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Old 10-03-2019, 11:50 AM   #1
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Default What size is the tow ball?

I have a 24' Hi-Lo Towlite. Getting a hitch on my van. They want to know what size tow ball I need. I have a 2" and it rolls around in there. A tow person said it might be 2 5/16". Can anyone help with that. Do you all have break away kits as well? That brakes the TT if it breaks away. And of course a brake controller. All of this is gonna cost a bit under $1000. Is that normal? Thank you.
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Old 10-03-2019, 02:05 PM   #2
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tinovack, Yes is a 2-5/16" ball. In most states, any trailer over 1500 pounds is supposed to have an emergency breakaway system installed. Your electric brakes on the Hi Lo are controlled by a brake controller within the drivers reach. Please learn how to use it! It's saved my TV brakes many times going down 7% grades, and in traffic in Atlanta, GA. The little lever on the controller is magic. Set it up correctly and ensure it's working each time you tow. Mine is a Prodigy P2 and it's about 4 yrs old. Plug and play. Do your research and find one you understand. They're not complicated--but necessary.
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Old 10-03-2019, 02:07 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by tlnovack View Post
I have a 24' Hi-Lo Towlite. Getting a hitch on my van. They want to know what size tow ball I need. I have a 2" and it rolls around in there. A tow person said it might be 2 5/16". Can anyone help with that. Do you all have break away kits as well? That brakes the TT if it breaks away. And of course a brake controller. All of this is gonna cost a bit under $1000. Is that normal? Thank you.
My 2404 has a 2 5/16th ball, cost about $35. The trailer itself should have a breakaway already on it. I have a Curt Discovery brake controller. I think I paid a little over $300 for it and the pigtail to wire it into my truck. I bought a Curt trunnion bar weight distribution hitch for under $400. Truck already had hitch from factory. This was about nine years ago....
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Old 10-03-2019, 05:03 PM   #4
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I just purchased a 2 5/16" hitch ball and it wouldnt even fit in the hitch opening at all. I tried 2" and it fits but it rolls around easily. Auto Zone said they have nothing inbetween. So I dont know. I am having a brake controller installed. Trying to figure out the hitch ball.
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Old 10-03-2019, 05:10 PM   #5
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I just purchased a 2 5/16" hitch ball and it wouldnt even fit in the hitch opening at all. I tried 2" and it fits but it rolls around easily. Auto Zone said they have nothing inbetween. So I dont know. I am having a brake controller installed. Trying to figure out the hitch ball.
Not anything available in between….

https://www.etrailer.com/dept-pg-Hit...itch_Ball.aspx
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Old 10-03-2019, 05:28 PM   #6
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I am going with the 2" ball. I have a stainless steel one by Reese. $32.99.
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Old 10-03-2019, 05:44 PM   #7
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I remember the Hi-Lo trailers moved up from 2" to 2 5/16" in the early 2000s. Look on the tongue to see if there is a stamping stating the ball size. Make sure you get a ball that has the proper shank length to provide lots of length for the nut and washers.
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Old 10-03-2019, 05:50 PM   #8
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Oh that explains it. Martzen Chevrolet said to get a 1" shank . I like the 2-5/16 ball but it just doesnt fit. Its quite a bit bigger than the 2". Will the 1" shank be long enough?
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Old 10-03-2019, 06:25 PM   #9
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My 22td 2001 or 2000 is 2 inch
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Old 10-03-2019, 06:40 PM   #10
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Yes. My 2001 Towlite apparently is as well. The 2-5/16 suggested measurement totally threw me off. Hopefully this will be documented to help someone. There should be an easier way to determine size. Having to buy parts and run back and forth is a hassle. But I am definitely learning new stuff so that is fun?
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Old 10-03-2019, 06:49 PM   #11
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And I looked for the stamping. There is a hole where the stamping is and I just cant see anything relevant to ball measurement. Plus its 20 years old.
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Old 10-03-2019, 09:35 PM   #12
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Thank you everyone. This is a process.
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Old 10-04-2019, 01:43 AM   #13
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My 1999 22 foot Classic uses a 2 5/16 ball. The ball should not really feel loose in the hitch. Make sure you are opening the trailer's hitch latch all the way before lowering it onto the ball. Even then sometimes you have to move the tow vehicle slightly ahead or back to get the hitch socket to fall onto the ball.

Hitch balls, just like other parts, are rated as to how much weight they are safe to tow. I would not think a trailer of that age and over 20 feet would have the small 2" ball hitch. But I was wrong before once ...
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Old 10-04-2019, 02:11 AM   #14
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Couple things: the hitch ball is in my hand and I am trying to push it up into the space. It is not at this point attached to anything. I am just trying to see if it will fit. It is clearly too large for the space. There is no way a 2-5/16 will fit. Not even close. Unless it opens wider somehow? The 2-5/16 is much much larger than the 2 inch. I wish it would fit because i like it better. An earlier post said Hi-Lo changed the size of the ball in the early 2000s. That would make sense because mine is a 2001?? IDK.
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Old 10-04-2019, 02:20 AM   #15
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Well geesh. IDK.
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Old 10-04-2019, 08:38 AM   #16
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Here's a thought. Call J and R repair, they have been in business for over 40 years and were the Hi-Lo warranty repair service and know where every nut and bolt go. They were located in the original Hi-Lo factory in Butler, Ohio. Sometimes they are a bit hard to contact but keep trying. If you get an answer please report back here.

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Old 10-04-2019, 09:01 AM   #17
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THAT is a most excellent idea!
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Old 10-04-2019, 12:53 PM   #18
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RichR: Here is the answer: I do not want to misinterpret what Rob said. He was very nice and responded immediately to my numerous emails. Rob said it all comes down to your safety. And that it is up to me how I want to put my tow package together. "Some guys like to go cheap and save as much as they can and others like to over engineer things for that extra level of safety." "We don't offer opinions on these types of things due to liability issues." He then said he had attached a pdf with information from the Curt Company who manufactures hitches/receivers etc. He also said he did not know why Hi- Lo switched from a 2" hitch ball to a 2-5/16" hitch ball. (I was really hoping he did know). I pressed him further just a bit and he said basically he would have to see the trailer to know exactly what was on it before he could say anything. He recommended having someone come out and measure?
Fair enough.
So that is pretty much it. He really tried to help. And I really appreciated him taking the time to text to me.
With that said... my next call was to the tow truck owner who had towed my Hi- Lo to my house using a 2" hitch ball. I told him the conversations I was having. He said many things. One was that the bigger the ball the better. He also said he felt the weight of the Hi-Lo behind him. He said however if Hi-Lo sold the Hi-Lo with a 2" ball back in the day it was manufactured/engineered that way and to go with it. He said it would probably be expensive and hard to switch out unless I can just unbolt it.
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Old 10-04-2019, 01:49 PM   #19
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Just one more time, are you sure the hitch latch was open when you tried to insert the 2 5/16" ball? If that was obvious to you, sorry for the question. But if the 2" ball was just rattling around in there, there has to be some reason ...

For safety, the ball should really not have a whole lot of play once the trailer is hitched properly and the latch is secured. I think the best suggestion was to get someone really familiar with all this to check out your hitch situation in person.

Best of luck,
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Old 10-04-2019, 02:24 PM   #20
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Going back to Step One to see if the 2-5/16 hitch ball will fit. Will find out later today.
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