So, you bought the big SUV and paid for the towing package. Your rig can now tow your boat, your snowmobiles, your PWC and your RV. But most of the time, it’s sitting there empty.
Surely, you’ve seen others carrying bikes or cargo with their hitches; maybe you do too. But what else can you do with that 2-inch square hole? Here’s a dozen-plus cool uses for your tow-vehicle hitch.
Forget bikes, pop in a ski/snowboard carrier and head to the slopes. Why put them on the roof where they’re hard to reach? Here’s a good start: $219; yakima.com/hitchski.
What a super-cool accessory for picnicking, tailgating or camping. Plug it in, go to the game, and unfold it for an instant party. $190; ezhitchtable.com/home
For the vertically challenged, this plug-in hitch step can help with loading luggage, or even washing the roof of your SUV or truck. $60; weathertech.com
When you’re not boating, grab your kayaks and head to the backwaters for some relaxing sightseeing. Carry them with your hitch by using a hitch extender, like the Darby Extend-A-Truck. Tip: Protect your roof with foam cushioning, and don’t forget to attach a red flag to the ends to alert following motorists to your rig’s extended length. $130; darbyindustries.com
Party King Grills MVP-5412, a gas grill for family cookouts on your tailgate at the marina or launch ramp (well, near the launch ramp), is a great tailgating accessory. $830; partykinggrills.com
If your vehicle doubles as a work truck, you’ll need one of these:
— Toolbox Carrier, $73; deezee.com/product/dz97906-hitch-mounted-carrier
— Vise, $150; wiltontools.com/us/en/s/atv-all-terrain-vise
— Hoist, $265; northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200672544
When you’re not towing, you can lock small valuables (keys, etc.) inside your receiver, secured and covered from the elements and prying hands. $60; hitchsafe.com
If you have nice bikes, spend some coin on a solid rack that’s stable, handles the bikes’ weight, and is fully lockable. We admire the Saris 4-Bike Bike Porter. $370; saris.com/catalog/racks/hitch
Rest and Relaxation
Hitch-mounted hammock chairs, like those from Hammaka, store inside your truck bed and deploy quickly for some roadside rest or while waiting for your always-late fishing buddy to arrive. $293; amazon.com
Winter driving means slipping and sliding. With a Saltdogg SUV Tailgate Salt Spreader in your hitch, you can make your driveway safer. $500; northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_669120
Front-Mounted Hitches and Accessories
For the ultimate in versatility, a front-mounted hitch gives you and your tow vehicle an easier way to move your boat or other trailers (it’s much easier to “front” them around than back them up). A front hitch also gives you another receiver to mount accessories. Front-mounted hitches are available online or at any hitch retailer. You can check for your vehicle’s fit at draw-tite.com. Here are a few front-mounted hitch toys:
Fishing Rod/Cooler Rack
Popular in seaside communities, these are often locally manufactured from aluminum to resist saltwater corrosion. The Anglers Fish-N-Mate 6 Rod Holder is available at major retailers. $190; cabelas.com
While not a professional’s plow, a hitch-mounted blade like the Meyer Home Plow 23150 will get the job done for a smaller driveway or access road. $1,350; snowplowsdirect.com
For off-roading or just to have handy in case you need to pull someone, or yourself, out of a ditch, these winch plates offer a near universal fit. $93; draw-tite.com.