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The Davis Trailer World Hitch and Towing Guide

Types of Hitches and Hitch Selection

There are a number of different kinds of hitches and the uses and weight and size limitations for each vary. We will guide you through the most common and provide the information to make a selection that will allow you to tow safely.


Receiver hitches, often called “ball hitches” are the type of hitch that you will commonly see on the bumper of a vehicle or mounted just below the bumper to the frame of the vehicle. 


There are five hitch classes that start small in hitch class 1 and increase in size and weight capacity up to class 5.  Generally speaking, the smaller the vehicle and trailer, the lower the hitch class. You will need to check with your manufacturer to see the recommendations or contact us and we can help. The capacity of receiver hitches will max out around 20,000 lbs. If you need more capacity you will need to look at the Gooseneck or 5th wheel hitch.

2. Gooseneck Hitches

A Gooseneck Hitch is heavy duty ball hitch that is attached to the bed of a pickup truck. The trailer neck goes up and over the back of the truck and couples to the ball. The shape of these look similar to a gooses neck – hence the name.

Gooseneck hitches are often used on farms and heavy duty applications that need capacities of up to 30,000 lbs. For higher capacity needs in the recreational sector, a 5th wheel hitch is often used.


The 5th wheel hitch is a heavy duty hitch with ratings up to 30,000 lbs that attaches to a coupler in the back of a heavy duty truck bed in a way that is resembles a tractor trailer connection. This type of hitch provides greater stability, and is often used to tow large travel trailers, flatbeds and campers. 

The Davis Hitch and Towing Buyer’s Guide is a great place to begin learning about how select the proper equipment and to safely tow a trailer or vehicle. If you find that you have additional questions please contact us at: 1.800.693.2184

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