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Choose TIROL For Top-Notch Hitch Balls And Unparalleled Service

TIROL offer tow ball sizes in four sizes: 1-7/8, 2, 2-5/16 and 3 inches. They also come with different shank or stem sizes, ranging from 3/4 inches to 2 inches in diameter. Depending on the ball size, weight capacities for trailer hitch balls range from 2,000 up to 30,000 pounds.

TIROL’s hitch balls are made with the highest-quality materials and undergo rigorous testing to ensure that they meet or exceed industry standards for safety and performance.  TIROL hitch balls are quality-assured for reliable, trouble-free towing for years.Whether you need a hitch ball for a light-duty pickup truck or a heavy-duty commercial vehicle, TIROL has you covered. With a wide range of sizes, weight capacities, and styles, customers can find the perfect hitch ball to suit their needs.

Whether for commercial or personal use, TIROL is a reliable tow ball supplier you can trust. TIROL works closely with customers to understand their unique towing needs, from expert advice and guidance to timely and reliable delivery, TIROL goes the extra mile to ensure that purchasing hitch balls from us enhances your business.

TIROL's Hitch Balls Weight Capacity

Ball Diameter Shank Length Weight Capacity
1-7/8″ 1-5/8″ to 3″ 2,000 to 3,500 lbs. GTW
2″ 1-3/4″ to 3″ 3,500 to 12,000 lbs. GTW
2-5/16″ 2-1/8″ to 3-1/2″ 6,000 to 30,000 lbs. GTW
3″ 3-1/4″ 30,000 lbs. GTW

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Table of Contents

Hitch Balls Buying Guide​

01. What is hitch ball?

A hitch ball (or trailer ball or tow ball) is the ball-shaped attachment that connects the trailer to a hitch and is used in towing systems to connect a trailer to a towing vehicle. The ball allows the trailer to pivot, providing smooth turning while towing. While the diameter of the hitch ball is fairly standard, hitch ball weight ratings may differ.The choice of hitch ball size depends on the size and weight of the trailer being towed.
Trailer balls are typically used with various types of trailers that require a ball coupler for towing.
Here are some products that are often used with tow balls:

Hitch mount:
Hitch Coupler:
Video on how to use the tow ball and the tow cover:
Hitch Coupler:
Hitch Coupler:
Hitch Lock:

02. What's the common hitch ball sizes?

hitch ball sizes
The common hitch ball sizes used in towing applications are:
  • 1-7/8 inches: This size is commonly used for smaller trailers, such as utility trailers and lightweight camper trailers. It’s important to note that while 1-7/8 inches is a common small size, there may be even smaller specialty hitch balls for specific applications, but they are less common and not widely used in general towing scenarios.
  • 2 inches: A 2-inch hitch ball is versatile and can be used with a wide range of trailers, including many boat trailers and small to mid-sized camper trailers.
  • 2-5/16 inches: This size is commonly used for larger trailers, including heavy-duty boat trailers, travel trailers, horse trailers, and car haulers.
  • 3 inches: A 3-inch hitch ball is used for heavy-duty towing applications, typically with large equipment trailers and industrial trailers.
Most Common Trailer Ball Size

Perhaps the most common hitch ball size is the 2-inch ball. This is because 2-inch trailer balls which are is versatile and can be used with a wide range of trailers are the best fit for most class 3 hitches, and class 3 hitches are the most popular trailer hitch.

Despite this fact, each towing setup is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all, universal trailer ball. For your own towing setup, make sure you choose the ball the best fits your coupler, ball mount and weight requirements.

03. What types of trailers can hitch ball be used for?

  • 1-7/8″ Inch Hitch Ball: This size is commonly used for smaller trailers, such as utility trailers, small boat trailers, and lightweight camper trailers. Trailers with a 1-7/8″ inch coupler are compatible with a 1-7/8″ inch hitch ball.

  • 2″ Inch Hitch Ball: A 2″ inch hitch ball is versatile and can be used with a wide range of trailers. It’s suitable for mid-sized trailers, including many boat trailers, small to mid-sized camper trailers, and some utility trailers. Trailers with a 2″ inch coupler are compatible with a 2″ inch hitch ball.

