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Trailer Hitch Balls

Trailer hitch ball, lock washer, and nut

A trailer hitch ball is bolted to your hitch's ball mount and provides the attachment point for your trailer's coupler. The ball allows the trailer to pivot to provide smooth turning while towing. Trailer hitch balls are sold in various shank lengths and diameters, ball diameters and weight capacities to meet your towing needs.


Learn more about the following hitch ball topics:


Trailer hitch ball Shop for a hitch ball





Choose a Hitch Ball to Fit Your Trailer and Ball Mount

To choose the right hitch ball for your application, you need to know a few things about the trailer that you tow and your ball mount.


Ball Diameter and Capacity

Ball size and capacity listed on trailer coupler Ball size and capacity listed on trailer ball

Most trailers list hitch ball size (diameter) and maximum towing capacity on the tongue, coupler, or frame. Any hitch ball used to tow the trailer should have the same diameter and a maximum capacity the same or greater than that listed. Common hitch ball diameters are: 1-7/8", 2", and 2-5/16".


Trailer hitch ball Shop for hitch balls by diameter, below


Trailer hitch ball - 1-7/8 inch Trailer hitch ball - 2 inch Trailer hitch ball - 2-5/16 inch
1-7/8" 2" 2-5/16"



Hitch-Ball Shank Dimensions

Trailer hitch ball mount dimensions for hitch ball fit Trailer hitch ball shank diameter and length

Not only must the hitch ball fit your trailer, it also must fit your ball mount. Ball mounts have a platform that has a hole in it to receive the ball. The ball has a threaded shank that allows you to bolt the ball to the ball mount. (Most balls come with a lock washer and bolt for attaching the ball.)


Ball mounts vary in the thickness of the platform and the diameter of the hole. To fit different ball mounts, balls are available in a variety of shank lengths and diameters. Ball mounts do not usually list these 2 values, so you will have to measure. Common diameters are 3/4", 1", and 1-1/4", but there are a few balls available in several less common sizes. Once you know the diameter of the mounting hole in the ball mount, choose a ball shank diameter of the same size.


Hint: When choosing shank length, consider that the shank must not only pass through the ball mount, but it will have a lock washer and nut on the end. To ensure safety, the shank should extend past the nut by at least 1 thread.


Trailer hitch ball Shop for hitch balls by most common shank diameters, below


Trailer hitch ball - 3/4 inch diameter shank Trailer hitch ball - 1 inch diameter shank Trailer hitch ball - 1-1/4 inch diameter shank
3/4" 1" 1-1/4"




Ball Diameter Specifics


Hitch Ball DiameterSpecifications
Ball with 1-7/8 Inch Head
  • Capacity: up to 2,000 lbs
  • Shank diameter: 3/4" and 1"
1-7/8"
Ball with 2 Inch Head
  • Capacity: 3,500 lbs to 8,000 lbs
  • Shank diameter: 3/4", 1" and 1-1/4"
  • Most common ball size
2"
Ball with 2-5/16 Inch Head
  • Capacity: 6,000 lbs to 40,000 lbs
  • Shank diameter: 1" and 1-1/4"
2-5/16"

Recommended Torque Values for Attaching a Hitch Ball

  • 3/4" Diameter: 150 ft-lb
  • 1" Diameter: 250 ft-lb
  • 1-1/4" Diameter: 450 ft-lb




Hitch Ball Construction

Hitch balls are made of several different materials and finishes, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.


Material and FinishCharacteristics
Chrome trailer hitch ball
Chrome
  • Steel ball with chrome coating
  • Popular
  • Economical
  • Chrome can wear off and allow rust to form
Stainless steel trailer hitch ball
Stainless steel
  • Rustproof material stands up well to water and salt exposure
  • More expensive than most other kinds of hitch balls
Zinc trailer hitch ball
Zinc
  • Steel ball with zinc coating
  • Corrosion-resistant finish stands up well to water and salt exposure
  • Cost less than stainless steel hitch balls
Raw trailer hitch ball
Raw
  • Heat treated or forged steel for superior strength
  • Heavy duty use
  • May be machined or raw
Machine finish trailer hitch ball
Machine finish
Nickel finish trailer hitch ball
Nickel
  • Steel ball with nickel coating
  • Corrosion resistant finish
  • Non-magnetic
  • Plating method is less harmful to the environment than chrome electroplating




Built-in Rise

Some balls are made with a built-in rise that positions the ball slightly above the ball mount when the ball is installed. This rise can provide a way for you to gain height to tow a trailer that has a higher coupler. High rise balls typically add 1" or 2" of extra height.

Trailer hitch balls with and without extra rise

Trailer hitch ball with 2 inch rise Shop for a high rise hitch ball





Specialty Hitch Balls


Interchangeable Ball System Interchangeable Ball Systems
  • Set includes one shank and two or three balls with different diameters
  • Kits available with either a 3/4" or 1" shank diameter
    • Paired with a combo of 1-7/8", 2" and 2-5/16" balls
  • Perfect solution for individuals who tow multiple trailers that require different ball sizes
  • Offered in nickel plated and stainless steel finish


Gooseneck Ball in Truck Bed Gooseneck Balls
  • Designed specifically for each gooseneck system; be sure to select a replacement ball that is compatible with your system
  • Available in 2-5/16" or 3" ball diameter
  • Available with an offset - creates more room between the cab of the truck and trailer


Pintle Hook and Ball Combo Pintle Balls
  • Some pintle hooks are sold with a ball; can be conveniently used for standard and heavy duty towing applications
  • Replacement balls are available; be sure to select a ball that is compatible with your pintle hook




Recommended Items


Hitch Ball Grease Hitch Ball Grease
  • Keeps ball looking and performing like new
  • Allows coupler to rotate more freely
  • Reduces scratching on ball surface


Ball Cover for 1-7/8 & 2 Inch Balls Ball Cover
  • Protects ball from elements and rust when not in use
  • Keeps grease from spreading when no trailer is hooked up:
    • Saves vehicle interior if ball is taken off
    • Saves you from grease stains if ball is left on


Hitch Ball Wrench Hitch Ball Wrench
  • Tightens hitch ball on ball mount
  • Works with most 3/4" and 1" shank balls

















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