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If you’ve got a trailer hitch, chances are you use it for towing. But that’s only a fraction of what you can actually do with it. In fact, some cars that aren’t rated to tow anything, such as the Infinity QX55, still have a hitch option. So whether your car can tow or not, a trailer hitch unlocks all sorts of capabilities you might find useful.

Bike Rack Mounted To Trailer Hitch
Bike Rack Mounted To Trailer Hitch | Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images

Fit your car with a bike rack or storage basket

For the adventurous family hitting the trails, or the large family packing the car for road trips, a bike rack or storage basket (respectively) is fantastic to have. The added luggage capacity of a cargo basket will come in handy more often than not, even if it makes backing into parking spots a little bit trickier. I know that, personally I could always use more cargo room, even though I drive a station wagon.

And while I’m no cyclist, for those who are, bike racks are critical so that you don’t have to stuff your wheels in the trunk or strap them on the roof. After all, roof racks are beyond valuable for cargo, strapping anything that won’t fit in your trunk (or your cargo basket) to the roof. Most cars can handle the added weight of a cargo basket or bike rack anyways unless you drive something small like a Mitsubishi Mirage.

Full-sized spare tire mounts for the worst-case scenario

Car With Flat Tire
Car With Flat Tire | Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

I have a full-sized spare tire hidden underneath my trunk, which is excellent because it doesn’t take up any extra space. However, not everyone is blessed with a large boot, and may only have a donut spare. Or worse, no spare at all.

If you don’t have a spare, for the love of all that is good, get one! Not only is knowing how to put a spare on a good life skill, but it’s much better to have a full-sized spare that’ll get you back on your way. After all, nobody likes being stranded at the side of the road, waiting for a tow. But beyond that, grab yourself a hitch-mounted tire rack that’ll secure that spare in place. You can find them on Amazon for a couple hundred bucks, but it’ll pay you back in time saved when you just want to hit the road again.

Camping accessories, such as grilles and toilets

For the outdoor adventurer, using a trailer hitch for things like grilles and toilets might actually make sense. Though all you really need to build your own Bumper Dumper is a toilet seat and a bucket, so maybe the trailer hitch toilet doesn’t make the most sense.

But with a trunk grille, you can take tailgating to a whole new level. Just screw in the propane and start cooking. The Forge 15 from HitchFire may be the perfect hitch-mounted grille, capable of pivoting out of the way so you can easily access your trunk. And with an 18-inch by 22-inch surface, you can make enough burgers for eight to 10 people.

Why stop at just camping grilles, when you can purchase a trailer-mounted camping tent? Like a hammock, it’ll swing around since it’s hanging off the ground. But it’ll keep you safe and off the ground every night.

With so many things you can do with a trailer hitch, it’s unfortunate you only get one of them. Paired with good trunk and roof racks, a trailer hitch can help turn any vehicle into the ultimate camping rig. So no matter what lifestyle you live, grab yourself a trailer hitch, even if you never tow anything.


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