Receiver Hitches and Wiring

Receiver hitches, also known as Trailer or Bumper pull hitches are the most common type of hitch installed on Cars, Trucks, SUV’s, Jeeps, and Minivans.  Receiver hitches aren’t just for towing!  They also give you the flexibility to mount a bike rack, offroad spare tire mount, storage boxes, extended rack mounts and more.

Raven Truck Accessories and North Shore Off-Road store locations are equipped to provide you with professional installation for all of your hitch needs, ensuring you get on the road safely and securely.

Check out the some of the common hitch related terms that will help you select the hitch setup that will work best for your needs:


Towing & Tongue Weight Capacity

  • Receiver hitches are classed by weight rating, from Class 1 through Class 5, with the most popular being a Class 3
    • The Towing Capacity refers to the weight of the trailer being towed
      • Example: a trailer with a total loaded weight of 5,000lbs, requires a hitch and towing vehicle designed for a minimum of 5,000lbs
    • The Tongue Capacity refers to how much weight you can put on the hitch itself, and is typically easily calculated as 10% of the trailer weight.  A 5,000lb trailer typically has a tongue weight of 500lbs
    • Tongue capacity should also be considered when mounting a hitch accessory such as a Bike Rack.  For example: a Thule T2 Pro XT bike rack can carry up to 4 bikes and weigh approx 70lbs.   Add 4 bikes @ 35lbs each, and the total weight being put on the Tongue of the hitch climbs to over 200lbs


Receiver Hole Diameter

The receiver hole opening can range in size from 1.25”, 2”, or 2.5”

  • The most common size opening  is 2” (Class 3 hitch)
  • Class 1 and 2 hitches typically have a 1.25” hole opening.  If you are mounting a bike rack to your hitch, we recommend installing a hitch with a 2” hole opening whenever possible.  For example, many mid-size SUV’s and minivans can be fitted with a Class 1, 2 or 3 hitch….we recommend installing the Class 3 with a 2” hole opening.   This will provide a more stable platform for adding bike racks and other hitch mounted accessories


Hitch Ball and Mount

If your hitch is being used for towing a trailer, you will need a Hitch Ball and Mount

  • Always match a hitch ball with a weight rating equal to or greater than the maximum capacity of the hitch
  • The height (or “drop”) of the mount must ensure that the trailer is level when attached to the hitch on your vehicle
  • The experts at Raven and North Shore Offroad will help you select the Hitch Ball and Mount that best matches your trailer to your vehicle


Hitch Wiring

If you plan on towing, you will need to ensure the vehicle is equipped with the necessary wiring to connect to your trailer

  • The two most common types of trailer wiring are “4-Way Flat” or “7-way Round”
    • 4-way Flat wiring is most common for lightweight trailers without electric brakes
      • (Taillights / Right Turn Signal / Left Signal / Ground)
    • 7-way Round wiring is most common for trailers with electric brakes
      • (Taillights / Right Turn Signal / Left Signal / Ground / Auxillary Back-up / Electric Brakes / 12volt power)
    • If your vehicle is already equipped with 7-way wiring, but the trailer is equipped with a 4-way flat plug, we can supply you with an adapter that easily plugs in to the 7-way wiring hole

Contact your nearest Raven Truck Accessories or North Shore Offroad store today, and start enjoying the benefits of adding a hitch and hitch accessories before your next trip.