Towing a tiny house or travel trailer can be tricky, and even trickier with an unbalanced load and compromised vehicle performance. Weight Distribution Hitches are designed to help even out the load and make for safer towing.
The Ultimate Weight Distribution Hitch Guide, 2019
How do you get the right one for your trailer and your vehicle? We’ve looked at several of the best, organized everything you need to know here, and included detailed reviews for you to make the best choice right now and start towing safer today.
- The Ultimate Weight Distribution Hitch Guide, 2019
- Best Weight Distribution Hitch Reviews 2019
- How Do You Know If You Need A Weight Distribution Hitch?
- The Best Weight Distribution Hitches for 2019
- 1. Best All Around: Equal-i-zer 90-00-1000 Equalizer Hitch
- 2. Best for Heavier Loads: Eaz-Lift 48058 Elite Bent Bar Weight Distributing Hitch Kit
- 3. Most Economical: Pro Series 49903 Complete Weight Distribution Kit – Top Rated Weight Distribution Hitch
- 4. Smoothest Ride: Eaz-Lift 48058 1000lb Elite Kit
- 5. Best Anti-Sway: Andersen Mfg 3350 No Sway Weight Distribution Hitch 44
- Weight Distribution Hitch Accessories
- Things to Learn
- Towing Pieces and Parts
- Trailer Hitch Receiver ‘Classes’: What You Need to Know
- How Much Can Your Vehicle Tow?
- How to Weigh a Travel Trailer
- Trailer Tongue Weight Measurement Method
- Weight Carrying and Weight Distribution
- When Do You Need a Weight Distribution Hitch or a Best Load Leveling Hitch?
- What Comprises a Weight Distribution Hitch?
- Controlling the Sway
- Reducing the Sway
- Preventing the Sway
Best Weight Distribution Hitch Reviews 2019
|Weight Distributing Hitch Kit||Max Lift Capacity||Best Feature|
|Equal-i-zer 90001000 Equalizer Hitch||1,000 lbs. Tongue Weight (TW) and 10,000 lbs. Gross Trailer Weight (GTW)||4-Point Sway Control|
|Eaz-Lift 48058 Elite||1,000lb TW and 10,000 GTW||Positive Latching Action|
|Pro Series 49903||1,000lb TW and 10,000lb GTW||Easy to Install|
|Eaz-Lift 48054 Elite Bent Bar||1,400lb TW and 14,000lb GTW||High Lift Capacity|
|Andersen Mfg 3350||1,400 lbs TW and 14,000lb GTW||Anti-Sway Systems|
How Do You Know If You Need A Weight Distribution Hitch?
If the tongue weight of your trailer is causing the rear end of your tow vehicle to squat, handling and stability are going to be compromised. It’s an unsafe situation, and an invitation to disaster. If repacking the trailer load won’t improve the heavy tongue weight, the solution often lies in using a weight distribution hitch.
A weight distribution hitch, also referred to as a “load leveling” hitch, mechanically transfers some of the weight of the trailer tongue either back toward the trailer axles (or, in some instances, forward onto the tow hitch). This is achieved by raising the tow hitch, effectively tipping the trailer tongue up. This acts to lighten the load on the tow vehicles rear axle thereby more evenly distributing the weight of load that needs to be carried by your vehicles suspension system, and making driving safer. It allows for better steerage, braking, and stopping while pulling heavy loads.
A weight distribution hitch will also allow you to tip the trailer load forward onto the tow hitch in cases where the center of gravity of the trailer are further back than optimum. If this is the case, the first, and best course of action is to reconsider how the trailer is loaded/packed. The farther back the center of gravity of your trailer is, the more prone to instability it becomes.
Most weight distribution hitches also integrate anti-sway bars. Because the load of your trailer is attached at a hinge point, the ball hitch, the shifting mass at the connection point can cause a reciprocating swing from side to side, or “sway”. This is exacerbated by tipping the tongue of the trailer up at the hitch, because the center of gravity of the trailer moves backward away from the tow vehicle. The farther back the center of gravity is, the more likely your trailer is to fishtail. Without some method of dampening that sway, the condition, once started, can feedback into itself and cause you to completely lose control of your vehicle. Anti-sway bars aid in preventing this.
