Many trailer ball mounts are designed to be flipped over to maintain a level towing setup between the towing vehicle and trailer. To help you with how to do this, we researched to provide a guide and more.
Yes, you can flip over your trailer ball mount when you need to level your tow setup. But first, you need to determine the height at which to drop or raise the ball mount by following the steps below:
- Measure the height from the ground to the top edge of the receiver tube.
- Level out the trailer and measure the height from the ground to the bottom of the coupler.
- Subtract the height of the receiver in number 1 from that of the coupler in number 2.
- If the number is negative, you'll need to drop the trailer ball, but if the number is positive, raise the trailer ball.
Keep reading to learn the reasons to flip your ball mount, including leveling your tow setup. Learn other factors to consider when leveling your trailer. Find out if an adjustable mount could be a better option when flipping. Included are the benefits and drawbacks of raising or dropping the ball mount.
Reasons To Flip Your Trailer Ball Mount
To begin with, there isn't a standard height for trailer hitches. This is because vehicles have different heights. However, manufacturers ensured that the trailer hitch and ball mount had adequate space above the ground. This is to prevent your trailer frame from touching bumps or potholes.
The best part is that some manufacturers designed their trailer ball mounts to allow you to flip them over. To find out if you can flip yours, read the sticker on your ball mount because not all have this provision.
Typically, the reason for doing this is to ensure your vehicle and trailer are appropriately leveled. If the ball mount is too low, the front of the trailer will appear like it's pointing downwards. This can take off the weight from your vehicle, making it difficult to brake efficiently. You may also find it hard to steer your vehicle smoothly.
If, on the other hand, the ball mount is too high, the weight at the rear axle of your trailer will be displaced. This can cause your trailer to sway as you drive.
Below is a video that explains how to calculate the height to rise or drop your ball mount:
Is An Adjustable Mount A Better Option?
You can opt for the adjustable mount if you usually tow trailers with different coupler heights. It allows you to increase or drop ball mounts at different heights.
They are available in various shapes and sizes. Some can carry heavy loads, while others can only carry lighter loads. You can also find those with dual and tri balls or the standard ball mount.
Have a look at this adjustable trailer hitch on Amazon.
Other Factors To Consider When Leveling Tow Setup
You know that rising or dropping a ball mount is necessary when leveling your tow setup. However, there are other factors you need to consider to ensure you have leveled your tow frame properly. They include:
Check out this receiver hitch adapter on Amazon.
Your ball hitch shank size should perfectly fit the trailer hitch receiver tube. You may have to fix a receiver tube adapter if they don't fit properly. To purchase the correct size, measure the tube opening of the receiver.
After knowing the size of the shank, you also need to know the trailer's weight. This means that you need to know the gross trailer weight (GTW), which is the entire weight of the trailer. You also need to know the tongue weight (TW), the weight of your trailer measured at the coupling.
To avoid towing problems, you must have a ball hitch higher than the TW and GTW. Also, remember the diameter of your ball has to match the coupler size.
How To Maintain Safety When Towing
You have to do more than ensure your trailer frame is parallel to the ground, which means you have leveled it correctly. There are other safety measures you have to observe, mainly to prevent swaying, which include:
Distribute Weight Appropriately
You have to load your trailer correctly by ensuring 60% of the weight of your cargo is in the first half of the trailer. In addition, don't add weight beyond the required maximum limit, the gross trailer weight (GTW). Also, don't overload your towing vehicle.
It's important to ensure that no cargo is sticking out to the trailer's rear end. Neither should you load cargo attached to the sides or on top of your trailer. Don't forget to secure your cargo before driving off. Your aim is to transport your cargo safely. So, if it is not secured, whatever you carry can be damaged as it shifts and moves around.
Drive At Low Speed
Even though you have flipped your ball mount and secured it firmly to the coupler, you need to drive at low speed. Your trailer can sway if you drive at high speeds. The appropriate speed is 55 miles per hour.
Benefits And Drawbacks Of Flipping Your Mount Ball
Flipping your ball mount can help you perfectly level the trailer and towing vehicle. However, you may have noticed some towing vehicles and trailers that are not leveled correctly.
The headlights on the vehicle are either facing up, or the back of the trailer is facing down. These are some of the mistakes that can occur when you don't level your towing frame properly.
Besides the benefits, there are drawbacks to flipping your ball mounts that you should be aware of:
Some of the benefits include:
Most of the accidents caused by vehicles towing trailers are due to swaying. This can be dangerous for the vehicle's occupants and can overturn if it sways too much. The trailer, too, can overturn. For everyone's safety, leveling the trailer frame is a must.
Sufficient Control Of Vehicle
To adequately control your vehicle and prevent it from swaying, you need to level your trailer frame correctly. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there is an average of 50,000 accidents each year related to vehicles towing trailers.
Raising or dropping the mount ball can level your trailer and vehicle perfectly. However, it does have a few drawbacks, including:
Obstructing The Tailgate Or Barn Door
You can turn the mount ball but prevent the tailgate or barn door from opening. Also, a dent can form as a result.
Low Tow Ball Weight
While flipping the ball mount can be your solution to leveling your tow setup, the ball weight may shift to the wrong side. For example, lifting the hitch bar up can cause the ball weight to shift to the rear of your trailer.
To guide you, read the instructions in the manual. The manufacturer provides the adequate weight that should rest on your ball. Don't exceed or go lower than what is recommended.
How To Maintain Your Ball Mounts
Maintaining your ball mounts is relatively easy. All you need to do is wash it regularly with soap and water. If it has hard debris on it, use a soft brush to scrub it off.
Apply a lubricant or grease often to prevent it from rusting. Do this to all the movable parts of your trailer to last longer.
For your safety and better control while towing, you need to ensure you have leveled the tow setup of your vehicle and trailer. One of the ways of doing this is by flipping the ball mount. Other reasons to ensure leveling are mentioned. Besides the benefits of flipping the ball mount, there are some drawbacks you need to know.
The drawbacks mainly guide you to flip and level the mount correctly. Avoiding accidents while towing is crucial, and thus safety measures are included. Maintaining your ball mount and whole trailer frame is important if you want it to last long.
To read more of our previous posts related to this topic, click on the links below:
Does A Weight Distribution Hitch Increase Towing Capacity