If you are tired of towing your trailer as it keeps swaying or uneven all the time, you probably need a weight-distribution hitch (WDH). Trailer owners should know that there is still a better alternative in towing their trailers than meets the eye.
Modern and top-of-the-line weight distribution hitches nowadays are now designed to meet the needs of trailer owners like you to make driving more comfortable every day. Manufacturers like EAZ Lift, Husky, and Pro Series are just some of the world’s leaders in the trailer hitch innovation.
What is a weight-distribution hitch?
A WDH is a device designed to create a level and stable ride when towing a trailer. Moreover, a weight-distribution hitch helps in keeping your towing setup level.
The well-designed hitch assures the weight of the trailer doesn’t create excessive stress on the towing vehicle.As the name implies, a weight-distribution hitch does just that! The tool distributes weight evenly so it eliminates the possibility of swaying and unstable ride.
Interestingly, WDH is made for trailers of all types and not just for land or mechanical vehicles. The hitch can also use for horse trailers, boat trailers, travel trailers, and other similar modes of transports.
When do you need a Weight Distribution Hitch?
In most cases, trailer owners should have a reliable towing hitch to make travel safer and more comfortable. However, to make sure that you really need one, read these 4 major criteria if you are a qualified candidate (meaning, you have to buy one) in owning a weight-distribution hitch for your trailer:
If your tow vehicle is being lifted off the front axle and it sags, you need a weight distribution hitch. Moreover, when your vehicles sag, you may lose control of the break and the steering wheel.
As a rule of the thumb, if your trailer weighs half (50%) or more of what your coupled vehicle weighs, you need a weight-distribution hitch. A combination trailer and tow vehicle needs this type of hitch upon considering other safety factors.
If you are experiencing irregular swaying, especially when a large vehicle passes by, or during high winds, a weight-distribution hitch is needed. This device prevents lane wandering and menacing trailer sways, even while cruising steep roads. Fortunately, the swaying will not be a reason your tow vehicle will squeal when turning the steering wheel.
Weight Distribution Hitch Ratings
Two ratings come with weight-distribution hitches and are explained below:
- Maximum Trailer Weight
This rating tells you about the maximum gross weight of a trailer a hitch can tow. Before hitching up, you should know the maximum trailer weight the hitch can pull without damaging the device.
Moreover, the gross trailer weight rating (GTWR) of your fully-loaded trailer can be calculated by adding the weight of the trailer itself and everything loaded into it. The gross weight will include passengers (if any), cargo, equipment, animals, fluids, and everything in-between that contributes to gross trailer weight.
In North America (the US and Canada), there are 4 main weight classes of weight distribution hitches (as defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers-SAE).
- Tongue Weight
The tongue weight is the downward force exerted by the tongue of the trailer on the coupling (hitch) that trails the tow vehicle. Lighter tongue weight may cause the rear of the tow vehicle to lift which is too dangerous (a condition known as a ‘trailer sway’).
Otherwise, too much tongue weight can cause the rear end of the vehicle to sag. This condition may arise to negative handling of the vehicle and poor visibility by the driver and the performance of the brakes. For a better brake controller for a towing vehicle, read here.
The ideal tongue weight should be 10 to 15% of your GTWR. This way, you’ll come up with a trailer that sits well and evenly with your vehicle. To illustrate, if your trailer weighs 10,000lbs, you may want to have a tongue weight rating of 1,000lbs.
3 Types of Weight Distribution Hitches
Here are the 3 common types of trailer hitches:
An Andersen type of hitch uses dampers and chains, instead of sway bars or the adjustable distribution shank. This construction minimizes bounce and sway.
The Andersen type is designed to address more the trailer sway and bounce.
Round Bar Hitches
This type is commonly made up of round-shape sway bars. The style may not be ideal to deal with bumps and potholes, but it can work just fine for other applications.
Furthermore, round bar hitches are inexpensive than the two other types.
Trunnion Bar Hitches
The trunnion bar hitch kit is almost the same as the round bar sway shank. The trunnion bars are square-shaped rather than round and don’t require a clip to attach to the receiver.
Moreover, the trunnion sway bars have difficulty in adjusting the height of the head than a round bar assembly. However, the trunnion provides more ground clearance.
Watch this video on how to set up a Weight Distribution Hitch:
EAZ LIFT 48051 600 lbs Elite Bent Bar Weight Distributing Hitch
EAZ LIFT 48058 1000 lbs Elite Kit, Includes Distribution
EAZ LIFT Screw-On Sway Control, Right-Mounted Passenger Side (48380)
7 Best Weight Distribution Hitches Reviews
The Camco’s EAZ Lift 48058 towing hitch is designed to give you the smoothest ride you can get. This EAZ Lift Elite Kit has a tongue weight rating of 1,000lbs which is ideal for trailers with a maximum gross weight rating of 10,000lbs.
The kit comes with mounting hardware and U-bolts, so don’t need to buy additional accessories. The EAZ Lift 48058 weight distribution hitch is a bent bar with an adjustable ball mount and shank with sway control ball so your ride is smooth and safe.
The Elite Kit has pre-installed U-bolts and chain package on the spring bars while the hitch ball has a size of 2-5/16 inches. The kit is so easy to assemble which won’t take much of your time.
Although this hitch weighs about 96lbs, you can probably install/assemble the unit even without help when somebody is not around. You can always read the instruction manual for fitting and use.
One of the interesting features of the EAZ Lift Elite Kit is that it has interchangeable bars so you won’t be confused on what to use where. Very clever, isn’t it?
One of the products that have a complete kit for weight distribution for your truck or SUV (also includes a hitch ball), the Pro Series Reese stands out from the rest. The Reese is a heavy-duty product that has a round bar weight distribution hitch and features a tongue weight of 1,000lbs and 10,000lbs GTWR.