The Best Weight Distribution Hitches for 2019
Many companies make weight distribution hitches; which one is best for your towing situation requires some evaluation. You’ll need to know what your Gross Trailer Weight (GTW) is, the Tongue Weight of your trailer (how much of the load is transferred to the trailer hitch), and the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of your tow vehicle. All of these factors need to be within tolerances in order to make towing safe, so check them before buying a new hitch.
All of the hitches included in our list also include anti-sway bars or chains. These act to reduce the possibility of fish-tailing the trailer by making sure the hinge point of the truck-trailer interface is less flexible. By creating a more ridged connection, the trailer is far less likely to overpower the tow vehicle (for more on this have a look at Towing A Tiny House Simply and Safely).
1. Best All Around: Equal-i-zer 90-00-1000 Equalizer Hitch
2. Best for Heavier Loads: Eaz-Lift 48058 Elite Bent Bar Weight Distributing Hitch Kit
3. Most Economical: Pro Series 49903 Complete Weight Distribution Kit – Top Rated Weight Distribution Hitch
4. Smoothest Ride: Eaz-Lift 48058 1000lb Elite Kit
5. Best Anti-Sway: Andersen Mfg 3350 No Sway Weight Distribution Hitch 44
Weight Distribution Hitch Accessories
As we described above, the weight distribution hitch is used to connect trailer and tow vehicle in line. But what about accessories? Basically, a weight distribution system is made up of trailer-frame-mounted brackets, spring bars, and the ball mount. When it comes to the latter, there are two pieces: the ball platform (weight distribution head), and the shank that can slide into your trailer hitch. You may need to buy the hitch ball separately.
Trailer hitches and and anti-rattle clamps
It’s important to distinguish between a hitch and a receiver hitch. The receiver hitch is attached to the frame of your vehicle; a towing hitch slides into it.
There are several different kinds of trailer hitches depending on specific weight-carrying capabilities. They range through Class III, IV, and V for most RV’s, and most cases Class III hitches are not used with a weight-distributing system.
To determine the weight-carrying-and-distributing capability of your model, remember to check the sticker attached to the trailer hitch that is the weight rating label. Don’t use if you can’t see this information.
A Trailer hitch stabilizer/Anti-rattle device is a clamp that goes around the hitch to eliminate hitch noise and movement.
We recommend the Libberway stainless steel model. (Stainless is especially important in anti-rattle clamps, due to the pressure and friction involved).
Weight distribution shanks
The weight distribution shank will slide into the trailer hitch to offer an attachment point assembly. Shanks vary in rises, drops, and lengths because of the multiple applications. This makes sure when hooking up, the trailer will be even with the tow vehicle.
A standard shank must meet the following condition. When including with weight distribution system, it usually ranges from a rise of about 6” to a drop of about 2”. You should refer to the description of your product to calculate these figures.
Note: You can choose a weight distribution system with or without a shank. Thus, you can pick up a system without a shank to buy one separately. It allows you to have a greater rise or drop than the standard measurements.
Weight Distribution Head Assembly
When attaching the weight distribution head with the channel and bolt holes along the shank, it will have mounting points for the spring bars and hitch ball.
Hitch ball platform
On the weight distribution head, you’ll see an area in order to mount the hitch ball which is used for trailer hookup. Besides, you can mount a bar-style friction sway control to a small ball on the side of the weight distribution head that has a built-in platform. Some weight distribution heads come with ball holes so they fit with right-side attachment. In case, the head has a dual platform, you are allowed to mount sway control on either side of the trailer. Don’t forget to use hitch ball lubricant to ensure its durability and safety.
Spring Bar Attachment
The head varies across different styles: heads for trunnion spring bars, and heads for round spring bars, for example. While the trunnion-style bar slides into the head from the back or the side, the round-style bar slides up into the head held in place with clips.
If you want your weight distribution system to reach the proper positioning, it’s essential to adjust the head tilt assembly. Refer to instructions on your specific model to adjust, or use one of these methods:
Traditional Washer Head Adjustment
First, slide washers onto a spacer rivet which is inserted into the head assembly. If you want, you can add a washer to increase the angle. On the contrary, remove washer to decrease the angle. It’s tedious, but you must access the pin and washers at the beginning of the process of switching trailers.
