Question Newbie: Towing hitch ball mount and ball size

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Thread: Newbie: Towing hitch ball mount and ball size

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    Question Newbie: Towing hitch ball mount and ball size

    Hi all,

    I'm new to this forum and to trucks in general. I just got my 2008 Tundra SR5 4.7L 4x4 Double Cab a few weeks ago. This is my first truck so I'm just learning about towing capacities, etc. It came with the towing package.

    From what I can tell on toyota.com for this exact vehicle the max towing capacity is 7800 pounds. I'm trying to understand what ball mount (hitch) and ball size I would need. Not sure if I'm even using the right terminology.

    I don't have anything specific to tow right now. I probably won't tow much at all. If I do, it'll be fairly small equipment to use around the yard, like a stump grinder.

    However, if I'm going to get a hitch, I might as well get something that will tow close to the maximum allowed by the truck. I would think anyway. So, what do I need to buy?

    Thanks for the help, sorry if this is a stupid question.
    2008 Tundra SR5 4x4 4.7L Salsa Red with TRD Off-road Package

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    Default Re: Newbie: Towing hitch ball mount and ball size

    First of all, you already have a hitch on the truck. What you're needing now is a draw bar and ball. The draw-bar fits into the receiver hitch that comes on the truck. There are so many different types of balls/draw-bars out there it really is dependant upon what you're towing. Ball come in three typical sizes: 1 1/8", 2", and 2 5/16". 2" is by far the most popular for most general towing. The balls also come with different ratings, but that is stampled right into the top. Draw bars also come in many styles. Some are straight and some have drops to help keep your trailer level. Others have adjustable drops and adustable balls.

    I have so many different draw bars and hitches in my "collection" it's worth a small fortune. These things are very expensive and some are very heavy and/or stick out so far they're not fun to drive around with all the time. But just to buy something to be covered "just in case", find something like this with maybe a 10,000# rating: 3/4" drop, 2" ball

    This is what I have mounted in mine most of the time. It's a little heavy but versatile.
    '08 Nissan Pathfinder 4x4 (my DD)
    '05 Honda Odyssey (her DD)
    '03 Ram 3500 Cummins 6-speed dually (for haulin)
    '05 Tundra DC 4x4 (gone)

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    Default Re: Newbie: Towing hitch ball mount and ball size

    The ball capacity is determined by the size of the shank (threaded piece on the bottom that you fasten to the tow bar with a lock washer and nut).
    A 2" ball with a 1-1/4" shank should do ya for just about anything.
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    Default Re: Newbie: Towing hitch ball mount and ball size

    this is what i keep on the back of mine i use the 2 in the most with this one and use it to help keep tailgaters off the rear of my truck

    4x4
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    Default Re: Newbie: Towing hitch ball mount and ball size

    Ideally, you want to match your ballmount (aka drawbar) to the trailer because different trailers have different ride heights. The correct drop/rise will allow the trailer to ride level. You can tow a trailer that isn't level in a pinch, but could limit your braking and approach/departure angles.

    You also have to get the correct ball size for the trailer. DO NOT use a 1 7/8in ball on a trailer that has a 2in coupler. It may seem like it will hold but if stressed, it can come off.

    Like others, I have several ballmounts that I keep in the truck. I try to standardize my trailers so that they are all the same size coupler, although sometimes you cant' do that.

    A couple tips:

    Cross your safety chains under the coupler when attaching them to the truck. This will provide a "safety net" to catch the coupler in the event the trailer comes off the ball. Otherwise, the coupler will just dig into the road.

    Load the trailer about 10-15% nose heavy. DO NOT make it tail heavy unless you want to experience fishtailing firsthand.

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    Default Re: Newbie: Towing hitch ball mount and ball size

    Thanks for the responses all. This forum is very helpful.
    2008 Tundra SR5 4x4 4.7L Salsa Red with TRD Off-road Package

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    Default Re: Newbie: Towing hitch ball mount and ball size

    Quote Originally Posted by abfield View Post
    ...It came with the towing package.
    Did you not get a draw bar and pin with your towing package? My '06 DC TRD towing package equipped truck came new with a "Toyota" draw bar (~3 inch drop), pin&clip, and 7-way round to 4-way flat converter. Also came with the brake controller pig tail needed to connect my brake controller. All I had to do was buy a ball.

    Unless Toyota got cheap with the new Gen's then I'd go back to the dealer and ask about these items.
    Last edited by funfinder4; 01-28-2009 at 07:37 AM.
    FunFinder4
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    Default Re: Newbie: Towing hitch ball mount and ball size

    Quote Originally Posted by funfinder4 View Post
    Did you not get a draw bar and pin with your towing package? My '06 DC TRD towing package equipped truck came new with a "Toyota" draw bar (~3 inch drop), pin&clip, and 7-way round to 4-way flat converter. Also came with the brake controller pig tail needed to connect my brake controller. All I had to do was buy a ball.

