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Do You Need A Trailer Hitch For Uhaul? What If You Don’t Have One?

Are you planning to rent a trailer from U-Haul for moving, and do you want to know if you need to have a trailer hitch? You’ve come to the right place, for we have researched this question, and we have the answer for you.

A trailer hitch is required to use the rented trailer from U-Haul.

Let’s talk more about things that you will need to connect a U-Haul trailer to your vehicle in the succeeding sections. Additionally, learn how to connect a U-Haul to your vehicle below.

Read on!

Renting A U-Haul

Moving homes can be one of the most stressful activities that most people must go through in their adult life. Planning for the move can take a lot of time that you need to squeeze into your busy schedule. This leads to physical and mental stress.

And that is not the only source of stress.

U-Haul moving van garage and parking lot in Santa Maria, California. U-Haul company offers moving and storage solutions.

You also need to save enough money to rent movers or do it yourself. There will be a period when you will need to pay for the rent of two houses or pay the rent of one house at the same time that you’re paying the mortgage of the other.

And when you’re finally ready to move, the packing also brings physical, mental, and even emotional stress.

Fortunately, you can rent a cargo trailer that you can use to move your things to your new home. U-Haul simplifies the process of transporting your things by letting you move them yourself to make sure everything arrives at your new home unscathed.

What do you need to connect a trailer to your car?

Car's hook for trailer designs.


You don’t have to worry about the cargo trailer part of your move because U-Haul will take care of that.

If you have a well-maintained vehicle that can tow the cargo trailer, you don’t need to worry about that too.

U-Haul sells and installs the equipment to make it simpler for you to connect your vehicle to the cargo trailer that you will rent.

What you need to worry about is how to connect U-Haul’s cargo trailer and your vehicle. Here are the things that you will need to tow.

Hitch Receiver

A hitch receiver or a receiver hitch is a metal frame that you bolt on the frame of your vehicle. One end of the receiver has the hitch receiver and the holes where you connect the safety chains.

Once you install the receiver, the only thing that you will see at the back of your car is the square pipe where you connect a ball mount. The rest of the receiver will blend with your vehicle’s frame.

CURT Class 3 Trailer Hitch Receiver is available on Amazon through this link.

Ball Mount

woman couple a trailer (i.s., hooked) into a ball-type tow hitch


The ball mount or the ball hitch is where you connect the ball.

One end of the ball mount is the shank. The shank has a hole in the middle where you can connect the ball. The other end is the square shaft that you slide into the hitch receiver.

There are ball mounts that have an adjustable height. These ball mounts have a vertical metal block that has several holes. You can install the ball on any of the holes to adjust its height.

The size of the ball must match the size of the trailer’s coupler.

Loaded ball mounts have a welded ball. You cannot remove the ball from a loaded ball0 mount. If you need a different ball diameter, you will have to buy a new ball mount.

CURT Trailer Ball Mount is available on Amazon through this link.

Pin And Clip

The ball mount and hitch receiver have holes that go through their thickness.

You need to insert a pin into the hole to secure the connection between the ball mount and the hitch receiver.

The pin is usually a thick cylindrical metal rod with a small hole. After you insert the pin, you insert the pin to keep the two in place. The clip, on the other hand, is responsible for keeping the pin in place.

Instead of plain cylindrical metal, some designs use a bolt and nut. The bolt design is more secure because you have a nut that secures the pin in place. You then install the clip to keep the bolt in place.

Some clips have a tether to prevent you from losing them after you remove them from the pin.

eVerHITCH Hitch Pin Bolt with Clip is available on Amazon through this link.

Trailer Hitch Ball

A trailer ball (a.k.a. tow ball or trailer ball) is the ball-shaped attachment that connects the trailer and your hitch. The ball design allows the trailer to turn with your vehicle, making it easier to maneuver both.

The type and size of the ball should match the size and type of the ball mount. Moreover, the size of the ball should match the size of the coupler on the trailer.

U-Haul’s cargo trailers use a specific ball size depending on the capacity of the trailer. Ball sizes have capacities that should match the capacity of the trailer. Check the ball size of the U-Haul trailer coupler that you plan to rent and match that size with the ball that you will use.

