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CostHelper > Cars  > Trailer Hitch

Trailer Hitch Cost


How Much Does a Trailer Hitch Cost?

 
low costTrailer Ball Hitch: $8-$35+average costReceiver Ball Hitch: $50-$700high costFifth-Wheel Hitch: $300-$2,000+
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Consumers typically choose between three basic hitches: a standard receiver ball mounted on the back of the tow vehicle and fifth-wheel or gooseneck hitches, where the hitch is installed inside a pickup truck bed, with the trailer neck extended above it. A fifth-wheel hitch uses a king pin connection and a gooseneck uses a receiver ball. Both fifth-wheel and gooseneck hitches make it possible to pull more weight with better control and stability than with a rear-mounted receiver ball. HitchInfo.com describes types of hitches[1] .

Typical costs:

  • Bumper towing: most trucks and many SUVs come with a hole in the bumper for a standard trailer ball ($8-$35 or more) but without bolting the hitch to the vehicle's chassis. With the addition of basic wiring ($15-$50 if not already installed) for trailer lights, this relatively lightweight setup can haul up to 1,000 pounds, but any sort of bumper-mounted towing method is limited to the towing capacity of the bumper. A small utility trailer might typically weigh 500-2,500 pounds or more, empty, but a load of dirt or other dense debris could add another 1,000-4,000 pounds or more; a small travel trailer might weigh 1,000-5,000 pounds or more; a 18'-25' boat with trailer might weigh 2,000-8,000 pounds, not including fuel and gear; and a fifth-wheel travel trailer might weigh 6,000-18,000 pounds or more empty, with fuel, supplies and gear adding 1,000-3,000 pounds.
  • A receiver ball hitch that bolts to the tow vehicle's chassis costs about $50-$250, but can cost $300-$700. For example, the Hidden Hitch 87002 Class III Hitch[2] supports up to 3,500 pounds of gross trailer weight, and sells for $150-$210; the heavy-duty Reese Towpower Titan Class V Hitch Receiver[3] tows up to 12,000 pounds and costs $400-$640. Some rear-mounted hitches include a weight distribution and sway reduction system with attachments that transfer weight from the rear wheels of the tow vehicle to the other axles of the vehicle and trailer, spreading the load and making it possible to tow heavier cargo. These sell for $250-$700 or more. Installation of a rear-mounted receiver ball can add another $50-$250. This brings the total expense for installing a rear-mounted receiver ball to $100-$850, with an average of $200-$500 on a typical family vehicle. Do-it-yourself installation of a receiver ball hitch can be relatively easy. Expert Village provides a video demonstrating how to install[4] a standard receiver ball trailer hitch.
  • Fifth-wheel hitches can cost $300-$2,000 or more for just the hitch, depending on materials, towing capacity and whether the hitch is customized for a specific vehicle, but average $400-$1,500. The Curt 20K Q5 Fifth Wheel with Rails[5] sells for $700-$1,050. Do-it-yourself installation of a fifth-wheel hitch might involve cutting, drilling and welding. Professional installation can cost $200-$500 or more, increasing total costs to $500-$2,500 or more. ETrailer.com posts tips[6] for fifth-wheel hitch installation.
  • A gooseneck trailer hitch can cost $200-$600 or more, depending on towing capacity and options such as a locking system or the ease of tucking the ball away when not needed. A Popup Gooseneck Hitch[7] sells for $415. Installation typically involves cutting a hole in the truck bed; professional installation can cost $200-$300, increasing total expenses to $400-$800. ETrailer.com provides a video demonstration[8] .
Related articles: Cargo Trailer, Car Trailer, Horse Trailer, Towing Equipment

What should be included:
  • There are five classifications for hitches, based on the total weight being towed, the type of receiver and the weight in pounds of the safety chain required. Class I can haul up to 2,000 pounds; Class V up to 12,000 pounds. Redneck Trailer Supplies provides a chart of hitch classes[9] .
  • There are many unique terms related to hitches; U-Haul provides a hitch glossary[10] .
  • A trailer must be connected to the tow vehicle's brake and turning lights. Popular Mechanics explains how to wire a trailer hitch[11] and etrailer.com illustrates the different types of trailer wiring connectors[12] .
Additional costs:
  • Hitch ball vary in size from 1'7/8" to 2-5/16", and different sizes may be needed for different trailers. Additional hitch balls cost $8-$70 or more.
  • A hitch cover costs $13-$50, and a hitch lock costs$10 -$25.
  • Many trailers come with electric brakes; most trucks, vans, SUVs and RVs made since the mid-1990s are prewired to use an electronic trailer brake controller. These typically cost $40-$200 from auto parts stores, trailer dealers, RV dealers or online retailers like Amazon[13] . Installation and wiring can add $100-$200 or more.
Shopping for a trailer hitch:
  • HitchInfo.com explains how to calculate towing capacity[14] and how to select a trailer hitch[15] .
  • Car dealers, RV dealers and most truck rental companies sell and install trailer hitches. Trailer hitches are also available from online retailers like Amazon[16] and eTrailer.com[17] .
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External Resources:
  1.  www.hitchinfo.com/index.cfm?event=viewpage&contentpieceid=5145
  2.  www.amazon.com/Hidden-Hitch-87002-Class-III/dp/B000CO6Z94
  3.  www.amazon.com/Reese-Towpower-45013-Titan-Receiver/dp/B0016KFW1U
  4.  www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gzSiPpBWL0
  5.  www.curtmfg.com/Category/49/20K
  6.  www.etrailer.com/faq-fifthwheel.aspx
  7.  www.gooseneckpopuphitch.com/popuphitch
  8.  www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dvU1lNyryk
  9.  www.redneck-trailer.com/ProductsServices.aspx
  10.  www.uhaul.com/Trailers/HitchGlossary/
  11.  www.popularmechanics.com/cars/how-to/maintenance/1272556
  12.  www.etrailer.com/faq-wiring.aspx
  13.  www.amazon.com/s/url=search-alias=automotive&field-keywords=electronic+brake+controller...
  14.  www.hitchinfo.com/index.cfm?event=viewpage&contentpieceid=5146
  15.  www.hitchinfo.com/index.cfm?event=viewpage&contentpieceid=5147
  16.  www.amazon.com/s/url=search-alias=automotive&field-keywords=traileror%20morehitch&x=19&...
  17.  www.etrailer.com/fitguide.htm
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