By on April 12, 2019

accessories for your trailer hitch

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.


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.

(Read More…)

By on November 13, 2018

Image: Ford

We’ve told you already that the upcoming Ford Ranger, which hits dealer lots in January, stands to become an endlessly customizable midsize pickup. Reports of options galore cropped up well ahead of the truck’s release.

Now, there’s more news on that front. While the usual factory add-ons will be part of any would-be Ranger owner’s buying decision, Ford doesn’t want those customers to look at another catalogue or website once the vehicle’s sitting in their driveway. The automaker wants buyers to get all of their outdoorsy aftermarket fittings from the dealer. (Read More…)

By on October 16, 2018

2019 Ford Ranger, Image: Ford

The 2019 Ford Ranger isn’t on sale yet, but the automaker’s already busy gearing up — literally— to ensure it squeezes every possible dime from it. It’s a practice Ford is especially skilled at. Don’t forget that this is the company that can spruce up a $35,000 F-150 SuperCrew and sell it as a luxury model costing more than twice as much to completely satisfied customers — and that’s before anyone taps into the pickup’s comprehensive accessories list.

While its midsize offering was obviously destined to be less expensive than its F-Series stablemates, Ford also hasn’t been quite as aggressive with its pricing between trims. The Ranger Lariat isn’t anywhere near twice the price of the base LT.  But once you start configuring (Ford’s been letting customers do this online for a couple months now), you’ll notice that the Ranger is subject to a sizable number of desirable equipment packages. And they’re only the tip of the iceberg, if this new accessories leak is to be believed.  (Read More…)

By on August 26, 2018

The benign mental illness that is pet ownership leaves those affected by it perpetually concerned with the well-being of non-human animals. Creatures are fed, groomed, and spoken to in pleasant tones as frequently as possible to ensure their existence is as stress free and safe as possible. Knowing that pets cannot reside in your lap while you’re driving — no matter how much you’d like for them to — Land Rover figures they can still ride in the lap of luxury and is offering a series of dog-focused accessories.

This is a one-two punch from the brand, as it allows for Land Rover to sell marked-up items to dog owners (which account for roughly half its customers) while also including those lovable little scamps in their marketing materials. Subaru has been working the dog angle for some time now and it has resulted in some of the most viral car-ads of the 21st century while simultaneously helping to solidify its friendly persona.

Clearly aware of this, Land Rover created a one-minute advertisement featuring the products and encouraged viewers to share it. In the clip, two dogs arrive in the back of a Discovery and attempt to impress a third dog they’d both like to have sex with. Don’t worry, the only action they show are of the new products being used.  (Read More…)

By on February 12, 2018

Image: Nissan

Until now, every time a rolling wall of steel pulled up alongside you at a stoplight, blocking out nearly half of your peripheral vision, the culprit was almost always behind the wheel of a Detroit Three truck — one hoisted aloft by an aftermarket lift kit. Such kits allow pickups to mount the curb outside the 7-Eleven without endangering their fragile underbellies, while affording drivers a bird’s-eye view of surrounding environs (just not the vehicles immediately adjacent.)

Given the popularity of the Ford F-Series, General Motors’ Silverado and Sierra, and Ram’s brawny lineup, suspension lifts are generally the domain of American models. Well, Nissan wants to change this perception. In its bid to make the Titan and Titan XD pickups “one of the guys,” the Japanese automaker will offer a hands-off, bolt-on factory lift kit, ideally paired with the 5.0-liter Cummins diesel V8 for the purposes of rolling coal.*

*Neither Nissan nor TTAC endorses this obnoxious practice. Local laws may apply. (Read More…)

By on February 9, 2018

2019 Ram 1500

Most truck owners customize their rigs to some degree – witness the multimillion dollar aftermarket industry and the popularity of SEMA. Not to mention the existence of Truck Nutz.

Ram, after refurbishing the 1500 pickup in an effort to quash its competition like beetles under its tires, wants in on some of that high profit action. Today, at the Chicago Auto Show, the company unveiled a passel of Mopar gear for its snazzy new truck.

