Last Updated on May 3, 2023 by Will Sabel
Owning multiple trailers or loads of goods to carry takes a lot of physical work. Now think of having to own separate hitches and different ball mounts to fit every trailer.
That’s just exhausting to imagine.
Nevertheless, a perfect trailer hitch and the ball mount of the right size are what you need to perfect your experience.
Here’s the thing, choosing the correct size, or even the correct matter will deeply influence the journey and the experience.
Hitching up your trailer and towing is a lot easier than you might think. This article will help you in filtering. Choose between the best adjustable hitches according to your needs and budget while navigating you to the best buying guide for choosing the right hitch.
All of the recommendations are personally researched. The experience might differ from one person to another.
Before we jump to the list, let us get a clear idea of what hitch and ball mount is.
Towing system: Know the Parts
Towing system usually includes the trailer, the medium used to connect them, and the vehicle.
What’s a trailer hitch?
Here’s what I found on Wikipedia-
‘A tow hitch is a device attached to the chassis of a vehicle for towing or a towbar to an aircraft nose gear.’
Or maybe, a trailer hitch is a structural component that eases the process of connecting carrier vehicles to the trailer while acting as a medium between them. On top of that, a ball mount is just an accessory for a trailer hitch.
If I get into the depth of the concept, there are receiver hitches and tow hitches. Receiver hitches are the kind of trailer hitches that are placed onto the bottom of a vehicle, at the rear, and implement a tube for connecting a ball mount or any other hitch accessory to it. The tow hitch is the other name of the trailer hitch. Both are termed as pieces of equipment used in towing the trailers.
What is a ball mount?
In simple words for beginners, a ball mount is an accessory to the receiver’s hitch. The body includes a trailer ball platform and a shank. The platform provides the mounting point for the trailer and the shank inserts into the hitch receiver tube.
You will get to choose your warrior here as the ball mount comes in both fixed and adjustable positions. Other than that, you will notice all ball mounts come with a hole in their shank to accept hitch lock or hitch pin.
Some exclusions include trailer balls being pre-torqued or combined into places. These are popularly known as ‘loaded’ ball mounts.
A ball hitch is another name for ball mount and like the previous one, acts as a receiver accessory. This acts as a medium to connect or hook up with the trailer.
What is a trailer ball?
The trailer ball is the immediate connection between the trailer and the vehicle. It usually remains connected with the trailer coupler and helps the vehicle and trailer to travel smoothly without harsh distractions.
The trailer ball consists of one metal ball attached with an elongated stem. It comes in different shapes and sizes. You can customize or choose one according to the size of your trailer coupler.
Hitch Ball is just another name of the trailer ball.
This is just the basic idea of all the components that you might come across while researching on trailer hitch or ball mount. Having all these ideas is enough to know the one that’s the best for you.
Top 5 Adjustable Hitches I Found in 2023
Adjustable hitches are the way to go. They are versatile, handy, and can be used anytime and at any place. But as much as they are available in the market, I usually get confused about their quality and longevity.
I researched for the best one and came up with the 5 best adjustable hitches that will satisfy your needs without breaking your bank.
CURT 45900 Adjustable Trailer Hitch Ball Mount – Top Pick
As I said, going back and forth for different hitches to adjust the size is very exhausting. Adjustable hitches and ball mounts are a lifesaver in this case. CURT Adjustable Trailer Hitch Ball Mount is just the one you might be looking for.
CURT’s Adjustable hitch Ball mount acts channel-style and as a multipurpose to the trailer. It includes a shank measuring 2” x 2” and two different ball sizes for different coupler sizes. The good news is, it includes another shank assembly that has mountain holes. It helps in varying ball heights.
There are mountain holes in the shank. This helps you lower the trailer or even bring the trailer in a high position by adjusting in any towing situation. CURT also provides a built-in anti-rattle mechanism that avoids chunky metal noises. You can install your own trailer ball size too. There is no limitation on CURT’s adjustable hitch when it comes to flexibility.
All these make the product quite versatile to use. The shank adjusts itself to any towing system going down by 6 inches or up by more than 5 inches.
But that does not make it difficult to work with. CURT included built-in anti-rattle features to make the process smooth and noise-free. This eliminates chucking, ratting, and deterring vibrations at the coupling points. So just enjoy a smooth and quiet journey with CURT!
As versatile as they appear to be, the materials are top-notch regardless. This is constructed by using high-strength metals to provide maximum support.
Two balls are present on either side attached to the shank. 2” inch ball can cover over 10,000 lbs while a 2-5/16 inch for 14,000 lbs. There is no chance of breaking due to the quality of the material.