The large ratings will be able owners to handle a wide array of trailers and RVs that consumers may find themselves towing more often. This top-of-the-line weight distribution hitch has a more affordable price compared to expensive brands.
The Pro Series Reese 49903 comes with a friction sway control and every accessory you need is in the package. Such accessory includes the mounting hardware, adjustable weight distribution shank, and spring bars, among other accessories. It also comes with an instruction manual.
Assemble time using this type of hitch won’t take you long. But if you have trouble or be confused when installing, there are available instruction videos online provided by the manufacturer or some influencers.
And what’s more about this find? The Pro Series Reese weight distribution hitch has a 10-year warranty guaranteed by its manufacturer!
One of the most expensive weight distribution hitches on our list, the Husky 32218 Center Line has a tongue weight rating of 800lbs-1,200lbs and a GTRW of 12,000lbs. Maybe that will explain the high price.
But does this hitch delivers? Satisfied users mostly agree.
The Husky 32218 comes complete that combines efficient weight distribution and sway controls and you don’t need to buy additional hardware. This state-of-the-art hitch is made from hardened steel that is forged and not molded so you are assured of its durability in any type of weather.
The Husky weight distribution hitch ball (with an ideal size of 2-5/16 inches) is pre-installed by the manufacturer and sets into the appropriate torque. You can’t even hear any noise when it is at work, unlike other trailer hitches in the market.
Although heavier than other hitches (this one weighs a staggering 116lbs), the Husky Center Line TS compensates for its rugged and quiet performance, aside from being long-lasting in use.
The spring bars of the Husky is a Trunnion type which provides perfect ground clearance, unparalleled weight distribution and excellent sway control, and overall superior performance. This amazing product will vastly improve your towing experience.
If you have a lighter trailer, the EAZ Lift 48053 might suit your needs. This inexpensive weight distribution hitch has a simple design and won’t hurt your budget.
This trailer hitch has a tongue weight rating of 1,000lbs and a GTWR of 10,000lbs and designed for a not-too-heavy trailer.
The EAZ Elite Bent Bar is a round bar type of hitch and is operated with a positive latching action. This hitching unit is one of the easiest to assemble and take down among trailer hitches on our list.
This trailer hitch is ideal for a smooth road and not for rugged and bumpy terrain. It may produce unusual noise and not as good in reducing sway and weight distribution compared to trunnion or Anderson bar type trailer hitch kits.
However, its lower price compensates for the average performance of the EAZ Lift Weight Distribution Hitch. This hitch is also very light at only 5lbs so you can set it up easily without any help.
This hitch unit is available in other tongue weight ratings of 600, 800, and 1,200.
If you want a lighter version of the EAZ Lift 48053, the EAZ Lift 48051 600lbs might suit your needs. This trailer hitch unit has a tongue weight rating of 600 and a maximum gross trailer weight rating (GTWR) of 10,000lbs. We advised that you don’t exceed the GTWR for a smoother and safer ride.
The EAZ Lift 48051 has a simple design and could be assembled faster than any other high-end brand. It is priced lower than 4853 because of its low tongue weight rating but you can count on its reliability on smooth and well-paved roads although you can go rough sailing for uneven terrain.
The rated 600bs Elite Bent Bar EAZ Lift comes with a bolt-together adjustable weight distribution shank made from round bars. It may produce some annoying sound or noise, especially on bumpy roads, as it is not highly-refined compared to more expensive trailer hitches.
Moreover, the EAZ Lift 48051 has a 5-year warranty on parts guaranteed by the manufacturer wherever you buy this product. Furthermore, aside from its affordable price, the 48051 weight distribution hitch comes with all the basic parts, such as the hook-up brackets, chains, shank and hitch pin, ball mount, spring bars, and the clip and bolt package for adjustable towing.
Another more affordable EAZ Lift weight distribution hitch is the EAZ Lift 48380 Screw-On. With just almost a third of the price of EAZ Lift 48051, you can have this hitching unit, well, we may say ‘without a hitch’.
But interestingly, this trailer hitch comes with versatile features. For one, the unit is designed for use as a right-hand passenger side hitching unit.
It is also designed to minimize sway caused by passing large trucks and the sudden wind burst when cruising on high-speed. However, we recommend that you drive with just enough speed when you are towing.
The EAZ Lift Screw-On Sway Control has double friction pads that add up in minimizing sway. It can be easily assembled using the easy socket and spring clip connectors. Setup time usually takes about just a few minutes even when you are solo.
A more interesting hitching device from EAZ Lift is the Elite Kit 48069 Weight Distribution Hitch. This one is more pricey than EAZ Lift 48380 but has a larger tongue weight rating of 1,200lbs, while its GTRW is rated at 12,000lbs, so it can tow heavier trailers.
The Elite Kit 48069 has its hitch and sway control balls pre-installed in the factory while the torque is adjusted to specifications on an adjustable ball mount. The hitch ball has an ideal size of 2-5/16 inches enough to sustain the needed sway control heavier loads.
The provided U-bolts and chain packages are also installed on spring bars in the factory so you don’t have to assemble these on-site. Incidentally, this trailer hitch is one of the heaviest of the lot at 97lbs.
But eventually, you can assemble it easily as some parts are already set-up when you received the package. The weight distribution hitch comes with a 5-year warranty on parts.
Did you have fun reading our list? We hope you did enjoy this interesting list.
Finding the best weight distribution hitch for your trailer (whether its an RV, a boat, a horse-drawn carriage, or any ordinary trailer), there is a better way to tow.
With this list and with prices more affordable than other high-end weight distribution hitches, you will be able to find the right one for your needs. We are just duty-bound to provide you a great review so you can have a choice at hand.
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