What Are The Standard Hitch Ball Sizes? Complete Guide

If you’re planning on towing something with your vehicle, you’ll need to ensure that your hitch ball matches the trailer’s coupler. There are different hitch ball sizes available in the market, and it’s essential to know which one to use for your trailer.

The hitch ball sizes include 1-7/8 inches (4.8 cm), 2 inches (5 cm), 2-5/16 inches (5.8 cm), and a larger size of 3 inches (7.6 cm), each designed to accommodate different weights and sizes of trailers. 

If you’re interested in exploring the hitch ball sizes, look no further! I’ll delve into the specifics of the various sizes available and guide you through the process of choosing the perfect ball mount for your towing needs.

Understanding Hitch Ball Sizes

Before we delve into the different hitch ball sizes available, let’s first understand what they are. A hitch ball is a spherical metal ball that attaches to the hitch of a vehicle. The ball is then inserted into the coupler of a trailer, providing a secure connection between the two. The size of the hitch ball is crucial, as it determines the weight capacity of the trailer that it can tow.

Standard Hitch Ball Sizes

There are three standard hitch ball sizes available, and they are 1 7/8 inches, 2 inches, and 2 5/16 inches. The 1 7/8 inch hitch ball size is suitable for small trailers weighing up to 2,000 pounds. The 2-inch hitch ball size is suitable for medium trailers weighing up to 3,500 pounds. The 2 5/16 inch hitch ball size is suitable for larger trailers weighing up to 30,000 pounds.

Ball Diameter (Inches)Ball Diameter (Centimeters)Gross Towing Weight (LBs)Gross Towing Weight (KGs)Shank LengthShank Diameter
1-7/8 in.4.8 cm2,000 to 3,500 lbs.1,134 to 1,588 kg1-5/8 to 3 in. (4.1 to 7.6 cm)3/4 to 1 in. (1.9 to 2.5 cm)
2 in.5 cm3,500 to 12,000 lbs.1,588 to 5,443 kg1-3/4 to 3 in. (4.4 to 7.6 cm)3/4 to 1-1/4 in. (1.9 to 3.2 cm)
2-5/16 in.5.8 cm6,000 to 30,000 lbs.2,722 to 13,608 kg2-1/8 to 3-1/2 in. (5.4 to 8.9 cm)1 to 2 in. (2.5 to 5.1 cm)

Below I have discussed each hitch ball size in detail.

1⅞” Diameter

For those looking to tow lightweight trailers, the 1-7/8 inch hitch ball is a suitable choice. This compact size can handle towing capacities ranging from 2,000 to 3,500 pounds and is equipped with a shank diameter of 0.75 to 1 inch.

2” Diameter

For medium-sized trailer towing, the 2-inch diameter hitch ball is a popular choice. With a weight capacity of 3,500 to 12,000 pounds, this hitch ball is a reliable option for a wide range of towing needs. The 2-inch diameter is the most commonly used hitch ball size, making it an accessible and convenient choice for those looking to tow a trailer of medium size. 

2 5/16” Diameter

For heavy-duty towing, the 2-5/16 inch hitch ball is an ideal choice. With a shank diameter of 1 to 2 inches, this ball hitch is equipped to handle towing capacities ranging from 6,000 to 30,000 pounds. 

Related: What Are The Horse Trailer Sizes?

How to Choose the Right Hitch Ball Size

Choosing the right hitch ball size for your trailer depends on several factors. First, you need to determine the weight of your trailer. Once you know the weight of your trailer, you can choose the appropriate hitch ball size that can accommodate that weight.

Hitch Ball Size Vs. Trailer Weight

As mentioned earlier, the weight of your trailer will determine the appropriate hitch ball size. For trailers weighing up to 2,000 pounds, the 1 7/8 inch hitch ball size is suitable. For trailers weighing up to 3,500 pounds, the 2-inch hitch ball size is appropriate. For trailers weighing up to 30,000 pounds, the 2 5/16 inch hitch ball size is ideal.

