Towing products:

Get the info you need about towing accessories and more.

Got questions about towing products? We have answers!
Towing with your vehicle can be a pleasurable experience. With the right towing products, towing accessories and overall set-up, you’ll likely find yourself towing more often, and with less effort, than you ever thought possible. Advance Auto has the quality auto parts and towing products you need.

What do I need to know about trailer towing before I select a towing hitch?

There are three key pieces of information needed before selecting towing hitches:

  • the maximum towing capacity of your vehicle (this can usually be found in the owner’s manual)
  • the combined weight of the trailer and its cargo (GTW)
  • the tongue weight (TW) of the trailer when it is loaded (this is the amount of vertical load the trailer places on the towing hitch)

What type of trailer towing hitch do I need?

Hitches are classified based on the maximum weight they can tow. The more weight a towing hitch can handle, the higher its class. Check the next page for a listing of class to weight breakdown.

What is a ball mount?

This is the unit that slides directly into the hitch receiver on one end and holds the ball on the other end. Using a ball mount with the correct amount of drop or rise will ensure the trailer is level behind the tow vehicle.

Need help selecting a ball for trailer towing?

When buying a ball for your trailer hitch, there are five key considerations in getting the right one.

  • The diameter of the ball must match the diameter of the trailer coupler (usually 1-7/8", 2" or 2 5/16").
  • The lift of the ball; this refers to the additional rise given to the ball above the ball mount.
  • The diameter of the shank should match the diameter of the whole in the ball mount.
  • The length of the shank should show at least two threads through the bottom when the nut is in place.
  • The class of the ball; make sure to get a ball that is the same class as your hitch and ball mount.

How do I measure how much drop or rise is needed for towing hitches?

Start by measuring the distance from the top of the hitch receiver to the ground. Then measure the distance from the top of the inside of the trailer coupler to the ground with the trailer level. Subtract the height of the trailer from the height of the hitch; this is the amount of drop needed in your ball mount. If your trailer is higher than your hitch, subtract the hitch height from the trailer height to find the amount of rise needed in your ball mount.

Need some towing accessories?

Once you’ve got the towing hitch, ball mount and ball selected, you may still need a few more items to finish the job:

  • Wiring connectors and converters
  • Additional lighting
  • A coupler to attach to the trailer tongue
  • Receiver locks, pins and clips
  • A hitch ball wrench
  • A trailer jack
  • Brake controls (optional based upon trailer load size)

Questions about trailer towing safety?

Here are some important things to remember:

  • Trailer towing requires increased steering and stopping awareness.
  • Make sure your trailer is level when attached to the tow vehicle to ensure safe towing.
  • Make sure the ball and ball shank fit snugly into the ball mount and trailer coupler.
  • Check trailer lights, tire condition and air pressure before towing.
  • Ensure cargo is safe and secure.

The right towing products and towing accessories make all the difference. Get the right towing components for your vehicle!

For more information on how to use the trailer products and trailer accessories you’ve selected, be sure to stop by the Consumer Education display in the front of your Advance Auto Parts store.

Here are some articles you may find helpful:

  • Trailer towing 101
  • Automatic transmissions vs. manual transmissions
  • Car brakes system
  • Adjusting car mirrors

Trust Advance Auto Parts for the towing products and towing accessories you need to travel safely -- along with a full array of quality auto parts.