Basic Must-Have Truck Hitch Accessories
Truck hitches have many uses in addition to helping you haul your truck. In crossovers and smaller sedans, hitches can be modified and fitted to create additional cargo space. They can also be modified to create a bicycle rack or cargo space. Even when you are not hauling a trailer with your truck, getting a truck hitch on your vehicle is very beneficial — it makes it easy to load items on the truck bed and transport them.
Read on to learn more about truck hitch accessories.
About Truck Hitch
If you have used truck hitches before, you might have heard of front-mount hitches whose demand has increased significantly. They are used to accommodate more cargo or hook-up plows. Thanks to advancements in technology, recent models of heavy-duty trucks come with rear receiver hitches. These are the square tubes that come out of the back end of your truck.
Depending on your specific needs, there are several variations of heavy-duty truck hitches to choose from. Of course, needs vary significantly from one user to another. For that reason, there are several things you need to keep in mind when shopping for a truck hitch.
You should know that hitches are rated on several class scales — starting from one through five. The higher the scale number, the heavier duty the truck hitch is. Through hitch ratings, you can also know the receiver tube's size (when the class is higher, the tube is larger). Some of the most common tube sizes are 1¼ inches by 1¼ inches.
You can also get 2×2 inches or 2½×2½ inches. All these are measured on the inside. If you want to haul larger trailers with your truck safely, you should opt for a Class III, IV, or V receiver hitch. Your truck's towing capacity determines the class of hitch — some users think it is the amount of weight you intend to haul, which is wrong.
Avoid hauling more than your truck can handle because it may result in structural or mechanical damage. Furthermore, you should know the importance of choosing between pintle hitches and the 5th wheel hitch. The latter is recommended when hauling a heavy load, while the former is ideal for slightly lighter items.
Truck Hitch Accessories You Must Have
Whether you are looking for the most reliable receiver hitch for your truck or a hitch for heavy-duty hauling, you should also consider the truck hitch accessories. Without these accessories, the truck hitch will not function effectively. For that reason, we have drafted some of the essential truck hitch accessories you should have. Here are some of them;
A ball mount is one of the essential truck receivers that hitches accept. It is a crucial piece of towing equipment that provides a reliable link between your truck and the trailer. A typical ball mount has two main components; a platform and a shank. The platform offers a solid and dependable mounting point for the trailer ball while the shank inserts into the hitch tube. Given that the ball mount is crucial for the connection required to hook up a trailer, choosing a safe and reliable one is essential. Therefore, you should ensure that you pick the right one to avoid inconveniences.
There is a specific way you can measure a ball mount to guarantee effectiveness and pick the perfect one. First, you should identify the lingo for measuring a ball mount. You should know the structure of a standard ball mount, the height is the distance of the ball platform from the shank top, commonly referred to as the Rise.
The Drop is the estimated distance from the hitch ball platform below the shank top. Other measurements like size and length are also necessary when choosing a ball mount. For instance, size refers to the diameter the trailer ball must fit. The length refers to the distance from the ball hole center to the pin hall center.
Knowing what you are measuring makes it easy to pick an ideal ball mount. Here is how to measure a ball mount.
- If your truck is parked on a level surface, you should measure from the ground to the hitch top for accurate results. You should also measure from ground to bottom of coupler trailer.
- Then, subtract the hitch measurement from trailer measurement; the result is the exact size you need. Use this size to get your ideal ball mount. Luckily, at DECKED, we have wide sizes and designs you can choose from. This means you won't miss out on your preferred one.
Generally, ball mounts come in a wide range of weight rate ratings. This is why choosing one that aligns with your truck and hitch's rating is essential. You are free to choose a ball mount with a higher rating than your truck or hitch capacity. However, it would help if you didn't go for one far beyond your truck or hitch capacity. This could result in a wide range of setbacks.
