How to Handle a Rusty Trailer Hitch

How to Handle a Rusty Trailer Hitch

Rusty trailer hitches are no good. They can make it harder to couple your trailer and tow vehicle. But all that rain, melting snow, and water from splashing puddles is working hard to oxidize your metal trailer hitch ball. 

While you can always replace a rusty trailer hitch, most people want to keep their gear in good working order for as long as they possibly can. After all you can’t keep delaying hauls, trips and jobs for replacements and repairs.

Let’s look at your options.

How to Keep Rust Off Your Receiver Hitch

You should cover all your metal hitch parts with an oily film. This is the first and simplest line of defense. It creates a barrier between the metal and the water. It also keeps the metal parts from damaging each other with friction. It also makes it easier to link up the metal parts. Something non-solvent is best. Keep the hitch covered when it’s not in use, and your hitch will last much longer.

Choosing zinc parts is another way to go. Zinc doesn’t corrode like other metals does. But you still need to oil it. Also, the zinc coating will wear away over time. It wears away fastest in finer areas like pinholes. 

Try Indoor Storage if You Can

Not every trailer owner will let you do this, but if you can store your trailer inside, the hitch parts will be dryer more often. It’s worth it. 

Don’t Store the Hitch Ball in the Receiver

Store it in the cab, or anywhere but the receiver. If you store it in the receiver, the vibration of the moving car will wear down all the parts. Pro tip: wherever you store it, store it in the same place each time. Then you’ll always know exactly where it is when you need it. 

You can take certain measures to make sure the rust does not get worse. Make sure you check regularly for corrosion. The sooner you spot it the better. You’re most likely to find it on the hitch pin hole or receiver opening. Use a rust stop paint to help preserve your parts. If your parts are over exposed to the elements, consider getting bags or covers or storing them inside when not in use. 

Call or Write the Trailer Parts Outlet with All Hitch Maintenance Questions

We know all about Trailer Parts Maintenance here at The Trailer Parts Outlet. You can find anything you need at our online store, or get any questions answered by calling us. We’re always happy to hear from you.

Back to blog