Why Use a Drop Hitch

Why Use a Drop Hitch – Let’s Find the Answer to Your Questions! 

Hauling lots of heavy stuff from one place to another is now easier with a trailer. A trailer saves you the trouble of hiring a cargo vehicle whenever you need extra space at the back of your car or SUV. But is it the only thing you need? Not really! You must have a well-functioning car hitch as well for safe towing.

There are different types of car hitches out there. Those hitches are designed and built to perform efficiently to serve distinct purposes. But the question we are dealing with today is, precisely, when and why use a drop hitch? 

In this article, we’ll discuss the nuts and bolts of a drop hitch (literally) and try to figure out the reasons behind using one. Understanding the exact reasons isn’t just about clearing the confusion. It’ll also help you understand this whole thing. 

First Thing’s First: What Is a Drop Hitch?

A drop hitch is a towing device used to ensure stability between the trailer coupler and the hitch receiver by adjusting their height and aligning them. 

The drop hitch works as an extension of a car’s hitch receiver, allowing you to adjust the mounting point a couple of inches lower than before. 

The design of a drop hitch looks like a roughly shaped z with a shank on one end and a ball mount on the other. 

The shank enters the hitch receiver, and a locking pin secures a strong attachment. 

The ball mount mounted to the trailer coupler remains a couple of inches below on the other side, and thus the name drop hitch!

A drop hitch is a robust, sturdy metal bar designed to withstand heavy loads without breaking or twisting. The weight capacity of a drop hitch can be a few hundred pounds to a couple of thousand pounds depending on factors such as – ball mount weight rating & shank weight rating.  

There are other factors like hitch class, weighing capacity of the towing vehicle, tongue weight, and trailer weight that you need to consider. While choosing a drop hitch, make sure you choose it precisely. Crossing the weight capacity can lead to some severe accidents on the road.

Why Use a Drop Hitch

When Is It Necessary to Use a Drop Hitch?

When towing a trailer, the rule of thumb is to ensure that the vehicle and the trailer are in a level position. It’s essential for maintaining balance and ensuring safety. Anything other than that can cause harm to the trailer and your vehicle. Sometimes it can cause some serious accidents.

The imbalance between the trailer and the vehicle causes involuntary trailer swaying on the road. It also compromises the minimum ground clearance required for the trailer’s tail to move safely. Both situations significantly threaten the driver and everyone around the vehicle!

That’s when it becomes essential to use a drop hitch. A drop hitch solves this issue by eliminating the height difference between the hitch receiver and the trailer coupler. You just need to figure out the height difference and attach a drop hitch that can deal with that. 

Keep reading to learn more about determining the right size of drop hitch in detail.

Here’s Why You Should Use a Drop Hitch

A drop hitch is a commonly used device for towing trailers. But why is that? The thing is, simply attaching a drop hitch can single-handedly solve a lot of towing issues. That’s what we are going to discuss in this part. Here are some of the benefits of using a drop hitch –

Improves Handling & Stability

A drop hitch significantly improves the handling and maneuverability of the vehicle. It creates a link between the tow vehicle and the trailer stable. The more stable a trailer is, the easier it is to control. It allows the driver to take turns relatively quickly without slowing down too often and in less time.

Eliminates Risk on the Road

When the trailer is level on the ground, it eliminates unnecessary movements. So, you won’t need to worry about the trailer going out of control and colliding with another vehicle or the road dividers. 

Also, the trailer’s rear end remains less saggy while allowing enough ground clearance. That means there won’t be any risk regarding the tail touching the road while moving upwards.

Significantly Reduces Wear & Tear

When the trailer is not level with the ground, it can cause involuntary movements and bounce. The extra stress caused by that results in the wearing and tearing of the trailer. Different components of the towing vehicle, such as the suspension, tire, and rear bumper, can also get damaged by this. 

Using an adequately adjusted drop hitch can eliminate this kind of issue and improve the lifespan of both the vehicle and the trailer. A smooth drive also eliminates the possibility of damage to the things you carry on the trailer.

Increases Fuel Efficiency

By keeping the trailer level with a drop hitch, you can ensure a smooth journey on the road. This can significantly reduce wind resistance and allow you to get some extra miles with the same fuel. Also, the unnecessary movements of the trailer won’t hinder the speed, and you’ll be able to cover more distance in less time. 

Offers Great Versatility

Regarding towing, a drop hitch is a very cost-effective solution. As the drop hitch can be easily mounted or unmounted, you can use it for different trailers and vehicles according to your need. 

Then again, if you go for an adjustable drop hitch, you can use it in almost any towing situation requiring lowering the mounting point.   

How Can I Figure Out the Size of the Drop Hitch?

In this part of the article, we’ll discuss an important thing that we left unfinished — determining the right size of the drop hitch. We are diving into the details because choosing the right drop hitch for your vehicle is quite crucial. Here’s how you can do that –

Step 01

The first step is determining the drop Hitch Height. You must find a level surface and park the trailer and the towing vehicle there. Use a bubble-level tool to check if the trailer is level or not. If not, you need to raise or lower the tongue as necessary. 

Once the trailer is level, use a measuring tape to figure out the height. Place the hook on the ground and take the height to the bottom surface of the trailer coupler. 

Step 02: 

The next step is to determine the hitch receiver’s size. The extension with a square opening attached to the tow vehicle frame is the hitch receiver of your vehicle. Measure the gap between the two sides from the inside. In most cases, it’s a 2-inch square, but it can vary from one vehicle to another. 

Use the measuring tape again to measure the height of the receiver’s top the inside from the ground. Use the bubble-level tool to ensure you’re holding the measuring tape straight from the receiver opening. 

Step 03

Now it’s time to consider both measurements and find the difference between the two height measurements. The calculated difference between these two measurements determines the size of the required drop hitch for your vehicle. 

If the difference says ‘’X” inch, you’ll need an X-inch drop hitch to keep the trailer and the receiver on the same level. It’s not rocket science, but the precision here is essential. 

My Last Words!

A drop hitch is an excellent tool for eliminating erratic movements and a saggy trailer tail. It doesn’t just make towing convenient and efficient. It also makes sure you avoid any kind of trailer crash accidents on the road. After all, towing is safer with an adequately adjusted hitch, right?

After reading this article, I hope you won’t be confused about why you need to use a drop hitch if the situation calls for it. I wrote this article based on my experience on the road and the knowledge I’ve accumulated about towing over the years. I hope you found it helpful!

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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