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Choosing the correct type of hitch is one of the essential steps to successful towing. The next crucial action would be proper maintenance because if you don’t take care of it, it won’t work as you need it to when it counts the most. Greasing your trailer hitch is the best form of service you could perform. But is it really necessary? 

Why you shouldn’t let it go

A person putting on a trailer hitch that is potentially a Greasing Your Truck's Trailer Hitch?
Hitching a horse trailer | Getty Images

The ball hitch is mounted on your vehicle and connects to the trailer, camper, boat, or whatever you may be hauling. It allows the trailer to move and turn with you when maneuvering streets and highways because of the steel ball on the hitch.

When metal grinds on metal, you experience some nasty screeching noises, but there are a few other reasons why you don’t want to leave the ball hitch unprotected. 

According to Drivin and Vibin, the constant grinding the two go through will wear out the truck’s trailer hitch quickly, which means you’ll have to go through the hassle of replacing it, and it could cost you a good deal of money unless you’re handy enough to do it yourself

Another reason you don’t want to let it go without greasing it is that it could cause damage either to the ball or possibly to your vehicle. The more wear and tear the ball hitch experiences, the more the trailer won’t connect properly, which means there’s an increased chance of an accident. 

What are the benefits of greasing your trailer hitch?

You’re allowing the trailer to move smoothly with the hitch by greasing your ball. Vibration from the road keeps the connection strong and eliminates the chance of the trailer making unnecessary moves while towing. If you perform regular maintenance by applying lubricant now and then, you’re allowing the ball hitch to last much longer, delaying the need for a replacement. 

Applying grease regularly will also keep the ball from rusting due to the elements. The rust will cause it to wear out more quickly, ensuring that you will need to have it replaced quicker than you otherwise would’ve required. 

The grease will prevent moisture from corroding the metal, so you don’t have to worry about the ear-splitting screeching noises annoying your neighbors when metal grinds on metal.

How to properly grease your trailer hitch

The first step is to inspect the ball hitch you have. If it has a lot of rust, dents, or deep scratches, greasing won’t help it. You have to replace it with an appropriately sized one that will work for your towing needs. But, if the ball looks OK, you will need to clean it thoroughly by removing any dirt or old grease on the hitch. If there’s a small amount of rust, you can clean it up with sandpaper. 

Once you have a smooth surface, you can begin the greasing process. Apply the lubricant pretty liberally around the ball, ensuring you cover all sides, including the top and the bottom of the ball. Once finished, clean up your hands and properly store any remaining grease.  

Reapply the grease about once a season unless you often tow your camper or trailer. Then you should consider doing it once a month. If you’re not keen on dealing with grease, which can get pretty messy, there are other options. 

You could cover the hitch with a tennis ball, bucket, or bag to protect it from the elements. You can also use a dry lubricant, which will do the same as the grease, except it won’t be as messy. This will make hooking up a trailer to your ball hitch easier.

Hitches need regular maintenance like any other piece of equipment does. Keep it greased to last longer, so it will perform as needed. If you don’t, it could cost you some money in the long run because you’ll likely have to replace it with a new one.


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