Towing 101: Types of Truck and Trailer Hitches

Trailer Hitches

Vehicles have the tendency to break down when you least expect them to. When this happens, you need to seek the services of a towing company. Towing trucks use hitches in order to tow broken down vehicles.

There are various types of truck and trailer hitches available within the market and at first; it might seem a little hard to select the hitch that is ideal for your car.

However, the hitch that you end up using is selected based on the vehicle, which needs to be towed. A faulty hitch can lead to serious road accidents and therefore is a priority. The various kinds of hitches include:

The Receiver Hitch

The Receiver hitch is the most commonly used hitch. It mounts the tow vehicles frame. There is agapin for insertion of cable of the car that needs towing. This type of hitchcustomizable, which means that thereis a unique design, which fits different types of cars. There are five classes of receiver hitches.

Bumper Hitches

Technically, the bumper hitch is another type of receiver hitch; however, not all of fit in the five classes of receiver hitches.

Some of them are for applications that are more specialized and the Bumper Hitch is one of them.

A bumper hitch is a receiver type of hitch that gets attached to the vehicles bumper. A disadvantage of this type of hitch is that you need to take the weight of the bumper rather than the car. If you have a SUV or a pickup then we suggest you opt for a bumper hitch.

Front Mount Hitches

Do you live in a region where there is a lot of snowfall? Then we suggest that you go for a front mount hitch.

Pickup trucks and SUVs have this type of hitch attached to them. Front mount hitches allow owners to attach snowplows to the front of the vehicle. They help in maintaining control of your trailer making it easier for you to park in tight spots.

5th Wheel Hitches

A 5th wheel hitch mounts into beds of pickup trucks over. Sometimes, it mounts in front of axle. It has the capacity to handle 16000 to 25000 lbs. The 5th wheel hitch has a pivot which absorbs any kind of bumps in the road making it ideal for driving over long distances.

If you are a snowbird looking to move South during the winters or have a car that needs to be towed, get in touch with Badger Hitch LLC. We offer the best towing fifth wheel hitches at affordable prices.

Why you should Buy your Hitch from Us?

Why You Should Buy Hitch From US

There are a number of hitch suppliers out there but a few are as passionate as us.

Here is what gives our hitches an edge over others:

Our Hitches are of the best quality

Badger Hitch is not your standard assembly line type of hitch company.  Every hitch we make is hand made and tested prior to shipping.  We do use an outside company to laser cut some of the components because of the accuracy of laser cutting plus we do not have the laser cutting equipment.  All other parts we cut from raw stock we purchase from a steel supplier.  One of the benefits a small company is that if we find a better way to make our hitch, we can implement that change quickly.

Our hitches are custom-made

In our early days of manufacturing our customers would make suggestions to improve the hitch and we would make changes during a hitch run.  A larger company would need several months to digest the change and may or may not make a change.  We believe if one customer would like something different to make the hitch work better for them, we will make it happen – even down to the color of the hitch.

We do not have robots doing our welding; we have humans doing our welding.  I believe in giving people a job to earn money, and if possible those people will be veterans.  I know in the long run it is cheaper to hire robots than to hire humans, but life is not all about money.  I didn’t start Badger Hitch to make a living; I have been retired from my HVAC career for over 20 years.

We genuinely care

I just want to make a superior suspension hitch that my customers can afford. I’ll help them in any way I can and I hope they find a new friend in me.  It is always best if my customer can come to our place to have a hitch installed and spend the night (we have a site w/elect).  That way we can spend time together. My wife enjoys showing off our little town to the ladies and doing some shopping. We have a great bakery in town too!

We have been known to do other things on our customer’s rig too.  The last time we had a couple stay with us, we ended up installing a set of shocks on his RV and found a bad brake magnet on one of the axles so we fixed that too.

I thought if would be interesting to show just how much work goes into the making of a hitch, so I took the time to list everything we do from the beginning to the end in making a hitch.

When the time comes to purchase a new hitch be sure to check out Badger Hitch because we will doing everything in our power to make you satisfied with your purchase; we prove that with our 30 month buy back program.

Creative Uses Of Trailer

If you own a boat, you can use trailer to transport your boat to and from the water source. You’ll have a personal dockyard.

Creative Uses of Trailer

Badger Hitch: Your Source for the Best Deals on 5th Wheel Hitches!

Badger Hitch Your Source for the Best Deals on 5th Wheel Hitches!

The 5th wheel RV has many advantages over a travel trailer. With a 5th wheel you enjoy a spacious living area, some of them come are equipped with luxuries (like a hot tub) and 5th wheels are much smoother on the road too. To ensure that your ride is as smooth as possible, you need to invest in the right 5th wheel hitch.

There are a variety of 5th wheel hitches out there for you to choose from and if you don’t have much experience buying hitches, picking one can be difficult. The hitches differ in brand, design and cost.

