Best Adjustable Trailer Hitch

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Last Updated on May 19, 2022

If you’re using lifted trucks to tow, you need to ensure the load is equally distributed to both axles. The trailer coupler simply cannot hold on if it’s unbalanced or exceeds the maximum capacity of the hitch ball, especially if. As a solution, I can only think of adjustable trailer hitches or drop hitches. Both will work interchangeably.

If you’re looking for the best adjustable trailer hitch money can buy, we have a few options you can consider. Personally, I love the adjustable ball mount options. The article below discusses the top 5 adjustable drop hitches used for trailers and lifted trucks.

Best Adjustable Hitch

Each adjustable trailer hitch has a few things I liked and didn’t like. All the pros and cons are mentioned below along with a brief feature overview, which should make it easier to decide.

CURT 45900 Adjustable Trailer Hitch Ball Mount

Worried about noise and heavy loads? You can enjoy quieter rides. The top pick for me is the 45900 dual ball mount adjustable trailer hitch from CURT. It’s one for the lifted trucks. Trust me, you’ll be pleasantly surprised what this has to offer for the money you’re paying.

Feature Overview

It’s a highly versatile and adjustable drop hitch. You have lots of freedom to move the ball mount up and down.

Depending on the height of the vehicle you’re towing, there are 9 mounting holes for you to take advantage of. You can choose a maximum of 6-inch drop and a maximum of 5.25-inch rise.

The shank length is also adjustable at 11 inches and 12 inches. It doesn’t end there. This excellent piece of drop hitch device comes with two ball mounts. You can simply flip the channel-style shank to use either of them. This adjustable ball mount is proof of its highly versatile nature.

Moreover, thanks to the dual-pin design, the hitch doesn’t rattle. And that gives the much-needed quiet and smooth ride in a towing situation.

That’s well and good, but how good is it? Constructed from heavy-duty steel, these two powder-coated ball mounts can easily endure heavy loads. The 2-inch ball mount has a weight rating of 10,000lbs. It’s 14,000lbs for the 2.3125-inch ball mount.

Durability is one of its stronger points. The carbide black powder coat combined with the zinc plating will ensure protection against corrosion for years to come.

As for compatibility, it will fit any standard 2-inch by 2-inch receiver hitch. This is perfect for class 3, 4, and 5 hitches.

All this and you don’t have to empty your pockets. At such a high standard, the value per dollar can’t be beaten. That makes it the overall best adjustable trailer hitch on this list.

Pros

  • High value per dollar
  • Double ball mounts
  • Adjustable height and length
  • 10,000-14,000lbs towing capacity
  • Anti-rattle design
  • A sturdy piece of device

Cons

  • no anti-theft locks
  • No hitch locking pins

B&W Trailer Hitches Tow & Stow – Fits 2.5″ Receiver, Dual Ball Mount

If you’re looking for something better and you’re willing to invest in your lifted trucks, the B W Tows adjustable drop hitch is one of the best adjustable trailer hitches available.

Feature Overview

The first feature I loved is its name, Tow Stow. When you’re done towing, you don’t have to remove the drop hitch to protect your ankles. You can simply stow it under the vehicle. Forget hitting your ankles on stow hitches ever again.

If you look at the machining and construction on it, no doubt it’s worth the price. This drop hitch is made from American-made high-strength steel. It was given a two-step finish; an ecoat and black powder coat. Its strength and endurance were engineered according to the SAE J-684 standard.

This particular B W tow stow hitch has two ball sizes; 2-inch and 2.3125-inch. You don’t need to buy multiple ball mounts separately. You can simply flip the shank whenever you need to use either the 7-inch drop or the 7.5-inch rise feature.

The ball sizes are 2-inch and 2.3125-inch. And it can connect with all standard 2.5-inch hitch receivers.

You can also adjust the shank height to keep the towed vehicle and your lifted truck at the same height.

Thanks to the two ball mounts, you have two options for GTW. The gross weight rating or GTW can be 10,000lbs or 14,500lbs depending on the ball you choose. To top it off, the trailer tongue weight capacity for this heavy-duty hitch is rated at 1,000lbs.

