Are Hitch Extenders Safe

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Last Updated on November 20, 2022

Hitch extenders are specialized accessories that help to reduce the leverage on your vehicle’s hitch by putting away a certain amount of weight it’s pulling. Extenders can be found in various lengths. Movement becomes easier when hitch extenders are used as the towing capacity and tongue weight reduces by up to 50%.

Many interested buyers have been questioning whether it’s safe to use such extenders. Let’s find out more about them.

How do I determine it’s safe? 

According to frequent users, hitch extenders are entirely risk-free when appropriately utilized.

To begin with, you should know that correct installation plays a significant role in providing adequate usage safety. Setting up a hitch extender is relatively straightforward. First, you must assemble the hitch extender to your desired length. 

Most of them come in three different lengths. Then attach the extender behind your vehicle to your rack like you usually would with any other accessory. Make sure the opening is lined perfectly with the hitch on your vehicle. Screw in the bolt and secure the end of it with the provided lock tightly to avoid the extender from tolling out. That’s it! Now your hitch extender is ready for use.

It is strongly advised to stay within the instructed weight limit. The maximum weight hitch extenders can hold 400 lbs tongue weight with 4000 lbs gross capacity. Overloading your vehicle can cause severe damage such as tire blowouts, bent axles, broken studs, etc.

Pulling with the help of hitch extenders can be reasonably straightforward; however, stopping your vehicle and taking sudden brakes might create some issues in the beginning. If your towing equipment is lightweight, you won’t face this issue. But moving around heavier trailers will need a few driving sessions for you to get a hold of it.

A more extended ball mount can be used if you want extra clearance and security. You can also use an anti-rattle device on each hitch connection to minimize hitch movements such as rattling, wobbling, or racking.

When is it not safe? 

The consequences of incorrectly using hitch extenders can be disastrous. You should never forget that hitch extenders are not suitable for lifting weights. It can only be used for towing. 

Hitch extenders work effectively on straight roads, but it may get challenging when driving uphill or downhill. The weight gets redistributed, and you have to be extremely careful handling your vehicle, especially when going downhill. 

Streets that are not proportionate and have uneven surfaces can also be a problem. It will damage your vehicle and the towing system as the tires are slammed onto the pavements.

Though hitch extenders are mainly used to increase the distance between your vehicle and towing equipment, adding too much length or more than two hitch extenders can be problematic. Turning your vehicle in different directions becomes significantly difficult and can also inflict harm in extreme cases. 


 Hitch extender safety has always been a controversial topic among drivers. Most drivers have been satisfied with its capabilities and usage. Hitch extenders are a great accessory, but they can be dangerous if proper care and precautions are not taken.

Frequently asked questions

Is there a weight limit to how much can be towed?

Yes. Most extenders come with a weight limit of 400 lbs with 4000 lbs gross trailer capacity. Weight distribution hitches can handle up to 600 lbs with 6500 lbs gross trailer capacity.

How does the hitch extender work?

They help reduce total towing weight by t up to 50%, making vehicle movement smoother and towing effortless.

When should you use a hitch extender?

A hitch extender can be used to increase the distance between your vehicle and the towing trailer.

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About the Author: Brian Silvestro

Brian Silvestro is the founder and chief editor of OffroadersArena. He spends his free time tending to his BMW iX SUV and explaining its merits to anyone who'll listen.

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