    Unless Toyota got cheap with the new Gen's then I'd go back to the dealer and ask about these items.
    It came with the electrical cord but nothing else. I assume that's for brake lights. I guess it didn't specifically come with the "towing package". I have the TRD Off-Road package which I think includes the hitch receiver. I can call the dealer and ask if I should have gotten draw bar, etc.
    2008 Tundra SR5 4x4 4.7L Salsa Red with TRD Off-road Package

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    Default Re: Newbie: Towing hitch ball mount and ball size

    Quote Originally Posted by abfield View Post
    I don't have anything specific to tow right now. I probably won't tow much at all. If I do, it'll be fairly small equipment to use around the yard, like a stump grinder.
    There's no point in buying anything until you know exactly what you're towing. Different trailers will need different drop/rise on the ball mount, and different trailers will use different ball sizes.

    Or, get an adjustable mount and an adjustable ball and then you're prepared for .... something.
    ~Michael
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    Tundra is gone ):

    Mods: Tekonsha P3; Tow Mirrors; TRD Wheels; TPMS Pipe Bomb; Fold Down Rear Seat

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    Default Re: Newbie: Towing hitch ball mount and ball size

    Quote Originally Posted by funfinder4 View Post
    Did you not get a draw bar and pin with your towing package? My '06 DC TRD towing package equipped truck came new with a "Toyota" draw bar (~3 inch drop), pin&clip, and 7-way round to 4-way flat converter. Also came with the brake controller pig tail needed to connect my brake controller. All I had to do was buy a ball.

    Unless Toyota got cheap with the new Gen's then I'd go back to the dealer and ask about these items.
    That draw-bar was probably thrown in by the dealer. Out the door from the factory, the tow package doesn't include a draw bar.
    '08 Nissan Pathfinder 4x4 (my DD)
    '05 Honda Odyssey (her DD)
    '03 Ram 3500 Cummins 6-speed dually (for haulin)
    '05 Tundra DC 4x4 (gone)

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    Default Re: Newbie: Towing hitch ball mount and ball size

    Dealer deal... No, not my dealer they don't just "give away" anything.

    Mine came in a box with Toyota part numbers on it and was under the rear seat. My co-work has an '03-'04 AC that he bought in Houston (70 miles away from here/ different dealer) 3 year prior to mine. He too got the same draw bar in the white box with Toyota part numbers on them under his rear seat. Draw bar has one of those orange stickers on the face with all kinds of warnings and weight limits. I see the same draw bar on tons of Toyota trucks all across Texas.

    Maybe it's a Texas thing or Gulf States Toyota thing? You know us Texans... If we buy a truck it better come equipped off the lot to tow... How else are we going to get our horses home!
    Last edited by funfinder4; 01-29-2009 at 07:38 AM.
    FunFinder4
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    Default Re: Newbie: Towing hitch ball mount and ball size

    It's very likely a gulf-states "port" addition then. They and Southeast Toyota love to add all kinds of stuff. They charge for them of course! Toyota does have a drop ball mount and ball in the accessory catalog....retails at $62.
    '08 Nissan Pathfinder 4x4 (my DD)
    '05 Honda Odyssey (her DD)
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    Default Re: Newbie: Towing hitch ball mount and ball size

    Yeah, my GST truck came with the ballmount. It was part of the "package". The Toyota one is outrageously priced, but it is rated much higher then the cheaper ones you find at say Wal-Mart.

    I'd probably never tow something that heavy so I'll stick to the Wal-Mart ones. If I did get something that heavy, I'd probably use a w/d hitch.

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    Default Re: Newbie: Towing hitch ball mount and ball size

    I'd pay the $60+ price if the Toyota one fit without all the slop in the factory receiver.
    RitcheyRch likes this.
    ~Michael
    2013 Scion FR-S (First 86 Car) / 2006 Toyota Sienna Limited

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    Mods: Tekonsha P3; Tow Mirrors; TRD Wheels; TPMS Pipe Bomb; Fold Down Rear Seat

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    Default Lube your ball

    A tip for newbies also, keep a container of grease and some paper towels in your truck. When I pick up a rental trailer, or put my own on, I smear a dollop of grease on the ball to reduce friction and binding. I have had several cheap balls chewed up by dry trailer tongues that undoubtedly were gouged up inside. I have found the grease combined with the slightly more expensive solid stainless steel ball prolongs the life a lot. Just don't forget to wipe it, or cover it, after you unhitch or you WILL get a nice smear on your pants at some point.
    2008 Tundra DC SR5 TRD 4.7


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