What Should You Know Before Purchasing?
There are some things to know before purchasing a boat trailer hitch for your vehicle. A boat owner should be armed with information to buy the right hitch for the right situation.
The Number Don’t Lie
One thing you must remember when buying a boat trailer hitch is the gross trailer weight loads. You should know both the boat and trailer weights and the amount of tongue weight placed on the ball. Most tow experts say you should always buy a trailer hitch capable of towing more than the load you plan to tow. So, if your tow hitch is rated for 2k lbs, and your boat and boat trailer is the same weight, opt for a heavier hitch rated for 3k.
The towing experience comes from when the tow vehicle and the trailer coupler are level. If you measure the height of your ball mount and it is different than the height of the trailer coupler, you’ll need an adjustable hitch. These hitches can help keep the trailer in line with the tow vehicle. While towing smaller trailers might not require more than a standard ball mount, you should find a hitch that provides even towing.
What Are the Best Boat Trailer Hitches?
Several manufacturers produce high-quality boat trailer hitches, and we’ve listed some below.
Best Standard Trailer Hitch: Reese Towpower Drawbar 21536
Most bass boats and single watercraft weigh less than 2,000 lbs and can be pulled by a single drop tow hitch. The Reese Drawbar 21536 is the number one tow drawbar hitch on Amazon, with a nearly 4.8 rating (with over 6,000 reviews).
The Reese is a hefty 5.95 lbs making it feel capable of handling a much larger load. The hitch is made from alloy steel, and the black powder coat gives it a simple, sturdy appearance. The standard hitch fits easily into any 2” receiver, and with the hitch lock pin in place, the hitch offers little rattle or vibration. The Reese Drawbar has a 6,000 lbs weight rating and a 2” drop - .75” rise. A 2” chrome ball and locking hitch pin is included. The best feature of the Reese trailer hitch is the price.
Reese is a Horizon Global division with headquarters in Plymouth, MI. The parent company also runs other hitch and trailer manufacturers like DrawTite and Bulldog. The hitches are distributed in the US but are manufactured in Mexico, such as DrawTite or Reese.
- Good standard hitch
- High Amazon reviews (#1 rating)
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Rated Class III
- Not American-made
Best Adjustable Drop: CURT Mfg Adjustable Trailer Hitch Ball Mount
This Curt Mfg Adjustable Boat Hitch is an award winner and the number one trailer hitch on Amazon with a 4.8 review rating. The 45900 offers a 6-inch drop or 5 ½” rise and comes with dual tow balls, allowing it to pull different trailers without having changing ball mounts.
The Curt hitch is made from a composite steel alloy with a durable shank that fits any 2” x 2” receiver tube with locking bolts. Finished in a black powder coat, the Curt is weather, scratch, and dent resistant. The hitch balls are also coated with zinc plating to help them deter corrosion. You won’t find rust on this hitch even after years of use. The hitch is rated for weight carrying 14k lbs on the 2 5/16” ball and 10k on the 2”.
The shank has an adequate overall length with two latch pin holes (11” and 12”) to accommodate different shanks.
The hitch has a lifetime warranty, is reasonably priced, and according to the Curt Mfg website, all hitches are made in their facilities in Eau Claire, WI. The company has been in business for thirty years (1993) and has morphed into a leading hitch maker in the county. The Curt brand produces more than just standard bumper hitches. They manufacture gooseneck hitches, receivers, fifth-wheel trailer hitches and accessories, and about everything else you could imagine has to do with towing. They are a part of the Lippert family of companies.
- Bestseller on Amazon
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Dual balls for multiple trailers
Best Stow/Go Boat Hitch: B & W Stow and Go
B & W is becoming our favorite hitch manufacturer with inventions like that turnover ball system (gooseneck trailers) and this B & W Tow and Stow Boat Hitch. This boat trailer hitch has a 5-inch drop, and the hitch ball folds under the rear truck bumper when not used.
The hitch is made from durable composite steel and fits neatly into any 2” trailer hitch receiver. Two stainless steel mounting pins are easy to remove for ball drop adjustments. The trailer hitch holds up in weather and is offered in a 3” drop should you need it.
B & W operates in the middle of the country in the small Midwestern town of Humboldt, Ks. The company has been in business for over 35 years (1987). The company has grown from simple beginnings to become a leading producer of everything involved with trailer towing. (Hitches, gooseneck, fifth-wheel, or weight distribution systems). Their products are constantly showing up on “best of” lists. (In my humble opinion, their turnover ball system is such a brilliant idea. I wish I had thought of it). The company is now employee-owned and employs about 147 workers. Based on their excellent customer service, I feel that B & W hitches will be around for a long time.
