The Best Hitch Accessories for Your Car: Getting Hitched

Top 9 Best Hitch Accessories

the best hitch accessories for your car getting hitched

Trailer hitches are awesome. They allow you to, y’know, hitch a trailer to the back of your ride as you head off with a camper or couple of dirt bikes in tow. During those occasions, it seems to be a very logical addition to a car or truck.

But what about the other 364 days of the year in which you’re not towing anything at all? Even if you do tow something every single Saturday and Sunday—shout out to all those weekend warriors—there are still more than a couple of hundred days in which that square receiver is back there doing nothing. Let’s put it to work.

Fair warning: Not every piece of kit shown in this list will adapt to all trailer hitch receivers on the market. Class III hitches are typically installed on trucks and SUVs and bear a 2-inch receiver, which is to say the square hole on the hitch into which the drawbar is inserted measures 2” x 2”. Other sizes are 1.25” x 1.25” on a smaller Class II hitch, for example. Check yer application before splaying out cash on these or other accessories.

With that out of the way, let’s check out a few items that creative-minded individuals have built to occupy that hitch receiver when it is idle.

Table of Contents

1. Editor’s Pick: Maxxhaul Hitch Mounted 2-Bike Rack

What is likely the most commonly purchased item on this list, the bicycle carrier you see here is designed to carry a pair of pedal bikes. Unlike a few others of its ilk, this thing can be tilted forward so users can access the cargo area of their vehicle without having to disassemble everything. Dual-arm carrier rack construction and adjustable mounting saddles allow for bicycles of a wide range of frame sizes and designs.

ALSO SEE: Buyer’s Guide: The Best Tonneau Covers for Your Truck

The unit weighs about fifteen pounds, not including bicycles. In the intervening couple of years since we first broached this subject, that is no longer a super-light figure. Real-world customers report a slight bit of wobble when fully assembled.

Pros

  • All-steel hitch adapter can be used on a variety of recievers

Cons

  • Not the lightest thing in the world

Bottom Line

  • Free up interior space for the first aid kit you'll need after falling off the bike

What is likely the most commonly purchased item on this list, the bicycle carrier you see here is designed to carry a pair of pedal bikes. Unlike a few others of its ilk, this thing can be tilted forward so users can access the cargo area of their vehicle without having to disassemble everything. Dual-arm carrier rack construction and adjustable mounting saddles allow for bicycles of a wide range of frame sizes and designs.

ALSO SEE: Buyer’s Guide: The Best Tonneau Covers for Your Truck

The unit weighs about fifteen pounds, not including bicycles. In the intervening couple of years since we first broached this subject, that is no longer a super-light figure. Real-world customers report a slight bit of wobble when fully assembled.

2. Useless But Fun: Bully Black Bull Series Hitch Step

Look, you don’t need this. Really – you don’t. This product is simply a C-shaped bit of rubber that sticks off the back of your vehicle as a supposed place on which to step. That’s what the rear bumper is for, especially the license plate area on pickup trucks. Oh yeah, there is an LED brake light embedded in the thing ... just like the one that already exists on your vehicle right from the factory.

But you know what? I’ve purchased many different seemingly useless accessories for my whips over the years and have enjoyed every single one of them. I’d like to think this bumper step would rank right up there with them. Made from heavy-gauge stainless steel with a high-impact, non-skid step pad, the lighted hitch cover provides access to your truck bed, roof racks, and in the case of an SUV, the rear cargo area. I can see it being very useful on a Jeep Wrangler with a roof rack, for example. And you have formidable protection should something sneak up and try to bash your rear bumper.

Pros

  • Allows for easy access to rooftop items, acts as an additional brake light

Cons

  • Your vehicle’s bumper does the exact same job

Bottom Line

  • Not the best spend of cash but fun stuff usually isn't

Look, you don’t need this. Really – you don’t. This product is simply a C-shaped bit of rubber that sticks off the back of your vehicle as a supposed place on which to step. That’s what the rear bumper is for, especially the license plate area on pickup trucks. Oh yeah, there is an LED brake light embedded in the thing ... just like the one that already exists on your vehicle right from the factory.

But you know what? I’ve purchased many different seemingly useless accessories for my whips over the years and have enjoyed every single one of them. I’d like to think this bumper step would rank right up there with them. Made from heavy-gauge stainless steel with a high-impact, non-skid step pad, the lighted hitch cover provides access to your truck bed, roof racks, and in the case of an SUV, the rear cargo area. I can see it being very useful on a Jeep Wrangler with a roof rack, for example. And you have formidable protection should something sneak up and try to bash your rear bumper.

