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Old 11-23-2021, 09:46 AM   #1
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Name: Diane
Trailer: Scamp 13í
Wisconsin
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Questions about ball wear

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Returning from our last camping trip, we noticed a loud squeaking sound with every bump as we drove down the alley to our garage. When we unhitched, we saw a lot of wear on the ball which was not there when we hitched up. We haven't been greasing the ball, and havenít noticed any problems till now. We did travel over some very bad, rough highways in central Wisconsin on the way home.
Could this wear on the ball be the source of the squeaking? Did it occur because we havenít been using grease? Should we replace the ball?
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Old 11-23-2021, 10:08 AM   #2
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I notice a LOT of dust and dirt gets into my ball coupler after driving down dirt roads, so I always run a paper towel around up inside the coupler every time before I hitch up.

Maybe you just got a ton of dirt up in there and it wore your ball a lot.

I do grease a very tiny bit and that also holds dirt, but without the grease, I get an annoying squeak, so I'll grease and clean each time.

I don't think yo need to replace the ball.
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Old 11-23-2021, 10:14 AM   #3
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Couple of things to check. First make sure you’re using the right size ball- some smaller trailers take a 1-3/4”. Second, check the adjustment on your coupler nut. Remove your ball mount from the vehicle and lock it into the coupler on the trailer. It should be snug but it shouldn’t bind. I tighten the adjustment but until it’s tight, then back off just enough so it moves freely.

If it does turn out you’ve been towing really tight, there could be unusual wear inside the coupler as well. It’s be worth have someone experienced take a look.

There’s a variety of opinions about greasing the ball. I grease.
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Old 11-23-2021, 10:39 AM   #4
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Wear?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnyone View Post
Attachment 144181
Returning from our last camping trip, we noticed a loud squeaking sound with every bump as we drove down the alley to our garage. When we unhitched, we saw a lot of wear on the ball which was not there when we hitched up. We haven't been greasing the ball, and haven’t noticed any problems till now. We did travel over some very bad, rough highways in central Wisconsin on the way home.
Could this wear on the ball be the source of the squeaking? Did it occur because we haven’t been using grease? Should we replace the ball?
It looks to me like the chrome is coming off but it is not a safety issue. I wish we could still buy a non chromed ball. I have been towing for 50 years and NEVER use grease or oil, it collects dirt.
I do how ever use waxed paper on longer trips. I fold a square of paper twice for four layers and put it over the ball. (PS: You do not give the year of your Scamp, the older ones were 1 7/8" hitch)
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Old 11-23-2021, 11:35 AM   #5
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Your hitch ball looks OK to me; the wear on the chrome is not a safety issue. It also stamped that it is a 2 inch ball. I don't believe a 2 inch ball will fit into a 1 7/8 inch coupler - if it does, it won't latch. This leads me to believe you are using the correct hitch ball. If you are concerned about the safety of the ball, remove it from the drawbar occasionally, clean it up and look for cracks.


The squeaking you were noticing may not have been anything associated with the hitch. On my camper the propane tanks will squeak when jostled.


--Dan Meyer
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Old 11-23-2021, 08:16 PM   #6
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Name: Diane
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Wisconsin
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Our Scamp is a 2020, and the 2” ball is correct for that year. I checked the adjustment of the coupler nut and it is a little tight, causing a bit of binding and squeaking. So I’ll have to loosen that nut a bit.
I think I will also try a bit of grease.
Thanks for the info, guys.
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Old 11-23-2021, 11:30 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by sunnyone View Post
Attachment 144181
Returning from our last camping trip, we noticed a loud squeaking sound with every bump as we drove down the alley to our garage. When we unhitched, we saw a lot of wear on the ball which was not there when we hitched up. We haven't been greasing the ball, and havenít noticed any problems till now. We did travel over some very bad, rough highways in central Wisconsin on the way home.
Could this wear on the ball be the source of the squeaking? Did it occur because we havenít been using grease? Should we replace the ball?
I do think the ball is causing the squeaking most likely. If we don't put a very light coat of good white grease on the ball it will squeak. I put it on with my fingers and then wipe it off leaving a vey light coat. Heavy grease attracts dirt. We clean the ball and hitch every time we hook up. We eipe it all off when we unhook to keep it all clean. The wear is most likely only the chrome. Ours has done that years ago and it is still the same.
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Old 11-23-2021, 11:32 PM   #8
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I've found white lithium grease ( spray can ) applied where the WDH bars attach to the receiver quiets things down.
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Old 11-24-2021, 07:05 AM   #9
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The squeaky ball gets the grease, dirt too.
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Old 11-24-2021, 07:18 AM   #10
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I too use the white lithium spray. In general, metal on metal appreciates some grease. I'd be interested in why this might not be the case with hitch balls.
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Old 11-24-2021, 08:56 AM   #11
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I always clean the inside of the coupler and the Ball and then coat with teflon infused grease (I think i bought it at Lowes)
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Old 11-24-2021, 12:38 PM   #12
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I slap a little axel grease on the ball periodically......a little dab will do ya! I also carry a small plastic baggy and a piece of wire to cover the ball when unhitched.....I never remove my hitch while camping.....the baggy prevents me from getting grease on my pant leg while getting stuff out of the back of the pick up. Simple.....easy....no noice.
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Old 11-24-2021, 12:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AC0GV View Post
It looks to me like the chrome is coming off but it is not a safety issue. I wish we could still buy a non chromed ball. I have been towing for 50 years and NEVER use grease or oil, it collects dirt.
I do how ever use waxed paper on longer trips. I fold a square of paper twice for four layers and put it over the ball. (PS: You do not give the year of your Scamp, the older ones were 1 7/8" hitch)
I tried that and it didn't work well for me. However, I didn't use 4 layers. I might have used 2. I can't try it again because my Pro-Pride hitch locks the ball in place and there is no movement there now.
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Old 11-25-2021, 09:10 AM   #14
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stainless steel trailer hitch ball

