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Old 08-14-2013, 06:51 PM   #1
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2014 Interstate Ext. Coach
Monroe , Washington
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Chrome worn away on hitch ball

Hello,

I have noticed some wear on my hitch ball, where the chrome has worn away and there is some pitting. I have attached pictures. So...

1) Should I replace this ball or may I continue to use it?
2) Is this normal and reasonable wear, or is there something wrong with my setup?

Thanks!

P.S. The ball has about 15,000 miles.

I clean & lubricate the ball using Reese Hitch Ball Lube (Reese #58117) before trips and every few days while on the road.

If it matters, the rig is
-- A 1/2-ton pickup (5400 pounds)
-- A 16-foot International (4000 pounds, 475-pound hitch weight)
-- A weight-distribution hitch (with round, 600-pound spring bars)
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Old 08-14-2013, 07:04 PM   #2
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looks normal to me. The thin chrome applied to a ball is mostly for show in the store, and has no real useful purpose.

I do replace my hitch ball every 75 to 100 thousand towing miles, just in case some internal cracking has occurred.

I would check your coupler internally after 30 to 50 thousand miles. My Argosy 20 did develop cracks in the inner cup which I discovered quite by accident. I cleaned the built up grease off and there they were, although no failure occurred, I was glad to find out prior to one.
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Old 08-14-2013, 07:09 PM   #3
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Normal, in my experience.
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Old 08-14-2013, 07:13 PM   #4
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On cheaper chrome plated hitch balls, the plating will flake off. This does not affect the integrity of the ball. If you don't mind the look of it, continue to use it.

There is some argument regarding lubing vs not lubing a hitch ball. Some say that the lube attracts dirt which contributes to premature wear. If you clean and lube the ball and keep the trailer attachment clean you shouldn't have a problem.
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Old 08-14-2013, 07:16 PM   #5
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I would use some grease with moly in it such as wheel bearing grease. I usually use spray on lithium grease since it is easy to apply. The ball looks fine. It won't hurt to rotate the ball every one in a while.

Perry
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Old 08-14-2013, 07:17 PM   #6
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You must be using your AS!!??? Shame on you!!

Get a shiny ball to put there when not towing.

How about a ball cover?
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Old 08-14-2013, 07:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idroba View Post
looks normal to me. The thin chrome applied to a ball is mostly for show in the store, and has no real useful purpose.
Also, when the chrome wears off, people get concerned and go buy a new hitch ball. Great for sales!
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Old 08-14-2013, 07:24 PM   #8
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You could source a stainless steel ball and there would be no chrome to wear off.
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Old 08-14-2013, 09:06 PM   #9
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Someone could make a Flamingo one.
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Old 08-14-2013, 09:37 PM   #10
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I ashamed to say my hitch ball has more chrome than yours. My excuse, new to Airstreaming. Can't wait to get the mature look of yours.
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Old 08-14-2013, 09:49 PM   #11
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I use Real Magic on mine. It's a very light lithium made for fishing reels and line.
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Old 08-15-2013, 07:12 AM   #12
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Replacing the ball occasionally is good insurance. Everything has its limits.

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Old 08-15-2013, 07:27 AM   #13
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A closer look, is that 2 piece ball? If so, I would replace. From the picture the edge of the base appears bent, or is that the way the picture was taken?
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Old 08-15-2013, 07:32 AM   #14
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From the picture the edge of the base appears bent
Flat spots so you can use a wrench on it.
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