Serrated Washer Head Adjustment
This is a slight improvement on the traditional washer-style or standard pin-and-washer method, using serrated washers, usually found on Reese hitches. You can fine-tune leverage without needing to access a rivet of the head. Furthermore, it is also easy to tighten, adjust, and loosen the single washer and nut on either side then secure positioning.
Block-style Washer System
It’s easy to use because it comes with a uniquely shaped washer which is allowed you to rotate and position it between blocks on the head. Before adjusting your system to switch from the old one to another vehicle, you should refer to numbers on both sides of the hexagonal washer. It’s not essential to use a hard-to-access pin to achieve tilt as desired.
The spring bar is used to transfer the load that pulls your car back when towing to the axles on the trailer and vehicle. Because of using leverage to the towing setup, spring bars will distribute weight to make a perfect distribution setup of weight. Normally, there are 2 kinds of spring bars: trunnion spring bars and round spring bars but some of the manufacturers produce a few specialized ones.
Lift bracket mounts to the trailer frame. It is used to hold the spring bar in place. Depending on designs of the different weight distribution systems, the lift bracket can function in multiple ways. There are 3 kinds of lift brackets: snap-up brackets, blue Ox rotating latch brackets, friction sway control brackets.
Things to Learn
Towing Pieces and Parts
There’re some different components, which are needed for towing all kind of trailers. Not only is a towing system made up of the trailer and vehicle, but also important equipment, which is used to connect these two.
Here’re some necessary towing pieces and parts:
A tow vehicle is an RV, SUV, crossover, van, truck, car or any other automotive vehicles, even an ATV – which is used to pull the trailer, is also a tow vehicle. Different kinds of tow vehicles come with different weight capacities. Therefore, you only know how many pounds that your vehicle is able to tow safely by reading that in the vehicle’s manual.
Just as the rule, the maximum amount of weight that your vehicle can potentially tow is always determined by the lowest rated towing component.
This’s a wheeled construction, which is pulled by other vehicles. Some typical types of trailer consist of boat trailers, enclosed car haulers, flatbed trailers, livestock trailers, travel trailers, popup campers and utility trailers.
In a towing system, a trailer hitch is always the primary connection component, which attaches the trailer to the tow vehicle. It requires a few extra components, like a trailer ball and a ball mount, to create a complete connection.
The tow bar is the name of an accessory, which is widely used in towing the vehicles behind a motor coach that permits the towed vehicle to move with all of its 4 wheels on the ground. This tow bar is inserted into the rear mounted of the trailer hitch on your motor coach and connected to the bolted aftermarket baseplate on your towed vehicle. There’s a wide range of styles and brands available, mainly relying on the budget.
For a safe towing, a fitted and properly designed tow bar with a sufficient certified weight rating is compulsory. Furthermore, the load capacity of your trailer coupling and your tow bar must be exceeded or equal to the trailer’s loaded mass.
If not a permanent part of a tow vehicle, it’s mandatory for all tow bars, which are manufactured after 1st July 1998, to permanently and clearly display the maximal load rated capacity along with the model and the making of the vehicle that they’re intended for or alternatively, the part number, trademark and the manufacturer’s name. Therefore, you should check for that information so that you can determine which tow bar meets your need.
The trailer ball- the reviewed weight distribution hitch is also known as hitch ball or tow ball. It is a direct connection point between the trailer and the tow vehicle. Together with the trailer coupler, a hitch ball let you turn the corners and travel over dips and bumps without being disconnected. The coupler locks and mounts on the top of the tow ball and forms a joint around it.
The hitch ball is available in 3 different sizes 2-5/16”, 2” and 1-7/8”. This’s a measurement of the diameter of the ball and this should be similar to the trailer’s coupler that you are planning to tow.
Generally, if the diameter of the hitch ball is small, then, the ball’s capacity is lesser than that of the ball with a larger diameter. Nevertheless, that may not be the case.
The ball mount or the tongue acts as a removable platform, which slides into the trailer hitch’s receiver opening and fastens with a clip and pin.
A ball mount is often a flat 75 millimeters wide, 16 – 20-millimeter thick steel bar. This bar can be either curved or straight to achieve the accurate coupling height.
If the tongue or the ball mount obscures the plate, then it has to be eliminated from the tow bar, only when the trailer isn’t attached.
Hitch Clip and Pin
A clip and pin device is utilized to keep the ball mount inside the receiver opening of the trailer hitch.
