Tow Hitches: What’s the difference?

Oct 7, 2022 | Uncategorized

The following guide answers the popular question – What are the different types of tow hitches?

Different types of towing vehicles and trailers are equipped with different types of hitches. Do you know the difference? This article breaks it down and shares all the details about the 4 standard types of tow hitches.


A gooseneck hitch mounts in the bed of the truck directly above or slightly in front of the rear axles. With a gooseneck hitch, you can make tighter turns than a typical tow hitch.

What types of trailers use a gooseneck hitch? This hitch is typically used for towing livestock, car haulers, large flatbed trailers, or other commercial or industrial trailers. 


A pintle hitch has a hooking system, called a pintle, which attaches to the towing vehicle. A pintle hitch is used for heavy-duty towing, especially on rough terrain. The larger range of motion of these hitches is ideal for non-paved terrains such as gravel roads, fields, and farmland.

What types of trailers use a pintle hitch? Pintle hitches are commonly used for industrial, military, and agricultural trailers with a higher weight capacity.


The bumper hitch is the most common type of hitch. It is a tow ball mount that attaches directly to the rear-end receiver hitch on the vehicle. This type of ball mount has many different sizes and styles, giving you various towing capacity limits.

What types of towing vehicles can use a bumper hitch? Bumper hitches can be mounted on most trucks, larger SUVs, and sometimes even smaller sedans.

Weight Distribution 

A weight distribution hitch is similar to a bumper hitch, except it splits into two arms which helps to level and balance your trailer. With a weight distribution hitch is hooked up, balance on the trailer is restored by spreading out the tongue weight. With the weight distributed across all axles on the trailer, vehicle stress is reduced. This allows for a smooth and level ride. 

What types of trailers should use a weight distribution hitch? Distribution hitches are most commonly used for an RV or travel trailer, as they can help level your trailer and minimize fishtailing or trailer sway.