I remember some years back when this subject came up but I cannot remember the outcome.
Do you grease or WD 40 etc etc the towball to facilitate easier slip over of the hitch ?????
My father use to do that when towing. And every time he moved around the back of the vehicle he got a smear of grease on his leg. I did the same and used a cover over the tow ball but every time you remove the cover your hands get dirty.
Since about 2006/7 I never used grease on the tow ball again.
Now with the current caravan I have a anti sway coupling device and with this the tow ball should be clean and dry with no grease or oil on it. The device clamps onto the tow ball and creates a anti sway through the friction generated by the clamping.
Other that that, I think it is not a rule but a personal decision to use grease or not.
Sometimes -if you are not 200% aligned it is a bit akward to slide down on the ball, so next time I will use a (very) little spurt of Silicone spray on the ball and see what happens.
Gert, I use a piece of thick plastic material such as the bags in which 50Kg fertiliser come. I drape a piece of plastic, about 10X10 cm, over the ball before I lower the hitch. It is very effective in preventing wear on both the ball and the hitch. After a trip of more than a thousand kilos, the plastic still would not rub through. I carry a stack of precut plastic squares in the caravan. I have been using this method from shortly after we started caravaning, precisely because of the mess lubricants cause. In the distant past, the coupling was used as the earth connection between the two vehicles, but as this no longer is the case, there is no reason to have steel on steel.
Does the plastic make it really easier ? It is somnewhat difficult to believe ???
Bank sakkie het altyd goed gewerk
There is nothing difficult in using the plastic. The idea is to stop wear between the two sides and this it does excellently.
Nico, Ek gebruik maar altyd die dikker plastiek so ek het nie ondervinding met banksakkies nie, maar dit klink vir my bietjie dun. In watter toestand is dit aan die einde van die reis?
Ek gebruik nie die sakkie nie maar my pa en oom het dit gebruik. Daai sakkies wear maar af
Dust and sand stick to lubricants, turning into grinding paste. No lubricants for me....
Gert I never use anything and don't battle to get hitched. What you can try then you don't have to be 200% in line is to turn the hitch about 30 degrees sideways. This gives a greater opening to lower onto the ball.
Ja banksakkies werk vir so paar 100 km Fred. Of mens kan ook elke keer wat jy haak 'n nuwe sakkie gebruik. Dit sal nie soos in jou geval duisende hou nie.
Gert, It seems I did not catch your real problem which is a difficulty of getting the hitch over the tow ball? If that is the case, by idea will not offer a solution. I however cannot understand why this is a problem. My previous Sprite, Venter trailer and present Skipper all hitched very easily and all with different hitches. When you lower the hitch, it just slips over the ball even with the piece of thick plastic in place. If you have a difficulty doing this, there might be some or other physical reason. If your hitch perhaps bent? I would rather try and find the reason and correct this than trying to solve the problem with lubricatrion.
There have been many debates on this issue with many points for and against "Greasing" the ball. If we were to use the word lubricate in stead of greasing, then I would go with Fred's Solution. The heavy plastic Fred uses does not show signs of any wear after a considerable distance of towing, this would lead me to conclude that the lubrication method is working and none of the dirty grease to mess up your clothes.
Finally, if there is any further doubt, I am sure one could get the tolerance specs from one or other manufacturer and check the ball for ware and or roundness. To replace a ball every ????? K kilometers should also not be an excessive price to pay for this safety link.
Brian there are specs with respect to the actual ball size. I think the kilos would vary due to load and conditions that the size is perhaps the indicator to use to replace the ball. I am sure some vanners have clocked a lot of kilos without having wear below the minimum size. Not something one would need to replace on a regular basis.
49.97mm seems to be the minimum size for the normal 50mm ball. One needs to check the actual clearance to the coupler as well as it will also wear with time.
Warning: I just read a local topic where a well known body parts company imported 48mm balls and a number of people had caravans and trailers coming off the ball.
Glad nie nodig om n tow ball te gries. Kan wel die karavaan n bietjie n smeer middel spuit om werkende dele maklik te laat beweeg en roes uit te hou. Daar sal altyd roes op die ball kom maar sodra jy hak is dit weer weg. Ek sal nie bekommerd wees oor sluitasie weens elemente soos ligte roes ens. Daardie goed hou n leeftyd. Wat ek wel doen is n swart cover oor die ball en elektriese plug wanneer ek nie sleep. My karavaan gooi ek n seil oor die hele nose cone en hak. Dis genoeg. As jy sukkel om te hak is daar fout met jou hak. Die goed se werkende dele is straight forward. Buiten dat roes die clips en werkende dele laat vas hak moet hy werk. Selfs al sleep jy net twee keer n jaar moet roes nooit n faktor wees. 'Die karavaan hak'. As jy begin sukkel dat dit nie reg hak en jy moet dit met moeite in hak elke keer, replace die hak' Daardie deel van jou wa is te belangrik vir jou eie veiligheid en jy kan jou wa deur dit verloor. Net n voorbeeld. My ou Super sport was twintig jaar oud toe ek hom verkoop, nooit aan die hak gepeuter net die gries nipple af en toe gespuit en skoon gehou. Nooit nodig gehad om die goed te vevang
Thanks for all the ideas.
I tow a Conqueror Supra 1 with a GVM of 1.500kg.
I bought the unit complete with a 72 l National Luna fridge/freezer located in the nose cone box (photo).
When lowering onto the ball there was no problem (I assume because of the considerable added weight of the fridge. After having taken it out to prepare for fitment of a ventilation unit (compressors when running on 12V while driving, generate warm/air air which needs to escape ), I noticed that the hitch does not naturally (as before) slides on easily.
I will also try the angle the hitch next time and then will apply the plastic treatment.
I don't think there is anything wrong with the physical measurements because it slid down positively and after the locking mechanism engaged I could not lift the hitch off the ball (with the adjusting handle AND by lifting it up physically, so I am satisfied in this case.
Thanks again for all the tips and advice and I will NOT USE ANY GREASE or SPRAY,
I will take the plastic route.
Apart from the anti-sway unit as Leon indicated I think a bit of Silicon spray can do no harm. The same would apply on the bracket of the Yellow blade and Tando.
I was amazed at the result when I sprayed a bit on my cicular saw table slide for cross cutting at a right angle. This is a wonderful spray.
Silicon is n fantastiese smeer middel. Geen smeer middel word aanbeveel op n rubbing plate van n stabilizer.