Hitch locks are available as well and offer additional security by means of preventing theft of the ball mount and other hitch accessories.
The trailer coupler is the forward most component of a trailer and is considered as the weight-distributing hitch, which secures and envelopes to the hitch ball of your tow vehicle. It allows the trailer and the tow vehicle to turn the corners and travel over dips and bumps without being disconnected.
A trailer coupler is designed to fit the hitch ball and articulate around this ball. It can be replaced or removed on a trailer. The size of the trailer coupler should match the tow ball’s size.
The safety chains help to link the towing vehicle with the trailer. They’re the secondary safety device and regarded the weight distribution hitch to keep your vehicles together if one of the major towing parts fails and there’s a breakaway issue. These chains are required in all of Provinces and States.
On being installed, those chains should be crossed under the trailer’s tongue in order that the tongue won’t drop to the stress in case it is separated from the hitch. Moreover, they shouldn’t be permitted to drag.
The wiring harness offers the power and signals to the trailer’s lights. All of the vehicles, which tow the trailers, are always required by the law to have the wiring harness to provide the power for these lights.
For several vehicles, a wiring harness called T-One, which plugs into the wiring system of the vehicle, is enough. For those trucks and cars, no splicing or cutting is needed to link your wiring. On the other hand, you may have to hardwire your vehicle. This’s done by just simply making use of quick-splice connectors to link the wires.
Trailer Hitch Receiver ‘Classes’: What You Need to Know
A receiver hitch is created to mount onto the frame of the tow vehicle and create a tube opening or receptacle to receive the shank of a ball mount as well as other inserts. Specifically, all receiver hitches are vehicle-specific. In other words, each receiver hitch fits only a respective vehicle model.
In general, Trailer Hitch Receiver ‘Classes’ are divided into 5 categories on the basis of their receiver opening size and maximum weight capacity.
What are The Different Hitch Classes
Each hitch classes have different features which result in different advantages.
- Maximum gross trailer weight GTW: up to 2,000 lbs
- Maximum tongue weight TW: up to 200 lbs
- Receiver opening: 1-1/4″ x 1-1/4″
Generally, the class 1 light – duty hitch receivers are employed on small crossover SUVs and bigger passenger cars. These hitches use a 1-1/4″ x 1-1/4″ receiver opening for the ball mount. They are designed to be able to tow the maximum tongue weight of up to 200lb and the maximum gross trailer weight of up to 2000 lbs. With such design, the class 1 hitch receiver is used to tow the cargo with light to medium weight such as boats, small utility trailers, and motorcycles.
- GTW: up to 3,500 lbs
- TW: up to 525 lbs
- Receiver opening: 1-1/4″ x 1-1/4″
Having the same receiver tube opening as class 1 hitches that is 1/4″ x 1 1/4″, class 2 trailer hitches are being employed on lightweight towing devices. With such moderate-duty design, these hitch receivers are usually installed on minivans, small trucks, and medium-sized sedans.
- GTW: up to 8,000 lbs
- TW: up to 800 lbs
- Receiver opening: 2″ x 2″
For SUVs and full – size pickup trucks, class 3 is regarded as the weight distribution hitch. This type of receiver hitch can be used on a towing prep package.
The capacities for class 3 receiver hitches changes quite a little which range from 350 lbs TW and 3500 lbs GTW to 800 lbs TW and 8000 lbs GTW. Make sure that you check the highest capacity before choosing the class 3 hitch so that it suits your requirements.
- GTW: up to 12,000 lbs
- TW: up to 1,200 lbs
- Receiver opening: 2″ x 2″
Typically designed to mount on SUVs and full-size pickup trucks, the class 4 trailer hitches have a 2″ x 2″ receiver tube opening and its towing capacity is up to 12000 lbs in gross trailer weight. In addition, this figure even can reach 14000 lbs in many devices with a weight distribution hitch.
- GTW: up to 20,000 lbs
- TW: up to 2,000 lbs
- Receiver opening: 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ (Class V hitches with 2″ x 2″ openings are also available)
Commonly used on commercial trucks and full-size trucks, the class 5 trailer hitches are installed with a 2 – 1/2″ x 2 – 1/2″ or 2″ x 2″ receiver tube opening.
