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Hitch Ball Sizes You Need To Know

Hitch Ball Size

Have you ever been to a campground and you find your vehicle not working?

That would leave you out of your senses.

But if you have a hitch ball, you can move your vehicle. You can do this by coupling a tow vehicle with the trailer.

For towing, you’ll need a hitch ball and a ball mount. This ball will reduce the overall vehicle’s weight, so it’s easy to handle. You’ll not have to put effort into the towing setup. Also, improving the fuel efficiency. Therefore, selecting specific hitch or trailer ball dimensions is important. You need to choose the best hitch ball sizes for your towing.

What is A Hitch Ball?

A hitch ball refers to a ball-shaped knot for connecting the trailer to the hitch. This hitch ball is also known as a tow ball or trailer ball.

When a hitch ball is connected to your vehicle, it keeps the trailer in the center. The coupler (connecting the tow vehicle and trailer) attaches to the top of the hitch ball. The hitch ball helps to maintain stability during towing. It also allows smooth turns.

During the towing process, the Hitch ball is an important attachment to maintain the stability of the front and rear vehicles and ensure a safe journey. However, many drivers do not know its importance.

What is A Ball Mount?

Both the hitch ball and the ball mounts are accessories used for towing. While the ball mount has a ball-shaped attachment that levels up the trailer. Ball mounts take up the weight of the trailer. This is also known as drawbar and hitch bar.

In addition, this accessory is a receiver hitch that supports dragging the trailer. Simply, it’s a connection between the tow vehicle and the trailer. It has a moving capacity to slide in the receiver tube opening. It is then clipped to fasten it. These mounts help to level the trailer for towing.

Mostly, a ball mount is preferred for low-weight vehicles like motorbikes. However, you’ll see a hitch ball of heavy loads, such as a vehicle.

How to Choose The Best Hitch Ball Size

For a towing setup, you need to keep a check on three factors: coupler size, shank size, and weight of the towing system.

Here is how to measure hitch ball size:

  • Your hitch ball diameter should be the same as the couplers size
  • The shank you fit in the trailer ball hole should fit in it (check shank length and diameter)
  • The towing setup should have a good weight capacity to tow safely
  • Determine the rise

Standard Trailer Hitch Ball Sizes

Hitch Ball Size introduction

There are four standard hitch ball sizes you need to know. These are the diameters of the trailer hitch ball. You can read this ball hitch size chart to have know-how:

 

 

Types of Towing

Standard Trailer Ball Size

Gross Trailer Weight (GTW)

Shank Length

Light-duty Towing

1-⅞ inch trailer hitch ball

2000 – 3500 lbs

1-⅝ to 3-inch

Medium-duty Towing

2-inch trailer hitch ball

3500 – 12,000 lbs

1-¾ to 3- inch

Heavy-duty Towing

2-5/16 inch trailer hitch ball

6000 – 30,000 lbs

2-⅛ to 3-½ inch

Gooseneck Towing

3-inch trailer hitch ball

30,000 lbs

3-¼ inch

What does the Other Hitch Ball Sizes Apply For?

Different vehicles use hitch balls of different sizes. This depends on the weight capacity of the ball mount, hitch height, shank length, and diameter. You have to check if the weight distribution is even. It is important for stable and safe towing.

Furthermore, you should know the ball mounts size. It helps to find the right hitch ball. Most trucks use a standard hitch ball size of 2 inches. It is suitable for medium-duty towing. With this hitch ball size, towing cargo, motorbikes and boats is common.

You can use a 2-5/16 inches ball mount for heavy vehicles. It’s compatibility and versatility is not as the 2-inch hitch ball size. Heavy trailers include campervans, trucks, horse trailers, and many more.  

Know Your Truck's Size and Class of the Receiver

Before you tow, you should consider some factors. The gross trailer weight and opening size divide the receiver into five classes. Classes of receivers include I, II, III, IV, and V. These have different weight capacities. You should match the diameter of the receiver opening with the ball mount shaft.  

For example, a 4000 lbs gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) has a receiver of Class III. Along with a 2-inch ball mount and 2-inch tube opening of the receiver.

5 Important Things You Need to Know When Choosing a Ball Mount

Ball Mount

You should know these 5 things before you choose a ball mount. It will not only level your trailer with the ground but also maintain stability when towing.