CURT 40003 Chrome Trailer Hitch Ball is available on Amazon through this link.

Safety Chain

A safety chain is an emergency connection for your trailer and vehicle in case the primary connection fails. A safety chain can be made of heavy-duty chains or cables that you connect to your vehicle and trailer.

Connecting the safety chain should be in a cross pattern so that the crossed chains will catch the trailer should the primary connection fails. Ideally, the cross area should be under the coupler.

The chains should not be too loose so that they don’t rub against the surface of the road. Additionally, they should not be too tight because that will prevent your trailer from making full turns.

Wiring Harness

This is probably the most challenging to install among the equipment that you need to tow your U-Haul if your vehicle does not come with one from the factory. Most modern trucks have the wiring harness connector ready near the rear of the truck bed.

If your vehicle doesn’t have a wiring harness built into it, you need to get one that is made for the model of your vehicle.

The wiring harness provides power to the signal lights on the cargo trailer. It also synchronizes the activation of the signal lights. Moreover, if the U-Haul cargo trailer has its own brakes, the wiring harness will also activate that whenever you activate the brakes on your vehicle.

CURT Vehicle-Side 4-Pin Trailer Wiring Harness is available on Amazon through this link.

How to connect your vehicle to a U-Haul trailer?

U-Haul trailer attached to Ford F-150 pickup truck with cars in traffic relocating moving from North Carolina to Virginia. - Do You Need A Trailer Hitch For Uhaul? What If You Don't Have One?

Once you have all the equipment that you need to connect your vehicle to your U-Haul trailer, you need to know how to connect the two, so you can start towing.

It is best to connect the trailer to your vehicle while it is still empty so that it will be lighter. It will be easier to maneuver the trailer and connect it to your vehicle while empty.

This guide assumes that you have matching sizes for the ball and coupler. It also assumes that the hitch is securely installed on the frame of your vehicle and that your vehicle can tow the trailer after you fill it with your things.

Preparing Your Vehicle

  1. Park your vehicle on level ground close to your U-Haul trailer. Align the hitch of your vehicle to the trailer.
  2. Activate the parking brakes.
  3. Place the gear shifter in Park(P).
  4. Insert the ball mount into the receiver.
  5. Secure the ball mount with the pin, then secure the pin with the clip.
  6. Install the ball on the ball mount.
    • If you have a ball mount with an adjustable height, match the height with the height of the trailer’s coupler.

Preparing The Trailer

  1. Set U-Haul’s trailer on level ground.
  2. U-Haul’s trailers have a coupler that you can loosen with a knob. Loosen the knob completely.
  3. Prepare the safety chain and connect them to the trailer. Secure the connection.

Connecting The Trailer And Your Vehicle

  1. Lift the trailer and pull it towards your vehicle. Position the coupler over the ball.
  2. Insert the ball into the coupler. The trailer’s coupler should completely engulf the hitch ball.
  3. Push the bottom of the coupler upward. This will engage the locking spring of the trailer’s coupler.
  4. Press the small lever in front of the knob with your thumb.
  5. Tighten the knob to secure the coupler on the hitch ball. Tightening the knob locks the connection between the trailer’s coupler and your vehicle’s hitch ball.
  6. Push the trailer backward to get rid of any slack.
  7. Tighten the knob further.

Connecting The Safety Chains And Cable

  1. Position the chains in an X pattern.
  2. Insert the chain into the hitch structure and feed it.
  3. Hook the end of the chain into one of the links, then secure the hook.
    • Make sure that the chains are not too loose and that they don’t rub on the ground.
  1. Connect the wiring harness of the trailer to the vehicle.
  2. Check the lights and brakes on the trailer.


man couple a trailer into a ball-type tow hitch

Connecting a U-Haul trailer to your car is similar to how you would connect any regular trailer to your vehicle. Thus, you’d need the same equipment to complete the connection.

If you found this article interesting, why not check the two articles below too:

Can You Flat Tow A Hummer H2 Or H3?

Can The Ford E-Transit Tow?