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Old 01-10-2015, 09:05 PM   #21
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1978 31' Excella 500
Genoa , Nevada
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A quart size zipper zip lock bag zipped on your greasy b sure helps save from lubricating your personal parts you might not want lubed. Quick too.

I admit to being powerless over housecleaning and social niceities
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Old 01-10-2015, 09:09 PM   #22
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1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
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I use spray on lithium grease. You need something to lube that ball. You will get accelerated wear without grease not to mention potential binding or as was said above, it could lead to the ball coming loose. You will eventually cause the coupler to wear out and become loose.


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Old 01-11-2015, 03:37 AM   #23
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I apply grease with an old toothbrush which would otherwise be useless. Sal
Sal & Nora
Let us live so that when we die even the undertaker will be sorry. Mark Twain
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Old 01-11-2015, 04:57 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
I don't lubricate mine to save the ball, I lubricate to save the coupler.

A Friend of mine owns a turf business and he has a utility trailer he never greased. After many miles the top of the coupler had a "smiley face" hole completely worn through. It was about 120* around the front of the coupler head at the contact point with the ball. Grease 'em!

"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy." - Red Green
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Old 01-11-2015, 05:55 AM   #25

2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , Milky Way
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Thumbs up

Airstream...ball & socket,cleaned/greased every Spring when the Hensley gets re-installed.

Boat...wiped clean, thin layer on the ball and a dab of grease inside a split tennis ball.

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Old 01-11-2015, 07:01 AM   #26
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2002 19' Bambi
Northwestern Ontario , - on the backside of the map and just above the big green spot
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Prior to our Hensley, Teflon grease seemed to be the most effective, the easiest to apply and the easiest to clean off. After unhooking, a couple of sheets of those blue shop towels easily cleans the dirty grease on your ball and the ends of your spring bars - regrease prior to hooking up the next day.

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Old 01-11-2015, 07:05 AM   #27
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Clean the coupler!

I'm a greaser I keep the ball covered with a zip bag when I'm not towing.

That grease accumulates in the coupler and attracts a lot of grit. About once a year I wipe the accumulated grease with paper towels then further clean the coupler with spray can brake cleaner before re-applying new grease.
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Old 01-11-2015, 07:22 AM   #28
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I use the wax paper method for a small luggage trailer I built to tow behind our motorcycle - seems to work fine and no mess.

As for the AS trailer, we use a HA and I lube it every couple of years as per manufacturer's instructions.

Although with the HA, there is not any horizontal rotation on the ball, I guess there is slight vertical rotation, hence the recommendation to lube.

Brian & Connie Mitchell

2005 Classic 30'
Hensley Arrow / Centramatics
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Old 01-11-2015, 07:26 AM   #29
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Greaser...Fifth Wheel and Slider Grease...available at every truck stop. Used on the ball and contact points for the tension rods on the hitch but not on the actual cams of the anti sway, weight distribution hitch where I use Vaseline simply to reduce noise.

However, on the cams, it has been suggested to spray with aluminum paint as this allows a bit of lubrication without any grease build up and dirt accumulation.

My understanding is grease allows the dirt to be squeezed out of the bearing surfaces. But, regular grease will accumulate moisture and needs to be replaced at regular intervals.

Or so I have been told.....LOL
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Old 01-11-2015, 08:37 AM   #30
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Fort Collins , Colorado
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Best I've found is Yamalube -- made for dirt bike parts exposed to dirt and grit. Wipe off with paper towel when dirty, keep ball covered between trips, apply a light coat and go. Messy, but not as messy as other grease.

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Old 01-11-2015, 09:38 AM   #31
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I do not play tennis. I do not play basketball, pin pong or have a billiard table. Those who play these games have access to balls. I don't have any balls that will fit over the ball to protect it from the weather.

I do have some baseballs. Soft and hard ones. I do not think it practical to try to take either of these balls apart to cover the hitch ball. At some parking lots I see those pickups with the hitch and ball sticking out from the bumper 10 inches or so. It is a shin knocker. You have to avoid them, unless there is a bright yellow or now green tennis ball to "protect the ball" from, what? My shin bone?