The material is well-trained for their external services. On top of that, CURT ensured the safety of the hitches and balls too. The adjustable ball mount is protected by layers of long-lasting carbide black powder coat finish. The dual ball has the protection of zinc plating which is corrosion-resisting.
The cons may include the price point. It is comparatively more expensive than most of the trailers. It would be a really good deal if you can get it at the sale price. But considering the features it has, I guess you can give them that. Also, it is weather-resistant. You don’t have to worry about it malfunctioning.
What more can you ask for? This has to be the one.
B&W Trailer Hitches Tow & Stow – Premium Pick
Were you just impressed by two ball mounts right now? Wait till you hear about this my next best adjustable hitch candidate.
B&W Trailer Hitches Tow & Stow is the most versatile adjustable trailer hitch that I ever come across. You’ve already guessed by now that it is more than Curt’s.
And you are right.
It has 3 ball mounts, also popularly known as tri-ball. Three balls serve the purpose of three different needs eliminating the need for multiple ball usage. These three balls are placed on three sides of the tool.
So, whenever you need to fit a certain-sized ball mount, you can grab one of the sizes and it’s good to fit in the trailer. The 2’’-inch receiver fits well in most situations.
The trailer is adjustable as I always like them to be. Along with the ball mounts being very versatile, the trailer hitch also provides enough flexibility for a smooth journey. Just like all mounts, you can also pull the adjustable trailer higher according to your need.
It drops down to 5’’ inch of the hitch. The trailer has options to go down as well, so you can choose your preferences as you change your trailers without going back and forth for different heights.
Now about the quality, all the parts and materials for this are manufactured and made in the USA. The company assured its clients to rest assured of the quality and so do I. I mean, they do offer a lifetime warranty with every purchase, don’t they?
Not only does it protect its job smoothly, but also it has a healthy amount of coating to prevent itself from external damage or any environmental damage. The coatings are of e-coat and lack powder coat all over zinc phosphate base on the tool.
This coating helps the trailer hitch to save itself from corrosion inside and outside. Plus, with the lifetime warranty that they offer, you literally have nothing to worry about.
With this in your trailer, you do not even need to think of an extra carrier or space to carry the hitch itself. This cool (a very cool one indeed) hitch can stow itself under the vehicle when it’s not in use. This also protects the hitch from garage doors, shins, and other safety issues.
All you have to do is to use it, use the stow feature and then enjoy the rest of your journey.
Cons might include not having a locking pin along with the hitch. but the locking pin is sold separately. Hence, if you think you can’t go without it, the company sells them off separately. Other than that, I think this one is an all-rounder!
B&W Trailer Hitches Tow & Stow: dual ball
Remember when I told you B&W Trailer Hitches make amazing adjustable hitches? Certainly. We remember them killing it last time.
Hear me out now. They came up with the same material, same service but with dual ball mounts. This means it is the same experience but with cheaper and more versatile techniques you can ever think of.
I’ll start with the most common feature, the size; and the number of balls. As I said earlier, this one comes with two ball mounts. They are made of the highest quality steel that is imported and manufactured by the USA.
This multipurpose mount helps to eliminate the hassle of carrying multiple mounts for different sizes of trailers. With dual ball mounts, this time it comes cheaper with the same or more versatility.
The hitch is adjustable to 3’’ drops. Similar to the ball mount versatility, you can use this to tow or adjust the drop length according to your trailer’s needs. Keep the required height into consideration, and the whole process will flow effortlessly with the versatile ball mount.
B&W has given the quality of the hitches the highest priority while manufacturing them. They swore by the steels of the USA and I cannot really complain. Looking at the quality of the material, you can already tell it is going to last you a decade. The performance does not differ either.
The company made sure it was protected too. The adjustable hitch has a layer of coating over the zinc base. It is also coated by a black powder coat that provides protection against corrosion not only on the outside but also to the insides of the adjustable hitch.
Like the previous one, you can also stow it when you are done or not working with it. But the con for this one comes with this too. The stowing feature has dropped from the previous model making it a not recommended product for stowing up.
Instead of stowing it up in emergency cases, you can just throw it in the trunk after you’re done working with them. It is not a big issue with the huge space in your car laying for nothing.
Lastly, it is weather-resistant. I think this one is very underrated when it comes to choosing the perfect adjustable hitch. Your hitch is most useful outdoors. Hence, it is important to be weather-resistant.
