Ask a Trooper: What are different trailer hitch sizes for?

Published 8:40 pm Tuesday, February 28, 2023

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Ask a Trooper by Troy Christianson

Question: I read your article last week about trailer safety. I would like more information on trailer hitch ball sizes and why they have different sizes?

Troy Christianson

Answer: There are four different trailer hitch ball sizes. Each size has a different weight rating related to the trailer you are pulling. It is very important to make sure you always use the proper ball size with the trailer you are pulling. The ball size required for the trailer is stamped on the coupler of the trailer. If you use the wrong size ball, the trailer will not latch properly and could come disconnected. Once you have the ball connected to the coupler, you need to latch down and put a pin through the coupler to keep it secured.

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Trailer hitch ball sizing:

• A 1-7/8-inch ball has a gross towing weight of 2,000 to 3,500 pounds. It is commonly used for light trailers like a utility trailer or small fishing boat.

•A 2-inch ball has a gross towing weight of 3,500 to 12,000 pounds. It is used for pulling campers and bigger boats.

• A 2-5/16-inch ball has a gross towing weight of 6,000 to 30,000 pounds. This size would be used for travel trailers and larger utility trailers.

• The largest size is a 3-inch ball, which has a 30,000-pound rating. This is usually used on livestock or large travel trailers.

You can avoid a ticket — and a crash — if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and always drive sober. Help us drive Minnesota toward zero deaths.

If you have any questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson, Minnesota State Patrol, at 2900 48th St. NW, Rochester, MN 55901-5848. You can also email him at

Troy Christianson is a sergeant with the Minnesota State Patrol.