[QUOTE=AC0GV;830522]It looks to me like the chrome is coming off but it is not a safety issue. I wish we could still buy a non chromed ball.

I found a stainless steel ball at tractor supply. It costs considerably more than a chrome ball.

https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pr...y?cm_vc=-10005
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Old 11-25-2021, 10:05 AM   #15
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Not chrome and not high priced. Me, I keep the balls clean.
https://www.harborfreight.com/triple...ook-62701.html
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Old 11-25-2021, 10:44 AM   #16
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Grease

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnyone View Post
Our Scamp is a 2020, and the 2Ē ball is correct for that year. I checked the adjustment of the coupler nut and it is a little tight, causing a bit of binding and squeaking. So Iíll have to loosen that nut a bit.
I think I will also try a bit of grease.
Thanks for the info, guys.
Everyone has an opinion in lubrication. Like a lot of other folks on here, Iíve towed trailers for 60 years. Every mile with grease up inside of the coupler and on the ball face(s). I clean the coupler and the ball a couple times a season. I use carburetor cleaner on a rag. Then I regrease. Our current trailer does not have adjustable tension on the coupler yolk.
Once you hook up, put up pressure on the coupler to make sure the yolk is tight to the ball.
Thatís my advice.
Iowa Dave
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Old 11-25-2021, 11:02 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iowa Dave View Post
Everyone has an opinion in lubrication. Like a lot of other folks on here, Iíve towed trailers for 60 years. Every mile with grease up inside of the coupler and on the ball face(s). I clean the coupler and the ball a couple times a season. I use carburetor cleaner on a rag. Then I regrease. Our current trailer does not have adjustable tension on the coupler yolk.
Once you hook up, put up pressure on the coupler to make sure the yolk is tight to the ball.
Thatís my advice.
Iowa Dave
You are absolutely correct. Grease the coupler and ball. So, some grit gets in there along with the grease. Just think how bad it would be with grit in there without the grease. You lube metal on metal contact. That is why you put OIL inside you engine. On the old steam locomotives they would stop every 100 miles and grease (Over 20 Pounds) the metal to metal parts.
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Old 11-25-2021, 11:54 AM   #18
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On the threshing crews they had a person designated as the “oiler” he greased anything that moved, spun, slid back and forth etc. Obviously, there’s a whole world of lubricants from heavy grease to gear grease to machine oil.

In another life I was assigned to change the oil in a high speed gear case on a clay pug mill. There was a very exact specification in the owners manual and I tracked the specified product down by calling a Standard Oil man in Chicago who led me to the product. That was before we had internet and email to depend on. I felt like a Mountie. Iowa Dave “he always gets his oil.”
Have a good Thanksgiving
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Old 11-25-2021, 12:28 PM   #19
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We have more than 60 19th century horse drawn vehicles......we grease the axle skeins on every one of them.....boxings run smooth.....quiet....horses and passengers are happy. Enjoy Thanksgiving.....
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Old 11-26-2021, 08:14 AM   #20
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Church of Grease!

I see many here belong to the Church of Grease.

I've got 2-300,000 miles pulling farm implement trailers and campers. Don't remember anyone pulling a farm implement trailer who greased their ball, although I'm sure there were a couple. Never had a coupler wear out and there is one hell of a lot of weight on a farm implement trailer ball.

They dealers I would drive for always had a 1 ton truck and you always loaded the front to avoid sway (yes, there is nothing with a 1 ton truck that makes it avoid sway any better than an 1/2 ton, but many 1 ton owners don't grasp the physics). I did grease our first camper a few times, but got sick of dealing with grease.

For a few decades I pulled our campers/implement trailers, without greasing, then I found out about the Andersen Greaseless Harball, best of both worlds. At $11.99 plus shipping for the 1 7/8" or 2" its cheap and considering the savings on grease cost/clean clothes/hands/buying a ball boot/wax paper/etc, I can't imagine not buying one, but you can lead a horse to water............

Enjoy,

Perry
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