For truck drivers, weight distribution hitch is an indispensable system that significantly improves the safety for themselves and even others. In fact, this equipment will help distribute your load evenly and allow you to control the weight more easily. However, weight distribution hitch setup is not a piece of cake for everyone. This article will show you how to prepare for the best outcome.
Tools You Will Need to Set Up a Weight Distribution Hitch
Undeniably, safety is one of the most important factors that we have to consider, no matter what we are doing. When it comes to driving, it should be the most important.
If you have driven for a certain period of time, I bet that you have ever experienced some nervous moments as your trailers seemed to sway. Most of us – drivers – have been frightened that we would lose control.
But thanks to technological innovations in recent years, it is less dangerous for driving. The risk of disasters can be minimized, even when we are pulling a huge load, with the support of weight distribution system.
Normally, weight distribution hitch setup is a time-consuming task, and each of us tends to have a different time standard. The installation might go wrong many times before you can get it done.
Of course, it is necessary to get some tools because you cannot do it with your bare hands. In fact, it is also suggested that you have some other people help you with this. The hitch’s weight might be over 80 pounds, and it is difficult to perform alone.
Right tools are the first key to success in weight distribution hitch setup.
Weight Distribution Hitch
The central point is weight distribution hitch. Nevertheless, bear in mind that in some cases, the purchase of weight distribution hitch is not simple at all.
Regarding the price, you might cost between $200 and $1,000 which is a big sum of money.
Besides, as their capacity is various, it is important to choose the most suitable one, not just the best quality. You do not want to waste a huge amount of money on something that cannot handle the load.
Overall, some crucial factors need to be addressed when you come to select weight distribution system.
- Spring bar: On the market, you will mainly two basic types: trunnion or round. The second provides more clearance space so that you can hook up your trailer. On the other hand, the first choice has positive impacts on the weight rating of the whole system. For this part, you should ask experienced ones for advice.
- Additional features, such as sway control: The likelihood for sway is quite low when the systems are equipped. However, when it happens, you can reduce its frequency by supplementing sway control feature. Some products already provide it, while for others, you have to purchase each.
Here is an article to show you more information on choosing weight distribution hitch: What is the Best Weight Distribution Hitch?
Trailer Hitch Ball
Trailer hitch ball cannot be skipped in the list of tools for setting up weight distribution hitch. However, you need to be certain that you get the right ball.
You should not completely rely on the recommended weight that weight distribution hitch or your truck can tow. In fact, some balls are not capable of handling that load.
On the market right now, there is a variety of trailer hitch balls. They might vary between 2,000 and 30,000 pounds. So, you should think carefully about your suitable one.
Besides, in this stage, you had better take a torque wrench into consideration as well. You will need it for proper specs.
The shank needs to be suitable for your trailer hitch ball as well.
Normally, its diameters are various. Some of the most popular are ¾, 1 or 1-1/4 inches. People widely denote them with Class I, II, III, IV or V.
It is important to note that the shank with 1-1/4-inch diameter is necessary for weight distribution hitch.
Preparing for Setting Up
The installation of weight distribution hitch will be a great addition to your truck because it makes your vehicle more stable and reliable. Safety is improved well.
If we want to understand the function of this system, there are several terms that we need to be familiar with. They are gross trailer weight (GTW) and tongue weight.
Gross trailer weight is characterized by the whole weight of your trailer. It, of course, includes the weight of fuel, cargo or everything inside the trailer.
Meanwhile, the second term refers to the load’s portion, and normally, it varies from 10 to 15 percent of GTW.
If the tongue weight is excessive, the trailer’s hitch might dive, and the danger is that your vehicle’s front will be toward the ground too much. In this circumstance, when braking happens, you are likely not to be able to control the front wheels. The consequence might be very serious.
In contrast, when your tongue weight is too little, the trailer will sway, and anyone who experienced that will have the same fear as mine.
Therefore, we are now aware of the significance of weight distribution hitch. It targets at minimal risks of dangerous conditions on the road. Furthermore, it allows us to control the vehicle’s braking, to turn or to steer.
Weight distribution system is even more necessary when you have to carry a lot of loads. Not only will you be safe, but you also guarantee safety for other drivers or pedestrians on the road.
But before that happens, you need to learn about the preparation. We have already introduced some useful tools to make everything a lot easier, along with some guide tips for each equipment.
You should read them carefully and follow each specific requirement to maximize the safety. Each element plays an important role in the whole weight distribution system.
Next, we will analyze detailed steps to prepare for the weight distribution hitch setup.
Two of the most important factors that you need to be certain about before setting up are the height and weight of your tow ball.
Fortunately, the skills and techniques are still the same, no matter whether you use mini or super heavy-duty bars.
Determine Tow Ball Height
First of all, it is necessary to record the tow ball height, especially when the trailer, RV Camper or tiny house on wheels is leveled. It refers to the height your vehicle achieves after you connect the weight distribution.
To identify the height, you just need to measure the distance from your RV, tiny house on wheels or trailer at the front and rear to the ground.
In this step, a jockey wheel might be necessary to help you adjust the height so that both measurements are the same.
When you already level your RV, tiny house on wheels or trailer, continue to measure the distance between the ground and the bottom edge of your tow ball. This measurement will provide you with a more precise number of your expected tow ball height.
You should note these numbers on paper so you can always use them for later reference.
Establish Tow Ball Weight
The bull weight scale is the best recommendation for you to fulfill this task. You can simply follow what is written on the scale itself.
At the same time, you have to make sure that you use towing load to load your trailer or RV camper fully.
An essential note for everyone is the weight specification for your distributing bars has to be of the ball weight just measured by you.
In case you find the bars too light, it might be very dangerous. Too light bars cannot transfer the weight onto your vehicle’s front wheels.
As a result, if you use brakes, the ball’s weight increases, which lifts the front of your vehicle. This is known as braking efficiency loss.
On the contrary, when the bars are too heavy, the likelihood is that they are rigid and do not adapt to constantly changing road conditions.
Therefore, the best tip for you is that the weight of the ball needs to be about 10 percent of your trailer’s or RV camper’s mass.
Also, it ought not to outnumber the maximum capacity that manufacturers have required. You can read this on the instruction guide to get more details.
Install The Weight Distribution Hitch
1. How to Set Up a Reese Weight Distribution Hitch
2. Set Up a CURT Weight Distribution Hitch
3. How To Install Your Fastway e2 Round Bar Sway Control/Weight Distribution Hitch
4. Install Equal-i-zer 4-Point Sway Control
5. Husky Weight Distribution Hitches – Installation
6. Installation of a Pro Series Weight Distribution System by etrailer.com
7. Andersen Weight Distribution Hitch Amazingly Simple Installation
With the support of weight distribution hitch, tiny house on wheels is no longer a fantasy. Now you can travel by your trailer or RV camper behind your car.
Besides its benefits and comforts, there are a lot of things to worry about. You should devote time and effort to prepare for setting up your weight distribution hitch.
It not only helps you save a lot of money but also guarantees your safety during the whole trip.
We hope the information in this article is helpful for you. If you agree, please share it with other people who are struggling with the same problem.