordable and durable – a great option for a family or professional with lighter daily towing tasks.
- 2” receiver hitch
- Towing capacity: 3500 pounds
- All-welded, durable construction
- Fatigue and stress-tested – safe, long-term use ensured
- Versatile, no-drill applications
- Corrosion-resistant black powder coating
- Easy fit with any vehicle
This Reese Towpower Class 3 hitch is a great budget option that does not sacrifice on quality and durability. It has a 3500-pound towing capacity and 350-pound tongue weight capacity, which is plenty for a smaller trailer or a rack or cargo carrier attachment.
All Reese Towpower products are put through rigorous safety and quality tests. They are a popular hitch brand because their products are always safe and designed to hold up to daily use. The black powder coating on the hitch will prevent it from rusting or getting noticeably scraped or chipped. It is designed to be easily installed and adjusted, with no drilling required. It is also compatible with all other Reese Towpower hitch attachments, which is great if you are looking to purchase an additional ball attachment, bike rack or anything else.
One downside to this Class 3 hitch is that installation can be a little complicated. The hitch comes disassembled, and assembly is not intuitive. Once installed, though, it is a great, reliable product for lighter towing. We would recommend this hitch to owners of smaller vehicles who want to give their car a little more capacity, without shelling out for a more expensive, heavy duty trailer hitch.
#4 B&W TS20049B Tow & Stow Receiver Hitch Tri-Ball
Moving away from the Class 3 hitches and back to a ball hitch model, this Tow and Stow Receiver from B&W is one of the most high-capacity hitches on our list, not to mention the most versatile. This is a great choice for professional vehicles or busy families with multiple towing needs.
- Tri-ball hitch (1 7/8”, 2” and 2 5/16”)
- Towing capacity: varies by ball, but up to 10000 pounds
- Adjustable – 7” drop / 7.5” rise
- Fits any standard 2.5 inch receiver
- Easily locks for anti-theft design
- Rugged steel build
- Anti-corrosion and anti-chip black powder coating
- Easily adjustable
This B&W hitch is the best on our list for power and range. It comes with 3 tow balls: 1 7/8”, 2”, and 2 5/16”, so you can tow just about anything. The towing capacity goes all the way up to 10000 pounds, and 1045 pounds tongue weight capacity. A 7” drop and 7.5” rise means that you can adjust it however you need to, according to your vehicle and trailer.
The hitch is also made to protect against theft. It locks into the receiver tube and cannot be removed without the pin – with the pin, though, it is easy to mount and remove. With a heavy-duty, corrosion-resistant steel body, once it is installed on your vehicle, you pretty much never have to worry about it again.
This tri-ball hitch is, understandably, a little more expensive than some other trailer hitches on our list. For the quality you get, though, it is well worth it. All B&W products are made in America, built to last and come with a lifetime warranty – this hitch is not exception.
One important note: this is a Class 5 hitch, meaning that it is compatible with a 2.5” receiver. 2” receivers are generally more common, either pre-installed on vehicles or on an attachable trailer hitch. Bear in mind that this B&W model can only be used with a compatible 2.5” receiver. If you have one handy, and need a hitch that can handle any towing job, this product would be perfect.
#5 Reese Towpower 21542 Class III Towing Starter Kit
The second product from Reese Towpower on our list is a budget-friendly Class 3 starter kit. This hitch can easily attach to any vehicle through a standard 2” receiver, and tows up to 6000 pounds. This is a great option for anyone buying their first trailer hitch, as it comes with everything you need to get started.
- 2 inch hitch ball
- Towing capacity: 6000 pounds
- Ball mount, ball, pin and clip included
- Chrome ball and black powder-coated finish for corrosion resistance
- Adjustable – 2” drop, ¾” rise
- Easy installation
- 9 inch shank
This is a Class 3 tow ball trailer hitch, produced by Reese Towpower. What makes it a “starter kit” is the fact that the ball, ball mount, pin and clip are all included with purchase – and all for a very budget-friendly cost.
The starter kit is super easy to install with any 2” receiver.. Even though it is affordable, it works great and can tow a heavy load, with a 6000 pound total capacity and 600 pound tongue weight capacity. It is also built from chrome and rugger, powder-coated steel, made to last through use in any conditions.
Reese Towpower is a highly dependable brand, but this is one of their more cheaply-made products – we would not recommend it for professional or heavy-duty towing. For ordinary family tasks like moving or towing a camper, though, this is a great product and comes with everything you need all in one package. We would recommend it for the average family or vehicle owner looking to give their vehicle a simple towing addition.
#6 GenY 623 2 1/2″ Shank Class
Last and certainly not least on our list is another Class 5 trailer hitch – the strongest and most industrial grade hitch reviewed here. This GenY product is durable, adjustable and super strong; a great product for professional or semi-professional use and heavy-duty towing.