  • 2-5/16″ Inch Hitch Ball: This is a common size for larger trailers, including heavy-duty boat trailers, travel trailers, horse trailers, and car haulers. Trailers with a 2-5/16″ inch coupler are compatible with a 2-5/16″ inch hitch ball.

  • 3″ Inch Hitch Ball: A 3″ inch hitch ball is used for heavy-duty towing applications. Trailers with a 3″ inch coupler are typically large and may include equipment trailers, industrial trailers, and some specialized trailers used for heavy loads. Trailers with a 3″ inch coupler are compatible with a 3″ inch hitch ball.
Application example: travel trailer hitch ball size
Application example: travel trailer hitch ball size

The hitch ball used to tow most travel trailers is a 2-inch or 2-5/16-inch trailer ball. Travel trailers are generally larger and heavier (can weigh anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 lbs or more) than many other types of trailers, and they often require a hitch ball with a greater towing capacity.

The 2-5/16-inch hitch ball is commonly used for mid to large-sized trailers, including travel trailers, horse trailers, and car haulers.

Additionally, many travel trailers are pulled using a weight distribution hitch. Most WD hitches come standard with a 2-5/16-inch ball.

04. Why choosing the right hitch ball is important?

Choosing the right hitch ball is crucial for safe and effective towing. Here are the key reasons why selecting the correct hitch ball is important:

Compatibility: Hitch balls come in different sizes and types to match various trailer couplers. It is essential to choose a hitch ball that matches the size, shape, and weight rating of the trailer’s coupler. A mismatched or incompatible hitch ball can result in an insecure connection, leading to accidents, trailer detachment, or damage to the towing vehicle or trailer.

  • Load Capacity: Each hitch ball is designed to handle specific weight capacities, which are indicated on the hitch ball itself. It is important to choose a hitch ball with an appropriate load capacity that matches or exceeds the weight of the trailer tongue and the maximum gross weight of the trailer. Exceeding the load capacity of the hitch ball can lead to structural failure, loss of control, and potential accidents.
  • Safety: The right hitch ball ensures a secure and stable towing connection. A properly matched hitch ball minimizes the risk of trailer sway, excessive bouncing, or uneven weight distribution, which can compromise the stability and control of the towing vehicle. Choosing the correct hitch ball helps maintain safer towing conditions, reducing the chances of accidents and improving overall road safety.
  • Handling and Performance: Properly matched hitch balls contribute to better handling and performance during towing. When the hitch ball is correctly sized and rated for the trailer, it helps maintain a balanced weight distribution between the towing vehicle’s axles, promoting better traction, braking, and maneuverability. This ensures a smoother and more controlled towing experience.
  • Durability: High-quality hitch balls are made from strong materials and undergo rigorous manufacturing processes. Choosing a well-constructed hitch ball ensures long-lasting performance and reduces the risk of premature wear or failure.
  • Reliability: Quality hitch balls are less likely to develop defects or problems that could lead to an insecure connection while towing. Reliability is essential for a safe towing experience.
  • Legal Compliance: Reputable hitch ball manufacturers adhere to industry standards and regulations, ensuring that their products meet specific quality and safety criteria. Choosing a trusted brand helps ensure compliance with these standards. Regulations and standards may vary by jurisdiction, but they often specify the requirements for hitch ball size and load capacity based on the trailer weight. Using an incorrect or non-compliant hitch ball can result in fines, penalties, or even the inability to tow the trailer legally.

In conclusion, choosing the right hitch ball is vital for safe, efficient, and legal towing. It ensures compatibility with the trailer coupler, supports the appropriate load capacity, enhances safety, improves handling and performance, and ensures legal compliance. Always consult the manufacturer’s recommendations, consider the trailer’s specifications, and adhere to relevant regulations when selecting a hitch ball for towing purposes.

05. How to choose hitch ball?

The size and weight capacity of the hitch ball you need depend on several factors, including the trailer’s coupler size, the trailer’s gross trailer weight (GTW), and the tongue weight. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Coupler size: The hitch ball diameter should match the size of the trailer coupler. Common sizes include 1-7/8 inches, 2 inches, 2-5/16 inches, and occasionally 3 inches. Check the coupler or refer to the trailer manufacturer’s specifications to determine the required hitch ball size.
  • Gross Trailer Weight (GTW): The hitch ball’s weight capacity should exceed the GTW of the trailer. The GTW is the total weight of the loaded trailer. The hitch ball’s weight capacity should be equal to or greater than the GTW to ensure safe towing.
  • Tongue weight: The tongue weight is the downward force exerted on the hitch ball by the trailer’s coupler. It is typically 10-15% of the GTW. The hitch ball’s weight capacity should also exceed the trailer’s tongue weight to ensure proper weight distribution and stability during towing.