(Read More…)

By on February 8, 2018

Image: FCA

While not a new or even recently refreshed model, the Dodge Durango is one of those vehicles that keeps its corporate parent happy through perpetually buoyant sales.

January saw the three-row midsize SUV’s sales rise 9 percent, year over year. Despite the current generation bowing near the start of the decade, and with its last refresh now four years in the past, Durango sales in 2017 rose 104 units over 2016. Along with the Challenger, it was a shining star in a lineup that saw its volume plunge 31 percent between this January and last.

For 2018, Dodge understandably wants to spread the sales net as wide as possible. A such, buyers of hotter Durangos must now ask themselves a question: “Can I pull off this look?” (Read More…)

By on February 7, 2018

Hyundai Veloster N

BMW has M, Mercedes-Benz has AMG, Cadillac has V, Lexus has F, Volkswagen and Honda share R, and Hyundai now has ownership of the letter N for its performance sub-brand.

The second-generation Hyundai Veloster, bowing for the 2019 model year, gains a hot, 275-horsepower N variant later this year, but it won’t be the only Hyundai model with that letter affixed to its sheetmetal. While the automaker hopes to use the Veloster N’s athleticism to brawn up the lineup’s image, don’t expect any additional N models just yet.

Expect N Sport. (Read More…)

By on September 12, 2017

1958 Chevrolet continental kit, Image: hstowe/Bigstock

So, yesterday afternoon TTAC author and moderator Corey Lewis decided to scorch our retinas by posting a photo of a very unique Mazda Miata on Slack. A very bad Miata, too.

The image originated from quaint Saint-Jérôme, Quebec, a northern bedroom community of Montreal. In it (photo rights require us to paint you a grim picture), the red NA Miata sported a laundry list of aftermarket add-ons — accessories the owner no doubt felt made his or her Miata the gosh darn hottest Miata around. Like New York’s hottest club, this thing had it all. Fender skirts. Chrome luggage rack. Chrome wheel arch trim. Oh, and a completely nonfunctional continental kit, as all continental kits are these days.

It was a crime against Miatas.

Which leads to the question: what non-factory add-on isn’t a crime? (Read More…)

By on March 22, 2017

hardtop-available-for-mx-5-cup-race-car-1024x554

Nor should they, really. Mazda’s MX-5 Miata already offers the option of an aluminum-and-steel overcast with its delightfully gimmicky and functional RF variant.

Still, past MX-5 owners often shelled out for a simple and attractive fiberglass top to accompany their factory cloth top. You’d often find it stashed in the garage next to the lawn mower. So popular were these aftermarket accessories, Mazda saw fit to offer customers the all-weather confidence and convenience of a retractable hardtop, starting in 2006. With the RF, it chose a different way of letting the sun shine in.

Well, there’s now a new removable top available to MX-5 owners, but you’ll never see it on the street. (Read More…)

By on November 23, 2016

Porsche 911 Soundbar, Image: Porsche Design

If one of your DIY car enthusiast friends built a home or office audio system from the muffler and exhaust pipes of their favorite car as both an acoustic and visual part, you’d probably think it was a clever idea — something like using an engine block for the base of a glass coffee table, only more practical.

What, then, to think of the $3,500 Porsche Design 911 Soundbar Bluetooth loudspeaker that incorporates an actual titanium rear silencer and twin chromed exhaust tips from a Porsche 911 GT3 in its subwoofer?

(Read More…)

By on June 16, 2012

It’s funny how a college professor goes from cool to angry in a split second.  Case in point: my first transportation design class at CCS.  People showed off their designs as per usual, but one day I opened my big mouth. I mentioned that a classmate’s rendering sported wheels that looked like the Star of David. He seemed completely clueless about what he did. But I just had to “keep it real.” Oh boy, was that ever a mistake!

A design school that caters to the big automakers, staffed with adjunct professors who work in the business…well, they know better than some punk design student.  My wrist was (kinda) slapped, and everyone was warned to not include religious symbolism in their products.  Because everyone in this business wants to sell their product to anyone with green money.  Nobody gives a crap as long as you can “splash the cash.”

Stop reading if you believe TTAC has no business discussing religion.

(Read More…)

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