Drop Hitch vs Straight Hitch

A towing hitch is an addition to your vehicle’s load-bearing framework, designed to connect the primary vehicle to the object being towed. From boats to ATVs, hitches are commonly used when transporting all sorts of non-traditional vehicles. Depending on your needs, a high quality hitch can even be useful for mounting cargo like a family bike rack. With all these things in mind, you’re likely to be overwhelmed by the volume of products on the market today. One of the most common questions we’ve seen is; What’s the difference between a straight hitch and a drop hitch?

What does “Drop” Even Mean?

The photo to the right is the typical example of what people imagine when referring to a “Drop Hitch”.

The drop, is the vertical distance between the trailer ball and the ball mount. The mount is the rectangular object to the top-right, and is secured via hitch pins.

The purpose of this drop is to keep your towing vehicle level with the object being transported. Without the drop, heavy cargo could cause rear-sagging and ruin the balance of your vehicle. With so much weight on the back end, you may not be able to maneuver the vehicle as fluidly as your normally would.

Drop hitches range from two inches, to over 10 inches of space.

What is a Straight Hitch?

The photo to the right is a typical example of what people imagine when referring to a “Straight Hitch”

Generally speaking, this type of setup is never encouraged because it lacks the weight distribution properties of a typical drop hitch.

If the hitch is too low, it will put heavy height on the rear axle of the towing vehicle. This puts heavy stress on your suspension, due to an uneven distribution of weight.

Straight hitches are generally only used for light cargo like a light-weight bike rack.

What is a Raised Hitch?

The term “Raised Hitch” is hardly well known, mainly because its only a concern when your towing vehicle sits lower than the towed item.

Typically, towing vehicles are large trucks that require a drop hitch. But if you were forced use a van as the towing vehicle, then you’d need a raised hitch in order to keep things level.

“Raised Hitch” as a term, is generally unknown because most modern hitches can be flipped or adjusted to serve that purpose. This is also referred to using a drop hitch in the "rise" position.

Why all this Confusion?

The problem is, most hitch and ball mount manufacturers often sell drop hitches, while marketing them as “straight hitches”.

For example, A Straight Square Trailer Hitch Ball Mount, is actually a standard two inch drop hitch.

With so many terms being tossed around so frequently, its only natural that many consumers get confused in searching for the right hitch for their towing needs.

Rather than worrying about this many inches or that, the smartest decision is to get a high quality adjustable ball mount for all your towing needs. Check out our award-winning ball mounts today.

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