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ROCKERBALL REVIEW

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A ROAD TAMING, BEST TOOL FOR TOWING FROM CURT MFG.
Written By: 
John Arens


A lot has changed in power-sports since a weekend of off-road adventure meant tossing a couple dirt bikes in the back of a pickup. Today you are likely to see the entire family out exploring trails and enjoying nature, and that’s a great thing. Side x Sides – especially 4-seaters – are the vehicle of choice for the family, but that also means trailering them to the ride site, and as the machines got bigger, so did the trailers. That’s where the towing specialists at CURT MFG can help.

THE TOW KINGS

With a headquarters and manufacturing facility in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, practically everyone at the CURT MFG headquarters is an avid outdoors person. Whether it’s kayaks, camping gear, or off-road vehicles, Friday afternoon in the CURT parking lot often looks like a recently mobilized Guard regiment about to head north. That’s one of the best features of CURT products; they’re designed and built by enthusiasts just like us, and it’s been their heritage since the beginning. Today CURT has an extensive lineup of very high-quality products designed to tow and haul your gear safely and securely. On a recent trip with Kawasaki we were able to try a simple, yet innovative product from CURT, the RockerBall.



ROCKERBALL BASICS

The principle behind the Curt RockerBall is simple. It’s designed to alleviate the jarring action transmitted to a tow vehicle caused by pulling a trailer. As anyone who has towed a trailer can tell you, the jarring action quickly gets old, and the bigger the trailer, the harder the hit. The RockerBall is deceivingly simple, yet superbly designed and built, but best of all, it works. Details are:

  • Reduces shock loads to the vehicle during sudden braking or acceleration thanks to cushioned isolator bushings.

  • Reduces rattling and vibration for a more comfortable ride.

  • Anti-swivel base fits 2" wide ball mount tongues, and fits most existing ball mount inserts.

  • Virtually maintenance-free with no airbag or bearings to service. A bottom grease zerk provides easy lubrication.

  • Forged steel construction with carbide black powder coat finish on base, and chrome plating on ball for corrosion protection and durability.

  • Minimizes stress on tow vehicle's suspension and brakes.

  • Rated from 3,500 lbs. to 12,000 lbs. gross trailer weight.

  • Tested for safety to meet SAE J684 specifications.

  • Limited lifetime warranty (one-year finish, one-year parts).


ROAD TRIP

A little 10 hour jaunt down to West Virginia’s Hatfield-McCoy trail system would be a good way to test the RockerBall. Although our double axle Aluma trailer pulls very well, when you put a big Side x Side or a load of ATVs on top, suddenly you know it’s back there, especially when winding through the hills and mountains.

We are impressed with the simplicity and quality of the RockerBall. It looks much like most trailer balls, but with one very important difference. Underneath the ball is a forged steel top plate, a hardened steel pivot pin, the rubber ShockDrop Technology cushion, and another forged steel base. Because of the forged parts and the captured rubber cushion, the ball sits slightly higher than traditional ball mounts, so you may want to reevaluate your insert drop height. As with other ball mount systems, the RockerBall uses a threaded shank and nut to fasten it to the hitch insert. However, unlike other systems, the RockerBall has a grease zerk underneath to lubricate the pivot. We gave it a shot of Lithium grease when we fastened it down, then hooked up the trailer.

On the highway, the RockerBall performs as any other ball hitch. It’s when the going gets rough that you notice the improvement in ride quality. With a 1900 lb. Kawasaki loaded on the trailer, usually we could feel bumps in the road, or a jarring during acceleration or braking, and there is plenty of that on the back roads of West Virginia. Our CURT ECHO brake controller helped smooth out the braking, but the RockerBall really eliminated the annoying hits to our truck hitch. Winding through the hills means constant acceleration and braking, and the RockerBall did an excellent job of smoothing out the ride. It works!

curt-echo-brake-controller-rockerball-d.jpg

TOWING MADE EASY

We really like the Curt RockerBall. It looks almost too nice for daily use, but the advantages of a smoother ride and less noise make it hard to ignore. It’s a tool that’s too good to leave in the box.

www.curtmfg.com

https://www.curtmfg.com/towing-accessories/trailer-balls/rockerball

See our CURT ECHO wireless Brake Controller review here:

http://atvillustrated.com/content/curt-echo-brake-controller-product-review

Notes:

Ball mount sold separately (not compatible with Rebellion XD ball mount)

Patent pending

The mounting platform must be at least 3/8" thick and the hole size must not be more than 1/16" larger in diameter than the RockerBall threaded shank.