In order for you to engage in towing, you should have a clear idea on the towing components. It's important to know the tools and what they are used for. Whatever towing vehicle you choose to use, with the right hitch it can tow load of up to 16,000 pounds. With a 5th Wheel Hitch, large pickups can tow loads of up to 25,000 pounds. There is always a manual from the manufacturer telling you how much weight your vehicle can tow. Make sure not to exceed the manufacturer's specifications on the amount of weight your vehicle can tow. The maximum weight you can tow is usually determined by the lowest rated component for towing.

The tools needed when towing include:

A trailer

A trailer is defined as a wheeled construction that is intended to be pulled by another vehicle. There are many trailer types like livestock trailers, enclosed auto and gear haulers, travel/ camping trailers, flatbed and open utility trailers, car-towing dollies, boat trailers and autos towed with a tow bar.

A Tow Dolly

The tow dolly is a two-wheeled trailer that cradles the car's front wheels while ensuring that the rear wheels are on the road. These types of trailers are light duty and are used for short hauls. They can also be used on RV'S or pickups that have a slide in camper to tow other automobiles.

A Tow Bar

It is a bar that is V-shaped with a towing coupler. It's used to flat-tow cars behind tow vehicles like RV's. When using the tow bar, the trailer is the towed automobile while the tow bar is the coupler and clearance from the tow vehicles rear. This is referred to as Towing dinghy-style.

Trailer lighting.

Trailers have to have signaling lights just like powered motor vehicles. It is a legal requirement for trailers to have taillights, brake lights and turn signals. They should be connected to the tow vehicle and act in sync with the lights from the vehicle.

A Hitch

A hitch is usually attached to the tow vehicle. There are various types of hitches ranging from extremely heavy duty to light duty. It's important that you select the correct hitch that's suited for your vehicle's towing capacity and requirements for your trailer are also important.

Weight Distributing Hitch

A weight distributing hitch is used to haul heavy loads using conventional style receiver hitches. This type of hitch uses spring bars, long rods attaching back to the frame of the trailer. The spring bars ensure that the tow vehicle distributes weight evenly between the front and rear wheels by exerting leverage on the tow vehicles frame.

Hitch Ball Mount.

It's a square steel tube that has a mounting plate to hold a hitch ball. It can also be referred to as a stinger or draw bar. The balls are easily changeable. As special pin holds the ball mount in place in the hitch.

A Hitch Ball/ tow ball

It's a flexible joint that allows the tow vehicle and trailers navigate bumps, turn corners and dips. The coupler usually mounts and locks on the hitch ball hence articulating around the hitch ball.

Hitch Pin and Clip

The hitch pin holds the ball mount in the hitch. It also attaches breakaway cables. You can use a large bolt with a lock washer and nut instead of a hitch pin.

Trailer Wiring

The wirings are used to wire the trailer lights forward to a connector at the vehicles' back.


It's a joint that allows the trailer and tow vehicle to navigate bumps and dips and turn corners. It fits over the hitch ball and articulates around the ball. The ball and coupler must be a match for safe operation.

Safety Chain

The chain is used to restrain the trailer from separating in case the coupler or hitch fails. A heavy trailer uses two safety chains. In case the hitch or coupler fails, the safety chains catch the nose of the trailer hence control when the tow vehicle stops.