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Old 05-25-2011, 06:23 PM   #1
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Tow Ball Size

I feel like a complete moron but I can not figure out the size? Everyone tells me it must be 2 1/5 and that is the largest I can find in my area but it is much too small. I have a 19' International...any advise would be greatly appreciated. I am on my 3rd trip to the RV store 45 minutes away and would like to make it my last! At least until I get the Airstream on the ROAD!!!!

Thanks.
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Old 05-25-2011, 06:25 PM   #2
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I believe the size is 2 5/16".
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Old 05-25-2011, 06:44 PM   #3
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It is 2 5/16". Be sure to get one that has the correct shaft for bolting to your hitch. They come with different sizes depending on the weight of the load you are pulling. The larger the bolt size the more weight it is rated for. Take the stinger (the removable part of your hitch) with you. Make sure it is rated for the load as well.
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Old 05-25-2011, 06:54 PM   #4
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Except for early streams 2 5/16 is right. You also need to check your shank hole size in your draw bar (the thingy the ball goes into) I recommend a 1" shank. Also make really, really, really sure your ball is on tight. Stop after a few miles and again several times to make sure it is not loose. The turning motion of normal driving has loosened balls that appear tight. If your ball loosens up at best you will feel really, really dumb when Mr. Know it All in the next campsite tells you. At worst, you can watch your trailer pass you on your first good downhill. I use a good size monkey wrench and one of those really big truck wrenches. When you get the ball on, tow the rig to that friendly RV store and have them check it. Don't let the skinny kid who smirks about you asking to have your ball checked do it. There is usually someone named Bubba or Ralph who knows his balls.
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Old 05-25-2011, 06:59 PM   #5
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True about loose balls, I found my toed with about 5 threads left after returning from the mountains.
I welded that sucker on !
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Old 05-25-2011, 07:09 PM   #6
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Most balls come with a lock washer. It is possible to over tighten the nut. There are torque specs for this application. If you over tighten the nut to the point where you damage the lock washer it will not stay tight.
Once I get the ball installed on the stinger, I don't remove it to install a different size ball, I get another stinger and put the ball on for that different application.
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Old 05-25-2011, 07:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
Most balls come with a lock washer. It is possible to over tighten the nut. There are torque specs for this application. If you over tighten the nut to the point where you damage the lock washer it will not stay tight.
Once I get the ball installed on the stinger, I don't remove it to install a different size ball, I get another stinger and put the ball on for that different application.
Ditto on the lock washers and torque. We are still talking about our hitches right?
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:57 PM   #8
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Yup

Yes. I don't know what the proper name for what I call the "stinger", but it's the part that the ball is attach to and can be removed from the receiver hitch by pulling the pin or removing the bolt.
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:42 PM   #9
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Most but not all 1969 models began the transition to 2 5/16" balls See: Brit needs your ball size! Airstream has never looked back and it's been 2 5/16" since then. RJay's in Missouri is a responsive online source for balls -- see the 7500# rated 2 5/16" ball here -- image follows:

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The 1.25" shank is the truth -- I just went out an measured mine. Mine is a bit closer to 1.125" but these are pretty generic. They are big. A faint memory tells me that my shank is 10,000# rated. RJay's 7500 pounder should be sufficient.

Honestly, this should be something you could find at large SOB RV dealer with a decent store on the lot. Check around locally...

What are you using for weight distribution/antisway?
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Old 05-26-2011, 12:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TG
Twinkie;997204I don't know what the proper name for what I call the "stinger", but it's the part that the ball is attach to.
I call it a draw bar. Sometimes I call it other names, like when I walk into it in the dark. That must be why it's called a stinger.
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Old 05-26-2011, 12:58 AM   #11
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I have a 3 ball stinger, it was 70 bucks at an auto parts store. It has a 2 5/16 , 2" and 1 7/8 ball, all welded onto the stinger. I think it was rated for 7500 pounds. It's handy to have around for when I pull a boat or other trailer.
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Old 05-29-2011, 05:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klattu View Post
True about loose balls, I found my toed with about 5 threads left after returning from the mountains.
I welded that sucker on !
Now that's scary!
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Old 05-29-2011, 05:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
Most balls come with a lock washer. It is possible to over tighten the nut. There are torque specs for this application.
On mine, it's a 2 5/16 dameter ball, and with the threaded shank diameter on mine, the spec. is 450 ft./lb. Let me tell you, it takes a lot of oomph to get there, much less overtighten. Because of the shape of the weight distributing head on my stinger, I can't get my impact wrench on it, and the clearances are too tight for a socket or even a box end ... so I've got a great big old combination wrench and I have to use the open end ... it takes about all I can do to get it anywhere near 450 ft./lb.!
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Old 05-30-2011, 07:58 PM   #14
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Thank you to everyone for your quick replies and also for Adding info I didn't even know I needed to know yet! We are hooked up, loaded up and getting ready to pull out of town. Thanks so much for your help. I am sure I will be surfing the site for info in the days to come! Until then....Happy Trails.
Lauren
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