I have never applied grease to my trailer hook. As a result, it looks like this :

A rather rusty trailer hook

I have been told that I should not grease it (something to do with the friction being important for... something?).

I can see that many people do grease theirs, and then cover it with a cap, or tennis ball.

A Google search reveals a wide variety of fairly strong opinions on this apparently innocuous subject. What is the correct treatment, and why?

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    I wouldn't think there would be any issue with applying grease. I'd be wondering what the reason for not applying grease to it might be? I'm sure it's more of a personal preference, but I wouldn't like to see the ugly rusted ball hanging out behind my vehicle, that's for sure. Jun 16, 2016 at 18:19
  • If your towing a few hundred pounds who cares, but several thousand, then think about saving the wear and tear. Nov 15, 2016 at 21:29

2 Answers 2


besides the fact that the grease will be messy and get all over everything, the only reason I have seen is that sometimes grease or anti-seize can interfere with a ground connection if there isn't a good ground wire to the trailer lights.

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    Yes, a little grease. The ball part is inexpensive compared to replacing the nose of the trailer as that wears through... And yes, it can wear through over many years of towing. john is right, however, your banged shin will be a greasy banged shin.
    – SteveRacer
    Jun 16, 2016 at 19:24
  • Grounding is a good point, too. Jun 16, 2016 at 21:29
  • A trailer ball for a ground is very poor. Better to fix the issue then rely on intermittent paths. That ground through the hitch can be so sporadic and even fail at the worst times. I would not want to see my lights go out with the highway patrol on my tail. Or in the dark of night in city rush hour. And from experience I have had both happen. It is not a ground. Nov 15, 2016 at 21:24

It depends. Some caravan trailer hitches have a mechanism that grips the towbar to reduce the amount of swing. That relies on a strong frictional grip. If you grease the towbar the damper can't do its job.

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