What Is A Weight Distribution System

Written by hitchweb Team
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 — 10 Comments

What is a Weight Distribution Hitch System? 
An optional system which can be added to most rear mounted trailer hitches. The system includes supplemental equipment such as spring bars, that work to distribute trailer tongue loads to the trailer axle(s) and the tow vehicle front axle.  Use of weight distribution system enhances handling and braking and in some cases increases the trailer towing capacity (only if the hitch has a weight distributing capacity from factory.)

*Note* For Weight Distribution Hitch System part breakdown, refer to What Are The Components In A Weight Distribution System

When is a Weight Distribution Hitch System needed?
When towing a trailer with a standard ballmount, all of the trailer's tongue weight is transfered to the tow vehicle. Having too much tongue weight in relation to gross trailer weight can cause the back end of the vehicle to lower and the front end of the vehicle to raise. This will cause you to loose braking traction, steering control, and increase trailer sway.

How to choose the right Weight Distribution Hitch System?
A weight distribution hitch will have two ratings, the gross trailer weight (GTW) and tongue weight (TW). GTW refers to a combination of the weight of the trailer and all of its contents. TW is the downward force excerted on a rear mounted trailer hitch when the trailer is attached.  With a properly loaded trailer, the tongue weight is approximately 10% of the gross trailer weight.

There are many styles of weight distribution systems. When choosing a weight distribution system you should consider the following:

1. Round or Trunnion Bar Style (refer to differences in Round vs Trunnion bars)
2. Tongue weight and if you need sway control (refer to What Is Tongue Weight?)
3. Required towing capacity (refer to trailer specs and vehicle towing capacity)
4. Preferred Brand (this may come down to budget)

Weight Distribution Hitch System

Weight Distribution Hitch System

Sway Control

Sway Control

Weight Distribution Shanks

Weight Distribution Shanks

Weight Distribution Parts

Weight Distribution Parts


Comments


Hitchweb Team
Thursday, December 14, 2017
Hello Mr. Jaerschky, there are absolutely no negative effects using an E2 Hitch rated for 12,500 lbs when your load is only 5,500 lbs. We always suggest that people purchase something rated a bit higher than the loaded trailer, that way they're safe and if you decide to purchase another trailer down the road, then you'd be all set to do that.
Frank Jaerschky
Thursday, December 14, 2017
I'm looking at buying an e2 hitch. Would there be any negative effects if I buy the 12,000lb hitch, and use it to tow a 5,500lb trailer? I might want to get a bigger trailer later.
Hitchweb Team
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Hello Russ, At this time there is no aftermarket trailer hitch available for the Land Rover Velar but for the Jaguar F-Pace the trailer hitch is only rated for 6,000 lbs. and can not get any heavier with a weight distribution system. If you still wish to use one, we recommend the light duty system #66557 found here: https://www.hitchweb.com/category/TA-B-3-4/Weight-Distribution-Hitch
Russ
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Am buying either a 2018 Land Rover Velar R-Dynamic - Max Towing Capacity 5500 LBS. or a 2018 Jaguar F-Pace S - Max Towing Capacity 5290 LBS. Looking at trailers with GTW of between 5000 - 6000 LBS. I understand that I would be very wise to get a Weight Distribution Hitch System, but not sure what kind and what weight rating. I have been told that with the proper Weight Dist Hitch Syst I can exceed the Max Towing Capacity of the tow vehicle and still be safe. Not sure what to buy or who I can trust. HELP!!!
Hitchweb Team
Friday, April 7, 2017
Hi Marc, Here are two options we'd recommend: Part# 17002 from Curt - https://www.hitchweb.com/product/88/17002/Weight-Distribution-System-Round-Bar-Style-incl.-shank-CAP-1000-lbs.-TW *10k capacity - features a heavy duty adjustable formed head with 2" adjustable hitch bar, forged steel spring bars and a durable powder coat finish that resists rust and corrosion. Part# 94-00-1000 from Fastway/Equalizer - https://www.hitchweb.com/product/88/94-00-1000/Weight-Distribution-Sys.-integrated-SwayBETTER-than-Chains-CAP-1000-lbs.-TW *10k capacity - features integrated 2 point sway, rigid sway control brackets that eliminates the pendulum effect common in chain style system The capacity on both systems will cover your trailer as long as the fully loaded weight is not over 10,000lbs but the Equalizer system also has the advantage of built in sway control. Curt & Reese weight distribution systems can have either a friction sway control or dual cam sway control added - https://www.hitchweb.com/category/TA-B-1-5/Sway-Control If you have any further questions or would like more info please feel free to contact us at info@hitchweb.com or call 1-800-300-4067 Thank you! Hitchweb Team
marc
Friday, April 7, 2017
i have a 2011 F150 harley davidson edition my camper is a prestige 34' grow 7200lbs what is the best sys i need
Hitchweb Team
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Hello, There are two trailer hitch capacity options available for your vehicle, 6,000 lbs. and 10,000 lbs. please see the link to view the options: https://www.hitchweb.com/2011-ford-f-150-factory-step-bumper-without-oem-hitch-trailer-hitches A weight distribution system is not necessarily required for your vehicle and towing capacity, however if you would like the extra protection, you can use the Light Duty Weight Distribution system made by Curt #17345 https://www.hitchweb.com/category/TA-B-3-4/Weight-Distribution-Hitch
Anonymous
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
I have a 2011 F150 4x4 with trailer way control on truck pulling a fiberglass 21ft ultra lite camper trailer Have is 4750 pounds 500 # tongue weight. Do I need a weight distribution hitch or would your regular hitch work ?
Hitchweb Team
Monday, July 6, 2015

Hello Mr. Neville, We recommend purchasing the Light Duty Weight Distribution System made by Reese part number 66557. This system is specifically designed for light duty trailers, has built in sway control and is rated for 4,000 lbs. capacity / 400 lbs. tongue weight.

 

Herb Neville
Monday, July 6, 2015

I have a 2008 Lexus RX 350 which is rated to tow 3500 pounds. The trailer I am pulling is 2800 pounds before loading. I would like to purchase a weight distribution system to help handling and braking for my vehicle. The hitch currently on the vehicle is factory installed. Thank you Herb

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