I pulled the trigger last week and made my first “official” purchase for my upcoming overland trip with Northeast Overland this fall. I had decided to start small and get something that was essentially “plug & play.” I bought a Receiver Hitch!
I needed a rear recovery point for my Tacoma. Having the Tow Package means that I have a two inch receiver that I can utilize for this purpose. A receiver hitch would work really well! I took to Amazon to begin my research. After about 30 minutes or so I was able to narrow down my options to three choices; the Smittybilt Receiver Hitch with 3/4 Shackle, the Factor 55 Hitch Link or the Shackle Hitch Receiver by Vault.
How did I make my decision? Well, for starters, price is always a consideration and in that case the Smittybilt and Vault products are priced in the low $30 range complete with shackle. The Factor 55 hitch link was about $75 and does not come with a shackle. Purchasing an additional shackle, say from ARB would run an additional $16 bringing the total price to about $90 total.
Another consideration that I like to focus on is build quality or the overall performance of the product. The Factor 55 hitch link by far seems to be the highest quality product. It is made from aluminum, making it very lightweight (1.9 lbs.) and boasts a breaking strength of 51,000 pounds! Amazing!
Consumer reviews are always an excellent source of information. They can be very helpful in deciphering certain aspects of a product. For instance, many of the reviews on the Smittybilt product indicate that what you see in the list isn’t necessarily what you get. There were many complaints about the finish of the product and how the corners of the receiver did not have the angled look as it does in the listing, seems misleading.
So I decided to purchase the Shackle Hitch Receiver by Vault. Here are the key product details; Tow 10,000 Lbs with this shackle hitch – more than double the weight of a typical truck, Connect your shackle vertically or horizontally using our dual hitch pin holes (key purchase decision), Drop forged steel construction ensures strength and durability (7 lbs., but weighed less that the Smittybilt).
Here are my first impressions; looks and feels like a quality product, looks exactly like the product description page, fits my truck as advertised ( a little bit of play up and down) and it was easy to register for the warranty online.
Please see a few of the first pics I took below to give you a better idea of what it would look like if you were to purchase this for your 2″ receiver. Hope this was helpful!