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Old 10-25-2006, 11:01 AM   #15
Tom, the Uber Disney Fan
 
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The service manager didn't mention greasing the ball when I picked up my new Airstream and he installed my Equal-i-zer hitch on it and my truck. I guess I need to confirm with him. I have pulled over 4,500 miles now and the chrome has worn off of the ball in a ring, but there is no pitting. Is that gualling?
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Old 10-25-2006, 11:13 AM   #16
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When I bought my AS earlier this year, the dealer's shop supervisor told me to never ever grease my Equalizer hitch b/c that would make it ineffective. Completely dry, the trailer and hitch sounded like an old creaky battleship trying to dock - it was loud enough that people looks at us oddly when we pulled into camp. Also, after a couple of short trips, my trailer ball was gouged/galled, whatever you want to call it. Clearly something wasn't right.

Just by going to the Equalizer website I found the correct instructions showing that the hitch should be greased. I now grease the ball/hitch religiously and everything is great.

Goes to show that the so-called experts can be wrong and give you poor advice sometimes.
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Old 10-25-2006, 11:56 AM   #17
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Grease mixed with dirt = lapping compound, which will accelerate wear.

Each travel day I clean the ball and the trailer's socket with paper towel and WD-40. Then I lube the ball with wheel bearing grease. Even with care after 4 years the ball is wearing and due for replacement.
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Old 10-25-2006, 11:59 AM   #18
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dbradhstream, I have been advised to grease the spring bar brackets where the spring bars ride to eliminate the noise you mentioned and to grease the sockets/pivots in the hitch head but no mention of the ball. The only thing I have seen about greasing the ball was on an RV show that said greasing the ball would cause dirt to collect on the ball and cause gauges in the ball or pitts to occur that could cause the sand particles to wedge in them and cause the ball to turn and become loose.

On another show the "RV doctor" demonstrated how loose the ball could become and then recommended lots and lots and lots of grease on the ball. So much that he must have put a 1/4" thick all around and told the owner to do this every time they towed. This left me confused!

I have a tube of the socket grease from Equal-i-zer so I guess I'm going to have to get some teflon grease for the ball this weekend.
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Old 10-25-2006, 12:43 PM   #19
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One of the guys at my dealership advised against lubing the ball. He said most folks don't keep it clean and the junk that gets embedded into the lube does more harm than good.

I thought that sounded pretty good but after one year of towing the Classic this way, the ball got chewed up pretty good. My neighbor who is a tool and die maker also noted that that damage to the ball would also shorten the life of the mechinism that clamps onto the ball itself.

So I got a new ball, went back to using my Reese teflon lube, making sure to wipe off the old stuff and relubing with clean before each trip. I've been doing this for 2 years now and the ball is still smooth.

Jack
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Old 10-25-2006, 01:10 PM   #20
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If there was a lube that didn't attract dirt that would be ideal. Unfortunately with the loads involved I don't think there is such a product. Having a chromed ball certainly helps prevent rust and in it's self presents a smooth relatively low friction surface. One big advantage I think is that it's easy to clean off. I think that's the big attraction I see in the white teflon grease too.

As far as dirt acting as a lapping compound that's not the end of the world. Lapping is something that's done to smooth out irregularities or remove minute amounts of material so that things slide easier. Where I would be most concerned about the dirt and gunk buildup is in the mechanism on the trailer tounge and other enclosed places.

With the EA-Z-Lift and copies of that style the spring loaded pins on the hitch head and the grooves on the torsion bars are very susepable ot wear. They're also hard to keep clean so you really need to keep on top of the maintenance.

Has anyone used graphite lube like they recommend for lock cylinders in the mechanism on the trailer? That or some other form of dry lube would seem to be a good solution.

-Bernie
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Old 10-25-2006, 01:20 PM   #21
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I use a square of plastic sheet over the ball. It's several mil thick, and it's what the PO recommended I use. He trailered all over the country, and to Alaska every summer. He said each plastic sheet is good for 3k miles, but I put a new one on each time I hitch up. They do get worn. I think my ball is still in good shape after four years. I check it everytime we hitch up for tightness.
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Old 10-25-2006, 01:25 PM   #22
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I just use any grease I can get my hands on. I don't see the point of not using it except that you won't get your shins greasy when you bump into the ball! (Talking from experience).
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Old 10-25-2006, 01:57 PM   #23
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#1: I grease up.
#2: Thanks Stephanie! I just wasted a lot of time getting my cuteness overload
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Old 10-25-2006, 02:21 PM   #24
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#2: Thanks Stephanie! I just wasted a lot of time getting my cuteness overload
Thanks! My job here is done
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Old 10-25-2006, 03:14 PM   #25
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Grease the ball. After unhooking and attempting to rehook, clean ball and re-grease before reconnecting.

What other reason do you think Reese makes Reese Branded "On The Ball Hitch Lube" and "Teflon Ball Lube" for? It's not to damage your ball (if maintained correctly).
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Old 10-25-2006, 03:39 PM   #26
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I use the Reese grease on the ball only. The trunion bars get a few drops of 3 in 1 oil. I clean all of the old grease off of the ball when I setup. If I don't we have a spoted yellow lab.
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Old 10-25-2006, 03:45 PM   #27
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I use a moly based spray "pintle hook" hitch grease whose solvent-carrier boils off and helps it penetrate in the pores of the metal. Once it has dried it is like a soft tar, and I have used it for everything from hedge trimmer cutter bars to flex shaft bushings to bicycle & motorcycle chains.

A few sprays on hitch ball and socket making sure you hit the wear areas (isn't thats why the ball is polished?) and its good to go for several days, with clean-up being a hard swipe with a paper towel.... AND if you do get some splatter or a smudge on you it does not track like Cat-in-the-Hat stain to everything in its proximity...
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Old 10-25-2006, 07:14 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnie's Mate
I have pulled over 4,500 miles now and the chrome has worn off of the ball in a ring, but there is no pitting. Is that gualling?
No MM, that is not gauling. You are just now wearing away the chrome, and it seems to have been a good quality chrome. Chrome itself is very hard, and if it is fairly thick it could provide the necessary protection to the ball. It has slowly but surely worn of. The mild steel underneath is not as hard and will wear quicker.
The amount of tongue weight has a great deal to do with the actual gauling. Gauling will show as small pitts on the ball, in the socket, both, or on the lock mechanism. The pitts are normally caused by the actual action of metal shearing from the surface of the metal in pieces rather than microscopic dust. It can, in severe cases, attach itself to the other surface through friction (pressure/heat/etc)
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