For instance, you might find yourself in a situation where the trailer sits higher than a typical receiver opening. Several trailer ball mounts might allow them to flip upside down when this happens. As a result, the contents in your trailer could be at risk of damage. Therefore, you must ensure that the ball hitch is compatible with the appropriate rise application. This is because not all models can be used in a similar rise position.
You can get several adjustable height ball mounts from any hitch accessory manufacturer, given the wide range of options. With DECKED being a well-known supplier of truck hitch accessories, you can trust us with any of your needs. We offer a wide range of ball mount options for all your towing needs. You can also get a complete towing starter kit.
You can't talk of discount hitch & truck accessories without mentioning hitch pins. These Dallas hitch & truck accessories play an essential role in keeping the ball mount into the hitch receiver. Standard trailer hitches come in two sizes; ½ inches and ⅝ inches. The former are mostly Class one and two hitches, while the latter are Class three, four, and five.
Locks and hitch pins come in several locking pin configurations or a standard pin-and-clip configuration. The latter makes it incredibly easy to remove or change the ball mount, while the former enhances security by preventing theft. It does so by making the ball mount extra tricky.
At DECKED, we have various options for these truck trailer hitch accessories, whether it is a simple single-lock hitch pin or one with more advanced security features. Our products have easy-to-use setups with combination locks or flat keys. We also have a more advanced stainless steel variety with a unique style similar to what you find in a vending machine.
If you don't like a multiple-key locking system, you also can work with a one-key lock technology. Some products come with extremely advanced features that allow you to open the system using your vehicle's factory ignition key. Once configured, you can insert the truck's ignition key into the lock and turn it once to use this technology. This will prompt the lock to permanently and mechanically learn the critical code, making it highly convenient.
It is a good idea to buy a receiver lock. For only a few dollars, you won't have to worry about your ball mount disappearing. The little pin plays a vital role because it prevents the trailer coupler from opening. It also prevents the trailer from jumping off the hitch ball. We advise that you get a reliable lock because it keeps your hitch in perfect condition. It also protects against simple misadventure or mechanical latch failure. This goes a long way in making your work easier.
The trailer ball is one of the essential truck hitch accessories balls that connects your truck to the trailer. While the ball mount makes this connection possible, the trailer ball ensures that it is complete. You should choose the right size and weight of the trailer ball, especially if you want to use your truck for towing. Doing so will enhance comfort and safety during your operations.
Luckily, you don't have to take measurements when choosing a trailer ball — the size of the ball is mostly stamped on your trailer's couplers. However, you can choose high-rated balls, just like is the case with ball mounts. While this is possible, you can only tow the recommended weight of your truck and hitch. A standard trailer ball weight ranges from as low as 2,000 pounds to as high as 25,000 pounds.
Trailer balls come in three sizes:
- 1 to 7/8 inches - these sizes of balls are mainly found on utility and small home landscape tractors. These tractors have a 2,000-pound axle, with their ball capacity ranging between 2000-3500 pounds.
- Two inches; These are standard trailers. Most of them are utility trailers with a weight load of fewer than 6000 pounds. They have 3500-pound axles with their ball capacity ranging between 3500-10000 pounds.
- 2-5/16 inch: This is a typical trailer ball used for heavy-duty commercial trailers, dump trailers, and oversized trailers. They play an essential role in weight distribution. These trailer balls have the highest ball capacity of 6000-30000 pounds.
Choosing the right size shank on the trailer hall is crucial to match the ball mount. Mostly, shank diameters come in three sizes, with their capacities also varying. It would be best never to assume their measurements because the ball mount has a specific rating. This is why you should always read the necessary information before using the product.
A wiring harness is an ideal truck accessory hitch that ensures security. This accessory makes your operations more straightforward. Its most important function is illuminating the lights on the trailer's rear end. This means that when you turn on your truck's vehicles, the lights on the trailer will illuminate. Doing so is vital because it allows other road users to see the trailer in the dark. It also makes the trailer visible in extreme weather conditions like rain and fog. You can imagine how dangerous it is driving at night with an "invisible" trailer. This has led to so many deadly accidents across the country.