To determine the appropriate size and weight capacity of the hitch ball, consult the trailer manufacturer’s specifications or contact a trusted retailer or professional for guidance. They can provide recommendations based on the specific trailer and towing requirements.

06. What are the consequences of choosing the wrong hitch ball size?

Choosing the wrong size tow ball can lead to various issues and safety risks. Here are some potential consequences:
Incompatible coupler: If you choose a tow ball with the wrong size, it may not properly fit into the trailer’s coupler. This can result in an insecure connection between the vehicle and the trailer, increasing the risk of detachment during towing.

  • Insufficient load-bearing capacity: Using a tow ball with a weight capacity lower than the trailer’s gross trailer weight (GTW) can lead to overloading. This can strain the hitch and other towing components, potentially causing damage or failure and compromising safety.
  • Poor weight distribution: The wrong-sized tow ball may not provide the recommended tongue weight for the trailer. Insufficient tongue weight can lead to an imbalanced load distribution, affecting the stability and maneuverability of the vehicle-trailer combination, especially during braking and turning.
  • Excessive wear and tear: Mismatched tow ball sizes can cause excessive stress and wear on the hitch and coupler components. This can result in premature wear, deformation, or damage to these parts, compromising their effectiveness and potentially leading to failure.
  • Safety hazards: Using the wrong tow ball size can increase the risk of accidents, such as trailer sway, fishtailing, or detachment. These situations can be dangerous, potentially leading to loss of control, collisions, or damage to property or people.
  • To ensure safe and proper towing, it is crucial to select the correct size tow ball that matches the trailer coupler, meets the weight capacity requirements, and allows for proper weight distribution. Always refer to the trailer manufacturer’s specifications and consult experts or professionals if you are unsure about the appropriate tow ball size to use.

07. What are the influencing factors and common parameters of hitch ball load-bearing traction?

The factors that determine hitch ball load-bearing traction include:
Hitch ball diameter: The size or diameter of the hitch ball is a critical factor. Different hitch ball sizes are designed to handle varying weight capacities. Common sizes include 1-7/8 inches, 2 inches, 2-5/16 inches, and 3 inches. Larger diameter hitch balls generally have higher load-bearing capacities.

  • Material and construction: The material from which the hitch ball is made plays a significant role in its load-bearing capacity. High-strength steel is commonly used for hitch balls. The manufacturing process, including heat treatment and machining, also affects the ball’s strength and durability.
  • Surface texture: The surface texture of the hitch ball can affect traction. A rougher texture may improve grip, while a smoother surface may reduce traction.
  • Weight rating: The hitch ball is typically assigned a weight rating, which represents the maximum weight it can safely tow. This rating is a crucial parameter indicator and should be prominently displayed on the hitch ball. Ensure that the hitch ball’s weight rating matches or exceeds the Gross Trailer Weight (GTW) of your trailer for safe towing.
  • Shank diameter and length: The shank is the part of the hitch ball that inserts into the hitch receiver on your towing vehicle. The diameter and length of the shank must match the dimensions of your hitch receiver. Choosing the correct shank diameter is essential to prevent excessive play or rattling in the receiver, which can affect towing stability.
  • Ball mount and Receiver compatibility: Ensure that the hitch ball is compatible with your ball mount and hitch receiver. The ball mount should have a matching hitch ball hole diameter and weight rating.

Common parameter indicators for hitch ball load-bearing traction include:

  • Tongue weight: Tongue weight refers to the downward force on the hitch ball from the trailer coupler. It is typically a percentage of the GTW and is important for maintaining stability while towing.
  • SAE J684 standard: The SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) J684 standard provides guidelines and testing requirements for various hitch ball classifications, including load-bearing capacities and dimensions.
  • Maximum Vertical Load (MVL): This indicates the maximum downward force that can be exerted on the hitch ball. It is an important parameter for determining the load-bearing capacity of the hitch ball.
  • Hitch class: Hitch balls are classified into different classes based on their load-bearing capacities. Common classes include Class I, II, III, IV, and V, each with specific weight ratings.

