A CURT trailer hitch ball mount offers a reliable connection for your vehicle and trailer. Ball mounts are available with 1-1/4", 2", 2-1/2" and 3" shanks. We offer everything from standard to specialized, including adjustable ball mount options. From camping trips to commercial jobs, find the right hitch ball mount from CURT.
How to Select a Ball Mount
Hitching up your trailer requires a secure connection, not just a reliable trailer hitch receiver, but also the right ball mount to complement your towing setup.
In the following guide, we will walk through some of the considerations for buying a trailer hitch ball mount. We'll talk about your vehicle, trailer, hitch and other towing accessories to make sure you select the perfect ball mount to suit your needs and preferences.
What is a ball mount?
Before considering which ball mount to buy, it is important to understand the difference between a ball mount and a trailer hitch. The term trailer hitch is sometimes used interchangeably for both.
A trailer hitch is the structural component that bolts onto your vehicle and provides a receiver for inserting different hitch accessories.
A ball mount is a trailer hitch accessory that inserts into your vehicle's hitch receiver. It provides a solid trailer ball platform and is sometimes referred to as a ball hitch.
Three qualifications for choosing a ball mount
The ball mount that you choose for your vehicle and trailer should meet three qualifications. It needs to have the correct shank size, adequate weight capacity and the right drop / rise.
The square tube of the ball mount that inserts into the hitch must match the dimensions of the hitch receiver.
The ball mount must be rated to tow your trailer, including both gross trailer weight and tongue weight.
Drop vs. rise
The ball mount must accommodate the height of the vehicle and trailer to keep them both level.
Step 1: What size ball mount do I need?
Trailer hitch ball mounts come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and styles to accommodate virtually any towing setup. However, shank sizes are standardized to four basic options: 1-1/4", 2", 2-1/2" and 3".
The shank size of the ball hitch must match the receiver tube size of your trailer hitch. If the shank and receiver tube do not match, a receiver tube adapter will be needed. To find the best ball mount for your trailer hitch, measure the receiver tube opening.
How to measure a ball mount
A. Rise is the distance the ball platform is set above the top of the shank.
B. Drop is the distance the ball platform is set below the top of the shank.
C. Hole size is the diameter of the trailer ball shank required to fit in the ball mount.
D. Length is the distance from the pin hole center to the ball hole center.
Step 2: How much can a ball mount tow?
Once the shank size is determined, you must know the weight of the trailer you’ll be towing. There are two measurements to consider: gross trailer weight (GTW) and tongue weight (TW). The GTW is the total weight of your trailer. The TW is the weight of the trailer, measured at the tongue or coupling point.
The ball hitch you purchase must exceed the GTW and TW. However, it may be more helpful to consider your vehicle's tow rating, as determined by the vehicle manufacturer. Because you may want to tow other trailers in the future, it is best to select a ball hitch that meets or exceeds your vehicle's tow rating.
Step 3: How to determine ball mount drop
Finally, you must consider the amount of drop your trailer will need. Drop is determined by the height difference between the vehicle and trailer. When towing, your vehicle and trailer must be level. If your trailer rides lower than your vehicle, a ball mount can be used to make up the difference.
The diagram below offers a quick explanation for how to determine the amount of drop needed. Measure the distance from the ground to the top of the inside of your hitch receiver (A), and subtract it from the distance from the ground to the bottom of the trailer coupler (B). B minus A equals C, the drop.
Can you flip a ball mount?
Many trailer hitch ball mounts are designed to be flipped in the receiver tube to allow for necessary rise. Rise is the opposite of drop. It is needed when a trailer rides higher than the tow vehicle. Rise can be determined using the same method shown.
Before choosing a ball hitch for a rise application, be sure to check that it is compatible. Not all models can safely be used in the rise position.
What about adjustable ball mounts?
If you are planning to tow different trailers with differing coupler heights, you may wish to select an adjustable trailer hitch ball mount. Adjustable mounts allow for incremental height adjustment and can typically be flipped for use in the drop or rise position to maximize versatility.
An adjustable hitch mount is an excellent choice for work trucks and fleet vehicles that will be used for towing multiple trailers.
Step 4: With or without a trailer ball?
With the shank size, weight capacity and drop or rise determined, the only thing left to consider is the trailer ball. CURT offers ball mounts with or without a ball included. Our towing starter kits come with a pre-attached trailer ball and other accessory options. For this option, make sure the ball diameter matches your coupler size.
CURT ball mounts are also available without a trailer ball. Before selecting this option, understand that a trailer ball requires a great amount of torque for installation. Professional assistance may be needed.
What about multi-ball mounts?
An alternative ball hitch option is a multi-ball mount. As the name suggests, a multi-ball mount has multiple trailer balls on one shank, each with a different diameter. This allows you to easily switch between ball sizes without requiring you to purchase multiple ball mounts.
The same guidelines of shank size, weight capacity and drop / rise apply to multi-ball mounts.