Travel trailers are incredibly versatile living spaces that can be towed by any vehicle with an excellent towing capacity. In addition, their structure is very adaptable, making them popular among people who drive an extensive range of cars.
You do not necessarily need a heavy-duty truck to pull a trailer around, making them a less expensive choice. As they work so well with a wide range of cars, there is no standard height for trailer hitches. Every setup involving a trailer hitch has different standards and weights.
Do you think your trailer hitch is too low? Let us look at all the ways you can identify and fix that.
What Is a Trailer and Receiver Hitch?
A trailer hitch is a primary connection between a trailer and a tow vehicle. It bolts both the components together and provides a steady coupling point. It then becomes possible to hook a trailer to a car.
Similarly, a receiver hitch is bolted to the vehicle’s underside, providing a steady tube for attachment of a ball mount or another hitch accessory. These hitches usually come with a specific design for each car and a standard receiver size.
They are divided into five primary hitch classes, among which the receiver hitch is among the most commonly used ones. It is therefore very usual for them to be used interchangeably.
What Is a Ball Mount or Ball Hitch?
A ball mount or a ball hitch is an accessory hitch (a type of receiver hitch), which comprises a shank and a ball platform. The shank part is inserted into the receiver tube, and the platform provides a solid point for mounting the trailer ball.
A ball mount is the most common trailer hitch part. They are available in various shapes, styles, and capacities. Some of them are fixed to the platform and are made up of a single piece. Others are movable with room for adjustment.
In simple words, a ball hitch is another name for a ball mount. They are a receiver hitch accessory that connects to hooking a trailer up.
“Ball hitch” refers explicitly to ball mounts with an already attached trailer ball. Some ball mounts come with holes and platforms; others have the ball pre-torqued or fixed.
Can A Trailer Hitch Be Adjusted?
The hitch of your trailer is generally adjustable in most cases. However, the receiver for your tow vehicle cannot be adjusted. Therefore, it can be tricky to match your vehicle’s height with your trailer, but the first step is to determine whether the setup needs to be lowered or raised.
However, this adaptable nature of a trailer hitch can create problems for travelers who want a trailer. They can work with so many trailer trucks that it can be challenging to wrap their heads around all the different standard heights and measurements for certain receivers.
How to Measure And Compare Heights?
Measuring and comparing hitch height is a straightforward process. Get your hands on a measuring tape and head to your vehicle. Park your tow vehicle and trailer on a flat surface to avoid messing up your measurements.
If your trailer hitch is too low, your immediate step should be to raise it. Firstly, measure the distance from the ground to the top edge of the receiver. Secondly, measure the distance from the bottom to the coupler. Thirdly, subtract the height of the receiver from the coupler.
If your measured value is negative, you need to lower the hitch. Conversely, if the value is positive, you need to raise your hitch.
Adjustments Using Ball Mounts
If your trailer has a considerable distance between your coupler and receiver, you are not alone. Many trailer hitches have a similar adjustable design, making it easier for people to lower or raise their hitch to different heights.
All you need to do is attach a trailer coupler with a lower angle, remove the ball and hitch attachments, and rotate them to angles that are downwards. Lastly, hook up the ball and hitch from that height.
For instance, the CURT 435036 Trailer Hitch Ball Mount accounts for many mismatched heights due to its two-inch rise drop. However, they have an optimal design to fit most receivers. Furthermore, many receivers come with holes and pegs that enable people to raise their heights.
Dangers of Poor Hitch Setup
Obviously, attaching a trailer to a tow vehicle can be very tricky. This process has various factors to consider, but it is worth your time and effort. If your hitch is too low, your tow trailer will not be safe to drive.
The front wheels of your trailer will not have much traction, making it harder for you to steer. Furthermore, the uneven weight distribution will damage the back bumper as well.
On the other hand, a higher hitch is also dangerous for your vehicle. It may cause the trailer to tip backward, creating a slanted look with the unbalanced weight. This may cause your trailer to sway easily, making it a threat for deadly accidents.
A leveled towing system enables a safe and smooth ride for travelers. It makes it easier to steer the tow vehicle and prevent unnecessary drag. It also helps your trailer to avoid swaying. Lastly, a steady system prevents your belongings from rolling over inside your trailer.
To sum it up, a poor hitching system is bad news for your trailer, no matter if it is lower or higher. Follow the steps to determine hitch height and see if your trailer’s hitch is higher or lower.
Once you figure that out, immediately reset your hitch to a level height to ensure a safe and hazard-free ride. It is better to be safe for yourself and those around you and keep your vehicle safe. Once you identify the problem in your trailer; it’s time to hitch your trailer to your tow vehicle correctly.
All the above-mentioned tips and tricks will ensure your travel trailer’s hitch is perfectly tuned and ready for a trip.