Trailer Hitch Height Guide
HOW TO CALCULATE & SELECT A DROP OR RISE HITCH FOR YOUR TEARDROP TRAILER
When the day comes to pick up your teardrop trailer, we want everything to go smoothly on the logistics end of things, the less figuring-out we need to do the more relaxing your day will be. We’ve put this guide together to help you prepare for picking up your Timberleaf Teardrop trailer.
The information here is applicable to any bumper-pull trailer out there, so regardless of what you’re pulling, these calculations will work for your vehicle and trailer!
Calculating Drop/Rise Hitch Height
When calculating the necessary drop or rise hitch height, you will need to know the height to the top of your vehicle’s receiver tube, and the height to the bottom of the trailer’s coupler, measured when parked on level ground, with the trailer level with the ground. Simply subtract the height of the trailer coupler from the vehicle receiver and the resulting number is the amount of drop or rise you will need.
The measurements below reflect the bottom of our trailer’s tongue mounted receiver tube* (B in the diagram below)
- STANDARD PACKAGE (CLASSIC & PIKA): 13-1/4”
- ALL-ROAD PACKAGE (CLASSIC & PIKA): 15-1/2”
- OFF-ROAD PACKAGE (PIKA): 19”
- OFF-ROAD PACKAGE (CLASSIC): 21”
*These measurements reflect the coupler heights on trailers with our specified tires. If you have requested custom tire sizes on your trailer, your trailer’s hitch height will vary.
Warning: This gets a bit dense, bear with us.
Looking at the image below, we want to calculate for C. It is simply A – B = C. For example, if you’re picking up a Standard Package trailer with your new crossover SUV (CUV), and your CUV’s receiver height when measured to the top of the receiver tube is 16”, and the trailer’s coupler height measured to the bottom of the coupler is 13-1/4”, you will need a 2-3/4” drop hitch.
So far the calculation is very straightforward as our example vehicle has a receiver height that is greater than the coupler height of the trailer. The result of the equation is simply the amount of drop you need for your hitch. But what if your vehicle’s receiver height is less than the height of the trailer coupler? For that, you will need a riser hitch. Typically a ball mount will be applicable for both a rise and drop. For instance, a 2” drop hitch is also a 3/4” rise; the greater the drop, the greater the rise.
If you’re picking up an All-Road equipped trailer with a Subaru Outback, which commonly has a 14-3/4” receiver height, and the All-Road has a 15-1/2” coupler height, your calculation will result in a negative number. For our purposes, negatives represent a rise.
One more example; if your new Toyota Tacoma has a receiver height of 18” and you are picking up a Classic with the Off-Road package which has a coupler height of 21”, you will need a rise hitch of 3”. Represented below as negative three.
What Kind Of Hitch Do I Need?
Our trailers are equipped with either a 2” ball hitch, or a Max-Coupler articulating hitch, depending on the suspension package you have selected. All necessary hardware and hitch pins to attach the ball coupler or Max-Coupler to the trailer are provided with your teardrop.
- STANDARD PACKAGE: 2” BALL COUPLER
- ALL-ROAD PACKAGE: MAX-COUPLER
- OFF-ROAD PACKAGE: MAX-COUPLER
What you will need to bring with you to connect the trailer to your vehicle is a drop or rise ball mount hitch. Shown below are a ball mount hitch with a 2” ball (left), and a ball mount hitch without the ball (right). If you are getting a standard package trailer from us, you will need a ball mount hitch with a 2” ball, with the drop or rise height that we’ll calculate further down the page. If you are getting an all-road or off-road trailer from us, you will need the drop or rise ball mount without the ball, and with a 1” diameter hole. More on that below.
Vehicle-side tow ball mount with 2” ball.
Vehicle-side tow ball mount without a ball.
I can’t find a hitch drop or rise for the height that I need, what should I do?
Not to worry! Drop and rise hitches are commonly available in 1-inch or 2-inch increments (approximately), it’s not uncommon to have your measurement for the trailer to be perfectly level not to match up to a drop hitch that you can find, that’s okay!
Typically we recommend to err on the high side for the vehicle, between 1/2-inch and 1-inch is usually a good amount. When we attach the trailer to the hitch of our vehicles, the weight of the trailer settles into the vehicle’s suspension a little bit; sometimes up to a full inch or more. If you’re unable to get the height dead-on per your measurements, don’t hesitate to go to the closest size available that puts the vehicle side a touch higher than that of the trailer to account for suspension settling under load.
As always don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions!