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Trailer & Towing Buyer's Guide

Folding Camper
Tori Tellem | Writer
Posted July 1, 2007

What You Need To Get In Tow/Haul Mode

Folding Camper

What: A traveling bedroom/living area, created in about 20 seconds
Why: There are 15 floorplans available; the company recommends the Expedition Package for off-pavement travel-you'll get a massive cargo area, among the perks. The Aliner features aluminum-composite materials, so it's both lightweight and strong.
Wallet: The base Aliner is $9,550
Where: Aliner, 724/423-7440, www.aliner.com

Lifted-Truck Airbag Adapters

What: These Lift-Rite airbag adapters allow you to use airbag helper springs on a lifted vehicle.
Why: The adapters fit both Firestone and Air Lift airbags, and are available in 2, 4, and 6 inches.
Wallet: Almost $50
Where: EZ-Ride Concepts, 559/592-6462, www.ezrideconcepts.com

Receiver Hitch

What: The Tow & Stow hitch has a Class IV rating for 10,000 pounds of gross vehicle weight and 1,000 pounds of vertical towing weight.
Why: It's adjustable (1-inch increments), has various ball sizes, you can pull the two stainless steel pins and get the hitch out of sight, and there's a single locking point for ease and speed of setup.
Wallet: Starts at $172
Where: B&W Trailer Hitches, 800/248-6564, www.turnoverball.com

Ball Mount

What: Its birth name: Adjustable Height Zero-Tilt Ball Mount with One Tool Torque.
Why: The OTT technology makes leveling the trailer way easier if you're wearing gloves (or have frozen fingers). It installs just like a regular ball mount but has an adjustable column in order to raise or lower the position of the hitch ball for any trailer height, without special tools.
Wallet: Figure $125
Where: Master Lock, www.masterlock.com

Front-Mounted Hitch Receiver

What: The receiver bolts to the frame without any welding, and has steel-tube construction. It's a custom fit for many applications, and some will not require any drilling for installation.
Wallet: Varies
Where: Draw-Tite, 866/308-9054, www.drawtite-hitches.com


Air Helper Springs

What: The Ride-Rite system for '01-'08 Chevy/GMC 2500 and 3500 HD pickups with fifth-wheel or gooseneck hitches.
Why: It's said to improve handling while towing, as the springs aid in leveling and load carrying. They mount in between the frame and the axle; factory holes are used.
Wallet: Around $350
Where: Firestone Industrial Products, 800/888-0650, www.riderite.com

Hitch Up Mirror

What: The mirror will let you keep an eye on the ball and coupler as you hitch up a trailer. It's 12 inches in diameter and mounts on a 3-foot section of flex tube.
Why: Its height is adjustable, meaning it can work with even a 1-ton dualie. Models exist for every trailer type, and there's a tote bag for storage.
Wallet: About $70
Where: Hitch Up Mirrors, 866/327-9843, www.hitch-up-mirror.com





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