The class 5 hitches feature the reviewed weight distribution hitch which does nothing to improve the carrying capacity. Nevertheless, a WD hitch may be employed to level the tow vehicle and trailer as well as help deal with immense loads.
How Much Can Your Vehicle Tow?
If you want to haul a trailer with your vehicle, you need to look for the answer to this question “how much can your vehicle tow?” Luckily, in this article, I can let you know the essential information.
What is the towing capacity?
The towing capacity of your vehicle is the maximum amount of weight that you can pull on without damaging it or making difficult to handle. If you tow more weight than what your car can bear, while driving, it’s hard for you to stop and steer clear of road obstacles even damaging other parts such as the axle, engine, transmission, brakes and wheel bearings.
How much weight can my car tow?
Each car has its own towing capacity. Thus, once you determine this information, you will know the answer to the question “how much weight can my car tow?” It’s better to double-check your towing capacity before hitching up your trailer.
- In facts, most of the manufacturers establish the towing capacity of their products so you can easily find out information on the Internet. If not, you may void the warranty of your car actually.
- Or you can look for this information in your owner’s manual that is the best source. If your car is a second-hand model without a manual or you have lost it, you can directly contact the manufacturer to get information. What includes in a manual? There are towing capacity charts as well as specific figures for maximum load.
- Another great source of this information is compliance certification label which is glued someplace near to the door of the driver. You will find out the information about your car’s maximum safe weight.
- Apart from the maximum weight, it’s also essential to know the gross combination weight rating of your car that includes the weight of the model, the total weight of your trailer, the weight distribution of the cargo, all passengers and typical fluids like gasoline to avoid to exceed the gross combination weight rating.
According to some car owners, online charts are not reliable so you should be careful if choosing this way to look for information about the towing capacity.
When it comes to the trailer, the vehicle identification number plate will let you know its date of manufacture, trailer weight (gross vehicle weight rating), and recommended tire pressure.
In case of travel trailers, it is necessary to know their weight on each side to ensure the safety of your trips and the durability of your vehicle. Overloading can cause accidents, even when you do own a “load leveling” hitch; so as losing the balance inside. Learning how to weigh a travel trailer will help you in the future, especially since you know that truck stops scales won’t give you the proper answer.
How to Weigh a Travel Trailer
Truck stops only offer you foundation scales, so they can only give you the overall weight of the trailer. The figure is not as important as the particular ones on each tire and each side. That’s why we need another weighing method you are about to learn. Besides, you can only fulfill the task at an RV weigh station, so check online for the nearest one in your neighborhood to have a quick examination.
The wheel positioning measure
As I have just said, the best and safest way to estimate the weight of the travel trailer is to get the figure of the weight each tire is bearing. “Wheel position” is the savior in the situation. Knowing the specific load on each wheel, you are able to know your tires’ proper inflation. As a result, you may prolong the life of the tire and ensure the safety of the trip.
Use the “wheel positioning” measure
- Load the trailer with all the things you often carry on a trip and fulfill the fuel tank.
- Take it to the RV weighing station. Some would require you to book in advance and do so paper procedure before giving you the service.
- Slowly drive your towing vehicle while listening to the instructions of a supervisor in the station. Take both your vehicle and the trailer onto the scale so you can get the total weight. Minus the weight of the tow car and you have the figure of the trailer only. Now check the gross vehicle weight rating, which can be found on the manufacturer’s sticker. The number minus the trailer’s net weight is the amount of stuff you can load into the RV.
- To get the specific weight on each tire, ask the scale master to guide you. He will tell you exactly when to turn when to stop so your travel trailer will stand exactly on the two scales.
- Unhitch the vehicle and the trailer. Set your weight distribution hitch away and check for the figures. Now you may see if the weights of both sides are balanced and make changes to prolong the life of the tires.
Trailer Tongue Weight Measurement Method
Weight balance on your trailer is very important as it affects your tongue. You want your tongue weight to be 9 to 15 percent of the gross trailer weight. The reason is that a lot of tongue weight will pull your rear suspension down causing your nose to lift. And that is no good.
With my experience, there are a number of ways to determine the weight of the trailer tongue. Knowing this information is very important for every user. To choose the right items to tow your trailer safely, you need to identify its tongue weight.