It is essential to consult the manufacturer’s specifications and guidelines when selecting a hitch ball to ensure safe and proper load-bearing traction.

08.What size values of a hitch ball need to be paid attention to?

The size of a hitch ball is typically referred to by its diameter in inches. When selecting a hitch ball size, it’s crucial to pay attention to the following values:
Hitch Ball Diameter: This is the primary size value to consider when choosing a hitch ball. It must match the size of the coupler on your trailer. Using the wrong size hitch ball can result in an insecure connection and pose safety risks.

  • Weight Rating: Each hitch ball is rated for a specific maximum towing weight capacity. This rating indicates the maximum weight that the hitch ball can safely tow. Ensure that the hitch ball’s weight rating meets or exceeds the towing requirements of your trailer and towing vehicle.
  • Shank Diameter and Length: The shank is the part of the hitch ball that inserts into the hitch receiver on the towing vehicle. The shank diameter and length should match the dimensions of the hitch receiver. For example, a 2-inch hitch ball typically has a 3/4-inch shank diameter. Ensure that the shank is the right size for your hitch receiver.
  • Thread Size: The hitch ball is secured to the hitch receiver using a nut and washer. The thread size of the shank and the nut must match for a secure fit. Common thread sizes include 3/4-inch, 7/8-inch, and 1 inch.
  • Rise or Drop: Some hitch balls come with a rise or drop feature to adjust the height of the ball to match the trailer’s coupler height. The rise or drop value should be chosen to ensure that the trailer is level when connected to the towing vehicle.

Trailer hitch balls come in four different sizes: 1-7/8, 2, 2-5/16 and 3 inches. They also come with different shank or stem sizes, ranging from 3/4 inches to 2 inches in diameter.

Depending on the ball size, weight capacities for trailer hitch balls range from 2,000 up to 30,000 pounds. Each sizes is designed for different types of trailers and towing applications.

09.How to measure hitch ball?

You measure hitch ball size starting with the diameter of the ball itself. The diameter should be stamped into the top of the ball, or you can use a tape measure or ruler to find the measurement yourself.

Here is the measurement method:

(1) Place the measuring device (caliper or ruler) across the widest part of the spherical portion of the hitch ball.

(2) Ensure that the measuring device is perpendicular to the hitch ball surface.

(3) Read the measurement in inches. This measurement represents the ball diameter.

Use the diameter that matches your trailer coupler.

Next, measure the hitch ball shank size. Find the diameter of the shank and the length, taken from the bottom of the base to the end of the threads. Measure the width of the shank at its widest point.

Finally, measure the thickness of the base. This is how much rise the trailer ball will add to your hitch connection.

 10 5 Most important things to consider when selecting a ball mount (h3)

  1. How much weight will you be towing?

There is a comprehensive range of ball hitch sizes – and weight capacities range from 2,000 up to 30,000 pounds. When selecting a trailer ball (like any towing accessory), weight capacity must always be considered.  Need to quickly calculate your truck and trailer’s tow capacities? Here are some easy-to-use formulas and guidelines for safe towing:

  • Tongue Weight Percentage:

Formula: Tongue Weight (TW) = GTW (Gross Trailer Weight) x 0.10 to 0.15 (10% to 15%)

This formula helps you calculate the recommended tongue weight for your trailer. Aim for a tongue weight within this range for stability.

  • Load Distribution:

Formula: Load on Trailer Axles = GTW (Gross Trailer Weight) – Tongue Weight (TW)

Ensure that the weight on the trailer axles is distributed evenly to prevent overloading one axle.

  • Brake Controller Setting (for trailers with brakes):

Formula: Brake Controller Setting = GTW (Gross Trailer Weight) x 0.01

Adjust the brake controller setting to about 1% of the GTW. Fine-tune as needed for optimal braking control.

  • Safe Trailer Length (for bumper pull trailers):

Guideline: The length of your trailer should not exceed 1.5 times the wheelbase of your towing vehicle.

This guideline helps maintain stability and control while towing.

  • Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR):

GCWR = Truck’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) + Trailer’s Gross Trailer Weight (GTW)

Ensure that the GCWR (the combined weight of your truck and loaded trailer) does not exceed your truck’s GCWR as specified by the manufacturer.