- Dual receiver hitch
- Towing capacity: 20,000 pounds
- 2 ball mounts – 2 5/16” and 2”
- Heat treated and hardened material – extremely durable
- Lunette/pintle lock attachment
- Anti-ware durable pin holes
- Compatible with 2.5” receiver
- Adjustable – 6” drop / rise
This Class 5 trailer hitch has the highest towing capacity on our list. It has a dual ball mount and is adjustable with a 6” rise and drop, for versatile use. At 20,000 pounds total towing capacity and 3000 pounds tongue weight capacity, there is pretty much nothing this hitch cannot tow with the right vehicle.
It comes with a lunette / pintle lock attachment for easy mounting and locking. The body of the hitch is sand blasted and coated with a durable silver vein powder, so it is completely weather-proof and corrosion resistant, and guaranteed to stand up to heavy, regular use.
As a Class 5 hitch, this GenY model is only compatible with a 2.5” receiver, so it won’t fit with most standard, mid-sized vehicles. However, with such a high towing capacity, a mid-size vehicle owner would probably not be interested in this product, anyway. This would be the ideal trailer hitch for an automotive, construction or agriculture professional with a lot of heavy towing tasks. It comes with a lifetime guarantee, and will stand up to heavy industrial use for years.
How to Choose the Best Trailer Hitch
Now that we’ve run you through a diverse selection of some of the best trailer hitches on the market, lets talk about some of the things that set them all apart. This buyer’s guide will go over some of the important factors you need to consider before you purchase a trailer hitch, to make sure you get the right product for your vehicle and towing needs.
Classes of Trailer Hitch
We reviewed two classes of trailer hitch in the list above: Class 3 and Class 5. While Class 3 trailer hitches are more common and tend to be compatible with most vehicles and receivers, Class 5 hitches have a much higher towing capacity.
Here is how the classes of hitches breaks down, briefly:
Class 1 & 2 hitches are standard, lightweight hitches for low capacity towing. These are best with cargo carriers, bike racks or other lighter mounted vehicle accessories.
Class 3 hitches are the standard for family and semi-professional vehicles. They are generally compatible with a 2” receiver and fit well with most vehicles. They can tow up to 6000 or even 8000 pounds, and can also qualify as a weight distributing hitch.
Class 4 & 5 hitches are less common for family and household use, generally found on professional and industrial vehicles. They can tow anywhere up to 20,000 pounds and are weight distributing.
5th wheel and Gooseneck hitches are specialized hitches for towing RVs and other heavy trailers. 5th wheel hitches are generally used for RVs, whereas Gooseneck hitches are more common with heavy work trailers. For multi-use towing, they are not recommended.
Parts and Features
You probably noticed that some of the hitches reviewed on our list came with tow balls, while others were just the 2” receivers.
With the exception of some lightweight starter kits, you often need to buy multiple parts to have everything you need for a trailer hitch. If your vehicle is equipped with a 2” or 2.5” receiver already (most modern trucks and SUVs are) then you can buy and mount a ball hitch without any additional accessories.
For smaller vehicles, less designed for load-bearing, we would recommend purchasing a receiver hitch to start with. These are great for mounting racks or other attachments without much hassle. You can also then attach a ball mount for bigger towing jobs.
Adjustability and versatility are also important to consider. Look for the drop / rise measurement of a trailer hitch to see how much you will be able to move it according to the trailer receiver. The more adjustable it is, the larger range of attachments and trailers it will be compatible with. Some hitches also have mounts with balls of different sizes, adding to the versatility of the hitch.
For standard towing, a 2” or 2 5/16” ball should be just fine. A drop / rise of at least 4 inches is preferable.
There are two important weight measurements to consider in your trailer hitch. First and most obvious is the towing capacity, or gross towing weight. This is the amount of weight that the hitch can pull, and translates directly to the trailer or load you are towing.
The tongue weight is much smaller, usually around 1/10th of the towing capacity. This is the weight that the hitch can bear from overhead – heavier trailers will put more pressure directly down onto the hitch itself. Before attaching a trailer mount, you will want to know the tongue weight capacity of your hitch. Overloading the hitch vertically can cause serious damage to it, or to your vehicle.
Using your Trailer Hitch
Once you purchase your trailer hitch, you will probably be tempted to load up and get right on the road. There are a lot of things you need to consider before hitching a trailer, though.
First, make sure you know the weight of your trailer and be sure it is compatible with your hitch’s towing capacity and tongue weight capacity. You should know the towing capacity of your vehicle, as well, especially if you are hitching a heavy load. Keep the towing laws and regulations in your area in mind.
Mounting a trailer receiver to the trailer hitch should be fairly simple. Look into the trailer’s receiver and your hitch’s requirements to see if you will need any additional accessories – usually it just requires a standard pin. A lock can help to keep the trailer secure, but it is not always necessary.
Receiving hitches allow you more use than just trailers – they are great for attaching a cargo carrier or other light, carrying accessory. Again, make sure you know the weight of the accessory before you mount it, and keep in mind how it will affect your vehicle’s operation.
You don’t need to have a huge diesel truck to pull a trailer. These days, any vehicle can be mounted with a trailer hitch. Moving days, camping, towing gear or bikes, etc. will all be easier with a trailer hitch – finding the right one for you is all a matter of knowing your needs and your vehicle’s capacity.
Whatever hitch you chose, mount it carefully and use it safely to get the most out of work or recreational towing.