Are Hitch Extenders Legal: Rules Based On The Laws!

Last Updated on April 11, 2023 by Will Sabel

A hitch extender is one of the essential tools that not only adds room for movement but also ensures better leverage on the hitch.  

Are hitch extenders legal or not? Yeah, the gear is legal only if you follow the laws. And this includes:

  • Length of the extender (not more than 4 – 6 feet)
  • 1/3 wheelbase of the vehicle.

By neglecting the rules, you might need to pay a small amount of fine or face a jail penalty. Now, let me walk you through the explanation for a better understanding!


Are Hitch Extenders Legal To Have On Hitch?

Using hitch extensions won’t void the law. But it’s essential to get the right type that doesn’t violate the rules and regulations.

Length Of The Extender Should Not Cross 6 Feet

To answer, are tow hitch extensions legal or not, you first need to confirm the length of them which shouldn’t cross 6 feet.

Although there’s no direct mention of the hitch extension, the law says any extender that is placed on the rear of a car needs to be over 4 – 6 feet (as a general rule).

If the length of the extender raises above the limitation, it’ll cover the rear lights (taillights and brake lights). That is risky for you and other drivers.  

That’s why the part will be red-flagged by traffic police and cause a driver to pay a fine of $185 or more.

Formula: 4 x hitch assembly length (from hitch case to ball mount) = Length of the hitch extension.

Wheelbase Of The Vehicle Should Not Excess 1/3rd of Rear Wheelbase Length

The truck and trailer connection through the hitch should not extend more than 1/3 or 33% of the wheelbase length on the rear side in distance.

Formula: 1/3 x wheelbase length = Rear hitch extender of the truck.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does a hitch extender reduce towing capacity?

Yes, it does! Since the hitch point extends further, it lets the load of the vehicle move further. This causes the towing capacity to decrease. Keep in mind the longer the hitch extender the more reduction the towing capacity.

How far can you extend a hitch?

A hitch extender needs to be between 8” to 18” based on the average rating. It would be better if you aim for 10” or 14” to get the leverage and movement without vastly impacting the towing capacity.

How does a hitch extender work?

It fits on top of the hitch receiver point to ensure the weight of the vehicle and trailer move at a further point. And, this adds leverage and stability to the hitch assembly to ensure ideal movement.

Ending Notes

When planning to use the hitch extender to get the ideal driving benefits, you always need to check the background, especially the legality stuff.

Not all states have a serious ruling on hitch extenders but some might give a penalty for flagging.

But, this won’t be an issue once you check with your local rules and find out, are hitch extenders legal or not in that specific area. Hope this helps to understand the topic. See you in the next guide soon!

are hitch extenders legal

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Author: Will Sabel

Will Sabel is an avid car enthusiast. When he's not writing for RidersWant, you'll find him cruising the country in a new car. People are always wondering how many cars he has!

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