The Best Trailer Hitch Ball (Review & Buying Guide) in 2022
Add a secure, strong trailer hitch ball onto your towing setup with one of these top products.
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When searching for a hitch ball, one of the first things you need to determine is what you're towing. Trailers are designed to work with different hitch ball sizes, and you need to pick the right one for the application. While most similar size balls can handle the same weight ratings, you need to know precisely how much weight you are towing to make the proper selection. It needs to be reliable as well. Replacing a ball over and over on account of rust and wear can cost you. Of course, other features may also come into consideration. But never let reliability and safety fall from your checklist. Take a look at some of the best hitch balls in our buying guide below.
Curt 40053 2" Stainless Steel Trailer Ball
The Class IV Curt 40053 provides an excellent combination of capability (6,000-pound GTW) and durability thanks to its forged steel construction and stainless steel finish.
- 6,000-pound GTW rating
- Durable, corrosion-resistant stainless steel construction
- Includes steel nut and lock washer
- Relatively expensive
- Cannot handle heavy-duty trailers
- Zinc-plated nut and washer may rust with prolonged exposure to the elements
Reese Towpower 7008300 Interlock Trailer Hitch Ball
The affordable Reese 7008300 comes with all the essentials, including a 6,000-pound GTW rating. This Class III ball can handle plenty of jobs and boasts a tough chrome-plated finish.
- 6,000-pound GTW and 600-pound TW ratings
- Corrosion-resistant finish
- Cannot handle heavy-duty trailers
- Chrome-plated finish isn’t the most durable
- Little information about the included nut and washer
Reese Towpower Trailer Hitch Ball Mount Starter Kit
The Reese Towpower 21536RAK is the perfect kit for beginners. It includes a chrome-plated steel ball with a 6,000-pound GTW rating and powder-coated ball mount.
- 6,000-pound trailer/600-pound tongue rating
- Corrosion-resistant finish
- Comes ready to go out of the box
- Cannot handle heavy-duty trailers
- Chrome-plated finish isn’t the most durable
- Costs more than a standalone ball
In order to select our picks for the best trailer hitch balls, we considered and compared a wide array of different products. We were looking for highly capable hitch balls, seeking out products that offer excellent durability and high-quality materials designed to last throughout plenty of towing trips. Extra details, like specialized finishes and coatings meant to fight corrosion, also helped us pinpoint which hitch balls were the best of the bunch. We also took users’ real-life experiences using these products into consideration, examining reviews to assess how these hitch balls performed while towing and on trailer hitches in actual situations and various settings.
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Best Trailer Hitch Ball Reviews & Recommendations
If you need options, the Ultra-Tow Chrome-Plated Hitch Ball is a product you’ve got to consider. Available in an array of different ball sizes with varying diameters and lengths, you can upgrade or decrease your hitch’s towing capability by swapping out these hitch balls. If you stick with the base model, the 2-inch ball with 3/4-inch diameter and a 1 3/4-inch shank, you’ll be able to tow 3,500 pounds easily. Designed to support heavy-weight towing, this hitch ball is made from solid steel and shaped into a cold-formed ball with an externally threaded shank. A chrome finish gives it both corrosion protection and some nice shine. Plus, it comes with the washer and mounting nut you’ll need for installation.
Over time and with wear, the chrome finish on this hitch ball can begin to wear away. Keep that in mind if you’re hoping the shiny exterior will still look flawless after many miles of towing.
- Brand: Ultra-Tow
- Model: 32718
- Weight: 1.91 pounds
- 3,500-pound GTW
- Solid steel with a chrome finish that’s sleek and protective
- Stands up to heavy-duty trailering
- Available in a number of different sizes for different GTW
- Chrome-plated finish will wear away after it sees wear and tear
Best Trailer Hitch Ball for Adjustable HitchesTrimax Stainless Steel Trailer Hitch Tow BallCheck Latest Price
If you have an adjustable hitch installed on your vehicle, consider the Trimax Stainless Steel Trailer Hitch Tow Ball. Made specifically for adjustable hitches, this is a hitch ball that can adapt just like your hitch, whether you need more or less height for your different towing tasks. Designed to be extra-tough and extra-durable, the ball is made out of stainless steel and covered in a weatherproof finish. It features a 1-inch shank, a 8,000-pound GTW, and can support up to 240 foot-pounds of torque. You can opt for a 2-inch or 2 5/16-inch ball diameter. With this hitch ball in place, you’ll be ready for everything from outdoor exposure to wear and tear, all while still being able to adjust and adapt your hitch height.
However, there is a downside to this adjustable hitch ball. It’s designed to work with Trimax’s own aluminum adjustable hitches, meaning it may not fit with other brands’ hitches. You’ll need to take a close look at the measurements to see if it’s a fit for your non-Trimax model.