3. Most Useful: MaxxHaul Hitch Mount Truck Bed Extender

There comes a time in every gearhead’s life when they realize the rig they’re driving doesn’t have a cargo area long enough to accept that great deal on lumber or the canoe you just bought on sale at Costco. That’s where an accessory like this comes in.

It essentially extends your truck bed or SUV cargo area for carrying longer payloads. Weighing about thirty five pounds, it can be jigsawed into a number of positions, allowing for the support of loads placed high on the pickup truck tailgate or low on the floor of an SUV. The works of it should be able to handle about 350 lbs, or the average weight of grilling meats your author drags home from the aforementioned Costco after every visit. Reflective tape on the rack in various locations keep you legal.

Pros

  • Properly support those long loads, adaptable to different needs

Cons

  • Will require a tie down or two

Bottom Line

  • Much more useful than the hitch step above

There comes a time in every gearhead’s life when they realize the rig they’re driving doesn’t have a cargo area long enough to accept that great deal on lumber or the canoe you just bought on sale at Costco. That’s where an accessory like this comes in.

It essentially extends your truck bed or SUV cargo area for carrying longer payloads. Weighing about thirty five pounds, it can be jigsawed into a number of positions, allowing for the support of loads placed high on the pickup truck tailgate or low on the floor of an SUV. The works of it should be able to handle about 350 lbs, or the average weight of grilling meats your author drags home from the aforementioned Costco after every visit. Reflective tape on the rack in various locations keep you legal.

4. Bolaxin Hitch Mount Flagpole Holder

Here's a product that a person can deploy for patriotic duty or showing allegiance at a football tailgate party. Though, now we've said that, this flagpole holder renders a tailgate unable to be lowered. Driving to the party, then.

ALSO SEE: Work That Body: The Best Dent Repair Kits for Your Car

Constructed of heavy duty steel and blasted with rust-resistant powder coating (meaning even Lions fans can use this in the dead of winter), it fits a standard 2-inch hitch receiver and widely suits all flagpoles with a diameter measuring between 1.6 and 2.3 inches.

Pros

  • Dead simple to install, you’ll be the most obvious fan at the barbecue

Cons

  • A skilled welder can make one for next to nothing with scrap steel

Bottom Line

  • 'Murica!

Here's a product that a person can deploy for patriotic duty or showing allegiance at a football tailgate party. Though, now we've said that, this flagpole holder renders a tailgate unable to be lowered. Driving to the party, then.

ALSO SEE: Work That Body: The Best Dent Repair Kits for Your Car

Constructed of heavy duty steel and blasted with rust-resistant powder coating (meaning even Lions fans can use this in the dead of winter), it fits a standard 2-inch hitch receiver and widely suits all flagpoles with a diameter measuring between 1.6 and 2.3 inches.

5. CargoLoc 2-in-1 Hitch Mount and Roof Top Cargo Carrier

Sometimes, all you need is an addition to the cargo area of your rig. Sure, rooftop cargo boxes are fine but they’re hard to get at, and do you even remember what happened the last time we drove under that low bridge on South Gregson Street? Exactly. A hitch-mounted cargo carrier might be just the ticket to storage bliss.

After saying all that, know this carrier can double as a rooftop unit. Just be careful at the 11'8"(+8") bridge, okay? type of carrier will easily accommodate square and rectangle items like Rubbermaid totes or moving boxes. The platform provided measures four feet by 19.5 inches, bigger than your author’s first apartment. A retaining rail stands 4.5 inches high and can be used to tie stuff down and help prevent the shifting of loads.

Pros

  • Frees up beaucoup space inside your vehicle, large platform

Cons

  • Doesn't fold

Bottom Line

  • Put your hitch to actual use

Sometimes, all you need is an addition to the cargo area of your rig. Sure, rooftop cargo boxes are fine but they’re hard to get at, and do you even remember what happened the last time we drove under that low bridge on South Gregson Street? Exactly. A hitch-mounted cargo carrier might be just the ticket to storage bliss.

After saying all that, know this carrier can double as a rooftop unit. Just be careful at the 11'8"(+8") bridge, okay? type of carrier will easily accommodate square and rectangle items like Rubbermaid totes or moving boxes. The platform provided measures four feet by 19.5 inches, bigger than your author’s first apartment. A retaining rail stands 4.5 inches high and can be used to tie stuff down and help prevent the shifting of loads.