Otherwise, the outdoor weather might be too harsh for the hitch and it would take minutes for it to stop functioning like it’s supposed to.
This comes with a lifetime warranty. So even after all the chaos with its protection and weather-resistant capability, you can stay relaxed. Even if something happens to the quality of the tool, the lifetime warranty will cover most of the losses caused by an unnatural set of events.
Weigh Safe 180 Hitch CTB10
This is probably the most iconic adjustable hitch that I came across while researching for the good ones. This one looks huge in person and has a weight rating of 18,000 lbs.
Weigh Safe 180 hitch is the only adjustable hitch in the market with a built-in Hydraulic Tongue Weight Gauge in the slider. All of these are designed to smoothen the process for heavy-duty. In short, you will be reading about a literal beast.
I might talk about adjustable ball mount, but this one with a 10-inch drop hitch changed the whole game. It even helps with a perfect fit as the drop hitch to 1’’ every time. Unlike the last trailer hitches, this one comes with a dual pin lock mechanism to help you secure your trailer.
Dual ball mounts come in different sizes made with the highest quality of steel. Just a simple rotation will make the tow alls change tire size for you to fit in the trailer. These steel tow balls are chrome plated too and built for optimal executions. The coating makes it the best looking on the market, without a doubt. Stowing options are found on this tool too. But we are yet to find out how well that works.
When they say it is made of 22 lbs. of solid Aircraft Grade Billet Aluminum & Chrome Plated Steel, they sure were not kidding with the heavy-duty feature. This has a towing capacity of 18,000 lbs.
You can use this for everyday work or occasional heavy trailers. With the adjustable feature, you can attach it to the trailer of different heights with the same vehicle.
So, you will be done with this all-in-one combo.
Name everything you want in an adjustable hitch, and this one right here will do the job. Apart from that, this easily fits your needs. The drop hitch comes in different sizes starting from a 4-inch drop, 6-inch drop, 8-inch drop, and 10-inch drop. They come in different shank sizes too- 2’’, 2.5’’, and 3’’ sizes of the shank.
This is said to be the 180-degree hitch at its best. The 180 Hitch is the portrayal of adaptability and alleviation, with a display of hitch ball sizes, and premium aluminum pieces. Comparing this with the arrangement of the shank, hitch, and ball mounts, this one tops for me. You guys really need to check this out.
The drawback will include it being heavily priced and sometimes might be overwhelmingly heavy. If I consider the services I’m getting through this, I would probably overlook the price point as something ‘negative’.
If you can afford to spend some money on a good quality hitch that may last you for a lifelong time, you should think again before letting this one go.
The hitch looks pretty in general too. Give it a try if you can afford to, it surely would not disappoint you.
Andersen Hitches Rapid Hitch 3410
I can’t leave this one out of my list of best adjustable hitches when we talk about quality. Andersen Hitches Rapid Hitch has to be made with the highest quality of steel and other materials. With all that in mind, it is surprisingly lighter than you would imagine it to be.
Well, this solves the previous problem of the adjustable hitch being way too heavy. I don’t see anything like that here, so this one is already one step ahead.
The 6’’-inch drop and rise is the most practical one yet. This allows you to adjust your hitch according to the height of the trailer like a breeze. Unfortunately, this one does not come with a pin lock so you have to be careful with that one.
Here lies the real reason why this hitch is called ‘rapid’ hitches. This hitch comes with two ball mounts of different sizes. The material is lightweight, durable, and made of steel that is of the highest quality. All you have to do is pull the pin to drop the length or slip it back to fit the height of the trailers.
And more importantly, you can do this in a matter of seconds, which is– rapidly. That’s why the name stays true to its antics.
The hitch is adjustable. It has a heavy-duty towing capacity with a weight rating of 1500/10,000 lbs for a 2-5/16’’ inches ball. With the 2’’ all, it has a towing capacity of 8,000 lbs. The aluminum is lightweight so you can move the mount as you want.
They assured that the materials were of the highest quality. The aluminum will be rust-free, gross-free, and better looking even if you do not take remarkable care of them.
This also comes with free Anderson stickers. Basically, it is easy maintenance and has better longevity than most other hitches at this price point.
The hitch again fits all the receivers of standard sizes. Even if it does not somehow, you can work it out with sleeves and locking pins. These are sold separately for your convenience.
I haven’t come across any noticeable disadvantages of this one yet. The only one that I can think of is the low versatility compared to the other hitches on the list. If you need to work with a lesser number of trailers, I don’t think this would affect you much.
If you think a lightweight, strong, and durable adjustable hitch calls your name, this one’s for you!