Wiring harnesses are vital discount hitch truck accessories that help keep other road users safe. With this technology, when you apply your brakes, the brake lights will show other road users that you are slowing down. This prevents them from accidentally running into the back of your trailer due to abrupt stoppages. The same logic applies to turning signals. The wiring harness provides other vital features like electric brakes built into solid trailer axles if you have a large trailer. The system can also provide a signal for auxiliary power and reverse lights with this technology.
These lights mainly apply when charging onboard battery systems like a dump or other pickup truck hitch accessories. While some states don't need trailer lighting, it is essential for personal safety. We recommend trailer lighting because it helps keep other road users safe and prevents unnecessary collisions. Given that most vehicles have complex electrical systems, trailer wiring manufacturers have discovered plug-and-play solutions that come with harnesses. Thanks to this advancement, installation is much easier.
This means that you will only need to hardwire a few wires. Doing so is easy because no splicing or cutting is required. A wiring harness is one of the unique truck hitch accessories you also need from your small vehicle. If you want to haul a trailer with a small car, a wiring harness will come in handy. Like your truck, a small car is also vulnerable to collisions. Other road users could easily collide with your trailer if you stopped abruptly.
This technology helps them know you are about to slow down and allows them to adjust. The same also applies when you are about to turn — they will not run into due to unpredicted movement. This goes a long way in reducing road accidents.
Safety chains are crucial pickup truck trailer hitch accessories. They act as a backup in case your truck trailer becomes disconnected from the tow vehicle. These accessories help keep the trailer from running off on its own down the road. It could run into other vehicles or people and cause devastating damage if that happened.
Even though safety chains are not the base, most states require them. If everything works according to plan, you will never have to use your safety chains. This is because they will hang under the trailer tongue and ball mount once they are attached. Nonetheless, we recommend that you use two safety chains on every towing setup — including the trailer behind your truck.
Generally, safety chains come in a wide range of classes, Class I, II, and III. Class I safety chains can handle up to 2000 pounds of weight, Class II safety chains can handle up to 3500 pounds of weight, and Class III can handle up to 5000 pounds. Always ensure that the capacity of each chain doesn't exceed your GTW. It should also not exceed the weight of a loaded trailer. For instance, a trailer weighing 5000 pounds will need safety chains that have a break strength of over 5000 pounds.
When attaching safety chains, you should remember to cross them underneath the hitch and coupler. Make sure one end lies on the other as you attach them. This is vital because it creates a safety or cradle net for the coupler in case of any disconnection. You should also leave enough slack room to allow turning — it shouldn't be too much that the safety chains drag all the ground.
At DECKED, we suggest that you not only check the security condition of the safety chain but also confirm whether they are firmly in place. You should confirm that after every hour. For safety purposes, you should never overlook safety chains, especially when it comes to regular maintenance. These safety chains are like the glue that holds your towing adventure. When they don't work effectively, everything could fall apart.
If you don't prefer using safety chains, you can use safety cables. These cables could be a better option because they are slightly easier to handle. They also lower the road noise. In addition, most of the safety cables are nylon-coated, meaning they combat corrosion and rust. As a result, you can use them for several years without having to worry about rusting or corrosion.
While safety cables have these amazing features, they can't compete with safety chains on strength. This is because safety cables are designed as a medium-duty safety option and handle between 2000-75000 lbs. On the other hand, safety chains are designed as a heavy-duty safety option and can handle between 25000-26000+ lbs. This means they are incredibly strong.
Get Your Truck Hitch Accessories From DECKED
Truck hitch accessories are very important for your truck. Without them, it is impossible to connect the trailer to your truck. While truck hitch receiver accessories play an important role in ensuring efficiency, their quality also matters. This is why it is vital to get your truck hitch accessories from a reputable seller. At DECKED, we know what you are looking for and will deliver beyond your expectations.