Why not just pull the hitch and ball and store it at home? When we park the trailer, I take everything and put it into the back of the pickup. You never know when someone has no ball(s) to use of different diameters. The Airstream balls will not fit the trailer balls pulling ATV's, a boat or a UHaul hauling leaves.

My wife is responsible for the interior of the tailer. The ball selection and greasing is my job. When am backing up to attach the trailer, she will align the ball to the coupler by giving me hand signals. Sometimes she might say something... but lining up the truck to the trailer is helpful having a second person aligning the ball, the driver and the trailer coupler as a package deal.

I found that after four or more years it was time to swap balls. With the hitch in mind and keeping it from wearing. Most any hardware store has a wide selection of balls to choose from. Make certain that you know your balls, as the Airstream has an odd one.

So far there seem to be more trailer owners that grease their balls to tow. Wax paper is next and maybe a couple using plastic to protect their balls from wear and tear. There seems to be no consensus about ball protection. The coupler is much more important than balls, as the ball is inexpensive and readily available.

Up to this point. Nobody on this thread knows any more about balls than I do.
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Old 01-11-2015, 10:05 AM   #32
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I agree with STEVEH, "Save the coupler"

I was a firm believer in not using grease or any lubricant until............ I saw the top of the ball working its way through the coupler on a work trailer. Unless you take calipers to your coupler do you know how much wear has occured? Or will you wait until you can see the ball through the coupler?
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Old 01-11-2015, 11:22 AM   #33
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I know a lot about balls also,mine are all the same size, for the As and my car trailers. All my balls get greased every trip, when I unhook I use an old rag and wipe it off. When installing new grease on the balls , I use my finger being very careful not to get any on me or my clothes. My airstream book says to grease the afore mentioned....Now don't get any on you...
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Old 01-11-2015, 11:30 AM   #34
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I grease ours and keep it covered. A good friend of ours uses a very different method: He cuts out a chunk of plastic milk carton, folds it over the ball, and drops the hitch on it dry. Seems to work, too.

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Old 01-11-2015, 11:48 AM   #35
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Funny, just did this yesterday, getting our CampLite ready for our DL trip.

I brush high-pressure red grease on with a paintbrush, after cleaning old grease and grit off with Gunk. Hitch ball and both ends of the sway control bar. Even a little on the hitch itself where it slides into the receiver, mainly to prevent rust.

The selling dealer said it wasn't important. After driving just one day without grease the chrome on the ball already had a worn spot.

Direct metal-to-metal contact on a moving part under stress is just general not a good idea.
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Old 01-11-2015, 12:02 PM   #36
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I use super glue to keep the ball on my foot . . . confounds defenders . . . Maybe I should try grease to help me give'm the slip. Oh, wait wrong forum!

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Old 01-11-2015, 12:07 PM   #37
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I give both the hitch ball and the trunnion bar receivers a squirt of lithium grease prior to each trip and during trip if it rains

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Old 01-11-2015, 12:18 PM   #38
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Ridgefield , Washington
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A Tech at Airstream told my Wife about the wax paper method. I would prefer to use grease but its hard to win an argument when she has Airstream on her side. (and a couple pair of trousers with grease stains) Two things about using waxed paper. The paper has for the most part disintegrated by the time we arrive at our destination. The other is, with the paper coming apart, I have had to remove a good amount of waxed paper debris out of the coupler from time to time.
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Old 01-11-2015, 12:44 PM   #39
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Hey... Eubank. Did you know your milk's freshness date was April 20th? Would that affect the quality of the plastic? Wow... and Raw Milk. I think in Colorado it would be contraband... while you can purchase all of the Pot you can afford.

Is there that much space in the coupler to handle inserting a section of plastic?
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Old 01-11-2015, 12:51 PM   #40
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Common Sense , Texas
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I've tried the wax paper and the milk carton plastic, and both were on my smaller Casita trailer. Both were gone, worn thru, with scratch marks on the ball at the end of 500 miles.

They are both good ideas that simply will not stand up to the pressures applied, especially if you have a heavy tongued Airstream.

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