How to Hitch a Trailer

Last Updated on May 20, 2021

In general, the trailer is an unpowered and unmanned vehicle. Most of the time, it is an extension of a regular vehicle. For making the trailer useful and traveling-friendly, you need to hitch the trailer with your car or RV.

However, the process to hitch a trailer is very easy. You will find this process a piece of cake if you follow some instructions. In fact, you can hitch your trailer on your own at the back of your house or in the garage. You don’t need any heavy toolbox or mechanical expertise to hitch a trailer.

You may know that there are several types of hitch you can find in the market. These are the 5th Wheel Hitch, Front Mount Hitch, Rear Receiver Hitch, Bumper Hitch, Pintle Hitch, Weight Distribution Hitch, Gooseneck Hitch and so on. The basics of hitching a trailer are a piece of common knowledge. The mechanical steps may vary from each model or each type, but when you know the basics of hitching, you will find it quite easy.

Here today, in this article, I will guide you to learn about hitches and how they work. Thus, you will be able to understand the mechanism easily. By this, the possible error will be reduced while you try to hitch your trailer.

Before going to dive into the hitching trailer process, it is important to know what is a coupler, especially if you are a newbie.

What is a coupler?

Well, a coupler is a mechanical device that connects the hitch to the body of your vehicle. There is a variety also, but all of them follow by clamping with hitch ball. You need to buy a suitable coupler for hitching your trailer. The coupler comes with different weight classes. You can go to a nearby shop and see the manuals with the total weight of your trailer that matches your requirements.

How to Hitch a Trailer?

After choosing the right coupler, you are now ready to go. Follow these steps to understand the procedure. Follow each and try to go slow for the first time. Try to do it perfectly.

Step-01:

At first, you need to select a smooth and flat surface to set up your trailer. Then, Park your trailer right at the back parallelly placed. After that, move your car left or right to get in a straight line if required because it won’t fit perfectly if they are not in a linear position. Now make sure to lock the vehicle before proceeding. Load your trailer with the highest weight you are going to carry before starting.

Step-02:

Now use a jack to lift up the trailer coupler portion. Make them at a level to proceed further. As your trailer is now fully loaded, it may not reach the perfect position. Here you may need an assist to guide. Move your vehicle from the driving seat if required, as you cant move the loaded trailer on your own easily.

Step 03:

After positioning the trailer coupler with the trailer line, now use the jack to lift it more. You will find that there is a pre-installed trailer hitch ball at the back chassis of your car for sure. In the next step, the trailer coupler will go upon the hitch ball. So, go again with the perfect measurement during uplifting the trailer hitch.

Step-04:

Now, you will have to drive back your car and position it right at the down of the coupler. The hitch ball is now right at the down of the coupler. Try to go slow here. If you move your car more than required, there will be scratches at the back, and if you don’t reach enough, you need to do it again. So, find an assistant to guide you and obviously take your time. Otherwise, you will find it a hassle.

Step-05:

At this point, there will be a trailer coupler latch for attachment. It will lock the trailer and your car’s hitch ball. You need to remove the latch pin to make it operational. Pull the latch upside to unlock it. Now place it in place and pull the latch down. That’s it. Now it is locked again. Use the metal handle of the latch to do the job. But in this step after locking, be sure about some points as:

  • Unpin the coupler latch to make it operational
  • Use a metal handle to position it on the hitch ball
  • While pulling down, make sure it goes smoothly.
  • There will be a socket that will cover the whole ball.
  • If it doesn’t cover the whole ball, be sure that both of the parts are not aligned properly yet. Then go to step 01 and follow up to step 05 again.

Step-06:

After completing step-05 now, you are ready to secure the others parts. As the socket covers the ball, you have to lock the handle. Use the pin to stop it from getting pulled in automatically while driving. This is important for safe driving. Most of the time, the tiny pin gets out of mind, and people forget to install it in place.

Well, you are done with the attaching process, now make sure to remove the jack. Pull down the jack and remove it from under the tailor.

Step-07:

You will find that there are two support safety heavy metal chains with the trailer. From behind the coupler and hitch ball, bring one safety chain to attach on the other side. Do the same on the other side also. Make sure to attach the chains properly, as if they stay loose, they may get unattached during driving and harm the road or be a cause of an accident. The safety chains stay just below the coupler.

Step-08:

Well, you have successfully hitch the trailer. But as per the traffic rule, the backlights, including the indicator and signal lights of your vehicle, are now not visible due to the trailer. Most of today’s trailers have their own signer lights at their end. You need to connect the electric wires through your vehicle’s plugs. Thus the signal lights are visible and maintaining the highway rules also.

So this was all about hitching the trailer. You just need to be patient and cautious. Take time and go slow. You will be an expert soon after several tries. Before starting your journey, make sure to recheck each of the steps and the connection with a physical inspection. I hope this article helped you a lot.

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