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How To Keep Trailer Hitch From Rattling

Trailers are a great addition to your vehicle, especially if you use them for camping or hauling. But one thing that can be annoying is if you hear and feel that the trailer hitch is rattling. After extensively researching this, we can help you prevent your trailer hitch from rattling.

You can prevent your trailer hitch from rattling by using a hitch clamp. You would typically place the clamp on your hitch and tighten it, removing the rattling sound and feeling complete.

It is essential for a driver not to be distracted on the road to avoid accidents, and if these types of annoyance bother you, you must take immediate action. To learn more about vehicle hitches and accessories, keep reading below. 

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Hitch and ball on the back of an SUV, How To Keep Trailer Hitch From Rattling

What To Do If Your Trailer Hitch Is Rattling

Fixing a rattling hitch is simple; you'll need a clamp. A hitch clamp is a device that you install onto your hitch for it to stay in place. Typically a hitch clamp has three parts: the U-bolt, the plate, and some knots.

The rattling of the trailer hitch can be very distracting for drivers, especially if the vehicle you own is a unibody since the rattling sound gets enhanced into the interior. A hitch clamp seems a simple solution to remove rattling, but it is very effective.

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

Note that there could be different kinds of hitch clamps, but the two most common ones are the hitch clamp with one bolt and the one with the U-bolt. Also, you need to remember what size you need and check whether or not the hitch will accept the clamp (whether any protruding parts are located in the hitch area).

Check out this MaxxHaul anti-rattle stabilizer hitch clamp on Amazon.

How To Install Hitch Clamp

Hitch and ball on the back of an SUV

Installing a hitch clamp is pretty straightforward. Since hitch clamps are a device consisting of few components, anyone can easily install them properly. This device can give you a better driving experience and even provide added protection for your hitch.

Step 1

Get the hitch clamp, and identify what kind it is: whether it has one bolt or two and if it has a U-bolt. You'll have to do this since installing it would require different methods.

Step 2

Time to install the hitch clamp.

Detatchachable U-bolt Clamp

If you have a hitch clamp with a detachable U-bolt (this will typically have two knots holding it), you have to:

  • disassemble it,
  • place the U-bolt on your hitch,
  • place the plate under the U-bolt and hitch,
  • and then tighten everything with the two knots.

Fixed Hitch Clamp

If you have a fixed hitch clamp (no detachable U-bolt), you'll have to slide it into the hitch before locking the receiver. Once you have connected the receiver with the hitch clamp onto your car, you'll notice that it is still rattling. To finish the installation, you must tighten the knot at the bottom of the hitch clam.

Tightening the knot will make sure that the whole hitch won't rattle. Make sure that when you install the hitch clamp, you lock the entire hitch in place before tightening the hitch clamp. Also, for clamps with a U-bolt, ensure that the plate's lip faces upward and away from the vehicle.

Step 3

The last step is to make sure that everything is in order. You can shake or tug at your hitch to ensure that nothing is loose and does not rattle anymore. If everything is in order, you should not hear and feel any more rattling from your vehicle hitch.

You can check out this video if you need a visual representation of how to install a hitch clamp properly:

Why Is My Hitch Rattling

2" trailer ball hitch mounted on the back of a vehicle

The main reason your hitch rattles when you drive is the gaps between the receiver and the hitch. Your hitch will start to rattle if the hitch does not sit flush inside the receiver.

A rattling hitch is also common if you use adapters to use a different-size hitch. Since these adapters are only sometimes perfectly flush with your current hitch, they will start to rattle when you start driving.

You can fix this by getting a hitch that has a perfect fitment or using a hitch clamp. Nothing must be distracting you while driving, and a rattling hitch can get loud, especially if you're on a bumpy road.

What Other Accessories Can You Get For Your Tow Hitch

Bicycle carrier with two bicycles on the trailer hitch of a Subaru Outback

Hitch clamps are not the only helpful accessory you can install onto your hitch; there are a lot of other accessories that you might find beneficial. Below are some of the most desired tow hitch accessories.

Hitch Covers

Hitch covers are an excellent accessory to have on your hitch. When you are not towing anything, you can see a hole sitting at the back of your vehicle; this might be unappealing to you. With a hitch cover, you can plug that hole up.

It will not only cover up the receiver's hole, making it more presentable, but it can also prevent any dirt and rust built up. There are a lot of styles to choose from, like the American flag and car brands, or if you don't want anything flashy, you can get a plain cover.

Check out this BougeRV 2-inch trailer hitch cover on Amazon.

Hitch Ball Mounts

Ball mounts for your hitch are a great accessory because this will give the vehicle extra versatility since you can tow a trailer that needs a ball mount. Ball mounts are easy to install since this type of mount goes into your receiver like a standard hitch.

Remember to get the right size and height since every vehicle will have different recommended specs for towing safely. Attaching a trailer outside of the recommended specifications can cause imbalance and could be dangerous for the driver.

Check out this CURT trailer hitch mount on Amazon.

Hitch Adapters

Hitch adapters help you use accessories different from your current hitch size. Hitch adapters are handy since you don't have to get a whole other accessory. All you have to do is find the right size to fit your accessory and hitch.

A hitch adapter will typically be longer since it will include an extension. Having a bunch of these with different sizes can save you the trouble of replacing an accessory, but instead, use an adapter to make the accessory work as intended.

One thing to note is that many of these adapters may not be flush, so you could experience rattling while driving; you can fix this by installing a hitch clamp.

Check out the MaxxHaul hitch adapter on Amazon.

Hitch Cargo Carriers

Hitch cargo carriers are great for people who need extra storage space and don't necessarily need to tow a trailer with them. A hitch cargo carrier is an accessory you attach to your hitch receiver.

Once the mount is in place, you can install a storage compartment. You can use this mount to carry a toolbox or bikes if you have the proper mounts. This mount also stays clear of the car's aerodynamics, which means that even if there is a storage box or other items, you won't have that much drag since it is usually below trunk and roof height.

Ensure you check what you can mount on the cargo carrier to avoid buying ones with the wrong dimensions. But the most common ones you'll find are the ones that are similar to a short basket. In short, a hitch cargo carrier acts as a second trunk.

Check out this MaxxHaul hitch cargo carrier at Amazon.

Hitch Pins And Clip

Hitch clips are an accessory that adds extra protection to your hitch and the trailer you are pulling. The proper way to install a hitch clip is to place it on the main hitch's pin, ensuring that it will not slide off the hitch when driving.

It is straightforward to install this accessory. To install these clips, you'll want to ensure that the main pin holding the hitch is in place (the bent part is on the driver's side). If your main pin is in place, slide the clip onto the main pin from the passenger's side. Once the clip is in the middle of the main pin, you have completed the installation.

Check out the CURT 21500 trailer hitch pin and clip on Amazon.

Closing

A rattling hitch can be distracting for many people, so installing a hitch clam is best to eliminate it. Hitch clams are straightforward to install, so anyone should have no problem installing them.

Your hitch could be rattling for a couple of reasons, but the most common reason is that the hitch is not flush with the receiver. Installing a hitch clamp will completely remove the rattling of your hitch.

For more automotive topics and tips, check out the following posts: 

Are Bigger Tires Better For Trailers?

15 Best Travel Trailers Under 4,000 Pounds