HOW TO MEASURE AND DETERMINE WHAT SIZE OF WEIGH SAFE HITCH YOU NEED.
There isn’t going to be one single hitch for everybody… Which is why Weigh Safe offers multiple options for trailer shank size and drop length so that you can find the one for you.
Need help figuring out what size of shank and/or drop length you need? You’re in the right place! By the time you’re finished reading this blog, you’ll know how to:
- Measure and determine what shank size you need
- Measure and determine how much ground clearance you have & need
- Measure and determine what drop length you need based on your trailer.
All you’re going to need is a measuring tape, your towing vehicle, and your trailer. Let’s get started!
1. SHANK SIZE
Most vehicles nowadays either have a 2” or a 2.5” receiver, whereas newer and bigger trucks may have a 3” receiver (usually only Fords).
The shank size of the trailer hitch should reflect the size of your vehicle’s receiver. To know what size your receiver is, all you need to do is measure the inside of the square opening on your receiver. If you have a receiver sleeve, make sure that you measure the opening of inside that sleeve (unless you are wanting to/able to take it out).
- PRO TIP: NEVER GUESS
Once measured, your receiver should either be 2″, 2.5″ or 3″. For your Weigh Safe Hitch, simply select the one that is the same size as your vehicle’s receiver.
2. DROP SIZE
The drop length will depend on 2 things:
- Ground Clearance
- Where your trailer coupler is.
We always recommend having at least 11″ of ground clearance.
Because it is never fun hitting or scraping the bottom of your hitch while towing.
HOW TO MEASURE GROUND CLEARANCE
- Measure from the top inside of the receiver on your tow vehicle to the ground.
- Find the total drop length of the hitch you are looking at. Keep in mind that each of our drop lengths are 3″ longer in total length* (and if you are wanting the 180* hitch, add an extra 3″ for that lower tow ball)**.
- The total that you get after subtracting step #2 is the amount of ground clearance you would have with that particular drop hitch. As mentioned before, we always recommend having at least 11″ of ground clearance.
- 9” (6” Drop = 9” in total length)
- 20” – 9” = 11” Total Ground clearance
In this example, we would recommend going with the 6″ Drop or smaller in order to have at least 11″ of ground clearance.
* Each of our Weigh Safe Drawbars are going to be 3” longer than their listed drop length. (This is so the slider can fit on and still give you the listed drop). So the 4” is 7” in total length, the 6” is 9” in total length, and so on.
** If you are wanting/planning to buy the Weigh Safe 180° Hitch, please keep in mind that the bottom tow ball will hang lower about an extra 3” when on the lowest height setting. So if this applies to you, simply add an extra 3” to the drop height in step #2.
NEXT: MEASURE YOUR TRAILER COUPLER HEIGHT
If your trailer rides lower or higher than your truck, you will need a specific drop length that can be used to make up the difference and ensure the trailer is level. When loaded, both your truck and trailer must be level with the ground!
HOW TO MEASURE WHAT DROP LENGTH YOU NEED FOR YOUR TRAILER
- Measure from the top inside of the receiver to the ground.
- Measure from the BOTTOM of the coupler to the ground when the trailer is LEVEL.
- Pro tip: Be sure your trailer is exactly level with the ground by placing a level on the top of your trailer’s coupler. Use the crank on your trailer jack to adjust the height, up or down, until the level is plumb, then take your measurement.
- Find the difference between #1 and #2 measurements. This is the least amount of drop that you will need in order for your truck and trailer to be level when loaded.
- 24″ – 17″ = 7”
In this example, we know that we need at least 7” of drop in order for the trailer to be level so we ended up going with the 8” drop length.
Since there is 24” of ground clearance from the top inside of the receiver to the ground, the 8” drop size is sufficient to meet the coupler while still maintaining at least 11” of ground clearance.
Here’s a video that demonstrates everything we talked about:
What if I can go with multiple drop lengths?
Let’s say you measure your truck and trailer, and you can go with any drop length while still having the recommended 11″ of ground clearance. At that point, it is totally up to you to decide which drop length you would like to go with and which one you prefer.
Do I have to have 11″ of ground clearance?
You don’t have to, as this is just our recommendation. We also understand that not every vehicle and trailer are going to be able to give that 11” of ground clearance with a trailer hitch. If you can’t get at least 11” of ground clearance, we advise you to keep in mind the terrain you are towing on to avoid hitting or scraping the bottom of the hitch.
However, if you do hit or scrape the bottom of your Weigh Safe Hitch, that is not something that is covered under our warranty. This is why we recommend ALWAYS measuring to make sure you have sufficient clearance for your towing application.
What if I am planning on towing various trailers with varying coupler heights?
Since the Weigh Safe Ball Mounts are adjustable, we recommend taking measurements from the trailer that is lowest to the ground. Doing so will give you the largest drop length you need and provide you with enough drop for your other trailer(s).
What if I don’t have my vehicle or trailer yet?
If you don’t have your vehicle or trailer yet (aka if you are ordering your hitch ahead of time), we recommend that you reach out to your vehicle/trailer manufacturer to get those specific measurements needed in order to decide which Weigh Safe Hitch will be best for your towing set-up!
- PRO TIP: NEVER GUESS
If you have any other additional questions, feel free to Contact Us as we would be more than happy to assist you!
Now that you know what trailer hitch shank size and drop length you need, click the button below to purchase your Weigh Safe Hitch today!