Hitch Ball Size Vs. Trailer Tongue Weight

Another important factor to consider when choosing a hitch ball size is the trailer’s tongue weight. The tongue weight is the amount of weight that the trailer puts on the hitch ball. It’s essential to choose a hitch ball size that can handle the tongue weight of your trailer. The tongue weight should be between 10% and 15% of the total trailer weight.

Hitch Ball Size Vs. Trailer Coupler Size

It’s essential to ensure that your hitch ball size matches the size of your trailer’s coupler. The coupler is the part of the trailer that attaches to the hitch ball. Using a hitch ball that’s too small or too big for your coupler can lead to an unsafe towing experience.

What Is the Most Common Tow Ball Size? 

The most common tow ball size is 2 inches in diameter. This size is rated to carry 3,500 to 12,000 pounds and is the standard size for towing medium-sized trailers. It is the most widely available and commonly used size, making it a convenient and accessible option for many towing needs.

How to Measure Hitch Ball Size?

Selecting the right hitch ball size requires careful consideration of multiple factors. The ball diameter, shank length, shank diameter, and rise are all critical components to consider in your measurement process. Understanding these elements and how they interact with your towing setup will help you make an informed decision when choosing a ball hitch. By taking the time to carefully measure these four key factors, you can ensure that you have the right hitch ball for a secure and successful tow.

The ball’s diameter refers to the width of the ball itself, while the shank length represents the distance between the bottom of the ball and the end of the threaded stem. Additionally, the shank diameter signifies the width of the stem itself, and the rise indicates how high the ball sits above its base.

Hitch Ball Locks

Using a hitch ball lock can help prevent theft of your trailer. Hitch ball locks are easy to install and provide an added layer of security when towing. They come in different sizes to fit different hitch ball sizes.

Hitch Ball Covers

Hitch ball covers are a simple accessory that can help protect your hitch ball from the elements. They come in different materials, including vinyl, plastic, and rubber. Using a hitch ball cover can help prevent rust and ensure the longevity of your hitch ball.

Safety Tips for Towing with a Hitch Ball

To ensure safe towing with a hitch ball, you should follow these tips:

  • Always use the correct hitch ball size for your trailer.
  • Ensure that your hitch ball is securely attached to your vehicle’s hitch.
  • Make sure your trailer’s coupler is securely attached to the hitch ball.
  • Check your trailer’s brakes, lights, and tires before towing.
  • Distribute the weight evenly on your trailer and avoid overloading it.
  • Slow down and take turns cautiously when towing.
  • Check your vehicle’s towing capacity and never exceed it.


How do I know what size ball hitch I need?

To determine what size ball hitch you need, you should check the owner’s manual of your vehicle and trailer. The manual should specify the recommended ball size based on the weight of your trailer. You can also check the coupler on your trailer, as it should have a label indicating the required ball size.

Are all 2 5/16 balls the same?

No, not all 2 5/16 balls are the same. Hitch balls can vary in weight capacity, shank diameter, and length. It’s important to choose a hitch ball that matches your trailer’s weight capacity and shank size.

Which hitch size is better?

The best hitch size depends on your specific towing needs. If you have a smaller trailer, a 1 7/8-inch hitch ball may be suitable. For larger trailers, a 2-inch or 2 5/16-inch hitch ball may be necessary. It’s important to choose the correct size based on your trailer’s weight and coupler size.

Can you use a 1 7/8 ball on a 2-inch hitch?

No, it’s not recommended to use a 1 7/8-inch ball on a 2-inch hitch. The hitch ball should match the size of the coupler on your trailer for a secure connection.

What is the size difference in the hitch?

Hitch sizes can vary, with the most common sizes being 1 7/8 inches, 2 inches, and 2 5/16 inches. The size difference refers to the diameter of the hitch ball, which should match the size of the coupler on your trailer.

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