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emariner

Leave towing ball painted or sand off paint?

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I have just changed my 2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid for the new 2019 model of the same car.

My 2017 RAV4 had a Toyota dealer supplies and fitted swan neck tow bar. When new, the ball was painted black. As I towed my Bailey Unicorn caravan this paint gradually began to wear off.  This resulted in a loud metallic noise coming from the tow bar/caravan coupling when towing.  I sanded off most of the remaining paint from the ball and this stopped most of the noise.

I now have my brand new 2019 RAV4, again fitted with the Toyota dealer’s swan neck tow bar.  Again the ball is painted black.  Although I appreciate it may have been painted to protect the bare metal towing ball against rust, after my previous experience of the towing ball making loud metallic noises, I am tempted to sand off all the paint from the off and before towing my caravan.

What is your advice on this?  Do I leave the towing ball painted as delivered or sand off the potentially offending paint?

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Remove paint as it contaminates the Alko hitch pads

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Your need to clean the contaminated pads from the hitch on the caravan and clean them with brake cleaner to remove the paint already on the pads .

 

Towballs need to be clean and remove the paint .

 

 

Dave

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Remove all paint, towball should be clean and grease free!

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I always remove the paint before towing, otherwise you will contaminate the hitch pads.

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Four answers all the same....

 

geoff

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Five 

 

It's a standard procedure to remove and paint from the towball itself and ensure it's absolutely clean before use. No grease or oil as that to contaminates the hitch pads and reduces their functionality.

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Also it's very useful to keep a piece of emery cloth or similar in the boot ( I keep a piece in the bag that my detachable tow hitch lives in :) ) to give the tow ball a quick clean before you hitch up , because as you've said the paint keeps the steel from rusting so when you remove it you can get a small amount of rust build up on a shiny tow ball. 

In the "old days"  before Alko 2000 series and later tow hitches it was normal to grease the tow ball as but not with modern tow hitches.

 

JIm 

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If towing with a non-stabilised hitch, and grease on the towball, the paint may be left on BUT if using any stabilised hitch that uses friction against the towball it is imperative to remove all traces of paint, and keep it that way with regular cleaning. Any paint left on the towball WILL contaminate the friction pads and reduce their efficiency.

Towball Paint.jpg

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Our old 'van used a greasy hitch, when we picked up our "new" one ( Winterhoff hitch) the handover guy kindly spent 10 minutes removing the grease and what was left of the paint and then used brake cleaner on the towball. He also advised, as JamesF says, to keep a piece of emery cloth handy. I use fine and give a quick rub over before towing. Hope this helps :)

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I never understand why Al-Ko compatible towballs are supplied painted. One of those coatings that can be peeled off would be far better and easier - plus avoiding any confusion for new caravanners.

 

Something like this: http://www.peelablecoatings.co.za/products/advanced-anti-rust/

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Posted (edited)

Use these to keep your balls clean:-   Scotch brite pads

Then give a spray of brake cleaner to wash off dust.

Edited by Artleknock

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22 hours ago, iansoady said:

I never understand why Al-Ko compatible towballs are supplied painted. One of those coatings that can be peeled off would be far better and easier - plus avoiding any confusion for new caravanners.

 

Something like this: http://www.peelablecoatings.co.za/products/advanced-anti-rust/

I totally agree. I accept that the main swan neck needs protection from the elements and should be painted. Although an easily removable coat of wax or similar could be used for the ball itself,  it's probably cheaper to manufacture by painting the whole item, and leave the customer to complete the job.

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23 hours ago, Flat_at said:

Our old 'van used a greasy hitch, when we picked up our "new" one ( Winterhoff hitch) the handover guy kindly spent 10 minutes removing the grease and what was left of the paint and then used brake cleaner on the towball. He also advised, as JamesF says, to keep a piece of emery cloth handy. I use fine and give a quick rub over before towing. Hope this helps :)

He wasn't being kind, he was simply doing his job, properly! (Other dealers please take note!)

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use a Sanding Block, Cloth and Brake and Clutch Cleaner, I carry the Brake cleaner with me in the car and clean before we leave a site after a long tow as you do get residue from the hitch frequently 

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