First, you’ll want to check the coupler or kingpin for fatigue, any damage, cracks, or missing parts before you start hauling. Then, test the lock mechanism for complete and correct latching to ensure that the trailer doesn’t become unhooked once in motion.  

For ball type couplers, you’ll want to make sure the coupler and ball size match. And, if you are using a bumper hitch type coupler, Everlite recommends you put a bolt or similar device through the latch mechanism when hitching the trailer for your safety.  

For more information on how to hook up a trailer hitch, visit our Owner’s Manual page and refer to the Proper Hitching Techniques section. 

Whether you are hitching a trailer to a truck or hitching a trailer to a car, the whole process is typically a one-person job, but having more hands doesn’t hurt. Here are the basics of trailer hitch hook ups: 

  1. Back the tow vehicle as close to the trailer as possible. This is more efficient and safer than pulling the open trailer to the back of the tow vehicle. 
  2. Release the coupler locking device.
  3. Raise the trailer’s front end, then place the coupler directly over the hitch ball. Then, lower it until it is seated on the hitch ball and covering it completely.
  4. Check beneath the coupling to make sure the ball clamp is below the ball and not riding on top of it.
  5. Next, latch the coupler to the hitch ball, making sure it’s locked into place by lifting up the trailer tongue. If the coupler comes loose from the hitch ball, unlatch and start again at step 3. 
  6. Ensure that the jack is fully raised.
  7. If you’re using a weight distribution hitch with spring bars, follow the steps above. Then, attach the spring bar chain to your open trailer and tighten it until both trailer and towing vehicle are in normal, level position.
  8. If your trailer utilizes a surge brake breakaway cable or chain, simply attach the cable or chain to your tow vehicle and allow enough slack for a tight turning radius. 
  9. Attach the safety chains.
  10. Connect your trailer wiring harness to the towing vehicle’s lighting system and check for proper operation.