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Old 01-21-2022, 12:34 PM   #1
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To Lube or Not To Lube, That is the Question

Any truth to a long standing "rumor" that applying lube to a hitch ball can interfere with "grounding", which in turn effects trailer lights, etc.....?
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Old 01-21-2022, 12:39 PM   #2
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Any truth to a long standing "rumor" that applying lube to a hitch ball can interfere with "grounding", which in turn effects trailer lights, etc.....?
Even the simple 4 prong plug is for:

Ground
+12 volt (running lights)
LEFT AND BRAKE
RIGHT AND BRAKE.

Grounding through the hitch is wrong on so many levels.
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Old 01-21-2022, 12:45 PM   #3
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Love me some lube.
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Old 01-21-2022, 01:07 PM   #4
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There are some hitches that recommend you do not lubricate the ball. Such as an Anderson weight distribution hitch.
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Old 01-21-2022, 01:14 PM   #5
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Any truth to a long standing "rumor" that applying lube to a hitch ball can interfere with "grounding", which in turn effects trailer lights, etc.....?
never heard this one before! you should never ground through the hitch. all trailer wiring has a ground wire included. grease will mostly conduct some amount of electricity anyway, except for dielectric grease, which would be terrible for a hitch lube
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Old 01-21-2022, 10:41 PM   #6
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Any truth to a long standing "rumor" that applying lube to a hitch ball can interfere with "grounding", which in turn effects trailer lights, etc.....?
Simple answer is NO!
To echo what others have said, grounding through your hitch is wrong on so many levels!
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Old 01-21-2022, 10:48 PM   #7
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Any truth to a long standing "rumor" that applying lube to a hitch ball can interfere with "grounding", which in turn effects trailer lights, etc.....?
This "rumor" has come validity if you are referring to a U-Haul trailer that is being hooked up through tail light adapters.

All the U-haul trailers I ever rented in the past only had four wires but no ground. One pair for Left and one pair for Right with ground expected to be provided through the ball.

Today I'm sure they've "evolved" to making proper hookups on their rentals so the tail, tuirn, and brake lights actually worked right.


If your trailer relies on the ball for ground, time to wire it and the tow vehicle properly.

As for grease? Lots of ideas there and there will never be a consensus on weather to grease or not. I do and then am just careful to avoid hitting the greasy ball with my pants.
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Old 01-22-2022, 10:26 AM   #8
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I wipe the ball down then grease before each hookup on my car trailer and boat trailer. I use a non-friction pad on my Fifth Wheel. All grounding should be through the wiring,
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Old 01-22-2022, 11:05 AM   #9
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While you should not depend on the trailer ball as an electrical conductor you can't put a thick enough amount of grease to make any difference. Grease or not the truck and trailer frames are grounded to each other via the hitch and ball. Easy to verify with a $5 Harbor Freight multimeter.

I use and highly recommend dielectric grease on my trailer electrical connectors both on the truck and umbilical cord (just fill the holes with grease). Power works fine and the contacts are protected from weather and corrosion. Dielectric grease is not a conductor. Google it for details.

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Old 01-22-2022, 11:23 AM   #10
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Some members do lubricate, some don't.
Clean or not to clean, are just some threads that have been on here. Friction or no friction are also topics.
Responses will vary, on this subject.

Personally, I do both clean and re-lubricate both the ball and electrical connection but, that's the way my grandpa taught me. Who practically raised me!
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Old 01-22-2022, 01:14 PM   #11
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Any truth to a long standing "rumor" that applying lube to a hitch ball can interfere with "grounding", which in turn effects trailer lights, etc.....?
50 years ago that may have been the case, but today's rigs use pin# 1 for ground on your 7 pin connector. As far as lube goes, metal against metal without lube is never a good thing. Your ball is hardened steel, your coupler is stamped steel. Guess which one will wear faster without lubrication?
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Old 01-23-2022, 10:45 AM   #12
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Thanks to all..................
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Old 01-23-2022, 10:57 AM   #13
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i own a 1998 f150 pu. if trailer is not on ball , no trailer lights. came factory pre wired . 4 prong . not worth a crap. lights flicker .
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