What is Weight Distribution Hitch

What is Weight Distribution Hitch? Here’s what You Need to Know

As you are already on this page, I am assuming you are either an avid traveler looking for a solution or someone who’s new to this travel world and just wants an answer to this fundamental question — what is a weight distribution hitch again?

I was the latter for personal reasons. And I abhorred the process of studying, researching, watching videos, and putting up pieces from the internet. 

For good reasons, I cannot find at least one know-it-all article or a one-stop article where I could find A to Z of weight distribution hitch. 

One piece of writing that covers the basics to guiding the best type according to their needs … no? Exactly.

I went through the process of knowing the basics to choose the one for myself and landed on writing a piece I wished I had found out when I was the latter. I’m the former one now, except it just keeps getting better.

In this article, I will tell you what precisely the weight distribution is, how it works, why you need it, what it looks like that is connected to the working mechanism to finally, how to choose the best type for you. 

What’s a Weight Distribution Hitch?

That is exactly what its name says. Weight-distribution-hitch. A hitch that helps to distribute weight in a way that avoids accidents and ensures a smooth experience in your journey.

But if it is just a weight distribution hitch, what’s the hype in the tech world about?

In technical terms, especially applicable in the field that deals with cars, it is considered as the hitch that distributes or spreads the weight evenly from the tongue weight of the trailer to the four wheels of the tow vehicle. 

The thing is also called load leveler hitch or load equalizing hitch, thanks to their prominent contribution in leveling the weight between the wheels of the tow vehicle. 

This is the product I show when I need to explain how small actions can have a more significant impact. And that brings you to the next part of the article: Why do you need it? Or do you even need it at all?

What is Weight Distribution Hitch

Do I Need a Weight Distribution Hitch?

If I put it simply– if you didn’t, you would not be here.

Everyone who’s been a lover of traveling, especially with their car, has dealt with the issue of a tow vehicle. 

Imagine this: You are supposedly on your way to your destination with your car and your tow vehicle attached to your car. Since you do not have a weight distribution hitch, the tow vehicle being heavy as should mess up the position of your car. 

What it does exactly is, due to the weight and pressure focusing on only one point on the backside of the car, the front wheels of the car are slightly lifted from the ground. 

The heavier the tow vehicle is, the more risk it is for your car. That ultimately leads to accidents and, in most cases, trip cancellation. 

If this does not clear out your confusion, this is what studies say happens without a weight distribution hitch:

  • The tow vehicle’s headlight is pointed upwards.
  • Trailer swaying
  • Tow vehicle is more than 50% of your vehicle’s weight
  • Cannot tow to your highest capacity

Now, if you travel frequently or travel at all in this method, yes, a weight distribution hitch may ease your journey. 

What are the Components of a Weight Distribution Hitch?

Since we know what a trailer hitch does and its benefits, let’s dive deeper into categorizing the weight distribution hitch. Usually, it requires five components to work smoothly.

  • Spring bars
  • Frame brackets
  • Weight distribution shanks
  • Weight distribution head assembly
  • Class III, IV, and V trailer hitch receivers are rated for use with weight distribution 

Spring Bars

Spring bars are one of the essential components for your weight distribution hitch. They apply leverage to your towing setup. Spring bars usually distribute the wheat from the rear of your vehicle to the axles of the vehicle and the trailer. 

You can get it in various shapes and sizes, but I suggest you research more before buying your own. Usually, they come in round, square, or trunnions. 

Frame Brackets

As the name suggests, a frame bracket is like a frame to the trailer and is usually used to carry and keep the spring bars in their place. 

Like spring bars, they also come in various designs. Still, a standard weightage distribution system undoubtedly includes a bracket and chain system to operate the distribution evenly to the trailer. 

Recently, people have started using specially designed high-end sway control brackets, which is also fine by me if you want to spend much. 

Weight Distribution Head Assembly 

This is what makes the weight distribution hitch a loved one. They are found in various types that will differ due to differences in systems, and that’s why they don’t have an exact look. 

But here’s how you can identify a weight distribution head assembly: all of them will attach to the weight distribution shank. They will secure a place to Mount your hitch ball for hookups. 

You will also notice that they provide a strong bar attachment point. This is also used to fine-tune or perfect the amount of leverage. 

Weight Distribution Shank

Even if you’re new to this, you have known at least distribution shank in your life and haven’t realized it yet. 

This is the most critical part of weight distribution as it regulates the amount of weight given and how much your car can take and successfully distribute evenly. 

A shank usually slides into your trailer hitch receiver. It has little holes and attachment points for the weight distribution head assembly. 

The tiny little holes are for length, drop, and rise customization. This is how you can regulate the height or drop of your tow vehicle and adjust accordingly. 

Trailer Hitch

It attaches to the frame of your car or any vehicle you are not towing and allows the receiver to let the weight distribution shank slide into. 

How do I Install a Weight Distribution Hitch?

Installing your own weight distribution hitch may save a lot of money. Still, it does come up with a lot of responsibilities and patience. 

Also, you need to have all the tools in your hands; if you don’t, you need to buy them. It is equivalent to the amount you’ll spend if you’re paying someone to install your weight distribution hitch. It’s pretty satisfying work, but you need to have patience for that. 

There are a lot of videos on the internet on how to install a weight distribution hitch, but I’m going to tell you, in short, what you need to do:

  • Measure the height of your trailer and the vehicle so that you can assume your next step. 
  • This is where you attach the weight distribution shank and the hitch head. Insert the shank inside the receiver tube and secure it. 
  • You need to set the head angle of the weight distribution hitch. Insert the bolt and fasten it with nuts and washers. 
  • After this, install the spring bar. 
  • After installing, raise the trailer jack and adjust the height accordingly. Usually, it is safe to raise the couple at least three inches tall over the level position.

My Last Words!

I explained it as short as I could. You will find many helpful videos and instructions on articles and videos specially directed to installing the weight distribution hitch. It’s easy, but it is hard work. 

Wishing you an easy journey with your weight distribution hitch. Just remember to choose one according to your own needs!

Eddie Burton - Senior Author
Senior Author: Eddie Burton

Eddie Burton is a passionate car enthusiast and a seasoned mechanic with over 15 years of experience in the automotive industry. He has worked with a variety of vehicles, from classic muscle cars to modern luxury cars, and has extensive knowledge of all types of auto parts and accessories.

Eddie’s love for cars began at a young age when he would spend hours tinkering with his first car, a 1967 Mustang. Since then, he has pursued his passion for cars by working in various garages and workshops, honing his skills and expertise in everything related to automobiles.

As a contributor to our website, Eddie shares his in-depth knowledge and experience with our readers, providing valuable tips and advice on auto parts, repairs, and maintenance. He’s committed to helping car owners get the most out of their vehicles by providing honest and practical reviews of auto parts, accessories, and tools.

With Eddie’s vast experience and expertise, you can trust his recommendations and insights on everything related to cars. Whether you’re a seasoned car owner or a newbie in the world of automobiles, Eddie’s articles and reviews will help you make informed decisions and keep your vehicle running smoothly for years to come.

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