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The Pieces and Parts Needed to Tow a Trailer

Triple ball and hook mount

Hitch it up and go.

That’s all it takes, right? Stick a ball through the back bumper, drop a trailer on to that ball and drive away. No worries…

Well, not quite.

A competent hitch system is made up of several components. Let’s explore what goes into having a tow system that will do the job and do it safely.

The components

To safely hitch a trailer to a vehicle, you need the following components:

On your vehicle you need:

The hitch

the hitch
This is the connection between the tow vehicle and he trailer.

The hitch is the component that enables and creates the connection between the trailer and your vehicle. It is bolted to the frame of the vehicle so that it forms a stable and strong connection. All the forces of towing, accelerating, braking, tilting, and more that act on the vehicle as a result of towing are carried and absorbed by the hitch. It is important to get the correct kind of hitch for the type (weight) of towing that you are going to do. Hitches are made grouped into five classes with 1 being the lightest and 5 being the heaviest. Most trucks are set up with a class 3 hitch.

The ball mount

Ball mount
As the word implies, this is the piece on which you mount the tow ball.

A ball mount–as the word strongly implies–is the piece to which you attache the trailer ball on which the trailer coupler is attached. Two important things are drop and weight capacity.

Drop refers to how many inches below the receiver the ball mount sits. Common distances are 2 -10 inches, and usually available in 2-inch increments.

Ball mount drop.
The “Drop” is the distance in inches between the receiver and the ball mount
From Straight to Extreme Drop
Select the correct drop to bridge the difference in height between the tow vehicle and the trailer.

The ball

The trailer ball fits in the trailer coupler and connects the vehicle and the trailer.

The ball is the connection between the trailer and the tow vehicle. Trailer balls come in three principal sizes or diameters:
1 7/8
2
2 5/16
Two and 2 5/16 are the most common sizes and pretty much all trailers 12 ft in length and over have couplers that require a 2 5/16 ball.
The ball is secured to the ball mount with with a large nut and a lock washer. A 2 5/16 ball with a 1 1/4-inch shank will have a nut that takes a
1 7/8-inch wrench and if it’s a 1-inch shank, the nut will require a 1 1/2-inch wrench.

At Load Runner Trailers in Orlando we can install hitches, swap out ball mounts and trailer balls, install brake controllers, hitch systems, and much more. Give us a call at (407) 258-3266 to find out what we can do to make your trailer experience easier and more profitable.

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