Should Truck with Camper in Bed Have Ball Mount Behind Rear of Camper or Under

Question:

I have a Jeep and am thinking of someday flat-towing it behind a 1-ton extended cab pickup with an 8-ft bed which cant turn very sharp and getting either an 8 1/2-ft long camper that would extend beyond pickup bed only to about the limits of bumper and hitch receiver and should likely create no turning clearance problems between rear corner camper jacks when mounted and the ends of the Jeeps bumpers using typical tow-bar setups and normal length ballmounts. But, if I purchased a 9 1/2 or 10-ft long camper with their longer rear overhangs, would the approximate 16-inch length of this ballmount with ball slightly under camper allow adequate turning clearance, or must the pivot point the ball always be just beyond rearmost point of camper? The campers in question would be only 7-ft width barely wider than truck and the Jeep is more narrow, reducing clearance issues. Vertical clearance should be no concern with a camper extending no lower than pickup bed with others, it would have to be measured. Im reluctant to go with hitch extensions because, combined with any ballmount, the pickups departure angle rear ground clearance when entering a steep driveway, for example, would be as compromised as a motorhomes and the longer ballmount alone is worrisome enough. Also, given that the leverage placed on a hitch receiver should be the same with a long ballmount or a hitch extension, why do long ballmounts not also de-rate the capacity of a hitch receiver, the same as a hitch extension would?

Expert Reply:

To answer your first question about whether or not the pivot point needs to be beyond the rear bumper/camper of the vehicle when flat towing the answer would be yes. This allows changes in elevation like you mentioned to not cause you to risk hitting the tow bar on the bottom of the camper. You also have to consider that when you add length to a ball mount the movement of the ball mount is exaggerated around corners as well which means the angle will become more severe which also affects ground clearance.

The big reason that longer ball mounts like the part # 80232 don't reduce capacity in the same way as hitch extenders is that there isn't added movement to the setup as well. You'll notice that the longer ball mounts don't usually have high weight capacities too. This is more or less how the added leverage reduces capacity.

In general it gets a bit more difficult flat towing a vehicle with a camper that extends out past the rear of the vehicle bumper.

expert reply by:
Jameson C

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