My New Truck
I just got a new (to me) truck - yay me!!!! It is in great condition and is set up for either a GN or bumper pull trailer. Sweet! The guy kept the bumper hitch ball mount to use on his new truck, so I went about buying a new one.
I had no idea that there was such a variety of balls out there. Black ones, white ones, shiny chrome ones, and even ones specially colored to match your truck. The last time I borrowed a ball it was rusty from being out in the weather with no protection! There are a variety of sizes too.
While the color selection was an easy one, the part that got me somewhat perplexed was the selection of sizes combined with the drop and rise! I started to grab the one that had THREE different ball sizes, but realized that model had no drop or rise. What's a girl to do?
So I went home and started to do some research. It is worse than I could have ever imagined. If your receiver is too big, you can buy a reducer sleeve; if your ball is too small you can buy a reducer bushing; and if the person driving the vehicle is too aggressive you can get a bumper guard to protect you from impact; if your shank is too short you can buy an extension or if it is too small you can buy an adaptor; your balls can be reversible, adjustable or solid and can be either screwed on or welded on.
You can get ball washers and heat treated balls; ball storage racks and ball covers. You can even get a ball storage bag for when you are not using them and want to protect them even more.
Now if I were only going to pull one specific trailer on this truck and nothing else, it would be a relatively simple task. I would measure the required ball size, see where the trailer is level to get the correct drop/rise and be done.
However, I will be pulling multiple trailers. With different loads. The drop and rise are mostly critical on dual/triple axle trailers because you want to make sure that the weight is evenly distributed on all the axles. A single axle trailer does not have that issue; however, if you have any livestock in it you want it to be as close to level as possible. Also, if you are too high in the front, you can easily drag the back of the trailer on the road especially if you are pulling out of a parking lot and the ground is really uneven. Same thing if the front is too low - the front of the trailer can easily ram into the ground if the surface is sharply angled. Think sharply sloped railroad tracks and going down under small bridges.
Looking at the prices of some of these I can understand why the receiver/ball locks are popular. Some of the ones I have found (so far) easily cost over $250. It's no wonder they get stolen so frequently!
I will do some more research and post about the different options and how to select the proper one for your trailering needs. If there is anything in particular you would like me to research regarding this topic let me know. :-)