How to Measure Hitch Drop and Select Ball Mount

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Last Updated on July 20, 2022

A level trailer is what you should always aim for if you want to keep the whole towing comfortable as well as safe. There will be:

  • Better handling capacity.
  • Fewer chances of any wearing out towards the tire.
  • And minimum stress put on the tow vehicle as well as the trailer. 

All of these benefits accompany any trailer that has been under good maintenance.

But then again, the probability of having a perfectly lined up trailer with the vehicle is rare these days. Because so many different types of trailers, as well as tow vehicles, exist out there.

Thanks to the existence of ball mounts, with several sizes being available, the compensation for this height difference between vehicle and trailer is possible. And that happens with the rise and drop of the ball mounts. Allowing level towing.

How to Measure Hitch Drop and Select Ball Mount

Today, let’s find out how to measure hitch drop and select ball mount to get a great outcome from the whole thing.

Here’s How to Measure Hitch Drop and Select Ball Mount

  1. To start with the process, you require finding an even and level ground. There you need to park both the tow vehicle and trailer. 
  2. Also, make sure that there’s loading with cargo on your trailer. You can also use a similar weight to what you’re planning to carry for the trip. This ensures more accuracy with the measurements.
  3. The trailer must sit level and so you might require a trailer jack. A kickstand for the trailer will also work. So that the trailer tongue can prop up to the height.
  4. Apart from this, you also need a measuring tool. A tape measure will work perfectly. If you don’t have it, get a regular ruler. A square will also work.

How To Measure Hitch Drop with Rise & Drop?

You require two types of measurement to find the rise and drop regarding the drop hitch or hitch ball mount. 

These are the coupler height and hitch height. The first one is regarding the trailer. While the latter works for tow vehicles.

You should take the measurements as a reference if you plan to use the tow vehicle with different trails. It will help.

To Measure the Coupler Height:

  • You need to read from the coupler itself.
  • The measurement is taken from the pavement to the coupler’s bottom surface.
  • It is not to the trailer tongue.
  • Here the coupler’s thickness is not a necessary factor to consider.

To Measure the Hitch Height:

  • You need to install the hitch before starting the measurement.
  • It begins from the pavement to the receiver opening’s top inside wall.
  • Here the receiver tube’s thickness is not a factor.

Compare Both Measurements – To Select Ball Mount

Now after the measurements, you have both coupler and hitch height. Compare both of these.

In the case of the coupler height being less than the hitch height, it means the coupler is in a lower position for the hitch receiver. 

And this will require you a drop including a tow ball mount of a drop hitch. Here the drop measurement is the difference between coupler and hitch height.

But if the hitch height is less than the coupler height, then it means the trailer coupler is too high for the hitch receiver. 

And to even things out, the setup will need a rise including a tow ball mount of the rise hitch. Here too the difference of both hitch and coupler height will equal the rise distance.

Let’s Have a Look at An Example for Better Understanding

Imagine that the hitch height and coupler height for a case are 15 and 12 inches. Then, you will need a 3-inch drop included drop hitch for the whole setup to be even or level. 

Similarly, you can go for a tow all mount with 3 inches to get the trailer level. And this is also true for an adjustable drop hitch that gets 3 inches lower setting than the hitch receiver.

Now assume another scenario. Here you have a hitch height of 10 inches while the coupler height is let’s say 15 inches. Now to bring the trailer on level, you require a rise of 5 inches providing a rise hitch. 

Then again, an adjustable drop hitch or a tow ball mount with the same amount of rising will work for the situation.

Wrapping Up

And now you have a good idea of how to measure hitch drop and select ball mount. One needs to keep the whole towing setup within balance so that it’s safe for the long run. 

Hopefully, now you won’t make any delay in ensuring a level towing experience now that you know more than before. 

Let’s have a look at some other interesting hitch guides:

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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