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Hi guys,

I'm a total towing newbie. Just got a 2007 Sequoia with the tow package.

Question: was this supposed to come with a ball mount? Or is the expectation that everyone will go out and buy their own?

Also - can someone help me out with the proper terminology? I'm not gettting much info when I search for "ball mount". What's the difference between a "hitch", a "drawbar" and a "ball mount"?

Thanks!

Brew
 

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Brew,
The terms hitch, drawbar, and ball mount are sometimes used interchangeably but the correct term would be ball mount.
For stability reasons, it is necessary to tow that the trailer as level as possible. I have a trailer that is level when the top of the ball is at 19”. My Land Cruiser required a ball mount with a 3” rise while my Tundra needs a ball mount with a 6” drop to level the same trailer. For that reason, the factory tow package does not come with a ball mount.
Info at this link will help you get the correct measurements:
Reese-Hitches.com > America's most recognized Hitch!
 

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Hi guys,

I'm a total towing newbie. Just got a 2007 Sequoia with the tow package.

Question: was this supposed to come with a ball mount? Or is the expectation that everyone will go out and buy their own?

Also - can someone help me out with the proper terminology? I'm not gettting much info when I search for "ball mount". What's the difference between a "hitch", a "drawbar" and a "ball mount"?

Thanks!

Brew
Your Sequoia with the tow package has a hitch receiver...not a hitch. The reason you only got a hitch receiver and not a hitch itself (aka a ball mount) is that a hitch receiver allows you to insert two basic kinds of hitches into the hitch receiver...weight bearing and weight distributing...as well as a variety of other devices (like bicycle carriers, motorcycle carriers, cargo carriers, etc.). If your vehicle had been equipped with only a hitch, you wouldn't have any of this versatility.

For towing trailers with relatively light tongue weights (~500 lbs or less), a weight bearing hitch (which simply consists of a drawbar that has a ball mount) is both inexpensive (under $50) and adequate. As member cnold explained, weight bearing (aka weight carrying) hitches typically are made with a predetermined "drop"...you simply pick the drop that will put the ball at height above the ground where your trailer will tow level.

However, for those of us who tow trailers with heavier tongue weights (over ~500 lbs), it's extremely helpful to use a weight distributing hitch (WDH). WDH have a system of springs that effectively transfer a portion of the tongue weight to the tow vehicle's front wheels, the trailer wheels, as well as the tow vehicle's rear wheels...thereby distributing the tongue weight equally. The height above ground of the drawbar on most WDH is also adjustable...the concept of predetermined "drop" doesn't apply. WDH also provide a way to add sway control to the hitch. Take a look at this Reese WDH page for more information on the why and how of a WDH.

The bottom line is your Sequoia came with only a hitch receiver so you have the flexibility of using whatever kind of hitch is applicable to your towing situation...if the trailer is lightweight, then you can use a simple weight carrying hitch that's basically just a ball mount, but still allows you to choose whatever drop you need. OTOH, if you have a very heavy trailer that tends to sway, then you also have the option of using a complex (and pricey) WDH that provides good weight distribution and sway control. If it had only come with a traditional hitch that had an integrated ball mount, you would not have had any choice in drop (weight carrying) nor would you have any any ability to use a WDH.

So yes, you are expected to go out and buy the kind of hitch (ball mount) that's best for your towing situation. What's best for you may not be what's best for someone else.
 

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For towing trailers with relatively light tongue weights (~500 lbs or less), a weight bearing hitch (which simply consists of a drawbar that has a ball mount) is both inexpensive (under $50) and adequate. As member cnold explained, weight bearing (aka weight carrying) hitches typically are made with a predetermined "drop"...you simply pick the drop that will put the ball at height above the ground where your trailer will tow level.

However, for those of us who tow trailers with heavier tongue weights (over ~500 lbs), it's extremely helpful to use a weight distributing hitch (WDH). WDH have a system of springs that effectively transfer a portion of the tongue weight to the tow vehicle's front wheels, the trailer wheels, as well as the tow vehicle's rear wheels...thereby distributing the tongue weight equally. The height above ground of the drawbar on most WDH is also adjustable...the concept of predetermined "drop" doesn't apply. WDH also provide a way to add sway control to the hitch.
Ray,
The rear coil springs on my Land Cruiser FJ80 were too soft to support a trailer tongue weight of even 250 pounds and with four passengers and all our camping gear, the headlights could have been used for night time bird watching. I was not able to find a weight distributing hitch with enough ground clearance and I corrected the problem with air bags and a friction type sway control but it seemed to me that a WDH would have been a better solution. I also had ground and tail gate clearance problems with adjustable ball mounts. The shank on the first ball mount that I tried was not long enough to allow the tail gate to clear the trailer tongue jack and the tail gate has some permanent scars to remind me. While I have not measured the height of the receiver tube on a Sequoia, I would assume that one could encounter similar problems and it would be a good idea to take careful measurements before causing damage.
Not that I would ever disagree with our Forum Moderator but in the towing section of the manuals for my FJ80, Tacoma and Tundra, there is the statement that Toyota does not recommend the use of a weight distributing hitch. I have several ideas on the subject that to express would require the use of language not appropriate to this forum. Would you care to comment?
 