You wouldn’t need more than that for most lifted trucks. Other B W models offer higher weight capacity.

Pros

  • up to 14,000lbs towing capacity
  • Dual ball mount
  • Multiple coats for extra protection
  • Heavy-duty hitch
  • Stow it when you don’t need it
  • Easily adjusted

Cons

  • The ability to stow it away means it can make clanking noises

MaxxHaul 70380 Black/Chrome Adjust Dual Ball Mount

Next, we have an industry-proven adjustable drop hitch from MaxxHaul. It’s an affordable trailer hitch with enough versatility. It’s not exactly inexpensive if you compare it to the CURT drop hitch, it sits pretty comfortably as a mid-range leader.

Feature Overview

Constructed from heavy-duty steel, this drop hitch can’t be faulted for its build quality. The ball mounts are chrome-plated steel to resist rust. These chrome balls are more than resilient for taking care of long and heavy hauling hours.

This adjustable hitch has a respectable degree of versatility and adjustability. It comes with a dual ball mount design that can be vertically flipped to use the drop and rise features. You’re getting a maximum of a 6.50-inch drop and a 7.50-inch rise.

The dual pin design is an excellent and necessary addition for adjustable hitches. It keeps the hitch ball joint steady and rattle-free giving you a smooth ride.

Installation is nothing to mention about. This trailer hitch fits all standard 2-inch by 2-inch hitch receivers. Unfortunately, you have to buy the hitch locking pins since it’s not included in the package.

Furthermore, it doesn’t have any length adjustability options like the CURB and B W adjustable hitches.

In terms of weight capacity, it has an 8,000lbs gross weight rating for the 2-inch hitch ball and a 12,000lbs rating for the 2.3125-inch hitch ball.

Now, will it receive the best drop hitch award from me? Certainly not. However, if you consider the features and the price, it’s actually a pretty decent option.

Pros

  • Respectable towing capacity from 8,000-12,000lbs
  • Two pins keep the shank rattle-free
  • A great option for a mid-range drop hitch
  • A good range for drop and rise
  • Easily installed
  • Sturdy

Cons

  • It doesn’t come with hitch lock pins
  • Not compatible with all ATVs

Trimax TRZ8AL 8″ Premium Aluminum Adjustable Hitch with Dual Hitch Ball

As the 4th adjustable drop hitch, we have the TRZ8AL hitch ball mount from Trimax. It’s a decently famous brand known for its lock manufacturing. In terms of price, it often competes with the CURT ball mount.

Feature Overview

From the very first look, it seems like a well-built device. It doesn’t have a rugged look but with polished forged aluminum, it screams style and strength.

This beautiful machined drop hitch can endure up to 10,000lbs of load. In terms of tongue weight rating, it’s 1,500lbs, which is a lot. You can tow all kinds of large vans, and trailers easily.

This hitch offers a 2-inch ball and a 2.3125-inch ball. Both balls are chrome plated. The shine hits the eyes when the sun is up.

In terms of adjustability, this hitch gives you two options for adjusting shank length and drop and rise length. There are three models based on the drop and rise distance; 6, 8, and 12 inches.

There are two pinholes where you will attach the receiver hitch. And this hitch fits any standard 2-inch hitch receiver. Choosing either will shorten or extend the shank.

The ball mounts can be adjusted by 1-inch steps to increase or decrease drop/rise distance. It has an interesting locking system. It has Trimax’s T3 receiver and key lock which is pretty stable.

You’d think that the lack of dual pin design could mean severe rattling noises. But the snug fit of the T3 receiver lock proved me wrong.

When you take all of these into account, it makes sense why it’s considered one of the best hitches in the market.

Pros

  • Sufficient tow and tongue capacity
  • Robust build quality
  • Perfect for lifted trucks
  • T3 receiver provides good stability
  • 3 drop and rise models
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • The polish won’t last long

OEDRO Adjustable Trailer Hitch Ball Mount Fits 2-Inch Receiver Hitch

At number 5, we have a rather unique-looking adjustable hitch from OEDRO. Unlike the previous items on this list, this one has squared edges and two different color profiles. It’s a compatible device for car, trucks, and SUVs.

