How To Measure Trailer Hitch Drop

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You’ve brought home your new trailer, and the hitch sticks up about 4 inches higher than it did on your old one. If you have a ball mount to go with it, you might say “no big deal.” But if not, finding a way to get the trailer close enough to the ground to load a bike, a bag of groceries, or your grandson on vacation can be a real pain.  Well, there is a solution — you just have to know how to measure trailer hitch drop.

So what’s going on here anyway? The receiver tube on the new trailer is higher than the one on your old one because it was originally designed to tow a boat. It’s a matter of safety: if you’re going down the road with a trailer in tow and the tongue weight is too high, it could overstress your ball mount or hitch receiver.

To find out how much difference there is between two hitches, you need to know three things:

  1. The height of the ball mount that goes into the receiver tube on your tow hitch;  
  2. How far down from the ground your trailer’s coupler sticks when it’s attached to the ball mount; and       
  3. The height of your tow vehicle from the ground.

What Are Rise and Drop?

Rise and Drop are important measurements to consider when choosing a hitch mount for your vehicle. If you have a very low vehicle, with little clearance between the ground and undercarriage, you’ll want to find out what the lowest point of a  trailer hitch’s rise and drop is.

Drop is the distance from the top of the ball-mount, to the ground.

Rise is measured from the ground up to the bottom of the swivel at its lowest point.

How To Measure Trailer Hitch Drop

Step 1: Measure the ball mount’s height

Measure from the bottom of your tow hitch to the center of the ball mount, and note this number. Then measure from a point on the surface of a level floor to a point on the ball mount; this will be your measurement. If you don’t have a level surface, put a piece of plywood under the trailer and measure from that.

Step 2: Measure down from the coupler to its lowest point  

To get this measurement, we’ll need the help of our friend Jack — the jack that came with your trailer. Make sure to position it so that it’s stable and won’t fall or roll while you’re measuring.

Step 3: Measure the height of the tow vehicle

Don’t forget this measurement, since you’ll need to add it later when you figure out how much hitch drop you actually have. If you’re pulling a boat and the trailer’s coupler sits very close to the ground, your tow vehicle may be sitting even lower than it does when towing an empty trailer — so measure from the ground up to the lowest point on your tow vehicle.

Now subtract each measurement from each other to find the hitch drop.

And that’s it! So now you know — if your trailer is 4 inches higher than your old one, for example, your tow vehicle is nearly twice as high, you’ll have 2 inches of hitch drop.

There you have it — with just a little work, you’ll be able to get the ball mount down close enough to the ground so you can load your bike, groceries, or even the kids.

What is The Standard Drop For a Trailer Hitch?

Every trailer hitch has a standard drop to it. The general rule of thumb is that the bottom of the trailer hitch should be about level with the ground, however, some automakers want this to be 1-2 inches above ground level.

If your vehicle has an athletic undercarriage and you want to tow a trailer, then you need a 2″ drop if this is your first time buying a trailer hitch. For those who have bought one before and would like the same drop again, you only need 1″.

What Is The Correct Height For a Trailer Hitch?            

Trailer hitches are the hardware that attaches to the rear of a vehicle, allowing it to tow additional weight. These typically have a receiver opening at the front that can attach to an appropriate ball mount or other hitch-ball combination, and two hooks at the back which connect with slots in the trailer’s receiver.            

In order to determine the correct height for a trailer hitch, it is important to measure from the ground to the inside of the lower hook slot. This will ensure that you have a straight shot when connecting your ball mount and ultimately prevent any damage to either vehicle or trailer.            

However, it is possible to have a hitch that attaches slightly higher. In this case, it will be necessary to measure from the ground to the inside of the lower hook slot and add two inches. Your receiver opening should face downward parallel with the ground for best results.            

This will ensure that the trailer remains level as it is towed, and prevent bouncing or scraping. When towing a large or heavy load, it is important to use a sturdy ball mount and hitch in order to prevent damage to your vehicle and trailer. This can be achieved by choosing the correct height for the trailer hitch.            

What Happens if The Trailer Hitch is Too High?

If the trailer hitch is too high, then it will be visible in the rearview mirror of your car.

This may obstruct the view out of the rear window when you are backing up.

It can even lead to accidents if you hit a tree or another object because it makes it impossible to see what’s behind you.

If the trailer hitch is too high it can also be dangerous for you and for other road users,   so if you want to tow a trailer this could make driving with a trailer impossible.

Thank you for reading about the process on how to measure trailer hitch drop. We hope this guide was helpful and informative! If you want more information, comment down below.

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