Originally Posted by John McMillin
"Throw it out. Get something bigger. Hitch, ball mount, and ball shank size need to match each other. Get at least a class II. Overkill is the name of the game when towing. "
I respectfully disagree with this philosophy. You could say that about the car and the trailer, as well as the hitch. First, you think the Tiguan's not big enough; you need its big brother, the Toureg. Then you notice that your egg trailer is only half the vehicle's tow capacity. Time to get a bigger trailer, and (if you're made of money) you wind up pulling a 24' Airstream behind it.
Our trailers were originally designed to be pulled by the family car. It's about right-sizing and sufficiency, not "overkill."
It is not at all respectful to put words in my mouth and disagree with something I DID NOT SAY.
I did not say anything about the tow vehicle. I was very specific about the topic which was that the OP thought he had a Class I hitch which was a prime candidate for replacement. A Class I hitch would never be considered overkill.
I tow with a Volvo 240. It has a fantastic turn radius and is an amazing car. I pull three different trailers with it and it does a better job on these than my pickup in two of these cases. Years ago I routinely towed with a 48 HP Rabbit diesel. Small cars are ideal TV because it is a natural way to carry more. Unfortunately the Volvo can tow up to 15,000 lbs, so I have a dually for the big tows.
I do absolutely believe a heavier grade hitch mount, ball mount and ball are wise investments and cheap insurance for safe travels. A mechanical failure at the hitch ball could cause a lot of damage. Consider the various shank sizes of a 2" ball. Would you rather have a 3/4" shank, or an 1.25" shank? The cost difference is low. The strength difference is substantial as the cross sectional area is 2.77 times greater. What is better-- a hollow tube ball mount or a solid piece of steel? I'll take the bigger shank and driller file my ball mount to accept it.
I have a huge assortment of ball mounts, various drop heights ball sizes, ball mount sizes, also assure you I have tossed out all the weak stuff including one factory GM hitch rated for 12,000 pounds that I felt was not safe towing a trailer and load close to that weight
. My ball shanks fit the ball mount tightly and are torqued down secure with locknuts and drilled to accept cotter pins.
My chains attach to my hitch mount. Consider what happens if the hitch mount fails? A hitch rated for 17,000 lbs gives a more secure feeling than one rated for 2000 lbs. While your options are limited to your vehicle, I would always chose a higher rated hitch, ball and ball mount, for the peace of mind.
How do attach you chains? With hooks or enclosed threaded D-Rings. I use threaded D rings so the chain cannot fall
off or I use a large bolt captured by washers and a nut through much larger than needed chain--so it can't come off on its own.
Each of my vehicles has the highest rated hitch, ball mount, and ball I could find.
However you are right in one respect. Overkill is not the right word. I do not consider all this to be overkill. I consider it to be adequate.
For a trailering novice the best advice I could give would be to use overkill with regards to hitches.