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What Do I Need To Tow A Trailer?

1. Trailer Hitch Receiver

Trailer hitch adapters attach to the underside of the vehicle and have a 1-1/4" x 1-1/4" or 2" x 2" receiver opening. The trailer hitch attachment points align with existing holes in the vehicle frame whenever possible.For heavy-duty applications, 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" receiver openings also are available. For an in-depth review of the different types of trailer hitches and how they are used, visit our detailed hitch information page.
Trailer Hitch Receiver

2. Ball Mount

Also called a "drawbar," this is the piece that slides into the trailer hitch opening and provides a platform for mounting the ball. Ball mounts are available in different heights, sizes and styles. Make sure you get the ball mount that will fit your hitch opening and allows your trailer to stay level during towing. If you are unsure what size trailer hitch you have, we have put together information that will help determine your hitch size. To determine which ball mount is correct for your vehicle and trailer, visit our page on choosing the correct ball mount.
Ball Mount

3. Pin and Clip

A pin and clip device is used to hold the ball mount inside the trailer hitch receiver opening.Hitch locks are also available and provide additional security by preventing theft of your ball mount or other hitch accessories.
Pin and Clip

4. Trailer Hitch Ball

Hitch balls are available in three different sizes, 1-7/8", 2" and 2-5/16". This is a measurement of the ball's diameter and should be the same as the coupler of the trailer you plan to tow.The ball sits on the ball mount and provides the attachment point for the trailer. If you plan to tow several trailers with different size couplers, you will need either a different hitch ball for each of them or an interchangeable ball system.
Trailer Hitch Ball

5. Wiring Harness

A wiring harness provides power and signals to the lights of a trailer. All vehicles that tow trailers are required by law to have a wiring harness to power the trailer's lights.For many vehicles, a T-One wiring harness that simply plugs into the vehicle's wiring system is available. For these cars and trucks no cutting or splicing is required to connect your wiring. Otherwise, you will need to hardwire the vehicle. This is done by simply using quick-splice connectors to connect the wires.For more information about how to wire for towing a trailer visit our wiring information page.
Wiring Harness
For extra help, check out our video.

Jes R.

2/13/2024

I have a 2014 VW jetta. Would I be able to tow a 1996 Jayco 1207 popup and what should I purchase for this?

Etrailer Expert

Mike L.

2/14/2024

@JesR Your popup has an empty weight of 1700 lbs. Your Jetta's exact towing capacity will depend on which engine it's equipped with, the transmission and whether or not the trailer has brakes. 1.8L engines with manual transmissions have a 2000 lb capacity for brake-equipped trailers and 1650 lbs for the auto transmission. Without brakes, it's 1650 for the manual or 1500 for the automatic. For the 2.0L engine, the tow capacity is 1000 lbs, regardless of the transmission and whether or not the trailer has brakes. It seems kind of strange that the smaller engine would have a higher tow capacity, but we found this info in the owner's manual. So, according to the owner's manual, if you have the 1.8L engine with the manual transmission. you can tow your pop-up as long as the cargo you add to it doesn't exceed 300 lbs or so which would put you above 2000 lbs. Otherwise, VW doesn't recommend towing that trailer with your vehicle. In order to tow, you'll need a hitch, a trailer wiring harness, a ball mount and a trailer ball. Here's a listing of what we recommend" • Hitch, Curt Class I, part # C11474 • Trailer wiring, # 119147KIT • Ball mount # C45520 • Hitch pin and clip # F-4 • 1-7/8 inch trailer ball # C40002 or # C40018 for a 2 inch ball

Jes

2/14/2024

@MikeL thank you! I have someone with a truck who should be able to help! I appreciate it.
Etrailer Expert

Mike L.

2/14/2024

@Jes Good deal, please let us know if you need anything else!

Jason P.

2/9/2024

I have a 2016 Scion Im base model, I am looking for everything I would need to tow a small trailer to get my dirt bike and gear around with me. Any tips or knowledge would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Etrailer Expert

Mike L.

2/9/2024

@JasonP We'd be happy to help with that. You'll need a trailer hitch, a trailer wiring harness, a ball mount and a trailer ball. For the hitch, we'd recommend the US made Curt # C11420. For wiring, use the Curt # C56309. For the ball mount and ball use # C45520 along with # C40001 for a 1-7/8 inch or # C40018 for a 2 inch trailer ball, depending on what your trailer coupler requires.

Jason P.

2/9/2024

@MikeL thanks brotha!
Etrailer Expert

Mike L.

2/10/2024

@JasonP You're very welcome, we're glad we could help!

Brianna

1/18/2024

I have a 2023 Kia Sportage EX and it doesn’t have any hitch system currently installed. I need to tow a uhaul trailer next weekend. Where’s the best place to buy the parts I need while also being mindful of price (I know these things can get expensive)?

Etrailer Expert

Mike L.

1/18/2024

@Brianna I'd recommend the US made Curt # C94WR Class III hitch. You'll also need a trailer wiring harness like # TK32VR. When installed the hitch height of the Curt hitch we recommended is about 15 inches. The average hitch height of a U-Haul trailer is 18-1/2 inches, so we'd recommend a ball mount like the Curt # D-28 along with a 2 inch ball like # 40038. These are all parts we offer, and you can get them by using the links we've hooked you up with below, check 'em out!

Omar

9/8/2023

Hello, I have new 2023 Chevy Suburban V8 4 Wheel Drive, and I'm looking to tow a trailer. I am a complete newbie when it comes to towing. I have the square opening in the back, what else do I need to be able to tow? And advice would be appreciated, thanks!

Etrailer Expert

Mike L.

9/14/2023

@Omar Do you have the trailer connector that's located alongside the hitch? If not, you can add one using # C55664 which would connect to the round connector located behind the rear bumper. If your trailer has brakes, you'll want to add a brake controller like the # C51140. You'll also need a ball mount and a trailer ball of the correct diameter.

Christian M.

8/14/2023

I have a 2019 ram 1500 classic 4x4 crew cab. Looking for the best items I could get prior to try to buy a trailer to live in it. For towing the trailer

Etrailer Expert

Mike L.

8/15/2023

@ChristianM What will you be towing? For a 6K max capacity, go with the etrailer # e98852 Class III hitch. For the highest capacity option which offers up to a 15000 lb capacity, use # C15572. The ball mount you need will depend on the ride height of your truck versus the level height of your trailer. The # 2753 works in most cases, I'll link to an article that explains how to determine the ball mount you'll need. For a 1-7/8 inch trailer ball, use # 19260 or # 63845 for a 2 inch ball. For a trailer connector, use # HM40975 if the truck doesn't already have one.


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