Hitch receivers, tow bars and safety chains are some types of towing equipment. These types of towing equipment are typically available in several different styles. There are many other types of towing accessories that are designed to make the towing process safer and more efficient, including hitch locks, tow hooks and protective tow monitoring systems that provide information to the driver about conditions affecting the trailer and the vehicle such as trailer tire pressure and vibration.
Towing hitches are available in three different classes of receivers. Each class is specified for a weight rating and type of towing. Users must make sure that their vehicle is equipped with the correct hitch receiver. Class I receivers are intended for a maximum towing weight of 2,000 pounds, while Class II hitches can haul up to 3,500 pounds. Class III receivers have a rated capacity of 6,000 pounds for weight carrying loads and 10,000 pounds for weight distributed loads.
Tow bars are typically triangular shaped metal units that attach to the hitch on a recreational vehicle to allow a car to be towed behind it. These are available in fixed sizes or telescoping models that allow adjustment for the type of vehicle being towed.
Safety chains provide a backup in case the hitch fails. It is a set of two chains that both hook to the trailer and the vehicle to keep the trailer attached. Safety chains are required by federal law and many state and municipality ordinances.