Towing Weight

As there are different hitch ball sizes, their weight capacity ranges from 2000 to 3000 pounds. Whenever you’re looking for a ball hitch, match its weight with the towing system. You should consider:

  • GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating)
  • GAWR (Gross Axle Weight Rating)
  • Payload capacity (Capacity of the trailer to carry a load)
  • Trailer’s weight

Tow Balls Diameter

Many drivers make a mistake in buying hitch balls. To buy the right hitch ball size, see the ball size on the coupler. Manufacturers label trailer ball sizes that match the coupler. Both should be similar in size. It results in a strong attachment. For example, if the size of the coupler is 2 inches, the trailer ball also has to be 2 inches.

 

Apart from this, you can find the tow balls’ size by measuring the coupler’s diameter. Simply, use a ruler or measuring tape to measure the receiver tube opening.

Trailer Hitch Height

When choosing a ball mount, measure hitch height. This is the most important step to match the size of the ball mount with the hitch. Take a measuring tape to estimate the distance from the hitch to the ground level.

Coupler Height

Once you know the hitch height, find the coupler length. Ensure your trailer is at an adjustable height (not up or down). Estimate the length from the bottom of the coupler till the end (ground). This way, you find the coupler height. It helps to determine the right size of the hitch ball.

Shank Size

Don’t miss considering the shank size. The ball mount is placed into the hitch. That’s why the ball mount’s hitch bar should be the same size as the hitch receiver tube.

 

There is no hitch ball or ball mount of a specific size that fits all. With different towing systems, you need a unique hitch ball size. This is important for safe towing. The hitch receiver, coupler, ball mount, and weight capacity have to be considered.

What is The Rise and Drop You Need to Provide to A Level and Safe Towing Set Up?

When towing the truck and trailer it is important to maintain stability, especially when loaded. If the trailer doesn’t level with the ground, use a ball mount. This attachment brings the lower or higher rides to a proper height. There are three simple formulas to level a loaded trailer:

Drop Length

When your trailer ride is lower or drops, apply a drop length formula. Apply this:

  • Level your loaded trailer with the ground
  • Measure the length from the coupler to the ground
  • Measure the length from the hitch receiver to the ground
  • Now, subtract (height of coupler – height of trailer hitch receiver)

Rise Length

When the trailer’s ride is higher or rises, use the rise length formula. For this:

  • Set your trailer in a way that it levels with the ground
  • Find the height of the coupler
  • Find the distance of your hitch receiver
  • Subtract both quantities

Moreover, you can adjust the trailer’s height through a level. Put it on the coupler using a trailer jack. Now your trailer won’t be up or down. Just take the measurements to find the rise or drop. Keep the level (height) of the loaded trailer and ball mount the same.

Hitch Clearance

For choosing the drawbar size, you should know the hitch clearance. That helps to adjust the trailer hitch. Use this formula:

  • Measure the drop length
  • Add three inches to the drop length quantity
  • You get the hitch height
  • Measure the length of the hitch receiver
  • You get the hitch clearance through this measuring formula

Note that, when the trailer is not coupled, the hitch clearance should be up to 13 inches (maximum). Not more than this.

When the trailer is coupled, the hitch clearance should be up to 11 inches only. A coupled trailer has the ball mount and tongue weight connected to the trailer.

Example:

Receiver height = 13 inches

Coupler height = 10 inches

Subtract (13 – 11)

Drop amount or rise amount = 3 inches

How Do We Measure The Trailer's Tongue Weight?

When there’s a need to apply downward pressure on the hitch ball. This is called tongue weight. It keeps the tow stable. You can use the trailer tongue weight using:

  • Tongue weight scale
  • Vehicle scale
  • Common balance scale

You can place the tongue on the weighing scale. Don’t put it directly. Instead, use a trailer jack. It keeps the vehicle stable.

Conclusion

Want a safe towing? You should know some important factors to choose a hitch ball. You have to consider factors like weight capacity, trailer ball dimensions, ball diameter, hitch height and tongue weight.

 

However, choosing it is important. That’s for connecting your truck with the tow vehicle. So, you can transfer it from one place to another. This prevents any damage to the truck. Therefore, check the guide to understand what hitch ball fits your truck.

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