A truck towing motorbikes
Ryan McVay/Getty Images
Even when you're towing a relatively light load such as this, the right ball mount is critical for safety.

Have you ever witnessed a truck towing a boat or camper trailer down the road and it looked like the front of the trailer was sticking way up in the air? Chances are that person didn't read this article. If you plan to tow, you'll need to select the best components to make up your entire towing system. Hitches, receivers, ball mounts and hitch couplers are the main components that make up a complete towing system. Some hitches are used for heavy-duty and commercial use. Some even resemble those seen on tractor trailers. We'll learn about those in a separate article. For this article, we're going to focus specifically on ball mounts.

Up Next

A basic towing system is comprised of a tow vehicle and a trailer. The two are joined together to form a single unit that must move through turns and be both strong and well-balanced enough to be safe. You'll need a hitch on the tow vehicle, whether it is a light passenger truck or an SUV. Some hitches are fixed and don't really give you any options for removal or stowing. In most cases, hitches have a separate receiver and ball mount that can be removed and stored inside the vehicle. These types of hitches are often mounted in inconspicuous areas on the rear of the vehicle and can be hard to detect when the mount is removed. The advantage to incorporating one of these types of hitches is that you don't have to worry about your ball mount ending up on somebody else's pickup truck, and you can also change your mounts to accept various sizes of trailer couplers.

Choosing the proper ball mount just like choosing almost any other towing accessory. Safety is the most important thing to keep in mind. Most people would know that an uneven trailer (like the one you saw sticking up in the front) isn't safe. This article will give you a good grasp of the different types of ball mounts available and the advantages each brings. What's more, we'll look at just how easy ball mounts are to install and some of the accessories you can buy that will ensure your ball mount won't end up on somebody else's truck. Let's start with a quick look at your ball mount options on the next page.

­