How to Find the Best Hitch for Boat Towing

Updated: Aug 25, 2020

When customers contact us to find the best hitch for boat towing, there are several components we need to know before setting up their installation appointment. Here are a few factors we consider to determine the best hitch for your boat towing needs.

When finding the best hitch for boat towing, the two most important factors we need to know are:

  • Boat & Trailer Combined Weight

  • Vehicle Towing Capacity

All of the components must be able to handle more than the weight of towing that dream boat you have just purchased.

Gross Trailer Weight (GTW)

The weight of what you are towing is the first thing to consider when trying to determine the best hitch for your vehicle. Typically, you can find the exact weight for your boat model online or in the owner's manual. The boat weight will determine what trailer and hitch you will need to tow it properly. Here here are some average boat weights based on boat type from Boat Geeks.

The weight of the boat and the trailer is the Gross Trailer Weight (GTW). This is the maximum weight the trailer can tow along with the contents.

Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating (GCVWR)

Now that we know the gross weight that you need to tow, we determine if you have the right vehicle to handle the weight. Your GCVWR will determine how much weight your vehicle can safely handle with everything put together. This includes everything you are hauling - the family, coolers, boat anchor, etc. You can find your vehicle's towing capacity in the owner's manual or by using this online tool.

We cannot stress enough to check your vehicle towing capabilities before purchasing your dream boat. Trying to tow more than what your vehicle is rated for can cause very costly damage to your vehicle and boat.

Hitch Weight Class

Now that you have all weight factors considered, it's time to figure out the best hitch for the job. Trailer hitches are rated for different weight capacity ranges and are categorized by classes. Towing classes are one through five with Class I being the lowest capacity and Class V being the highest. Class III or IV are generally what is needed for towing most standard boats that are in the 3,500 - 4,500 pound range.

The majority of our customers are looking to tow a standard Pontoon or Ski Boat to enjoy the weekends on the lake with friends and family. Most Full-Size SUV and Pickup Trucks on the market have the adequate towing capacity to handle the job. Because of this, we tend to install Class III or IV Hitches that can handle towing boats with ease.

trailer hitch towing class table
Best Hitch for Boat Towing

Getting a hitch class that has more than enough capability to handle the job will save you time, money, and stress in the long run. Here's an example of a customer that had the right vehicle, but too low of class hitch to support what needed to be towed (luckily, no damage was done to the frame and we were able to get the customer back on the road!):

broken trailer hitch on sierra truck
Best Hitch for Boat Towing

Professional installation of your trailer hitch will ensure you are properly prepared to tow your boat on your first day on the water. Our team has been providing installations to Mooresville, NC and the surrounding Lake Norman area since 1999.

Ready to enjoy time with friends and family on the lake? Schedule your next installation today!