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hitch and ball mount care tips requested


MystiikVLX

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MystiikVLX

Anyone do anything special to prevent the rusting of your hitch and/or ball mount?

TIA

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Every now and then I get bugged by it and use a little WD40.  But that is rare and the rust that is there is just surface rust.  

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9 minutes ago, MystiikVLX said:

Anyone do anything special to prevent the rusting of your hitch and/or ball mount?

TIA

I distinctly remember a thread on this topic getting deleted many years ago when the discussion quickly turned to what kind of strokes to use to polish your drawbar and whether it was important to gently rub the rust off of the ball at the same time.  I'm not going there this time, but I will offer that if you have rust on your drawbar, just wipe it off and shoot it with a little paint.  The ball picks up some surface rust as @hethj7 mentioned, but that should wipe off easily.

I used to be very diligent about removing my drawbar after every use, but somehow I got lazy one day and that was it.  I have a convert-a-ball for 2" and 1-7/8" hitches on a drawbar, plus an extra drawbar with a 2-5/16" ball that are usually always in the truck, and a WD drawbar that we keep in the garage because it gets used less and is very bulky.  I'm still trying to figure out where everything goes in my new truck, and so far I don't have a place for the 2-5/16" drawbar yet.  I may have to switch over to a Rapid Hitch like @oldjeep uses and get an extra 2-5/16" ball for it.

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My rapid hitch has a flippable 2 inch/ 2 5/16 ball.

Although I guess if you had something with a 1 7/8, you would need a second ball.  Haven't seen anything I would tow with a truck that has that size in many years.

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28 minutes ago, oldjeep said:

My rapid hitch has a flippable 2 inch/ 2 5/16 ball.

Although I guess if you had something with a 1 7/8, you would need a second ball.  Haven't seen anything I would tow with a truck that has that size in many years.

My little fishing boat uses 1 7/8.  It isn't a question of whether I need to use the truck, but if I'm going in the truck and want to take the boat along, I need the correct ball.

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Just now, justgary said:

My little fishing boat uses 1 7/8.  It isn't a question of whether I need to use the truck, but if I'm going in the truck and want to take the boat along, I need the correct ball.

Time to swap the coupler ;)

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Stainless steel ball on a regular drawbar is nice.  But what really bugs me is the fact that the factory hitches rust in no time up here.  I swear if I towed alot I would get a stainless hitch.

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14 minutes ago, oldjeep said:

Time to swap the coupler ;)

Perhaps the whole trailer.  For that matter, the whole boat.  It is a 1970 open hull that I refloored in the late 1980's, and it needs attention again.  The 1973 "Safety Inspection" sticker just peeled off last summer while we were running across St. Joseph Bay into some pretty big waves.

In any event, I like to be prepared so I'll probably keep a 1 7/8 ball around for a while longer in case I need to tow a trailer for a friend in need.  They are still relatively common around here for small stuff.  The convert-a-ball is a good solution for that anyway.

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ndahlberg12

I take mine out if it’s not hooked up to a trailer. Mine still look close to new after 10 years. 

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10 minutes ago, ndahlberg12 said:

I take mine out if it’s not hooked up to a trailer. Mine still look close to new after 10 years. 

My buddy had his stolen from his truck WHILE HE WAS SLEEPING IN IT!

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4 minutes ago, Soon2BV said:

i always take mine out, otherwise i find it with my shin...

I like the clean look.

With 3 trailers and 2 vehicles that means multiple draw bars, thankfully all couplers are for 2” balls....  I would always have something to switch out.

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I sand everything down with some 200 and then with a scotch brite pad every 2 or 3 years.  Give it a spray with some low gloss farm implement paint and it touch it up as needed from rocks or road salt.

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On 4/4/2021 at 9:44 PM, oldjeep said:

Mine is in from the day I buy the truck until the day I sell it.  Master locking hitch pin.

I do as well.  I use the B&W Stow and go.  I like it quite a bit.  It folds up under the draw bar.  The pins need regular lubrication with a good waterproof grease.  It keeps them from locking up.  I get a little surface rust, but some WD-40 and a scotch brite pad takes care of it.  I do that each time I lubricate the pins and it's been great.  

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This thread caused me to get my 2" Convert-A-Ball unstuck from the shank so I can use the other balls with it again.  It had bonded itself to the shank, so I had to put penetrating oil on it, let it set overnight, then heat it, then another blast of penetrating oil before I could get it to move.  You would think that whacking it with a two pound hammer would have been enough.

Once I got it free I put it in the lathe and cleaned up the inside of the ball.  After that, I sanded and sprayed the drawbar flat black so it looks better again.  I'll probably pick up a 2-5/16" ball to go on the shank so I can leave one drawbar out of the truck.

Thanks to all for the motivation!

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I moved to Arizona and haven't had rusty balls or shanks since.

Nice thing about northern climates with lots of salt is if you leave your drawbar in all year for a couple winters, eventually all clunking goes away as the rust fills in the gaps nicely.

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If the truck has a decent hitch and you buy a decent drawbar and pin, they don't clunk when they are new ;)

It is pretty amazing how sloppy some drawbars and hitch pins are.

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22 hours ago, oldjeep said:

If the truck has a decent hitch and you buy a decent drawbar and pin, they don't clunk when they are new ;)

It is pretty amazing how sloppy some drawbars and hitch pins are.

Got an example?  I've never - in 30+ years of towing - had an un-clunking hitch.  I had to buy one of those hitch tighteners.

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2 minutes ago, Eagleboy99 said:

Got an example?  I've never - in 30+ years of towing - had an un-clunking hitch.  I had to buy one of those hitch tighteners.

Factory Ram class 4 hitch and an Andersen MFG aluminum receiver - they slide in very tight and the pin hole in the hitch and receiver bar are equally as tight.  Most of the issues with clunky hitches I have seen is all of the cheap steel receivers that are out there - the ones that most people buy.  They are undersized and have sloppy pin holes that get worse since they are hollow tube instead of a solid chunk.

Edited by oldjeep
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On 4/4/2021 at 7:44 PM, oldjeep said:

Mine is in from the day I buy the truck until the day I sell it.  Master locking hitch pin.

My kid who lives in BC tells me that leaving your hitch in without a trailer attached will get you a ticket. I dunno?

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Just now, Eagleboy99 said:

My kid who lives in BC tells me that leaving your hitch in without a trailer attached will get you a ticket. I dunno?

Maybe in canada - not here

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electricjohn

A wire brush and some Felpro(?) C5 anti seize. I tow summer, in winter salt, and launch (my Winner) in salt water. Use it on trailer hardware too.

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On 4/7/2021 at 3:05 PM, oldjeep said:

If the truck has a decent hitch and you buy a decent drawbar and pin, they don't clunk when they are new ;)

It is pretty amazing how sloppy some drawbars and hitch pins are.

Have you ever seen a hitch pin that bolts to the hitch?  I have a hitch mount bike rack that comes threaded so I have to bolt the pin the the rack.  Zero clunking or play when it is bolted on.  I've never really looked but I have never seen a hitch pin that bolts to the hitch to give it a tight fit.

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