Weight distribution hitch which is also referred to as a trailer equalizer helps restores balance across the trailer and the vehicles. Their objective is to prevent the dangerous conditions and improve a vehicle’s ability to turn, brake and steer. Especially in the case when your trailer has a large of loads, which can be hard to maneuver in a safe and controlled manner.
When a trailer is connected to a vehicle, there is an increase in weight of the rear of the vehicle. A weight distribution hitch helps to distribute the downward force from most heavy trailers. It’s important for this downward force to be distributed across the vehicle’s axles and the trailer’s axles.
How Weight Distribution Hitch Systems Work
What mechanical system features do weight distribution hitch possess that make them so durable and easy to travel with? There are four systems that feature on a weight distributing hitch that ensures the proper functionality of these hitches.
The weight distribution hitch is composed of the following elements:
- Ball Mount
- Hitch Receiver
- Assembled Spring Bar
- Sway control
These four elements ensure proper movement during traveling. They all work simultaneously together to ensure that towing is hassle free. They are also all completely compatible and will provide much needed support of heavy weight during vehicle movement.
Instead of the weight resting at the center of the hitch, a weight distribution hitch shifts the weight forward towards the rear of the vehicle and back at the front of the trailer for even distribution. This makes it easier on you, your tow vehicle, and your trailer to transport heavier loads.
The Distribution Levels
Weight distribution involves gross trailer weight and trailer tongue weight.
- Gross trailer weight (GTW)
- Tongue weight (TW)
An imbalance of the proportion of GTW to TW can cause multiple problems. Too much TW compared to GTW causes the trailer hitch to sink down or dive. Not enough TW causes the trailer hitch to raise upwards. This difference in weight also increases the chances of trailer sway, where the trailer sways from left to right as it’s towed behind the vehicle.
Choosing the Best Weight Distribution Hitch
We’re going to go over some of the best weight distributing hitches on the market today. We’ll also explain on the different types of weight distributing hitch, what sets them apart and which are works for you.
Types of Weight Distribution Hitches
There are two types of weight distribution hitches.
Trunnion bar weight distribution hitches use square spring bars attached to the center of the ball mount. The springs help provide stability by taking on greater loads, including external forces caused by windy conditions and on rough roads. Typically, this design is more expensive than other types of hitches.
More basic design of weight distribution hitches uses basic round bars that attach to the bottom of the ball. The design, connected with clips to the ball mount, provides better clearance when it comes to attaching the trailer to the vehicle.
The difference betwen these two types is in the spring bars of the hitch.
Things to Consider
After knowing the 2 types of weight distribution hitch, it’s the time choose which works for your vehicle. These are some of the things that you should consider when choosing the best weight distribution hitch for you.
- Gross trailer weight. This is the total weight of the trailer including a cargo and modifications. You need a hitch that has a maximum gross trailer weight that is compatible with your trailer.
- Tongue weight. This is the percentage of the load that weighing on the hitch. It is made up of the weight of the front end of the trailer plus the back on of the towing vehicle. It is typically 10 to 15 percent of the gross trailer weight. You need a hitch with capabilities to match your towing needs.
- Sway control. Many hitches provide weight distribution and sway control in one device.
- Ease of fit and access. The easier the hitch is to fit the better and it needs to allow easy access to the ball hitch.
Check out our recommendation on the best weight distribution hitches available today. And here are the list:
EAZ LIFT 48069 1200 lbs Elite Kit
This Eaz lift weight distribution hitch is a round bar hitch that comes with components already fitted so you don’t have to spend a lot of time setting it up. The pack has both a sway control system and a hitch ball which is 2-5/16 inch.
There are U-bolts and all the hardware you need for mounting is included with the hitch. The maximum tongue weight is 600 pounds and the maximum gross trailer weight is 10,000 pound. It comes with full instructions for fitting and use.
- Kit Includes: 1,200 lb. weight distributing hitch, sway control and 2-5/16″ hitch ball
- Includes 1,200 pound weight distributing hitch, sway control and 2-5/16″ hitch ball
- Hitch ball and sway control ball are pre-installed and torqued to specification on adjustable ball mount
- U-bolts and chain package are pre-installed on spring bars
- 1,200 pound maximum tongue weight capacity
- Maximum gross weight rating of 12,000 lbs
Andersen Hitches 3350
A stabilizer hitch with a 4-inch drop and a 2 5/16 inch ball. It has 5 inches to 6-inch frame brackets. It is quick to fit and has anti-sway and anti-bounce capabilities. It is lightweight and looks good.
It will double up as a standard ball mount if you need it to. The maximum tongue weight is 1,400 pounds and the maximum gross trailer weight is 14,000 pounds.
