Since anything can wear out, it’s important that you keep a close eye on your trailer hitch and hitch balls. You want to maintain them properly so that they can last you a long time. That begs the question, do trailer hitches and hitch balls wear out? If so, when should you replace them?
Generally speaking, trailer hitches and hitch balls last a long time. It is very difficult to break these items prematurely. However, you will want to pay close attention to the neck and diameter of the ball and maintain all of the parts so that they last a long time.
Keep reading to learn more about how long trailer hitches and hitch balls last. This article fully explains when they go bad, when you need to replace them, and how to maintain the parts. Scroll down for all of this and more.
Do Trailer Hitches and Hitch Balls Wear Out?
Both trailer hitches and hitch balls are designed with highly durable materials that last a long time. As long as you care for your trailer hitch and hitch balls properly, you should not wear them out. Instead, they will last years upon years.
That being said, there are things you can do to make your trailer hitch and hitch ball wear out prematurely. For example, not using it correctly or putting undue pressure on the parts will cause them to break prematurely and need replacement.
Even so, it’s pretty difficult to wear out your trailer hitch and hitch balls. Under normal circumstances, you should expect your trailer hitch and hitch balls to last a long time.
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How Long Do Trailer Hitches Last?
Trailer hitches last a long time. The exact length of time your trailer hitch will last depends on a variety of factors. How well you maintain the trailer hitch and how much weight it carries will impact its lifespan. In most cases, your trailer hitch will last years upon years and even outlive you.
The only trailer hitches that you should be worried about are commercial hitches. These end up pulling a lot more weight than regular hitches. Unless you are a commercial driver, you likely don’t need to think about how long your trailer hitch will last since these parts are durable and designed to be used for years.
In fact, many drivers never have to replace their trailer hitch. In most situations, trailer hitches only need to be replaced after an accident or extreme use.
How Long Do Hitch Balls Last?
Hitch balls are much like trailer hitches. They are designed to last a long time, and it is unlikely that you will need to replace your hitch ball. In other words, hitch balls are designed to last years, and you will likely never need to replace it.
That being said, the pin that holds the arm in place normally breaks off. You will just need to replace this arm, but you can expect the ball to practically last forever under normal wear and tear. Only after accidents or extreme wear and tear will the balls break prematurely.
When Should I Replace My Trailer Hitch Ball?
In most cases, you will not need to replace a trailer hitch ball. Because trailer hitch balls are designed to last forever, they are durable and long-lasting. Unless your trailer hitch ball is faulty or showing obvious signs of wear and tear, you shouldn’t need to replace it.
If you get into an accident, your trailer hitch ball may need to be replaced. Likewise, if the diameter of the ball or the neck changes in any way, it’s time to replace the ball. These two situations mainly only happen with improper use or accidents.
Can a Ball Hitch Fail?
Technically speaking, a ball hitch can fail, but it’s incredibly rare. Most of the time, ball hitches fail due to pilot error. If your ball hitch is failing, you will want to make sure you did everything right on your end. In most cases, this will fix whatever problem is there.
Occasionally, ball nuts can loosen over time. If the ball nut becomes loose, the ball can fall off. To prevent this from occurring, double-check the ball nut before every use to ensure it is tight and secure.
How Do You Maintain a Ball Hitch?
Even though ball hitches are designed to last a long time, it’s still important to maintain them properly. With proper maintenance, you can expect your ball hitch to last practically forever. Luckily, maintaining your ball hitch is super easy.
At the very minimum, make sure to tighten up any nuts before going out on the road. While you are tidying up the nut, inspect the hitch to make sure there are no physical damages. Once you get back, clean off the ball hitch if there’s any mud, dirt, or debris caked on.
Additionally, grease the hitch ball. Greasing it routinely will help to prevent weathering and moisture from causing rust and corrosion. If you do not have grease on hand, you can place buckets or plastic bags around the hitch when you are not driving. The main goal is to protect the hitch from excess water and moisture.
Trailer hitches and hitch balls are designed to be long-lasting and durable. With regular wear and tear, these devices often last longer than you. Especially if you maintain the devices properly, you shouldn’t need to replace them anytime soon.
Even so, it’s important to keep a close eye on these parts. Any obvious wear and tear, changes to the ball dimension, or differences in the ball neck are signs that the parts need to be replaced. These signs normally only occur after an accident or after improper use.
Additionally, make sure to maintain your ball hitch with routine cleaning and greasing. At the very minimum, inspect the ball hitch for signs of damage and clean off any mud and debris. With routine maintenance, you can expect your trailer hitch and ball to last a long time.