What Does a Weight Distribution Hitch Do?

You've probably heard someone talk about a weight distribution hitch but what exactly is it? Let's take a closer look at what it is.

Camping can be fun and exciting, but it’s a headache to have a towed trailer sway every time you are traveling. It not only interrupts the journey but also raises concerns for safety. However, there is a way to fix it. Have you ever heard of a weight distribution hitch? Well, if you are confused with the term, I’ll explain what a weight distribution hitch is and what it does.

A weight distribution hitch is a system that helps you have a balanced weight between your towed trailer and vehicle. It plays an important when you hook something to your car. Your car could lose the ability to break due to an imbalanced load, and the weight distribution hitch evens out the force. This way, you can safely drive with a trailer towed behind.

Before getting yourself one of these, you should know when you need it and which weight distribution system you should choose for your vehicle. Continue reading to find out more about these life-saving gadgets!

I’ve also written an article covering 5 things you need to know about weight distribution hitches before you buy one.

How does a weight distribution hitch work?

If you are a trailer owner, you may have experienced swaying incidents during your journeys. Well, a weight distribution hitch is a handy system that ensures you have a balanced and smooth ride whenever you head to the road.

When you tow your trailer, an increased force is added to your car, making it an imbalanced weight. The extra load may change the balance of both ends of the vehicle.

As a result, the trailer would start to sway back and forth. It will become a risky ride because your car will lack a proper handle over the breaks.

But, once you install a weight distribution hitch, it prevents your trailer from further swaying. The hitch makes sure to keep a balanced weight between your trailer and car. It simply distributes the weight between your two vehicles and fixes the point of the extra load. You can have better driving stability and control as well as safer steering and proper breaking.

Therefore, the sole purpose of a weight distribution hitch is to prevent your trailer from swaying and fix the uneven weight.

Here’s a video explaining how a weight distribution works:

YouTube video

If the link above doesn’t work, click here.

When do you need a weight distribution hitch?

Anyone who owns a truck or trailer will have to install a weight distribution hitch eventually. If you plan to tow something that weighs 5,000 to 8,500 lbs, you will most likely need a weight distribution hitch. You should look up your owner’s manual of your vehicle to

Still, as it is an essential part of the towing setup, there are more things to consider when it is ideal to use a weight distribution hitch.

See if any of these signs checks out, then you will know when to install a weight distribution hitch:

  • Firstly, you will notice your towed trailer is swaying from side to side whenever it is in motion. You will have a hard time controlling steer and push breaks when you are driving.
  • Secondly, and more importantly, you will need to check both the weight of your vehicle and trailer. You have to install a weight distribution hitch if your towed trailer happens to weigh more than half the weight of your car.
  • It is a good rule of thumb to install a weight distribution hitch if you tow anything over 5000 lbs. If you own a double-axel trailer, the towing weight will most likely be over the required weight. Hence, it is time for you to get one.
  • Another way is to check the height difference between your towed trailer and vehicle. Measure up to the front height of your car and then the rear. Repeat the same with the rear and front levels of your trailer once you get it towed. Now, differentiate the two measurements, and you will have to install one if the difference is more than 20mm.
  • Check if the headlights of your vehicle are facing upward after you get your trailer towed.
  • Many campers install it to tow their trailer and vehicle to the highest capacity.

How to choose what weight distribution hitch you need?

If your tow is carrying a load higher than its capacity, you really need a hitch. They come in a number of capacities and styles.

Remember to follow your owner’s manual to find which kind of weight distribution system will be right for your towing and vehicle.

However, you can start your search from these three types of weight distribution hitch in the market:

AndersenIn many cases, there are bounces of spring bars when driving, the Anderson kit replaces them with shock and chain absorbers. It has the ability to control sway friction and provides a silent ride when turning the trailer. Moreover, it has somewhere around 200 to 1400 lbs weight distribution for your trailer.

Round Bar: For someone who only travels on paved roads, we recommend you get these round bar kits. If you have to have a trailer with no potholes and dips, then round bars will be right for you. They come in round shapes with a tongue weight distribution from 600 to 1200 lbs.

Trunnion Bar: If you have a trailer that has its bottom lowered down and the round bars drag through the road, you can get this one. The trunnion kit will make sure you have a higher room up so that the bars down wear out. It is also good if you happen to travel often on unpaved roads. Additionally, the bar has a weight distribution from 600-1700 lbs with a square-shaped outlook.

Final thoughts

It is only natural to want safer trips during camping because nobody likes to have a swaying trailer behind their car. So, for the sake of complete towing and smoother rides, a weight distribution hitch is a must-need.

I hope this article helped you a tad with figuring out what the heck a distributor does. If not, feel free to leave me a comment below and I’d be happy to help.

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Jakob Staudal

I love to spend time outside and reconnect with nature every now and then and cut-off all the noise from social media and everyday life.