  • Tongue Weight vs. Payload Capacity:

Guideline: The tongue weight should not exceed the payload capacity of your towing vehicle, including passengers and cargo.

Overloading the vehicle can affect handling and safety.

  • Weight Rating Matching:

Ensure that the hitch, hitch receiver, ball mount, and hitch ball have weight ratings that match or exceed the trailer’s GTW and tongue weight.

Remember that while these formulas and guidelines provide a starting point for safe towing, other factors like terrain, altitude, and road conditions can impact towing performance. Always consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual, follow manufacturer recommendations, and consider professional advice if you have specific towing concerns or questions.

To verify your trailer’s weight, locate the Federal Certification/VIN label on the front half of your trailer. It should be located on the left side. Specifications on the label should include:

  • GVWR – Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (the total maximum amount your trailer can safely weigh when loaded). 
  • GAWR – Gross Axle Weight Rating (the maximum amount of weight that can be placed over each axle)
  • Payload Capacity – the maximum amount of cargo weight that you can safely load onto your trailer (your trailer’s load limit)
  • Trailer Weight – this is how much your trailer weighs empty 
  1.  What tow ball diameter does your trailer’s coupler head require?

Most trailer manufacturers stamp or label the correct trailer ball size on the coupler (the front part of your trailer, designed to latch onto the tow ball). A trailer needs to have a ball that perfectly matches the size of its coupler.

Let’s say your trailer comes with a 1-7/8” coupler. You’ll need a 1-7/8” tow ball on your hitch’s ball mount. This ensures that your coupler and trailer ball have a solid connection.  You can also take the measurement of your trailer’s coupler head yourself. Just use a tape measure, or ruler, to measure the inside opening of the coupler. This measurement is the size of the trailer ball needed. 

  1. What size and class of receiver does your truck have?

Receiver hitch classes are separated by their maximum weight capacity rating and receiver opening size. Classes range from I to V, and each class has its own unique capacity and applications. You can start by using the chart below to determine which class of receiver hitch your truck features: 

  1. How much rise or drop do you need to provide a level and safe towing setup? 

When loaded, both your truck and trailer must be level with the ground. If your trailer rides lower or higher than your truck, a specific ball mount can be used to make up the difference and ensure the trailer is level. 

Use these formulas to determine how much of a drop, or rise, your ball mount requires to meet the height of your loaded trailer.

Drop Length Formula (for trailers that ride lower than your truck):

(1) Measure the distance from the bottom of your trailer’s coupler to the ground (be sure your trailer is loaded and sitting level with the ground while you measure).

(2) Subtract this number from the height of your hitch receiver (distance from the top of the inside of your truck’s hitch receiver to the ground).

(3) This is the required drop length of your ball mount.

Rise Length Formula (for trailers that ride higher than your truck):

(1) Measure distance from the bottom of your trailer’s coupler to the ground (be sure your trailer is loaded and sitting level with the ground while you measure).

(2) From this number, subtract the height of your hitch receiver (distance from the top of the inside of your truck’s hitch receiver to the ground).

(3) This is your required rise length of your ball mount.

Pro tip: Be sure your trailer is exactly level with the ground by placing a level on the top of your trailer’s coupler. Use the crank on your trailer jack to adjust the height, up or down, until the level is plumb, then take your measurement.

  1. How will you measure your trailer’s tongue weight?

To measure your trailer’s tongue weight, you can use a tongue weight scale or follow these steps: First, ensure that your trailer and towing vehicle are on a level surface. Next, position the tongue of the trailer, where it attaches to the hitch ball, directly over the scale or bathroom scale. Use a trailer jack to lift the tongue slightly off the hitch ball while keeping the trailer level. The weight displayed on the scale at this point is your trailer’s tongue weight. Ensure it falls within the recommended range, typically between 10% and 15% of the trailer’s total weight, for safe and stable towing.

Towing within the recommended tongue weight range provides a significant safety advantage that cannot be emphasized enough. Safe towing hinges on having the appropriate amount of downward pressure, known as tongue weight, on the hitch ball to guarantee that the trailer remains steady and tracks in a straight line. What makes tongue weight crucial is not just its numeric value but what it signifies: that the trailer’s center of mass is positioned ahead of its axle, ensuring towing stability.

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