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Old 01-06-2003, 07:00 AM   #1
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Ball Size on '70 Caravel?

OK Folks,

Here is my first dumb question. I can't seem to find a clear statement of ball size used on my "new" trailer.

The Owner's Manual says 19-1/2" to 20-1/2" ball height and the Service Manual seems to be saying the ball hitch coupler is 2-5/16", but that's for a 1972 model and the language is not clear in either case.

I know there are a number of different industry standard ball sizes that are in use, but I want to be really clear on this because the trailer is in New York and I have to go get it and want to have the right receiver ready.


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Old 01-06-2003, 08:27 AM   #2
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Thumbs up This should ans.

This link should ans your question.

This was quoted from one reply:

Again, depending upon year of the TradeWind/Overlander, you will need either a 2" or a 2 5/16" hitch ball with at least 6,000 pound load carrying rating. I believe that the cut off was pre-1969 2" - - 1969 and later 2 5/16" hitch balls - - unless, of course, a previous owner happened to have the coupler modified along the line.
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Old 01-06-2003, 12:16 PM   #3
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The ball size for that trailer is likely to be 1 7/8". However if the coupler has been changed it might be 2". Balls are not that expensive, so I would have both. They can be had at auto parts stores for less than $15. When you move up to a heavier trailer (5000 #'s and up) you will need a 2 5/16". I personnally carry all 3 in my van along with a wrench to make any changes. My boat requires a 2 5/16" and my bullet requires a 2" ball. I have the 1 7/8" for old trailers.

Of issue is the shank diameter and length. The thicker diameter will give greater towed weight. The length of the shank of the ball needs to be long enought to fit on the hitch.

Lastly will be ball height. This is important too and shoould be followed as per the owners manula of your trailer.

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Old 01-06-2003, 08:03 PM   #4
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Ball Size on '70 Caravel?

Greetings Matthew!

I am virtually certain that you will find that the hitch ball on your '70 Caravel is 2 5/16". During the 1960s (1960-69) the Marvel 2" coupler was factory issue for all Airstreams according to my notes, but this doesn't mean that a trailer from the 1960s may not have been modified during the past 40 years. Beginning in 1969, my notes indicate that the switch was made to the 2 5/16" coupler - - I know that my '78 Minuet has its original 2 5/16" coupler which does seem rather large for such a small, light-weight trailer. (I can't verify the source of the original information from my notes as these were taken very early in my association with Vintage Airstreaming and I didn't do a very good job of documenting sources on some of those notes.)

You can find the hitch height recommendation at the Airstream corporate site via the following link:

Airstream Weights and Hitch Heights

According to the table posted ther, the height should be 19".

Good luck with your Caravel.

Kevin D. Allen
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