Some people think that tow hitch receivers are there to receive the hitch for towing. To them, the receiver without the hitch is a vacant space preferably with an unassuming cover over it to keep out dust and dirt. Other people see the gap as an opportunity for creative expression.
Now, the dark horse of towing is hardly likely to express himself on a tow hitch cover. This man is a mystery, and the black rubber plug protecting his receiver is an enigmatic reflection of that. What do you know about a man with a black rubber tow hitch cover? Nothing. And he likes it that way. This man keeps to himself at tailgaters. It is hard to tell which team he supports, if he does, in fact, support any.
This man will not be invited to join the festive bunch of team supporters good naturedly fighting over whose collegiate hitch receiver cover is the triumphant one. Now, collegiate hitch covers, at around $20 each, offer more variety than you would ordinarily imagine. There are the classic team names on plain black enamel backing for the college team supporter who likes clean lines and will one day live in a sparsely furnished loft in a sophisticated urban environment.
Then there are the college logos in raised three-dimensional designs that portray the team animal in an intense splash of color against a heavy metal or pewter background. Tailgaters with these logos are unabashedly competitive. They thrive on it. They search for receiver covers that are as provocative as possible and guaranteed to lure the ill-fated competition out of its lair.
Tailgaters with military hitch receiver covers form an orderly group on the far side of the parking lot, well away from the college rabble-rousers. These vehicle owners are comfortable around authority, precision and order in any form. Their receiver hitch covers portray their air force, marines, army or navy loyalties without beating around the bush.
They're straightforward, dependable types who like hitch covers that are constructed out of durable materials symbolizing the qualities central to their beliefs. Military hitch covers are designed for maximum strength and usability out of non-corrosive metal alloys with a weather hardened enamel colorfill. They are well made and serious and have little in common with a neighboring group of tailgaters.
This group is comprised of strong individualists that believe that their tow hitch covers should reflect their convictions as well as attract attention. Their hitch covers are all completely different. Some portray chrome eagles in flight, others sinister skulls with eyes that light up. There are mythical creatures like dragons, cobras and emblems like the solid Maltese cross.
Another group of tailgaters take rugged individualism a step further. They never buy anything from the regular outlets. Their hand crafted tow hitches have ‘custom’ written all over them in invisible letters. Typically they are happy to pay more for the privilege of being truly unique. Some hitch covers bear photographs of loved ones, company logos or favorite phrases in personalized lettering, colors and designs. Others are molded out of superior quality chrome and shaped into graceful animals caught in motion. There is the image of the delightful, askew outhouse with tethered horse dressing up a receiver hitch as well as an elegant sailboat in full sail, and bull riders, cowboy hats and numerous others.
Hitch receiver covers attract attention so it's worth the extra money to buy the locking device that stops them from wandering. As fashion statements go they don't cost as much as other attention getting methods. Most quality covers made of aluminum, cast iron or metal alloy are available for anything from $20 to $30 with the truly classy ones out of almost indestructible steel coming in at just under $50.
Burke Jones is a frequent contributor to the Trailer Hitch Depot , an online resource for Trailer Hitches and Hitch Covers .