Effect of Using Extra-Long Ball Mount for Towing

Question:

How does the length of the ball mount affect driving, towing capacity and weight distribution? Are there concerns when using a sway bar or weight distribution hitch on an extended ball mount? I purchased a used trailer and received a ball hitch with a 13 1/2 inch length center of ball to center of pin. I could use a shorter ball mount 7 1/2 but Im not sure of the pros and cons. Im hoping a shorter mount will improve the driving experience and weight distribution. I use a sway bar.

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Expert Reply:

Use of an extra-long ball mount like # 80232 will not reduce a hitch's towing weight capacity the way that use of a separate extender/adapter will. Extenders like # C45791 and # D-192 actually do reduce the hitch towing capacity by 50-percent.

Weight distribution hitch systems such as # C17501 should not be used with any type of hitch extender or adapter. A friction sway control unit like # 83660 can be used with an extra-long ball mount like # 80232 by adding a sway control bracket like # RP26003.

All other things being equal it is usually best to use a ball mount that is only as long as you truly need it to be to provide adequate vehicle-to-trailer clearance. A shorter one will tend to apply less stress to the hitch receiver tube and may reduce the tendency for rattle and play since there will be less force on the hitch tube.

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Adam R

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