Many guys who pull a toy or two behind their truck are also fiercely brand-competitive. But, the same crowd who sees their rear window as a blank easel for denouncing their neighbors’ truck brands may find their time wasted when battling over hitch and towing equipment. This is the case for any truck guy looking for a side in the tame conflict between Draw Tite and Hidden Hitch.
When looking to make a statement with the bar that brings the trailer-ed toys to the playground, brand is a big factor for many drivers. But, it’s a much bigger factor than it probably needs to be. That’s because the three biggest names in custom trailer hitches—Draw Tite, Hidden Hitch and lesser-known Reese—are all owned by the same company: Cequent Group.
That’s right: while many a toy-hauling trucker has debated the merits of one hitch brand versus another, losing sleep and play time, the money for their eventual purchase ends up in the same hands either way. Cequent also controls about eight other big names in towing and hauling in both the auto and RV markets, giving them (and their parent company TriMas) a stranglehold on how recreational heavy items travel in this land.
So, now that some of the brand tension and suspense is lost, let’s take a deeper look at the actual differences between the two Cequent products badged as Hidden Hitch or Draw Tite. First up is Hidden Hitch, the first company to offer a round tube hitch style. That round tube is Hidden’s most visible trademark besides their distinct logo, straying drastically from the more bulky body of a square tube hitch. Beyond the distinct look, Hidden Hitch pioneered quality certifications that pass auto manufacturer standards, and they’ve bested rigorous salt spray tests. Hidden Hitch believes that passing these tests and meeting these industry standards equals ultimate quality.
But, Draw Tite sees Hidden’s quality and raises it 60 years of experience in the towing industry. A Draw Tite hitch is big. It’s bulky. It’s rugged. There’s certainly nothing slim, smooth or cute about a Draw Tite hitch. It’s hardly “hidden,” and you wouldn’t want it to be. You want everything and everyone—from the trailer you haul to the gawking yokel on the boat dock—to know that you mean towing business. A Draw Tite hitch is laser-cut, robotically welded, and thoroughly e-coated to lock rust out. That sounds nice and manly.
So, what’s the big difference between the two hitch brands? The bottom line comes down to the branding of the two Cequent tentacles. Hidden Hitch is generally targeted toward the SUV or wagon driver who wants a hitch for one of three reasons (or all 3 on occasion): 1. putting a hitch-mounted bike rack on the back for getting the kiddies to school; 2. pulling a small trailer or camper irregularly; or 3. to look a bit cooler with a hitch on the back. Draw Tite is the brand for pulling big with zero bull. Either way you go, that cash will end up in Mr. Cequent’s pocket (if there is such a man) at the end of the day.