Learning How Hitch Couplers Work
First off, let’s discuss what hitch couplers are. There are two main components of a hitch coupler: the coupler and the ball hitch. The ball hitch is typically attached to its receiver, which in turn will be attached to the towing vehicle, whether it’s an RV, a pickup truck, an SUV, etc. The hitch coupler is the component that is attached to the trailer. When you want to tow a trailer, you will want to c...
Learning How Hitch Couplers Work
First off, let’s discuss what hitch couplers are. There are two main components of a hitch coupler: the coupler and the ball hitch. The ball hitch is typically attached to its receiver, which in turn will be attached to the towing vehicle, whether it’s an RV, a pickup truck, an SUV, etc. The hitch coupler is the component that is attached to the trailer. When you want to tow a trailer, you will want to couple these two components – the ball hitch and the coupler.
Towing a trailer is not as easy as just attaching the ball to the coupler and then driving away. You will need skill and experience to pull it off. There are even some trailering methods that will require the practiced touch of a highly skilled veteran. You will also need to do a lot of planning to make sure that the weight capacities of the trailer you will be towing, plus the load itself, will match up with the equipment you will be using.
Hitch couplers and ball mounts are separated into different classes based on their weight capacities. Class I will have a max TW (tongue weight) of up to 200 lbs. and a GTW (gross trailer weight) of up to 2,000 lbs. and it goes all the way up to Class V, where max TW can go as high as 1,200 lbs. and the GTW up to 12,000 lbs. max.
Once you are done with the planning and have correctly estimated the tongue weight, gross trailer weight, and the towing capacity of your specific towing vehicle, you can now select which hitch coupler you will need. The types that are most popular are A-frames, goosenecks, and straight tongue couplers.
A-frame couplers are the most commonly used hitch couplers for class I, II, and III trailers. These couplers are mounted on angled A-frame tongues and can carry more weight. These are usually mounted on trailers which are used for heavy-duty work like landscaping, utilities, and hauling other vehicles.
Gooseneck couplers have lengthy tubular shafts which attach to a gooseneck hitch, and can carry even more weight than A-frames. These are designed for heavy-duty towing like multiple cars, horse trailers with more than one horse, and Bobcat trailers as well. The capacity of a gooseneck trailer will typically be from 20,000 lbs up to 40,000 lbs.
A straight tongue coupler, also called channel type, is a hitch coupler designed with a mounting mechanism or “tongue” that is usually bolted or mounted onto the trailer. Some straight tongue couplers will have fold-away mechanisms. This will save space because the trailer tongue can be folded away when not in use, allowing more cargo to be loaded onto the bed.
Coupler A-Frame 5000 lbs. Class III Value Series Black Primer 2" Ball – This A-frame coupler mechanism is the most popular and commonly-used of all the hitch coupler types. Available from SAE Class I up to IV.
Coupler Repair Kit 1-7/8" – This trailer coupler repair kit comes with all the parts you need to fix up your tongue couplers. Compatible with 1-7/8" couplers.
Coupler Ball Size 2" Straight Channel 7000 – This brand dubs itself as “the strongest in the industry”. Available in a wide variety of coupler styles, tongues, and latches wo allow for a multitude of configurations.