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Standard Trailer Hitch Ball Sizes | How to Choose

The Standard Trailer Hitch Ball Sizes

There are four standard trailer ball sizes: 1-7/8", 2", 2-5/16" and 3". These measurements refer to the diameter of the trailer ball. Standardized tow ball sizes allow for easier coupling and towing.

In this guide, we will cover how to measure a trailer ball, what size trailer ball to select for your vehicle and what the most common trailer ball size is.

4 Standard Trailer Ball Sizes:

1-7/8-Inch Trailer Hitch Ball1-7/8-Inch Trailer Hitch Ball

1-7/8-inch diameter

Light-duty towing

2-Inch Trailer Hitch Ball2-Inch Trailer Hitch Ball

2-inch diameter

Medium-duty towing

2-5/16-Inch Trailer Hitch Ball2-5/16-Inch Trailer Hitch Ball

2-5/16-inch diameter

Heavy-duty towing

3-Inch Trailer Hitch Ball3-Inch Trailer Hitch Ball

3-inch diameter

Gooseneck towing

How to Measure Trailer Ball Size

Trailer balls have four key measurements: ball diameter, shank length, shank diameter and rise.

The ball diameter is the diameter of the trailer ball sphere itself. The shank length is the total distance of the threaded stem. The shank diameter is the diameter of the threaded stem, and the rise is how high the trailer ball sits off of its base.

How to Measure Trailer Hitch Ball Size - DiagramHow to Measure Trailer Hitch Ball Size - Diagram

Trailer Ball Size Chart

Trailer Ball Size Chart - CURTTrailer Ball Size Chart - CURT

What Size Trailer Ball Do I Need?

The size of the trailer ball needed for your towing setup will be determined by three things: your coupler size, trailer ball hole diameter and your towing capacity.

In short, your trailer ball diameter must match your coupler size, the shank diameter must fit the ball hole and the weight capacity must be enough to safely tow your trailer.

Step 1: Match the Ball to the Coupler Size

When choosing a trailer ball, first select the ball diameter by matching it to the coupler size. Most manufacturers stamp or label the correct trailer ball size on the coupler.

Make sure that your coupler and trailer ball have a solid connection before towing and that all necessary adjustments have been made.

Trailer Coupler Size for BallTrailer Coupler Size for Ball

Step 2: Match the Shank to the Trailer Ball Hole

The hole in the platform of a ball mount or bumper hitch is where the trailer ball bolts onto. It is important to know the diameter of this hole so that you can choose a trailer ball with a matching shank diameter.

If the trailer ball shank is too small, it will shift while towing and likely come loose. If the shank size is too small for the trailer ball hole, you may be able to use a reducer bushing to make up the difference.

Trailer Ball Shank DiameterTrailer Ball Shank Diameter

Step 3: Match the Weight Capacity of Your Towing System

When selecting a trailer ball or any towing accessory, weight capacity must always be considered. The weight rating for a trailer ball will be listed as the ball capacity. Note that this will reflect the gross trailer weight limit, not the tongue weight.

You must select a trailer ball with a ball capacity that exceeds the gross weight of your trailer.

Trailer Hitch Ball CapacityTrailer Hitch Ball Capacity

How to Choose a Trailer Ball Video

Most Common Trailer Ball Size

Perhaps the most common hitch ball size is the 2-inch ball. This is because 2-inch trailer balls are the best fit for most class 3 hitches, and class 3 hitches are the most popular trailer hitch.

Despite this fact, each towing setup is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all, universal trailer ball. For your own towing setup, make sure you choose the ball the best fits your coupler, ball mount and weight requirements.

Most Common Trailer Ball Size - 2-Inch or 2-5-16-InchMost Common Trailer Ball Size - 2-Inch or 2-5-16-Inch
Truck Towing Travel Trailer CamperTruck Towing Travel Trailer Camper

Travel Trailer Hitch Ball Size

The hitch ball used to tow most travel trailers is a 2-inch or 2-5/16-inch trailer ball. Travel trailers can weigh anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 lbs. or more, and the 2-inch to 2-5/16-inch ball weight ratings provide a perfect match.

Additionally, many travel trailers are pulled using a weight distribution hitch. Most WD hitches come standard with a 2-5/16-inch ball.

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