Feature Overview

The unique wishbone design of the shank is what’s impressive about it. It’s designed to equally distribute the load preventing uneven pressure leading to metal degradation.

It consists of heavy-duty aluminum and alloy steel which makes it an extremely sturdy device. It’s coated with anti-corrosive material to boost its endurance against rust, wear, and corrosion. Be it mud, snow, or dust, it shouldn’t disturb your peace.

It has two parts; a shank and a ball hitch mount. The mount is made from alloy steel and it’s chrome plated.

For the shank, you can choose either the brushed or the polished one. The aircraft-grade aluminum shank is extremely durable under duress. It may not be equally strong as steel but it’s a lot lighter.

This is the only tow item on this list that comes with a dedicated lock and key system to prevent thieving. You’ll be getting two pins and two sets of keys to prevent theft. Hitch keys prevent dust and dirt from going inside the key.

Then it has a ribbed wishbone design on the back and a hollowed construction to provide extra support for the towing capacity. Thanks to the design, the 2-inch ball is rated at 7,000lbs of towing capacity and the 2.3125-inch ball is rated for 10,000lbs.

It has a bright red spot that can be seen from afar during the night. A bright red spot on the hitch really stands out on the road while traveling. This boosts work productivity if traveling is your work.

Since the shank measures 2.5-inch x 2.5-inch, it will fit standard size 2-inch x 2-inch hitch receivers comfortably. You won’t have to buy any locking pin as it comes with it by default. A big plus over the more talked devices.

Just like all the adjustable hitches on this list, it comes with drop and rise options for the right vehicles. It has an 8-inch drop and rise system that can be availed by simply vertically flipping the shank.

Pros

  • towing capacity
  • comes with pin key locks
  • Includes anti-theft locks
  • Highly visible red spot
  • long drop and rise distance
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Low pulling capacity compared to trailer hitches of the same value and quality.

Verdict

So, which one of these trailer hitches have you decided on? It’s hard to pick a favorite as all of them seem like great deals. But when purchasing a product, you can’t go wrong if you buy the best value per dollar.

And that my friend, is the CURT 45900 Adjustable Trailer Hitch. This is what I recommend regardless of the budget. But if you have freedom with your budget, take the B&W Trailer Hitches Tow & Stow. It has everything one needs and more.

Those two should suffice most the users. But just in case, MaxxHaul 70380 Black/Chrome is the 3rd recommendation.

You may have noticed that each adjustable hitch I chose as my favorite are made of steel. Although aluminum is great and all, steel manages to scratch that itch at the back of my mind.

Buying Guide

What makes the best drop hitch? This is a question that needs to be answered if you want to make a good purchase. Let’s discuss the important factors,

Weight Capacity

The make or break factor is GTW and TW. It needs to be able to handle whatever you are going to tow around.

Choosing the wrong hitch is only going to increase the chances of accidents.

Ball mount hitches are classified into 5 classes depending on the GTW and TW. Read on below to know about specific ball mount classes and their capacities.

Class 1

  • GTW – Up to 2,000 lbs
  • TW – Up to 200 lbs
  • Fits – 1.25 in. Receiver
  • Ball Size – 1.875 or 2 inches

Typical loads: mobility scooters and small trailers

Typical tow vehicles: cars, SUVs, and minivans

Class 2

  • GTW – Up to 3,500 lbs
  • TW – Up to 525 lbs
  • Fits – 1¼ in. Receiver
  • Ball Size – 1.875 in or 2 in.

Typical loads: small pop-up campers, and small trailers

Typical tow vehicles: cars, SUVs, and minivans

Class 3

  • GTW – Up to 8,000 lbs
  • TW – Up to 800 lbs
  • Fits – 2, 2½ inches Receiver
  • Ball Size – 1.875, 2, 2.3125 inches

Typical loads: midsize campers, utility trailers, lawn equipment, motorbikes, and snowmobiles

Typical tow vehicles: trucks, minivans, large SUVs, and full-size cars

Class 4

  • GTW – Up to 12,000 lbs
  • TW – Up to 1,200 lbs
  • Fits – 2,  inches Receiver
  • Ball Size – 1.875, 2, 2.3125 inches

Typical loads: large campers and toy haulers, Utility trailers

Typical tow vehicles: SUVs and trucks

Class 5

  • GTW – Up to 20,000 lbs
  • TW – Up to 2,000 lbs
  • Fits – 2 ½ and 3 inches Receiver
  • Ball Size – 1.875, 2, 2.3125 inches

Typical loads: Large toy and equipment haulers, multi-car trailers

Typical tow vehicles: Heavy-duty and commercial trucks

This is a general guideline. The specifics may change depending on the part number. Check specifications before buying.

