Hitch Accessory 1: Trailer Jacks
A trailer jack is another accessory that's actually mounted to the trailer, not the hitch, but it's an item that makes the hitching process easier and safer. Trailer jacks are located on the tongue, close to the coupler. They come in top-wind or side-wind styles that can be cranked to raise or lower the trailer from the hitch ball during loading and unloading. Most jacks provide up to 25 inches (64 centimeters) of lift and 800 pounds (363 kilograms) of capacity. Most also come with a swing-away design that enables you to store the jack above the road during towing.
You also can get electric trailer jacks if you don't want to hand-crank your trailer. Electric jacks feature DC motors with lifting capacities up to 3,500 pounds (or 1,588 kilograms).
So there you have it: the 10 most popular hitch accessories. But if you're a towing junkie, keep reading for many, many more articles on your favorite topic.
- Donaldson, Joel. "Hitching up." 2006 Guide to Towing, A Supplement to Trailer Life. March 2006.
- Haulmark. "Hitch Types." Towing Tips Resource Center. (Oct. 13, 2008) http://www.haulmark.com/php/resource.center/hitch.types.php
- HitchSource. "Trailer Hitch Selection Guide." (Oct. 13, 2008) http://www.hitchsource.com/hitch_guide.php
- Turner, Noah. "Getting Hitched." RV View Magazine. Nov. 1, 2006. (Oct. 13, 2008) http://www.campingworld.com/pc/rvm/output.cfm?id=1164061&issueid=690
- U-Haul. "Towing Glossary." (Oct. 23, 2008) http://www.uhaul.com/hitches/glossary/
- U.S. Department of Transportation. "U.S. Transportation Secretary Mineta Announces New Consumer Publication On Safe Towing of Trailers." Press Release: June 10, 2002. (Oct. 13, 2008) http://www.dot.gov/affairs/nhtsa4502.htm
- U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. "Towing a Trailer: Being Equipped for Safety." April 2002. (Oct. 13, 2008) http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/Cars/Problems/Equipment/towing/index.htm
Ball mounts make towing a lot simpler. Learn all about ball mounts at HowStuffWorks.