What Should I Look For in a Trailer Hitch for My Bronco Sport? Here are Some Things to Consider
We’ve written on a few occasions about the seemingly endless array of challenges that have delayed the full-size Ford Bronco from reaching its eager owners, but while this saga has been unfolding, its somewhat lower profile stablemate — the Bronco Sport — has been out and about, garnering good reviews and putting smiles on people’s faces for nearly a year.
Despite the relatively compact size of the Bronco Sport’s largest engine option — a 245-hp turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder powerplant — the Sport has a towing capacity of between 2000 and 2200lbs. So, in order to get the most out of your Bronco Sport, you may find yourself wanting to tow a snowmobile, ATV or other recreational toy behind you as you embark on your adventures and may have a couple of related questions as you ask yourself “Which trailer hitch should I buy?"
What Should I Look for in a Trailer Hitch?
As you’d expect, there’s more to consider than merely whether a given trailer hitch will properly fit your Bronco Sport. It doesn’t take much imagination to consider what would happen if that trailer hitch was to fail, so first and foremost, quality of construction and workmanship should be a primary concern. Is the hitch built by a respected manufacturer — one that routinely subjects its product line to rigorous testing that replicates the harshest of real-life situations?
While some tend to think that the appearance of the welds on a trailer hitch are more of an aesthetic concern, there’s more to it than that. Quality leaves clues, so the appearance of anything other than precisely positioned and properly finished welds should trigger an alarm. And once those welds are completed, adding the proper surface protection to the trailer hitch before it leaves the factory is an essential factor in its longevity.
Our Curt Class 3 Trailer Hitch checks all the right boxes. It’s been thoroughly tested in accordance with SAE J684 standards, so you can be assured it’s up to the challenge your future weekend jaunts might offer.
What are the Differences Among Class I, Class II and Class III Trailer Hitches? And why Should I Consider Upgrading to a Class III Trailer Hitch?These designations center mainly on two specifications — the overall size of the trailer hitch connection (aka the receiver) and their capacities — although the two are closely related, since a more sizable, more robust receiver will generally, though not always, result in a greater trailer hitch towing capacity.
Starting from the lightest of duty, a Class I trailer hitch is intended for passenger cars and crossovers. A hitch in this category will feature a 1 ¼”x 1 ¼” receiver tube opening and may be attached directly to a vehicle’s bumper, though some varieties do attach to a car’s frame. Class I trailer hitches are fairly limited in terms of the weight they can handle, topping out at 2000lbs. total capacity.
You may well ask: Well, isn’t the Ford Bronco Sport considered a crossover vehicle? And, if so, if its towing capacity is about the same as the rating on a Class I trailer hitch, why even upgrade?
Yes, the Bronco Sport is a crossover, but going back to the potential outcome in the event of a trailer hitch failure, would you really want a trailer hitch to be routinely maxed out while on the road? Probably not. And the tongue weight capacity of a Class I trailer hitch — i.e. the force being exerted on the hitch connection itself — maxes out at 200lbs, which really isn’t much when you think about it. So, let’s move up the ladder.
A Class II trailer hitch will get you more overall capacity, as well as a greater tongue weight capacity — generally in the area of 350lbs. That’s a step up, for sure, but again, let’s remember that this isn’t an area where you’re going to want to be cutting corners. So, let’s take another step up the trailer hitch ladder. the Curt Class III Trailer hitch for the Bronco Sport not only gets you 3500lbs. of gross towing weight capacity, but also a full 525lbs. of tongue weight capacity to ensure that it’s never going to be the limiting factory in any of your towing activities. You’ll be able to take full, worry-free advantage of your Bronco Sport’s abilities while bringing along a utility trailer, or perhaps a snowmobile or ATV.
Better still, it’s thoroughly protected from the elements by both liquid A-coat and black powder coat, so it will have no trouble at all standing up to the elements — including potential rust and UV damage — and it will resist any chipping over years of spirited use.
Are Trailer Hitches Difficult to Install?Like many things in life, the term “difficult” is relative, but installing a trailer hitch is generally considered to be on the easier end of the spectrum of automotive tasks. This video, produced by Curt Manufacturing itself — the maker of our Curt Class 3 Trailer hitch for your Bronco Sport — will give you a pretty good idea of what’s involved. Although it doesn’t specifically detail the trailer hitch installation process for a Bronco Sport, the procedure would be roughly the same as what’s shown.
As you’ll see, it’s a relatively straightforward job, although having the right tools in your arsenal — namely, a socket set, access to an automotive lift, a torque wrench and an extra pair of hands — will be needed.