- Brand: Trimax
- Model: TBSXAL2
- Weight: 3.5 pounds
- 8,000-pound GTW
- Made out of durable stainless steel
- Available in two ball diameters
- Covered in a weatherproof finish for exposure to the elements
- Made to work with Trimax adjustable hitches specifically
- May not suit other brands of hitches
Stop struggling with the installation of your trailer hitch ball and get the bRok Hitch Ball, a product that’s designed to simplify things. This innovative hitch ball is just as tough and capable as others available, but it features a unique one-wrench tightening design that’ll save you time and effort. If you use this hitch ball with a bRok pin stop or mount, you’ll only need one wrench and a few tightening twists to get it installed. Made out of solid forged steel and covered in corrosion-resistant chrome plating, it’s built for a long lifespan and great towing performance. Plus, the towing capacity is actually stamped right on the ball itself, so you’ll always be able to ensure you’re using the right fit for the job at hand.
Depending on which size of ball and shank you opt for, this hitch ball can support anywhere from 3,500 to 6,000 pounds of towing weight. However, there is a potential drawback. The one-wrench easy installation method only works if you’re also using a bRok-branded hitch. Otherwise, installation may be a little trickier. But this hitch ball does work on all flat, pin stop, and hex recessed ball mounts.
- Brand: bRok
- Model: 32945
- Weight: 2.6 pounds
- 3,500 to 6,000 GTW, based on ball diameter
- Works on all flat, pin stop, and hex recessed ball mounts
- One-wrench tightening with any bRok hitch
- Corrosion-resistant chrome coating
- One-wrench tightening only works with bRock hitches
- May be trickier to install on other mounts
Our Verdict on Trailer Hitch Balls
Our pick for the best trailer hitch ball is the Curt 40053 2" Stainless Steel Trailer Ball, which offers a winning combination of durability and capability, all thanks to its steel construction and corrosion-resistant exterior coating. However, if you want a different combination of an affordable price and great bang for your buck, the Reese Towpower 7008300 Interlock Trailer Hitch Ball is another good investment.
What to Consider When Buying Trailer Hitch Balls
For newcomers, towing can be a bit intimidating. The awkwardness of the trailer’s added length, the increased acceleration and braking distances, and other new sensations and handling dynamics are a lot to think about. Then, there’s all the new equipment.
Selecting a trailer hitch ball may seem like a relief compared to navigating the rest of the hitch component market, but unfortunately, buying a hitch ball isn’t quite as straightforward as it seems. That said, a little bit of patience and knowledge can go a long way toward keeping everyone safe, secure, and stress-free. We designed this buying guide to help get you on the road as quickly and as smoothly as possible.
Types of Trailer Hitch Balls
Contrary to what one might think, trailer hitch balls exist in more than one form, but when driving down the highway, most people rarely notice what type of ball is keeping that trailer in front of them from flying loose and smashing their bumper to smithereens. Fair enough, but when it comes to buying a trailer hitch ball, the type of ball suddenly becomes a significant consideration.
Receiver Hitch Ball
By and large, people looking for a “trailer hitch ball” are seeking a ball designed for use with a receiver hitch. Receiver hitch balls usually consist of a solid piece of steel formed into a ball and a threaded shank with a retention flare and a nut (and washer) to snug the ball onto the ball mount which then connects the ball to the receiver.
Receiver hitch balls usually fall into one of five rating categories which designate what trailer maximum weight a ball can safely handle. The majority of receiver hitch balls will fall within SAE Classes I through IV, especially for passenger vehicles and light duty trucks (like your F-150). Non-SAE “Class V” balls are much less common but are compatible with medium duty trucks, such as a dually pickup. Some Class V receiver hitch balls are designed specifically for pintle hitch setups, pulling double duty as both a hitch ball and a lunette ring hook.
Gooseneck Hitch Ball
When installed on a vehicle, gooseneck hitch balls bear a remarkable resemblance to the more common receiver hitch ball, but when compared side by side, these hitch ball types display distinct differences from one another. While receiver balls include a threaded shank and other smaller features, a gooseneck hitch ball features a smooth, solid metal shank (either round or square, depending on the particular hitch manufacturer) with a pin hole, detent-style retention system, or some other locking system to secure the ball to the hitch frame.
Without exception, these balls are rated for some pretty serious towing, usually falling with the Class V category of hitch ball weight ratings. As such, gooseneck hitch balls usually measure a wide 2 5/16 inches in diameter, and they can always be found mounted directly over the host vehicle’s rear axle.
Trailer Hitch Ball Key Features
Buying a trailer hitch ball isn’t quite as simple as picking up a half gallon of your favorite ice cream. Unless you have no regard for the life of your vehicle and towing equipment (or your life), then selecting a hitch ball takes some serious consideration. Make sure to pay attention to the details before spending that hard-earned cash.
Vehicle and Hitch Towing Capacities
When selecting a trailer hitch ball, ALWAYS learn about your vehicle’s towing capacity and the weight class rating of your hitch. There is no point in purchasing a Class V ball for your second hand Honda Accord. If, however, you goofed and installed a tiny Class II hitch on your brand-new Ram, buying a ball with a Class III or higher rating, you are setting yourself up for disaster.