6. PetSafe Happy Dog Hitch Step

Here’s one for the animal lovers in our audience – and if you don’t like doggos, then just get the hell on outta here. We can’t be friends. If you’re still reading, know that this 20 lb accessory plugs into your hitch receiver and folds out a couple of steps to help your canine friend navigate their way down to the ground from your ride’s cargo area.

Perfect for medium to large dogs, its fully extended stair dimensions are 20” x 18” x 12”, while individual step measurements are 10 inches deep by 18 inches wide with a vertical space of 8 inches between the two steps. Picture the ones which fold out from a camping trailer’s door area and you’ve got the general idea. The whole lot of it can be folded up when driving.

Pros

  • Helps doggos get in and out of your vehicle, traction pads help assure doggo doesn’t slip

Cons

  • Looks like a broken waffle maker when folded up

Bottom Line

  • A best friend for man's best friend

Here’s one for the animal lovers in our audience – and if you don’t like doggos, then just get the hell on outta here. We can’t be friends. If you’re still reading, know that this 20 lb accessory plugs into your hitch receiver and folds out a couple of steps to help your canine friend navigate their way down to the ground from your ride’s cargo area.

Perfect for medium to large dogs, its fully extended stair dimensions are 20” x 18” x 12”, while individual step measurements are 10 inches deep by 18 inches wide with a vertical space of 8 inches between the two steps. Picture the ones which fold out from a camping trailer’s door area and you’ve got the general idea. The whole lot of it can be folded up when driving.

7. TMS Heavy Duty Motorcycle / Dirt Bike Carrier

Using this type of hitch-mounted carrier will introduce a mahoosive amount of weight to the tail end of your vehicle, so make sure to use extreme caution when deploying this thing into action. Still, we see them on RVs and the like quite frequently, so they do have their place.

ALSO SEE: Flat, Busted: Best Portable Air Compressors and Tire Inflators

It features an anti-tilt locking device to prevent wobbling and includes tie-down sites on either side of the track for added security. It is designed to safely haul 500 pounds, though we'll not again about the weight distribution properties this adds to your vehicle. It is powder-coated black for rust prevention.

Pros

  • Gets the bike out of the bed of your truck

Cons

  • Requires a great deal of care (loading and moving)

Bottom Line

  • Useful but be careful

Using this type of hitch-mounted carrier will introduce a mahoosive amount of weight to the tail end of your vehicle, so make sure to use extreme caution when deploying this thing into action. Still, we see them on RVs and the like quite frequently, so they do have their place.

ALSO SEE: Flat, Busted: Best Portable Air Compressors and Tire Inflators

It features an anti-tilt locking device to prevent wobbling and includes tie-down sites on either side of the track for added security. It is designed to safely haul 500 pounds, though we'll not again about the weight distribution properties this adds to your vehicle. It is powder-coated black for rust prevention.

8. HitchSafe HS7000T Key Vault

For the love of all that’s holy, please be careful with this one. As a hitch mounted platform capable of carrying 300 lbs, its uses are vast but the potential for calamity if the unit is overloaded are best left to the imagination. At the very least, if you see someone trying to lift something really heavy with this thing, be sure to whip out your camera phone and post the video to social media. It’ll go viral in a second.

ALSO SEE: Turn Down For Watt: Best Portable Car Jump Starters

Hijinks aside, this is a unique and creative way to avoid a hernia. Lifting and swiveling a generator or heavy power washer into the bed of your truck or cargo area of your SUV will suddenly be a breeze with this thing mounted to your rig’s hitch receiver. The platform itself measures 36” x 21.5”, making it big enough for most household gear that’s too heavy to lift. It uses a crank hoist that’ll probably give you Popeye arms if used regularly. Hey, it’s cheaper than the gym.

Pros

  • Great way to load heavy items, decently sized platform

Cons

  • Hand crank, unit weighs 50 lbs.

Bottom Line

  • An easy way to load heavy items onto your trunk

For the love of all that’s holy, please be careful with this one. As a hitch mounted platform capable of carrying 300 lbs, its uses are vast but the potential for calamity if the unit is overloaded are best left to the imagination. At the very least, if you see someone trying to lift something really heavy with this thing, be sure to whip out your camera phone and post the video to social media. It’ll go viral in a second.

ALSO SEE: Turn Down For Watt: Best Portable Car Jump Starters

Hijinks aside, this is a unique and creative way to avoid a hernia. Lifting and swiveling a generator or heavy power washer into the bed of your truck or cargo area of your SUV will suddenly be a breeze with this thing mounted to your rig’s hitch receiver. The platform itself measures 36” x 21.5”, making it big enough for most household gear that’s too heavy to lift. It uses a crank hoist that’ll probably give you Popeye arms if used regularly. Hey, it’s cheaper than the gym.

