How to Determine The Right Size Hitch to Buy

The Right Size Hitch to Buy

How do you know which is the right size hitch to buy?  We normally recommend at least 11” of clearance from the bottom of your LOADED trailer hitch ball mount to the ground, no less. That 11” of clearance gives you some leeway for bumps, dips, and slanted driveways so that you do not scrape the bottom of your hitch. Please keep in mind that this is a generic recommendation and there are other factors that could impact the distance from the bottom of the hitch to the ground, such as the quality or tension strength of your vehicle shocks.

  • Step 1: First, you will need to make sure that you are parked on level ground, and then measure from the top of your receiver on your tow vehicle to the ground.
  • Step 2: Once you have this measurement, you will then need to subtract the desired drop length from the initial measurement. It is important to note that all of the Weigh Safe drop hitches measure 3” longer than the listed drop length. For example, the 4” drop hitch is actually a total length of 7”.
  • Step 3: The total obtained after subtracting the drop is the amount of clearance you would have with that particular drop on that specific tow vehicle.

As a side note, if you are looking at purchasing our Weigh Safe 180 Drop Hitch, it is important to keep in mind that in addition to everything that we have discussed, when the slider is at the lowest point on the L-shaped draw bar, you will still have the second tow ball hanging down increasing the drop an additional 3”.  We recommend the same scenario be followed by ensuring a minimum of 11” of clearance from the bottom of the lowest hanging tow ball to the ground.

So let’s say for Step 1, we measure about 19-3/4” (give or take) from the top of the receiver to the ground. We predict that a 4” drop should work for this specific truck, given the previously mentioned variables.

right size hitch to buy

Moving on to Step 2, we would then subtract 7” (4” drop + additional 3”) from the 19-3/4” we measured.

the right sized hitch

In Step 3, we determine that 19-3/4”-7″ would leave us with approximately 12-3/4” of clearance from the bottom of the hitch to the ground (UNLOADED), and that’s if you go with the Weigh Safe Drop Hitch.

size of trailer hitch

If you decide to go with the Weigh Safe 180 Hitch, on the lowest setting, you would only have approximately 9-3/4” of clearance UNLOADED (19-3/4”-10”(4”drop + additional 3” + 3” hanging bottom tow ball)= 9-3/4” clearance).

size of hitch

So, the 6” drop would be too big for the truck in this scenario if you abide by the 11” of clearance rule. A 4” drop would give you the recommended 11” of clearance for this specific truck measuring 19-3/4” from receiver to ground. 


Always measure to ensure you are purchasing the correct size drop length and receiver size before you complete your order. If you don’t measure prior to purchasing, the chances of purchasing the wrong size drop length or shank size increases. If you do find yourself with a hitch that isn’t the right size for your tow vehicle, please contact our customer support team and we will see what we can do for you. If we are able to swap that wrong sized draw bar out for you, it is important to know that you will be responsible for the shipping costs both ways for the exchange.

Purchasing the appropriate size drop hitch will help you to experience a Weigh Safe Towing Peace of Mind.