Can You Turn a Drop Hitch Upside Down

Can You Turn a Drop Hitch Upside Down – What Are the Consequences?

Imagine a scenario where you need to gain a couple of extra inches for the trailer, but all you have is a drop hitch! What would you do? Situations like this often call for thinking on your feet and finding an improv solution. That’s where the question arises, can you turn a drop hitch upside down?

A drop hitch plays a critical role when it comes to dropping the trailer height and ensuring safe towing. But there is still that confusion about whether or not it can work the other way around. And as for an improvised idea, its effectiveness solely relies on its results. Right?

This article will discuss the possibilities and consequences of flipping a drop hitch upside down. Instead of a surface-level answer, we are gonna take a pragmatic approach. You need an answer that’s detailed and takes different aspects & situations into account.

Turning a Drop Hitch Upside Down: Recommended or Not?

There isn’t a binary answer to the question we are trying to get the answer to, and nor should we try to get one! Because towing a heavy load on the road isn’t just about the vehicle, trailer, and goods. It also concerns the safety of the driver and the people on the road. 

I see that there are not just one but two matters at hand. Firstly, whether or not you can turn a drop hitch upside down, and secondly, if it’s recommended! In general, yes, you can turn a drop hitch upside down. And as a matter of fact, it does work well in most cases. 

Turning a drop hitch upside down is quite easy too. While attaching the trailer hitch to the receiver, you must keep the ball mounting side on the top instead of the bottom. However, the trailer ball needs to be facing upwards, as usual, to be functional.

Drop hitches come in different sizes and different designs. While some drop hitches can be functional to some extent after turning them upside down, others won’t be. At least, not the same way! The vehicle being used is also an important factor here.

And as far as I am concerned, that poses a great threat to has the potential to cause a severe accident on the road. That’s why turning a drop hitch upside down is not recommended. 

But yes, it can be used that way if you’ve already done a test drive with it on open ground and figured out the load capacity. You also need to check if it can withstand the pressure of a heavy load on a bouncy road.

Can You Turn a Drop Hitch Upside Down

Reasons for Turning a Drop Hitch Upside Down

In towing, the rule of thumb is to ensure that the trailer and the vehicle are sitting level. A drop hitch is usually used for lowering the position of the ball mounting. Or in short, it drops the mounting point and thus the name ‘drop hitch.’ But the use of a drop hitch isn’t limited to that only. 

People often use a drop hitch to gain extra height by turning it upside down. Two very common situations in towing can lead to that. For example, sometimes the trailer points towards the road even though the vehicle and the trailer are sitting on level ground. But why?

This can result from a faulty trailer or the trailer tongue coming a few inches lower after the loading. This compromises ground clearance and can cause trouble on the road. In this situation, you can keep the trailer level with the vehicle by turning a drop hitch upside down. 

Sometimes the trailer is sitting level on the ground, but the hitch receiver on the towing car is in a lower position than it should be. This situation usually requires a rise hitch to cover for the height gap. Instead, many people use an upside-down flipped drop hitch to function like a rise hitch. 

Does Turning a Drop Hitch Upside Down Affect Its Performance?

When a tool or device is designed for a particular purpose and used for something else, it’s sure to have some limitations. This is also true for a drop hitch used as a rise hitch by turning it upside down. As a matter of fact, there are several performance issues in different aspects. Here they are –

Compromised Weight Capacity

An upside-down turned drop hitch won’t have the same weight-bearing capacity as a usual drop hitch. Especially if it’s not designed and manufactured to be used both ways. As a matter of fact, the ones designed to be used for both rise and drop also have a significant gap in weight capacity.

The idea here is pretty solid. It’s like twisting your wrist and holding a heavy ball once using your palm and then using the back of your palm. In the first case, it’s doable because our hands are designed that way. The wrist joint works as a support and can withstand the strain. 

However, in the second case, holding the same ball will cause more strain on the wrist joint.

Prone to Wear and Tear

The tongue weight capacity significantly changes when you turn a drop hitch to use it in an upside-down position. The example of your hands and the heavy bowling ball will also be quite useful here. A change in the tongue weight capacity means the pressure will be more than it can withstand. 

As a result, the hitch will start wearing out sooner than it should. Both the trailer and the towing vehicle can also be affected by this. 

Things to Do Before Flipping the Drop Hitch Upside Down

Using an upside-down drop hitch doesn’t always have to be a safety concern. You can do that and still avoid any pleasant situations by ensuring a few things first. Here they are –

Check with the Manufactures

Some hitches are designed to work as drop hitch and rise hitch. The manufacturers sell the same thing for both purposes. So, if that’s the case, you have nothing to worry about. But if it’s not, you can call the helpline and ask for their advice. 

The tow bar and the tow tongue are equally important in this case. So make sure that you check with both manufacturing companies. Things will be much easier if the tow and the tow tongue are from the same company. 

See What the Vehicle Manufacturer Says

You need to consider the towing vehicle as much as anything else. If anything goes south, your towing vehicle will be the one to face significant damage. Sometimes, turning a drop hitch upside down can also affect the vehicle’s functionality. 

For example, a rise hitch is inconvenient for vehicles with barn doors and tailgates. That’s why checking with the vehicle manufacturer is important. 

Figure Out the Maximum Weight Capacity

As discussed earlier, flipping the hitch around significantly alters the recommended weight capacity. Usually, the ones used for both rise and drop have the maximum weight capacity written on them. In most cases, the recommended weight capacity after flipping the hitch is almost half. 

So, that’s what I recommend. If the drop hitch had a weight capacity of 2000 lbs., you must ensure it doesn’t cross 1000 lbs after turning it upside down. 

Final Thoughts

All kinds of improvisation in towing are acceptable as long as it ensures these two things— stability and safety. If you have tested it thoroughly and the performance didn’t seem off, I think that’s a green light. Still, you can follow my tips to be surer of it.

This conclusion isn’t based on my experience in towing alone. I researched what other individuals with first-hand experience think of this matter. In most cases, the response to the question was pretty much in favor, and only a few were against it completely.  

Hopefully, this article on “Can you turn a drop hitch upside down” will end all your confusion and help you better understand this matter.

Eddie Burton - Senior Author
Senior Author: Eddie Burton

Eddie Burton is a passionate car enthusiast and a seasoned mechanic with over 15 years of experience in the automotive industry. He has worked with a variety of vehicles, from classic muscle cars to modern luxury cars, and has extensive knowledge of all types of auto parts and accessories.

Eddie’s love for cars began at a young age when he would spend hours tinkering with his first car, a 1967 Mustang. Since then, he has pursued his passion for cars by working in various garages and workshops, honing his skills and expertise in everything related to automobiles.

As a contributor to our website, Eddie shares his in-depth knowledge and experience with our readers, providing valuable tips and advice on auto parts, repairs, and maintenance. He’s committed to helping car owners get the most out of their vehicles by providing honest and practical reviews of auto parts, accessories, and tools.

With Eddie’s vast experience and expertise, you can trust his recommendations and insights on everything related to cars. Whether you’re a seasoned car owner or a newbie in the world of automobiles, Eddie’s articles and reviews will help you make informed decisions and keep your vehicle running smoothly for years to come.

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