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Old 10-04-2009, 12:50 PM   #1
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Excessive hitch wear

After about 1,000 or 1,200 km hauling the new Escape, I started hearing groaning when turning. It took a while for me to figure out that the source was the hitch ball. Up until that point, I had been running it dry. For the rest of the trip, I used lithium grease all over the ball. That reduced the noise dramatically, but it seems the damage is done.

In the first image, you can see that the chrome is scraped off the ball. The second image is blurry, but you can see how the hitch is worn, too. It is so rough in there that I think I could tear off some skin if I rubbed my finger across it hard.

I bought a new ball, but with the inside of the hitch so rough, I am sure its surface would not last the 1100 km trip we have planned for next weekend.

Since the damage is done, I think I will hand-sand the hitch, grease the old ball, and take the weekend trip. It will be the last trip of the year.

Should I have been greasing the hitch? It seems a great way to collect grit on dusty roads.

What would you do now?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg hitchball600.jpg (62.1 KB, 99 views)
File Type: jpg hitchwear.jpg (48.4 KB, 111 views)
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Old 10-04-2009, 01:16 PM   #2
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Re: Excessive hitch wear

Hi Ron
I would just grease up the hitch and old ball and it will work
itself smooth again, you will see a bit of black grease come
out, so watch your pant legs around the hitch.....
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Old 10-04-2009, 02:33 PM   #3
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Re: Excessive hitch wear

I too would just add a bit of grease to the ball only. It takes very little. I keep some paper towel along with the grease in a tool kit I carry for use with the tow and trailer. I put a cap I got at Princess Auto on the ball when not in use. About few times I hook up I wipe out the hitch, wipe off the ball, and put a thin coat of hitch grease on the ball.

A bit of wearing of the chrome off a ball is common as the ball & hitch wear in to each other.
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Old 10-04-2009, 02:45 PM   #4
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Re: Excessive hitch wear

Hi: ronstew... Remove the stinger from your tug and clamp the ball into the tongue. IF it is binding when you move the stinger from side to side& up and down, then the clamp/fork inside the tongue is too tight!!! There is a nut up in there, seen from the ground up which is used to adjust the ball clamp. I then used white grease as it showed up less on my pants. Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie P.S. I only ever had a class 1 hitch with our former Boler13'er
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Old 10-04-2009, 09:28 PM   #5
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Re: Excessive hitch wear

To not get greasy pants from the hitch ball, I use the old tennis ball trick. I sliced a tennis ball a little over half way through, and cut a 1" hole in the center of the slice area. As soon as the trailer is unhitched, the tennis ball goes on the hitch ball and stays there until time to hitch back up. The 1" hole allows the tennis ball to mostly close down over the hitch ball. No more greasy pants, although the dog seems a bit put out that she had to sacrifice one of her tennis balls.
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Old 10-17-2009, 07:36 PM   #6
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Re: Excessive hitch wear

I am new to towing, but my RV dealer suggested liquid dish detergent for the ball. When your done, you can just wash it off.
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Old 10-17-2009, 08:06 PM   #7
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Re: Excessive hitch wear

Hi Mike and welcome to the forum.

I have to strongly disagree with your RV dealer, dish soap will thicken and harden causing things to gum up. A bit of soap mixed in water makes a great temporary lubricant, used for pulling cables, putting weather stripping into a groove, and stuff like that.

A tad of grease on a ball is really easy to clean, just a quick wipe with a paper towel and it is all gone.
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Old 10-17-2009, 08:27 PM   #8
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Re: Excessive hitch wear

Hello Jim,
Thanks for the welcome to the forum. I look forward to being active here.
Thanks for your insight.
I have now moved back to the tad of grease camp!!
Mike
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Old 10-17-2009, 10:45 PM   #9
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Re: Excessive hitch wear

I use a spray on teflon lube that dries to a white dry film. It seems to work quite well and is not messy at all.

Eric
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Old 10-17-2009, 11:55 PM   #10
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Re: Excessive hitch wear

That should work fine Eric. How does it do as far as wearing off goes?
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