How Does a Weight Distribution Hitch Work?

Traveling across the USA, visiting Yellowstone or Yosemite National Park, camping, would you live in a tent? Of course not. It’s much more comfortable to tow your caravan and stay in it during the holidays. Meanwhile, knowing, how does a weight distribution hitch works, you could make your trip safe and secured.

how does a weight distribution hitch works

What is a Weight Distribution Hitch?


Even if you’ve got a powerful pickup truck like Dodge Ram 2500 or Silverado 3500 with all your stuff in the cargo area, it definitely weighs much less than the loaded caravan. Therefore, the pickup truck’s front end would raise, the rear part would be sagging. The camper might be not too steady, especially on the corners.

Thus, a weight stabilizer hitch is essential to transfer the excess weight evenly, from the caravan’s tongue to the truck’s front axle, leveling the vehicles and balancing the load. It ensures the appropriate towing safety, improving traction, braking, steering and handling on the whole.

A weight distribution hitch with sway control is preferable, as it eliminates any bumps, dips, preventing lane wandering and any collisions with the nearby vehicles. So, it’s commonly recommended by the caravans’ and the light trucks’ producers to utilize a trailer weight distribution & carrying hitch, whenever the caravan’s weight capacity exceeds 5,000 pounds. Otherwise, it might affect your warranty and insurance.

Additionally, application of an anti-sway, efficient weight distribution hitch might be obligatory, according to the federal or local legislation. For instance, the Illinois Vehicle Code, namely its Section 15-111(d), states, the gross weight, applied on the road surface through a vehicle’s axle should not exceed 16,000 lbs. You might be interested not only in the safe and risk-free trip, but also in the smooth, soft and quiet ride, as it’s just pleasant and comfortable. So, let’s check, what is an equalizer hitch, what are its basic parts and which types to select for the certain applications and towing requirements.

How Does a Load Leveling Hitch Work?

A caravan that stands out by a poorly distributed load would be difficult to tow. It would make the lightweight truck harder to stop, especially on a wet or icy road. Thus, trouble braking could cause an unsafe situation. A weight distribution hitch w. sway bar performs several vital functions, supporting, carrying and transferring the heavy travel or cargo trailer load. The appliance sweeps it between the caravan’s and the tow vehicle’s frames and axes, leveling the trucks’ ends.

Well, a weight distribution hitch: how it works? The key elements of any caravan load distribution hitch are evidently the strong metal bars, equipped with the springs. These particular parts distribute the tongue weight properly, leveling it. The bars are either round or trunnion by design. They are fastened to the bottom or the central ball mount’s part.

how to hook up weight distribution hitch

If the selected trailer hitch load equalizer is equipped with the chains, they help to stabilize the caravan, producing the torque. Commonly, they are adjustable, being attached to the weight distribution hitch & sway bar by the lift brackets.

A hitch ball (typically 2-5/16” by diameter) transfers the weight, centering the rotational forces. The head assembly (including the rivet, nuts and the washers) is designed for adjusting the hitch’s head tilt. It’s mounted to the bars, incorporating the ball.

Finally, the L-brackets are installed to the caravan’s frame. The shanks and the latches are connected. Meanwhile, the best weight distribution hitch with sway control beneficially comes with the sway prevention element. This friction plate can be adjusted to create more or less tension. This way, the caravan’s drift is reduced and it doesn’t sway to and fro, even on the corners.

How to Adjust a Weight Distribution Hitch?

Understanding, what a top-quality weight distribution hitch is pretty perfect. Now, if you have selected and purchased a suitable device, you can install it. It may require drilling some holes in the caravan’s frame to mount the L (lift) brackets. Additionally, the really reliable metal bolts and hardware could be required to purchase additionally. Unfortunately, even the best kits come with not the most hard-wearing U-bolts. They are definitely durable, high-capacity, corrosion-resistant. But, flimsy nuts and washers are the common issues.

So, after the shank is installed, add the hitch head, the 2-5/16” ball and the torsion bars. Connect the camper and the truck, leveling both transportation facilities. The work is not completely done yet. The weight distribution & sway control appliance has to be adjusted, following the travel trailer’s and the pickup’s weight. Level the tongue perfectly, paralleling it to the ground. It means that the weight is transferred properly, and the ride is smooth.

How to do it? It depends on the kit’s design, as every reputed manufacturer has own patented innovations. Thus, the Draw Tite weight distribution hitch w. sway control device enables head adjustment by turning the serrated washers. The certain weight leveling devices, for example, the Blue Ox load distribution hitch are beneficially pre-adjusted and self-locking. The other ones, like Andersen 3350 are self-adjustable, owing to the sophisticated sway elimination systems.

Basic systems

The basic hitches’ adjustment systems imply:

  • tightening the ball;
  • raising or lowering the sway bars. The travel trailer’s frame and tongue are to be matched;
  • lifting the chains by the L brackets.

The weight transferring appliances that are fast and intuitive to set up and adjust are preferable. Spending several seconds on the adjustment is labor-saving and safe, even if you have to stop on the road.

Now, when you know, how a top-quality, modern weight distributing hitch works, you can select a suitable one and travel safely, even to the distant parks. The best load carrying and distribution hitch provide a smooth, comfortable ride, improving braking and steering. It doesn’t make noise, so driving at night is possible. Finally, you’ll be law-abiding, complying with all the local and federal vehicle code rules.

Video: what is a weight distribution hitch system

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