How to Shop for the Right Hitch Ball
Ready to drive out of town with your boat, trailer, or bike in tow? Then you're definitely going to need a handy hitch ball. A quality hitch ball allows you to conveniently tow heavy cargo. Not all hitch balls are created equally, though, and some can take more weight than others. Nevertheless, having this component will allow you to take everything you need with you on that next outdoor adventure. So keep reading to learn more about the hitch balls and some need-to-know info. Hopefully, after reading, you'll have any easier time looking for the right hitch ball for your vehicle.
Types of hitch balls
These components are rounded in order to allow for plenty vertical and horizontal movement. Trailer balls. This is the generic type of hitch ball, but it isn't as versatile as the next ball variety.
These hitch balls can easily be changed in case you need to tow a smaller trailer. Switch balls are ideal for drivers who haul trailers of varying weight. We recommend these so that you have more options for your hauling needs.
- Weight capacity- The most important factor to take into consideration before buying a new hitch ball is gross trailer weight capacity. Each ball has its own capacity, so you should know the weight of the trailer you're hauling before you purchase your corresponding hitch ball. And bear in mind that if your hitch ball has a 5,000-pound capacity, that's the most weight it can take, even if your hitch receiver has a 10,000-pound capacity.
- Dimensions- All hitch balls come with specific dimensions. The most common balls size is two inches in diameter, while heavy-duty trailer balls can measure up to 2.25 inches in diameter. Bear in mind that the diameter of your ball mount's hole shouldn't be 1/16 of an inch greater than the ball shank diameter in order to fit. In other words, you should get a hitch ball that's 1/16 inches smaller than the ball mount hole.
Do-It-Yourself Guide: Hitch Ball Installation
If you plan to hook a trailer up to your truck, then you'll definitely need a handy hitch ball. This component can actually be used on all kinds of vehicles ?from cars to trucks, RVs to vans-and is perfect for hauling cargo behind you for out of town trips. Certain hitch balls can only support certain amounts of weight, so be sure you get the type that meets your exact needs. After getting your desired hitch ball, it will take you no more than an hour's time to hook it up to your vehicle. So just follow these next few steps, and you'll be all set to haul your trailer for that weekend getaway.
Difficulty Level: Easy
What you'll need:
- Safety gloves
- Floor jack
- Ramp or jack stands
- Rag and water
- Torch wrench
- Hitch ball
- 1/2-bit drill
- Ball mount
TIP- For utmost safety, put on safety gloves and make sure you're parked on a level surface before getting started.
For installing the hitch ball mount
Step 1: Jack your vehicle up then prop it up with jack stands or a ramp. Never get under your ride with only the floor jack supporting it.
Step 2: Remove the spare tire then clean the bottom back frame of the vehicle.
Step 3: Drill holes into the frame. If there are already holes drilled into your frame for an aftermarket hitch, then that saves you one step. If not, then refer to your product because it should come with specifications on whether or not drilling is required.
Step 4: Place the washers that came with your hitch on the bolts, and install the bolts staring from the top of the frame. Put a washer on the bottom of each bolt and install the hex flange nuts along with the receiver.
Step 5: Take the pin out of the ball mount and slide the mount into the square receiver hole. Align the holes and slip the pin into place. Then install the hitch ball.
For installing the hitch ball
Step 1: Place one washer on the ball part of the hitch, and then slide the hitch in the hold on the bumper.
Step 2: Slide the other washer underneath the bumper, up onto the stud part of the hitch ball.
Step 3: Screw the hitch nut onto the stud and tighten it as far as possible by hand. Tighten the nut completely using a wrench.