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Your Guide to Different Hitch Styles: Choosing the Perfect Trailer Dolly

Posted by Ana Hurlbut on

Your Guide to Different Hitch Styles: Choosing the Perfect Trailer Dolly

While some people think that setting up a trailer is as simple as ABC, there is actually a lot more that goes into it.

In fact, there are several trailer hitch types that all have their pluses and minuses. It can be difficult to find the right one for your particular needs. To help you out, here is a list of the eight best hitches out there. 

Of course, not every hitch is compatible with a trailer dolly, so we’ve given each hitch type a score between one and three to indicate trailer mover compatibility:

Trailer Dolly Compatibility:

   1. Recommended

    2. Limited (only select trailer dollies will be compatible)

    3. Not Recommended

    Without further ado, here is a short guide to the eight main types of trailer hitches.

    Rear Receiver (1. Recommended)

    The rear receiver hitch is by far the most common type of hitch – especially for use with trailer dollies. In fact, some trucks already come with a rear receiver hitch, so you can potentially skip the extra step of shopping for a hitch if that’s the case.

    In terms of size, rear receiver hitches can range from class one to five (class 1 hitches are for lighter loads and Class 5s are for serious-business capacities). 

    Fifth-wheel (2. Limited)

    Fifth-wheel hitches, which are only compatible with pickup trucks, are a heavy-duty type of hitch that mount directly onto the truck bed right over or just ahead of the rear axle. They are less common than rear receivers because they aren’t as compatible with trailer dollies. 

    These hitches, which can hold up to 24,000 pounds, should be used to haul large campers, travel trailers, car haulers, or any other heavy application.

    Gooseneck (2. Limited)

    Gooseneck hitches are very similar to fifth-wheel hitches. Like fifth-wheel hitches, they are also designed for use with pickup trucks, and they both mount in the same location over or just ahead of the rear axle. And just like fifth-wheel hitches, not all of them are compatible with trailer dollies, so be aware of your specific dolly specifications before purchasing.

    Gooseneck hitches generally allow for even more weight than fifth-wheel hitches – up to a massive 30,000 pounds. Furthermore, these hitches are typically less intrusive than fifth-wheel hitches and are designed to allow you to enjoy full use of the truck bed while you aren’t towing something.

    Common uses for gooseneck hitches are livestock trailers, flatbreads, or other large commercial trailers. 

    Andersen (2. Limited)

    Andersen specializes in making high-quality gooseneck and fifth-wheel hitches. These specific hitches, which are compatible with select trailer dollies, are some of the most innovative hitches out there, and you can rest assured that you’ll get only the highest quality if you make a purchase.

    Pintle (2. Limited)

    Pintle hitches are most commonly used for heavy-duty towing. This type of hitch isn’t compatible with all trailer dollies as well, so be careful before purchasing it.

    Pintle hitches are good because the way they are built allows for a greater range of motion, making them good for use on rough terrain. 

    Atwood (1. Recommended)

    Atwood hitches are perfect for use with trailer dollies. Atwood is a large “ranch and home” company, so these trailers are designed for hauling large loads in an agricultural setting. 

    Bulldog (2. Limited)

    Bulldog hitches are a type of hitch that don’t often work with trailer dollies. Fortunately, these versatile and flexible hitches can attach to any trailer, and can be used on a trailer dolly with the right adjustments and adapters in place.

    Bulldog hitches are especially good for heavy-duty towing – so horse and livestock, cargo, and construction trailers work perfectly with this type of hitch.

    If you’re towing something that weighs over 5,000 pounds, it’s hard to go wrong with the bulldog hitch.

    Hensley (3. Not Recommended)

    Hensley hitches are a specific type of fifth-wheel hitch that are generally not recommended for use with trailer dollies. 

    Specifically, Hensley hitches work to reduce trailer sway, which is the cause of most trailer road accidents. By transferring the trailer pivot point to the rear axle of the tow vehicle, the hitch creates a solid unit along the trailer while still allowing the tow vehicle to turn with ease. 

    There are other types of hitches out there of course, but these are the main ones for those using trailer dollies. Just remember, before you go out and buy one, make sure that it’s compatible with whatever you want to do with it.

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