Different Types of Trailer Couplers for Bumper Pull/Rear Receiver Hitches
When towing a trailer it is important to recognize the different types of trailer couplers so that you can make sure that the hitch you are using is suited for that trailer. Currently, there are four different types of couplers used on trailers in regards to heavy duty towing. Below are the types of couplers and a description of each.
Pintle Loop, Lunette Eye, or Lunette Ring: These three names refer to a loop shape used on the front of heavy equipment trailers. Typically used for heavy duty towing. A trailer with a pintle loop is simple and easy to use. Attaching the trailer to the hitch is done by lowering the pintle loop over the pintle hook and closing the clamp at the top of the hitch, holding the loop in place. Pintle loops are constructed of solid steel and are much thicker than ball couplers, meaning their weight capacity can be as high as 50 tons. For the heaviest of towing, a pintle loop is truly the only option.
2 5/16" ball coupler: For use with a 2 5/16" hitch ball. A 2 5/16" coupler is also for heavy duty towing of about 6,000lbs to 36,000lbs, typically below what a pintle loop would be used for. A 2 5/16" ball coupler will be labeled as such on the coupler, located at the front of the trailer. This is for use with a 2 5/16" ball only. Many heavy duty trailers sold on the consumer market use this coupler due to it's wide spead popularity. And it's safety and comfort over a pintle loop, which can be jarring while towing. Simply lowering the coupler onto the 2 5/16" ball attached to the trailer hitch and clamping down the top latch is all it takes to attach it to a hitch.
2" ball coupler: For use with a 2" hitch ball. A 2" coupler is used on light to medium towing from about 2,000lbs to 12,000lbs. A 2" coupler will again be labeled as such on the top of the coupler. The 2" coupler is the most widely used coupler, as most trailers fit into this weight category. Simply lowering the coupler onto the 2" ball attached to the trailer hitch and clamping down the top latch is all it takes to attach it to a hitch.
1 7/8" ball coupler: For use with a 1 7/8" ball. The 1 7/8" coupler is used for light towing, such as jetski trailers and small utility trailers. These couplers are used for no more than 3,500lbs of trailer weight. Many trailers with 1 7/8" couplers can be towed by more ordinary passenger vehicles, such as minivans and crossovers. While the 1 7/8" coupler is becoming phased out and replaced with 2" couplers, some small trailers still do use the 1 7/8" coupler.
With a versatile adjustable ball mount hitch, each type of trailer can be connected and towed with ease. Each has their own benefits and work well for their given purpose, however making sure that the hitch being used matches the coupler on the front of a trailer is a must in order to keep you and others safe on the road.