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Ray,
The rear coil springs on my Land Cruiser FJ80 were too soft to support a trailer tongue weight of even 250 pounds and with four passengers and all our camping gear, the headlights could have been used for night time bird watching. I was not able to find a weight distributing hitch with enough ground clearance and I corrected the problem with air bags and a friction type sway control but it seemed to me that a WDH would have been a better solution. I also had ground and tail gate clearance problems with adjustable ball mounts. The shank on the first ball mount that I tried was not long enough to allow the tail gate to clear the trailer tongue jack and the tail gate has some permanent scars to remind me.
This rather surprises me as I know of folks who are using a WDH on minivans like a Dodge Caravan and Honda Odyessy...with a load of passengers...and I'd be shocked if the receiver tube on those loaded minivans sits higher than the receiver tube on an FJ80. The key metric is the tongue height on your trailer, not the receiver height on the tow vehicle...if tongue height is very low (under about 10 inches), then yes, I can see that a WDH might have clearance issues. But if the receiver height is low, yet the tongue is semi-normal (around 15 inches or more), then unbolting the ball mount from the shank, then flipping the WDH over and rebolting it so the shank is downward from the ball mount should solve all clearance problems. Before I bought my Tundra, I towed with a Jeep Cherokee. The Cherokee's receiver was about 4 inches lower than the Tundra's so I had to configure my WDH with shank downward on the Cherokee; then rebolt it with shank pointing upward to get the same trailer tongue height with the Tundra.
While I have not measured the height of the receiver tube on a Sequoia, I would assume that one could encounter similar problems and it would be a good idea to take careful measurements before causing damage.
The Sequoia's receiver tube should be about the same as the Tundra's...roughly 18 inches above the ground. I've never, ever seen a report of clearance issues between the ground and a WDH with a Sequoia, nor between tailgate and any hitch with a Sequoia.
Not that I would ever disagree with our Forum Moderator but in the towing section of the manuals for my FJ80, Tacoma and Tundra, there is the statement that Toyota does not recommend the use of a weight distributing hitch. I have several ideas on the subject that to express would require the use of language not appropriate to this forum. Would you care to comment?
I'm aware that the owner's manuals for older Tacoma's (90's vintage, maybe newer) recommended against the use of a WDH. The new ones ('05 and newer) don't. I'll take your word on the FJ80's manual's prohibition against use of a WDH since prior posts in this forum regarding that model have suggested that Toyota did not intend it to be used for anything other than very light duty towing.

As for the Tundra, the owner's manual for my '03 Tundra not only does not have any prohibition against use of a WDH but includes several charts that show greatly increased towing capacity when a weight distributing hitch is used instead of a weight carrying hitch. For instance, the manual shows the maximum tongue weight is around 1100 lbs (exact amount depends on the exact vehicle configuration) when a WDH is used but only about 750 lbs when a weight carrying hitch is used.

Exactly which year and model of Tundra do you have and exactly which page in your Tundra owner's manual states that use of a WDH is not recommended???
 

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Our Moderator is correct again, as usual and I stand corrected. Please forgive me but having owned seven Land Cruisers and five or six Toyota trucks, in is difficult for me to remember exactly which manual I was reading. The use of a weight distributing hitch IS recommended “to keep your vehicle level with the ground”, provided that the total trailer weight, gross combined weight, gross vehicle weight, gross axle weight, and trailer tongue load are within the limits. (Page 378 of the 2005 Tundra manual)
I’ll go to my room now!
Craig
 

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Our Moderator is correct again, as usual and I stand corrected. Please forgive me but having owned seven Land Cruisers and five or six Toyota trucks, in is difficult for me to remember exactly which manual I was reading. The use of a weight distributing hitch IS recommended “to keep your vehicle level with the ground”, provided that the total trailer weight, gross combined weight, gross vehicle weight, gross axle weight, and trailer tongue load are within the limits. (Page 378 of the 2005 Tundra manual)
I’ll go to my room now!
Craig
Sorry, didn't mean to make you feel bad. My apologies if I did. Given the number of Land Cruisers and earlier model Toyota trucks, you've had...and Toyota's recommendation against WDH on all (or virtually all) models that preceded the Tundra, I certainly could see how you could presume that the WDH prohibition applied to the Tundra as well. And at least you are reading the owners manuals! :tu:

So please, no need to go to your room. OTOH, please also understand that one of my roles is insure that incorrect information is addressed ASAP.
 
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