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Key Terms Relating to Trailer Hitches
If you are looking to tow a utility boat, you will need the necessary accessories. There are many items you can buy for your trailer hitch. You may purchase a bike rack for camping trips. If you currently have a bike rack or utility boat, you will need to make sure it fits with your current setup. There are several accessories that may need to be purchased to properly use your trailer hitch. The following are key terms to help you when you are shopping for the necessary equipment.
Gooseneck - A type of trailer hitch that is mounted inside the bed of the truck. This type of setup requires a trailer ball in the bed of the truck and a coupler on the trailer.
Trailer Ball - This is what is used to attach the trailer to the hitch. A ball can come in various sizes, depending on your setup and what you are looking to tow.
Ballmount - The part of the hitch that connects to the receiver with a pin and clip. This is also where the ball will attach to connect the trailer.
Extender - This is a metal bar that can be attached to the hitch of your truck to extend the flatbed. This bar will work for towing wood in your truck that won't fit into the flatbed.
Adapter - This is used if the trailer hitch does not have a large enough opening for the insert. A common adapter is for a 1-1/4" adapter to allow a 2" insert.
Trailer hitches are often sold separately. They are fitted to existing vehicles. In most cases, they are bumper pull hitches. Gooseneck hitches are used to pull far heavier loads, and are anchored through the bed of a pickup truck. Needless to say, installing one is a more significant job. Goosenecks are most commonly used for large livestock trailers or towed campers.
Bumper pull or fifth wheel hitches are attached to the rear of the vehicle. In addition to securing and attaching the hitch, installation involves a certain amount of wiring to support brake lights on the trailer. This work is often specialist to the kind of trailer being pulled. A boat trailer may require different wiring from a flatbed. Hitches also have receivers of different sizes, which again fit different trailers. Sometimes an adaptor is used to allow a larger trailer socket to be used. Hitch extenders are also used, sometimes to support bike racks. Many new trucks and SUVs come with hitches already attached, but a buyer may need to replace or upgrade them. Trailer hitch kits for self installation are popular, especially if a small utility trailer is being used. Utility trailers often, though, have specific wiring for the lights. Wiring is generally exposed, but can also be hidden inside the bar.
Trailer hitch installers also install bike racks. They may advise on towing, including weight limits for different vehicles. They may also sell parts, including bars and bolts, and other trailer accessories such as load chains. Custom hitches are common in some quarters, as are custom hitch covers, used to protect the hitch when not in use. Trailer hitch locks are popular, especially with seasonally used vehicles such as boat or motorcycle trailers. Some companies sell used hitches, often at a discount.