When looking at the hitches you need to keep the following in mind:

Capacity:

You cannot purchase a hitch without knowing the weight of your loaded vehicle. The weight will determine the strength and design of the hitch you should be looking for.

Mounting style:

Some 5th wheel hitches come with a mount under the bed of the box in addition to the rail system that all 5th wheel hitches have. Some hitches allow a cleaner installation by using custom brackets but the majority of hitches use the universal mounting style.

Single pivot VS Double pivot movement:

When you’re going down a bumpy road with potholes, the head of the 5th wheel takes most of the impact. In order to allow the 5th wheel to absorb the impact, all 5th wheels hitches consist of front-to-back movement and some come with a side-to-side movement too (double pivot).

Single VS Crossbed:

If you have a short-box pickup truck, you should purchase a 5th wheel hitch with a slider. With a short-box pickup truck where you can’t shift the king pin position, you risk your 5th wheel RV from pushing into the box of your truck during sharp turns. A slider lets you shift your king pin so there is no contact made between the RV and the window of the truck when the driver makes a sharp turn.

We at Badger Hitch LLC are experts in 5th wheel hitches. We have a collection of sturdy, excellently crafted, air cell 5th wheel hitches that will make the best fit for your 5th wheel RV. We understand the significance of a smooth ride after you’ve spent a good amount of money on your 5th wheel. We guarantee our well-designed 5th wheel hitches will provide you with the stability you need for a smooth ride on all types of roads.

Get in touch with us today so we can hook you up with the most suitable hitch.

Gooseneck Hitch VS Fifth Wheel Hitch: Which One Do You Need?

Gooseneck Hitch-Vs-5th Wheel Hitch

Need a hitch for towing purposes but confused about which one is best for your specific needs? Two popular options are the fifth wheel hitch and the gooseneck hitch. Let us help you understand the distinctions between the two, and figure out which one is best for you!

Gooseneck Hitch-Vs-5th Wheel Hitch-01

 

Fifth Wheel Hitch

The fifth wheel hitches are reminiscent of the ones you’ll find on semi-trucks, and are quite the heavy duty towing equipment. They are capable of pulling and supporting a significant amount of weight, with a weight capacity of between 16,000 to 30,000 pounds (GTW).

They are designed to be mounted onto the truck bed, involving rails that are bolted to the bed permanently. This type of hitch is particularly ideal for towing campers and RVs; people are allowed to ride in trailers that are supported by a fifth wheel hitch.

Gooseneck Hitch

This type of hitch is essentially a metal plate, and makes use of a ball and coupler for the purposes of making a trailer and vehicle connection. This gooseneck hitch is mounted under or on the bed of the truck box.

The trailer ball is mounted not on the bumper, but rather, in the middle of the truck bed. The presence of the trailer ball also varies—some gooseneck hitches have the detachable option for different sizes of balls, while other models have a welded, fixed ball on the mounting plate.

Which One You Need

When it comes to deciding which one of the two types of hitches you require, you need to take into consideration a number of factors.

If you’re looking to use a hitch on a vehicle that will be carrying people, then your best bet is a fifth wheel hitch. Particularly for an RV or camping trailer, this type of hitch is the preferred one. A gooseneck hitch is not ideal for trailers carrying passengers.

Gooseneck Hitch-Vs-5th Wheel Hitch

The towing capacity of your vehicle is also an essential part of this decision. Whether you’re looking into a gooseneck hitch or a fifth wheel hitch, you will need either a ¾ ton pickup, a 1 ton, or an even larger full-size truck in order to be able to use either hitch in a safe manner. For bigger trailers or campers, fifth wheel hitch is preferred, as it has a pivot design for easy maneuvering and greater stability to offer.

If you intend on using the space in your truck box for the purposes of hauling, then gooseneck hitch is the way to go—it generally does not occupy too much space in your truck box.

At Badger Hitch, LLC we provide you with the best in towing gooseneck hitches, as well as entirely affordable fifth wheel hitches! We help you meet all your towing needs, and that too at great prices. Contact us at for any 608-205-2155 queries.

Badger Hitch Shenanigans with Claude and Liz Mongeon!

Claude and Liz Mongeon-2

This past Tuesday Claude and Liz Mongeon from Canada stopped at our place on their home from a Carriage rally in Louisiana to have a new Badger Hitch installed. We spent considerable time going over the different hitches and settled on our model ACC17 air cell hitch.

Claude and Liz Mongeon

Claude’s old hitch was a Curt which uses the slotted rail mounting system. We did find the rails somewhat out of square so we corrected that and his new hitch fell right in place. We took his trailer for a ride on I-90 because this road is not so good. Claude could feel the difference right away so we returned to the shop and Claude and Liz stayed the night in our camp ground.

