The standard picture of family hauling a boat or ferrying a mobile horse stall involves a well-worn pickup truck or SUV, likely full-size and used more for functionality than looks.
Yet the owner has an alternative, to transport vessels and other heavy equipment while still keeping the towing vehicle looking sharp. A half-dozen companies — a few with decades of experience — manufacture and market hitches that are hard to see, At least one company promotes the weight-pullers as designed to fit luxury brands.
Sugar Hill, Georgia-based Stealth Hitches, LLC said it's launched "a cutting-edge new hitch that is concealed when not in use, allowing vehicle owners to maintain their vehicle's aesthetic beauty while still offering the functionality of towing and racks."
The trademarked-Stealth Hitch fits Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Lexus, Mazda, Mercedes, Porsche and Volvo, the company said in February.
"We've taken the angst out of purchasing a vehicle hitch," said Steve Nance, Stealth Hitches chief executive. "Until now, it's been an apprehensive purchase of vehicle owners, understanding it meant compromising the look of their vehicle. This product is the best of both worlds — a safe, durable hitch that is invisible unless in use."
According to the company, the hitches are "well-designed, safe and easy to operate."
The manufacturer said it's expanding the lineup to include Ford, Subaru, GMC and Toyota. In June, the company said it's developed a "patent pending" new receiver hitch for the Tesla Model 3.and more. Go to www.stealthhitches.com or call 1-833-MYHITCH.
Even ultra-luxury cars can be fitted with concealed hitches.
The online version of Road and Track auto magazine reports the Rolls-Royce's first SUV, the Cullinan, promotes luxury and comfort even through it's an off-road vehicle. A glass wall divides the driver and passenger from their luggage. "But what if you want to tow something, like a race horse or perhaps a trailer full of champagne?"
According to the magazine, the Cullinan has a tow hook hidden under the rear bumper, which can be deployed with the push of a button. "This hitch, which is not available in the United States, is able to tow 2.7 metric tons, which is nearly 6,000 pounds. That's a pretty stout number for a $300,000-plus SUV," Road and Track says.
In the U.S., the Cullinan supplies a fixed hitch as an option, which will tow 7,275 pounds. "That's enough for a trailer full of champagne, a race horse, and a few cases of Grey Poupon. Not too shabby," the magazine notes.