Thursday, May 8, 2008

Trailer Hitches 101 - A Guide To Towing

Attaching a trailer hitch to your car, van or SUV enables you to tow all kinds of loads. However, it’s not as simple as just fitting any old tow bar to your vehicle. Which type of trailer hitch you should use depends on the towing capacity of your vehicle and it would be unsafe to attempt to haul a heavier load. It is important to refer to your vehicle owner’s manual for information before fitting a towing hitch.

Then you must make sure you use the correct class of trailer hitch for the weight you intend to pull. Class 1 hitches can haul up to 2,000lbs, where as at the other end of the scale, Class 5 hitches can have a weight capacity of over 10,000lbs.

As a general guide, ball hitches are one of the most common types of trailer hitch and can easily be fitted to cars, SUVs and trucks. They have a ball that attaches to the socket of the trailer and are able to haul a variety of loads.

Heavy duty trailer hitches are required for heavier loads, such as hauling horse boxes, agricultural or industrial equipment. Gooseneck hitches use a ball mount, but are mounted on a central position on the underside of a truckbed, for increased stability and more even weight distribution. They are not suitable for use on cars.

Fifth wheel hitches are also fastened to the truckbed. This type of trailer hitch is mounted on a steel plate and becomes a permanent feature of the truckbed. Some fifth wheel trailer hitches require sliders for safer and smoother maneuvers. They have varying weight capacities, depending on the vehicle.

If you buy a trailer hitch, providing it is compatible with your vehicle and with a suitable towing capacity, it should be easy to install in around 30 minutes and be of lots of use for many years to come.

This tonneau cover was designed and built to fit your specific make, model and year pickup truck. Made in the USA by a man “with a working mans PHD”

Truck Covers USA boasts this retractable tonneau cover to have the smallest canister on the market sizing in at 8”x 8”.They say that this truck bed cover has double- walled panels and can support over 500 pounds. That’s a whopping quarter ton plus.

The American roll is tension driven and has stop and lock points at every 12 inches which comes in handy when carrying different loads. It has a textured black powder coat finish which is very tough and durable.

Dirt is kept out of the side rails and canister with the aid of high quality automotive grade wool and brushes. This is where some retractable tonneau covers have a problem.

This is a clamp on tonneau cover with a minimum drilling of holes for the drain tubes of the canister as is for other retractable tonneau covers. They say it can be installed within 2 hours. From what I read it can be any where from a half hour to three and a half hours. Truck covers USA designed and manufactured the clamps themselves especially for this cover. This cover is backed by a 2 year warranty which is a real plus for a retractable tonneau cover. I must say, this is a nice looking tonneau cover.

People who have installed this cover said they have done it quite easily. It only takes a few common tools. You may need some help lifting the canister into place but after that the rest should be a breeze. If you have a bed liner you will probably have to make some cuts in the liner where the clamps need to go and again at the tailgate where the lock of the tonneau cover ends up. No big problem though. If you open and close the cover a lot you may find having to unlock the cover a bit of a pain. This cover locks automatically. It’s great for a fifth wheel. A quite of few people have commented on how strong the cover is.

As is with other retractable tonneau covers you may get slight leakage with a lot of water. I must say that this has to be my favorite manual retractable tonneau cover. Lets just go over some of the good points. It will save you gas - it will deter thieves by keeping things out of sight out of mind not to mention the added locking system which is one of the better locks on tonneau covers today – the American roll will allow you to use your truck bed for tall loads without removing the cover – Easy installation – the cover will stop every twelve inches to accommodate your load - It comes with a 2 year warranty.

Now some of the negative points. May have slight leakage in heavy rain – You need to unlock the cover every time you use it – If you have a bed liner you may have to cut small sections of it for the clamps.

Now you decide if the American Roll tonneau cover is the cover you want for your truck bed and to protect your belongings.

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