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Old 05-14-2018, 09:50 PM   #11
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I noticed a year ago that the ball could be easily rotated in my Pro Series weight distribution hitch. I made a half hearted attempt to tighten it to no avail.

No idea how long it had been in that condition, but, the rotation had enlarged the hole in the collar. My RV shop had to replace the entire head of the WDH, which cost about 2/3 the price of a whole new hitch. Didn't bill me labour.
Keep your eye on the ball.
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Old 05-15-2018, 06:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
I use two different ball sizes with two different drops needed. I carry three different ball mounts. Too much of a pain changing a ball out.

I use a 24" pipe wrench to tighten the nut, and have never had one come loose.
Thanks Jim. I will get one of those. Appreciate the help.
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Old 05-15-2018, 06:49 PM   #13
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Our local Walmarts carry a large wrench along with hitch balls and other items. It's about two foot long and was right at $20. Made in China but looks like it can withstand a strong pull.
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Old 05-15-2018, 07:25 PM   #14
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It also helps to turn the stinger 90 degrees so that you are using your weight pushing vertically down vs horizontal.
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Old 05-15-2018, 08:29 PM   #15
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I’m running an 18 volt Milwaukee impact wrench, 1/2 inch drive, 350 foot pounds torque. Seems to work pretty well to snug things up. My torque wrench only goes to
150 however. So I look for a flat lock washer when tight and look closely to make sure it hasn’t snapped in the middle. Just takes a second to check things including the lug nuts. I use a 1/2 drive Armstrong breaker bar “Armaloy” grade. Probably 40+ years old but still tough. Snapped my SK head once on a stainless steel bolt but SK fixed it so I’m good to go on that one too. Doesn’t have to be new to be good.
The practice of checking on a regular basis can’t be understated in my opinion.
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Old 05-15-2018, 09:01 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wetzk View Post
Our local Walmarts carry a large wrench along with hitch balls and other items. It's about two foot long and was right at $20. Made in China but looks like it can withstand a strong pull.
I got one of these the day I found my ball loose - the nut was only on by a few threads! Now it's part of my check routine each time I hitch up.
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Old 05-16-2018, 01:30 AM   #17
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U-Haul has hitch balls which include these features:
Quote:
  • Industry leading safety cotter pin
  • Exclusive clamp indicating fastener
  • Hardened flat washer instead of a lock washer
The cotter pin should keep the nut from backing off more than a small fraction of a turn if it doesn't stay tight. Split "lock" washers are typical with hitch balls, but not generally considered good for critical fasteners, and the cotter pin allows use of that plain flat washer, which is generally a preferable piece of hardware.

Although it isn't illustrated, the "clamp indicating fastener" appears to be the same as I had on a U-Haul ball several years ago: a plastic part visibly splits when the nut is sufficiently tightened. It's patented, and shown in this page: Why the U-Haul Hitch Ball is the Best in the Towing Industry
No torque wrench (or Iowa Dave calibrated arm ) required ... although the plastic part is only good for a single use (and one spare appears to be included).
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Old 05-16-2018, 02:20 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
.....although the plastic part is only good for a single use (and one spare appears to be included).
a spare you'll never find when you need it
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Old 05-16-2018, 01:20 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
a spare you'll never find when you need it
Likely true.
On the other hand, if you leave each ball installed in the ball mount (switching ball mounts to reconfigure the tow vehicle for a different trailer, rather than switching balls in the same mount), the second plastic bit may never be needed. Also, I don't see any reason not to re-use the ball and nut without replacing the indicating device - just use a torque wrench instead.
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Old 05-16-2018, 01:34 PM   #20
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when I had to tow various light trailers with different ball sizes, I had one of those convertible balls, where the stem held two different size balls... they are only good for a few 1000 lbs max, so not suitable for our Escapes, but worked fine for the sorts of light utility trailers and small boats I was towing (tow vehicle being a volvo 240, hah!)
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