Claude and Liz Mongeon-2

That night we showed them a new restaurant and enjoyed  our new friendship. Claude had mentioned he had a set of shocks from Joy Rider he was going to install when he got home. After talking about it he decided to stay another day and we would install them. He discovered a bad brake on one axle so we replaced the backing plate assembly while we had it apart.

On Thursday they headed out for home with a stop at Big Foot in White Pigeon Michigan. I received a call from Claude on Friday letting me know how much they enjoyed the smooth ride home. They also enjoyed our Slingshot, but we ran out of time for them to take it for a ride.

Do you want it or do you need it

Do you want it or do you need it

In my previous vocation (HVAC) I learned a lesson from my customers in 1988.  People will usually purchase what they want before purchasing what they need.  1988 was an extremely hot spring and summer.  The heat started in early April and didn’t end until the beginning of September.  Usually by July 4th the air conditioning sales drops off considerably.  This year the sales continued thru August.  In installing the air conditioner several times we found the furnace was very old and inefficient and needed to be replaced.  Most of the time the customers elected not to replace the furnace.  Price was not the issue, the reason was, “it’s been working fine”. Even when I explained to them the cost of the furnace would be recuperated in less then 3 years, they still didn’t make the purchase.  I soon realized the air conditioner was something they really didn’t need but really wanted.  The furnace was something they really needed but they didn’t want it.
I found the same mentality when I first started selling our hitches.  I would be talking to a couple and the question always came up about how the contents in the trailer traveled.  Most of the time (when the people were truthful) they agreed they had to re-arrange the inside of the trailer when they stopped.  Those who admitted they had a problem would usually purchase a hitch.  Those who would not admit they had a problem, rarely  purchased a hitch.  I have had some men (later on)  even tell me they had a problem but the wife did not want to spend the money.  I have come to realize this kind of reaction is just human nature and not all potential customers will purchase a hitch, and that is okay.  On the other hand, most of the time the customer who purchased a hitch would tell me how much they enjoyed the ride with their new hitch.
It’s always nice to sell a product, but I get my greatest satisfaction from talking to people and educating them on the hitch and the benefits it gives the customers and answering their questions, so I welcome any and all questions you may have.

 

Your Guide To Buying The Right Hitch For Your Towing Truck

Your Hitch Buying Guide

When purchasing a hitch for your towing trucks, you will have to consider several factors. Some of them are listed here. Take a look at them to make an informed decision! Read more

Suspension Hitch–Air Cells or Air Springs?

Suspension Hitch-Air Cells or Air Springs

Air Springs used w/suspension hitch
When the first air suspension hitch was introduced it used air springs which have long been used to improve the ride in trucks, trailers, and equipment.  They are a very efficient method to get good results given there are so many different configurations of air springs.  There is virtually nothing that can not be suspended on air springs.  However, there are some draw backs.  In order for the air spring to work properly it must be installed correctly, have the correct amount of inflation and most importantly, the load must be able to move when the carrying vehicle hits the bump.  Being able to move, the energy that comes from the bump is then dissipated.  In commercial applications it is usually not an issue to have the necessary equipment and items that is needed such as  an air compressor, controls, tubing, fittings, and an electrical source for the proper installation for an air spring suspension.  However, for vehicles without an air compressor it is an added expense to install one on the truck.  Another advantage to air springs is that they are readily available in many configurations.  One of the largest suppliers is Air Lift Co.  The industry standard warranty for air springs is only one year as the rubber in time will deteriorate.

Air Cell used w/air hitch
The use of closed cell polyurethane air cells came to the market place about 10-12 years ago as another method for carrying constant loads, e.g. vehicle with a snow plow. In 2008 after having been out of the suspension hitch manufacturing business for 8 years I came across this new product called an Air Cell. After reading the description on its use I called the company and explained to them I wanted to use the cell for a suspension hitch for 5th wheel trailers. They wouldn’t say one way or the other whether it would work, but they agreed to send me a few to play around with. A few months later I had made my first prototype suspension hitch using the closed cell urethane air cells. Keep in mind, my goal was to fabricate an new style of hitch that would weigh less, cost less, and give the trailer an equal ride to the air spring hitch I had been making since 1999. In that time we had just started using the hitch in pickup trucks and we were having a difficult time getting the hitch to give the pickup a smooth ride. It made the truck ride very bouncy (is there such a word). When I sold the company we still had not accomplished the task of a smooth ride in the truck.

On the virgin trial run I knew I had stumbled onto something great. I was towing a 40′ trailer with a 1 ton dully truck. I was on an interstate highway that was very old and not in even fair condition. What amazed me from the get go was the ride in the truck. I literally did not know the trailer was behind me, it was so smooth. From that point on I never made another hitch using air springs. Unlike air springs there are some limitations with the air cell. The load can not exceed the capacity of the air cells, unlike an air spring, you can add more air. It takes more air cells to carry the same load. Load designing is more critical for the air cells, however, when starting from scratch the design can be accomplished to fit the air cells. They do not need the air compressor, tubing, fittings, electrical connection, etc. They also carry a life time warranty.