Andersen Hitches 3350 Features
- Unparalleled Sway Control that self-adjusts
- So quiet you won’t even know it’s there!
- Patented True Motion-Dampening system -drastically reduces bounce
- Weighs under 60lbs!!
- 2-5/16″ ball included – no extras to buy
- One pin removal from tow vehicle
- Grease-free system – ball and coupler move as one
- Easy install – no pry bars needed!
- Doubles as standard ball mount for towing without weight distribution
- The smoothest ride around – owners are saying they can’t believe it!
- No problem backing up – unlike many other weight distribution hitches
- Rated at 14,000 lbs GTWR when using 2″ rack and 16,000 lbs when using 2-1/2″ rack
- 1,400 lbs tongue weight
- Lifetime Warranty
Equal-i-zer 4-point Sway Control Hitch
The Equal-i-zer 4-point Sway Control Hitch is a trunnion bar type weight distribution hitch available in a wide variety of tongue weight and gross trailer weight ratings. It is also available in a variety of sizes, making it an appropriate choice no matter the height of your hitch receiver.
The Equal-i-zer hitch will work with almost all bumper-pull trailers and trailers with hydraulic surge brakes. The product comes complete, although it does not come with a hitch ball, so you’ll have to purchase your own separately if you don’t already have the appropriate type.
Equal-i-zer 4-point Sway Control Hitch Features
- Integrated 4 Point Sway Control provides the highest level of resistance to your trailer’s attempts to sway. There is no other hitch on the market that offers as much sway control as the Equal-i-zer.
- The Equal-i-zer hitch’s weight distributing design effectively transfers trailer tongue weight to all the axles and helps keep the front of the tow vehicle firmly on the road.
- The Equal-i-zer hitch gives you a safer ride by providing both sway control and weight distribution. This provides better steering, braking, and sway control, which help eliminate stressful driving situations and work to keep your family and your investment safe on the road.
- The Equal-i-zer hitch is engineered to work with virtually all bumper-pull trailers, including RV, horse, cargo, boat, and utility trailers, including trailers with surge brakes.
- Equal-i-zer shanks are available in a variety of sizes which provides a custom fit for virtually every receiver height.
When to Use Weight Distribution Hitch
Weight distribution hitches for trailers are used in high tow capacity hauling and heavy duty trailers. Typical applications of a weight distribution hitch are:
- Heavy-duty Trailers
- Equipment Trailers
- Construction Trailers
- Gooseneck Trailers
- Livestock Trailers
- Travel Trailers
Benefits of a Weight Distribution Hitch
Weight distribution hitch is a legal requirement for certain weights of towing vehicles, so you may need one to comply with the law. Even where they are not legally required, they will make the towing process safer. The other benefits are:
- Even weight distribution (Up-and-down motion)
- Eliminates risk of swaying (Side-to-side motion)
- Increases trailer tow capacity
- Better control over your vehicle
- More stable ride
- Less wear on your vehicle and trailer
- Safer braking and steering
One also has to look at how a weight distributing hitch operates. Adjusting of weight distributing hitches are quite simple due to the easily operatable snap-up brackets that allows the spring tension to be adjustable by link changing in the following support chain setup.
This enables you to adjust the various trailer weights. You have to bear in mind the maximum weight one of these weight distribution hitches can operate. You also need to make sure that the hitch is completely level with the car. By focusing on these aspects the setup of this particular hitch should go quite smoothly and trouble free.
Weight distribution hitch supplies leverage between the vehicle and the item being towed and that is very important during transportation of heavy items. Should you consider another hitch if this specific hitch does not suit your needs you should consider gooseneck hitches or a pullrite hitch. By supplying leverage it ensures that the ride is more level and there is less stress on the tow rear of the vehicle. It will provide better steering and control over breaks will be more sufficient and easy.
There is no comparison between a weight distribution hitch and pullrite hitch so you will need to make sure what exactly it is you wish to achieve with the specific hitch you want to purchase.
There are also various trailer hitch accessories that you are able to obtain at your local retailer as well as online. If you fear that these accessories might be a bit tight on your budget, you can consider purchasing pre owned accessories. These hitch accessories are available online just like brand new ones, but you will be able to save a bit of money.
Just keep in mind that used items will no doubt not have a guarantee of quality and the durability of the accessories could be questionable depending on how often these hitches were used.
If you want to ensure smooth stress free driving and towing consider purchasing a hitch that will provide stability mobility and comfort to ensure your trip is safe and without set backs. A weight distributing hitch could very well be exactly the kind of hitch you are looking for to meet your specific requirements.