A Sneak Peek into My Research – Here’s what you need to Know
Towing a trailer should be one of the most daring and sensitive acts because, to be honest, it is quite risky if it’s not done properly. It could even lead to dangerous life-threatening situations. So if you are new here, know what you are getting yourself into.
If you ask me, there are tons of factors to look into if you are still a newbie. In short, do your research properly, just not for the sake of it.
I’ll list down some of the factors that you must know before you buy your precious one. To remind you, the research does not stop here. A little more knowledge on the topic will always keep you safe.
Drop or Rise Measurement is Important
Since all of them are adjustable hitches, you should really look into the drop and rise lengths of the trailer hitch. Alongside this, keep an idea of the different heights that you need for the trailers.
Sizes differ a lot and not all of them offer a range of hitches of different heights. You will be wasting both your time and wealth if you are not careful with your requirements for your hitch.
Choose your drop and rise versatility according to that requirement. If not, you’ll end up buying hitches that are not flexible enough to support your huge number of trailers.
Consider the Layers of Protection
Always check the finishing layers of protection of the product before buying any product.
Adjustable hitches, to be exact.
This hitch is going to serve you in the sweetest weather to the worst traveling weather possible. Before beginning your journey, it is very important for you to educate yourself on hitches that will last through rough weather or just weather-resistant in general.
This also implies having coatings of durable materials for the longevity of the tool. I suggest you look into the product details of every hitch and find out the coatings over the base.
For people who frequently travel with trailers, check out the performance of the hitch during harsh natural conditions.
Opt for something that is weather-resistant with a protective finish of the highest quality. It is an unavoidable factor as outdoor malfunctioning can lead to dangerous accidents in the middle of a journey.
Capacity and Towing Weight Ratings
I listed all the towing capacities of every adjustable hitch along with an approximate weight rating. If you are new to this, do not skip this part. Rather, do your research after reading this part of the article.
Every trailer hitch or hitch for trailers comes with a weight rating as I mentioned in the list. These weight capacities change with the size of the hitch ball. These weight ratings are the measurements of the highest weight these hitches can carry for trailers.
You need to be very careful while choosing the hitch according to the weight ratings. Keep your priorities straight on the requirements. You should not overload the trailers more than the hitch can bear, to avoid accidents.
Flexibility is Your Friend
An all-rounder adjustable hitch is supposed to be very easy to use even if you are just beginning. Most of the brands that I mentioned in my list provide guidance, relevant accessories, and even a warranty in some cases.
It should come with manuals to give you directions. Some of them will even include extra accessories to help you smoothen the process.
Hitches that come with guidance would be the best for those you are just starting. Those might cost a little more with all the included accessories. But I would not mind paying a few bucks more for guaranteed services and guidance from well-known and reputed brands.
Get Your Priorities Right
Set your priorities straight after you decide to buy a hitch. Be consistent in what you are looking for and start with that one. The rest will fall in place after you decide to set your priorities.
Let’s start with the most common factor for priorities, budget. Many people, including me, have the tendency to look at the price tag before I judge that product for my purchase. This actually is a good way to clean and narrow your list down to something that you can afford only.
Basically, it will be the products within your budget minus the noise.
After you have narrowed down your list, it would be pretty easy to choose considering secondary factors. You can go on like this until you find your desired one.
Priorities other than the budget will yield the same results. Just keep the consistency constant and you are good to go.
Types of Trailer Hitches
Trailer hitches are classified into five classes that represent a general rating for weight distribution, gross trailer weight, tongue weight, and hitch receiver size.
Basically, the ones that I mentioned previously.
This is mostly inside news but I learned from some articles that hitch manufacturers like to rate hitches on the basis of their classes as demarcated by the SAE standard.
Most hitch ball mounts and hitch supplements are available in 1 1/4-inch and 2-inch sizes. The size is similar to the size of the square receiver on the hitch. I’m going to elaborate them below:
The rating starts with this one. This includes a hitch receiver size of 1 1/4 inches with a gross trailer weight rating of up to 2,000 pounds. also, a tongue weight rating of up to 200 pounds for class I.
This is a hitch receiver with the same hitch receiver size of class I (1 1/4 inches) which includes a gross trailer weight rating of up to 3,500 pounds, and a tongue weight rating of up to 350 pounds.
This one has slight changes to the sizes of the hitch receiver being a 2-inch hitch receiver size. The gross trailer weight rating will be up to 8,000 pounds which will include a tongue weight rating of up to 800 pounds. We’ll also need a weight-distribution hitch rating and it needs to have a rating of no more than 12,000 pounds.
