It seems like tow balls are the most un-loved part of any caravan setup. Yet, they are SO critical.
Tow balls cop a really hard life, being exposed to the weather their entire life. So here's a few tips:
- keep a separate tow ball / shank for your caravan. If you tow your box trailer and other things, get a 2nd ball / shank just for your van, and keep it out of the weather when not travelling
- replace the tow ball at least every 3 years. Tow balls are really inexpensive! Rust normally gets into the thread and nut, and under the base of the ball flange.
- use a tow ball cover when not in use
- lightly grease the tow ball and coupling - regularly cleaning both before reapplying. Use special tow ball / hitch lube (white grease) for best results.