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Protecting your trailer ball hitch is essential, like any other maintenance, such as oil changes and brake inspection. Perhaps, you might have heard squeaking noises emanating from a trailer or a truck pulling a tow vehicle. That could be a worn-out hitch ball.

The ball hitch serves as the connector between the trailer and the tow vehicle. This part is most prone to wear and tear as its subjected to road debris, harsh driving conditions, and extreme weather, which highly contributes to tearing.

Wear and tear of the trailer ball hitch is common among different towing class vehicles and can be potentially costly if not properly maintained. Preventive maintenance ensures optimum performance and safety of the ball hitch, eradicating the chances of accidents, malfunction, and replacement. Here are four ways to protect your ball hitch from unnecessary wear and tear.

1. Use a tennis ball to cover your ball hitch

Even during storage, your trailer hitch ball is prone to harsh weather conditions, which can result in rust and corrosion. To avoid this, use a tennis ball to keep the ball hitch covered. Begin by adequately cleaning the hitch ball. Proceed to apply some grease or lubricant liberally to avoid friction when covering and uncovering the ball hitch. The best way is to use lubricant on the hitch ball itself, which also enhances protection from ambient moisture, preventing it from long-term rust possibilities.

Cut off an area from a new tennis ball that sizes up to the trailer ball hitch. For maximum protection, avoid tennis balls that soak in water and moisture, as the moisture can find its way onto the ball hitch. As for the lubricants, it is recommendable to use a dry lubricant for less-messy lubrication.

2. Use a bucket or bag to cover your trailer ball hitch

Attaching a horse trailer to a ball hitch of a pickup truck
Attaching a trailer to a ball hitch | Kurt Wittman/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Another way to prevent your trailer ball hitch from unnecessary wear and tear is by using a bag or bucket to cover the ball hitch whenever you aren’t towing anything. The bucket or bag should be clean and moisture-free and made from dust and waterproof material. As usual, properly clean the hitch ball before covering it. Next, you can liberally apply a layer of lubricant. This will provide a protective layer against moisture, preventing rust and corrosion.

 3. Use a dry lubricant on your ball hitch

The continual motion of the trailer ball hitch creates friction at the connection point, which wears it out quickly. Friction can be prevented by lubrication, resulting in smoother operation. Although lubrication is essential, it can render negative results if the wrong lubricant is used. 

Note that a dry lubricant is a reliable option for creating a protective coat that repels dirt on the ball hitch while shielding it from moisture that causes rust and reducing friction on the trailer ball hitch. Most people prefer to use a dry lubricant as an alternative to grease, as a dry lubricant is easier to apply on the ball hitch. It is also less messy on your clothes, body, and surrounding.

 4. Grease your trailer ball hitch

Greasing your trailer is the most common way to prevent your trailer ball hitch from unnecessary wear and tear. This protects against ambient moisture and fundamental friction and increases the ball hitch’s rust resistance. It would be best to grease your ball hitch as often as every spring and summer. Clear out the old grease from the trailer ball hitch and clean it thoroughly before applying any new oil.

According to Drivin’ & Vibin’, if your trailer ball hitch has corroded or accumulated rust, clear out the rust before cleaning and greasing the ball hitch. Ensure you grease the entire ball hitch, as ungreased spots will be at risk of corrosion and rust. Additionally, grease is more durable than lubricants.

Additional ways to ensure your trailer’s hitch ball does not wear and tear include proper trailer alignment while towing and not exceeding your vehicle’s towing capacity. Overall, a well-maintained ball hitch saves you hauling frustration, unnecessary servicing, and gradual malfunction, which forces the expensive replacement. If you suspect your trailer ball hitch is highly damaged, consider replacing it.


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