Off-Road Trailers Axles & Hitches
Most of us are familiar with some type of trailer – boat, RV, or small utility trailers. Off-road trailers can have similar parts, but many are off-road specific. Here is a run down of some of the different axles and hitches you’ll see, and their pros and cons. AXLES Most trailers will come with either leaf spring or torsion axles. The leaf spring is something we are all familiar with. Leaf springs provide a steady ride on pavement, are the most affordable, and they are repairable. Torsion axles are bolted to the trailer frame, improving ground clearance, and act as an additional cross member reducing flex on rough roads. They are not repairable, only replaceable, but on the plus side require only the standard wheel bearing maintenance.
HITCHES Ball Hitch
Pros – easy to back up, quieter than a pintle. Cons – can pop off under twisting loads.
Pros – They are easier to connect than a ball hitch and typically stronger, but be careful as you still shouldn’t exceed a load above your vehicle's tow rating.
Cons – noisy when driving off-road, very challenging to back up.
Lock ‘N’ Roll Articulating Hitches
Pros - They securely lock the vehicle to the trailer without the noise of a pintle hitch and are easier to back up; much greater articulation than a ball or pintle making it great for the odd angles we encounter towing off-road.
Cons - it can bind if you jackknife the trailer backing up. locknroll.com
Pros - The Max Coupler provides secure, quiet connection to your off-road trailer and it is easy to back-up. There is no binding when you jackknife the trailer that you see in the Lock ‘n Roll.
Cons - it is exacting to connect trailer and vehicle.
Max Coupler photo Extreme Tear Drops
Pintle Hitch from Curt
Leaf Sprung Axle photo Rockwell American
Torsion Axle photo Rockwell American
Max Coupler photo Knight Offroad Trailers
Lock'n Roll photo Lock'n Roll