In particular, the trailer tongue weight is considered as the weight that the full trailer exerts downward towards the hitch ball of the tow vehicle. As a result, in case you are struggling with how to measure the weight of the trailer tongue at this moment, I am going to show you a variety of different methods to determine this element easily and effectively.
Tongue weight scale
First of all, I highly recommend that you should use a heavy-duty tongue weight scale. Thanks to this item, you can get the weight of the trailer tongue easily and quickly without having any errors. Using the tongue weight scale can allow you to measure the trailer tongue whose weight is less than 2,000lbs.
Moreover, you will get surprised to know that the tongue weight normally accounts for the maximum of 15 percent of the trailer weight. As a consequence, this item can measure any trailer weight that is about 20,000 lbs.
Furthermore, if you are a big fan of traveling, you need to buy this useful tool to check the weight of your tongue easier. Therefore, you can make use of the tongue weight scale without the support of other people.
I have to admit that the tongue weight scale can do the excellent work as a compact device. It is regarded as one of the best items on the current market to measure the trailer tongue weight by yourselves.
Step 1: Park your vehicle on the hard level surface
The first step before you want to measure the tongue is to park your vehicle as well as your trailer. Make sure that your vehicle stands on the hard level surface, so you can use the tongue weight scale easier and more effectively.
Step 2: Put the tongue weight scale on the ground
Next, you need to slide the tongue weight scale under the correct position. It means that the scale should be placed where both the ground and the trailer tongue jack touch each other. But you should carefully identify the capacity of the tongue weight scale before making the actual purchase.
Besides, you should read the instructions carefully to know how to set up the towing as well as how to use the tongue weight scale in the right way.
Step 3: Crank down the trailer jack
Going to the next step, you need to crank down the trailer jack. Remember that you should hold this movement for a while until the trailer jack is pressed accurately into the tongue weight scale.
Step 4: Detach everything and get the measurement
Finally, you cannot read the weight on the scale if you do not detach the trailer from the hitch. For anyone who does not know how to choose the proper hitch, you can identify some reviews above for more details. After this step, you can clearly know the gross weight of your trailer tongue.
Weight safe ball mount
The second method that you cannot ignore is using the weight safe ball mount. I used to experience this method many times before, and I find it very simple and convenient at the same time. This tool is very good at telling you the weight of your trailer tongue without any troubles.
When you first look at this ball mount, you can realize the scale which is designed right into the mount. By having this outstanding feature, you can take the reading about the weight of the trailer tongue immediately once you hook up to this weight safe ball mount.
Thus, you do not need to either rely on the commercial scale or keep a separate scale inside your house. Especially, this ball mount is built in a diversity of sizes, which enables you to adjust it anytime based on your need.
Moving to another method, bathroom scale is considered as one of the most effective methods to measure the tongue weight of the small trailers. If your trailer is not very heavy which is lighter than 3,000 pounds, you can put the coupler of the trailer at the normal towing height.
However, in case your trailer is heavier, you need to consider another weighing way. I highly advise that you should take the measurement on the level surface. Make sure that you will perform this measurement with the leveled trailer. In particular, you need to apply my guidelines to have the best result.
Step 1: Prepare the necessary tools
Firstly, you need to buy all of the necessary items before calculating the tongue weight with the bathroom scale. Particularly, you need to have the bathroom scale, one piece of brick, two pieces of pipes, as well as 2 x 4 piece of the lumber.
Step 2: Put the trailer tongue on the brick
Then, you should put the pipe in the middle of the brick and the scale. The next move that you should remember is placing the trailer tongue on the brick. But do not forget to keep at least 1-foot distance from the pipe.
Furthermore, you need to place both the brick and the scale 3 feet from each other. Another important point is to focus on the height of these two items. They need to become as tall as each other.
Step 3: Read the scale
After that, you need to read the scale by multiplying the total distance between two pipes. And of course, you should remember to use the appropriate brick. It means that you need to choose the brick which has the similar thickness to the scale. As a result, the ideal level when weighing your trailer is 2 x 4.
I am going to give you an example in details. In particular, when you know the distance between the pipe on the scale and the trailer tongue is 2 foot. And then, the distance between the pipe on the brick as well as the trailer tongue is 1 foot. This means you need to multiply the figure on the scale by 3 to get the correct measurement.
