Preparing Your Vehicle To Tow
Part Three: Ball Mount
In part three of our series of educational articles we will help you understand and prepare yourself and your tow vehicle for your first trip with your new trailer, and provide you with the necessary information to arrive on pickup day with confidence that everything will be a smooth and stress-free experience. In this article we will go over the ball mount and the details you’ll need to know to select an appropriate mount before picking up your trailer.
Ball mounts, or a drop hitch, are the zig-zag component that inserts into the tow hitch and allows us to raise or lower the trailer attachment point so that the trailer is near-level when connected to the vehicle for towing.
Trailer ball mounts are a critical safety component in your array of towing equipment. Allowing the trailer to be towed near-level is an important step to ensure optimal handling characteristics of the trailer in tow, as well as aesthetically keeping the trailer near-level looks better than if the front of the trailer is pointed too far down or up due to an inappropriately sized ball mount.
Ball mounts are commonly labeled in their drop and rise measurements; a rise hitch is simply a drop hitch flipped upside-down. Depending on your tow vehicle and trailer combination, you may need your ball mount oriented in a drop or rise.
Similar to tow hitch capacities, ball mounts are available in a variety of load capacities and can be found typically stamped on the ball mount, or on the sticker when purchasing a new mount. It is imperative to observe all weight ratings of your tow equipment and base your maximum tow rating on the lowest-rated piece of equipment. (e.g., a 3,500lb ball mount on a 1,500lb capacity vehicle does not mean you can tow 3,500lbs with that vehicle).
Most ball mounts for a Class 3 hitch are rated at a minimum of 3,500-pounds, we recommend no less than 3,500-pound rated equipment when possible.
Ball Mount Specifics
Ball mounts are available locally at most hardware and auto parts stores in common sizes, and even more sizes and options are available online through sources such as Etrailer.com. When selecting the ball mount for your new trailer, you will need to make sure you select the appropriate size with a few considerations:
- Drop or rise based on our hitch calculation guide
- Appropriate size for your tow hitch
- With or without tow ball
- With a 1-inch diameter hole
If you are purchasing a trailer with our Standard suspension package, your trailer will attach to your tow vehicle with an included 2-inch ball coupler. Therefor, you will need a 2-inch tow ball with your ball mount. You can purchase these pre-assembled or separately, we can assemble your ball mount for you.
If you are purchasing a trailer with either our All-Road or Off-Road suspension packages, your trailer includes a Max-Coupler articulating trailer hitch. This is a high-articulation trailer hitch designed for optimal on- and off-highway use, without the rotational limits of a trailer ball. The Max-Coupler yoke will attach to your ball mount in place of the ball. Please come with a new ball mount without a ball installed.
Please note: we will not install the Max-Coupler onto a used ball mount. Please purchase a new mount before arriving to pick up your trailer.