Hitches and Linkage Buying Guide: Everything You Need To Know
Hitches and linkages are an essential part of any modern vehicle, providing the physical connection between the vehicle and whatever implement or trailer is being towed. Whether you’re a commercial operator who needs to tow large machinery or a recreational driver looking for a bike rack, understanding how hitches and linkages work is important. This guide will explain everything from how to select the correct hitch and linkage for your application, to maintenance tips that will help you keep them functioning properly over time. Read on to learn the basics of hitches and linkages so that you can make an informed decision when purchasing one.
What is a Hitch?
A hitch is a device used to attach a trailer or other implement to a vehicle. The hitch is typically mounted on the rear of the tow vehicle, but can also be found on the front in some cases. Hitches come in two main types: ball mounts and receiver hitches. Ball mounts are ideal for smaller loads, while receiver hitches are better suited for heavy-duty applications such as towing large trailers such as boats or RVs.
What is a Linkage?
A linkage is an adjustable connecting rod that attaches between the tow vehicle and implement being towed. The purpose of the linkage is to provide flexibility in how much tension needs to be applied between the two components so that they do not become disconnected while driving over bumps or uneven terrain. The two main types of linkages are lift arms and drawbars. Lift arms provide the most flexibility, while drawbars offer a more rigid connection that is better suited for heavier loads.
What type of Hitch should I choose?
The type of hitch you should choose depends on the size and weight of the load you will be towing. Smaller trailers such as bikes or boats can typically be towed using a ball mount hitch, while larger trailers such as RVs usually require a receiver hitch with a higher weight capacity. Additionally, some vehicles are equipped with factory hitches, so it’s important to check your owner’s manual or vehicle specifications to ensure that you’re choosing the correct one for your application.
How do I install a Hitch?
Installing a hitch is typically a straightforward process, but always make sure to consult the instructions that come with your specific model. In general, you will need to attach the hitch to the frame of your vehicle using bolts and/or welding. Additionally, some vehicles require wiring harnesses or other components to be installed in order for the hitch to work properly. Make sure that all of these components are installed correctly before operating your vehicle with any type of load attached.
What is a Trailer Brake Control?
A trailer brake control (TBC) is an electronic device that allows you to activate and adjust the brakes on trailers equipped with electric brakes. TBCs are installed in the tow vehicle and wired to the trailer’s braking system, allowing you to control the amount of braking force applied to the trailer’s brakes when slowing down or stopping. This is especially important for large loads such as RVs, where manually applying brakes can be dangerous.
What is a Weight Distribution Hitch?
A weight distribution hitch (WDH) is an adjustable hitch that helps distribute the load more evenly between the tow vehicle and whatever is being towed. This reduces strain on both components while driving, resulting in improved handling and stability. WDHs are most commonly used with trailers that exceed 3,500 pounds, but they can be beneficial for any application requiring extra support and stability.
What are Safety Chains?
Safety chains are heavy-duty metal chains that connect the tow vehicle to whatever is being towed in order to provide an extra layer of protection should the hitch or linkages become disconnected. It is important to check the tension of your safety chains before each trip, and make sure they are properly connected at all times while driving. Additionally, some states require you to have a minimum of two safety chains for every trailer you tow.
How do I maintain my Hitch?
Maintaining your hitch and linkages is essential for proper performance and reliability over time. Make sure to inspect them regularly for any signs of wear or damage, such as rust or frayed connections. Additionally, you should use a lubricant on the moving parts in order to keep them functioning properly. It is also important to check the tension of your hitch and linkages before each trip, and make sure they are securely connected at all times while driving.
Hitches, trailer brake controls, weight distribution hitches, and safety chains are essential components of any vehicle’s towing capacity. When it comes to choosing the right hitch system for your application, making sure that you understand all the basics is key. This blog post provides detailed answers regarding receiver hitches, trailer brake controls, weight distribution hitches, and safety chains so that you can make an informed decision when it comes to selecting the best option for your needs. In addition to providing instructions on how to properly install and maintain them in order to keep yourself safe while out on the road—we also provide helpful tips on how to get the most out of your hitch system. With this information in hand, you’ll be all set to embark on your next big adventure with peace of mind!