What Size Hitch Ball Do I Need for My Trailer?

A trailer is helpful for many reasons. Not only is it an excellent asset for moving, but people also use trailers to haul recreational vehicles, appliances, and lawn care tools. However, towing a trailer isn’t as simple as it sounds because there are many steps in the process. One of the most important and overlooked aspects to consider when using a trailer is your hitch ball size.

The hitch ball serves as the connection point between your truck and your trailer coupler. The attachment pivots the trailer and allows for a smoother turning experience.

Trailer Hitch Ball Sizes

The three most common hitch ball sizes are 1-7/8", 2", and 2-5/16" in diameter. In rare cases, you’ll find a 3" size. Hitch balls also have variations in size for shank diameter and shank length. The different sizes factor into the weight capacity of a towing system. Each trailer hitch ball will also need its matching hitch ball mount. Learn more about selecting the correct ball mount for your hitch.

What is the Standard Hitch Ball Size?

The standard size is the 2" hitch ball. The 2" hitch ball is the standard size required to rent a U-Haul trailer, whether it be the 5x9 Utility Trailer or 6x12 Cargo Trailer. The 2" hitch ball fits most class 3 receivers, which is typically the most common trailer hitch. Considered the medium-duty trailer hitch ball size, a 2" hitch ball has a wide range of weight capacities that allows it to tow boat trailers, utility trailers, and campers.

What are the Other Hitch Ball Sizes Used For?

The 1-7/8" ball is used for light-duty towing. Small vehicles like cars and minivans can use the 1-7/8" ball for lightweight trailers. For heavy loads, it is best to use the 2-5/16" hitch ball size. These can be used for gooseneck tow hitches as well. A gooseneck hitch attaches to a ball that fits in the truck bed, allowing for towing of livestock and horse trailers.

Are all Gooseneck Balls the Same Size?

No, not all gooseneck hitch balls are the same size. Most gooseneck balls are 2-5/16", but this is where you’ll find a use for the uncommon 3" trailer hitch ball. The hitch balls also vary in its shank diameter and length.

How to Tell What Size Ball My Trailer Needs

To figure out the correct hitch ball size for your needs comes down to these three factors:

  • Your trailer’s coupler size
  • Your trailer’s ball hole
  • Your trailer’s weight capacity

The hitch ball’s diameter needs to match the coupler size. The two must have a solid connection to tow properly. The trailer ball shank can come loose if it’s too small for the trailer ball hole. You must also select a trailer ball with a weight rating that exceeds the gross weight of your trailer.

Why Get a Hitch Ball System from U-Haul?

U-Haul has a six-component hitch ball system. It starts with the hitch ball itself. Every U-Haul hitch is rated for a minimum of 5,000 lbs, which allows a customer to tow any of U-Haul cargo trailers. Every ball is cold forged, and the threads are rolled allowing the system to last longer. The flat washer, ClampForce™ Washer (a U-Haul exclusive), ball nut, anti-seize thread lubricant, and the 1/8" cotter pin (a U-Haul exclusive) make the system the leading standard in the industry.

If you need more help in finding the correct trailer ball size for your vehicle or an entire hitch system installed, U-Haul is here to help. We will find the right hitch for you by having you enter the year, make, and model for your car to receive a quote for a hitch package designed for your vehicle.

U-Haul is North America's #1 hitch installer. With over 1,500 install locations, we can guarantee you'll find a location near you.

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