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Weight Distribution Hitches - It's About Better Traction

Weight Distribution Hitches - It's About Better Traction

Weight distribution hitches are usually used for hauling heavy loads. What generally happens when you tow a lot of weight is that the trailer pushes down on the tongue of the hitch and raises the front of the vehicle giving the front wheels less traction and you will experience reduced and sloppy steering. This is never a good thing. The last thing you want, while towing a three-ton trailer behind you, is to have less traction and steering. This can be very dangerous to you and the other drivers.

The best thing to help prevent this is to use a weight distribution hitch. You can pick up weight distribution hitches at most RV dealers and trailer hitch shops.

Basically, a weight distribution hitch is made to transfer the weight of the trailer to the axles of the trailer and the tow vehicle and reduce the amount of weight on the tongue of the hitch.

How does it do that?

Well it distributes the weight using equalizing bars and brackets. The brackets and spring bars lift the hitch point up so that it is parallel to the ground, and that way the weight is more evenly distributed. This will give you a more level ride as well as save your suspension and also give you better braking and steering control.

But just because weight distribution hitches will give you more towing capacity, you still have to make sure your vehicle and hitch system can handle the load. Check the hitch and your vehicles owners' manual, and make sure you don't exceed the maximum towing capacity of either.

A weight distribution system comes with a receiver hitch for the back of your vehicle, a hitch head that fits into the receiver opening, spring bars that fit onto the hitch head and finally, hook-up brackets that are attached to the trailer frame with chains.

You can also get another option to go with your weight distribution system. This option is sway control. Sway controls are used mostly for trailers that are really long. You can get a friction or dual cam sway controller that lessens the effect of the crosswinds and other such disturbances. However, most weight distributing hitches come with a sway control already.

You could also consider getting air shocks, air springs and or overload springs to help out in towing your trailer.

Since weight distribution hitches have a whole lot more parts, they are naturally going to be harder to install. You can do it, but it will be harder than most hitches. The more you do it the easier it will be. Before you know it you will be able to install your trailer in a few minutes. If you are sure you might consider having a professional do it for you at first. If you watch closely you can learn how he does it so you can do it yourself the next time.

"Weight distribution hitches" also need to be adjusted. Sometimes, you might find that even with the new hitch, you're still experiencing some problems with steering and sway. This probably is a good indicator that your hitch isn't adjusted properly.  If this is the case, you need to adjust the chains so the weight is distributed properly.

Weight distributing hitches can be a fantastic thing to have. They can make your towing much easier and safer, but you don't really need them for lighter loads. They are used primarily on class three to class five trailer hitches, and that's all.

Always make sure that they are installed properly and that you buy a quality hitch. You might have to pay a bit more, but you'll get better quality in return.

Now that you know the basics, you're ready to enjoy your weight distributing hitch. Have fun and be safe.

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