Hitch Accessory 5: Hitch Tube Covers
Trucker stepping up onto his rig

If you slide a hitch step into your hitch receiver, you can easily climb up your tow vehicle just like this trucker.

Walter Hodges/Getty Images

When you're not towing anything, your hitch receiver becomes an entry point for the elements and for dirt and grime. You can protect your hitch by inserting a hitch tube cover in the ball mount hole. Some covers are made of plastic, others of forged steel. Steel covers offer the greatest variety of colors, which makes it easy to coordinate with the color of your vehicle. Another option is the branded hitch tube cover. Like vanity license plates, specialty covers allow you to express yourself or to show support for a favorite team, school or organization. If you're intrigued, read How Hitch Covers Work.

Another twist is the hitch step, which fits in your hitch receiver just like a tube cover. This enables the hitch step to do double duty: It protects the ball mount hole and provides a convenient standing spot to access a roof rack or truck bed.

Keep reading to find out another handy use for an idle hitch.