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Discussion Starter #1
Can I haul a small light 4' x8' Utility trailer with a 2" hitch if I only have a 1 7/8" ball on my truck?

Thanks, Mike
 

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I once pulled a new trailer from work around for several weeks and hundreds of miles. It seemed to rattle alot. We finally looked for a cause. It was a 2 5/16" hitch on a 2" ball.
 

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Been there, Done that. After about 50 miles of various short trips a two horse trailer bounced off the ball with a horse and pony in it. The trailer turned sideways and rolled completely over and back on it's wheels. It stopped with the tongue shoved into a woven wire fence. It tore the halters off the horses, but only bruised them with a few scratches. I don't reccomend doing this. Buy a 2 inch ball. You will need it more than the little one. And don't pull a camper with the 2 inch ball. All balls are not created equal!
 

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So what is the Ideal Size of a hitch ball that can do just about everything I need... on my bumper?

Pull a ATV trailer
Pull a Car trailer w/car
Small camper
pull flatbed with Hay Bales on it
 

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Oilpatch, it all depends on the size of the hitch on the trailer and the class of hitch you have on your vehicle. In other words, if your vehicle has a Class I hitch (1000# max) it doesn't make much sense to put a 2 5/16' ball (10,000# max) on it.
 

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There are 5 sizes of trailer hitches;
1 7/8ths used for light single axel trailers.
2 inch used as a standard 1 or 2 axel trailer, the most common
2 1/8th a Uhaul hybird, not common nowdays
2 5/16th large commerical unit
3 inch used for house moveing equipment, and found around major towing equipment.
None are interchangeable, nor safe to use without their corresponding size ball.
 

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I wouldn't tow anything with the wrong size ball on the highway. If you were just moving it around your property that would be a different story.

As far as towing with a ball mounted on a bumper I wouldn't tow much with that either. The one thing most people never do is actually LOOK and see how the bumper is attached to the vehicle and just what the bumper is constructed of. ost of the step bumpers are more ornamental than functional. The plate that the ball bolts to is the only real piece of steel in the whole bumper. I have seen many of those bumpers held on with 2 small bolts to atamped steel brackets.
 

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Get the right size ball- they're only 8 bucks or so. Think about the person driving near you when your trailer comes loose. Could be a mom with a carload of kids that swerves to avoid your trailer and crashes into a tree.

As for "bumper" hitches, I think they're dangerous. Our 1/2 ton truck (v-6) doesn't have a "real" hitch. About the only thing we'll haul off the bumper is a hay rake or empty hay wagon- low speed on little traveled roads. Anything else get hitched to the gas guzzling dually with the reese hitch.

Speaking of dangerous, I cringe when I see overloaded trucks. Quite often around here I see Ford Rangers and the like pulling old steel horse trailers with horses in them. Maybe it'll pull it, but will that little truck be able to stop that load? I wish the police and DOT would start giving some of these people tickets for overloaded vehicles.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks very much for the advice. Here's the thing ... to put it into perspective ... I'm towing a 4x8 empty single axle trailer 35 miles to my house. Then, I'm towing 3 hogs (700 lbs total or so) for 3 miles to the processor from my house. The ball hitch is on the bumper. I'd think the safety chains would hold it just in case right?

The "safe" answer is of course to get the other hitch but is it really necessary under these circumstances?
Thanks again.
 

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ALWAYS USE SAFTEY CHAINS.

I've Towed a Car trailer with a car on it with my Ford Ranger, it cracked the Frame by the shock absorber!

Trucks ase so underated in towing, they actually can tow more than adverstiesed, because we know a 2500lb towing cap truck can tow 2600lbs just fine.
 

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You would probably damage trailer if using ball to small. Might loose trailer and kill someone. Buy the $8 part.
 

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Mike in Pa said:
Thanks very much for the advice. Here's the thing ... to put it into perspective ... I'm towing a 4x8 empty single axle trailer 35 miles to my house. Then, I'm towing 3 hogs (700 lbs total or so) for 3 miles to the processor from my house. The ball hitch is on the bumper. I'd think the safety chains would hold it just in case right?

The "safe" answer is of course to get the other hitch but is it really necessary under these circumstances?
Thanks again..
Most bumpers are higher than the trailer, so the trailer doesn't ride level as it should. That puts the hitch at a funky angle anyway, increasing the chance of the tongue popping off the ball. Oh yeah, and an empty trailer bounces more. The easiest way to break a chain is to jerk hard on it. Maybe chains would hold, maybe not.

All it takes to change the ball is a big crescent or pipe wrench- it's no big deal, really. You can get the correct ball at Auto Zone, NAPA, even Wal-mart carries them. Personally, I would NEVER use the wrong size ball- a loose trailer (or one bouncing around held on by safety chains only) could cause a wreck that could kill someone, but it's your call.



Oilpatch197 said:
ALWAYS USE SAFTEY CHAINS.

I've Towed a Car trailer with a car on it with my Ford Ranger, it cracked the Frame by the shock absorber!

Trucks ase so underated in towing, they actually can tow more than adverstiesed, because we know a 2500lb towing cap truck can tow 2600lbs just fine.
I guess that means your Ranger wasn't "enough truck" to be hauling that load, thus the load/tow capacity ratings. And my main concern is not whether or not the truck can pull the load, it's whether that truck can control the load, i.e. steer and stop.
 

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Mike in Pa said:
Thanks very much for the advice. Here's the thing ... to put it into perspective ... I'm towing a 4x8 empty single axle trailer 35 miles to my house. Then, I'm towing 3 hogs (700 lbs total or so) for 3 miles to the processor from my house. The ball hitch is on the bumper. I'd think the safety chains would hold it just in case right?

The "safe" answer is of course to get the other hitch but is it really necessary under these circumstances?
Thanks again.
Yes.

Can't get any plainer than that. YES.

If you need different sized balls, get the $25 unit that comes with 3 different sized balls that quick-couple to the hitch stud. Takes 15 seconds to change balls.

But, YES, you need the right sized ball to go on the highway. I've moved a trailer or 2 on my farm in the yard with the wrong size ball, but really cringed about it. I can't imagine even thinking about going on the highway, for 3 blocks, much less 80 miles (I'll assume a round trip...) and you don't want to 'waste' $8??????

Just an accident waiting to happen. There is nothing but tongue weight holding it down.



Yes.

--->Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #15
It's no tthe $8!!!!!!!!!!! It's the fact that the current ball is set up fo rmy boat, which I need on there. The other ball would be a one time use. The current ball is COMPLETELY rusted on there ... for 10 years.
 

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Go buy a 2" ball, and while you're at it, a can of PB Blaster. It will loosen any rusted bolt and nut; the best stuff on the market.
 
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