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towing a trailer

What You Need to Know Before Towing a Trailer

Before towing a trailer, there are a few requirements you will have to meet. If overlooked, you risk putting the drivers around you in danger. Here is what you need to know before towing a trailer.

What is required to tow a trailer?

There are a few parts and items necessary before towing a trailer. You can order these parts online or find them at a local dealer.


The lighting on your main vehicle is not bright enough to accommodate the trailer behind you. Bearing that in mind, you will need to install some lighting on your trailer that will work to alert others of your vehicle.

Proper lighting is a legal requirement in most states. As a universal rule, every state requires tail lights and license plate lights to be installed on the back of your trailer. On top of that, most states also require brake lights, turn signals, and reflectors. These all depend on where you live, so make sure that you research your area’s laws regarding trailer towing.

A Trailer Hitch

Investing in the right trailer hitch is imperative if you want everything to go according to plan. The last thing you want to happen on the road is for your trailer to disconnect from your vehicle. Should this happen, many people’s lives will be put in danger. Finding a trailer hitch that is durable, easy to use, and reliable should be your first priority!

Safety Chains

On the off chance that your trailer hitch fails, then you should have a backup plan in place. Safety chains are required by law in most states; however, it is a good idea to install them regardless of legality. They cross over the hitch in the shape of an x and connect the trailer to the main vehicle. Safety chains are not a replacement for a trailer hitch, but they can save your vehicle should something go wrong.

What size trailer can you tow?

Before attaching your vehicle to your trailer, you need to figure out its towing capacity. It is important to note that your vehicle’s carrying capacity and towing capacity are drastically different. Carrying capacity refers to how much you can store in the vehicle, whereas towing capacity is the amount of weight that can be dragged behind the vehicle.

If you are unsure as to what your vehicle’s towing capacity is, then you have a few options. Consulting the internet, a professional, or the company that you bought it from should all provide you with a satisfactory answer. With that being said, once you figure out your vehicle’s towing capacity, you should follow the 80/20 rule.

What is the 80/20 rule for towing?

The 80/20 rule is a safety measure that RV owners across the world follow. Essentially it states that you should never tow above 80% of your vehicle’s capacity. You may be tempted to push your vehicle to its limit; however, doing so puts it at risk of damage. While yes, a vehicle should be able to manage its towing capacity, that is only when it is under perfect conditions. Outside factors such as weather, time, and deterioration can all lower your vehicle’s towing capacity. As such, the 80/20 rule exists to stop accidents from occurring.

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Gen-Y Hitch exists to better the lives of our customers, dealers, vendors, employees, and the automotive industry. We will always put our customers’ needs ahead of our own. Contact us today, and let us help you!

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GEN-Y Hitch Limited Lifetime Warranty

This Limited Lifetime Warranty covers defects in the materials or workmanship of All GEN-Y manufactured products and is limited to the repair or replacement of the product by GEN-Y Hitch. The decision as to whether the solution is replacement or repair shall be at GEN-Y Hitch’s sole determination. This Limited Lifetime Warranty is provided only to the original purchaser and applies only to the original installation.


All rubber components for TORSION-FLEX Hitches are assured for 5 years from the date the unit was purchased.

Click HERE to purchase a TORSION-FLEX Lifetime Warranty  

This Limited Lifetime Warranty Warranty is expressly IN LIEU of any other express warranty and is further IN LIEU of any implied warranty, including, but not limited to, any implied WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR PARTICULAR PURPOSE except as may otherwise be required by applicable Federal or State law at the time the hitch was manufactured.

This Limited Lifetime Warranty does not cover the following:

  • normal wear and tear 
  • the finish on the product  →  wear around the shank of the hitch, the ball mount & the pintle saddle is inevitable and should be expected with normal use of the hitch due to metal on metal contact from trailer couplers / lunette rings
  • replacement of the product by any person or entity other than GEN-Y Hitch
  • any consequential or incidental damages including, but not limited to: commercial loss, loss of time, loss or damage to personal property, lodging, meals or other related travel costs or any other incidental or consequential damages arising out of the use of the product, the inability to use the product or for any other reasonable delay in performance under this Lifetime Warranty
  • service or labor charges for:
    • installing the product 
    • removing the product
    • returning the product to GEN-Y Hitch or replacing the product by anyone other than GEN-Y Hitch
    • damages caused by abuse, neglect, misuse, misapplication, overloading or improper installation, improper maintenance, repair, negligence or acts of God
    • alteration of the product in any way other than by GEN-Y Hitch
    • failure to utilize the product in compliance with it’s User Manual
    • failure of any product to which the GEN-Y product was attached

GEN-Y Hitch shall not be held responsible for any or all “compatible parts or products” being used or being utilized for towing with or around a GEN-Y Hitch product. GEN-Y Hitch products shall never be altered in any circumstance or for any reason and will void any warranties if done so.

Governing Law and Jurisdiction

This Limited Lifetime Warranty gives you specific legals right, and you may also have other rights which vary from state to state. The laws applicable to any litigation, dispute, mediation, arbitration, or any claim whatsoever arising from the sale, purchase, or use of the product shall be the laws of the State of Indiana, without regard to rules pertaining to conflicts of law. The exclusive jurisdiction for deciding any claims, demands or causes of action relating in any way, from the sale, purchase, or use of the product shall be with the courts of the Circuit or Superior Courts of Elkhart County, Indiana.

Changes in the Design of and/or Improvements to GEN-Y Hitch products and substitution of parts or components

GEN-Y Hitch reserves the unrestricted right at any time and from time to time to make changes in the design of and/or improvements upon GEN-Y Hitch products without thereby imposing any obligation upon itself to make corresponding changes or improvements in or upon GEN-Y Hitch products already manufactured. GEN-Y Hitch further reserves the right to substitute parts or components of substantially equal quality in any warranty service required by the operation of this Limited Warranty.

If your GEN-Y product was involved in an accident, do not continue to tow with it. There may be structural damage to the hitch that you cannot see that could result in product failure