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To select the proper hitch ball for your trailer, you first need to determine the weight of your trailer and your vehicle's towing capacity. The combination of these two specifications gives you the general class of hitch you need, and the only remaining task is shopping for your hitch ball.

In large part, determining the proper hitch ball and mount combination depends on the type of hitch you select. Hitches come in many varieties and sizes. The ball mount you use for a 1 1/4-inch receiver tube, under-bumper hitch varies from the one you need for a 2 1/2-inch receiver tube that extends from your vehicle.

First and foremost, your ball's mount shaft needs to match the receiver tube that you mount to your vehicle. Next, determine whether your ball's mount shaft needs to be straight or angled. Angled mount shafts accommodate higher vehicles so that the trailer remains level to the ground.

Finally, select the ball itself. A hitch ball has three separate measurements, each of which you must match to your rig. First, the diameter of the ball itself must match your trailer's coupler. Common sizes are 2-inch, 1 7/8-inch and 2 5/16-inch. Next, match the shank's diameter as well as its length to your ball mount.

When you shop for a new hitch ball and mount, it is always a good idea to opt more capacity than you need. That way, if you upgrade to a heavier trailer or tow a different type of cargo in the future, there is no need to buy a new hitch ball.
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