The commercial scale
Last but not least, you can identify the weight of the trailer tongue by using the commercial scale. You can perform the measurement at the truck stop as well as the supply center for material. It is very convenient since you can weigh both of your trailer and your towing vehicle there. But you need to perform some of the following steps.
Step 1: Measure the weight of your vehicle with the tongue weight
First and foremost, you need to check if your vehicle is fully loaded with fuel. This is one of the most essential things you need to make sure before any trips. Then, you can drive your vehicle to the scale and record the weight of the truck while attaching the trailer. At this stage, you should make sure that all of the wheels of the truck are placed on the scale.
Step 2: Unhook the trailer and measure the weight of the vehicle
Now, you need to detach the trailer from the vehicle, so there is no weight on the hitch ball at this moment. Also, you need to make sure that the trailer jack is not placed on the scale. You can record the weight of the truck without the tongue weight by reading the scale.
You can note down this figure, which is regarded as the gross vehicle weight. As a consequence, you just need to subtract this number from the weight of your vehicle when having the trailer. The result will give you the final weight of the trailer tongue.
Weight Carrying and Weight Distribution
When driving and towing a trailer, problems may occur if you are not using a weight distribution hitch – and these can prove nerve-wracking.
- One thing that you may experience is that the weight of the trailer you are pulling can be transferred to the car you are driving. When this happens, you will notice that the back part of your car is lower and the front part of your car will rise up.
- Another thing – this may cause your trailer to sway. These issues might affect your driving performance, and you may find it difficult to focus on the road.
Driving and towing a trailer is not a problem if you use a weight distribution hitch as a tool to help you bring your trailer to its destination.
Weight distribution equipment makes use of spring bars. These will help the car pull the trailer and prevent the problems that may arise when the weight of the trailer is at least 50% heavier than your car.
It is possible to achieve an evenly distributed weight for the trailer. With weight distribution systems, you can experience a smoother, safer, relaxing day on the road.
When Do You Need a Weight Distribution Hitch or a Best Load Leveling Hitch?
A weight distribution hitch (load leveling hitch) is needed whenever a driver needs to pull a trailer or any other form of transportation and move it to a different location. It is important for potential buyers to read plenty of reviews in order to find out about the best distribution hitch to use.
You will also need certain skills and knowledge when towing a vehicle because it’s not as simple as it seems. Can you imagine how hard it is to operate your car when towing without the best distribution hitch? Whenever you’re towing a trailer, you want to get it to its destination safe and sound.
With that in mind, when do you need to use a weight distribution hitch when towing a vehicle? The answer is when the weight of your trailer weighs 50% more than the vehicle that you are driving, such as tiny houses on wheels, RVs,…
The good thing about weight distribution hitches is that they help you when your tow vehicle lowers, the trailer sways, the tow vehicle points upward, or with difficulty in steering or stopping the rig of your tow vehicle.
Now, to make sure that you are using the right weight distribution hitch, you should check the capacity of the weight distribution hitch from the rating list.
What Comprises a Weight Distribution Hitch?
In order to find out about the best quality weight distribution hitches for sale on the market today, you need to read various load leveling hitch reviews.
But, aside from that, you should also understand the components comprising a weight distribution hitch. Awareness of these components can help you check the items on sale and might just help you figure out what to buy.
Ball: A weight distribution system hitch contains a ball mount. This ball includes the shank, which normally slides into the trailer hitch and the ball platform or the weight distribution head; the spring bars; and the mounting brackets.
Trailer hitch: A trailer hitch is usually attached to the frame of your towing vehicle. The hitch also gives the receiver an opening through which the weight distribution shank slides into.
A trailer hitch can be classified accordingly, based on its capacity to carry weight. It can be categorized as Class II, Class IV or Class V, and you should use it with an appropriate weight distribution hitch.
Weight capacity: If you would like to know about the weight capacity of a weight distribution hitch, then you have to check the weight rating label attached to the trailer hitch.
There you will find the capacities for load-bearing and weight distribution. You cannot use a weight distribution system hitch if the capacity of your load is not listed under the weight distributing capacity.
Shank: A weight distribution shank plays an important role because it is a piece that slides into the trailer hitch. It will also serve as an attachment spot for your weight distribution head assembly.
