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Do Longer Hitch Extenders Reduce Hitch Capacity

Question:

Does the length of a hitch extender affect the reduction in hitch capacity? If so, is there a rule of thumb that can be used? Id like to extend mine by only an inch or two in order to increase the clearance between the ball and the bumper cover.

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Expert Reply:

There isn't a 100% direct mathematical relationship I'm aware of but yes, the further rearward you go from the hitch receiver, the lower the tongue weight capacity gets. Which is why extenders typically will reduce a trailer hitch's capacity by at least half or more.

The same doesn't hold true for a longer ball mount, because it's a single piece and not an add-on like an extender.

I'm assuming you have a 2 inch class III receiver on your 2012 Outback. I'm not sure what kind of rise/drop you're needing but here's a few longer ball mounts that might work for you. Keep in mind a standard ball mount has a length of around 8-1/2 inches measured from hitch pin hole to the hole the ball installs into.

-Curt # D-26 12-5/8 inches long, 3/4 inch rise/2 inch drop.
-Curt # D-28 14-1/4 inches long, 4 inch rise/6 inch drop.
-Draw-Tite # 40345 11 inches long, 2-3/4 inch rise/4 inch drop.
-Hidden Hitch # 80232 15-3/4 inch rise/2 inch drop.

So, any of these should provide the extension you're looking for.

Not only will using a longer ball mount retain your hitch capacity, you won't get as much bounce or rattle because you're not adding a separate piece in between the trailer hitch and the trailer coupler.

expert reply by:
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Mike L

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