Weight Class Rating
Years ago, SAE International (“SAE” for short) established a weight class rating system for trailer hitches and their associated components. SAE’s rating system includes four classes, and hitch manufacturers have developed a fifth class for heavy duty towing parts. Every hitch ball comes with a maximum weight rating, each based on factors like the ball diameter, shank length, and shank diameter. Class I towing components tap out at a mere 2,000 pounds (including trailer, cargo, and accessories) or less, while Class IV components boast a limit of up to 10,000 pounds. Also, watch out for components marked “Class III/IV” which can only handle Class IV loads with the help of weight distribution equipment.
Receiver and pintle hitch balls feature a threaded shank that slides through the hole in the ball mount or lunette hook mount. Purchasing a trailer hitch ball with the proper shank diameter is critical to a successful tow job. While a shank that is too large obviously will not fit into a smaller mount hole, a shank that is too small for the mount hole is just as problematic. Besides the obvious geometric issues, a mismatched shank and mount hole indicate differing component weight class ratings, a recipe for a towing disaster.
Most trailer hitch balls spend plenty of time exposed to the elements, and without the proper ball finish, keeping your hitch ball in tip-top condition can require quite a bit of upkeep. The majority of trailer hitch balls include a corrosion-resistant finish to minimize rust over time. The most common finishes include chrome plating, far and away the top choice, stainless steel plating, and zinc plating (usually gold zinc). On occasion, a manufacturer will take a different approach and use an odd-ball finish, such as black nickel plating. For heavy-duty applications, some balls skip the finish all-together, opting for a raw, forged steel surface.
Trailer Hitch Ball Benefits
A trailer hitch ball isn’t just for towing your camper. With one of these balls installed on your hitch, you’ll discover there are plenty of different products and other kinds of trailers that are compatible. You’ll enjoy plenty of towing versatility, and you’ll be able to hook up plenty of different vehicles to haul or carry whatever you need behind your car. Plus, you can easily swap out your hitch ball for a newer model as needed or when you’re ready for an upgrade.
A trailer hitch ball is easy to install and easy to use. Compatible with your receiver and shank needs, a ball (once it’s in place) will enable you to easily haul the weight of your trailer and gear behind your car. These components are designed to be weighed down, exposed to the elements, and work seamlessly with your existing hitch. All of this ensures towing isn’t a hassle, especially when you’re hooking up your trailer and securing it to your hitch.
Specialized for Different Needs
While trailer hitch balls are versatile in the sense that one ball can often work for different towing situations, these hitch additions can also be more specialized. If you’re working with a heavier weight class, unique towing situation, or even just a different kind of receiver, there’s a hitch ball that’ll have you covered. You can shop for specialized hitch balls to suit different towing needs and never have to worry about whether or not the ball is up for the job at hand.
Trailer Hitch Ball Pricing
On average, you can expect to spend between $10 and $25 for a trailer hitch ball. If you’re looking for an extra heavy-duty ball, or you need a higher class for what you’re towing, you may find yourself spending more than $25. Additionally, if you’re opting for a trailer hitch ball and other components sold together as a starter kit or comprehensive towing setup, you may spend upwards of $35.
Tips and Tricks
As with something you do for decades upon decades, you pick up a few tips and tricks along the way in terms of selecting the right product, and/or using it. That’s the case with us and trailer hitch balls. To help you bridge the information gap, here’s a selection of what we’ve learned along the way.
- Always make sure you perform regular maintenance–including lubrication!–on your trailer hitch ball. Adding grease at regular intervals will help your hitch ball last longer, preventing premature wear and tear.
- Check your trailer’s alignment before you hit the road. If you aren’t properly aligned, you can wind up adding pressure and wear to your hitch ball, which can cause problems as it wears down unevenly.
- Your hitch ball might have a maximum towing weight, but so too does every other component in your towing setup. Make sure that all of these parts work together and offer the right amount of support for the weight of your trailer (and what’s inside it).
You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers!
Q: Does a hitch need a ball?
While not every hitch style requires a ball, many do, and receiver hitches, the most common hitch type found on passenger vehicles and light duty trucks, always require a ball.
Q: What is the standard size trailer hitch ball?
Standard trailer hitch balls come in at a two-inch diameter, although maximum weight ratings may vary from ball to ball.
Q: How much weight can a two-inch ball pull?
While ball sizing may be standardized, each ball’s maximum trailering weight will vary according to its weight class rating (Classes I through V) which is based on gross towing weight (GTW) and tongue weight (TW) ratings.
Q: Can you put a two-inch ball on a Class I hitch?
Theoretically, yes, but we strongly recommend against doing so. Your vehicle will still only be able to handle Class I loads. For safety reasons, NEVER use towing accessories with a different rating than your hitch. Samesies means safety.
Q: Do I need to grease my trailer hitch ball?
If you tow often or store your trailer hitch ball in a location that is regularly exposed to the elements, then greasing your hitch ball is a wise idea.
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