A trailer coupler is essentially a device which connects a trailer to the tow vehicle hitch. They come in a variety of different forms and sizes, but ultimately the trailer coupler has to match the hitch on your trailer to the appropriate tongue on your vehicle. The most common form of trailer coupler – the push rod – is designed to bolt to the frame of the vehicle hitch. When properly installed, the coupler fits and acts like a lock to prevent movement when you are driving. When the trailer is turned on or off, the coupling pops out and then snaps back into position with a slight click, ensuring a tight and secure connection.
Why You Need a Trailer Coupler
When installing the trailer coupler, make sure the truck or car hitch mounted to the tractor is attached to the trailer ball with an appropriate amount of force. If it is not mounted properly then you can damage the trailer ball and damage the counter as well, both of which would render the trailer coupler useless. The trailer ball mounts to the hitch and is secured with the trailer coupler, and the hitch ball is mounted to the frame of the vehicle, usually with bolts and stainless steel washers. Most couplers are eight to nine inches long; however, you can get creative with the lengths.
If you’re considering a trailer coupler for your next pickup trip, you should always check and double check with local laws and regulations regarding trailer weights and trailer length in your area. Often, if you don’t have a trailer bar hitch, the laws require that you use safety chains on your trailer to ensure the trailer doesn’t tip over. However, there are states and provinces where you may use the trailer coupler without chains, provided the coupler meets certain requirements (usually described in the fine print). Regardless of whether you have a chain drive or not, it’s always a good idea to use safety chains while driving in regions where they are legal, just to be safe.