Here is the proper RV towing equipment needed to safely tow a Travel Trailer

Camping World

First off, you want to make sure that your vehicle is able to pull a travel trailer. You want to check your user’s manual to see what the weight capacity of your vehicle is, or refer to these RV Tow Guides to find your capacity. In most states you are required to have a brake controller, Class III 2 inch Receiver, 7 way electric plug, and a ball to tow a travel trailer. These are the basic items, if you do not have these you will need to see if your vehicle is pre-wired. If it is you can purchase a plug and play brake controller.

What is a brake controller? 

A brake controller is a mechanism and you vehicle may or may not have. Some vehicles come pre-wired and so need to be wired throughout. This brake controller is necessary to stop the trailer with its brakes. This will prevent safety hazards of the trailer ramming into your truck while going down hill or if you come to a fast stop. You don’t want that happening!! It will also ease pressure off of your vehicles’ brakes and stress on the engine needing to completely stop two heavy loads. Even if it is not required in your state, you may want to consider a brake controller, to keep your vehicle in better condition. 

What is a Class III 2 inch Receiver?

This often comes on many vehicles, but they could be rated for different weights, which defines the class. The receiver is where the hitch goes into, then that holds the ball which connects to the trailer being pulled.

What is a 7-way electric plug?

This plug is usually located in the back of your vehicle, this will plug into the trailer and sends the signal to control the brakes on the trailer.

 Adjustable Drop Hitch 

An adjustable drop hitch is needed to slide into your reciever. All trailers are different and measure from the hitch to ground differently. Having an adjustable hitch will allow you to adjust it according to the height of the trailer. Another great feature is that if the trailer is smaller than you can switch your regular 2 5/16 ball to a 2″. With this you have many options in one!

What is a Ball and How do I know what size I will need?

The ball is what the trailer sits on. This is the actual item that carries the trailer. All these items are essential for safely towing on the road. The trailer determines what size ball it needs. That size is usually stamped into the hitch as displayed to the right.


New & improved Tekonsha Primus Brake Control gives you proportional trailer braking for up to 3 axles with easy Point and Go set-up.
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Trailer Valet Blackout Adjustable Drop Hitch with a reversible 2 inch and 2-5/16 inch Ball and a 0-6 inch Drop.
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7-Way Electric plug provides functions for left/right turn signals, taillight activation, ground, auxiliary, electric brake and backup lights. Includes instructions.
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The 2-5/16″ diameter ball features a convenient hex design which allows for a one-wrench tightening system when used with a Reese Interlock ball mount.
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Mandatory list for towing a trailer, In California:

  •  Class III Receiver
  •  Electric Brake Controller
  • 7-Way Electric Plug at rear bumper
  • Adjustable Drop Hitch 
  • RV Ball (Various Sizes)
    • 1-7/8-inch diameter
      • Light-duty towing
    • 2-inch diameter
      • Medium-duty towing
    • 2-5/16-inch diameter
      • Heavy-duty towing
    • 3-inch diameter
      • Gooseneck towing

Other Recommended items to make your towing experience easier:

  • Extended Mirrors
  • Sway Control Kit
  • Weight Distribution Hitch

Replace your OEM mirror with an Extendable Towing Mirror. No need to remove your tow mirror.
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A sway control unit is an inexpensive solution to the problem of a wandering trailer. The CURT #17200 Sway Control unit is designed to attach to your vehicle and trailer at the coupling point and counteract any lateral movement in your trailer, keeping your tow load straighter on the road and giving you more control over your vehicle.
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The ReCurve R3 weight distribution hitch distributes the weight of your trailer evenly across the axles of the tow vehicle and provides as much sway control as you choose.
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