A Class IV hitch receiver has a 2-inch hitch receiver size, similar to class iii. This includes a tongue weight rating of up to 1,000 pounds. We will have to count the gross trailer weight rating too, with a rating of up to 10,000 pounds. They also included a weight-distribution hitch rating of up to 12,000 pounds.
We reached the last one! The Class IV hitch receiver has a similar hitch receiver size (2 inches). The gross trailer weight rating is less than 17,000 pounds and the tongue weight rating of up to 2,400 pounds. The weight distribution has a massive difference of hitch rating up to 17,000 pounds.
The last one was not on the list of the SAE standard officially, but the manufacturers use it for their convenience for construction work.
These are only some of the factors that you can consider before you commit yourself to a trailer hitch. This should do the job of choosing the perfect one for your amazing journey experience.
Why should I use the Best Adjustable Hitch Available to Me?
This is a commonly asked question. Why do I have to spend extra bucks to find the best available product? Why can’t I settle for less? The answer is simple; if you don’t plan on having more than one trailer in your entire life, then the rest of the writing is not for you.
If you are still reading, I’m assuming you plan on owning multiple trailers. It’s common sense that not all your trailers will fit your truck’s receiver’s requirement. Some of them will be shorter from the connecting point. Most of them will not match the height.
You have two choices at the moment. Buy a general hitch for every trailer you purchase or buy an adjustable hitch that will help to connect all of your trailers to your truck.
Keeping budget and versatility issues in my mind, going with the second option seems more relevant to me. There are other reasons, of course. I’ll list them down for you:
Save your pocket: I do not know about you but I definitely wouldn’t purchase tons of hitches just because I own more than one trailer. A good quality general hitch is expensive enough to last you a decade.
I can’t even imagine going back and forth because my trailers are of different heights. An adjustable hitch will give you the freedom of using it with all of your trailer hitches in one go. Check the drop and rise points from the description for the perfect match.
Multiple utilization: Along with the multiple uses of the adjustable hitch, you can also use the dual all to have the all-in-one advantage. Now you have all mounts to help you with customization with a huge selection of their sizes. All you need to do is to find the perfect size and my guidance on the factors that you should look for in an adjustable hitch.
Versatility: If it has adjustable in its name, know that it is versatile enough to do most of your hitch work. Starting with the ball mounts from adjusting height, this hitch will do everything that you could ask more. It’s nearly impossible to do that with a regular or general hitch at this point.
Frequently Asked Questions by Inquisitive People
I picked out some of the most asked questions on adjustable hitches. I will try to simplify and answer for you to understand!
How can I install an adjustable hitch?
Pretty easy. All you gotta do is:
- Release the safety clip.
- Remove the pin.
- As you separate the parts, you’ll see holes in both of them. You can adjust the tool to whatever height you need it to be.
- Put the pin to your desired height to lock it.
- You can also lock it upside down.
And, you’re done!
How high should a hitch be off the ground?
A minimum of 10 to 11’’-inch from the ground is suggested. Try to keep it at 11’’-inch as it will protect your trailer from road damage while it eases the experience.
Can I tow more with a weight distribution hitch?
No, it’s a myth. This will not magically lower your trailer’s weight or anything. Weight rating is very important to maintain if you want to keep yourself and your trailer safe from dangerous accidents.
Can I use an adjustable hitch with a weight distribution system?
Yes, some adjustable hitches are designed to be compatible with weight distribution systems. However, always check the manufacturer’s specifications and recommendations to ensure compatibility.
Are adjustable hitches more expensive than fixed hitches?
Adjustable hitches tend to be more expensive than fixed hitches due to their added convenience and versatility.
Can I tow multiple trailers with an adjustable hitch?
Towing multiple trailers with an adjustable hitch is possible if your tow vehicle, hitch, and trailers meet the necessary requirements for weight capacity and compatibility. You must also comply with any local regulations and laws.
Is it possible to lock an adjustable hitch to prevent theft?
Yes, many adjustable hitches can be locked to prevent theft. Some models come with built-in locking mechanisms, while others require a separate hitch lock or locking hitch pin.
Do adjustable hitches come with a warranty?
Many adjustable hitches come with a warranty. But the coverage and duration may vary between manufacturers.
An adjustable trailer or tow hitch can never go to waste. If you end up buying one from my list, that one might last you for a long time, as they are of good quality and carefully handpicked by me,
Don’t forget to check the buying guide before purchasing. Best of luck with that.