FAQs

What can I attach to my hitch?

Your hitch can have as many accessories as you want and your budget allows. Nevertheless, some that are worth mentioning include:

Pickup truck bed hitch extender

Hitch step

LED work light pods

Key vault

…and the list is practically endless

With that said, you can go for the attachments and accessories that best suit your needs.

What accessories do I need to tow a trailer?

Although several accessories are available in the market and each has its use and significance, some of them are worth having to ensure safe, comfortable, and convenient towing. Following is a list of such gears that you may want to consider keeping handy:

Trailer Jack

A trailer jack is present near the coupler on the tongue and is cranked to lower or raise the trailer while loading and unloading.

Weight Distribution System

If the kit of your hitch didn’t come with one, you may want to buy and install a weight distribution system separately, especially if you plan to pull 3,500 lbs. or heavier load.

Cargo Carrier

A cargo carrier provides a flat deck that can hold cargo of up to 600 lbs. A cargo carrier can help you make your hitch a better piece of equipment even when you are not towing.

Hitch Tube Cover

Another important accessory that you may want to have is a tube cover that protects your hitch ball from grime and foreign dirt that might get deposited when you are driving but not towing.

Safety Chains

These work as a backup in situations when, for some reason, the hitch ball or coupler gets detached. With safety chains, the trailer remains connected, and you may avoid facing any mishaps.

Should I grease my hitch?

The precise question would be, should you grease the hitch ball. A short and quick answer is, yes, you should. To elaborate, although greasing the trailer hitch ball is not mandatory, it is strongly recommended that you do so because of the following reasons:

Prevention of the ball from rusting that may otherwise happen, especially if the hitch is left unused for a long time

Prevention from corrosion

Remarkably reducing (if not eliminating) the chances of heat build-up that could occur due to continuous friction while towing without proper greasing

Maintaining good health of the ball and ensuring that it lasts longer

Now that you know that it would be wise to grease your hitch balls, you are suggested to use a dry graphite lubricant from a reputed brand. This will ensure that the road dirt and other foreign debris don’t stick to the ball and cause any harm to it.

What is the strongest hitch?

When it comes to tongue and towing strength, the Super Hitch Outlaw series is preferred by many off-roading enthusiasts. Super Hitch offers three variants under its Outlaw franchise namely:

Super Hitch Hero 15K

This one has hardened reinforced hitch pin locations and uses double receivers that are vertically stacked. The hitch can tow up to 15K pounds and 1500 pounds with distribution and tongue weight respectively.

Super Hitch Original 20K

As the name suggests, Original 20K has the strength of tongue and distributed weights of up to 2,000 pounds and 20,000 pounds respectively. In addition, the capacity can be extended up to another 12,000 pounds with a 48” SuperTruss receiver extension that is sold separately.

Super Hitch Magnum 30K

With the tongue weight of up to 3,000 lbs., 30,000 lbs. pull weight distribution, and 2,500 lbs. and 20,000 lbs. tongue and pull weight carrying without using any extension respectively, Mangum 30K is the strongest hitch among all.

Note: Manufactured in the USA, Super Hitch Hero 15K, Original 20K, and Magnum 30K come with a lifetime warranty.

To answer your question, the strongest hitch that has received a decent number of positive reviews is Super Hitch Magnum 30K.

From time to time, TTAC will highlight automotive products we think may be of interest to our community. Plus, posts like this help to keep the lights on around here. Learn more about how this works.

(Editor’s note: This post is meant to both help you be an informed shopper for automotive products but also to pay for our ‘90s sedan shopping habits operating expenses. Some of you don’t find these posts fun, but they help pay for Junkyard Finds, Rare Rides, Piston Slaps, and whatever else. Thanks for reading.)

[Product images provided by the manufacturer.]

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2 of 6 comments
  • The second one, bumper step is not useless contrary to the authors perspective. It allows you to reach the roof rack on an SUV. It protects your painted rear bumper from parallel parking dings. For me this is the most important reason, I’ve had two of these get mangled in low-speed rear endings but they saved my bumper. Finally it has a fourth brake light for extra safety. Not useless in the right circumstances.

    • Scoutdude Scoutdude on Dec 06, 2020

      Yeah the step is far from useless. Great for SUVs and their narrow step and also good on pickups even with a step bumper as it is 6-8" lower. The useless one is the flag pole as it will beat up the flag pretty quickly at anything over parade speeds.

  • Kcflyer Kcflyer on Mar 02, 2022

    Alright TTAC . What's with all the recycled articles and comments lately?

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