During our observance of how the new hitch worked we found surprisingly new differences between an air cell suspension hitch and an air spring suspension hitch. For example, the rate of speed at which we hit the “bump” with the air spring hitch was directly related to the amount of energy transferred to the tow vehicle. However, with the air cell hitch the rate of speed at which we hit the bump made little difference in the ride of the truck. We found that with the air springs, the greater the speed, the greater the energy, the greater the movement of the trailer. Another discovery we made was with the air spring air hitch when we encountered several bumps in a row the ride was for more jolting in the truck. With the use of the air cells very little difference in the ride quality of the truck was noticed with the rate of speed and also little difference when several bumps in a row were impacted and the trailer movement was much less than with the air springs. In conclusion; with the air springs the trailer must move to dissipate the energy from the bump. When the bump is encountered, the air springs expand and move the trailer in an upward motion until the energy has dissipated, and then it returns to the home position. If another bump is encountered before the trailer has returned to its home position the energy hits the air spring and now the air spring must stop the downward movement of the trailer before it can reverse its direction to again dissipate the energy. The air spring hitch will not react quick enough to have the energy dissipated so the energy is transferred into the truck frame and results in a bucking action in the truck.

With an air cell suspension hitch we found that with the construction style of the air cells they actually absorb the energy when a bump is encountered so the trailer does not have to move to dissipate it. That is why speed has little effect on the ride as does hitting several bumps in a row. While I prefer air cells over air springs for an energy absorbing hitch, air springs seems to work very well in the axle suspension for trailers.

What makes a great hitch?

What makes a great hitch

Every hitch has two components; a frame and a coupler

The coupler on all hitches are not all the same, but all couplers do the same job. It is the coupler’s job to keep the trailer coupled to the towing vehicle. We believe simple is safe. The design of our coupler has only 10 components to it, some couplers have over 20 parts to make it operate.

Our “LokJaw” Coupler is second to none that is available in the RV industry today. We started with a clean sheet of paper when we designed this coupler. During the design process we eliminated several parts that needed to be welded. Instead we incorporated these parts in the laser cutting process and was able to form the frame of the coupler and eliminate the welding of parts. Next we wanted to eliminate “fixturing” which always leaves opportunity for error during the welding process. Instead we designed into the parts a “key” for each part allowing for every hitch to be self fixturing, thus eliminating the welding fixtures used for the welding process. What this means is that every hitch is exactly the same, as each hitch is self fixturing.

Another improvement we made was the means of attaching the coupler to the hitch frame. In our prior design it was necessary to remove 2 pins that was secured by 2 bolts to the coupler. With our new design the new coupler can be removed and reinstalled by the easy removal of 2 keyed pins without the need of any tools. Last but not least this coupler is a 4-way articulating coupler and self centering on the hitch frame. With our design there are only 4 moving parts to lock the coupler to the kingpin of your trailer.

When the kingpin makes contact with the jaws they will wrap around the kingpin and closing the jaws around the kingpin allowing the large steel lock block to spring into position between the front of the jaws, thus preventing the jaws opening. The only way for the jaws to open is for the steel locking block to manually be removed from the jaws. This is a sure proof way of locking your trailer and truck together for towing. This locking process is all automatic. Once the jaws are wrapped around the kingpin there is a stainless steel compression spring in the end of the lock block that pushes the lock block into place in the jaws. While this action is automatic, we ALWAYS want you to check to see the locking has taken place.

We also have available added security systems. Look at the right side of the coupler frame and you will notice a red LED light. If your hitch is not in the secured position this red light will illuminate warning you that your hitch is not secured to your truck. Also, we can add a second security in that we can activate the trailer brakes and illuminate the light until your hitch is in the secure traveling mode. Once your hitch is secured and safe to travel the light will so out and the trailer brakes will release. With every hitch we also in a padlock for further security. As you can see, we do not ever want you to drop your trailer while traveling.

The frame is the second part of a hitch. You will notice our hitch is different than a standard or air suspension hitch in that we have a main beam in which the coupler sits on and it has 2 springs allowing the coupler to tilt side to side. Under the beam are the 4 air cells that allow the coupler to move, absorbing the bump energy from the road. The beam rides up and down on 1 inch shafts located on either side of the frame. The shafts are connected to the frame sides by 1 inch steel pillow blocks. The last part of our hitch frame is the adjustability for desired height. The holes you see in the side of the frame allows the lower cell support to be located in 4 different positions allowing for different ride heights. In the sides of the frame are the legs that mount the hitch to the truck. These legs are welded in place so all you have to do is set the hitch in the rails in your truck in install the 4 locking pins supplied with the hitch and you are ready to travel.