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Ask a Trooper: Ball hitch

By Staff | May 2, 2014

Q: Our family pulls a camper around during the summer months. When I set up the camper I don’t always take the ball hitch out of the receiver on my truck. Someone warned me to take the ball hitch out of the receiver when I wasn’t towing, because he had heard that it was against the law. Is this true?

A: Now that the weather finally seems to be taking a turn for the warmer, we can all think about that first trip camping or boating in the not too distant future. This question comes at a great time as we take the camper out of storage and dust it off for another season of fun.

This issue surfaces every so often, and you see this around on the roads on a daily basistrucks driving around with the ball hitch still in the receiver but with no trailer attached to the hitch. What does the code of Iowa say about this one?

The easy answer is thisnothing. There is no code section that prohibits someone from leaving their ball hitch in the receiver as they drive without towed equipment.

Although we cannot confirm this, the urban legend of this violation started somewhere in southeast Iowa.

A ‘fake’ citation was fabricated as a joke, and the myth just grew from there. It is amazing how fast incorrect information can travel.

So as you prepare your equipment for the spring and summer towing season, have no fear of leaving your ball hitch in the receiver. Just watch your shins as you walk behind the truck.