So you're looking for a trailer tow system?

The first question is always, what is the hitch going on and how much weight do you intend on towing? There are several classes of hitches, Class 1 through Class 5. Each one has a weight rating. Class 1 is up to 1500 lbs. and Class 5 is up to 15,000 lbs. with trailer and vehicle equipped properly. All hitches have a tow weight which is the maximum pull strength for the hitch and tongue weight which is the downward weight and the capacity can increase with weight distribution systems or, as they are commonly called, equalizer bars. Not only is the hitch limited to certain weights, all the accessories are also limited to weight.

The three components that make up the towing system are the hitch, the ball mount and the ball. Each of these items has a weight limit. So, let’s say that your hitch has a 6,000 lb rating, your ball mount has a 5,000 lb. rating and your ball is rated at 6,000 lbs. The weak point is the ball mount at 5,000 lbs. This is a common problem. It is always important to make sure you explain and choose the correct parts for towing trailers with all accessories having a compatible weight rating.

Wiring: There are numerous trailer wire plugs, such as the 4-way flat, 4-way round, 6-way and 7-way. The type of plug usually determines the trailer and what electrical items are on the trailer. Your standard trailer plug (4-way) operates all running lights, brake lights and turn signals. The 6 and 7-way usually operate trailer brake systems, battery charge lines and back up lights.

Most new trucks and SUV’s come with the factory harnesses in place so the installer just duplicates the system to best serve the customer needs. There is a lot to know about trailer towing. I have 25 years of experience at it and still learn new things all the time. The bottom line is when looking for someone to install towing systems, choose a qualified shop that is familiar with all facets of hitches and wiring and is familiar with the ever-changing new models that are constantly being introduced.


During the winter months, travel, boat and utility trailers typically don't get used. When a trailer sits, it can develop problems with wiring, brakes and electrical. The last thing you need is to find a problem right before that big trip.

I recommend before the trip to hook up and test the entire trailer system so you don't get stuck in the middle of nowhere with repairs that can get very expensive.

With over 45 years of combined experience, Vaca Valley Truck & SUV should be your only source for trailer repairs and services.

Some of the many services we offer are:

• Complete Hitch Towing Systems
• Gooseneck Hitches
• 5th Wheel Hitches
• Towing Accessories
• Brake Controllers
• Complete Trailer Electrical Repairs and Installations
• Axle Replacements & Services