Length applicable: To ensure that your trailer will maintain the level of the towing vehicle once it’s hooked up, you have to get the right length, as applicable to your trailer.
Weight distribution head: The weight distribution head assembly is attached to the bolt holes of the shank. This will serve as a mounting spot for your hitch ball and spring bars.
Spring bars: These spring bars are the ones responsible for transmitting the load of the trailer that pushes down on the back of your towing vehicle into the axles of your trailer, towing vehicle or both.
These bars are also the ones in charge of distributing the load’s weight. Thus, they reduce or prevent swaying of the trailer and contribute to your safe driving.
Spring bars vary, there are round spring bars and trunnion spring bars. The Round Spring Bars slide up through the weight distribution head. They are kept in place with clips.
Trunnion Spring Bar: The Trunnion Spring Bars insert into the weight distribution head through the side or the back. When it comes to the effectiveness of these spring bars, there isn’t much of a difference.
There are manufacturers who have customized and special designs or shapes. But when it comes to their function, this is the same whether using Round or Trunnion Spring Bars.
Lift bracket: Lastly, you might find that sometimes a Lift Bracket is mounted to the frame of the trailer. This bracket plays an important role in the weight distribution hitch system because of its purpose of holding the spring bars.
Controlling the Sway
One of the skills that you need to learn is about controlling the sway of your trailer. To this end, you should be aware of the best sway control hitches available for sale. You can find these on the market alongside weight distribution hitch equipment.
Why do you think the trailer sways when you tow it? There are various reasons why a trailer sways. It could be because of crosswinds, because the trailer is too far away or because you are not using a good spring bar tension on your weight distribution hitch.
Remember that the weight distribution hitch prevents the trailer from swaying too much. And it allows an even distribution of the trailer’s weight. That’s why it is important to use a quality weight distribution hitch when towing a trailer.
When it comes to controlling the sway of the trailer that you are towing, there is still something that you can do. Just make sure that you are dealing with a weight distribution hitch that comes with a sway control system. In other words, get the weight distribution hitch that offers the best anti-sway feature to help you tow trailers.
Reducing the Sway
If the trailer is swaying too much, then you need to do something to minimize the problem. So, I suggest you find a weight distribution hitch with a good sway control system to reduce this sway. This time, you should consider friction.
This will help your trailer to reduce sway and shifting. When it comes to friction swaying controls, you can purchase an Independent Friction Sway Control or a Dependent Friction Sway Control.
An Independent Friction Sway Control is a bar style type of friction attached to the trailer frame and the weight distribution hitch.
With the help of this bar, tension is supplied by the sway control unit. When the trailer goes out of the line, then friction happens. Thus, reducing the swaying of the trailer and keeping it in line
Dependent Friction Sway Control is built into the system of the weight distribution hitch. The friction battles with the swaying of the trailer.
When enough frictional resistance is created through the spring bars, force is applied. This process keeps your trailer in line. This works well with trailers featuring hydraulic brakes.
Preventing the Sway
Sway control systems work well when they function to prevent the trailer from swaying even before it starts. Such systems apply various methods to prevent swaying of the trailer, such as friction and tension., thus keeping the trailer you are towing in line.
To prevent the swaying of the trailer, there are sway control systems that make use of cams to suspend the spring bars of the weight distribution hitch. These cams have ends that are connected to the frame of the trailer and to the lift bracket.
The spring bars sit in the cams. These spring bars also secure your weight distribution system and allow for a smooth interaction between the trailer and the towing vehicle. Especially during straight-line driving, cornering and diverging.
There are also weight distribution hitch systems that have a 4-point built-in sway control system that typically relies on a safe connection of the spring bars, and therefore guaranteeing sufficient tension.
Two of these points are connected to the system head, where the spring bars are firmly held. You can find the other 2 points at the end of the spring bars, where they attach to the frame of the trailer.
With a thorough reading, I have shown you various products to help you find the weight distribution hitch that fit your needs. Finding a quality weight distribution hitch to use will be easier if you check out many guides and reviews first.
Through the reviews presented here, you are sure to find one product suitable for you, due to the features it offers. If you are checking back to the Equalizer hitch review above, you could say that the Equal-i-zer 90001000 Equalizer Hitch is a winner.
If you compare it to other products, this is by far the best one because of the combined weight distribution system and sway control system of the weight distribution hitch.