Also Important:

The best trailer hitch can’t be the best if it isn’t versatile. By versatile I mean more than one ball in a single hitch.

The typical drop hitches come with a single ball mount which is limiting your options.

It’s extremely useful to have a drop hitch with multiple ball sizes. You don’t have to move with multiple ball mounts separately. It’s also useful to have stowable hitch like the B W hitch.

Durability

The material of the shank and ball should be made of either steel or aluminum. There is no other option when it’s all about protecting your vehicle from accidents.

They should also have a powder coating or chromium plating to prevent the effects of bad weather and to prevent corrosion.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are adjustable hitches good?

Attaching an adjustable hitch is one of the most common solutions if you want to use your truck to tow vehicles. You can tow multiple types of trailers on many different types of tow vehicles with just a single adjustable hitch.

Do I need an adjustable trailer hitch?

This is an important question. Not everyone requires an adjustable hitch. So who should look for these? – Anyone who needs to tow multiple trailers with different coupler heights.

Do you need a drop hitch for a lifted truck?

You most likely do need a drop hitch for your lifted truck. It’s an essential part to prevent the trailer from tilting away from the hitch ball.

The trailer coupler on its own cannot endure the weight which eventually will deform it.

What is the size drop hitch for the lifted trucks?

Your vehicle’s manufacturer should have a recommendation that you can consider. If you customized the truck height and wheel size, measure the height of your truck and the size of the tires.

Find out the hitch size by combining manufacturer recommendations with the measured truck height and wheel size.

Why does my drop hitch keep rattling?

There are moving parts on the drop hitch that are causing all the noise. Having a single locking pin for the hitch receiver and ball mount is a common reason for rattling. Or maybe the drop hitch isn’t a snug fit inside the hitch receiver.

Can you put a weight-distribution hitch on a lifted truck?

Of course, you can use a weight-distribution hitch. The main thing is to find the appropriate shank that allows enough drop to tow your trailer level.

Does the weight capacity of the drop hitch matter?

You bet it does. If the front axle is underweight, it’s going to pull weights, so you need to know how much the hitch can pull without buckling down.

How much of a drop hitch do I need with a 6-inch lift?

First measure the distance from the ground to the top of the drop hitch receiver opening, and then from the ground to the trailer coupler. The difference between the two measurements is the exact drop you need.

For example, a 6-inch lifted truck with 37 inches wheel, you would need a 13 inch drop to accommodate it.

What exactly does adjusting drop hitch do for lifted trucks?

If you use adjustable drop hitches for lifted trucks, you’re ensuring that the TW behind your towing vehicle is equally distributed to both axles. Adjustable hitches allow you to keep the truck and towed vehicle or load to stay at the same level.

What is the difference between GTW and TW?

GTW or gross trailer weight is the sum of actual trailer weight and its full load capacity.

On the other hand, TW or tongue weight is the trailer coupler’s vertical load. These are the two most vital factors for choosing the best adjustable trailer hitch.

Which is better steel or aluminum drop hitches?

Usually, when you think about durability you think about steel. They always perform better against the tensile force of pulling loads. The best adjustable hitch is always made of steel.

Aluminum hitches on the other hand are lightweight devices making them easy to handle. But they are not as resilient as steel under tension forces.

Can too much tongue weight cause the trailer to sway?

TW is the trailer tongue’s downward force on the ball mount. If it exceeds the ball mount’s TW rating, the trailer will sway and it will overload the rear axle of the lifted trucks.

About the Author: Brian Silvestro

Brian Silvestro is the founder and chief editor of OffroadersArena. He spends his free time tending to his BMW iX SUV and explaining its merits to anyone who'll listen.

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