Whether you are planning to go out camping or moving from one city to another, having a trailer provides a lot of conveniences. If you are planning to buy a trailer or already have one, then do not make one of the most common mistakes that people make over and over again, it is important to use the right trailer hitch ball.
There is a bolted trailer ball on the hitch ball mount that acts as a connection point of a trailer's coupler. A hitch ball (or trailer ball or tow ball) is the ball-shaped attachment that connects the trailer to a hitch. The ball allows the trailer to pivot, providing smooth turning while towing.
For your towing system, you must comprehend that the hitch ball has to be properly rated, and your trailer's lowest-rated item has to be equal to the maximum weight rating of the system. You can get more details about the standard hitch ball sizes by reading the following post.
Hitch Ball Size Guide
Using the right hitch ball is important. Let's start with some basics before knowing the standard hitch ball sizes. Trailer hitch balls come in different weight capacities, shank diameters, and lengths, and ball diameters to meet your towing needs. You must need to know a few things when selecting the right hitch ball.
- The Hitch Ball Diameter: A little ball enables the trailer to bounce loose, and that is why the diameter of a hitch ball has to be the same as the diameter of the trailer coupler.
- The Shank Length: It needs to be long enough so that when the hitch ball is installed, two threads are visible, and the nut is fully tightened.
- The Shank Diameter: The selected ball mount’s hole diameter has to be same as the shank’s diameter of the hitch ball.
Ball Capacity and Diameter
With most trailers, you will find that hitch ball's maximum towing capacity, diameter, frame, or coupler is listed. To tow a trailer, any hitch ball to be used must have the same maximum capacity and diameter as the one listed (it also can be greater than that). The diameters of the most commonly used hitch balls are 1-7/8", 2", and 2-5/16".
Dimensions of Hitch-Ball Shank
The trailer hitch ball must fit your trailer and ball mount as well – there is a hole in the ball mount that receives the ball. To fit diverse ball mounts, the hitch balls come in various shank diameters and lengths. The common diameters of ball mounts are 3/4", 1", and 1-1/4". However, you can find balls in other sizes as well. After knowing the diameter of the mounting hole, the ball shank diameter should be the same size as well.
Hitch Ball Size Chart
Most trailers have a hitch ball size and maximum towing capacity stamped on the tongue, coupler handle, or frame, and you have to choose a trailer ball with the specs that are equal to or exceed those figures. Commonly used hitch ball sizes (diameters) are 1-7/8″, 2″, and 2-5/16″. 3-inch hitch balls are used infrequently for heavy-duty applications.
|Hitch Ball Diameter||shank diameter||capacity|
|1-7/8"||3/4" and 1"||up to 2,000 lbs|
|2"||3/4", 1", and 1 1/4"||3,500 lbs to 8,000 lbs|
| 2-5/16"||1" and 1-1/4"||6,000 lbs to 40,000 lbs|
Factors for Selecting the Right Hitch Ball Size
- The weight rating of your tow ball must match or exceed the total maximum amount your trailer can safely weigh when loaded.
- The diameter of your tow ball must match the size of your trailer’s coupler opening size.
- The shaft of your ball mount must match the size of your truck’s receiver tube opening.
It will be helpful if you know trailer hitch ball sizes. It is crucial because the trailer coupler and ball sizes have to match each other, while the weight rating has to be sufficient. It is best to search your own or consult an expert.