Normal trailer hitches generally aren’t fit for anything but the open road, which is why specialized off road hitches are the choice of tool for most people who are planning on hitting the great outdoors with their truck or SUV while hauling. We’ve gathered together 4 of the best off road hitches on the market. Let’s look at them first then we’ll help you pick out which one is perfect for your needs.
CURT 48007 Receiver Mount Combination Ball and Pintle Hook
The Curt 48007 is a great way to make sure you never have to switch out your hitch again. It’s a combination ball/pintle hitch that allows you to get the mobility of a pintle when you’re doing serious off-roading while also allowing you to use the ball if you just need to haul a regular trailer down the highway.
It’s rated for an impressive 8 tons with the pintle and 5 tons with the ball (see full specs), so it’s heavy duty enough for nearly anyone’s needs. It’s among the best off road trailer hitches around.
Smittybilt 29312B Receiver Hitch D-Ring
D-rings have a definite place in the off-roading tool box. While they’re not as commonly used for actually hauling things, they make a strong and ideal connection for getting work done with your vehicle and make a perfect anchor point for recovery if you get your wheels stuck somewhere.
This is a tough, durable piece of metal but you’ll have to find a 5/8” hitch pin somewhere else in order to get the most out of it. If you’re looking for a solid, strong attachment point you can easily put on your vehicle, the Smittybilt 29312B is an ideal solution.
Curt 45005 3-in-1 ATV Ball Mount
For lightweight off-road applications, it’s hard to beat a 3-in-1 adapter. They’re ideal for hauling ATVs to the point you’re setting out from, moving equipment over moderately rough terrain, or any other use which will have you off road but not exactly rock climbing.
This one is durable and well built, like all of Curt’s hitches, and you’ll quickly find it to be pretty much invaluable since you can attach nearly anything to it without having to change it out. This should be on anyone’s list of the best off road hitches.
CURT 48005 Receiver Mount Pintle Hook
Pintle hooks are probably the best option for serious off road action and a dedicated pintle with a receiver is exactly what many of us are looking for. This one is rated for more weight than you’ll ever need to haul off road and allows for a surprising range of motion while remaining extraordinarily solid.
This is the best offroad trailer option (see full specs) if you’re going to be way off-road and hauling things. The vertical and horizontal motion is extremely impressive and the solid construction makes it worth far more than the cost.
Deciding on the Best Off Road Hitch
There are a wide variety of different hitch types available for off road applications, and this can make things difficult for someone who isn’t sure which one to go with.
If you just want to be able to haul off road with minimal difficulty, a pintle hitch is definitely the way to go. These durable, mobile hitches have been used by the military for a long time precisely because they’re agile and easy to use.
Instead of grabbing one that will need to be attached to a separate receiver, it’s better to get them as one piece. The lack of bolts means a lessened chance of failure.
There is an issue with pintles that some people find to be intolerable, however. Unless you carefully match the attachment points then they have a tendency to make a whole lot of noise. But for the most part, they’re the strongest and most agile type of hitch you’ll be able to find for off road applications.
D-Ring hitches are rather niche in their usage. While they can be attached to some types of trailer with an adapter, their main use for most people is as an attachment point for recovery. If you’re into the sport of off-roading and not necessarily the utility of it all, then you’re in good hands.
You can quickly and easily attach a winch to one of these in order to get pulled out of wherever you get stuck. They make a much better attachment point than trying to clip around the frame or a bumper with the hook from a winch.
They’re also handy for applications where you want to apply the power from your vehicle to something in the ground, such as ripping out stumps or posts.
That said, they’re not really ideal for most forms of hauling, but in a pinch they can definitely be used for a small trailer provided you’re using the right adapter.
3-in-1 hitches are great for working in areas where you’ll need to be off road. They’re ideal for moving smaller equipment and trailers around with minimal difficulty. These are more of a “work horse” variant to be used in areas where you’ll need to hit fields or other mild off-road terrain since they mostly lack the swivel you’ll get from a pintle or D-ring.
If you’re just looking to make work more convenient in an area where you won’t be on paved roads, however, they make for the best off road hitch.
No matter what your reasons for going off-road, there’s a perfect hitch out there just waiting for you to find it. The right hitch can make your life a whole lot easier, and for rough off roading it’s an absolute must that you invest in the top off road hitch you can find for the safety of both you and your equipment. No need to hesitate: one of the above options is sure to be the perfect solution to keep you going, no matter where you may be headed.