When a towing vehicle has a ride height that is incompatible with the trailer, it’s necessary to choose the right type of ball mount to account for the difference.
INSTALL LEVEL OF DIFFICULTYEASY
What Is a Ball Mount?
A trailer ball mount is one element in a series of components that must be in place for a vehicle to tow a caravan or trailer. A forged metal tube, it is fitted on one end to the trailer hitch and on the other to the trailer ball. Available in a variety of different shapes, sizes, and styles to take into account the height of the coupling device, the weight of the trailer, and the overall capacity of the load being towed. The mount is securely fastened to the hitch with a special pin or locking device. For those who tow a variety of different trailers, an adjustable ball mount can be raised or dropped as needed.
How Does a Ball Mount Work?
The ball mount needs to match dimensions at each end in order to fulfill its purpose. It must have a shank size at the front end that exactly matches the opening of the “receiver tube” that bolts to the vehicle. It must also be carefully chosen to account for the rise or drop above the centerline dictated by the dimensions of the trailer. Additionally, it must be able to cope with the gross trailer weight if it is to function correctly and safely.
Consider the ball mount an essential adjuster that permits a vehicle of virtually any ride height to tow a trailer that sits at a different level. The dimensions of the ball mount will keep the entire rig is as level as possible during transit. The difference between the receiver tube height and the coupler height will determine the amount of drop or rise needed.
How Is a Ball Mount Made?
Ball mounts are typically made from zinc or stainless steel, before being finished to avoid corrosion and rust. Some heavy-duty ball mounts are forged as one unit with a weld-free design.
Why Does a Ball Mount Fail?
- The configuration of the mount could be badly miscalculated.
What Are the Symptoms of Ball Mount Failure?
- The trailer could become detached from the towing vehicle.
What Are the Consequences of Ball Mount Failure?
- Damage could be caused to both towing vehicle and trailer if failure happened during transit.
Most ball mounts are “overengineered” for their intended task and failure is a very rare occurrence.
If you have questions or concerns about ball mounts or any of your vehicle’s components, come into your local Pep Boys where we can answer any question, help you find any part, or perform any vehicle service you might need.