- Small town pride
- Inventer of turnover ball system
- Lifetime warranty
Best Weight Distribution: CURT Mfg TruTrack 2P Weight Distribution Hitch
Curt Mfg strikes again with this TruTrack 2-point that is a best seller on Amazon. The WD system uses stabilizing bars to connect to the trailer tongue. The additional two points of connection help spread the tongue weight over all the axles of the tow vehicle. This hitch reduces the strain on your truck’s rear end.
The TruTrack is steel, with durable brackets that mount on either fork of the trailer tongue. The stabilizing bars are spring-loaded, and the hitch has integrated sway control.
The hitch is USA made, and although it is priced over $1000, the WD system is a great way to ensure that your large boat stays right where it needs to - behind your truck.
The hitch is rated for up to 10k lbs. While a WD system won’t let you tow more than the capacity of your truck, it will let you pull up to it. Curt Mfg is based out of Eau Claire, WI.
- American made
- 2 5/16” trailer ball
- Trailer sway control integrated
Best Adaptable TriBall - Ayleid Trailer TriBall/Pin and Hook Hitch
The Ayleid takes our vote for the most versatile hitch out there because it does everything. The Ayleid TriBall Pin and Hook have three chrome balls - 1 ⅞” - 2” - 2 5/16” along with a tow hook and ¾ “ D ring. The hitch fits into any 2 “ receiver bracket and is constructed from a rigid steel alloy. With a price of $88.95, you cannot beat the value of what this hitch can do. (Ayleid also offers the same hitch without the D ring, which is less, so if you don’t need the ring, save some money).
Depending on the ball size the hitch is rated from 5k lbs up to 12k lbs (depending on the ball size). The Ayleid Triball has a lifetime warranty.
Ayleid has been quietly making a name for itself for a few years with a product of winches, tow hitches, and off-road accessories.
- Versatile hitch
- Has a D ring
- Solid construction
- Off-road company
- Hitch pin could be stronger
Best Medium Duty: MaxxHaul Adjustable Ball Mount
If you are pulling any kind of pontoon or bass boat that is pushing the 5k mark, then you want MaxxHaul on the back of your truck. This MaxxHaul 70067 Trailer hitch is reinforced with welded support brace between the shank and adjustable ball mount.
The MaxxHaul has three different drop settings from 5” to 9.5” and four different rise settings from 3.75 - 8.25,” so finding the right trailer height will not be a problem. The hitch supports 500 lbs tongue weight and is rated for 5k lbs GTW.
One of the features that we like best about this hitch is the sturdiness of the steel. It feels solid, and weighing under 15 lbs, it feels strong as it fits into the 2” receptacle. The MaxxHaul has a 4.6 rating on Amazon and is one of their top choices, with over 4,000 positive reviews. Reviews indicate that the hitch rides quietly, with no rattle and little vibrations.
The company is headquartered in Shanghai. The hitch is made overseas and shipped into the country. They are one of the largest producers of towing components in the world.
- Solid steel construction
- Various Adjustable settings
- Reinforced ball mount brace
- Not USA-made
Best Heavy Duty W/ Pintle Lock: GEN-Y GH-523 MEGA-Duty
The Gen-Y Mega Duty hitch is made for big boats or cabin cruisers that have weights over 10k lbs. (Some pontoons depending on the length can push this weight). The hitch is rated for 16k lbs GTW and 2,000 lbs of tongue weight. If you plan to pull a large, heavy, awkward boat on the road - this is the hitch you want. It’s made from high-grade steel and has a 5” drop and rise.
The Gen-Y’s soft powder coat finish looks incredible on the truck’s rear. The adjustable ball mount can be raised or lowered, so several options are available to modify the hitch height for more level towing. We appreciated the pintle hook on the 2 5/16” ball for protection and security. The hitch comes with a limited lifetime guarantee and is USA made.
Gen-Y is headquartered in Indiana and has been in business since 2011. The company also makes a heavy-duty hitch with a torsion head that helps haul heavy loads. They have a program where they will pay you to try out their hitch, so check the link for more details.
Gen-Y Mega-Duty has a 4.8 rating on Amazon, one of the top-performing heavy-duty hitches on the market.
- American made
- Love the soft powder coat finish
- Pintle lock allow it to accept lunette ring