Steel vs. Aluminum Ball Mounts

The best ball mount material for your towing setup depends on what you want to tow, how often you want to tow it, and how frequently you change ball mounts. Aluminum's durability and light weight make it ideal for almost any towing situation. On the other hand, steel offers an incredible weight capacity and a lower price point. Read on below to determine which popular ball mount type is right for you.

Steel vs Aluminum Infographic

Here are some of our most popular ball mounts from Curt, Draw-Tite, Fastway, and Weigh Safe - all well-known names in the towing business.

Steel
Curt

This popular, basic ball mount comes with a pre-torqued ball and a pin and clip for installation. Hard to beat at the price for a basic, high-quality mount that you can put to work right away.

  • Fits 2" x 2" receiver
  • Has everything you need to tow
  • Ball size: 2"
  • Towing capacity: 7,500 lbs
  • Tongue weight: 750 lbs
  • Drop: 2"
Steel
etrailer

In this kit, we put together two ball mounts that a lot of customers like. The kit offers 2" and 4" drop ball mounts and 1-7/8" and 2" balls. Handy storage bag included.

  • Fits 2" x 2" receiver
  • Has everything you need to tow
  • Ball sizes: 1-7/8" 2"
  • Towing capacity: 7,500 lbs (2" ball)
  • Tongue weight: 750 lbs
  • Storage bag included
Aluminum
Fastway

This adjustable, heavy duty, solid aluminum ball mount works hard and looks beautiful. The highly polished finish ensures that this mount can even add a touch of class to a show vehicle.

  • Fits 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" receiver
  • Polished finish
  • Ball size: 2" and 2-5/16"
  • Towing capacity: 18,000 lbs (2-5/16" ball)
  • Tongue weight: 1,800 lbs (2-5/16" ball)
  • Drop: adjustable - up to 6" rise or drop
Aluminum
Weigh Safe

Machined from a solid piece of aluminum, this light weight, sturdy ball mount can measure tongue weight. This allows you to easily adjust the load on your trailer for safe towing.

  • Fits 2" x 2" receiver
  • 6061 T6 Billet aluminum shank
  • Ball size: 2" and 2-5/16"
  • Towing capacity: 10,000 lbs (2-5/16" ball)
  • Tongue weight: 1,500 lbs
  • Drop: adjustable - up to 5" rise or 4" drop
Aluminum Ball Mounts

Aluminum's resistance to rust and corrosion makes it ideal for wet or humid environments. If you live in an area with high humidity or make frequent trips to the water, an aluminum ball mount will hold up longer than a steel one.

A common worry about aluminum ball mounts is that they are not as strong as steel and are therefore unsuitable for towing, but as long as the ball mount is rated for sufficient weight capacity to tow your trailer, an aluminum ball mount is just as capable of towing as a steel one. Aluminum mounts are also generally lighter than their steel counterparts.

However, while aluminum ball mounts are perfectly capable of towing within their weight limits, they do not have the same hefty weight capacities as steel ball mounts. The GTW range for most aluminum ball mounts is between 8,000 and 21,000 lbs., so if you need a ball mount that can handle more weight, steel is the better option. Aluminum is also more expensive, so if you only tow occasionally, you might not want to spring for an aluminum mount.

Steel vs Aluminum Infographic

Shop Aluminum Ball Mounts


Steel Ball Mounts

Steel is known for its incredible strength and weight capacity—the GTW range for most steel ball mounts is between 2,000 and 32,000 lbs. Steel ball mounts are also more cost-effective than their aluminum counterparts, so you have more weight capacity options at a lower price point.

On the other hand, steel is heavy, so it can be difficult to frequently change ball mounts if you tow multiple trailers. Most steel ball mounts are protected by a corrosion-resistant powder coat, but this layer does wear down over time. Steel is far less resistant to rust than aluminum is, so if you live or tow in an environment where your ball mount will regularly be exposed to humidity, road salt, or saltwater, it's crucial to properly maintain your steel ball mount in order to minimize corrosion.

💡 Did you know?

With steel and aluminum ball mounts of similar capacities, aluminum ball mounts can range from 5 lbs. to over 15 lbs. lighter than their steel counterparts.


Steel Maintenance and Rust Prevention

In order to maximize your steel ball mount's longevity, it's a good idea to routinely check for scratches and touch up any blemishes with rust-inhibiting spray paint (available at your local hardware store). Removing the ball mount when not in use can also help prevent rust and damage. Ball mounts should be stored in a dry location out of the natural elements. A durable ball mount storage bag is an excellent way to store your ball mount and other towing equipment when not in use.


Shop Steel Ball Mounts


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Written by: Amber S.
Updated on: 10/25/2018



Questions and Comments about this Article

Scott

Can you use a Forged Aluminum Drop Hitch Ball Mount in the raised position?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

Unless the product manufacturer specifically states not to use it in the rise position you definitely can use it that way. If you can let me know what part number you're using I can look into this a little more for you.



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