Last time, we wrote about weight distribution on your trailer and how to know whether or not you’re towing a load that is safe and efficient. As critical as the weight of your load is, the hitch that attaches your vehicle to the trailer is even more important. Hitch balls are the most common form on cars and trucks, but every trailer will not work with every ball.
You’ll need to know the gross trailer weight of your trailer, choosing a hitch ball of the proper size to make sure it can handle the load. The smallest hitch ball, with a 1 7/8 inch diameter, is used for the smallest trailers—typically those with a capacity under 2000 pounds of gross trailer weight.
The next size up, and the most common one, is 2 inches in diameter. Depending on which size bolt is employed, a 2 inch, medium sized ball can tow anywhere from 3,500 pounds to as many as 10,000 pounds of gross trailer weight. The largest ball, with a 2 5/16 inch diameter, can handle trailers with gross trailer weights as high as 30,000 pounds.
There are a number of specialty hitch balls for use with proprietary hitching systems, as well as interchangeable ones that can function with a variety of gross trailer weights.
In addition to the weight rating of your trailer, you’ll also need to check the rating of your hitch and ball mount. The shank of a ball mount, including its length and diameter, is also an important factor in choosing the right hitch.
At J & M Trailer Sales, we sell Delta, Interstate, and Load Trail trailers at the lowest prices in Montana, Wyoming, North and South Dakota and Canada. For more information on choosing the right trailer and properly hitching it to your vehicle, visit our website and contact us today.