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Old 07-22-2011, 04:55 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by mtnguy View Post
I use just plain ol' axle grease before a trip. I wipe it off after every trip.
+1. I always use (synthetic for me) axle grease, and wipe clean every so often. Friction is friction...


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Old 01-30-2012, 04:54 PM   #12
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+1 for ball grease. I use Reese Hitch Ball Lube. It is white, I wipe of the ball and hitch with a paper towel and put a little grease on the ball and hitch with a finger. I use it on the equalizer bars too. You can see the ware spots on the ball and bars, so you know where to put the grease. It doesn't take much and one jar goes a long ways. I get it for $6.49 at . Here is the link: White Grease Hitch Ball Lube Reese Accessories and Parts 58117

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Old 01-30-2012, 05:29 PM   #13
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Grease it it's not supposed to be a friction fit some of the older ones had grease nipples on them.
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Old 01-31-2012, 07:48 AM   #14
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My DH greases it. He puts a spandex-type can koozie on it when not hooked up so no dirt accumulates on the grease. Its worked great so far!
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Old 01-31-2012, 07:56 PM   #15
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The koozie is an excellent idea I am going to steal from you. I grease mine. Think about the force involved on the hitch ball, you wouldn't lube your suspension with a penetrating fluid.
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Old 01-31-2012, 09:17 PM   #16
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What is a kozzie?
I use a $3 rubber hitch ball cover.
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:05 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Terier View Post
What is a kozzie?
I use a $3 rubber hitch ball cover.

This is a kozzie.
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:43 AM   #18
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In all my years of working on a ranch, towing tractors, our RV, or trailers in general, we've never ever greased the hitches. And these are trailers that are already 20+yrs old. I don't think anyone's RV here will last 20yrs LOL.

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Old 02-01-2012, 08:20 AM   #19
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"Definitely grease," says a technical representative

Originally Posted by RubenZ View Post
In all my years of working on a ranch, towing tractors, our RV, or trailers in general, we've never ever greased the hitches. And these are trailers that are already 20+yrs old.
that is amazing Ruben
would think some wear by now would show
I put in many years working for the City
and towing large farm type sweepers, tractors ect
all were expected and taught to grease the hitches
if not they could expect to be written up
a few months back we bought our used 09 travel trailer
the man had used no grease on the balls
they look way worse than the ball in the below picture
both balls - 2" and smaller stabilizer ball
both showed considerble wear for only 2 years use

it would seem that if we use stabilizing bars
it adds much more pressure to the balls
this I believe to be the case with our unit
long pulls with stabilizing bars and no grease

Hitch balls: To grease, or not to grease?
Russ and Tina DeMaris

If your new RV is a travel trailer or pop-up, you're learning the ropes of hitching up the trailer to that hitch ball at the back of your tow rig. Hitching up is an adventure in itself, but it raises a new question: Should I put grease on the hitch ball, or not?

Courtesy: Collin on irv2.comA new hitch ball is often bright, shiny, and chromed. But many RVers have been much dismayed, when on lifting the hitch coupler off that new ball after the first use, that the chrome is scratched and scarred. What happened? Metal to metal contact can scrape off that shiny chrome, and things are never the same.

Is scraped up chrome the only issue here? One RVer who for years declined to grease his hitch ball found--much to his chagrin and his finances--that the ungreased condition lead to such wearing of the trailer coupler that it had to be replaced. Not only was the coupler expensive, but he had to hire the work out to a welder--a considerable amount of cash out the window. He now describes himself as a "greaser," to prevent such issues in the future.

On the other hand, you'll find some RVers who disdain greasing hitch balls because, they contend, the grease attracts dirt, and the dirt acts as a sort of sandpaper, chewing away at the hitch ball and the coupler. What's to be done? "Definitely grease," says a technical representative from PullRite Systems, a hitch manufacturer. In the company mind, a lubricated ball will allow for easier twisting and turning, and will discourage corrosion and damage.

Ah, but what about, "grease attracts dirt"? True enough, but there are a couple of schools of thought on this. One says to simply grease your hitch ball, use it, then just prior to the next use, wipe it off with a rag and give it a new coat of grease. In the process the dirt is (hopefully) wiped away. In this same vein, many RVers recommend not only putting a cover over the top of the hitch ball when not in use--thus keeping the dirt away, but also preventing a mess when someone brushes up against the ball. These same proponents also recommend covering the trailer coupler with a plastic bag when unhitched, keeping the dirt at bay.

The alternative to 'grease attracts dirt,' is to lubricate the ball with a dry graphite lubricant, which in itself, doesn't attract dirt. A small tube of graphite powder, such as "Tube O Lube" stores easily and can be coated onto the hitch ball quickly before use. You'll probably have to clean any existing grease out of the coupler before you begin using graphite, else you'll have a mess of graphite and old grease and your shiny new hitch ball.
Hitch balls: To grease, or not to grease?
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:39 AM   #20
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a lot of different views

Hitch ball backlash: Did we step in the grease?

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Back in early December, we published a brief story on whether or not RVers should lubricate their hitch ball. It didn't take long for readers to react. Here's a sampling of their comments:

"[When] two dry steel surfaces in contact with each other are rotated, one in relation to the other, seizure can occur. When the two steel surfaces seize together, you effectively have a very long lever arm (the trailer) which can then twist the ball off or at minimum loosen the nut." It seems a given among most that some sort of lubrication is needed. Or is it?

In our earlier story we mentioned the possibility of using graphite powder to lubricate a hitch ball--an idea that one RVer suggested to us. Before we ran the story, we ran the idea past a tech representative of one of the hitch manufacturers. The gent agreed that graphite powder would do as a hitch ball lubricant. But one of our readers commented, "Graphite would not be effective because it will not stay in "

One old standby that many RVers use we didn't post, and sure enough, we heard about that, too. "The neatest way to lubricate a hitch ball and that is with several layers of wax paper (8 10 or so) which I have been using for the last few years. No mess and the paper is renewed every time to provide a new layer of wax."

To try and get to the bottom of the issue, we contacted several hitch and and RV manufacturers, and a hitch installation firm. Despite the these folks are all "professionals" in their own right, the responses are about as broad as you might expect from a campfire discussion.

Regarding graphite powder, a representative from Husky Towing (a hitch manufacturer) told us, "It wouldn't be our first recommendation." He too, expressed concerns that while there might be places where the graphite powder might stick in the coupler, he as concerned this 'dry lube' wouldn't stick on the hitch ball.

On the other hand, a technician with Curt Manufacturing said his company had no recommendations whatsoever on what to use as a hitch ball lubricant. He told us that in the view of his company it would probably take years for a hitch ball and coupler to wear down, even without lubricant. A similar view was expressed by the customer service folks at Hitches to Go, a major hitch installer. They told us they don't put anything on hitch balls they install, and don't recommend anything.

A representative at Coachmen (a travel trailer building subdivision of Forest River) disagreed. Coachmen's stand is that white lithium grease as probably the most advisable lube for a hitch ball and coupler.

As to wax paper? "Leave it to Martha Stewart," quipped a hitch manufacturer's representative. He opted for white lithium grease; but we suggest you leave that particular product out of the chicken fryer.

Where do we stand? Of the "professionals," there seem to be two camps. Those who don't consider hitch ball lubrication as important, and those ho seem to lean toward white lithium grease. While there is anecdotal information out there that would suggest hitch ball lubrication is important, we're not able to track down any hard and fast statistics to show just how important it is. When all is said and done, as far as our travel trailer is concerned, I think we'll just err on the safe side. Pass the Permatex.

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