Do I Need A Drop Hitch

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Last Updated on June 21, 2022

If you’re fortunate to have a trailer that perfectly matches the height of the trailer hitch, you won’t need to take any of these extra steps.

However, far too many different forms of transportation and trailer hitch setups are commercially available. As a result, you shouldn’t expect a trailer to match perfectly any vehicle or mount receiver, as whatever the tow vehicle and also towing accessories you’re currently using.

You’ll have to account for the difference because the trailer hitch rise and drop might not even exactly match. This is where the drop hitch comes in.

Is It Necessary To Use A Drop Hitch?

If your trailer’s hitch height is greater than the coupler height, you’ll need a drop hitch. To figure out how much drop hitch you’ll need, subtract the hitch height from the coupler height. 

A drop hitch makes it possible to connect your trailer or camper to the vehicle without worrying about it tipping over or becoming unleveled. 

A bad hitch height can cause early axle aging, especially on double axles, because a hitch that is too low causes load transfer to the front axle and a hitch that is too high causes load transfer to the rear axle.

Why is a Drop Hitch Necessary for Towing?

The main cause you’ll need a drop hitch is to maintain the trailer level while it’s connected to the tow vehicle. When towing, it’s critical to have a level trailer setup. 

A level and straight trailer setup are much safer for both you and other drivers on the road. 

When we say a trailer is as level as possible, we mean that it sits perfectly horizontally on the road, with the trailer hitch connected to the tow vehicle’s mount.  When connected to your car or truck, a trailer out of level would tilt upward or downward.

Issues That Could Arise If The Trailer Isn’t Level:

A trailer that isn’t level on the road is dangerous for you, passengers, and potentially other drivers. It’s a bad setup that could result in dangerous situations like the trailer swaying and wobbling while you’re driving at high speeds.

A dipping trailer tends to put more load on the tow vehicle’s rear axle, shifting weight away from your car or truck’s front wheels. As a result, your steering will have a weaker response, which could lead to you losing control of the vehicle.

There’s also the issue of comfort, in addition to safety. A trailer that isn’t level can be louder and more difficult to maneuver. The longer one drives around with a level trailer, the more likely it is to cost you money in the long run.

What Would You Need to Know About Drop Hitch Measurements?

First, ensure your trailer and tow vehicle are parked on flat ground. To have a more accurate measurement, you should load your tow vehicle and trailer with cargo or weight that is comparable to what it will carry on the trip. 

You’ll need a trailer jack or a trailer kickstand to raise the trailer tongue to the appropriate height. Then you’ll require a measuring device. 

For these types of measurements, a measuring tape is the best tool, but a ruler or a square should be enough. Your trailer coupler is just too low for the hitch receiver if your hitch height is greater than your coupler height. 

You’ll require a drop hitch or even a tow ball mount with a drop in this case. The drop is the difference in height between the hitch and the coupler.

The Summary

The trailer must always be level when being towed for comfortable and safe towing. A level trailer is easier to maneuver, encourages even tire wear, and reduces stress on both the trailer and the towing vehicle. 

Buying a drop hitch device is great if you want to tow a work material trailer, a luggage trailer, or secure multiple bikes on a specific support.

Frequently Asked Question

What is the purpose of a drop hitch receiver?

A drop hitch receiver allows users to connect a trailer without the worry of the vehicle becoming unbalanced and losing control.

What happens if the hitch on the trailer is too high?

The hitch will tip backward if it is too high for the travel trailer, creating a slanted profile and unbalanced weight distribution. The trailer will be less aerodynamic and will capture the wind and sway.

What is the standard height of a trailer hitch?

Most hitch made by the management hitches to operate with a ball mount that would end up very close to this measurement, which is around 17 inches from the ground to the bottom of the coupler.

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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